58 Best Icebreakers For Small Groups 2021

sparrow jack
sparrow jack March 22, 2021
Updated 2021/04/25 at 3:19 PM

Here are the 10 best icebreakers for small groups: 


1. Picture Whispers

Pictionary and telephone in one: a word becomes a picture becomes a word becomes a picture until you end up with the craziest things.

2. Candy Introductions

Get a bowl of candy and give a theme to every color. Whatever color the candy, the person has to reveal a fact about themselves.

3. Story Starters

Get the start to a story, then everyone adds on. The group votes on the best story.

58 Best Icebreakers For Small Groups 2021

related post- 60 Best Creative hobbies / 49 Thanksgiving Trivia Questions And Answers 

4. Two Truths And A Lie

Each person comes up with two truths and one lie. The group has to guess which is which.

5. Truth Or Dare

The ultimate classic. Zany behavior and deep truths guaranteed on every turn.

6. Paper Snowball Fight

Rediscover childhood by playing dodge ball and snowball fights all in one!

7. Fake Artist

All but one person knows the object being drawn, but everyone adds to the picture until it’s clear who doesn’t know what’s going on. This is one of the funniese icebreaker games for small groups.

8. If I Were A . . .

Come up with a category and everybody names what they would be and why.

9. Object Stories

A bag of random objects. People draw the objects and build a story piece by piece through them.

10. Who Has?

Create a list of questions to ask and get the group to find out who has each quality.

6 Icebreaker Question Games For Small Groups

Sometimes, it’s easy to overthink your icebreaker prep. You can get focused on coming up with the most elaborate games, when all you really need are the right ice breaker questions.

Simply by making your icebreakers into question games, you get people opening up and getting to know one another. No props, no complicated rules required.

Here are 6 icebreaker question games for small groups: 

11. Never Have I Ever Questions

With Never Have I Ever questions, you find out a lot about what people have done…and not done in their lives.

12. Most Likely To Questions

Who’s most likely to love this game? Find out with great Most Likely To questions that make this game real fun.

13. Newlywed Game Questions

Find out how well everyone knows their peers with newlywed game questions redesigned for teams.

14. 21 Questions Game

As the name suggestions, with the 21 questions game, you’ve got 21 questions. Now, they’ll all be great ones.

15. Truth Or Dare Questions

With the right truth or dare questions, every turn is fun, no matter their choice.

16. Would You Rather Questions

Whether they’re deep or silly, would you rather questions get everyone to share a little and laugh a lot.

8 Fun Icebreakers For Small Groups

When coming up with ice breakers for small groups, you’re in a lot of trouble if you can’t make those games fun. Fun icebreakers are really a requirement these days. People don’t want to sit through a boring activity, even if it’s good for them.

So, avoid the boredom and get right to the fun bonding, try out these icebreakers.

Here are 8 fun icebreakers for small groups:

17. Charades

Stretch those non-verbal communication skills by getting people to guess things without saying a word.

18. Jenga

It’s a tower of blocks. How many can you remove before the whole thing comes down?

19. Trading Card

Baseball, soccer, or comic book: we all loved cards as kids. Reestablish that love now.

20. Scavenger Hunt

Hide items around the room. Put people in teams and see who finds it all first.

21. No Smiling

See who can fake laugh longest without cracking a smile.

22. 1000 Blank White Cards

Part of the game is developing the rules as you go!

23. M&M’s

People take M&M’s and reveal truths about themselves based on the color of the chocolates.

24. Desert Island Picks

You’re on a desert island, what are you taking with you?

7 Funny Icebreakers For Small Groups

Nothing brings a small group together like laughter. If you can get everyone laughing together, you’ve already got them connecting and loosening up. So, whenever possible, you want your icebreakers to also be funny ice breakers.

These icebreakers use a variety of methods to get people chuckling along together, getting them ready for the activities ahead.

