25 ideas for ice-breaking activities

January 10, 2024
Milana Martinovic

Milana has been involved in hospitality and events her entire career. Her journey in operations, support and distributed work started with Airbnb and continues among other startups in the ever evolving tech space. The two worlds connected 6 years ago when Milana got involved with building one of the frontrunners in the company retreat market in the evolving space of remote work. OnsiteHub was created as a culmination of 20 years experience in hospitality, tourism and startups to help distributed teams get together and enhance culture and connection.

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Although they might seem like a waste of time and be an awkwardly accepted activity, especially if the team members already know each other, icebreaking mini games will help the team get into the mood and set the stage for the rest of the day.

They do so by building team morale - icebreakers help to create a relaxed and fun environment. This will make team members feel more comfortable and at ease with one another, which is essential for building strong and effective teams.

Icebreaking activities also improve communication between team members. When team members are more comfortable with one another, they are more likely to share their thoughts and ideas openly, which can lead to better collaboration and problem-solving.

This in turn can stimulate creativity and encourage innovative thinking. When team members are relaxed and comfortable, they are more likely to think outside the box and come up with new and exciting ideas.

With reduced stress and anxiety your employees will feel more focused and productive, which is why you are organizing the offsite retreat in the first place. Regarding anxiety, let’s not forget the inclusivity of the most sensitive and vulnerable individuals. This will result in better teamwork and stronger relationships. The chain is as strong as its weakest link.

Overall, icebreaking activities are an essential component of team building. By creating a relaxed and fun environment, icebreakers can help to build strong and effective teams that are better able to collaborate, communicate, and innovate.

Here’s is a list of ideas you can implement as ice-breaking activities on your next team building:

  1. Two Truths and a Lie: Each person shares two true statements and one false statement about themselves. The rest of the group has to guess which statement is false.
  2. Name Game: Each person says their name and then adds an adjective that describes them. For example, "Hi, I'm John and I'm adventurous."
  3. Desert Island: Ask each person to choose three items they would bring with them to a deserted island and explain why they chose those items.
  4. Human Knot: Have the group stand in a circle and grab hands with two other people. They then have to untangle themselves without letting go of each other's hands.
  5. Team Trivia: Create a trivia game that includes questions about the company, industry, or anything relevant to the team.
  6. One-Word Story: Start with a sentence and then have each person add one word to create a story.
  7. Two-Minute Speech: Each person has two minutes to talk about a topic of their choice.
  8. Bucket List: Each person shares one item from their bucket list and explains why it's important to them.
  9. Show and Tell: Ask each person to bring in an item that represents them or something they're passionate about and share it with the group.
  10. What's in the Bag: Bring a bag filled with random objects and have each person reach in and pull out an item. They then have to explain how the item relates to them or their work.
  11. Would You Rather: Ask a series of "would you rather" questions and have everyone answer. For example, "Would you rather have a pet dragon or a pet unicorn?"
  12. The Great Egg Drop: Divide the group into teams and give each team an egg. Their task is to design and build a contraption that will protect the egg from a high fall.
  13. Pictionary: Have each person draw a picture on a whiteboard or paper and have the rest of the group guess what it is.
  14. Beach Ball Toss: Write questions on a beach ball and toss it around. When someone catches the ball, they answer the question that their right thumb lands on.
  15. Office Trivia: Create a trivia game that includes questions about the office, company, or industry.
  16. Blindfolded Obstacle Course: Create an obstacle course and have each person take turns navigating it blindfolded while their teammates give them directions.
  17. Improv Games: Play improv games, such as "Yes, and" or "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" to encourage creativity and teamwork.
  18. Bucket Brigade: Divide the group into teams and have them race to fill a bucket with water using only spoons.
  19. Speed Networking: Set up a speed networking event where each person has a few minutes to talk with someone they haven't met before.
  20. Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt that takes teams around the office or building, completing tasks and answering questions along the way.
  21. The Marshmallow Challenge: Give each team 20 spaghetti sticks, a yard of tape, a yard of string, and a marshmallow. Their task is to build the tallest freestanding structure with the marshmallow on top.
  22. Charades: Have each person act out a word or phrase without speaking while the rest of the group tries to guess what it is.
  23. Office Olympics: Set up a series of physical challenges, such as a relay race or tug of war, and have teams compete against each other.
  24. Balloon Tower: Divide the group into teams and have them build the tallest tower possible using only balloons and tape.
  25. Reverse Charades: Instead of one person acting out a word, have one person guess while the rest of the group acts out the word together.


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