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Universal Icebreakers and Energisers

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Our universal exercises can be used in training for pretty much any topic, whether to break the ice or energise the room.

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Art Gallery - Creating a Visual Representation

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to consider what the subject means to them and the other participants currently.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to consider what the subject means to them and the other participants currently.

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

You'll Need:
Flipchart paper, colourful pens, and coloured stickers or shapes.
A selection of Mr Sketch Scented Flipchart Markers can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
As a variation, you can ask your participants to create a collage, instead of a drawing. If you choose this option you will also need a collection of old magazines, postcards, birthday cards etc., scissors and glue.

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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 (Universal)

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

Aims:
• To launch a training session in a more interactive way than simple introductions.
• To increase energy levels in your participants.

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 launch a training session in a more interactive way than simple introductions.
• To increase energy levels in your participants.

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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Goldilocks - A Listening Exercise (Universal)

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

Aims:
• To understand the importance of keeping an open mind during training.

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 understand the importance of keeping an open mind during training.

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

You'll Need:
• A pre-prepared flipchart of the statements from the handout (hidden from view until required).

Notes:
You can use the recording of the story if you prefer not to read it.

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Hopes and Fears - Establishing Aims and Objectives

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

Aims:
• To establish participants’ worries about the training they’re attending.
• To identify participants concerns and hopes about the training.
• To help establish some objectives and ground rules for the training.

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 establish participants’ worries about the training they’re attending.
• To identify participants concerns and hopes about the training.
• To help establish some objectives and ground rules for the training.

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

You'll Need:
• A hat or other receptacle.
Hats can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

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Horror and Happy Ever After - Sharing Experiences

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to share good and bad experiences.
• To gather real-life examples that can be referred to throughout the training.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to share good and bad experiences.
• To gather real-life examples that can be referred to throughout the training.

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:
Our thanks to Buffy Sparks for her help in writing this icebreaker.

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How Do You Feel?

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

Aims:
• To enable participants to articulate how they feel about the training.
• To help participants understand how other participants are feeling about the training.

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 enable participants to articulate how they feel about the training.
• To help participants understand how other participants are feeling about the training.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 20 participants.

You'll Need:
• One plain paper plate and lollipop stick per participant. (Try to avoid laminated plates, as these can be difficult to draw on.)
• Sticky tape.
• A selection of marker pens.

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I Am Feeling... - Sharing Feelings and Positive Thinking

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

Aims:
• To identify how participants are feeling.
• To encourage participants to recognise that they are not alone, and that their feelings are shared by others in the group.
• To encourage participants to focus on how they want to feel by the end of the training.

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 identify how participants are feeling.
• To encourage participants to recognise that they are not alone, and that their feelings are shared by others in the group.
• To encourage participants to focus on how they want to feel by the end of the training.

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

You'll Need:
Bank sheets of A4 paper.
• Pens/pencils with which to draw.

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Metaphor - Aims and Objectives

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify how participants are feeling.
• To explore their thoughts, fears and concerns in a comfortable way.
• To establish learning objectives for the course or programme.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to run. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To identify how participants are feeling.
• To explore their thoughts, fears and concerns in a comfortable way.
• To establish learning objectives for the course or programme.

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

You'll Need:
Flipchart and pens.

Downloads
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Pass the Baton - Sharing Experiences

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

Aims:
• To encourage participants to share good and bad experiences relevant to the subject of your course/workshop.
• To help identify issues related to the topic.
• To help participants identify key learning objectives for the course/workshop.

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 share good and bad experiences relevant to the subject of your course/workshop.
• To help identify issues related to the topic.
• To help participants identify key learning objectives for the course/workshop.

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

You'll Need:
• Two batons, preferably one red (negative) and one green (positive). You can make the batons out of rolled up newspapers/magazines.

Notes:
For a fun twist, you might like to replace your batons with sticks of rock (candy), with the ‘winner’ from each round keeping the rock as a prize.

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Personal Coat of Arms

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

Aims:
• To help participants identify each other.
• To identify learning objectives.
• To build rapport between participants.

About

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

Aims:
• To help participants identify each other.
• To identify learning objectives.
• To build rapport between participants.

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

You'll Need:
Some coloured felt tip pens or pencils.

Downloads
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Handout

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Seeing Things Differently - Different Perspectives (Universal)

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

Aims:
• To recognise that we all have a different viewpoint or perspective.
• To understand the importance of keeping an open mind during training.

About

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

Aims:
• To recognise that we all have a different viewpoint or perspective.
• To understand the importance of keeping an open mind during training.

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

You'll Need:
• A single apple (or other type of fruit) for your participants to see.

Downloads
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Handout

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Start with a Bang - Fun Course/Conference Opening

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants share something with the group to help build rapport.
• To encourage participants to think about how they feel about the event they’re attending.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 25 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants get to know each other.
• To encourage participants share something with the group to help build rapport.
• To encourage participants to think about how they feel about the event they’re attending.

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

You'll Need:
• A balloon and a small square of paper for each participant.

Notes:
If using this exercise in small groups, the balloons should all be the same shape and colour.

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