When unfamiliar people meet, there is always an invisible psychological “ice” between them. When it’s your boss, the “ice” is the difference in status, when new people meet for the first time, ‘shyness’ is often the ‘ice’.
Ice-breaking sessions are needed especially for adults who are not familiar with each other or are meeting for the first time. It helps the participants from different background gel with each other quicker and also speeds up the team building process. There are many icebreaker games to spice up the ice breaking session, you can even improvise your own icebreakers.
Below are my pick of 25+ fun icebreakers for adults which will help them get to know each other and break the ‘ice’.
If you are a treasure hunt fanatic, chances are you are going to more than enjoy Scavenger Hunt. This is a fun team building games at social gatherings and outdoors and an effective icebreaker for new people.
The facilitator prepares a list of articles which should be gathered by players. The team with highest number of articles gathered wins the game. This helps newly met people for bonding and getting to know each other.
Read More for detailed instructions on how to play Scavenger Hunt.
Also check out 30 Coolest Scavenger Hunt ideas.
Tug of War is a great icebreaker if you want to bond with your peers on a deeper level. It is simply a game of two teams dragging each other with a rope to a winning point. Making it 4-way adds a lot of fun to it and great mind tactics are involved.
This activity helps to break the ice and speed up the feeling of being in a team. The participants can easily interact about the game and reflect on each other’s game which helps to break the ice plus the game increases the adrenaline rush, adrenaline is a hormone particularly known for motivation and team spirit.
Read More for detailed Instructions on how to play 4-way tug of war.
Minefield is a great outdoor team activity and a fun icebreaker for adults. It encourages creative discussion, problem solving and team cooperation. The blindfolded members of the team must navigate their way to the finish line taking only verbal instruction from counterpart.
Minefield is an extremely effective icebreaker. It helps to develop an instant connection with peers and develop a deeper understanding about each other.
Read More for detailed instructions on how to play minefield
Egg Drop is a great icebreaker for newly met people and office co-workers. Divide the participants into team, provide each team with egg and ask them to engineer a cushion of falling egg thrown from a certain height.
This game is all about healthy competition and encourages creative discussion and ingenuity. It encourages teamwork and idea brainstorming.
Read More about the detailed instructions on how to play The Egg Drop.
Guess what is a guessing game in which the participants should guess a particular number. This game is extremely effective icebreaker for 3 people.
Guess What encourages positive debate and logical reasoning. This game also gives a deeper insight of the minds of the participants. This activity helps to break the ice and instantly have a meaningful discussion.
Read More for detailed instructions on how to play Guess What?
Member Berries is a fun icebreaker about nostalgia conceived from animated series South Park. It encourages the participants to look back to the past and rejoice the fun memories from the times they have left behind.
Member Berries is all about participants adding branches in the memory tree. It helps to remember the subtle details about the past and ponder upon the euphoria of growing up. It promotes quick discussion and thus eases the whole teaming up process.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Member Berries.
Sometimes when we meet a friend of a friend or a complete stranger, don’t we find we are not so distant at all? Though we have met them for the first time, we instantly discover our mutual connection through seemingly impossible people like our distant cousin whom we’ve not met for several years or a primary school friend who changed school when we were at grade 3.
6 degrees of separation is an ice breaking game that attempts to prove that the world is not a very big place. Though the logic behind the game is debatable, this does not stop it from being a great icebreaker for adults. Just by listing our common points, we can find that we are not distant at all.
This game instantly induces natural discussions between players and helps to know a lot about each other.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play 6 Degrees of Separation.
Homemade Pictionary is a natural icebreaker where people can express their artistic talents and easily bond with each other. It is all about non verbal communication with the help of visuals.
Homemade pictionary endorses positive discussion, idea brainstorming and guessing. It also instantly helps to break the ice and simplifies the rigmarole of everyone being new in the room.
Read More about detailed instruction on how to play Homemade Pictionary.
Shootout is another good example of ‘get to know you’ icebreaker. This is about shooting each other with hand pistol. This game is a great introduction activity and quickly helps to know about each other.
This Game encourages awareness and spontaneity the two best traits of a good icebreaker.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Shootout.
Cards Against Humanity is a perfect icebreaker in a group where people appreciate offensive humor. This game is all about finding the most offensive response for the absurd questions put on the table.
Cards Against Humanity is like the show South Park, it is vulgar and obscene but much like South Park, it promotes healthy giggle and serious satire of inanity of our society. It helps to instantly bond the team to much deeper level. Though there is blatant racism, political incorrectness and vulgar slurs, it adds to something beautiful, much like a well written essay critique on the softness of society.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Cards Against Humanity.
A team of unfortunate army is left stranded on extremely cold region after they were hit by a snowstorm. The leader has suffered a frostbite and the rest of the troop has suffered from severe cold.
The setting of the game itself looks destined for a great intellectual icebreaker and the game-play does not disappoint the setting. This icebreaker encourages positive discussions and idea brainstorming. Frostbite also creates a platform for participants to have a healthy discussion.
Human Knot is extremely simple icebreaker for people of all ages. Though the concept might seem simple, on it’s full tilt it is difficult to execute. This game bolsters the team feeling and encourages healthy discussion for problem solving.
