Ice breaking

Non-formal learning is mostly about how we do the things, not what we exactly do. We can call non-formal learning “comfortable”. Non-formal learning is a series of activities you need to make to prepare excellent conditions for the group work. In non-formal learning, learning is not necessarily a sole or main activity. As non-formal learning takes place in a diverse range of environments, both temporarily and as activities or courses, it is always planned.

Ice breaking games are used at the beginning of meeting when participants do not know each other and did not work together before. By knowing each other, they can share their personal interests, motivation for taking part in a non-formal learning activity. Ice breakers help in establishing the safe environment. For teachers or trainers, ice breakers let them to know the students or participants, also they let them learn the participants or students’ names. Ice breakers can also help to “wake up the group”, especially if the activity is run during morning and the group members are not morning people.
There can be different types of ice breakers, e.g.: just for fun (they generate laughter or/and lead to breaking the ice among participants/students), an introduction to the topic of training or meeting (they have a clear purpose to open the topic)

Download some ice breaking games included in the "Catch it! Non-formal academy of activities" publication in .pdf format in the English language version.