15 fun icebreaker games for meetings

An icebreaker game is an interactive activity that can help “break the ice” and give participants the opportunity to get comfortable with one another. Playing a fun icebreaker game at the beginning of a meeting is a great way to boost morale and keep your team motivated before diving into your business agenda. This is especially true for new teams who may be unfamiliar with one another and seeking to form new relationships.

Although it may seem counterproductive to play a game first when there is work to be done, icebreaker games can help team members feel more comfortable speaking up and collaborating during the actual meeting. If your icebreaker game encourages participants to work together toward a common goal, this sense of teamwork will spill over into the business part of your meeting.

Certain ice breaker games can also serve to reinforce your meeting’s objective or team goals. Playing icebreaker games in teams can also give different team members the opportunity to develop leadership skills by leading their team.

Some employees may seem hesitant to answer ice breaker questions or play ice breaker games at first (they may feel silly having fun at a business meeting) but if you as the facilitator of the game continue to lead with enthusiasm, chances are they will join in the fun eventually. The more you encourage participation in fun icebreaker games prior to launching into the business content of your meetings, the more participation, and productivity you will see.

Each of the following icebreaker games are easy to play, can be played with different-sized groups, do not require an abundance of supplies, and do not take up a ton of time. Many can even be adapted slightly to work for remote team meetings. They all help to either facilitate conversation, encourage teamwork, lighten the mood, learn about one another, or reinforce your meeting’s objective, so they’re perfect to try during your next team meeting.

1. One thing in common

Tools: Paper and pen
Goals: Facilitate conversation

Prior to your meeting, print out a list with each team member’s name on it. Have participants move around the room and talk to one another to figure out one thing they have in common with each person attending the meeting.

The trick to this ice breaker game that makes it more fun is that you can’t list the same common thing twice. For example, if you list hair color as your common thing with one person, you cannot list that for any other person.

2. Memory coins

Tools: Loose change
Goal: Learn about others

Before your meeting, gather enough coins to hand out one to everyone in the meeting room, checking to make sure that the date on each coin is more than 20 years old. Pass out coins to each team member and ask them to think of a memory to share from that year in their life. Then, go around the room and have each person share their memory out loud to the group.

3. A single word

Tools: None
Goal: Reinforce meeting objective, teamwork

Divide participants into small groups of three to four people. Ask each group to come up with a single word that they would use to describe or relate to the meeting objective. For example, if your meeting is about hitting sales goals, each team would come up with one word to describe their approach to hitting their sales goals. This fun icebreaker game can be used to get everyone on the same page prior to the start of your meeting.

4. 18 & Under

Tools: None
Goal: Learn about others, lighten the mood

Ask each person to think of an accomplishment that they had before the age of 18. Then, go around the room and have each person share their accomplishment out loud to the group. This fun icebreaker game will help your team members learn more about one another, as well as have a laugh considering that many accomplishments from before adulthood amount to trivial tidbits like, “I won my fourth grade spelling bee.”

5. Marshmallow towers

Tools: Marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti, tape, and string
Goal: Teamwork, lighten the mood

Divide meeting attendees into small groups of three to four people. Give each group the following items: 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of string, one roll of tape, and a marshmallow. Task each group with building a tower with the marshmallow at the top of the tower. Whichever team builds the tallest tower wins.

This fun icebreaker game can help your team members learn how to overcome a challenge together and unite to problem-solve to achieve the goal of winning the game.

6. On an island

Tools: Office supplies
Goal: Teamwork, facilitate conversation

Have your team members each bring one office supply from their desk to the meeting. Some examples are staplers, Post-It notes, a pen, a rubber band, or a paper clip. Line up all of the items at the front of the room and divide the group into pairs. Each pair must choose one item from the office supplies that they would want with them if they were stranded on an island. Pairs must then explain to the group which item they chose and the specific reasons why they chose it including how they would use it on the island.

7. M&M questions

Tools: Bag of M&M candies
Goal: Learn about others, Reinforce meeting objective

Prior to the start of your meeting, make a list of questions to correspond to the colors of M&M candies, with one question per color. Questions can be related to your meeting’s objective or can be personal questions to help your team learn about one another, depending on what your goal for this icebreaker game is. Pour a bag of M&Ms into a bowl before your meeting starts.

