Why use Icebreakers at your Dojo?
Icebreakers can play an important role in helping young people integrate and connect with one another in a group environment, such as a Dojo. Icebreakers enhance your mentoring experience by helping to stimulate cooperation and participation. They provide positive momentum for attendees by:
• Helping a new group get to know one another.
• Helping new members to integrate into a group.
• Helping young people feel comfortable together.
• Encouraging cooperation.
• Encouraging listening to others.
• Developing social skills.
• Building a rapport with leaders.
• Creating a good atmosphere for learning and participation.
Icebreakers and you
A 10 SECOND CHECK LIST!
- Use 1 or 2 icebreakers as a 10-15 minute introduction to your Dojo.
- Be enthusiastic, whatever happens, be enthusiastic!
- Choose volunteers carefully and don’t cause embarrassment.
- If something is not working move on to the next activity.
- Finish each icebreaker while young people are still enjoying it.
- Choose icebreakers appropriate for your age group. No Dojo is the same and your understanding of what will and will not work with your group is key.
Some of the Icebreakers that we use:
- Object Story
- Break The Ice
- Rock Paper Scissors
- Lingo Bingo
- Desert Island
- Fact or Fiction?
- Who Am I?
- Time Bomb
- Arm Signing
- Discuss Badging/Joining the CoderDojo Community Platform
Get a printable pdf all the icebreakers here: Dojo Ice-Breakers
For Lingo bingo:
You can paste the below words (or add your own) into a bingo sheet generator to create varied bingo cards for your Dojo attendees. Here is a good site to do this for free, but there are lots of others. You can see an example of 10 5×5 bingo lingo sheets here.
Need some help encouraging youths to think up ideas? Check out our Ninja Brainstorming Worksheet, which can help young people in your Dojo come up with ideas for projects they can make.
Like our worksheet and want to adapt it to your Dojo? Feel free to make your own version and share it with us on the Back To Dojo Forum thread!