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Icebreakers and Energisers
Dorothee Spuhler, Stefanie Kaiser (seecon international gmbh)
Icebreakers and Energisers
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Content
• Introduction
• Examples of Icebreakers
• Examples of Energisers
Icebreakers and Energisers
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Introduction
What to do when
your participants
are getting tired?
Source: TEARFUND (2005)
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Introduction
What are Icebreakers?
• Help people to integrate and connect with one another
• Arouse the participants’ attention
• Create an inspiring learning atmosphere
• Improve the group dynamic
• Enhance cooperation & participation
• Icebreakers contribute to a better training outcome
STERNS & MELOCHE (2004)
 Icebreakers “warm up” the training.
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Introduction
When to Use Icebreakers?
The best times to use icebreakers are the following:
• Pre-event socialisers
• Morning openers
• After lunch wake-ups
• Calming dissension or tension relievers
Adapted from INSTITUTE FOR LAW AND JUSTICE (2002)
 Icebreakers provide a welcome break during a long day of
training.
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Introduction
What are Energisers?
• Refresh people
• Help participants to get to know each other better
• Break down barriers
• Bring enjoyable breaks between two session, high temperatures
and challenging decisions
ARCHER TRAINING (2010); UNESCO (2004)
 Energisers raise the energy level of a training session by gaining
back people’s attention and interest.
Icebreakers and Energisers
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Introduction
Be Careful
• Choosing an appropriate energiser or icebreakers is not easy.
• They require a degree of openness that is not comfortable for all.
• Be careful when energiser involve physical contact, or when mixing
female and male participants.
• Sometimes it may be more appropriate to switch the training
method (such as group works, discussions or role plays).
Icebreakers and Energisers
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Examples of Icebreakers
“I am the one who…”
Time: approx. 15 min.
Group Size: min. 10 up to large groups.
Everybody gets a paper and has to write on it, “I am the one who ...”
(e.g. I am the one who like strawberries).
Then you collect the cards and redistribute them. Now ask the people
to stand up and walk around to find the one who has wirtten the
cards he had got after redistribution. When everybody has found the
person that has written the card, gave it back and received is own
card, people go back to their seat and everybody shares his “I am
the one who…” statement with the group
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Examples of Icebreakers
“Name Game”
Time: approx. 10 min.
Group Size: max. 25 as everybody has to explain the adjectives.
Ask participants to write their name vertically on a A4 paper.
The ask them to write two adjective, for each using a letter of their
name, which described one good and one bad characteristics about
them.
D
O
R
O
I M PATI ENT
H
ENERGETIC
E
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Examples of Icebreakers
“Toss a Ball”
Time: approx. 10 min.
Group Size: min. 10 up to large groups.
Stand in a circle with all participants. Start passing a ball to one
person. This person has to say a key word what they will take home
from the day. The persons then passes the ball to a next one, which
will say a key word on her turn.
And so on, until each participants had the ball at least once.
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Examples of Icebreakers
“Signature”
Time: approx. 10 min.
Group Size: min. 10 persons up to large groups
Ask people to stand up. Ask them to imagine having a pen in their hand
and a blackboard in front of them. Ask them to “write” their
signature.
Then ask them to do the same thing with the head, with the shoulder,
with the leg, with the knee and finally with their back…
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Examples of Icebreakers
“Know who you have in front of you”
Time: approx. 10 min.
Group Size: min. 10 persons up to large groups
Form two groups, which stand in front of each other in a line (make
sure that everybody can see the whole other group.
Ask them to observe each other very well. Then ask them to turn
around that they cannot see the other group. Every person changes
a small detail on her appearance (e.g. remove scarf, change
position of hands, etc.).
Then ask the groups to turn around again. Now the groups have to find
out what the other group changed. The group that identifies more
changes will win.
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Examples of Icebreakers
“Island Game”
Time: approx. 10 min.
Group Size: max. 25 as everybody has every group has to explain what
they will take with them.
Make groups of 4 people. Tell them they will be lost on a island and can
take only 5 thing with them (as a group). Give them 5 minutes, to
choose the 5 things.
Ask them one group after another, what they will take. Ask how they
have taken the decisions and were there were confilcts.
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Examples of Icebreakers
J-O-Y
Time required: 10-15 min / Group size: up to 15 persons
Ask each member to think of three things that she/he would like to
share.
Use the letters of the word ‘joy” to structure what is to be shared:
• J: something in your life that JUST happened
• O: ONE thing you would like to do in your life
• Y: a part of YOU that makes you a very special person.
(Point out that the keywords say, ‘JUST ONE YOU!”)
