What is Connecting Stories?
Connecting Stories is a fun and engaging icebreaker activity that encourages small groups to find common experiences or themes between people. The purpose of this game is to create a chain of mini-stories, where each person shares a related memory or experience based on the previous story. This helps participants learn more about one another, discover shared interests, and build connections in a relaxed and enjoyable way.
During Connecting Stories, players take turns sharing an interesting personal anecdote, and then other group members share their own stories that have similar themes or elements. By doing this, participants create a chain of connected stories, making the game both entertaining and informative. To help the group remember each part of the story, it is recommended to write a few words on post-it notes for every section of the narrative chain.
The group with the longest connected chain of stories at the end of the game is declared the winner. Encourage the winning team to share their entire story with the whole group, as this can further strengthen connections and provide additional opportunities for shared laughter and enjoyment.
This icebreaker is an excellent way to encourage interaction and promote team building among small groups in various settings, such as meetings, workshops, or social gatherings.
Rules for Connecting Stories
I. Divide into small groups of 6-8 people.
II. Ensure each table has several post-it notes and pens.
III. The goal of the game is to connect mini-stories in an interesting way.
IV. Each person must share at least one item that connects to the other mini-stories.
V. The longer the chain of items that can be created, the better.
VI. Write down a few words on a post-it note to keep track of each part of the story.
VII. The first player begins by sharing an interesting memory or experience.
VIII. Any other person can tell a related story that has any similar themes or elements to the previous story.
IX. To help the group remember each part of the story, write a few words on a post-it note for each part of the story chain.
X. The group with the longest connected chain of stories is the winner.
XI. You may ask the group to share the entire story with the whole group at the end of the game.
Materials needed for Connecting Stories
- Connecting Stories Game Cards: These game cards provide prompts for players to share interesting memories or experiences.
- Post-it Notes: Players use post-it notes to write down a few words about each part of the story chain to help the group remember each part.
- Pens: Pens are needed for players to write on the post-it notes.
You can get everything you need (materials and supplies) for Connecting Stories at our online store, powered by Amazon.
Setting up for Connecting Stories
To set up for the Connecting Stories icebreaker activity, divide the participants into small groups of 6-8 people. Ensure that each table has several post-it notes and pens. The goal of the game is to connect mini-stories in an interesting way, where each person shares at least one item that relates to the other stories. Write down a few words on a post-it note to keep track of each part of the story. The group with the longest connected chain of stories at the end of the game is the winner.
How to play Connecting Stories
- Divide into small groups: I divided the participants into small groups of 6-8 people to make sure everyone had a chance to share their stories.
- Provide materials: I ensured that each table had several post-it notes and pens, which were necessary for writing down key words from each person’s story.
- Explain the goal: I clearly communicated the objective of the game: to create a chain of related mini-stories by connecting similar themes or elements. The group with the longest connected chain of stories would be declared the winner.
- Share an interesting memory: To start the game, each person had to share an interesting memory or experience they had. For example, one player shared that they accidentally locked themselves out of the house and spent the entire day at a coffee shop.
- Add related stories: After the first player shared their story, any other person could tell a related story with similar themes or elements. For instance, the next person might say that they are a total coffee addict and drink three cups of coffee every day.
- Continue adding to the chain: Each subsequent player added to the story based on the previous story shared. This process continued until everyone had contributed to the chain.
- Write down key words: To help the group remember each part of the story, I suggested writing a few words on a post-it note for each part of the story chain. This made it easier to recall and share the entire story at the end of the game.
Announce the winner: Once all the stories had been shared, I asked the group with the longest connected chain of stories to share their story with the whole group. This activity helped people learn about similarities or common interests through sharing personal anecdotes.
Note: You can customize the rules and instructions based on the age, size, or specific needs of your group. The most important thing is that everyone has fun and feels comfortable sharing their stories!
Benefits of Connecting Stories
- Encourages Active Listening: By requiring players to build upon the previous story, Connecting Stories promotes attentive listening and engagement with others’ experiences.
- Fosters Team Building: This game encourages collaboration and connection among team members as they search for common themes in their stories.
- Reveals Shared Interests and Experiences: Through the process of sharing and connecting stories, players may discover shared hobbies, values, or life events that bring them closer together.
- Improves Communication Skills: Connecting Stories provides a low-pressure environment for participants to practice sharing personal anecdotes and building upon others’ ideas.
- Boosts Morale and Camaraderie: The game’s fun and interactive nature helps create a positive atmosphere, enhancing overall group dynamics and promoting a sense of belonging among team members.
