3 Thanksgiving Day templates to break the ice with your team

Written by 
Bryan Kitch
November 9, 2023
A graphic with a red background and black text that reads 'Thanks for breaking the ice.'
3 Thanksgiving Day templates to break the ice with your team
Written by 
Bryan Kitch
November 9, 2023

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and reflection, but it can also be a great opportunity to strengthen your team's bonds and foster meaningful connections. 

Here, we’ll guide you through three Thanksgiving Day icebreakers that are designed to help your team build trust and understanding. 

From classic "bobbing for apples" (this time mercifully without the gross water that everyone sticks their faces in — digital collaboration ftw!) to virtual team meals, these templates will help your team build strong relationships and camaraderie. 

Why icebreakers help get everyone connected

Team-building activities are a great way to get your team connected and build strong relationships. Icebreakers, in particular, can help create a more cohesive environment where all team members feel comfortable and open to sharing their ideas and experiences. 

This is why it’s important to have meaningful icebreaker activities that'll help break down any barriers between team members of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Icebreakers can also help build trust by encouraging people to open up and share. By engaging in activities that allow team members to better understand each other’s perspectives, they'll be able to form meaningful connections with each other. Additionally, these activities provide an opportunity for everyone to become more familiar with each other beyond the work context, allowing them to build stronger relationships outside of the workplace.

Related: 25 fun icebreakers for virtual meetings

Finally, icebreakers are a great way for teams to introduce themselves and get on the same page. This is especially helpful if the team has recently grown or experienced changes in membership — it allows everyone to become acquainted with one another quickly in a forum that avoids awkward silence and unfocused conversation.

3 Thanksgiving Day icebreakers for warm holiday feelings

Thanksgiving Day icebreakers are an effective way of getting your team connected and forming strong relationships; they encourage openness and collaboration while providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better beyond just the professional context.

Bobbing for apples icebreaker

Bobbing for apples is an entertaining and effective way to bring team members together, foster meaningful conversations, and get to know each other in a lighthearted setting. 

An image of the Mural bobbing for apples icebreaker template
Try the Mural bobbing for apples template with your team

By writing questions that are relevant to everyone involved, you can create a unique icebreaker experience that'll help your team members build relationships while also learning something new about the company. So grab some apples and give this Thanksgiving classic a try!

Team recipe swap icebreaker

Team recipe swap icebreakers are a great way of getting to know your team better and breaking the ice in an enjoyable, creative way. This template encourages team members to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes with each other, so that everyone can get a taste of what each person enjoys cooking on this holiday.

An image of the Mural team recipe swap template
Mural's recipe swap template is a great way to share (delicious) ideas

To start the activity, ask each team member to write down their favorite Thanksgiving dish and why it is important to them. This will provide an opportunity for everyone to learn more about each other in a fun and unique way while also sharing their love of food. For example, someone may tell the story of how they have been making turkey since they were young, or how they use certain ingredients to make a dish special for them.

Once all the recipes are collected, encourage team members to try out at least one recipe from the list. This will give everyone a chance to experience something new and bond over something that brings joy and comfort during this time of year.

Virtual team meal icebreaker

The holiday season can be a challenging time to stay connected with colleagues, but virtual team meals are an excellent way to foster collaboration and connection. A virtual Thanksgiving meal is the perfect opportunity for team members to get to know each other better and break the ice. To make sure your virtual event is enjoyable and meaningful, we've created this template:

An image of the Mural gratitude-themed team meal template
Gather together around the (virtual) table with the Mural team meal template

Start by inviting everyone on the team to bring their favorite dish or recipe that they would like to share. This could be anything from a traditional turkey dish, something unique or even creative! Ask each person to introduce their dish and explain why it's special to them — this will give everyone a chance to learn more about one another’s backgrounds and stories. Encourage your team members to try out each other's recipes too!

Once all dishes have been introduced, it's time for each person on the team to share two things they're thankful for — one work-related and one personal. Doing so will give everyone an insight into what others appreciate in both their work and personal lives.

Finally, suggest ideas for other virtual activities that could be done throughout the year such as game nights, movie nights or themed discussion nights where everyone can talk about their favorite topics while getting familiar with the personalities of people on the team. By taking advantage of these virtual opportunities, your team will enjoy lasting connections which will make working together much easier!

Build team connection this Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, let's come together and build meaningful connections with our team. Taking the time to appreciate each other’s differences can create an atmosphere of understanding and trust. Here are a few ideas to foster strong relationships:

Create an open environment

To make sure your team feels comfortable when engaging in any kind of activity, make sure you set up an inviting environment. Dedicate some time in your meetings for discussion about what everyone is thankful for this year — this encourages openness among team members and creates lasting bonds between them.

Related: Psychological safety: a critical element for imagination work

Get creative

Brainstorm creative activities that the whole team can enjoy virtually. This could be anything from online warm-ups and energizers, virtual scavenger hunts, or even something as simple as a group game night. Not only will it break the ice, but it'll also help bring everyone closer together — all without breaking the bank!

And speaking of getting creative — we recently asked the folks at Microsoft Ignite in Seattle to brainstorm some ideas for gadgets we could invent to prevent arguments at family gatherings this Thanksgiving. We had hundreds of participants, and the results were pretty impressive! Here are a few of the ideas sorted by our AI clustering feature.

A peek at the results of our asynchronous open brainstorming about Thanksgiving Day peacekeeping gadgets

Share your memories

Ask your team members to share stories from past Thanksgiving celebrations — these stories often add color to conversations and help create deeper connections between people on the same team by allowing them to understand one another on a much deeper level.

By using these tips, you can make sure that this Thanksgiving Day is one filled with meaningful connection between your team members. Everyone can work towards creating stronger bonds this holiday season through thoughtful engagement and meaningful conversation — let's make it happen.

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About the authors

About the authors

Bryan Kitch

Bryan Kitch

Content Marketing Manager
Bryan is a Content Marketing Manager @ MURAL. When he's not writing or working on content strategy, you can usually find him outdoors.