At the meeting, allow each person in attendance to select one M&M from the bowl, but instruct them not to eat it. Then each person must answer the predetermined question that corresponds to their color of M&M out loud. After everyone gets a turn, the whole team gets to eat their M&M and share the leftovers in the bowl.

8. Quiz the boss

Tools: None
Goal: Reinforce meeting objective

Have each team member take a turn asking either the meeting leader or department head (if they are not the same person) one question related to the topic of the meeting. These questions can be serious or silly. For example, if your meeting is about crafting sales pitches, attendees could ask questions like, “What is the worst sales pitch you’ve ever given?” or “If you had to sell sand in the middle of the desert, how would you do it?”

This fun icebreaker game can help team members feel comfortable talking to their superior and speaking up during a meeting.

9. Stress shred

Tools: Paper and pen
Goal: Reinforce meeting objective, lighten the mood

In order to keep your meeting running smoothly, your team can do this icebreaker activity to relieve stress and improve their focus. Set a timer for three minutes and have each person spend that time in silence writing down anything that is stressing them out on a blank piece of paper. When the timer goes off, have each person fold their paper in half and tear it up into tiny pieces and throw it into the trash to clear their mind and help set the tone for the rest of the meeting.

10. Not-so-heated debate

Tools: None
Goal: Teamwork, facilitate conversation

Ask meeting attendees a question with two possible answers that can easily divide the group into two teams. Some examples are, “Would you rather watch a movie at home or at a theater?” and “Which food is better: hamburgers or hot dogs?” Have everyone divide into two groups based on their answer and formulate an argument as to why their answer is the better answer. Then, the group will select one representative to “sell” the other group on their position.

11. Work of art

Tools: Paper, markers, colored pencils, other art supplies as desired
Goal: Reinforce meeting objective

For this fun icebreaker game, give each team member a blank sheet of paper and art supplies. Set a timer for 10 minutes and ask everyone to illustrate or create artwork that expresses an idea related to the meeting topic. For example, if your meeting is about customer service strategies, your team members could illustrate concepts like friendliness or communication with their art. Once the timer goes off, go around the room and have each person show off their art and talk a little bit about it.


12. Scavenger hunt

Tools: Camera phone
Goal: Teamwork, lighten the mood

Before your meeting, print out copies of a list of 20-30 items to find on a scavenger hunt. At the meeting, divide attendees into groups of three to four people. Set a time for everyone to meet back together and hand out a list to each team to start. Have each group embark on a mini-scavenger hunt around the office, throughout the building, or in the immediate area surrounding the building to take photos of as many list items as possible. When it’s time to meet back together, the team who took photos of the most list items wins.

13. Don’t smile

Tools: None
Goal: Lighten the mood

This fun icebreaker game works best with smaller groups. Designate one team member to sit at the front of the room and not smile no matter what happens for 5 minutes. Then, have each of
the other team members take turns attempting to make the designated person smile with work- appropriate jokes, silly faces, dance moves, songs, or anything they think might make them
crack a smile.

14. Who is it?

Tools: Paper and pen
Goals: Learn about others

Pass out slips of paper to each person in the room. Ask everyone to write down a unique or strange fact about themselves on their slip of paper, fold it in half, and put it in a hat. Once everyone has put their slip of paper in the hat, mix them up.

Draw one slip of paper from the hat, read it out loud, and then allow the entire team to guess who wrote it. After everyone guesses, ask the person who wrote that fact to identify themself. Then, they can share more information about the fact they shared to help everyone get to know one another better through this fun icebreaker game.

15. The storytime game

Tools: None
Goal: Lighten the mood, facilitate conversation

Have your team sit in a circle to play this fun icebreaker game. Start a story by saying the line, “Once upon a time…” and complete the sentence with anything you’d like. Then, the person to
your right will say a sentence out loud that builds on the previous one. Each subsequent person to the right will say one sentence at a time to create an entire story until each person gets a

The storyline can be funny or silly and each person can take it in any direction they want. After you have gone around the circle, whoever is last will get to finish out the story with their sentence and say, “The end” to officially conclude storytime.