Skills built with Connecting Stories
- Active Listening: Playing Connecting Stories requires players to actively listen to the stories being shared by their teammates in order to identify connections and themes. This helps build active listening skills, which are essential for effective communication and collaboration.
- Storytelling: By sharing personal experiences or memories, players practice their storytelling abilities. This can help them become more comfortable speaking in front of others and expressing themselves clearly.
- Empathy and Understanding: Connecting Stories encourages players to find commonalities with one another, fostering empathy and understanding. By sharing stories and making connections, players learn about each other’s backgrounds, interests, and perspectives.
- Critical Thinking: Players must think critically to identify connections between stories, which can help improve their problem-solving skills and cognitive abilities.
- Collaboration: Connecting Stories promotes teamwork by encouraging players to build on each other’s stories. This helps strengthen relationships and collaboration within the group.
- Creativity: By adding their own experiences or memories to the chain of stories, players have the opportunity to be creative and think outside the box. This can help foster innovation and boost morale.
Why I like Connecting Stories
As someone who enjoys bringing people together and fostering a sense of community, I find the Connecting Stories icebreaker to be a valuable tool. I appreciate how it encourages participants to share personal experiences and discover commonalities with one another, creating a stronger bond between team members.
The simplicity of the game makes it accessible and engaging for all involved. By using post-it notes to keep track of each part of the story chain, the icebreaker promotes active listening and ensures that everyone stays engaged in the conversation. The element of friendly competition, with the group with the longest connected chain of stories being declared the winner, adds an extra layer of excitement and motivation.
What I appreciate most about Connecting Stories is its ability to bring out the unique experiences and perspectives of each participant. By encouraging people to share their memories and interests, this icebreaker helps create a more inclusive and open environment where everyone feels valued and heard.
The materials needed for Connecting Stories are also simple and easy to obtain, making it a convenient option for team-building activities and get-togethers. I personally enjoy sourcing the supplies from a reputable online store, as it saves time and ensures that I have everything I need for a successful icebreaker session.
Overall, Connecting Stories is an enjoyable and effective way to build connections and foster camaraderie among team members. Its accessible format, focus on personal experiences, and friendly competition make it a valuable addition to any team-building event or get-to-know-you activity.
Tips for making Connecting Stories more inclusive
- Encourage a variety of stories: As the facilitator, make sure to prompt participants to share stories from different aspects of their lives, such as personal experiences, hobbies, or professional achievements. This will help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute and find common ground with others.
- Use open-ended questions: To foster inclusivity, ask open-ended questions that allow participants to share unique perspectives and experiences. For example, instead of asking “Have you ever traveled abroad?”, rephrase the question to “What is one of your most memorable travel experiences?”
- Be mindful of participation levels: Keep an eye on group dynamics and ensure that everyone is given a chance to speak. If someone is being overlooked or dominating the conversation, gently intervene to create a more balanced discussion.
- Model inclusive language: Set an example by using respectful and inclusive language throughout the activity. Encourage others to do the same by acknowledging and correcting any instances of non-inclusive language that may arise.
- Validate emotions and experiences: Acknowledge participants’ feelings and experiences, and make sure everyone feels heard and understood. This can help create a safe space where people feel comfortable sharing their stories.
- Adapt the activity for diverse abilities: If any participants have physical or cognitive disabilities, modify the game to accommodate their needs. For example, you could provide larger post-it notes or allow extra time for storytelling.
- Be sensitive to cultural differences: Be aware of cultural nuances and avoid making assumptions about participants’ backgrounds or experiences. Encourage respectful dialogue that acknowledges and celebrates cultural diversity.
Reflection questions for Connecting Stories
- What was your favorite part of the Connecting Stories activity? This question can help participants reflect on what they enjoyed most about the activity and why. It can also give facilitators insight into which aspects of the game were most engaging for the group.
- Did you learn anything new or surprising about any of your group members through this activity? This question can encourage participants to think about the connections they made with others in the group, as well as any new insights they gained about their teammates.
- How did it feel to share personal stories and experiences with the group? This question can help participants reflect on their comfort level with vulnerability and self-disclosure, which are important skills for building trust and fostering open communication in a team setting.
- What strategies did you use to build onto the stories shared by others? This question can prompt participants to think about active listening and collaboration, as well as how they contributed to the group’s collective storytelling.
- How might this activity be useful for building connections and trust in a team or community setting? This question can help participants apply their experiences with Connecting Stories to other contexts, such as workplaces, classrooms, or social groups. It can also encourage them to think about the broader implications of storytelling and connection-building for fostering positive relationships and shared understanding.
About the author
Founder & Chief Icebreaker
I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.
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