Ice Breakers for Small Groups

  • “I Have Never…”

Everyone sits in a circle, and each person receives the same number of tokens (toothpicks, paper clips, pennies, etc.). Take turns around the circle with each person telling something they have never done. (Examples: “I have never broken a bone.” “I have never traveled outside this country.”)  Anyone who has done that activity must then give the speaker one of their tokens.  After going around the circle several times, choose the winner–the person who has the most tokens.

  • M&Ms

Instruct people to grab some M&M candies, but don’t tell them why or how many to take.  Then ask them to share something about themselves.  Each person has to share one fact for each M&M that he or she took-unless your time runs out!

  • Remember Names

The object of the game is to remember as many names as possible.  Sit in a circle.  The first person gives his or her name.  Then, as you go around the circle, the second person says the name of the first person and adds his or her name.  The third person gives the first two names and then adds his or her name. Continue around the circle.  Players are eliminated when they miss names.

  • Make Friends and Influence People

Divide your group into smaller groups of three. Give each group a 3×5 card and have them list 5 sure ways to make friends and influence people.  Things like “be a good listener”, “smile a lot”, or “make eye contact” might be included in their list.

  • A Penny for Your Thoughts

Have each person write three “yes or no” questions on a 3×5 card.   These questions should relate to the general makeup of the group such as, “Did you grow up in Beijing?” “Do you like hamburgers?” “Are you in the Chemistry Department?”  (Don’t give the people any further instructions until they have written their questions.)  Then give each person three pennies (or other tokens such as paper clips), and explain that the object of the game is to gather as many pennies as possible in the time allotted.  Each person needs to find as many people as possible who can answer “yes” to their questions. For each “yes” answer, they can receive a penny from the person answering-unless that person is out of pennies.  Allow seven to ten minutes, depending on the size of your group.

  • 2 Truths and a Lie

Each person tells two truths and one lie about themselves.  The group tries to determine which are the truths and which ones lies.  The person who fools the most and/or guesses the most wins.

  • “Who am I?”

Prior to the meeting, collect one unknown fact about each member of the group. This should be something the group members will not mind telling about themselves. The leader then types a list of these facts (including one for himself/herself) without identifying the corresponding person.  The leader makes enough copies for each person to have one and hands them out at the meeting.  The objective is to find out which fact matches which person.

During the actual play, when each person approaches another individual he or she may ask about only two items on the list (“Are you the one who…” If not, then “Are you the one who…”) After two inquiries, that person must move on to someone else. After a time limit (or as soon as someone matches all the items to the people), the game stops.  Then the leader can read through the list, identifying everyone.

  • Thought Questions

–“If you were to see God face to face today, what one thing would you like to either ask Him or say to Him?”

–“If you could choose to walk in someone’s shoes for a week, whose would you pick and why?”