Here are 5 funny icebreakers for small groups: 

25. Human Rock-Paper-Scissors

Create poses with unique powers, then play with your whole body.

26. Russian Roulette Balloon Pop

Only one balloon has shaving cream in it, but you don’t want to pop that one.

27. Chubby Bunny

Just how many marshmallows can you stuff in your mouth? And how much do you look like a bunny?

28. Flag Of Me

Everyone creates a flag that would represent themselves as a country.

29. “What If” Questions

Create a bunch of hypotheticals, and then play them out with the group.

30. Blind Drawing

All it takes is a blindfold, a suggestion, a white board, and a lot of amusement.

31. Bumper Sticker

Design the perfect bumper sticker to go on your vehicle, then share with the group.

7 Icebreakers For Small Groups Of Teens

If any group especially needs ice breakers, it’s teens. Being a teen is probably the most awkward time in most people’s lives. So, ice breaker games for teens are particularly useful to cut through that awkwardness and get teens genuinely connecting.

Here are 7 icebreakers for small groups of teens: 

32. Balloon War

Teams blow up balloons of one color. Then they elect someone to try to storm the other team and pop their balloons.

33. People Bingo

Get the names of everyone in the group, then create bingo sheets.

34. Supermarket

Just start saying what you bought in the supermarket, but each answer has to start with the next letter of the alphabet.

35. Balloon Hugging

Teams of two try to blow up and pop balloons, but they can only pop them by hugging.

36. Pass The Orange

Just pass the orange from person to person…except you can only hold it with your chin.

37. Chocolate Chomp

Clothes and chocolate in the middle of a circle. If the kids roll a six on the dice, they get to eat chocolate, but only with a fork and knife.

38. Song Scramble

Lyrics are written on cards and then scrambled on the floor. Who can get the song title first?

7 Icebreakers For Small Groups Of Adults

No matter your time of life, opening up in front of a small group of people who aren’t close friends or family is difficult. That’s why these ice breaker games for adults work so well. They’re timeless.

Whether you’re working with young adults in their twenties or older adults in their sixties, these icebreakers work every time.

Here are 7 icebreakers for small groups of adults:

39. Twenty Questions

You’ve got twenty questions…better make them good because this is one of the best icebreaker games for small groups.

40. Crazy Questions And Answers

Questions on card, answers on another: what’s the weirdest pairing you can make?

41. Betty Boop

Divide the group into Popeye’s, Betty Boop’s, and Wolves. Then they sing choruses as you tell a story.

42. Belly Balloon Break

Blow up some balloons, then ask the group to break them, but only with their bellies.

43. Paper Balls

Give everyone paper balls and see how close they can get to getting them into a basket on the other end of the room.

44. Superlatives

See who is most superlative in the group, like born farthest away, or with the latest birthday date in the year.

45. Hodge Podge Word Game

Everyone in a circle builds on sentences word by word but they have to do it at a steady beat.

6 Quick Icebreakers For Small Groups

There are amazing icebreaker games available for large groups and there are also awesome icebreakers that can be played in small groups too. Just because there isn’t a lot of people in the group doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun time and get to know each other.

Here are 6 quick icebreakers for small groups:

46. Going On A Picnic

A fun, quick game that requires good memory skills.

47. One Word

This is a fast game that can be played in a small group and helps people to think deeply.

48. Marshmallow Challenge

For this game all you need is a few materials – some marshmallows and a pack of spaghetti will turn into a super fun game.

49. Tall Tales

A quick and simple game that requires nothing but imagination.

50. Strange Disease Diagnosis

With one team member playing the doctor and the others pretending to have an unusual ailment, this game is fast and fun.

51. Egg Drop

The egg drop game helps groups work together towards a common goal – stopping their egg from breaking when it hits the ground.

7 Icebreakers For Small Groups That You Can Use In Large Groups

For those who have to work with small groups and large groups, it can be a pain looking for icebreakers for both kinds of groups. That’s why these games can be so useful! These ice breakers for small groups actually double as ice breakers for large groups.

