Ice Breakers & Warm Ups

Exercise: Association – Object in the bag

Useful for: Introductions, getting to know more about each other, self-disclosure, team-building exercise, a warm-up exercise to enable the facilitator and the participants to get to know each other.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Group size: 10 to 15 participants

Materials: A cloth bag with 10 to 15 objects belonging to a particular group (eg.: animals, birds, insects etc.)

Guide: Make participants to form a circle (stand/sit). Go around holding the bag of objects. Ask each participant to put their hand into the bag and pick one object from the bag and keep it hidden in their hand without seeing it or showing it to anyone else. 

Once each participant has got an object, ask them to look at it and provide them with three areas that they need to share information on with everyone in the group:

• Introduce yourself to the group (share your name)

• Introduce the name of the object in your hand to the group 

• Share the commonality between the object and your name or personality with the group

Remember the information areas could be modified as per context. Be careful about the objects you put in the bag. This exercise would be most useful to introduce participants to each other or getting to know personality aspects of participants which may be useful in team building exercises.



Exercise: Catch me I’m imaginary

Useful for: Introductions, fun, laughter, energizing participants at the start of a workshop, getting imaginations running, to buy time when you are waiting for something.

Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Group size: 10 to 15 participants (can also be used for larger group sizes)

Materials: None. Just your imagination!


Provide numbered badges to participants as they enter the venue. Prior to any introduction, pretend you are holding an imaginary object such as a ball or anything. Introduce yourself ‘Hi I am ABC’. Describe the object you are holding ‘I am holding a yellow fur ball’. Pass on the object to any member in the group by calling out the number ‘And I am passing this yellow fur ball to participant number 3. Here catch!’. And participants can continue by introducing and passing the imaginary object, changing it as they like. The exercise ends when all the participants have introduced each other.

Remember, there is no requirement to share any instructions with the participants for this exercise. Let the participants catch on. In case required you could share what is to be done if someone gets stuck. Keep the exercise moving fast. You could get participants to stand or form a circle or even move around if you want to make it a more active introductory session. This game can be played with any age group and most useful for getting imaginations running or some action and play!



Exercise: 1, 2... this is me & who are you?

Useful for: Introducing large groups to each other, self-disclosure, getting to know more about team members, a lead to divide a large group into two groups, a lead into team-building/communication exercises. 

Time: 15 to 20 minutes (dependent on the number of participants in the group)

Group size: 10 to 15 participants

Materials: A buzzer and some music


Ask participants to stand in a straight line and call out consecutive numbers starting with 1. The numbering ends when the last participant calls out a number. Get all the participants with odd numbers to take two steps forward and turn towards the participants with even numbers where in each participant is facing another participant – i.e., two rows looking at each other. Inform the participants that they would need to introduce themselves to the person in front, at the same time get to know the other person. They would have 1 minute before you ring the buzzer and they would need to take a step to their right. Participants at the end of the rows would need to get into the beginning of the other row next to them. Inform participants that you would ring a short buzzer when 30 seconds is up and a long buzzer when 1 minute is up and the participants would need to take a step to their right. The exercise ends when all participants have met each other.

Remember to inform participants that they need to get to know the person in front of them as much as possible. And each one needs to get a chance to ask questions and answer questions. The small buzzer is to inform the participants to give the other person a chance to talk. The long buzzer is for them to move on to the next. You could give participants an example of this before starting. You could increase the time limit from 1 minute to 2 minutes if you wish and you could play some light music in the background through the process. At the end you could ask participants if they got to know new people, learned something new about someone they have been working with, found someone really interesting, didn’t have enough time to talk, found someone always asking the questions or talking and so on. You could use this exercise as a lead into dividing people into two groups, or as a lead into a team building, or communication exercise. 


Exercise: Object toss

Useful for: Introduction, self-disclosure, fun, energizer.

Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Group size: 10 to 15 participants

Materials: A crazy object (a spongy ball, a bean-bag toy, a rugrats toy etc.)


Ask participants to form an open circle. Toss a crazy object to someone in the circle to catch. Inform participants to throw the crazy object to someone in the circle at random. The participant who catches the crazy object would need to introduce themselves to the group. The participants could also add personal details such as where they are from etc. Tossing the crazy object would conclude when everyone has been introduced. 


Remember participants can toss the object to each other as many times as they want. Participants catching the tossed crazy object again would need to reintroduce themselves and may be add on more information about themselves for the group to get to know them better. You could stop the tossing of the crazy object when all in the group have been introduced at least once.



Exercise: Alliteration Introduction

Useful for: Getting to know a special quality about others and how they see themselves, concentration, team work, fun, laughter.

Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Group size: 10 to 15 participants

Materials: None


Ask participants to form a circle. A participant starts the game by introducing himself by making a gesture and alliterating his name. Example, ‘I am Dynamic Divya’ or ‘I am Rapid Rajat’. The next participant on the left side, points to the previous participant and repeats the previous participant’s name, attribute and gesture, and does something similar about him/herself. The exercise continues and ends with the first player having to do each of the other players gestures, repeating their names and attributes.

Remember, this is an excellent exercise for participants who know each other’s names or even to getting to learn each other’s names. This is a good exercise for concentration as well. It is okay for participants to mix things up and correct each other. Pay attention you could also correct participants. You could add variations to the game by asking participants to recall each other’s names at the end of the exercise. You could also get them to discuss their observations and take out as a team.



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