Recommended activities that serve as icebreakers and promote team building include remote-controlled racing and "Salt and Pepper," whereas more common activities, such as "The Toaster Game," "Year of the Coin," "18 & Under," "Paper Airplane Game" and "Marooned" provide opportunities to get to know one another without an emphasis on working cooperatively. Research has shown that icebreakers improve communication, increase productivity and build cohesion among colleagues.
To engage staff in remote-controlled racing, divide colleagues into small groups in a building with numerous hallways that twist and turn. Provide each group with a similar radio-controlled car and some materials to decorate the vehicle. After each team appoints a driver, have the driver stay in one place while the others spread out across the path. Team members call out driving directions and the driver attempts to follow them, with the first team to the end winning a token prize.
To prepare "Salt and Pepper," devise common pairs of things, such as peanut butter and jelly, Mickey and Minnie, and shadow and light. Write each half of the pair on a separate sheet of paper. When a participant joins, tape a paper on her back without her seeing what is written. Through asking yes or no questions, each person should seek out her partner. Once a pair connects, they should discuss other things they have in common and share with the group.