The inspiration from this icebreaker came from my children’s games cupboard and it’s most effective in groups of about 20 people. What I like about this activity is that it requires participants to get out of their seats and interact, but also ends in a group discussion. To facilitate this ice breaker you‘ll need a children’s game of Associations, which are readily available in toy stores (and make a great investment if you deliver a lot of training).
- Count the number of participants and put a corresponding amount of matching puzzle pieces face-down and mixed up in a container. If there is an odd number of participants, include yourself in the activity, so that each person will have a partner.
- Each participant is invited to select a puzzle piece and then asked to leave their seats to locate the person with the matching puzzle piece.
- Once they’ve found their puzzle partner, participants must check that the pieces fit together and have a discussion about what they are hoping to achieve from the training, with the aim of reporting back to the group.
- During report back time, each participant is invited to introduce their puzzle partner to the group and tell the group about their partner’s expectations for the day.
- The facilitator may wish to call on a volunteer scribe to record these on some butcher’s paper or a whiteboard.
At the end of the activity participants should feel more relaxed and loosened up. There will also be a list of expectations that the facilitator can address in a segway to the first session of the day.
To learn more about the benefits of ice breakers in training sessions, click here.