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Icebreakers - preparation required

Marshmallow challenge
Separate your students into groups of 4-5. Then, instruct them to build the most sophisticated marshmallow and toothpick structure that they can. Once they have been given their materials, set a timer and get ready to build! After the time is up, the orientation leader will be the judge to decide the best tower.
 Need marshmallows and toothpicks


blindfolded polygon
Ask the students to form a circle and then put on blindfolds. Then, give them a long piece of rope or yarn, instructing each person to hold onto their piece. As a group, they must form a perfect square. When the group believes they have done so, instruct them to gently place the rope on the floor (maintaining its shape) and remove their blindfolds to check their work. You can do this again with any geometric shape you wish.
 Need rope or string

Fill in their blank
Ask each student to write a fill-in-the-blank sticky note or index cards. Collect all of the responses and place them in a bowl. Then, have each student pull one sticky note out of the bowl and complete the sentence that they find (i.e. “If I had a soundtrack to my life, it would be ____.”

Need sticky notes and pens

Hula Hoop relay
Split the group into two teams. Then, have each group create a chain by linking arms. Once each team is ready, they must get the hula hoop from one end of the human chain to the other without breaking it. The first team to accomplish this wins.

Need 2 hula hoops

Paper airplanes
Provide each student with a piece of paper and something to write with. Ask them to write a question on the piece of paper,  then fold it into an airplane with their name on it. Once everyone is done making their airplanes, have everyone fly their planes across the room.
Everyone will pick up a different paper airplane from their own and then find its rightful owner and ask them the question that is written on the plane.
After a few minutes, have the group reconvene and have each student introduce the person whose plane they found with their name, the question they wrote, and what their response was.

Need paper and pens

Toss-a-name game
Have the group form a circle and toss a ball around the circle. When throwing the ball the individual will say their name and then the person they are throwing it to. The objective is for everyone to learn each other’s names.

Need ball

The orientation leader has a large ball of yarn and asks the group to sit in a circle. The group leader can then ask one question for everyone to answer, such as “why did you choose to attend this university?” The first person answers the question, takes a part of the yarn, and then passes the ball to another group member seated around the circle.
This continues until each person has participated. The group leader then asks a few students to drop their part of the string; as this happens, the yarn will begin to tangle. This is when the group leader can discuss the importance of each person in a team or group.

Need yarn


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