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Simple Team Building Activities That Will Break the Ice

Though we're sure that anyone can think of some great team building exercises, today we want to explore the "pre-team building" situations...
2021.01.26.

Though we're sure that anyone can think of some great team building exercises, today we want to explore the "pre-team building" situations. This is when people first meet up and are good for helping the teams become more comfortable with one another. Though sitting around and having a coffee and a chat might appear to be enough, we think that activities are better. In conversation, it's easy for just one person to dominate. But what we need is something that everyone present can inject their own input. The sharing of a activity with a purpose will inspire, and allow all individuals present to participate and add to the eventual goal. 

As an ice breaker, we want the people to get to know each other. But not on their own terms. After all, team building is a work-related activity, not a social one in this context. We want the players to "loosen up" and get to know each other. The best way for achieving this is to have all those present partake in activities that "force" them into interacting with each other. We've listed several ice-breakers. Some will require more preparation than others. But all will do the job of helping strangers connect with each other.  

Baby Photos

For this, you'll need some prep work. First of all you'll be needing a baby photo of every team member. Once you have these, pin them up onto a board. The team members simply have to guess which photo is which team member. The person who guesses the most correctly, gets a small prize.

This Is Better Than That

This is a simple variation on the deserted island scenario game. Get together around 8 - 10 objects from the office. This can be anything from a chair to the coffee machine and everything in between. What you really want is a varied variety of objects. Some can be very ordinary and other really left-field. Lay all these items out so they can be seen by everyone. Ask each team member to pick an item and justify their choice, in how it would help them survive longer. Encourage discussion.

One Question

A sort of "X-Factor" for a fictitious employment agency. The tams  are tasked with finding the next employee out of all the candidates. But each player can only ask the subject one question. This question has to be relevant to discovering whether the candidate will be the best hire. The job title could be anything, it's not necessary that it's tied to the business you're all employed in at present. So, it could be for a Zoo keeper or a trainer of Jedi Knights. We suggest that you send each group off to discuss and then filter every possible question down to just the one. They will then ask that question as well as give their reasoning behind it's choice.

10 Things In Common

Ask the teams to form pairs. The hand each pair a piece of paper. Each pair needs to find 10 things that they have in common. Obviously, you can't declare that you both ave two eyes and two pairs of hands. This works well as an icebreaker in that discussing commonalities gives each individual a reason for making conversation. 

Turning Over A New Leaf

This is a great little icebreaker but will require some teamwork and some physical exercise. First off, you'll be needing a large blanket or fabric sheet. Then split the teams into groups or four or five players. Lay the blanket flat on the floor and spread it out. Next have a team standing the in centre like an island. The object is to turn the blanket over without any team member touching the floor. Just as if the floor were lava. If just one person falls, then the whole team must restart. The first team to completely flip the blanket is the winner. As well as problem solving, this game allows for a lot of silliness.

Two Truths, One Lie

Standing in a circle facing each other, everyone needs to tell two truths and one lie about themselves. These can e about anything you like. After each person gives their truths and lies, then the rest of the players have to work out which is which. Because this introduces something personal, it certainly helps to break the ice.

First/Worst Job

This is really just another version of the baby photo game. With this, everyone writes down on a piece of card, both their first job and their worst job. The group leader will shuffle the written cards and then the teams will try to work out which jobs belong to which team member.

Super Specific Office Trivia

This simple game is designed to test everyone's awareness of their day to day surroundings. Whoever organises this game will first have to look around the office in order to come up with the questions. Examples might be:

What colour is the sticker on the table in meeting room number 4?
How many people work in customer support?
What colour is the sticker on the table in meeting room number 4?
How many gadgets does the boss have on their desk?
How many unwashed mugs are there in the sink?
The more specific the question, the better. By discussing things with regards to the workplace, it allows everyone to join in.

Fun And Funny Questions

Put together a list of fun and thought-provoking questions. You'll then present these to the group to discuss. These questions are all about facilitating discussion and debate. Obviously there are some subjects that you should purposely shy away from (religion and politics comes to mind). Some examples might be:

If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
If you were to change your name, what name would you adopt going forward? Why?
If you could choose to stay one age forever, what age would you choose and why?
If you could live anywhere on this planet and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?
If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be?
If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be and why?
If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?
Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night? Please share why you picked your time of day.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Reddit is a great source for this type of material.

Egg Drop

For this you'l be needing a carton of eggs. Using only items and materials readily available in the office, you need to construct a means of protecting an eggs as it falls from around 2 meters. You must stop it from breaking. Each team should have access to the same materials. Te team that succeeds will be the one to stop the egg from breaking using the least amount of materials.

Conclusion: Simple Team Building Activities

The idea behind a team building icebreaker is to bring people together without the stress of a real team building exercise. Provided that these icebreakers are fun and easy, then there's no reason why these can't be used to introduce all the office members to one another. The fun element is important as the idea is to break down barriers like shyness and timidity. If you're tasked with putting on one of these events, then whatever you do, don't over-think these games. Keep them simple and fun. The idea is to encourage the members of your office to reach out to each other over the course of some fun activities. 
 

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