Icebreakers for online meetings

Even when you aren’t meeting face-to-face, icebreakers are important for groups. Here is a list of icebreaker options especially for virtual meetings.

Having a 4-H club meeting through Zoom can be challenging but also exciting and a great learning opportunity. Many times, it is hard to get started and help everyone feel comfortable when they are not used to meeting virtually. Just like with any meeting, an icebreaker is a great way to help everyone feel more comfortable. These can be used at the beginning of a meeting or anywhere throughout to have a little fun, participate in team building or help refocus the group. There are many icebreakers that can help with this process and take just a few slight modifications so they can be used virtually versus face to face. Here are a few options.

  • Ask one of the questions from the “65 icebreaker questions for online meetings” article.
  • Meet your pets. Introduce a pet to the members of your group. You can discuss the story of how the pet came into your family or share special memories of your pet. If your family does not have a pet, you could talk about wildlife you like to watch and why. You could also talk about what qualities might make a perfect pet if you could have one.
  • Tour your room. Show off some of the interesting things you have in your room.
  • Have everyone share a photo of them when they were younger.
  • Show the favorite place in your home or yard and why that is your favorite place.
  • Have a virtual potluck. One advantage of meeting virtually is you don’t have travel time. You can use that time to make a dish you can talk about with your group. This virtual potluck could have a theme, such as food from around the world, special holiday foods or foods that your family likes that others don’t. You could share recipes after the introduction.
  • Use Google maps to show where you would like to go. Imagine a place you would like to visit and use Google maps or Google street view and share your screen to talk about why you would like to visit that place.
  • Wear or show a favorite or special piece of clothing to you and talk about why that is important. It could be something handmade by a special person, something you wore during an important event in your life or something you received as a gift.
  • Tour your bookshelf or movie shelf. Show off what books or movies you own and share a story about one that is particularly special to you.
  • Share what things you have in your refrigerator and if they are things you like or dislike. You could even look at expiration dates and see who has the most out-of-date thing in their fridge.
  • Show what part of your house you find frightening either when you were little or that still scares you.
  • Share a picture on your wall. If you have art or photographs on your wall, select one and share the story about it.
  • Pick your favorite window to look out from and share why that is your favorite view.
  • Do a quick sweep under your couch or another rarely moved piece of furniture and share what things you find. You might also do this with looking under the couch cushions.
  • Bring up your favorite song and sing to everyone, even if it is just the chorus.
  • Share with your group your favorite board game, card game or video game that you like to play and a story about a fun time you had with that game.

Getting the meeting started is a great first step. For tips on how to facilitate an online meeting read the article, “Host a virtual 4-H meeting.”

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to prepare youth as positive and engaged leaders and global citizens by providing educational experiences and resources for youth interested in developing knowledge and skills in these areas. For more help with icebreakers or hosting a club meeting online, contact the leadership civic engagement work team at MSUE.DL.4HLeadership@msu.edu.

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