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Teamwork Icebreakers and Energisers

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The ability to work effectively with others toward a common goal, sharing knowledge and skills to create solutions that benefit everyone involved, are an important element in the success of any business.

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Balloon Team - The Positive Emotions of Being Involved

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 10 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the positive emotions connected to being involved and how they differ from those of an onlooker.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 10 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore the positive emotions connected to being involved and how they differ from those of an onlooker.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• A number of inflated balloons (one for every 6-8 participants).
• Plenty of space for participants to move around.

Notes:
Larger groups will need a longer running time for the exercise.

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Chocolate! - Teamwork or Competition?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To allow participants to get to know each other in a fun manner.
• To encourage groups of participants to work as a team.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To allow participants to get to know each other in a fun manner.
• To encourage groups of participants to work as a team.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 18.

Useful For:
This module is particularly suitable for use with junior staff, perhaps as part of an induction or in other situations where you want to make the point about the importance of helping each other and sharing knowledge.

You'll Need:
• A pile of 21 question cards, which should be shuffled.
• Three plastic boxes, each containing 7 large pieces of chocolate (1 box of dark, 1 of milk and 1 of white).
• A stopwatch (optional).
Stopwatches can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This icebreaker can be used as a starter to a course, as a longer energiser and as a fun exercise if participants are looking tired!

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Come Dine With Us - Team Strengths and Diversity

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the strengths and unique characteristics of their team.
• To encourage participants to think about what makes their team special.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the strengths and unique characteristics of their team.
• To encourage participants to think about what makes their team special.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with all group of almost any size.

You'll Need:
Nothing.

Notes:
This exercise works best when your participants are a team who work together in the workplace.

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Course Introduction - A Basic Introduction to Training Events

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To welcome the participants.
• To introduce the facilitator(s) and participants to each other.
• To introduce the facilities.
• To agree the course objectives and timetable.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 25 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To welcome the participants.
• To introduce the facilitator(s) and participants to each other.
• To introduce the facilities.
• To agree the course objectives and timetable.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

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Dominoes

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore and test leadership, teamwork and problem solving.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore and test leadership, teamwork and problem solving.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of almost any size although you do need a minimum of 8 participants.

Useful For:
All staff including managers.

You'll Need:
A set of domino cards. (See trainer's notes for the number you need to print.)

Notes:
You will need to prepare your dominoes in advance as per the instructions in the Trainer's Notes.

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Feelings Cards - Icebreakers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to one another.
• To encourage participants to share their perceptions of the organisation they work for.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to one another.
• To encourage participants to share their perceptions of the organisation they work for.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
You will need to create a set of Feelings Cards for each person.

The Feelings Cards can be used in many different ways and for many different situations. These notes explain three ways of using them in a simple icebreaker. Two slightly more complex training exercises are explained in Course Modules.

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Filing Frenzy Fun

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 10 minutes.

Aims:
• To energise and engage participants.
• To help participants understand why practice makes perfect when learning new skills.

About

Time:
Each individual challenge will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 10 minutes to complete each activity.

Aims:
• To energise and engage participants.
• To help participants understand why practice makes perfect when learning new skills.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of 6 or more participants.

You'll Need:
• 5 sets of the Filing Frenzy shape cards for every team of 3 participants and the PowerPoint Challenges slides.
• A stopwatch or timer.
(Stopwatches are available to purchase from Trainers' Market.)

Notes:
Filing Frenzy Card Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market - each pack contains 10 sets of the shape cards used in this activity.

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Fitting In

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 10 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore how creativity and teamwork makes problem solving easier.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 10 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore how creativity and teamwork makes problem solving easier.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of almost any size. However, you will need to put participants into teams if you have over 16 participants.

You'll Need:
• One set of the cards per 16 participants.

Notes:
If you expect to run this exercise on more than one occasion, consider laminating the cards.

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Getting Knotted - Working Together to Solve a Challenge

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants’ abilities to work together and solve a problem.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To test participants’ abilities to work together and solve a problem.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of between 6 and 24 participants.

