A collection of icebreakers and energisers ideal for youth groups or training events.
PASS THE ENERGY
Participants stand or sit in a circle, hold hands and silently concentrate. The facilitator sends a series of ‘pulses’ both ways round the group by discreetly squeezing the hands of those next to her/him. Participants pass these pulses round the circle, as in an electric current, by squeezing the hand of the person next to them and literally ‘energising’ the group.
An obstacle course is set out on the floor for everyone to look at. Participants split into pairs. One of the pair puts a scarf around their eyes, or closes their eyes tightly so they cannot see. The obstacles are quietly removed. The other member of the pair now gives advice and direction to their partner to help them safely negotiate what are now imaginary obstacles.
THE LONGEST LINE
This game requires a lot of space and may need to be done outdoors. Divide into teams of eight to ten people. Each team must have the same number of members. Explain that the task is to create the longest line using participants own bodies and any clothing or things in members pockets. Participants are not allowed to collect other things from the room/outside. Give a signal for the game to start and set a time limit, such as two minutes. The team with the longest line wins.
AN ORCHESTRA WITHOUT INSTRUMENTS
Explain to the group that they are going to create an ‘orchestra’ without instruments. The orchestra will only use sounds that can be made by the human body. Players can use hands, feet, voice etc, but no words; for example, they could whistle, hum, sigh or stomp their feet. Each player should select a sound. Choose a well-known tune and ask everyone to play along, using the ‘instrument’ that they have chosen. Alternatively, don’t give a tune and let the group surprise itself by creating a unique sound.
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE
Everyone finds a partner. A leader calls out actions such as “nose to nose”, “back to back”, “head to knee”, etc. Participants have to follow these instructions in their pairs. When the leader calls “people to people” everyone must change partners.
TOUCH SOMETHING BLUE
Ask participants to stand up. Explain that you will tell everyone to find something blue, and that they have to go and touch it. This could be a blue shirt, pen, shoe or whatever. Continue the game in this way, asking participants to call out their own suggestions for things to touch.
Ask the group to move around the room, loosely swinging their arms and gently relaxing their heads and necks. After a short while, shout out a word. The group must form themselves into statues that describe the word. For example, the facilitator shouts “peace”. All the participants have to instantly adopt, without talking, poses that show what ‘peace’ means to them. Repeat the exercise several times.
Participants sort themselves into small teams, and the teams stand as far as possible from the facilitator. The facilitator then calls out “Bring me…”, and names an object close by. For example, “Bring me a man’s or woman’s shoes.” The teams race to bring what has been requested. You can repeat this several times, asking the teams to bring different things.
Draw five circles with chalk on the floor, big enough to accommodate all of the participants. Give each island a name. Ask everyone to choose the island that they would like to live on. Then warn participants that one of the islands will sink into the sea very soon and participants on that island will be forced to move quickly to another island. Allow the suspense to build and then call out the name of the island that is sinking. Participants run to the other four islands. The game continues until everyone is squashed onto one island.
Objective: To promote teamwork and cooperation.
Description Line group members up side by side, give them Hula-Hoops and have them connect themselves in the following manner: One person puts his/her right leg inside a Hula-Hoop. The person next to them puts their left leg inside the same hoop, pulling the hoop taut so that it isn’t dragging on the ground. That person then puts his/her right leg into another hoop, and so on, until the entire line of people is connected by Hula-Hoops. Those on the ends will have their outside leg free. Once everyone is connected the group must try to walk across a designated area without letting the hoops fall. This can also be done with two rows of people, one in the back and one in the front, all connected using the same hoops. Have smaller groups take turns if there aren’t very many hoops.
Everyone sit in a circle. One person must say his name and make a specific sound (for example: three snaps, two claps, a whistle, shuffled feet, a sung note, stomped feet or any number of sounds). The player next to him must repeat the first player’s name and his sound and after it add her own name and sound. Continue like this with all participants, with each person adding his own name and sound to the growing list.
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