Vegetable introductions is a silly “get to know you” activity that breaks the ice, shows off artistic flair and introduces humor while still managing to help people get to know each other.Summary by The World of Work Project
This fairly silly and funny activity works as an energizer, icebreaker and a team building activity. It requires participants to draw themselves as a vegetable and introduce themselves, as that vegetable, to their neighbor.
The neighbor then introduces them as a vegetable to the wider group. The activity works best for groups between about 6 and 12 and can be completed sitting down.
How the activity works
As with all such activities, Vegetable Introductions requires a facilitator or lead to explain the activity to participants and to guide them through it. This activity also requires each participant to have a pen and a piece of paper.
The facilitator starts the activity by asking each participant to think about what vegetable they would be if they were a vegetable and why they’d be that vegetable, and then asks them to draw a picture of themselves as a vegetable.
The facilitator then breaks the room into pairs and gives the pairs a few minutes to share their picture with their partner and explain what vegetable they would be and why they would be that vegetable.
Once the pairs have completed their conversations, the facilitators ask them to swap pictures with each other. The facilitator then goes around the room asking each person to introduce the person they were paired up with by introducing them as their vegetable, sharing their vegetable picture and describing why they think they resemble that vegetable.
Team building and ice-breaking activities are very important. They help build trust in teams and help progress team maturity. They can also reduce the risks of social threat and improve interpersonal awareness.
Being able to deliver them is a helpful facilitation and meeting skill. A few specific activities we’ve written about include: Weekend Chairs, Birthday Ordering, Two Truths and a Lie, and the Questions Cocktail Party.
Laughter and play are also great ways to help build a team. You can learn more about how playfulness helps teams in our podcast on the subject:
The World of Work Project View
This activity is quite simple and brings a new dimension to the sometimes dull “introduce yourself to the room” type activities that many people fail to actually listen to. It can be quite funny and it certainly requires participants to engage a different way of thinking, which can help break the ice and lighten the mood.
Depending on who’s in the room, a slight modification to this activity requires participants to draw their vegetable with their opposite hand. Doing this ensures that all the drawings are of poor quality, which can bring extra humor and act as a leveler for participants in the group.
We think this is a good icebreaker for team leaders or facilitators to know and be able to use at short notice. The fact that it requires such little preparation and material goes in its favor. Of course, it might not work with all groups.
Sources and further reading
Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.
This post has been informed primarily by our experiences over our careers and does not reference any specific sources.
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