along the way
What & why
This activity serves as an excellent icebreaker, effectively lightening the atmosphere. It also provides an opportunity for the mentor & mentee to get to know each other better.
Take turns drawing each other, allowing only 30 seconds per sketch. For an extra challenge, try a second round without looking at the paper.
Keep these initial drawings safe until the end of your mentorship journey. When that moment arrives, repeat this activity to see how your perceptions of each other have evolved. It's a fun way to appreciate the growth you've experienced together.
Pens & paper
What & why
This activity is an enjoyable way to get to know each other better while adding an element of intrigue. It promotes active listening and encourages creative thinking, making it an excellent icebreaker for your mentorship.
Share three facts about yourself with your mentor or mentee. However, one of these facts should be untrue (a lie). The challenge is for them to guess which statement is the lie.
What & why
This activity adds an engaging and personal touch to your mentorship kick-off. It encourages creative thinking and provides insight into each other's perspectives and personalities, setting a dynamic tone for your mentorship journey.
Begin your mentorship session with a unique twist. Whether you're meeting in person or online, you both have 30 seconds to find an object in your surroundings. Share your chosen objects and explain why you selected them. Get creative and think on the spot about how these objects symbolize you, your skills, or your journey together in the mentorship.
A space that has various objects
What & why
This quick and lively activity is designed to get everyone moving, induce laughter, and infuse a sense of fun into the mentorship session. It can serve as a fantastic energy booster, whether you're just starting your day or need a pick-me-up during a long work session.
One of you assumes the role of "the hand." This means you raise one of your hands, and the other person must follow it with their face, maintaining a distance of about 30 centimeters.
The person playing "the hand" controls the pace and direction of movement. Will they move their hand high in the air or close to the floor? Do they dare to navigate through obstacles like chairs and tables? Whatever they choose, the other person must follow their lead with their face.
After 2 minutes, switch roles and go for another round. Keep the energy high by encouraging each other to go faster in the second round, making the game progressively more challenging.
Hands or any limb really
What & why
This game is all about warming up your brain with slightly unorthodox and quite rapid brainstorming. It is great for developing an imaginative and abstract-thinking mind, and can even be levelled up to become joyful and bodily.
Each person gets 12 post-it notes. Together, decide on a theme or prompt, like "12 ways to carry water" or "12 ways to present an idea". Then, set a timer for no more than 2 minutes.
In this short timeframe, write down your most creative and unconventional ideas related to the theme on separate post-it notes. Don't worry about feasibility or practicality – the goal is to think outside the box.
After the timer goes off, share your ideas with each other. Discuss which ones stand out as the most interesting or innovative.
To add a physical element to the game, select one of your creative ideas and turn it into a mini-challenge. For example, if you came up with "12 ways to present an idea," challenge yourselves to act out or demonstrate these presentation styles in a playful and entertaining way. It's a fun twist that combines creative brainstorming with some physical activity.
Post-its, paper, pens and perhaps balls, water or other.
What & why
Reverse brainstorm is a great tool for coming up with bad ideas that eventually will lead to great ones. This method takes judgement into the account, so don’t worry - everyone’s eyes will be closed for awhile to unlock wildest imagination.
Each of you gets 5 minutes to come up with as many BAD ideas around the concept you're working on as possible. These should be written/drawn on post-its so they're somewhat easy to understand.
Select your absolute WORST idea and present it to each other. Give yourself time to really go into details and have a laugh about how bad and silly your idea is.
Then give yourself 5 minutes to discuss how these ideas could actually become GOOD ideas. However, you have to do this with your eyes closed. There is no drawing or writing, only talking.
Follow up with a 5 minute individual brainstorm. How many good ideas can you come up with?
Lastly, pick your absolute BEST idea and present to each other.
Post-its, paper or whiteboard and pens
How about a lunch date or a casual Friday beer? It's as simple as inviting your mentor/mentee to join you for a tasty meal or drink at your favorite spot.
But here's an even more exciting idea: why not try your hand at cooking together? It's a fun way to test your collaborative skills while whipping up a delicious meal.
Feeling a bit more adventurous? Explore a cuisine neither of you has tried before and pick a restaurant to embark on a culinary adventure together.
How about a refreshing walk outdoors? Explore a forest path, or for those who appreciate the simpler pleasures (or just want to take it easy), take a stroll in your favorite park.
Nature has a unique way of sparking meaningful conversations, and the bonus is, it's great for your mental well-being too. Enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while deepening your mentor-mentee bond through thoughtful talks.
If you're working with an external mentor, try spending a day at each other's workplaces or studios. This exchange provides a fantastic opportunity to gain fresh insights into your own work while exploring different approaches and perspectives. It's a hands-on way to reflect on your practice and foster a more enriching mentor-mentee relationship.
You can start by visiting a museum or exhibition, where you can immerse yourselves in art and culture, sparking stimulating exchanges and discussions. Alternatively, attend a cultural event that piques both of your interests, creating opportunities for engaging conversations and mutual reflections.
For those seeking a bit more adventure, consider traveling together to a nearby destination like Sweden or within Denmark. Exploring new places as a mentor-mentee duo can lead to memorable experiences and shared growth.
Consider attending design festivals, networking events, or gatherings that align with your shared interests. These environments are excellent for expanding your circle and connecting with individuals who share your passions and mindset.
Additionally, encourage each other to reach out to your creative heroes. We all have a list of admired figures we've never contacted. It's time to conquer that fear and send a friendly message to your creative idols. These actions not only expand your horizons but also foster personal and professional growth within your mentor-mentee relationship.
Whether it's a book club, movie night, or podcast discussion, consider creating your own club tailored to your unique interests.
Share your favorite reads, enjoy cinematic adventures, or dive into podcast episodes together. This customized club is an excellent way to bond and explore topics that resonate with both mentor and mentee.
Ever had the urge to pick up a new skill, whether it's strumming a guitar, coding, belting out a tune, or mastering the art of dance? Well, take the leap together and embrace the challenge of trying something entirely new. It's an opportunity to uncover hidden talents and deepen your connection.
Consider exploring the world of ceramics to spark your creativity and step outside your daily routine, or leave your comfort zone by taking an improv class together. Alternatively, embark on a joint meditation session to simply sit down and listen to your inner selves.
Feeling sporty? How about trying a new sport, whether it's climbing, basketball, curling, or anything that piques your interest? It's a fantastic way to connect in a different context, especially if you're both athletically inclined.
Now, for the more daring souls among you, consider taking a plunge into bungee jumping! It's a surefire way to create unforgettable memories. Worst case scenario? Well, let's just say you'll have quite the heart-pounding tale to tell.
How about a casual showdown of your vocal talents? Dive into a karaoke night and belt out some unforgettable classics from the 2000s. It's a fantastic way to share a laugh and showcase your singing chops.
Or if you're both game enthusiasts, why not spend an evening playing board games or tackling the challenges of an escape room? These activities not only guarantee tons of fun but also test your teamwork and puzzle-solving skills. Plus, you'll be surprised by how well you can collaborate outside of work!
Here's a bonus playful exercise to build trust and share a few laughs: outfit swaps. No need to worry about fashion judgments at Stupid Studio – we embrace individuality! Have some fun deciding each other's outfits for the day, or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, why not swap styles and dress up as one another?