Office of Student Activities & Involvement

Do’s and Don’ts of Icebreakers:


  • Do use icebreakers to create a more relaxed environment.
  • Do use icebreakers as topic lead-ins during class and meetings.
  • Do choose the right game for the right group.
  • Do make sure that you have the right amount of people for the game that you choose.
  • Do make the instructions for the icebreaker as simple as possible.
  • Do keep your eye on the participants. Make sure that they are having fun.
  • Do be ready to improvise if necessary.
  • Do have a back-up plan. If the icebreaker isn’t working, you will need it.


  • Don’t introduce an icebreaker game that will make others uncomfortable- physically or mentally.
  • Don’t underestimate the time it will take to complete the icebreaker game or activity.
  • Don’t forget to bring all of the materials that you need.
  • Don’t limit icebreakers to the beginning of a meeting/class. Use them to revitalize the group at anytime.
  • Don’t force people to participate.
  • Don’t forget to keep track of which ice breakers work and which ones don’t.
  • Don’t choose complicated icebreakers. Keep it simple.

Group Member Ideas:

People Bingo is one of the most popular icebreakers because it's so easy to customize for your particular group and situation, and everyone knows how to play it. Make your own bingo cards with our lists of characteristics, or use an online card maker.

Marooned: This icebreaker is a great introduction when people don’t know each other, and it fosters team building in groups that already work together. I have always found people's answers to be very revealing about who they are as a person. Who would you want with you on a deserted island?

One Word Story Line: get into a group of 5-10 people and write out a story that is created from everyone saying one word to create a full story or whatever they want or you can choose a specific topic to focus on then share your story with the class or group.

For further assistance with this or any other issue relating to your student Organization, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Activities and Involvement at (989) 774-3016 or visit UC 101.