Classroom Ice Breaker Game for Adults: 2-Minute Mixer

You've Heard of 8-Minute Dating: Try 2-Minute Mixing!

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You may have heard of 8-minute dating or speed dating, where 100 people meet for an evening full of 8-minute dates. Each person talks to someone for 8 minutes and then move on to the next person. Eight minutes is a long time in the classroom, so we’ll call this ice breaker a 2-minute mixer. Ice breakers facilitate group participation, so they're a great way to get people interested in an event or activity, relax, open up and mingle.

Ideal Size for Classroom Ice Breaker

This is a great mixer for large groups, especially if you don't require that everyone talks to everyone. Use this game for Introductions in the classroom or at a meeting, especially when you have space enough to move around.

Time Needed

Plan on 30 minutes or more, depending on the size of the group.

Ice Breaker Materials

Grab a clock, watch and a whistle or some other noise maker. You can also provide canned questions if you want, but it’s not necessary. Adults rarely have trouble making conversation on their own!


Ask people to get up, pair up, and chat for 2 minutes with each other about whatever interests them. You’ll be the timer. When 2 minutes are up, blow your whistle or make some other sound loud enough for everyone to hear. When they hear your signal, everyone must find a new partner and chat for the next 2 minutes. If you have flexibility, allow enough time for everyone to have 2 minutes with every other person.

If you're using this game at the beginning of a course or meeting, combine it with introductions. After the mixer, ask each person to give his or her name and share something interesting they learned from someone else during the mixer.

Ice Breaker for Test Prep

A 2-Minute Mixer is also a great way to prep for a test.

To use the ice breaker for test prep, prepare note cards with a test question written on each card and distribute to students. While mixing, students can ask each other their questions and then move on when time is up.

One of the benefits of this exercise is that research shows studying in various locations helps students remember better. Chances are good that students will remember who they discussed a question with during the 2-minute mixer and recall the correct answer during the test.

Ice Breaker Debriefing

This mixer doesn’t require debriefing unless you hear surprising anecdotes that relate to your topic.

Ice Breaker Charades

Separate everyone into small teams and ask one volunteer from each group come up and take a piece of paper from a bowl that contains names of books or movies. When you say “Go,” the person begins  acting the phrase or other hints to help their team guess the name. The actor is not allowed to talk during the game, and isn't allowed to make any gestures that give away letters. The first team that guesses the title correctly within 2 minutes wins one point for their team.