Principles for Using Icebreakers / Team-Builders

Kathy Obear
Amherst, Massachusetts


1. Why use icebreakers and team-builders?

2. Principles for using team-builders / icebreakers

3. Examples of low - moderate risk activities

a. Introduce your partner: Dyads interview each other with several specific sentence stems and report back to the group.

b. Change five (5) things: Partners turn back-to-back and alter their appearance in five ways. They turn to face each other and try to guess the changes. Mirrors: Partners take turns imitating "mirroring" the nonverbal and verbal behavior of the other.

d . Off-balance: Partners hold hands and try to form as many different balancing positions that are very "off-balance".

e . Make a machine: small groups have to use their bodies to make a moving machine and demonstrate it for the group.

f. Shield: Have participants draw an empty coat-of-arms and fill in 4-6 segments with words or pictures as they respond to the facilitator's sentence stems.

Resource: Fluegelman, A. (Ed.) (1976). The New Games Book. NY: Doubleday.


Kathy Obear is a diversity trainer and consultant based in Amherst, Massachusetts (413) 283-2503.


Copyright © 1991 Kathy Obear. Permission is granted to copy and use this material for educational and non-profit purposes only. This copyright statement and acknowledgement of authorship should remain intact on materials you copy from this website.