Activity: Ten Things Icebreaker

Following is an icebreaker that can take between 15 and 30 minutes to lead. I’ve found it works best with groups between 15 and 50 people, from 8 to 80 years old. The only supplies you’ll need are a piece of paper and a pen for each small group (see below).

Ten Things Icebreaker 

  1. [1-3 minutes] Divide the large group into small groups of four or five people by having them number off. [7-10 minutes] Tell the small groups that their assignment is to find ten things they have in common, with every other person in the group, that have nothing to do with work. Tell people no body parts (we all have legs; we all have arms) and no clothing (we all wear shoes, we all wear pants). This helps the group explore shared interests more broadly.
  2. Tell the small groups that one person must take notes and be ready to read their list to the whole group upon completion of the assignment.
  3. [1-2 minutes] Ask for a reader in each small group to read their whole list of things in common to their small group.
  4. [3-5 minutes] Ask each group to read their whole list to the whole group. Because people are your best source for laughter and fun, the reading of the lists always generates a lot of laughter and discussion. You can also catch the drift of the conversation in the small groups based on the transitions made from item to item.
  5. [3-10 minutes] Tell the groups that the lists they have created are perfect, no matter how many items they have, and debrief.
For more activities, download my Guide to Games for Social Change from The Freechild Project! 
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker and writer who researches, writes and shares about youth, education, and history. Learn more about me at

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