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Examples of Icebreakers
People Bingo
Time required: 15-20 min / Group size: up to 20 persons
Create a list of statements that are likely to be true for at least several of the
participants.
Write the statements in boxes on a piece of paper (everyone should get the
same sheet, so make enough copies).
Give the participants 10 minutes to find someone other than themselves for
whom the statement is true and have them initial inside the box.
Whoever completes all the boxes first wins a prize.
Your statements can be general- for example, find someone who:
•
was born in March
•
A man that likes cooking
•
has seen a popular band, live in concert
•
has a daughter / a son / a sister / a brother…
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Examples of Energisers
Wink
Time required: 20-30 min / Group size: up to 20 persons
Have members stand in a circle with their eyes closed.
One person walks around the circle and quietly taps the back of one
person who will be the “winker”.
Everyone opens their eyes and begins to mill around the room.
If a person has been winked at, she or he must count to ten silently and
then make a scene to let others know she or he is out of the game.
The object is to catch the winker before everyone loses. If a person
suspects the winker’s identity, she says, “I have an accusation!”
However, there must be two accusers to stop the game.
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Examples of Energisers
Nine Dots
Time required: 5-10 minutes / Group size: any size
Distribute to each participant a piece of paper and a pen. Draw nine
dots on the chalkboard or whiteboard.
Ask participants to draw nine dots on their paper and ask them to do
the following:
• Dots must be joined by four straight lines
• Pen should not be pulled off the paper
Source: TEARFUND (2005)
The participant who can join nine dots before anyone else will be the
winner.
(Let the others try until most of them are successful. Finally ask any of
the participants to show how she/he joined the nine dots.)
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Examples of Energisers
Numbers
Time required: depending on group size / Group size: up to 20 persons
Ask the participants to stand in a circle.
The participants have to count in turn around the circle.
Every time the number five or a multiple of five is reached, that person
claps instead of saying the number.
Every time the number seven or a multiple of seven is reached, that
person turns around once instead of saying the number.
If someone makes a mistake, they drop out of
the circle and the next person goes back
to 1 again..
Source: TEARFUND (2005)
Icebreakers and Energisers
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References
ARCHER TRAINING (Editor) (2010): Energisers. Gloucestershire: Archer Training Ltd.. URL:
http://www.archertraining.co.uk/energisers.htm [Accessed: 16.01.2013].
CAMPUUS (Editor) (n.y.): Icebreaker/Energizer/Activity Resource Guide for Team Leaders. Wilmington: Campuus. URL:
http://www.sswm.info/sites/default/files/reference_attachments/CAMPUUS%20ny%20Icebreaker%20Energizer%20
Resource%20Guide%20for%20Team%20Leaders.pdf [Accessed: 16.01.2013].
INSTITUTE FOR LAW AND JUSTICE (Editor) (2002): Icebreakers for Training, Meeting and other Events. Alexandria:
INSTITUTE FOR LAW AND JUSTICE (ILJ). URL:
http://www.ilj.org/publications/docs/Icebreakers_for_Training_Meetings_and_Other_Events.pdf [Accessed:
16.01.2013].
KNOX, G. (2009): 40 Icebreakers for Small Groups. London: Insights. URL:
http://insight.typepad.co.uk/40_icebreakers_for_small_groups.pdf [Accessed: 16.01.2013].
STERNS, C. ; MELOCHE, H. (2004): Using Icebreakers to Defrost a Chilly Atmosphere and Build Warm Relationships.
Ontarlo: Training Makes Cents INC.. URL: http://www.trainingmakescents.com/_assets/pdf/Icebreakers.pdf
[Accessed: 16.01.2013].
TEARFUND (Editor) (2005): Useful Energisers. Teddington: Tear Fund. URL:
http://tilz.tearfund.org/Publications/Footsteps+51-60/Footsteps+60/Useful+energisers.htm [Accessed:
16.01.2013].
TRAINING GAMES (Editor) (2010): 40 Icebreakers and other Warm-ups. Cave Creek: Training Games. TRAINING GAMES .
URL: http://www.training-games.com/pdf/40FreeIceBreakers.pdf [Accessed: 16.01.2013].
UNESCO (Editor) (2004): Training Guide and Training Techniques. Asia-Pacific Programme of Education for All. Bangkok:
UNESCO Bangkok. URL:
http://www.sswm.info/sites/default/files/reference_attachments/UNESCO%202004%20Training%20Guide%20and%2
0Training%20Techniques.pdf [Accessed: 16.01.2013].
Icebreakers and Energisers
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