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If you’re looking for some icebreaker games for the elementary classroom then this post is for you. I have tons of fun game ideas for you that your students will love and will help your class to get to know each other.
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In any elementary classroom, kicking off the start of the new year with some classic icebreaker games can quickly transform the atmosphere from nervous anticipation to comfortable excitement. These tried-and-true activities are designed to involve every student and encourage interaction and fun.
Begin this game by having each student think of two facts about themselves and one believable fib. They’ll share these three statements with the class, and everyone tries to guess which one is the lie.
Not only does this game stir up laughter, but it also sharpens your students’ observation skills as they learn new and quirky facts about each other. For younger students you can have them draw pictures to illustrate the two truths and a lie.
This teacher has students play a truth or lie board game in small groups. They roll the dice and land on a space and are given prompts for their statements that the other students vote on whether it’s a truth or a lie. Some of the ideas for prompts are a place I went to this summer and what I did last night.
A scavenger hunt can have countless variations tailored to the age group or the curriculum. If you want to create a fun scavenger hunt in your classroom, check out some creative ideas below.
For a classroom twist, create a list of objects related to subjects you’ll cover through the year. Students can work in teams to find the objects around the classroom, building a sense of teamwork.
A photo scavenger hunt is a fun activity for older students that have cell phones to take pictures. Give students in small groups a list of items that they have to find. Have them take a picture of the item. You could even have them put the pictures onto slides so they can show the entire class.
This classic game is a fun way to get students laughing and moving and is a great activity for a brain break. If you’ve never played you set up chairs in a circle with less chairs than students. Have students stand behind the chairs and start walking around them when you start playing music.
When the music stops everyone tries to sit in a chair. Students that did not get a chair are eliminated. Continue until there is one winner.
Having students ask different questions is a fun way for the class to get to know each other. Check out some ideas to make icebreaker questions a little more interactive below.
Create a large circle with your students and toss a soft ball or bean bag around. Whoever catches it answers a fun ice breaker question displayed on the board.
The questions can range from favorite animal to dream vacation spot, prompting students to share personal interests and often uncovering common ground among classmates.
Have different stations set up in the classroom. Each station will have a handout with icebreaker questions Set a time limit at each station of about 3 minutes for students to discuss the questions in small groups. Then have them rotate to the next station.
Put an icebreaker question in the front of the class. When you call roll in the morning instead of students saying here have them answer the question.
The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to break out fun icebreaker activities that help the students get to know each other. Check out some examples below.
“Find Four” encourages students to mingle and learn names and facts about each other. Hand out cards with different prompts such as “find someone who has the same favorite sport as you” or “find someone who has been to the zoo.” This game gets students moving and talking and building new friendships right from the start.
This is a great game to play at the beginning of the year. Create a bingo card filled with interesting facts instead of numbers.
Have your students mingle to find classmates who match facts with each bingo square. It’s a great way for them to discover shared interests and unique differences.
Bingo Card Example:
Have students each write three facts about themselves on index cards and turn the cards in to you. Then you read the facts and the other students have to guess who the student is. Some examples of what they can write on their card are how many siblings they have, what color eyes they have, or some of their hobbies.
For this game you’ll need a colorful Jenga game, which you can find here. Create a sheet with several get to know you questions for each Jenga piece color. When a student removes a piece, they’ll answer a question listed under the color.
You can play the classic would you rather game with your class. One idea is to have Power Point slides with would you rather questions and call on students to answer. This is an easy way to help build classroom community and it a great way for students to get to know each other.
If you want to try it out here are some fun would you rather questions:
Have students pair up and give them a list of simple questions on a sheet of paper. Have them interview each other and write down the answers. Some examples of questions are what is your favorite color or what food could you eat every day.
When they’re done they move on to another student. If one student has something in common with another they circle the answer and write both student names. Have them keep going until they find 3 similarities.
To get your classroom buzzing from the get-go, try out these interactive icebreakers. They’re designed to warm up the atmosphere by encouraging introductions, and they’re also loads of fun.
For this game students use critical thinking as they ask other students questions to try to guess the person named on their back. You can create cards with well-known history figures, athletes, musicians or actors.
For this game you get a beach ball and label each section with words like favorite movie or favorite food. Then have students sit in a circle and pass the ball. Whatever section they grab when they catch the ball is what they say about themselves.
For this game you just need a ball of yarn and have students stand in a circle. One student starts and says their name and a fact about themselves or says something they love such as I have a pet dog, or I love pizza.