You'll Need:
Two lengths of string (approximately 30cm long) for each participant.

Notes:
This exercise involves bending and twisting and may not be suitable for all participants. Please remind participants to take care in this exercise.

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Goal! - Teamwork and Lateral Thinking

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think laterally about a problem.
• To encourage participants to work together in order to simplify a task and achieve a better result.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think laterally about a problem.
• To encourage participants to work together in order to simplify a task and achieve a better result.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

You'll Need:
• Soft balls (4-6 will do).
• A bucket.
• 2 large large newspapers (rolled up).
• 2 blindfolds.
Stress Balls and Blindfolds can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
You can run this outside, or inside if you’ve sufficient space.

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Happy (Half) Hour - Celebrating The Team

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the culture of their team or organisation.
• To identify the positive aspects of the team or organisation.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the culture of their team or organisation.
• To identify the positive aspects of the team or organisation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

You'll Need:
•Plenty of transparent plastic glasses - ideally you'll have a variety of sizes and shapes.
• A selection of colourful swizzle sticks (plastic stirrers with shapes at one end).
• Packets of coloured tissue paper in a wide variety of colours.

Notes:
Small prizes would be a nice touch, but are not essential.

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Inspired Rhymes

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think creatively.
• To help participants feel more confident in their ability to think creatively.
• To recognise the positive impact another person’s ideas can have on our own thoughts.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think creatively.
• To help participants feel more confident in their ability to think creatively.
• To recognise the positive impact another person’s ideas can have on our own thoughts.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• Enough cards for 1 for every pair of participants.

Notes:
A great exercise to energise a group at the start of a creative thinking or problem solving workshop, or to re-energise them after a break. Larger groups may require duplicate cards and a longer running time.

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Joining the Chain - Engagement and Teamwork

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants to think about key words that reflect their feelings about the course or the topic that the course covers.
• To encourage a sense of teamwork and togetherness.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 25 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants to think about key words that reflect their feelings about the course or the topic that the course covers.
• To encourage a sense of teamwork and togetherness.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A4 sheets of paper in various colours.
• Glue sticks.
• Fine black marker pens. (About one for every 3-4 participants will do.)

Notes:
This icebreaker can be adapted to any topic where you want participants to feel part of a team or explore feelings connected to being part of a team. It would also make a fun launch for a conference.

In addition this icebreaker is a fantastic review tool, and a great way to ‘celebrate’ new learning.

Please note that there is a small amount of preparation required for this exercise.

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Know Your Colleagues? - Team Diversity

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about themselves.
• To test participant's knowledge of each other.
• To consider the extent to which individuals' skills and abilities are utilised at work.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about themselves.
• To test participant's knowledge of each other.
• To consider the extent to which individuals' skills and abilities are utilised at work.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

You'll Need:
• Each participant to complete the questionnaire prior to the session, as you’ll be using the answers to create a team quiz.

Notes:
This exercise is for participants who already know each other. So do remind them to keep their answers private until after the quiz.

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Let's Dance! - Networking and Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage networking.
• To illustrate that getting to know what matters to others is a great way of building rapport.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage networking.
• To illustrate that getting to know what matters to others is a great way of building rapport.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 24 participants.

You'll Need:
Music, of your choice to play during the exercise.

Notes:
Remember to ensure that you have the appropriate PRS and PPL licences to use music during training.

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Dance Cards

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Loop the Hoop - Improving our Solutions

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To energise a group of participants.
• To encourage teamwork and team problem solving.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 5 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To energise a group of participants.
• To encourage teamwork and team problem solving.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of 5 or more participants. If you have more than 10 participants, split them into smaller teams.

You'll Need:
• Hula Hoops (1 or 2 per team).
• A stopwatch. These can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise may not be suitable for some people with a disability.

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Missing Pieces - Working Together

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage teamwork and co-operation.
• To encourage participants to think about the role of leadership in teams.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage teamwork and co-operation.
• To encourage participants to think about the role of leadership in teams.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups with between 6 and 25 participants.

You'll Need:

• 3 or 4 small jigsaw puzzles. (These can be purchased from Trainers' Market.)
• Some small envelopes. (1 per participant.)

