When we get together as a new group, women need to engage with each other to get things going. Idle chit-chat doesn’t really get us to open up and learn about each other. Ice breakers are perfect to get your group to interact."

An ice breaker is an opening remark, action, or activity that is designed to ease tension or relieve formality. It’s a way to get people to start talking without worrying about saying the wrong thing or being foolish.

There are many commonly used ice breakers that can help to relax a new group of people. If you’ve got a group that is willing to delve a bit, try some of our “more advanced” suggestions below. You’ll get a lot of traction out of these, and your women will get their creative juices going.

>>>Compare and Contrast

Split into groups of three or four people. Give each group paper and pen. Ask someone in each group to volunteer to write down their group’s responses to two questions. (This can be shared by two members, one for each question.)

First, “What do we all have in common?” To get everyone’s creative juices started, some suggestions are:

• Does everyone like chocolate?
• Has everyone been on a plane?
• Do we all take baths?

Commonalities can be as grandiose or simple as your group desires. Spend a few minutes gathering responses and then each scribe will share their list with the whole group.

Secondly, “How am I different from everyone else in my group?” What makes you unique or special? Where have you been that no one else has visited? Your group may need some extra time to figure this one out, so allow the time, gather up the responses, and once again report to the group.

When done, a few chuckles and probably some interesting themes will have been shared by all.

>>>What’s In a Shoe?

Ask everyone to remove their shoes, put one to the side of the room or playing area, and hold onto the other. Assemble the group in a circle, and ask them to toss their shoe into the center.

Once the shoes are in the center, everyone should pick up a shoe that belongs to someone else. One by one each person should describe the owner of the shoe based on what the shoe looks like. They can include size, gender, hobbies, fashion sense, favorite sports etc.

When they finish describing the person, the owner should step forward and introduce herself. The real owner can verify or deny any of the things that were said about her.

>>>True Confessions

Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Have them tear the paper into three pieces. Ask them to write down 3 questions they want to ask the group, each on a separate piece of paper. Questions can range from “What are the names of your siblings and who are you in the birth order?” to “Would you rather wear a long dress, jeans or short shorts on a first date and why?” or “Tell a story about your best birthday memory”.

Yes or no questions should include “And why?” with them to generate more interesting responses. Remind your group this should be PG-rated since they may have to answer their own questions. And funny is definitely good.

Put all the questions in the bucket. Pass the bucket around the circle three times, and let each person choose and answer one question on each pass.

Whatever you choose, your ice breakers will help to lighten the mood, make everyone just a little more comfortable and give everyone a chance to get to know a little bit about the other women at your group meeting.

Author's Bio: 

Karen Fusco is co-founder of Boomers In Motion, LLC where 'we talk to women'. She is co-author of Essentials for Starting a Women's Group and Busy Moms: The Heart and Soul of a Home. Maximize the value of the women in your life by visiting Karen's WomensGroupBusyBites blog. Karen can be reached directly at karen@WomensGroupBusyBites.com.