Then if someone has that in common with them, they hand them the yarn. You continue on until everyone is holding yarn and you end up with a yarn web.
Start with a pack of memory cards and make sure each card has a match. Then give each student a card. Have students walk around the class until they find the person with their matching card.
Here are some memory card games that would work great for this game:
There are tons of fun get to know you games that you can play with just dice. Check out some examples below.
Pair up students and give each pair a dice and a list of questions. Each number on the dice corresponds to a question they’ll ask each other—it’s all luck of the roll! They’ll get to know each other with each toss.
Question List Example:
This is similar to the game above but when the rolls get higher so do the responses required. For example, if they roll a nine, they have to list nine sports.
Play roll it to know it game at the end of the first day of school as a review for what the students have learned about class procedures and their classmates. For example, if they roll a three, they’ll have to name three class procedures.
Create a fun rule that will tell the students what their superhero name is. For example the color of their shirt plus the object to their right is their superhero name. Encourage them to share their names, making it a memorable introduction game.
Pull out simple board games that students can play in small groups. Choose games that foster communication and laughter and setting them up is as easy as spreading them around your classroom.
Games that work great include:
A handheld memory game with lights.
A fun faced paced new card game.
A dice game, that involves addition and multiplication.
This educational game has students ask questions to guess the animal.
A first-grade teacher created this game where students roll the dice and then pick a card based on the colored square they land on. The cards have questions for students to get to know each other like would you rather play sports or watch sports.
Give each student a small handful of M&M’s. Assign a category to each candy color, and for each piece they pick, they share something about themselves based on the category. It’s a sweet way to get your students opening up!
Color Categories Example:
If you’re looking for some games and activities that focusing on teamwork and cooperation, then check out these ideas.
In this teamwork-based activity, your class will use their shoes to build the tallest structure possible. Emphasize cooperation, creativity, and of course, balancing skills. It’s collaborative and sets a tone of working together.
Divide the class into teams of three or more and give them a large piece of paper and markers. Have them come up with 20 items that they would want in a time capsule to show the future what was important to them and what they loved.
When they are done, they can tape the paper to the front of the room and give a brief explanation to the class about what they chose and why.
These next few ideas are quick and easy and don’t need a lot of time for setup or extra materials to get started.
Have students write a fun fact about themselves on a piece of paper. Then have them crumple up the paper and on your cue, start a “snowball” fight. When it ends, each student picks up the nearest paper ball and reads what’s written inside to the class.
This game works great to get your students moving. The challenge of this game is for the entire class to try to count to 5 or higher as a group. To start one student will stand up and say one, and then the next stands up and says two.
They continue going as high as they can. The challenge is that two students can’t stand up at the same time or they will have to start over. They also can’t communicate verbally or non-verbally and can’t use a pattern.
Instruct the whole class line up in order of their birthdays, height, or any other fun sequence you can think of—without talking! It’s all about non-verbal communication and paying attention to each other.
Kick off the school year by incorporating creative and artistic icebreaker activities that allow students to express themselves and get to know their classmates. These activities tap into various interests, from drawing and crafts to storytelling, and help create a vibrant classroom community.
Have students create a flag that represents everything about themselves — their hobbies, favorite colors, and what makes them unique. Here’s how they can make their own about me Flags:
Do you remember those paper fortune tellers from your childhood? They can be an excellent tool for icebreaker questions.
This activity encourages students to learn facts about each other in a playful and interactive way.
Assigning each student, a secret animal and having them find a classmate with the same one encourages interaction. Another option is to ask students to share their favorite ice cream flavor or outdoor game.
The Candy Colors Game is a swift activity where kids choose candies based on color, which corresponds to a fact they need to share. Another option is to play a quick round of ‘Would You Rather,’ with age-appropriate questions.
Simple question rounds, like asking kids what superpower they would like to have, require no preparation. Plus, ‘Find Someone Who’ activities where students seek out peers who share similarities with them.
Outdoor recess games, like a modified version of Duck, Duck, Goose or a simple game of tag with a ‘get to know you’ twist, have kids interact while staying active.
Teachers can use scenarios like being stranded on a deserted island and having students explain what one item they’d bring and why. This sparks conversation and builds interpersonal connections.
Some examples include, “What’s the best thing about being a kid?” or “Which animal do you most identify with?” These types of questions are simple, relatable, and engage students in sharing and learning about each other.
I made this post so it’s easy to save your ideas to Pinterest. Just click on the picture and then the P and choose your board.
Hope you found some fun ideas for icebreaker games for the elementary classroom in this post. If you enjoyed this post, please share it.
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