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The 22 Best Icebreakers for Adults (Tried & Tested)tea

Updated October 23, 2023 · 17 min read

Looking for icebreaker activities for adults to use at work (and something aside from scavenger hunt, please)? In this article, we'll take you through some of the best icebreaker games that are suitable for adults.

A lot of the icebreakers you’ll stumble across on the internet are suitable for both corporate work teams, but also for students or teenagers.

However, sometimes, especially in a corporate setting, you'll find yourself running activities with a group of people who aren't inclined to participate in what they consider to be ‘childish’ activities.


Benefits of Breaking The Ice

Breaking the ice can be a bit intimidating and a little cheesy. But it is very beneficial when building a strong work community and these are our top reasons why:

  • It is an awesome activity for introductions and new recruits; while it may be an informal way of getting to know one another, it automatically brings a relaxed and no-pressure vibe.

  • Great virtual icebreakers can be a fun way to jumpstart Zoom meetings and invites that help mix up your normal agenda.

  • Icebreaker games relax teams and help them to get to know each other far more quickly and easily. And we don't mean just work stuff— you can learn about your team's favorite food, favorite book, movies, and so on.

  • Some of the best icebreakers can also be a great way to ease new people into a group.

  • Fun icebreakers can help create common ground within teams, building team bonding, trust, and rapport.

  • Ice breaker questions energize, motivate and engage any team no matter what their background is.


If your team is working remotely at the moment, then you should check out our guide on virtual team building activities and games for remote teams. In there you'll find 100 ideas with instructions that you can try with your newly remote team.


You’ll notice that a lot of the activities we have picked are most suitable for team players who haven’t met each other yet or are fairly newly formed. Let us know if you use them on your new work team!


Without further ado, here’s our list of the ten best ideas for very grown-up team icebreakers for virtual teams and in-office setups too… Enjoy! See which one of our favorite icebreakers you like too!

1) QuizBreaker IceBreaker Game

quizbreaker gameplay

Objective: Help adult teams connect through a fun & automated icebreaker quiz game once a week

Participants: 3 to 3000

Duration: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: One free trial of QuizBreaker.com

Instructions

Sign up for a free trial of QuizBreaker and invite your team to answer any of the hundreds of icebreaker questions built into the platform.

QuizBreaker then automatically sends out quizzes at anytime you choose where players have to guess each other's answers.

How It Works

  • You create an account and invite your team to answer icebreaker questions. The platform has over 100 curated fun icebreaker questions included but you can also add in your own custom ones.

  • Once your team starts answering ice breaker questions automated quizzes can be sent out via email where players have to guess each other's answers. For example; "Was it Greg or Grace who said that their favorite TV series of all time is The Office?"

  • Points, badges, and levels are unlocked through each consecutive round of the game. And you can schedule the quiz to be sent out on your chosen frequency; daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

It's a really fun & simple icebreaker activity for adults, there's even a leaderboard for a bit of friendly competition. On top of icebreaker quizzes, QuizBreaker also has other fun icebreaker games and activities, including:

  • An online trivia multiplayer game;

  • Online escape rooms;

  • A work personality test aggregator;

  • A pulse survey tool;

  • And more!

Click here to try out QuizBreaker for free.

2) TriviaNerd

trivianerd

Objective: To get teams to work together and answer problems

Participants: Up to 200 players

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: Access to TriviaNerd.com's multiplayer account

We love trivia games because it's fun and engaging at the same time. There are laughs and lessons learned. This perfect icebreaker for teams gets your brain flowing and will allow people to unwind via a fun game in the process.

We recommend using this for teams that don’t know each other that well, or as a team building activity for new groups.

Instructions

  1. Access your TriviaNerd account. Share the invite code or QR code to your team mates.

  2. Choose a trivia game to play together.

  3. Go through the trivia games together. You can do as many as you want.

  4. Give out prizes or awards if you'd like.

3) Workstyle

Objective: To foster engagement and connection among team members through personality tests and assessments.

