Fun Icebreakers for Small Groups: How to Break the Silence

Smiling business workers at a window with sticky notes

It’s ice breaker time! Are you looking for icebreakers to get your group chatting? Icebreakers are a great way to start conversations, build relationships and make people feel at ease. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of icebreakers for small groups that you can use in your workplace.

There’s something for everyone here, from word games to creative activities – you’re sure to find your favorite ice breaker among these suggestions!

What are ice breakers and when to use them?

What is a group ice breaker?

An ice breaker is a fun method of starting a conversation. It can be an activity, game or discussion that is designed to make everyone feel comfortable talking with each other in small groups.

Ice breakers are mostly used by companies during team building exercises to help people get acquainted with one another and build relationships.

Why shall you use icebreakers in a small group meeting?

The best icebreakers promote an inclusive workplace and lead to better brainstorming and strengthening of relationships between peers.

Small group icebreakers can also create a strong standard of collaboration and respect within the company.

When to use icebreakers for small groups?

People are often intimidated by a new environment. What better way to overcome this than with ice breakers? These can be used during introductions, before starting on an assigned task or for company team building exercises.

For some, it’s just a matter of time before they start chatting and getting to know one another; for others, you need an icebreaker or two!

If your goal is to create the opportunity for people in your group become more comfortable talking with each other than an icebreaker can really help.

A group of office workers huddle around a computer smiling while enjoying of the perfect icebreakers for small groups at their office
Portrait of creative team talking in office on meeting

What is a good icebreaker for a meeting?

For a meeting, a good icebreaker could be to simply ask “What’s your name and can you share with us 3 things about yourself?”

If you find that people are struggling to answer 3 things about themselves then offer some further guidance by creating a theme around a certain topic like food:

“Can you tell us what your favorite ice cream is?”

“Would you rather eat pizza or pasta for the rest of your life and why?”

“Pepsi or Coke?”

These simple and open questions allow people to say freely some facts or anecdotes about themselves without embarrassing anyone… Just yet!

Looking for a complete list of would you rather type questions for your next team building meeting? Check out our blog post 105 This or That Questions: Parisian Twist Edition right here.

What is a good game to play with a small group?

With a small group, it’s easy and fun to play a word game, such as “Two Truths and a Lie” for example.

In this one, participants must identify two truths and one lie about themselves. Let the other members of the team guess which is which before the talking member reveals his lie to the rest of the group. More about it below!

We listed here several icebreakers that are designed to give your team the chance to connect and help you collaborate more smoothly in the office.

Classical Icebreaking questions to get conversation started in small groups

Going around the room using icebreaker questions can help everyone in the group get to know each other better. The important thing is for people to share about themselves and practice listening well.

These questions are great for new people in new groups, especially for small group sizes to allow sufficient time for everyone to express themselves.

No inspiration? Pick some ideas below!

11 Easy Get-to-know-you questions to ask other team members

  1. Can you introduce yourself?
  2. Share something about yourself that no one knows about yet.
  3. Which city do you come from?
  4. What is the first thing you did this morning after getting up?
  5. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you?
  6. What are your family origins?
  7. Can you share a funny story about yourself?
  8. What was the last movie you watched and what did you think of it?
  9. Who’s the most famous person you know and how do they know them?
  10. How was your first day in the office?
  11. What is the last public event you went to?

7 favorite type questions for people to get to know their team better

  1. What’s your favorite animal?
  2. What is your favorite song right now and why?
  3. Can you share your favorite childhood memory and tell us why it is your favorite?
  4. What’s your favorite restaurant around?
  5. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
  6. What’s your favorite sport and do you practice it?
  7. What is your favorite children’s movie?

9 Creative icebreaker questions to ask within a small group

  1. Can you make up a word that can’t exist in real life?
  2. If you could have any superpower, which one would you want to have?
  3. If you were a superhero, what would your name be?
  4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
  5. Choose a celebrity you would go have dinner with and why.
  6. If you were given $100 million dollars, what would you do with it?
  7. If you were from the opposite gender, what would you do differently?
  8. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
  9. If you had to change your career, what would you choose?

Fast 10 minutes icebreaker games for small groups

If you are dealing with time limits, here’s a list of quick icebreakers that can be done in less than 10 minutes and require no preparation.

Check out these fast icebreaker activities designed to help break the ice, get people talking and chatting with each other, ease any nervous tension or awkwardness that might have set in at the start of an event/meeting.

Mystery Fact

Ask everyone to write down something interesting about themselves on a piece of paper, fold it up and place it into a bowl.

Everyone then picks up a paper reads it and passes it around so that each person reads what each other wrote without seeing who wrote it.

The team members can either reveal who wrote the mystery facts afterwards or let the suspense hold!

Handshake shake shake

Ask all the participants to stand in a circle and create a new and original handshake with the person to their left. Now with the person on their right.

Once they are all defined, do a full round of handshakes, one by one, with all team members involved, as fast as possible!

Group of diverse friends playing a game of charades
The classic game of charades can get any team laughing quickly.

Charades

Charades are among the best icebreaker ideas. In this game, the team members will have to guess a word or phrase thanks to clues given for each syllable or for the whole expression. Those can be drawing clues on a board or acting clues for more action!

For a different version, use charades to make the other participants guess a tv show, a song or a movie.

What are some fun icebreakers?

Looking for a fun way to introduce your meeting? Consider the Who am I game, short stories challenge or Chinese Whispers game. They will surely re-energize the team!

