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By Darryl Stewart

Five ice breakers to jump start any meeting

Here at IBEX Payroll, we LOVE our ice breakers.

At the beginning of every weekly huddle, you’ll find the IBEX Payroll team deeply immersed in one. Whether it’s a staring contest or a very intense game of rock-paper-scissors, ice breakers get us talking, laughing, and sometimes even dancing! We didn’t always have ice breakers, but we’ve come to learn that they’re simply the best way to get over that Wednesday hump.

So if you ever feel like your team could use an energy boost, give ice breakers a try! They’re a quick and excellent way to get everyone moving and connecting. And to help get you started, we’ve listed five of our favourite ice breakers below. Each one tried and tested by our team and guaranteed to give your meetings a fun boost.

Human Rock-Paper-Scissors


  • Much like traditional Rock-Paper-Scissors, have your group pair off and count to three.
  • Once they have counted to three they must each choose one of the poses below.
  • The winner moves on to play another winner and the loser is eliminated and stands to the side until the game is over.


  • Rock – Each person curves their back forward and has their arms rounded in front of them, so they look like a rock.
  • Paper – Each person stands with feet shoulder-width apart and their hands extended above their head.
  • Scissors – Each person extends their arms in front of them and moving their arms up and down in front of their body. Your arms should ‘scissor’ each other – one up while the other is down, then passing in the middle and repeating several times.


  • Rock beats Scissors
  • Scissors beats Paper
  • Paper beats Rock


  • It’s fun to add movements to these poses to keep the game more active; like scissors cutting paper, or paper hugging rock.
  • We like to hop in place as we count to three before posing.

Shoulders, Knees, CUP!


  • Cups (we use large wooden blocks)


  • Have your group pair up and stand throughout the room, facing each other. If you have an odd number of players, you may have a group of three.
  • Place the cup on the floor between each pair of players.
  • For each round, give a series of commands to your players: head, shoulders, knees, or cup. Players must touch whatever you call out. When you say CUP! the first player to grab the cup from the ground advances to the next round.
  • Keep playing until all players but one is eliminated.

Eyes to Demise


  • Form a circle, or two circles if it is a large group.
  • Everyone looks down.
  • Group leader counts to 3 and everyone looks up and locks eyes with someone else in the circle.


  • If you do not have someone to make eye contact with, you’re out.
  • If you look away from the person you are making eye contact with or laugh, you’re out.
  • Blink, you’re out.
  • Can’t look at same person 2x in a row, if you do you’re out.
  • Try to make the other person laugh or uncomfortable – make faces or do a goofy dance

Face the Cookie


  • Cookies! Be sure to consider any allergies. Oreos are very popular with us.


  • Have your group stand in a circle.
  • Give each player a cookie
  • Have each player place the cookie in the middle of their forehead, above their eyebrows.
  • Using their face muscles, each player must maneuver the cookie down their face and into their mouth.
  • First player to eat their cookie with no hands wins!


  • Absolutely no hands.
  • If a player drops their cookie they are eliminated.


While it’s fun to get your team moving and active, sometimes throwing in a thought provoking question can be a great way to start a meeting and help your team members connect with one another. Some examples are:

  • What is your favourite tradition that you share with friends or family?
  • Who is your role model?
  • If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?
  • If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
  • If you could pick up any hobby and cost was no issue, what hobby would you choose and why?

Give these ice breakers a try and let us know what you think! Share us your ice breaker moments on Facebook or Twitter @ibexpayroll, and comment down below to let us know what your favourite ice breakers are.

The IBEX Payroll Team 

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IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.