Notes:
You will need to prepare the jigsaws prior to the training (see Trainer's Notes).

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Personal Item - Sharing Information

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about themselves.
• To build rapport among participants.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share information about themselves.
• To build rapport among participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Shared Effort - The Importance of Teamwork

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To illustrate the nature and importance of teamwork in a fun way.
• To help teams define teamwork.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To illustrate the nature and importance of teamwork in a fun way.
• To help teams define teamwork.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• One ‘Bendy Person’ for each participant (available to purchase from Trainers' Market).
• One A3 sheet of paper for each participant. (Please note that A4 is not large enough.)

Notes:
This icebreaker is based on an idea contributed by Kim Davies.

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Sorting Out - Why Objectives Matter

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand why clear objectives and goals matter.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand why clear objectives and goals matter.

Group Size:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• One set of Sorting Out Cards per two participants.
• A stopwatch.
• A buzzer or bell to signal when their time is up.
(Stopwatches and Desktop Bells are available to purchase from Trainers' Market).

Notes:
Filing Frenzy card packs are available to purchase from
Trainers' Market – each pack contains 10 sets of the shape cards used in this activity.

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Sorting Out - Why Speaking Works Best

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand the limitations of electronic communication when working as a team.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants to understand the limitations of electronic communication when working as a team.

Group Size:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of 6 or more participants.

You'll Need:
• 1 set of Sorting Out Cards and 3 envelopes per team of 3 participants.
• Every participant needs to use a mobile phone during the exercise.
• A stopwatch (available to purchase from Trainers' Market).

Filing Frenzy card packs are available to purchase from
Trainers' Market – each pack contains 10 sets of the shape cards used in this activity.

Notes:
This exercise works best with break out spaces, but it’s not essential as long as you have space to separate the 3 sets of players.

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Stepping Stones - Team Development

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage team development.
• To focus discussion on the team's approach to problem solving, communication, success and failure and team leadership.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage team development.
• To focus discussion on the team's approach to problem solving, communication, success and failure and team leadership.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of between 8 and 12 participants.

You'll Need:
• One stepping stone per participant plus one extra. (A stepping stone could be a sheet of paper, or a carpet tile.) Alternatively, you could use Throw Down Marker Lines (available to buy from Trainers' Market).

• Plenty of space.

Notes:
If you have an odd number of participants, ask someone to observe.

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The Wheel - The Importance of Teamwork (Icebreaker)

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of teamwork.
• To show how, by working together, we have the potential to achieve more.
• To encourage participants to consider the dangers of an overly competitive workplace culture.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of teamwork.
• To show how, by working together, we have the potential to achieve more.
• To encourage participants to consider the dangers of an overly competitive workplace culture.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

You'll Need:
• 1 game board, 1 die and 1 counter per team (with up to 8 participants in each team).
• Prizes of wrapped sweets/chocolates.

Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise can be followed by The Wheel - The Importance of Teamwork (Review), found in the Review Activities section of Trainers' Library.

For a more challenging version of the exercise with more in-depth learning there's The Wheel - The Importance of Teamwork, found in the Team Building section of Trainers' Library.

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Where is This Team? (Icebreaker)

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage the team to think about the team's strengths and weaknesses.
• To identify behaviour that the team needs to change.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To encourage the team to think about the team's strengths and weaknesses.
• To identify behaviour that the team needs to change.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 20 participants.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise is designed for teams that normally work together.

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Working in Remote Teams

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To understand all of the different elements needed to make remote teams successful.
• To generate creative ideas to summarise what remote teams require as a base for sharing knowledge and completing tasks.
• To challenge participants to work together against the clock to come up with examples of descriptive words.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To understand all of the different elements needed to make remote teams successful.
• To generate creative ideas to summarise what remote teams require as a base for sharing knowledge and completing tasks.
• To challenge participants to work together against the clock to come up with examples of descriptive words.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
The exercise works best with participants who are just about to start working remotely, but can also be used as a re-energiser when remote teams become bogged down or 'stuck'.

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