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Best Ice Breaker Games for Adults - 2012

The top 5 ice breakers of 2012

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Ice breakers have lots of uses in the classroom. While you may be greeted with groans from your adult students when you announce an ice breaker, these same students will very likely be just as enthusiastic in their enjoyment of the game once you get started. Ice breakers are very effective for introductions, energizing your classroom, even test review. They are often very memorable.

Choose a game that fits your group if you are already familiar with your participants. If your students are new to you, our collections of the top 10 most popular games each year will tell you what other teachers have found fun and effective in their classrooms.

1. People Bingo

People Bingo Card
Deb Peterson
People Bingo is the queen of all ice breakers. Consistently at the top of every list, it's the perfect game because it's easy to customize, can be as naughty or nice as you like, works well with groups of any size, and everyone knows how to play. You can make your own cards or go the super-easy route and buy preprinted cards.

Need ideas? We've got them!
People Bingo Idea List No. 1
People Bingo Idea List No. 2
People Bingo Idea List No. 3
People Bingo Christmas Idea List

Bingo!

2. Marooned

Deserted Island by Matthew Winterburn / Flickr
Matthew Winterburn / Flickr
Marooned shows up in all the favorites lists because it's quick and easy, and requires no props or preparation. Use it in small groups, or break larger crowds into smaller groups. This is a game that allows people to play it safe or be outrageous. What will you learn about the people in your group?

3. Two Truths and a Lie

Student laughing by Stockbyte - Getty Images
Stockbyte - Getty Images
This game is moving up in the world. With the popularity of reality TV, you never know what people have had the courage, or maybe audacity, to try. Find out just how crazy your participants are!

Interested but a little unsure of how to get started? We've got ideas for you:
Two Truths and a Lie Idea List No. 1
Two Truths and a Lie Idea List No. 2

4. 2-Minute Mixer

People Mixing
Stockbyte - Getty Images
The 2-minute mixer is another great choice for helping people get to know each other in a safe and fun way. We've all been in situations where we've gotten stuck with the know-it-all or the bore. This game prevents that, and gives people the courage to introduce themselves to people they would love to meet. Play for as long or as short as time allows.

This game is always in the top 10.

5. The Power of Story

Comstock - Getty Images
Comstock - Getty Images
Stories really are powerful. If you want to create lasting memories, this is your game, especially if you have time to allow participants to prepare. Give them a couple of weeks to think about selecting a prop to accompany their personal story, and I can almost guarantee they'll knock your socks off. This ice breaker can make your group laugh and cry.

For teachers interested in story, we have a nice breakdown of the hero's journey you won't want to miss: The Hero's Journey

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