When a group of people get together, ice breaker games are an excellent way to get everyone familiar with everyone else as soon as possible. As the name implies, you want to break the ice and get over the uncomfortable silence or awkward “Hi how are you” or “who do you know here”, and get into something that flows and is interesting.
Even those who think they know everyone well may be in for some surprises when you use more meaningful ice breaker games for adults questions. With a range of questions in mind, you can easily skip past the generic hello’s or warm-up questions and up the ante on the conversations quite quickly. You set the bar high for deeper conversations and keep the attention of the fast thinkers too.
At corporate events they can be quite basic and friendly being careful not to assume or offend, but as you get to know each other you want to go from “what is their favourite movie” to “why is it their favourite movie”, or deeper still, “what emotion does it evoke or trigger in you”.
Just like dating, you don’t want the questions to be too much too quick, or be over-assumptive, but there is nothing worse than polite chit-chat that goes on for too long or struggles to get off the ground. In general you want them to be open-ended questions allowing the respondent the chance to open up and share. You don’t want to be too presumptive though on heavy questions, or make it seem like an inquisition. It’s a skill to develop like many others but it takes time, and that why we created some questions for you and put them into a game to make them less formal.
We’ve also compiled some general ideas below, but the best solution is to buy a questions game like ours and either play the cards as an organised game, or select a few to memorise and use when suitable, or use the cards as the intermediary. “I found these cards and it said its a great way to get to know someone .. do you want to give it a go?”. Who could resist and then you are off and running.
We all know good questions elicit good answers and start off the deeper conversations and connection, but how to start. Well below are some basic ideas that are free and quick, but you’ll also see reference to our game where we’ve done all the work for you, and created a list of questions and provided the excuse for you to open them up.
If you don’t have questions, or question cards, then think about some of these as options:
- Ask the group to go around in a circle, say their names and where they are from, then state why they’re here, what they want out of it and something random people may not know about them (sport, hobby, job, interest etc.)
- Split everyone to team up into small groups for a personal scavenger hunt where they talk to each other to find things like “find someone who has an unique hobby” or “find the person who has traveled overseas the most recently”. This challenges people to start talking quickly and while the topics will be tightly focussed, the connection is made and further conversations often ensue in the next break
- Have 4-6 people form a group and start sentences but leave out a key piece of information that the next person can follow e.g. Person one says “My favourite place to live is ___” and next person answers with their thought being “Boston because of the winters but I’d be equally happy to live in ___” and the next person says “California because I’m a surfer and if I wasn’t doing that I’d be ___” and the next person answers something like “I’d be at home creating a new video game ..”. It’s a challenge to get people talking and working together, and leaving some person clues for follow up conversations later.
- Play word games. There are a number of word games that a group can play to get to know each other. For example, someone names a location and the next person must name a location that starts with the last letter of the previous spot. For example, if the first person said “Sweden,” then the next person would need to name a location that started with the letter “n” and so on. Another word game would involve “linking,” so the first person would say something like “blue,” and the next person would have to come up with a related word like “ocean,” or “sky,” and so on around the group.
- Buy our game and deal each person a card to answer themselves, OR one person selects the top card, asks the question and each person answers. Once done the next person takes the next card and complete until everyone has had a turn. There are many ways to play listed in the instructions, but the best thing is that the questions are worked out for you so you just have to work out who starts and who goes next.
In some cases, you may want to break the ice when you are having a conversation one-on-one. Here are some ice breaker examples for these situations:
Ask your partner who they would have dinner with if they could have dinner with anyone in the world.
- Ask the person you are trying to start a conversation with if he or she has children or pets. People usually love to talk about their kids or their pets!
- Ask your conversation partner where they would travel if they could go anywhere in the world.
- Ask where your conversation partner’s favorite place is that he or she has already visited.
- Ask what type of animal your partner would be and why.
When looking for ice breakers for one-on-one scenarios, it is best to ask opened-ended questions that give people a chance to talk and to share something about themselves. Everyone appreciates people who are good listeners and who want to listen to what they have to say.
How Much Do You Use
A fun adult icebreaker game, this game can provide plenty of laughs.
- Have the participants sit in a circle and tell them that you are going to pass around a roll of toilet paper.
- Invite players to “take as much as they will need to get the job done.”
- After every one has had a good laugh over the amount of paper they took, tell them that for every piece of toilet paper they ripped off, they must tell the group one thing about themselves.
Crazy Questions and Answers
An adult icebreaker game that can take quite a bit of time, Crazy Questions and Answers is perfect if the party is slow to start or bogs down halfway through.
You will need two index cards for each adult that will participate. If you collect and keep the carOn half of the cards, write as many questions as you have adults, and on the other half, write answers from our list.
- Stack the cards in two piles, one for questions and one for answers.
- The first player chooses a question and reads it aloud.
- The next player chooses an answer and reads it aloud. These two cards are set aside.
- Continue the game until all the questions have been asked and answered.
- ds, you can use this game multiple times.
Put an adult twist on this well-known game.
- Group the participants into teams of up to five.
- Provide them with a list of items to find.
- Choose items that can be found in the immediate areas or on-line. For example: a book, a digital photo of a pet, a pair of she, a picture of a child, a recording of a dog barking, and the address of a coffee shop in your area.
- Tell participants to use the many types of technology that adults carry on a daily basis – cell phones, PDAs, laptops, etc. The team that finds the most items wins the game.
Pick a Straw
Good for any size group, you can vary the questions used to cover a variety of topics, groups, and situations.
- Before the group arrives, count out straws or popsicle sticks, one for each participant. If you decide to use this game at the last minute, no problem. You can simply use
notes or small slips of paper.
- Place them in a bowl, box, or bag after marking 20% of them, i.e. two for every ten.
- Have each member of the group draw a straw and, if the one they draw is marked, they answer the question.
How Game Are You?™ ORIGINAL EDITION
This How Game Are You?™ Original EDITION includes 150 thought provoking questions for friends and family, date nights, workplace ice-breakers or road trips. Three levels of question allow you to pick the right tone for the players and you can play short or long games and everyone’s a winner due to increased fun together, understanding and connection.
This is an easy game anyone can play. Just select a card, ask a question and yourself or the other player answers. New thoughts and conversations arise and communication goes from “how are you”, to “who are you”. Suitable for friends, family, workplace, couples, date nights, road trips and as icebreakers for new acquaintances.
So there you go, the best ice breaker games for adults. We hope we’ve helped you determine the game you want and if it’s a good card game you are after, then go grab a copy of our How Game Are You?™ ORIGINAL EDITION game to help take your trip filled with conversation, learning and fun.