Now, you only need one set of icebreakers that can work for any group you’re working with!

Here are 7 icebreakers for small groups that you can use in large groups: 

52. Team Balloon Race

Team races to the finish line all together…and with balloons holding them together.

53. Virtual Time Capsule

Each group thinks of twenty things they’d want to put in a time capsule that describe life today.

54. Team Shape Shifting

One team moves things around the room, and the other team guesses what changed.

55. Shark Attack

Everyone is a fish. When the shark comes, they have to be in groups of three. Another left out is shark food!

56. Famous People And Cities

Pick a famous person or city, and people find out what it is with yes or no questions.

57. Paper Snowball Fight

Let everyone get into a snowball fight, even in the middle of summer.

58. Name Aerobics

Put your name and two questions on a paper airplane. Throw in the air, whoever catches it, answers the questions.

Downloadable List Of Icebreakers For Small Groups

Here is a downloadable and printable list of icebreakers for small groups (right click the image and select Save Image As…):

More Awesome Ice Breakers

Ice breakers come in all shapes and sizes. If you aren’t looking for icebreakers for smaller groups, we’ve got plenty of other great ice breaker options for you. Just take a look at these.

  1. Make truth or dare hilarious with funny dares that will keep the game going forever.
  2. Turn the game into something more mature with truth or dare questions for adults that get people really thinking.
  3. Never run out of truth questions again with this list that can get anyone to open up.

How To Pick The Best Icebreakers For Small Groups

Not every small group is the same. In fact, small groups have a tendency to be wildly different. In big groups, you’ll get a good balance of personalities. Some people will be more extroverted, or funny, or fun-loving, and they can bring everyone else along.

However, small groups can be either really quiet, really loud, really chaotic, or anything in-between. That’s why you need to choose your icebreakers so carefully.

Not to worry though. Just follow these 6 steps, and you’ll be sure to have the right icebreakers for the right group every time.

Here is how to pick the best icebreakers for small groups:

1. Consider The Context

When choosing your icebreakers, think about the situation you’re trying to make easier. Is this a small group of colleagues on a retreat? Is it a group of strangers meeting to plan an event? Is it a group of neighbors who want to get to know one another?

These circumstances should inform whether you go for a more formal or informal game, and what kind of reaction you want from that icebreaker.

2. Consider The People (As Much As Possible)

One of the benefits of working with small groups is it is easier to get a decent idea of the kind of person each small group member is. So, if you can, get a sense of all the participants.

Some people may shows more or less interest in certain activities than others. If you know that everyone is really open to anything, you can pick crazier and more adventurous ice breakers.

If they’re more reticent and keep to themselves, go with something a little lighter that just gets them to share a little about themselves.

3. Choose Physical Or Mental

There are three basic kinds of ice breakers: those that are more physical, those that are more mental, and those that are a mix.

Once you have an idea about what kind of small group you’re dealing with, try to decide what kind of icebreakers they’ll respond to. Make sure to consider which games might make people uncomfortable.

4. Bring Your Backup Plan

You can do all the homework, and simply get it wrong. You thought a group would want to get up and do something more physical, but they all just sit in their chairs. Or vice verse.

Don’t leave yourself panicking. Bring backup ice breakers that are ready to go. You can bring a mix: a couple of the same type, a few of different types. That way, no matter how the group responds, you’ve got something you know will interest them.

5. Know When To Intervene

Another way to ensure a good ice breaker experience is to know when to intervene. If the game is going to slowly, or someone isn’t participating, or people are ganging up on one person or another, you can step in and get the group back on task.

That way, you can ensure everyone is getting equal benefit from your ice breakers.

6. Have Fun

The best thing you can do when introducing icebreakers for groups is to model the fun the others should be having. Whether you’re acting as referee for the group or you’re part of the game, you should lead with the excitement and cheer.

When others see you having fun, they’ll be more willing to lower their guard and join in.

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