Icebreaker Activities for Teenagers

Updated April 17, 2017

Icebreaker activities are games or activities that are played when people who are unfamiliar with each other come together in a work or social environment. They are useful to "break the ice" and encourage social interaction among the group. Some teens can find groups of strangers intimidating, so icebreaker activities are a great way for them to get to know each other and make new friends.

Icebreaker Bingo

Give each player a piece of paper with a 5 by 5 grid drawn on it. In each square of the grid write a personal fact, such as "has one sister," "plays piano," "has been to Mexico" or "likes sushi." Each item should be something you would need to ask a person you don't know, not something immediately obvious, like "wears glasses." Each player has the same grid. Have the players ask each other questions and try to find a person who matches up with each fact and write his name on the grid. When a player completes a row he calls, "Bingo!" and is awarded a prize. Have prizes for completing all the squares, or filling the most squares in a set period of time.

Coloured Candies

Have everyone sit in a circle and give each of them a bag of coloured candies. Tell each player to take out a candy from her bag. The leader of the group names a colour, such as red, and asks a question such as, "What was the last book you read and what was it about?" or "What is your favourite film and why?" Any player who has taken out a red candy has to answer the question. Work around the circle one at a time. The players then eat the candies and take out another, ready for the next round.

Build a Tower

Divide the teens into groups of five or six. Give each group a bag of marshmallows and a packet of dried spaghetti. Set a time limit of five to ten minutes. Each group must work together to build the tallest structure they can using the two ingredients within the set time frame. Measure the results carefully and award a prize to the winning team. This activity is great for getting teens to work together and can become quite competitive.

Caterpillar Race

Divide the group into teams of five or six and have them choose a one-word name. Have each team line up one behind the other, with each team member's hands on the shoulders of the person in front. Have the teams race from a starting line to a finish line following these rules of movement: The first person jumps one step forward with both feet, followed by the next person and so on. Each person jumps one at a time, and hands must be kept on shoulders at all times. When the last person in the line jumps he calls out the team name and the whole team takes one jump forward before beginning the process again. The first team to reach the finish line wins. Any team caught breaking the rules returns to the start.

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About the Author

Based in East Sussex, Caroline Repchuk has been writing and editing children's books and art and craft features since 1990. Her classic Christmas book, "The Snow Tree," is published by Dutton and her features have appeared in "Art Attack" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from Leeds University.