Leadership Inspirations Activities

Paper Airplane Introductions

Make a paper airplane to get to know the people that you work with

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Forming

Type Of Activity

Icebreaker

Materials

Paper, pens or pencils

 

SUMMARY

Do you want to get to know the people you work with? Do you like making paper airplanes? Luckily, this icebreaker combines both into one activity!

 

SET UP

  • For instructions on how to make a paper airplane, check out this video.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pass out a piece of paper and a writing utensil to every participant. Ask them each to write their names and two “getting to know you” questions. Questions should be surface level questions, but a little deeper than “What is your favorite color?”.
  • After each participant has written down their name and questions, everyone should form their paper into a paper airplane of their choice. Note: If participants need to seek help in making the paper airplane, they should!
  • Start a timer for 1 minute and have everyone throw their airplanes around the room. Everyone should be picking up airplanes and throwing them again to move them around the room and mix all the papers together. This continues until the timer runs out.
  • When time ends, ask everyone to pick up one paper airplane that is not their own.
  • Each participant should have a paper airplane in their hands. They must then find the original owner of the plane and ask them the two questions on their plane.
  • Now that everyone has found the owner of their paper airplane and have asked them the questions, have each person come up individually and introduce the person to the group by reading the name on the plane and telling the group the questions and answers given by that person.

VARIATIONS

  • Have participants re-fold the airplanes and play multiple rounds, meeting new people each time.
  • This activity can also be done as Trading Places. Instead of introducing yourself with a paper airplane, find a partner and ask them two questions. When you go to talk to a new partner, you will have assumed the identity of the person you just talked to. So make sure you are listening carefully to everyone’s answers.
  • If participants are struggling to make paper airplanes, they can have a “snowball fight” and just crumple up their papers and throw them around the room. Just remember, safety first!

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?