Read on to get some more ideas and know the instructions.

Colleagues Playing the Icebreaker Game "Who am I?" with sticky notes on their foreheads
Playing a quick game of “Who am I?” at the office.

Who am I?

For this icebreaker, give everyone a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to write down the name of a celebrity and to put the paper in a bowl.

One person will pick a random paper out of the bowl without looking at it and stick it to her/his forehead.

This team member will then have to find out who the celebrity he/she is. How so? By asking several questions but the trick is only yes/no answers are allowed!

You can get everyone to sit in a circle and participate at the same time, with one question per person but this might take a long time.

If you are on a tight schedule, split the game in several parts to organize this game over several weeks. This is perfect for a small group that’s a part of a longer project.

Every week, one person will take her/his turn and ask all questions needed to find out who she/he is. You can keep records on a board by writing down the number of questions needed and transform this icebreaker in friendly competition!

Short stories

Give everyone five words that they will have to use as prompts for short stories. Allow them a few seconds to build up their idea and ask them to read their story aloud to everyone else.

A fun way to play this game is to give one word or more totally out of context for example “bus,” “thief,” “fairy”, “gnocchi’s”, “Jennifer Lopez” to get the participants to create crazy stories!

Award Ceremony

Imagine you are at an awards show. Come up with three categories for awards such as “best dressed” or “funniest of the office”.

Write out some nominees for each category, and ask others to vote on who they think should win.

This is a great icebreaker for end of the year company parties or at least for a team where they already know each other.

The Telephone Game (Broken Telephone)

You probably played that one back in school. Also called “Wireless telephone”, the telephone game is an easy icebreaker to play with small sized groups.

The game consists in getting a person to create a sentence or phrase and to pass it along to another by whispering in their ears.

The others will have to pass the message on until it gets back to the creator without being repeated. The last player will have to recite aloud the sentence they heard to the other team members.

One word gets changed, others get lost in the process… Which can create odd, improbable new sentences.

You’ll be surprised by how fun this game can get!

Icebreakers to get to know your team better

If silly icebreakers don’t fit your company culture, make your entire team more comfortable and get to know each other better with easy icebreakers.

These icebreakers are ideal to help people share a bit more about their life or personality, get comfortable around each other and start bonding!

So if you don’t have any icebreakers on hand, here’s a list of some good ones that should do the trick!

Two Truths and a lie

We talked about it above, now here are the full instructions!

In this activity, everyone has to say two things about themselves that are true and one thing that is a lie.

Give people a few minutes before starting the icebreaker to think about what they will say.

Then, one person goes ahead and states their 3 facts while the rest of the group tries to guess which of those statements is the lie.

This is a great way to learn something new about each other while building problem-solving skills. To make an icebreaker more enjoyable, people should offer up unusual facts about themselves. The weirder the better!

Would You Rather?

Do a round of “Would you rather?” questions and ask participants to choose between the two options and why.

“Would you rather be able to fly or have unlimited access to any food at any time?”

“Would you rather choose an ice cream or a pizza?”

“Would you rather be living in the mountains or at the beach?”

This is one of the icebreaker games that is great to figure out who has something in common with someone else. Perfect for any small group of people.

Don’t forget to check out our blog post with over 100+ this or that questions or would you rather. Of course, in true Woyago style – there’s a Parisian twist to our edition.

Most unique

Go around the room and ask each participant to share something that makes them unique or unusual. The more unique the facts, the funnier the icebreaker becomes.

This activity encourages openness and celebrates individuality among the group. It often creates starting points for conversations that can be useful for new people in the company or in the group.

The icebreaker organizer could get the group started and begin with an example of a different thing about herself/himself to get everyone in the room to talk about it. This will also give each participant some time to get an idea of their own unique fact or talent.

Get your team moving with those icebreakers

Marshmallow challenge

The Marshmallow challenge is another great icebreaker activity which can also be used during a team building.

The goal is to build the tallest structure made of 20 dry spaghettis, a long yard of string, another one of tape… And a standing marshmallow on top!

Divide the team members in two teams or more (3 to 4 people per team), give each team the material and ask them to build the structure in 5 minutes.

Let the most creative and collaborative team win!

Scavenger hunt

Another one of the greatest icebreaker games is the scavenger hunt. With this one, you will have to create a list of items to find in the office and then give clues for where they are hidden.

Whoever finds the most items in a certain time period wins. It is a real fun icebreaker that will get your coworkers moving and is ideal for a small group.

Pro tips: Split the members in two teams or more to create complicity and for participants to communicate and get to know each other. Use a time limit to keep the members active and under pressure!

Freeze Dance game

Get your body moving with the Freeze Dance game! This icebreaker is a great way to break up a long meeting, get everyone moving and release tension collectively.

With this icebreaker, ask everyone to stand in a circle. The first person will have to start and get the dance started. She or he will show a movement while all the other participants will have to copy. This team member will suddenly stop and freeze. Others will have to be attentive and freeze at the same time.

The next person to the left will then take their turn and show everyone else their movement, while others copy again. Make all of the team members engage in this Freeze Dance game and make sure they include some fun moves!

We hope that these tips and icebreakers will be helpful and inspiring during your next event, conference or team meeting.

On our side, we are sure those games, challenges, creative ideas and set of questions/answers will get your participants to open up to one another.

We’re also interested to read about your own experience! Have you ever implemented icebreakers or played some with your coworkers? Do you have an icebreaker idea for us? Share it with us on social!