The Cup Challenge Icebreaker is an excellent way to form a connection between your participants and see that working together is better than working alone when trying to generate ideas.  This is an especially good icebreaker for a group of people that do not know each other, but can work within a single workplace as well.


Place a plastic cup and a blank sheet of paper in front of each participant and ask each participant to identify as many uses for the cup as they can. Give them three minutes. Ask them to count up how many ideas they had and to write that number at the bottom of their page.

Now instruct them to find a partner. As they compare lists, see if they can add to that list by working together. They have three minutes.

Now how many ideas did they come up with? Write down that number.


How many of you found more ideas or ways to use a plastic cup when you worked with a partner than you did working alone? What were the benefits of working together? Responses will include they generated more ideas, had more fun, etc.

The learning point here is that most things will be done in a better way, and will be more interesting when the task is interactive and when participants are involved together.