18 Fun Icebreaker Games And Activities For Kids

18 Fun Icebreaker Games And Activities For Kids

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Children are expected to learn new things and adapt to new situations and environments. They attend school, extra classes, camps, playdates, etc. These new situations might seem scary to them, especially when parents do not accompany them.

While adapting to new situations, they also have to make new friends and interact with others regularly. Even if a child is outgoing, they might find it pretty intimidating to approach total strangers. If the child is inherently shy, they might find it even more difficult.

This is where ice breaker games for kids come into the scene. We bring you a list of the best ice breaker games for kids. These games help create a healthy bond and develop their social skills. Soon, they will be interacting with each other as if they have known each other all their lives.

18 Ice Breaker Games For Kids

These games are a great way to introduce children to each other without any awkwardness and boost their self-esteem.

1. Everyone is special

Everyone is special

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This game is great to play on the first day of school, during a birthday party, or any occasion where there are many children who don’t know each other. The game can help boost children’s self-esteem.

You will need:

  • A big group of children

How to play:

  • Seat the children in a circle.
  • Ask the children to take turns and say their names and something special about themselves.
  • For example, the first child could say, “My name is Jack, and I like dancing.” The next child could say, “My name is Susan, and I can build anything out of Lego blocks,” and so on.

2. Don’t smile or laugh

Don’t smile or laugh

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This game is enjoyable for very young children. Little children usually do not need much encouragement to interact with other children, and this game will give them that gentle push to break the ice.

You will need:

  • A group of children

How to play:

  • Seat the children in a circle.
  • Tell them that no one should smile or laugh except one child.
  • Give out the name of the child who can smile or laugh. The child should introduce themselves and say something funny — they could tell a joke or narrate a funny incident.
  • The other children have to listen to the child but not smile or laugh.
  • Let each child smile or laugh and say something funny in turns. The other children have to look at them and maintain a straight face.
  • As there would be very young children involved in this game, you might not have a clear-cut winner, but every child will be laughing out loud in the end.

3. Find your partner

Find your partner

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In this game, you should help children find their “partners.” Shy children will be able to connect easily with others when they play this game.

You will need:

  • Index cards
  • Safety pins

How to play:

  • Print out names of famous characters on the index cards. You can use the names of cartoon characters or other popular movie characters. Make sure the characters are in pairs — Mickey and Minnie, Elsa and Anna, Calvin and Hobbes, etc.
  • Pin an index card on each child’s back.
  • Let each child ask each other yes-or-no questions while they try to find out who their pair is. For example, the child wearing the “Anna” card has to find the child wearing the “Elsa” card.
  • When they find their partner, they should introduce themselves and tell their partner about their favorite cartoon or movie character.

4.  What are you doing?

What are you doing

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If you are looking to give children some physical exercise, include this ice breaker game as well. This will loosen up their muscles and free them from their inhibitions.

You will need:

  • A group of children

How to play:

  • Make the children stand in a circle.
  • The first player must ask the person on their left, “What are you doing?”
  • The other player will tell the answer while enacting it.
  • All the children must imitate them and then move on to the next player.
  • For example, if the first player asks, “What are you doing?” to the second player, and the second player says, “I am running in circles,” while running in circles, all the children must run around in circles. Then the second player asks the third player, “What are you doing?” and so on.

5. Who are you?

Who are you

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This game is for children aged four and up. It is an excellent game for breaking the ice when all the children are new to each other.

You will need:

  • A small ball or a soft toy

How to play:

  • Adults and children sit in a circle on the floor.
  • The first player tosses the ball to another player and asks them a random question. The question can be anything related to the other player, such as, “What is your name?” or “Do you have pets?”
  • The player with the ball answers, tosses the ball to another player, asks another question, and so on.

6. Moving questions

Moving questions

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This is similar to “Who are you?” and is an excellent choice for breaking the ice between children. You also get to know little details about children as they ask questions and share information.

You will need:

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen

How to play

  • Make a list of yes-or-no questions on the sheet of paper. These questions can be anything from “Does your name start with an M?” to “Do you like cheese?”
  • The children who answer “yes” to a question form a group, and those who say “no” form another group.
  • The more questions you ask, the more the groups keep changing.

7. Never have I ever

Never have I ever

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There are very few people who haven’t heard of the never-have-I-ever game. It is a very popular game for all age groups.

You will need:

  • A group of children

How to play:

  • Seat the children in a circle.
  • Every child should hold up their hands.
  • The first player starts by saying something they have never done.
  • If the children in the circle have done what the player has not, they put down one finger.
  • Whichever child has all their fingers down first
  • For example, if the first player says, “Never have I ever eaten peanuts,” the children who have eaten peanuts should put one finger down.

8. Animal noises

Animal noises

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This ice breaker game for kids doubles up as a general knowledge game. Children learn new sounds while making friends along the way.

You will need:

  • Index cards

How to play:

  • Choose the names of five different animals and print them on the index cards.
  • Hand these cards to each student and ensure each animal name is divided between an equal number of children.
  • The children should make the sounds of the animals assigned to them.
  • Next, they have to look around and locate the other children who made sounds similar to them and form a group.
  • Once all the groups are formed, each group must try to figure out what animal the other groups represent.

9. Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunt

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All children love a good scavenger hunt. Not only will they make new friends with the others in their team, but they will also develop their critical thinking skills.

You will need:

  • Small objects
  • Pictures of the objects or a map marking the objects

How to play:

  • Hide the small items around the room or in your backyard.
  • Divide the children into teams.
  • Hand over a set of pictures or a map to each team and ask them to find the objects
  • The team that finds the maximum number of objects is the winner.

