Category Archives: Training

Friday Focus on … Icebreakers, Games, and Activities for Learning


I cannot believe that it is already the first week of July. What happened to June? I kept busy by attending a professional conference (SLA in San Diego), taking some vacation time, and of course meeting with students working on class research projects, and faculty working on summer activities such as teaching and research.

This post is based on some investigation  into resources available for active learning such as icebreakers, games, and activities for learning.

Books in the Brock Library


Trainer’s warehouse book of games: fun and energizing ways to enhance learning/ Elaine Biech, editor. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2008.  Library Call No: HF 5549.5 T7 T6636 2008.


50 digital team building games: fast, fun meeting openers, group activities and adventures using social media, smart phones, GPS, tablets, and more/ by John Chen. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. Library Call Number HD 66 C455 2012.

If you can’t beat them, join them (technologically speaking). Here is a great collection of activities that capitalize on our fascination with technology.

book jacket

Quick team-building activities for busy managers: 50 exercises that get results in just 15 minutes / by Brian Cole Miller. New York: AMACOM, 2003. Library Call No: HD 66 M544 2004.

This collection of activities is focused on building teams and includes activities that help teams improve communication, solve problems, leverage individual differences, deal with change, and recognize individual and team accomplishments.

There are many more titles to choose from in the Brock Library Collection. These may be found amongst the training literature (HF 5549.5), the team-building literature (HD 66), and the education literature (LC 5225).

Websites (free & fee-based)

Mindtools: ( is a website with a focus on developing management, career, and thinking skills. It offers a number of free mind tools, but to get access to the full Mind Tools toolkit (covering 700 different tools), you will need to  become a member and subscriber.  The Toolkit is organized into 12 categories: leadership skills, team management, strategy tools, problem solving, decision making, project management, time management, stress management, communication skills, creativity tools, learning skills, and career skills.

Here is a sampling of tools that are relevant for planning learning activities:

  • Communication Skills -> Role Playing
  • Creativity Tools -> Starbursting
  • Team Tools -> Team-building exercises

Playmeo: ( is a database of group games and activities that may be used by educators, youth workers, corporate trainers, and others interested in incorporating physical activities into group work. This is a subscription-based database, but there are free samples available once you register on their site. The activities are organized into categories such as: ice-breakers, energizers, trust exercises, tag games, team-building, team puzzles, and  debriefing.

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