Table Top IcebreakersPresented by: Susan Moerdersmoerder@francisparker.orgYou can do all of these and never leave your seat!For Starters:1. Out of the Ordinary- Give each person an index card. Have them write their name on oneside. On the other side, they are to write one unusual, interesting, out of the ordinary bit ofinformation about themselves that they are willing to share. Collect the cards. Share the bit ofinformation after doing other activities and see if the group can guess whom it describes.Name Games:2. Alliteration: Start with the person to your right. Have them state their name and the personalcharacteristic, etc. that begins with the same letter of their first name. Have the next person statetheir name and a characteristic, then give the name and characteristic of the first person. Personthree must tell theirs, person two’s and person one’s. The list gets longer as you go around thetable. Can they get all the way around and remember everyone?3. Hobby : “I like to….4. Picnic: “I’m going on a picnic and bringing…” This can either be something that begins withthe same letter as their name or you can progress through the alphabet.5. Fruits: “If I could be a fruit, I would be a…..because…..”6 Animals: “If I could be an animal, I would be a …..because…..”7. Dice Roll A: Have one person roll a die- for the number they roll, they must tell that manythings about him/her self.8. Dice Roll B: Have a person roll a die- for the number he/she rolls, count off that many peopleto the right and have that person answer the question.9. Dice Roll C: Have one person roll a die and for the number that appears, count that manypeople around the table. Have the person who rolled then say something they already know aboutthe person.
Working with a Partner:10. Skyscrapers- Give each partnership the same number of straws and a roll of tape. They havea certain time limit to build the tallest skyscraper possible. You can also test the strength of thetowers by whether they can withstand being blown over.11.Spectrum- Which do you like the best? Place yourself on the spectrum and then share-partners can interview each other or the group can share:Stay up late………………… Get up earlyTurkey Drumstick…………. BreastCabin in the mountains……..Cottage by the SeaRed………………………….BlackRoses………………………..WildflowersCamping ……………………HotelFootball…………………….. ChessYou can continue with a discussion of what falls in the middle of the spectrum, or you canadd other areas of the spectrum to share.12. Thumb wars - “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war; five, six, seven, eight, try tokeep your thumb straight”.13.Write it- Do it; Supply simple materials. One partner writes down directions for buildingsomething with the materials given. The other then tries to build it without asking questions.14.Rock, Paper, Scissors: On the count of three, each member puts a hand out, either twofingers for scissors, a fist for a rock or flat for paper. Scissors cut paper so scissors wins; rocksbreak scissors so rock wins; paper covers rocks so paper wins.15.What’s Your Value?- Distribute a card (from an ordinary deck) to each member. Tell themnot to look at it. When you say so, they are to put the card face out, on their forehead. Theirpartner is to ask yes or no questions only about the value to determine who is “worth more”.Discuss: Aren’t we all the same? Treat everyone equally.16.Hand Massage- Hold partner’s wrist with one hand. Using the other hand, start at the wristand move gently up the thumb and around each finger. Then go to the palm and back to thewrist. Take turns.17. Thirty Second Intro- Have each person speak for 30 seconds telling the partner abouthis/herself.
Do it Alone then Share:18.Paper puzzles or Thinking Outside the Box: Connect the nine dots with only four straightlines and without lifting your pen or pencil off the paper. (no dot can be touched twice). . . (think outside the box). . .. . .19.Three-letter body parts: Give each a piece of paper and a pencil. Have them list how manythree letter body parts they can think of in 20 seconds. Then have them combine their list withthe person next to them. They can usually come up with more ideas if they work together.20.How do You Feel?- Hand out pieces of paper that have either a positive or negative saying onit. Have each person tell how that saying makes them feel and why. i.e. “Your hair is a funnycolor.” “You have a great smile”. Have them read it out loud. Ask what did he/she emphasize?21.Being different/being human-Give each person a piece of paper and something to writewith. Have them answer all of the following questions:1. In what ways am I like ALL other people?2. In what ways am I like MOST people?3. In what ways am I like SOME people?4. In what ways am I like NO other people?Then discuss: Is one question more important than another? Which ones and why?All Together Now:22.M & M’s- Have a question ready for each color. Have each member pick 10 M& M’s. Tellthem not to eat them yet. After everyone has 10 each, have them count the color they have themost of. Read the question that pertains to that color and have them answer it. (i.e Give yourdefinition of a friend, define leadership or tell something you can’t tolerate.)23.Cups- Use tumblers or something sturdy that will not get squashed or broken. The words andactions go like this. Clap, clap 1,2,3 (tap top of cup on 1,2,3); clap move it over, (use right handto move cup slightly to your right after the clap); clap, (grab cup after clap), pick it up (hit top ofcup); and turn it over (tap cup bottom on table, switch to left hand, hit the table with right handand turn the cup over with your left hand). The cups should still be upside down. When the groupthinks they have it try to go faster.24.Count to 20- One person says, “1”, someone else says “2”. People continue to shout thenumbers. If two people say the same number at the same time, they must start over from thenumber 1. The only rules are that the same person can not say two numbers in a row and theycan not just go around the circle.25.Two truths and a lie. The first person tells three statements about his/herself. Two are trueand one is a lie. The others have to try to guess which is the lie.
26.Coat of Arms- the leader draws a coat of arms. Have the members of the circle draw picturesto answer questions about themselves in each of the corners or in the middle of the coat of arms.(i.e. In the top left corner, draw what you will be doing 20 years from now. In the upper rightcorner draw a picture of a happy moment of your life, etc. Share the coat of arms with the group.27.Spider web- One person begins the activity by stating his or her name and something that heor she likes to do. (My name is Tom and I like to ski). Then they toss a ball of yarn or string tosomeone else in the group while holding the end. That person states his/her name and an activity,and then holding the yarn, tosses the ball to another person. This continues until everyone hasreceived the ball of yarn and a spider web has been formed. The pattern then reverses with eachperson stating the name and activity of the person who last tossed the ball.28.Wrist tie- use ribbon. Tie the right hand of one person to the left hand of the person on theirright. Continue around the circle until everyone’s wrists are tied. Now have them do someactivity together such as eating pizza, spaghetti, or taking notes, etc. They have to learn to worktogether and communicate.29.Hot seat-First person is in the hot seat for two minutes. Teacher has a list of questions in frontof them. Students in the circle call out a number. Teacher reads the corresponding question andthe person in the hot seat has to answer. It’s good to have about 30-40 questions ready. Workyour way around the table.30.Candy store- Pass around a jar of small candies (jelly beans, peanuts, skittles, etc.). Tell eachmember to take as much as they “need”. Then in a “go around”, each member must state one factabout his/herself for each item he/she took.
Your hair looks funny today. You are my best friend.You have a nice smile. What a great color on you.What’s that on your nose? You wore that today?What a weird color? You are such a kind person.You have a great sense of humor. I don’t like you.I appreciate your work. Get a grip.Thank you. What a flake you are.Get over here. You worked hard today.Don’t do that. What a great friend you are.Please come here. You have such pretty hair.Wow- that was awesome! What a jerk you were yesterday.You are so weird. You are such a giving person.Why are you looking at me like that? I like being around you.You’re so stupid. I thought I could trust you.You did a great job with that. Those clothes make you look fat.