This game is about finding a solution to untangle hands from seemingly intertwined human hands. This game is very difficult to execute without cooperation and proper communication which are perfect for a icebreaker. It also gives off healthy giggle and many points to talk about after the game.
Read More for detailed instructions on how to play the Human Knot.
This game is a great introductory icebreaker and helps to know the names of the individuals in the group.
This game encourages participants to share their hopes, realistic expectations and a wild, shoot the moon expectation. Expectations also promotes logical debate and healthy judgement. This games gives plenty of topics for participants to talk to.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Expectations.
Jeopardy is a fun icebreaker about reverse engineering the answers to the point of origin. It was first introduced as a radio show but it can also be played with friends, colleagues and family to the same effect.
This game encourages deductive reasoning and light discussions. The participants can communicate with each other eloquently which helps to break the ice. This game also provides plenty of topic for discussion even after the game.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Jeopardy.
This game also often referred as Two Truths and One Not is a game all about deception. In addition to being a great icebreaker, this game is also a fun team building activity for adults.
Among two truths and a lie presented before the player, s/he attempts to segregate the lie from the truth. This game is an excellent ‘get to know’ game that provides a much deeper insight to the player.
This game has a high shock value and is fun to play. More importantly this game makes nervous introduction session much fun to stay in.
Read More for detailed Instructions on how to play two truths and a lie.
Are we any different is a very simple icebreaker themed around spotting the difference. This is particularly effective because simplifies the ambiance and gives plenty of things to talks about for the participants.
Two teams take turns disguising each other with the help of props provided to them. With every point earned by spotting a difference and giving off point to rival team for one, the team with maximum point wins the game.
This game helps to instantly bond with the team and encourages creative discussions about the ways to fool the other team.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Are We any Different?
Alliteration is probably the best name knowing icebreaker out there. This game as a whole is a tongue twister so brace yourself for some seriously funny giggles.
You just have to name maximum words you can from a particular letter without duplicates in a certain period of time. With clock against the participants, watch them panic and utter some nonsensical words.
Apart from requiring no material, easing the tense environment of newly met people in a room is the best trait of alliteration.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Alliteration.
Secret Santa is a great icebreaker which shows the power of giving. Plan earlier and surprise your colleagues with innovative gift ideas. This game is also effective icebreaker for bonding and getting to know each other. Though it is perfect for festive season, there is no harm in sharing presents any time of year, is there?
The participants receive the gift but do not know the identity of the giver, watch them speculate the identity of the giver with logical reasoning and deduction.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play Secret Santa.
Mafia is an intense icebreaker for newly met people. When cards you choose sort you into two categories, i.e either cops or mafia, you must accuse cops and eliminate them if you are selected as a mafia and eliminate a mafia if you’re a cop.
Mafia encourages logical reasoning and healthy discussions. This game is effective because participants have to persuade each other which eases the whole ‘ice’ breaking process. This game also provides plenty of room for further discussions and analysis.
Read More about detailed instruction on how to play Mafia.
Tell Tale Die is storytelling icebreaker in which participants vote to decide whether to let the story continue or to kill the player. This game encourages coherent storytelling and improvisation.
This game serves as an effective icebreaker and helps participants connect with each other on a more profound level .
Read More about detailed instruction on how to play Tell, Tale, Die
Blind Drawing is much similar to pictionary. You have to describe the word to participants through the medium of drawing but to add “mild complications” uhm!, you’d have to do it blindfolded.
This increases communication between the participants and also encourages a lot of guess work and deductive reasoning.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play blind drawing.
Assassin is much like mafia but this icebreaker is more action oriented. The assassin must assassinate all the politicians before s/he encounters a cop and the cop must spot the assassin before s/he slays all the politicians.
Using handshake as a medium to connect with the politicians, mafias can use poison dart (scratch their elbow) to kill the politicians but cops must stay vigilant and spot the assassins.
Read More about detailed Instructions on how to play Assassin.
20 Questions is an extremely simple Question Answer Game that is widely played all around the world. It is also one of the most effective icebreaker and get to know each other game. It is perfect for rainy days, new group and even works flawlessly at blind dates.
With the help of 20 questions, you’d have to guess the identity of the player who has chosen to depict a certain person or object.
Read More about detailed instructions on how to play 20 Questions.
Knock Knock Jokes
You must have heard a knock knock joke during some point of your time and found it so hilarious that you have laughed in solitude remembering the game. While I can not claim that must be the case with you, it is certainly the case with many people.
Share the best knock knock jokes with participants and experience how quickly the ‘ice’ between you becomes a thing of past.
Ask funny, witty, weird and absurd questions with equally humorous answers. Gear up for the most simple yet innovative icebreaker known to mankind.
Few of the sample questions:
Q:If you were given an opportunity to have a biopic made on your life, which actor/actress would you like to be “the reel you”?
A: Chuck Norris (Got you there)
Q: What’s the WTF fact you wish you could know at the earliest time?
A: Adults are just kids with kids
Q: The year 2016 had highlighted your which aspects?A: The aspect of my single life. etc. etc.
Have you tried these icebreakers? Is there an adult icebreaker activity you would like to add to our list? Please let us know in the comments below.