Quick and Simple Team-building Icebreaker Ideas

by Cindy Phillips; Updated September 26, 2017
Team-building activities promote trust.

Team-building activities are proactive methods for teaching conflict resolution, trust, negotiation and problem solving within your organization. Before diving into the activities themselves, there should be a warm-up period so that participants can find their comfort zones within the group. Simple ice-breaker exercises will set the tone and create a more relaxed environment.

Questions in a Cup

Give each participant a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Ask them to write down a question that they would like to ask to get to know someone else in the group. Instruct participants to create questions that require more than a simple yes or no as the answer. Fold all the questions and place them in a cup, bowl or other size-appropriate container. Have the participants sit in a circle and choose one person to start the activity. Ask them to retrieve one question from the container and answer it. Pass the container until each participant has answered a question.

Beach Ball Toss

Prior to the team-building activity day, purchase a large, inflatable beach ball. Blow up the ball, and with a permanent marker, write a variety of commands on the ball. The commands should be light hearted, but should encourage the participant to impart information about himself. Suggestions might be to tell your favorite joke, describe your favorite room in your home, quote your favorite movie line or state what television sitcom character you relate to the most. Instruct participants to stand in a circle. Toss the ball to one person. When he catches the ball, he must choose the command that is closest to his left thumb. After he speaks, he tosses the ball to someone else until all participants have had a turn.

Hum That Tune

Choose a number of popular songs that everyone in the group will easily recognize. Write the names of these songs on small pieces of paper. There should be one piece of paper for each participant and only one song name on each piece of paper. Divide the number up so that you will end up with equal numbered groups. Hand out one piece of paper to each team member. On command, each one should begin to hum the song they were given. Their goal is to find every other person who is humming the same song. Once the groups have been formed, members can make introductions and spend a few minutes getting to know each other.

Two Truths and a Lie

One by one, ask each participant to state her name followed by three statements about herself. Two of the statements should be truthful, while one should be made up. Participants should rotate the order of lies and truths. Once the statements have been made, the remaining participants must guess which statement is the non-truth. This may also invoke some questions about the truthful statements, as well as determine common interests or backgrounds among team members.

About the Author

Cindy Phillips began writing feature articles in 2007 with her work appearing in several regional newspapers. With more than 30 years experience in the corporate arena, her business expertise includes all aspects of marketing and management. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts in English education from SUNY New Paltz.

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