Participants: Unlimited

Duration: Flexible

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: Workstyle platform

Workstyle is an team personality test and workstyle aggregator that you can use with your team, no matter how large or small.

It includes personality tests like Big 5 personality tess, DISC personality test, and 6 more personality and psychometric testing tools. There are also 100+ icebreaker questions that reveals your team members' individual working style preferences.

The platform is intuitive to use and requires minimal setup, making it an excellent choice for teams looking to understand one another's strengths and weaknesses.

All features are available for a flat rate of $49 per profile.

Try Workstyle Now

4) Neighbours

Objective: To get participants to learn each other's names

Participants: 20 or more

Duration: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: None

neighbours

Another icebreaker that we suggest using on a new team.

It’s very similar to the ‘my N.A.M.E’ ice breaker listed above, and we love it for all the same reasons.

Instructions

  1. Get everyone to stand in a circle with one person in the middle.

  2. Give your team 3 minutes to memorise the first, middle and last names of their neighbors on either side of them.

  3. The designated middle person will point to someone randomly and say either “left neighbor” or “right neighbor”.

  4. The person who is pointed at must say the full name of their neighbor. If they get it wrong, then they must trade places with the person in the middle.

  5. Continue the game until everyone knows everyone else's name.

5) A Penny For Your Thoughts

Objective: To get team members acquainted and to promote small talk

Participants: 5 to 15 people

Duration: 15 to 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: A penny for each participant, should be shiny, easy to read and less than 20 years old

penny for your thoughts

Again, another very ‘adult’ activity to be used on teams that don’t know each other very well.

We love this fun icebreaker because it's quick, reveals fun facts about your team members and promotes the further development of personal relationships.

This ice breaker has appeared on a few of our blog posts, and the simple reason for its reoccurrence is that we love its simplicity, differentness and its effectiveness.

Instructions

  1. Give a penny to each participant (top tip: to add a sense of humour, ask your team if they realised they were receiving a “cash bonus” for attending today!).

  2. Ask everyone to introduce themselves with their name, their age and where they come from.

  3. Then, they should share something significant or interesting about themselves on the year the penny was minted.

6) Rather Than

Objective: To be used as an introductory activity to get participants to understand each other’s preferences

Participants: 5 to 12 people

Duration: 3 to 8 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: None

rather than

This is another icebreaker very well suited to new teams. It's a new twist to the classic game, Would You Rather. We love it because it is a light introductory activity that reveals everyone's personal preferences.

The game also tests memory, which is great to use at the start as research has concluded that when memory games are used, the amount of information learnt increases.

Thus, using this memory game at the start of training is likely to increase the amount your new hires take in!

Instructions

  1. Get everyone sat in a way so that they can all see each other - we recommend sitting in a circle.

  2. Start by telling everyone else one thing that you like to do (e.g., run 10km).

  3. The person to your left then restates what you said and then says something that they would rather do (e.g., run 10km, eat a whole tub of ice cream).

  4. The next team member then restates what was said, and adds on what they would rather do (e.g., run 10km, eat a whole tub of ice cream, do a skydive).

  5. The game continues until every person has said the whole list and added on what they would rather do.

7) Ready, Set, Reorganise

Objective: To get participants to learn new and interesting facts about each other

Participants: 16 to 26 people

Duration: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Hard

Materials: None

ready, set, reorganise

We love this adult ice breaker activity because it's a quick way to get everyone up and moving about. It's also great for virtual settings and large teams.

We recommend doing this halfway through training sessions or virtual meetings to get everyone to reset and feel energised.

Instructions

  1. Divide the group in half and organise your team so they are standing in two lines facing each other.

  2. Announce a category (e.g., first name).

  3. The team organises themselves alphabetically by first names as quickly as possible.

  4. The winning team is the one that organises themselves the quickest!

  5. Keep the game going for as many categories as you like.

Category suggestions: birthday (chronologically), birthplace (alphabetically or geographically), height, formal job title, countries visited in their lifetime (numerically) and so on...

