Ice breaker games for kids present a low pressure way for children to make friends and adapt to a new group. Successful kid’s games require a competent leader. The adult in charge should keep the attention of the group by providing clear explanations of the rules, changing the rules to meet the situation and switching to another activity before the kids get bored, according to information provided by the University of Illinois Extension.
Find Someone Who is ice breaker game for a large group of kids suggested by The University of Vermont Student Life Leadership. You need a piece of paper with five to ten questions on it and a pen for each participant. The adult in charge can make up the questions before hand or engage the concept of participatory learning and have the kids make up the questions. Participatory learning engages the students as active participants in the learning and teaching process. Sample questions include: “Who lives with a grandparent?” and “Who has been in a helicopter?” The students walk around the classroom and ask each other questions, searching for one or more students who fit the description. Give the kids a time limit of about 5 minutes and ask for volunteers to read the results.
Fun with Names and Memory: This ice breaking memory game, suggested by The University of Vermont Student Life Leadership and good for medium sized groups, helps kids learn the names of the other children and gives the kids an opportunity to share something personal. No equipment or preparation is required. Place the kids in a circle and ask for a volunteer. The first participant says her name, for instance Carolina and her favorite food. The second participant announces his name, for example Oscar, and his favorite food. Oscar then repeats Carolina’s name and information. On it goes around the circle until every kid has a turn. The last person must cite the name and favorite food of every kid in the group.
Appointment Setter: This game, suggested by Laura Dicke a student at Colorado State University, works well with a large group of young children who possess writing and time telling skills. You need a paper plate and writing utensil for each participant. Instruct the kids to draw a clock on the plate, not digital, and create a blank next to each number. The children walk around and make an appointment for all 12 hours on the clock with 12 different children, by writing their name next to the hour designated for the appointment. The trick is each kid can only have one appointment per hour.
The University of Vermont: Break the Ice
Ice Breakers, Name Games, and Other Activities
University of Illinois Extension: Tips for Successful Game Leader
Penn State University: Participatory Learning Approach