Ice Breakers are games designed to “Break the Ice” and help with introductions. They are useful whenever you have a group of people who don’t know each other and they focus on learning names and a little snippet of information about each participant. Getting everyone involved in a game helps foster cooperative spirit – games are a great way to start lessons or group meetings. Introductions do not have to be boring! Try some of these creative Ice Breakers to to encourage involvement and familiarity.
Who Am I?
This is an easy ice breaker for kids to play and allows them to start interacting and communicating. Pick some objects the kids will be familiar with, perhaps choosing a theme – such as the different planets for a “Space Camp.” Then, simply cut out a picture of each object and tape a picture onto the back of each child.
Their task is to introduce themselves and ask a question to every other child. First, one child introduces his/herself and asks a yes or no question, trying to figure out the picture on their back. Then the other person introduces themselves and asks their own question. Then you switch partners until everyone has introduced themselves and asked a question to everyone else. The idea is to have every child speak one on one to every other. Make sure you have some extra pictures for those kids who manage to guess early.
Rhyming Name game:
This is a quick circle game that emphasizes names through repetition and is a good way to stretch those memorization muscles. It also allows kids to be creative as they decide on a rhyming description for themselves.
- Sit in a circle, the adult organizer will start and finish the game.
- Ask everyone to pick a word that describes themselves and starts with the same sound as their first name.
- The adult says their word and their name. For example: Sharp Sheena
- The person sitting left of the adult goes second and says the adult’s name and followed by their own. Example: Sharp Sheena, Creative Chris.
- Keep going around the circle until it gets back to the adult who has to remember the whole group
Encourage kids to try themselves but allow for help and hints as needed.
Kids in a line:
This is a fun game that allows kids to move around and learn different facts about each other while working together. It is ideal for a group of about 6-10 kids.
Select a theme or topic. Based on this topic, kids must then organize themselves into a line by talking with each other and figuring out where they belong in the line. You could have the children arrange themselves by their birthdays, by the first letter of their last name, or by how many years they have been involved in an activity, or even their favorite holiday. Avoid forming lines that single one or a few children out, like weight or academic achievement. The goal is to get kids talking, not embarrass them. Once the line is formed, have each kid say their name and tell the group why they’re standing where they are.
Competitive Variation: Split kids into a few groups of 5-10. Give them the topic, and the first group that gets into the proper order wins. Like before, possible topics are the first letter of middle names, shoe size, height, birth date, etc. Be sure to pick subjects that kids can sort out fairly easily and is age appropriate.
This is a fun game that allows for movement and mingling, best done in an open area. Have kids move around the space, listening while they go. Call out a number and something that kids could have in common. The number is how many kids each must clump together, and the “something” is the thing in common which allows them to clump. For example, “3” and “Favorite Color” are called. Kids must try to get into groups of three all with the same favorite color as fast as possible. Repeat using different things in common such as favorite foods, school subjects, Birthday month etc.
On A Roll:
This is a fun introduction circle game. Have everyone sit down and pull out a roll of toilet paper. Pass it around telling each kid they can take as as many squares as they like, but not too many. Once everyone has their paper explain that they must share with the group one interesting fact about themselves for each square of toilet paper they took off the roll. It’s possible to do this with other things, such as candy, but kids (or college students) tend to just eat them instead.
There are many ways to break the ice and allow kids to feel more at ease in a new group setting. What kind of ice breakers do you use in your class/group? Please share!