Icebreakers for antenatal and parenting classes

Icebreakers for antenatal and parenting classes

Facilitating successful group antenatal and parenting classes in a group setting requires icebreakers. Icebreakers help the participants to engage in the content, get to know the facilitator and other participants as well as building a bond as a group.

Icebreakers can be really simple, like asking a question to the group and ask each participant [to state their name] to give their response to the question/statement.

Some ideas for icebreakers/questions (choose one per activity/session/round only):

  • One thing I already know about my/our baby…
  • My biggest question about becoming a parent/family/mother/father is…
  • As a new parent I look forward to…
  • My greatest fear about being a parent is…
  • As a new parent I do not look forward to…
  • One quality I would like my child to have is…
  • One thing I have done/changed because of having a baby is…
  • As a new parent I hope I can…
  • One thing I would like to achieve during my/our baby’s first week at home is…
  • Becoming a family/father/mother/parent means to me…
  • One person, I would like my/our baby to meet is…
  • When I need support, I can turn to…
  • One thing I’ll gain as a new parent is…
  • One thing I’ll lose as a new parent is…
  • My/our baby will sleep in…
  • When I hear the word ‘breastfeeding’ it makes me think…
  • If I had an extra hour a day when everyone still has 24hrs a day, I will do… in my extra hour.
  • When I see a mother/parent/father/person breastfeeding I feel/think…
  • When I see a mother/parent/father/person bottle feeding I feel/think…
  • When I need advice I’ll ask/go to…
  • When I think about parental leave, I feel…
  • When I think about returning to work, I feel…

Allow each participant to give their response without commenting on it. These types of icebreaker questions can be used to encourage dialogue and interest in topics that you may not have covered during the course but can also aid revision and group bonding. You can download the questions/statements above as a printable A4 sheet here.

FREE DOWNLOAD

Other ideas are

  • Goodie bag activity – have a goodie bag full of items (one item per participant or couple) i.e. birth bag items, nappy bag items, post-partum recovery items. Ask each participant/couple to pick one [random] item. When everyone has one item, go round and ask the ‘owner’ to comment on the item. What might it be used for? What is it?…
  • People bingo – each participant has a “People Bingo” Card and has to go round and talk to other participants to find people matching the statement. Statements could be: Has a red car. Doesn’t drink tea. Is left-handed…
  • Scavenger hunt – when facilitating online, I often use a scavenger hunt. I put a list of items on the screen, usually related to a topic such as the birth bag and ask participants to find as many of the listed items as they can. This activity usually creates lots of laughter and gets people moving instead of sitting in front of a screen!
  • Physical skills demo – ask each participant/couple to demonstrate a breathing technique, position for childbirth or a massage technique and encourage the others to join in.

Find some more icebreaker activities for your antenatal and parenting classes, including the very popular “nice to meet you” people bingo, in my shop! I have also got a fully editable PowerPoint slide set for antenatal education and one for infant feeding education available from my shop.

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