Session Openers Thumball

Break the ice and build teams!

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Help people get to know each other. After all, the most compelling reason for an ice-breaker is to create a stress-free environment, optimized for learning. These 6" Thumballs offer a range of get to know you options.

The Session Openers Thumballs offers somewhat deeper prompts that explore players' motivations, goals for the event or session that lies ahead. It also offers a handful of tips that let individuals share insight into what makes them tick.

Toss the ball and ask recipients to share their reaction to whatever prompt lies under their thumb. Thumball is a soft 6" stuffed ball with loads of applications!

Session Openers Thumball prompts include...

  1. Proudest moment
  2. My best coach / teacher
  3. I most admire
  4. Childhood hobby
  5. I'm happiest when
  6. Claim to fame
  7. My worst habit
  8. Pet peeve at work
  9. My greatest work challenge
  10. I wish to be better at
  11. I'm here because
  12. I'll be successful if
  13. I'd like to change
  14. Childhood dream
  15. A day I'd live over
  16. Most creative contribution
  17. Something I'd like to invent
  18. I hope to learn
  19. In my next life
  20. If I had $1,000,000
  21. The world needs
  22. Oops! I forgot to
  23. Greatest strength at work
  24. I learn best by
  25. My smartest decision
  26. What makes me cranky
  27. My goal for the day
  28. A talent I wish I had
  29. With one free hour, I'd
  30. Best advice ever received
  31. My biggest waste of time

[NOTE: Silver Series Conversation Prompts are available as Thumballs, UNZiP-IT! Pocket & Deck, and Virtual/Remote PPT.]

** TIPS **

Facilitation Suggestions

Choose when to use it:  Customers say, "This is one of the best session starters ever, because I can relate it to my content!" As an open-ended exercise, it's a perfect conversation starter for icebreakers, energizers, team building, lesson reinforcement and more.

Explain: Let your group know that you see the Session Openers Thumball as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and each other. Help those who dislike icebreakers to understand that the Thumball will help them:

  1. Understand who else is participating (if they don't already know each other)
  2. Uncover goals and expectations for the day
  3. Surface concerns about the material or other issues that may be distracting them

How to play:

Take turns circulating the Thumball by passing, rolling, tossing and catching. Ask recipients to respond to the prompt under their right thumb.

If you want to kick it up a notch, try these creative twists:

  1. Specify that answers should relate specifically to personal and workplace experiences.
  2. Ask players to anticipate what answer will be given by another player.
  3. Have players recall answers given by previous responders, before adding their own answer.
  4. Ask first recipient to select an answer panel to which all players must respond or contribute.
  5. Survey players on several question panels, then create charts or graphs that
    reflect the cumulative responses.

©Trainers Warehouse – Trainers Warehouse holds the copyright for this set of questions. Reproductions cannot be made without express approval.

This Thumball is part of Trainers Warehouse's exclusive Silver Series Thumballs.


7 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    Thumb ball

    I purchased 2…. They were a great success at an ice cream social where 70 people attended.

  • 5
    Great opener

    Great way to get to know the group.

  • 4
    Quality but don't like advertising on 2 areas.

    I will use this in my group coaching conversations. I was quite surprised to see the name advertised twice I find this a negative. Once would have been good enough! ??

  • 5
    Great tool for ice breakers

    Fun tool to get people talking and relaxed before a training.

  • 5
    A great tool for leaders

    At our company we are using the Thumball in our leadership development classes. We give each new leader a ball of their own after they complete their first class. We ask them to take it back with them to use in their safety and staff meetings. They love it! It's easy enough to use with small and large groups, and a fun way to start off any gathering. I would highly recommend to teams that are both new and well established.

  • 5
    Best Ice Breaker for New Hires!

    I've purchased 3 different thumballs but this, by far, is the easiest to use with different types of groups (new hires, leadership, tenured reps, etc.) I bought this thumball 3 years ago and am still using it today. Although you can use it in any type of classroom, I tend to use it in new hire class where people don't know one another and where learning "fun facts" about the group you'll be with for a few weeks helps break the ice. I would highly recommend this product to anyone - especially new hire trainers or educators that are trying to create a comfortable environment for their participants.

  • 5
    Better than Normal Introductions

    I use a power point slide asking each student to provide their name, place in program, job responsibility and answer to question where right thumb is on ball. I ask for a volunteer, then the volunteer throws the ball to whomever they want to hear from next and so on. Lots of fun and lets students know that this will be a different sort of class than they're used to.