Beach Ball Icebreaker

500 500 Ellen Ensher
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Need a great way to start an IRL training workshop or class? Try this beach ball icebreaker exercise!

As I wrap up our school year, I am reflecting on what helped me succeed in class this year. For our community at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), it was our first “back-to-normal” school year in three years as we finally were allowed to be “sans-masks” in class and on campus. However, our school culture did NOT immediately snap back. I found that I needed to be extra inventive to engage students and help us all get out of our shell. I was grateful to be able to return to icebreakers where I did not have to worry as much about germs.

Here is an icebreaker I designed that you might find useful. I tried this out on my Executive MBA’s and they enjoyed it. After all, how many times can we share a fun fact?! – the answer is too many times! We all need variety.

Beach Ball Icebreaker Activity

To start, get a beach ball and blow it up. Then, take a sharpie and write the numbers 1-6 on the ball. Write or post the prompts that correspond to each number. Here are some that I designed but you can use whatever you like.

  1. Your Favorite Country Visited and Why
  2. Most Memorable Food Eaten While Traveling (or in general)
  3. Your Favorite Sport You Like to Do or Watch (please give us a non-verbal Demo!)
  4. One Thing You are Grateful For
  5. Who do you Care for/Responsible For? (i.e. human children, fur children, parents, plants)
  6. What Do You Want to Learn This Year from class
Ellen's favorite meal while traveling in Isreal

This is my favorite meal while traveling in Israel

Have students form a circle and toss the ball. Whichever number their right hand touches is the number of the prompt they must respond to. I encourage students to say their names, reply to the prompt and then toss the ball to another student. Do we drop the ball sometimes? Sure, but that adds to the fun and laughter!

What are your favorite icebreakers? Let me know if you try this and leave a comment below. Enjoy!