Ice breakers are activities designed to get individuals to get to know one another. They are usually a way to start a class, orientation or retreat and encourage interaction among members. Many times, ice breakers are necessary for interactions that involve large groups of teenagers, as some teens may not have the social skills or desire to interact with everyone in the room. Ice breakers are a great way to get individuals to learn about one another and interact upon first meeting.
Two Truths and a Lie
The game "Two Truths and a Lie" is an easy game to play with small or large groups of teenagers. Sit in a circle and have each teen say three facts about herself; two of the facts should be true and one of them should be completely fabricated. The person telling the facts wants to try to trick the group and hide which fact is a lie, and the rest of the members must guess which of the facts are not true. This is a great way for teens in the group to learn fun facts about one another.
Autograph Bingo is a game that works best with large groups of teens. Make bingo cards, in a five-by-five square, for each member of the group. Instead of numbers, fill in the squares with descriptions of different individuals who may be in the room. For example, facts such as "a person born in a different state," "someone whose favourite colour is purple," "someone who plays soccer" should be put in each square. Teens should navigate around the room asking each other questions that are on the card, trying to find a person who fits in with the criteria. Once they find someone who corresponds to that fact -- for example, the person is a cheerleader -- she can sign the box. The first person to get Bingo by getting five signatures in a straight line, wins the game.
This icebreaker works with any size group, and not only allows teens to find out information about one another, but gives them a chance to enjoy some sweets as well. Pass around a bag of candy that comes in different colours such as Skittles, M&Ms or Starbursts. Have each teen grab three pieces of the candy at random. Create a different question for each colour of candy that you would like each student to answer. For example, the colour red could mean the question, "What's your favourite book of all time?" Each individual who has a red piece of candy must answer that question. When the game is done each teen can enjoy the candy in his hands.
Beach Ball Game
Take a large beach ball, and using a permanent marker, write multiple questions all over the ball. These questions should be ones that individuals can answer to reveal information about themselves. For example, write questions such as "What is your favourite movie?" or "If you could be anyone famous who would you be?" Throw the beach ball around the circle. Each time someone catches it, she must say her name and answer the question that her right hand is closest to. She should then throw the beach ball to someone else in the circle until the game is complete.