8) Similarities and Differences

Objective: To get team members to learn how they are similar and different to each other and connect on a personal level

Participants: 20 to 30 people

Duration: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: Piece of paper and pen for each participant

similarities and differences

Let’s be honest, we all like to have something unique about us.

But, we also all like to know we are similar in some way. This ice breaker allows us to find out those things about our co-workers.

Instructions

  1. Give each participant a piece of paper and pen.

  2. Get everyone to draw three columns on their piece of paper with the headings: name, similar and different.

  3. Get your team to mingle with each other and find out what they have similar and different to each other.

  4. Put a time limit of ten minutes. After the clock stops, the winner is the person who has filled in as many names on their card as possible.

9) Sweet Stories

Objective: To get participants to learn about each other and build trust

Participants: 5 to 20 people

Duration: 10 to 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: A large bag of candy (Skittles, M&M’s)

sweet stories

We love it because it builds trust as participants get to learn a bit more about each other.

The game is also fun and we guarantee you that your team members won’t have used it before!

Instructions

  1. Every team member takes a candy.

  2. Participants share a story based on the colour of the candy they have.

  3. Participants can eat the candy.

Candy colour ideas:

Blue - A boss you respected and why

Green - A reason why you are proud to belong to this organisation

Organe - An embarrassing moment at work

Red - Your biggest working success

Yellow - The funniest moment at work

Purple - A time at work where you have failed, and what you learnt from it

10) Gossip Time

Objective: To get team members to learn new and interesting things about each other

Participants: 5 to 10 people

Duration: 20 to 60 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Materials: A piece of paper and pen for each participant

gossip time

We recommend using this great icebreaker when your team players know each other fairly well and when there is a level of trust among the group.

Recent research has actually found that trust is linked directly to positive team performance, so we can’t recommend enough ensuring that trust is at the forefront of your team's culture.

We love this icebreaker because it is an activity where teammates can share fun information about each other, which prompts further appreciation for each other and promotes stronger personal ties. It's an activity suitable for both small groups and large groups.

Instructions

  1. Pick one team member to be the first target, they must stand outside the room.

  2. All other team members write one thing (make sure it’s a nice or complimentary thing!) about the target on a piece of paper.

  3. Collect all the pieces of paper and randomly select one to read aloud. The target must guess who they think wrote the ‘gossip’ about them.

  4. If the target’s guess is correct, a new target is selected. However, if the target guesses incorrectly, then keep reading out the statements until the target gets it right!

  5. Play this game until every person has had a go at being the target.

11) Identity Circles

Objective: To get team mates sharing and understanding their values

Participants: 8 to 50 people

Duration: 30 to 60 minutes

Difficulty: Hard

Materials: Index cards, enough for each person to have 10

identity circles

We love this final icebreaker on our list because it encourages everyone to share things they would not normally choose to share with each other - this sparks further conversations and promotes friendships within your team.

Instructions

  1. Divide your team in half and create two concentric circles (one inner circle and one outer circle).

  2. People on the outer circle should face inside, and people on the outer circle should face inside.

  3. Pair each inner person with an outer person.

  4. Hand each person their 10 pieces of paper and get them to write down one value on each piece.

  5. Have the partners share with each other why they wrote down the values they did and how they prioritized them for 5 minutes.

  6. After, get the participants to rip up one of their cards.

  7. The outer circle moves round, and new pairs are formed. The new pairs then have 5 minutes to explain to each other why they ripped up the card they ripped up and how they would feel if they lost that value.

  8. Continue this process until the participants are only left with one card, their most important value.

12) My N.A.M.E

Objective: To get everyone knowing each other's names and an interesting fact that may prompt small talk at a later date

Participants: 5 to 20 people

Duration: 8 to 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Materials: None

my n.a.m.e

Use this ice breaker with a brand new team, when people don’t even know each other's names yet.

