Resources for ResLife and Student Leaders

Posts Tagged ‘Ice Breaker’

Ice Breaker: The Human Knot

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 13, 2014 at 6:36 PM


  •  Humans


  •  none


Have the group stand in a large circle. Reach across the circle to grab hands with others in the group and form a “knot”. You may not hold both hands of the same person. You may not hold hands with the people on either side of you. The object of the activity is to untangle yourself as fast as possible without breaking hands. You may briefly unclasp your hands to change grip if you’ve found yourself in a position where your wrist or shoulder is being pulled, but you cannot use this as a chance to “help” solve the puzzle.

Hints & Variations:

  •  This is a fairly physical game. Make sure that your group is going to be ok touching each other and standing in close proximity to each other.
  • You can also increase the difficulty by taking away people’s permission to speak or only letting 1 or 2 people speak.
  • This game gets much harder (and becomes much more of a trust exercise if you ask people to do it with their eyes closed or with blind folds on.
  • You can also divide the group into several smaller groups and make this game a race.

Ice Breaker: Silent Line

In In-Services on February 13, 2014 at 12:07 PM


  • Humans
  • Enough space to form a long line (it can curve)


  •  none


Instruct the group that they must line themselves up by birthday without saying a word.

Hints & Variations:

  •  You can also play with other criteria, such as first letter of name, middle name, room numbers, age etc.
  • Split the group into 2 (or more) smaller groups and make it a race!

Ice Breaker: Mission to Mars (Name Game)

In In-Services on February 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM


  • Humans


  • None


Sit or stand in a circle. You’re going on a mission to Mars! What are you bringing? Each person, needs to share their name and something that they are going to bring “to Mars” that also starts with their first initial. For example, “My name is Caitlin and I’m bringing cookies”. The next person then will repeat the first person (“Her name is Caitlin and she’s bringing cookies.”) and introduce themselves in the same way (“My name is Alex and I’m bringing alligators.”) Keep adding people into the path until everyone has gone!

Hints & Variations:

  • You can also do this game with actions, for example, “My name is Caitlin and I like to cook/cha-cha”, “My name is Don and I like to dance”, or “My name is Owen and I like to oscillate”.

Credit: Caitlin, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Ice Breaker: Blanket Showdown (Name Game)

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 12, 2014 at 3:50 PM


  • Large Blanket


  • None


Divide your group in  half with two people holding a blanket up so that neither side can see the other. One member from each group walks up to the blanket (on different sides). On the count of three,  the blanket is dropped. The two players then race to see who can shout out the other’s name the fastest! The person who correctly calls out their name first is the wins and the loser then joins the team that won that round. Repeat until everyone has gone or until one team has all of the players.

Hints & Variation:

  • This is a good game to play after people have known each other for a little while or halfway through a training day.
  • You can also play with questions instead of names (ie. What building do they work in? What is their major? etc)

Social Progam: Coloring Contest!

In Door Decs, In-Services, Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Preschoolers only barely beat out college kids as the number one consumer of coloring books. Harness the obsession with crayons and childhood characters for a coloring contest!


Coloring Pages

Back of Coloring Contest Page


Print coloring pages with the due date and a place for the contestants name on the back. Judge them yourself (but don’t play favorites!), ask your staff to help you judge, or pair it with another social program and have your residents vote for the winner. Hang the winning picture in a place of honor in your hallway!


  • Consider adding a physical prize as an award to the winner.
  • Use the finished pictures to brighten your hallway.


Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Ice Breaker: Beach Ball Questionnaire

In In-Services on February 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Beach Ball


On the beach ball write out questions that people can comfortably answer about themselves. Check out our list of icebreaker questions to get started!


Have the group stand or sit in a circle. The ball will be (gently) tossed to one person. The person with the ball will now introduce themselves and answer the question that their right thumb is closest to. Once they answer their question, they get to toss it to another group member to repeat the process. 🙂

Ice Breaker Questions

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 8, 2012 at 1:15 PM

What is Your Favorite…

  • …color?
  • …dinosaur?
  • …ice cream flavor?
  • …Disney character?
  • …sandwich?
  • …band?
  • …food?
  • …musical instrument?
  • …fish?
  • …childhood memory?


  • Tea or Coffee?
  • Dogs or Cats?
  • Chocolate or Vanilla?
  • Buffy or Edward?
  • Apples or Oranges?

Would You Rather

  • …stay up late or get up early?
  • …write a paper or take a test?
  • …sing or dance in front of a large group of people?


  • Who is your favorite person in the whole wide world?
  • What was the first concert you attended? If given a chance, would you attend the same band’s concert today?
  •  List 20 random facts about yourself.
  •  Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
  •  Describe your relationship with your parents.
  •  List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
  •  What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
  •  What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
  •  What is your dream job, and why?
  •  What are 5 passions you have?
  •  List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
  •  Describe your most embarrassing moment.
  •  Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
  •  Describe a typical day in your current life.
  •  Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
  •  Describe 5 strengths you have.
  •  If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  •  What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
  •  What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
  •  What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
  •  If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  •  Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
  •  If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
  •  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
  •  List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
  •  Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
  •  If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
  •   What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
  •   What is your favorite part of your body and why?
  •   What is your love language?
  •   What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
  •   List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.