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Can anyone recommend a really good source of ice breakers and energisers


I want something innovative, creative and challenging to start my courses with an impact and to feed into the day when things sometimes lag. Any suggestions?

Eileen Catt
eileen catt

11 Responses

  1. Be dynamic…
    Try bringing in dynamic, energetic activities and exercises that help and challenge people to feel and think differently – eg get people drumming – can split them into different groups learning different sections of a rythmn and then come together to perform. Send them on a treasure hunt, get them juggling, acting, climbing or you could choose the activity based on the skills/attitudes of the participants – eg if they’re finance orientated get them involved in a trading game. As you’ve probably guessed this is what my company (JollySerious Events) does – you are welcome to contact me if you’d like more ideas – we always have lots! – or call to talk further – 0117 944 5361

  2. A few references to check
    Hi Eileen,

    I had the same problem not so long ago and Amazon has quite a few cheap books which are packed with good ideas. A lot of the “games” are entertaining and provide food for thought. has got a few things as well but are much more expensive…

  3. Ice-breakers and energisers

    After the usual round of introductions ask the participants to each think of one thing they know about the topic, and one thing they would like to know. After 2 minutes go round and get feedback, writing all the reponses on a flipchart under the two headings. Indicate how their responses relate to the training process. Refer back to their responses during the training, and check at the end that everything has been covered. Apart from being a useful ice-breaker it also gives you some indication of their existing knowledge, an aspect which is frequently not considered in many training sessions. It also helps you to ensure that you cover what they see as important and so meet their learning needs.

  4. Ice-breakers and energisers
    Then there’s:

    Participants introduce themselves and tell why they are there. Variations: participants tell where they first heard about the course/training event, how they became interested in the subject, their occupations, home towns, favourite television programmes, or the best books they have read in the last year.

    Divide the class into pairs. Each person talks about him/herself to the other, sometimes with specific instructions to share a certain piece of information. For example, “The one thing I am particularly proud of is…” After five minutes, the participants introduce the other person to the rest of the class.

    Have students write down one or two adjectives describing themselves. Put these on a stick-on badge. Have class members find someone with similar or opposite adjectives and talk for five minutes with the other person.

    Have each person introduce themselves and then state something they have done that they think no one else in the class has done. If someone else has also done it, the student must state something else until he/she finds something that no one else has done.

  5. More ice-breakers and energisers
    Each person writes on a blank index card one to three statements, such as favourite colour, interest, hobby, or holiday. Pass out cards so everyone gets someone else’s card. Have that person find the person with their card and introduce themselves.

    People write a famous name on a piece of paper and pin it on someone else’s back. Person tries to guess what name is pinned on his/her by asking others around the room yes or no questions. Variation: Use famous place instead of famous person.

    People introduce themselves and tell what they know about why they have their name. It could be the first, middle or nick name.

    Ask the students to write down words or phrases that describe their feelings on the first day of the course. List the responses on the board/flip chart. Then ask them to write down what they think you as the teacher are feeling this first day of the course. List them on the board/flip chart in a second column and note the parallels. Briefly comment on your feelings and then discuss the joint student/teacher responsibilities for learning in the course.

  6. A nice ice-breaker or energiser
    Here is another useful activity to get everyone up, active and communicating:

    Find someone who ….

    lives near you
    has an interesting hobby
    has relatives in other countries
    works part time
    is new to the company/job
    is a vegetarian
    loves cooking
    can’t cook/hates cooking
    has given up smoking
    would love to give up smoking
    has a dog
    feels nervous
    feels excited about today
    didn’t sleep very well last night
    rides a bicycle
    got up late this morning
    likes romantic novels/films
    enjoys playing sport
    didn’t like school
    loved school
    has recently moved to this area
    supports a football team
    belongs to a religious group
    has achieved a personal triumph
    has children
    plays a musical instrument
    has the same shoe size as you
    is a voluntary helper
    is learning to drive

    … and so on!

  7. A useful icebreaker and energiser
    Eileen, I have found the Pig Personality Profile useful as an icebreaker and energiser.

    If you would like a copy please email me and I will attach the file in MS Word format.

    [email protected]

  8. Sign in like they used to do in ‘What’s My Line’
    Ask each participant to sign their signature on a flip chart and then tell the group something about their name. Where it comes from, what it means, wht was it chosen , does it ay anything abiout them etc.

    I’m always surprised how much people know about their names!!

  9. Who would you most like to meet?
    Ask each participant to choose a person, living or dead, famous or not and then ask them to compile three questions they would like to ask this individual.

    In turn each participant shares the name, the reason for choosing this person and their 3 questions with the group.

    If you want more please contact me

  10. very good stuff for icebreaking
    check Martin Thompson’s equipment at very powerful and can be used to lead into rest of sessions if you select carefully.

  11. Resource
    The very best resources related to icebreakers and energizers can be found at Also try posting a questions at the NASAGA (north american simulation and gaming association) — they are a very friendly and helpful group.


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