One of the reasons we love this icebreaker is because it’s simple and requires no preparation from you.

Instructions

  1. Give group members 3 to 5 minutes to think of interesting facts that correspond to the letters of their first name.

  2. Have each participant share their acronym.

An example:

Hi, I’m Heather.

H is for horses, my favourite animal.

E is for eating, my favourite activity.

A is for Australia, the country I am currently travelling to.

T is for television because I like to watch it in the evenings.

H is for holidays, something I like to do more than once a year.

E is for exercise, which I do five times a week.

And R is for Rome, a city I really want to visit.

10 More Fun Icebreakers for Adults to Test Out

Not done yet? Well, neither are we! Here's a list of 10 more fun icebreakers to play with adults:

  • Bond Builders. This game revolves around participants sharing personal stories related to a given topic. Players take turns picking a card with a topic or question and share their experiences, fostering deeper bonds based on shared or relatable experiences.

  • Human Connection Crew. Players are tasked with finding commonalities with other participants. Each player is given a checklist of hobbies, experiences, or traits, and they must find someone in the room who matches each item, promoting interpersonal connections.

  • Conversation Catalysts. A deck of cards with open-ended questions is used to stimulate conversations among participants. Players draw a card and discuss their thoughts or experiences related to the question with a partner or group.

  • Team Unite & Ignite. Team members work together to solve a common challenge or puzzle. By combining their unique skills and knowledge, they learn to collaborate and appreciate each member's contributions.

  • Office Harmony Heroes. Participants are presented with hypothetical office scenarios requiring solutions. By discussing and resolving these scenarios, team members develop understanding and harmony in dealing with real-life workplace situations.

  • Social Sparkplugs. This game is centered on rapid-fire introductions. Players have a short amount of time (e.g., 30 seconds) to introduce themselves and share an interesting fact, encouraging quick and lively interactions.

  • Team Synergy Seekers. Team members participate in a series of collaborative tasks. Through these tasks, they discover how their strengths and weaknesses can complement one another, building team synergy.

  • Interact Innovators. This icebreaker promotes creativity. Participants are given random objects and must come up with an innovative use for them, fostering out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration.

  • People Pioneers. Players embark on a "journey" through the room, interacting with various stations that represent different life experiences or challenges. This helps them gain insights into diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

  • Unity Quest. Participants are divided into teams and given a series of clues leading to a "treasure." As they solve each clue, they develop unity and collaboration skills.

  • The Mix & Mingle Masters. A musical chairs-inspired game where players must find a new partner each time music stops. With each new partner, they discuss a new topic or question.

  • Together Today. This game involves participants sharing their daily routines or habits. By learning about each other's day-to-day lives, participants find common ground and build rapport.

  • Team Tune-In. Participants listen to various sounds or pieces of music and discuss their feelings or memories associated with them. This helps them tune into each other's emotional states and experiences.

  • Icebreakers Extraordinaire. A combination of multiple icebreaker games. Participants rotate through different stations, each with a unique mini-game or challenge, ensuring varied and comprehensive interactions.

  • Harmony Junction. Players share stories about a time when they felt harmony in their lives, whether at work, home, or elsewhere. This helps the group reflect on the importance of balance and togetherness in both personal and professional settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What icebreaker questions should I use?

Need a list of icebreaker questions, don't worry we have you covered! Our top ice breaker questions you can utilize for any game.

Are these activities great for groups?

Yes, they absolutely can be used for a bigger group!

Check-out our list of best large group activities

What are other great adult activities?

We suggest a virtual happy hour! It's relaxing and many of the activities are best for adults over the age of 21.

Conclusion

There you have it! We hope you've liked our list of the best ice breaker games for adults. Try these out and let me know how you go.

Heather Harper

Article by

Heather Harper

Heather Harper has a Masters in Occupational Psychological from the University of Manchester. She currently works as an editorial writer specialising in organizational psychology - helping teams work better together.

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