Rip It Team Building Ice Breaker

Ice breakers are valuable resources to promote interaction, creative thinking, challenge assumptions, illustrate new concepts or to introduce a team building activity. Team building ice breakers also help to gather groups together and move forward as a team.  The team building ice breaker that we will be introducing today deals with communication and is called ‘Rip It’.

Team Building Ice Breaker

To begin the ice breaker, each participant is given an A4 piece of paper.  The participants are instructed to hold the sheet of paper in front of them and close their eyes. They are then told that they have to follow the directions given to them without opening their eyes or asking questions.

The participants are then given the following directions which need to be carried out without opening their eyes:

  • Fold paper in half
  • Rip off upper right-hand corner
  • Fold paper in half again
  • Rip off upper left hand corner
  • Fold paper in half again
  • Rip off lower right hand corner

Team building participants are told to open their eyes and unfold the paper to see the results. Although all of the participants received the same instructions, the results are usually vastly different to each other and to the team building facilitator’s paper.

To encourage interaction and thinking, participants can be asked why the papers do not match despite the fact that everybody received the same instructions. Some responses that can be expected are that the instructions were not clear enough, or it is because they could not ask questions. This could also lead into a discussion on how the same set of instructions can be interpreted in different ways.

This ice breaker is an excellent lead into team building activities addressing two-way communication. Over the next few months, TBAE will be sharing some more team building ice breakers.


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