10. Sit or stand

Sit or stand

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When children are uncomfortable in a group, this game will help them  connect instantly. You can play this game on the first day of school with your students to break the ice.

You will need:

  • Sheet of paper
  • Pen

How to play:

  • Make a list of statements you can ask children on a sheet of paper. These statements could be Sit down if you have pets” or Stand up if you have a brother.”
  • Ask all the children to stand up or sit.
  • Read the statements
  • You could ask them to introduce themselves and answer the question. For example, a child can say, “My name is Henry, and I have a cat. My cat’s name is Peter.”

11. Name alliteration

Name alliteration

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This is another excellent game for children to remember each other’s names and improve their memory. The children will enjoy this game and laugh aloud.

You will need:

  • A group of children

How to play:

  • Seat the children in a circle.
  • Select a category for selecting names.
  • Each child should choose a name from the category for themselves. The name should start with the same letter as their name. For example, Daphne might choose to be “Daffodil Daphne,” and Peter can be “Petunia Peter” if the category you have selected is flower names.
  • Select a player to start saying their names and add those before their names.
  • The last player should be able to recall and say all the names.

12. Reporter

Reporter

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In this game, children will get to learn new things about other children. This gives them a chance to develop a close friendship with children who have similar likes and dislikes.

You will need:

  • Paper and pens

How to play:

  • Divide the children into two teams.
  • Distribute sheets of paper and pens among all children.
  • Each player from the first team “interviews” one child from the second team.
  • Tell them to write down their “reports.”
  • After all the interviews are done, each child reads out the name of the person they interviewed and five interesting things about them.
  • The second team does the same.

13. Picture drawing

Picture drawing

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This is a game you can play any time to let children get rid of awkwardness. This is not just an ice breaker game; it can be played at any gathering.

You will need:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Pencils

How to play:

  • Ask each child to draw what they did over the summer holidays.
  • Once they are done, let each child show their drawing to the others and describe the drawing.
  • Let them discuss the activities and ask questions that will reveal the common features of their activities with other children.

14. Two truths and a lie

Two truths and a lie

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This is another extremely popular game across all age groups. If the children are shy before the start of this game, they will become fast friends and certainly know more about each other by the end. The game will also allow children to think something fun about themselves.

You will need:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Pens

How to play:

  • Hand over a sheet of paper and a pen to each child.
  • Ask them to write three things about themselves. Out of these, two must be truths, and one must be a lie.
  • Once done, each child takes turns in reading out the things they have written. It is essential that they maintain a straight face while reading out what they have written.
  • The others have to guess which of the three statements is false.

15. Getting to know you

Getting to know you

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You can plan this game for your child’s birthday party for a fun time. This game gives the children a chance to express themselves. You can also get to know some unknown aspects about them.

You will need:

  • A beach ball
  • Marker

How to play:

  • Write different questions on the beach ball with the marker.
  • Seat the children in a circle.
  • Ask them to toss the ball to one another.
  • The player who catches the ball should read the question closest to their right thumb (or any finger you choose) and answer it.
  • The questions can include “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” “Where did you go for your last vacation?”

16. The common thing

The common thing

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Children are more likely to make friends with other children who have something in common with them. This game makes sure children find some common grounds for friendship.

You will need:

  • A sheet of paper
  • Pen

How to play:

  • Make a list of questions that have a few common answers. For example, “Which pets do you have at home?” (dog, cat, rabbit, frog, etc.), “Which subjects do you like?” (English, mathematics, science, history, etc.), “How do you commute to school?” (bus, train, bike, walking, etc.), etc. Make sure these questions have only a few answers.
  • Make a list of the children with things in common and then display it to them.
  • You can also draw simple graphs to show how many children have how many things in common.

17. Cheese puff toss

Cheese puff toss

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If you are not worried about some mess or have access to an outdoor area, this game guarantees lots of laughter throughout.

You will need:

  • Sunglasses
  • Chairs
  • Cheese puffs
  • A can of whipped cream topping

How to play:

  • Divide the children into groups of two. If there is an uneven number of children, you can pair the remaining one with an adult.
  • Arrange the chairs in a row and ask one member of the pair to sit and the other to stand about four feet away.
  • Let the sitting child wear sunglasses and cover their face with whipped cream topping.
  • Give a bag of cheese puffs to the other child.
  • The game’s goal is to throw the cheese puffs and see how many stick to the whipped cream until the cheese puffs in the bag get over.
  • The pair that manages to get the maximum number of cheese puffs to stick is the winner.

18. Bubble gum bobbing

Bubble gum bobbing

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Here’s another outdoor ice breaker game for kids to make sure they enjoy a lot while making friends. This game also gives them some physical exercise in a fun way.

You will need:

  • Paper plates
  • A can of whipped topping
  • Bubble gum
  • Table

How to play:

  • Place four paper plates on the table.
  • Place unwrapped bubblegum on each plate and cover it with whipped topping.
  • Ask four children to hold their hands behind their backs and approach the table.
  • They should try to retrieve the bubble gum from the mound of whipped topping using only their mouths.
  • Once they find it, they have to chew it.
  • Repeat the same process for the other children by replacing the plates.
  • Once every child has bubble gum, check who can blow the biggest bubble.

Ice breaker games for kids can come in handy when you have to introduce a group of children to each other and there is much awkwardness all around. These games help children know personal details about other children. They also help them develop their listening and processing skills.

Play these fun ice breaker games with kids and see them form new friendships and open up in no time.

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