Every youth group meeting can use a fun icebreaker. An icebreaker is a short, fun activity that breaks the ice for your youth group meeting. If done correctly, a good icebreaker will help set the tone for the youth group meeting and prepare your teens for the Bible study you’ve prepared. Here is one of my favorite icebreakers to use with youth groups.
I first learned about Warm Fuzzies when I was a high school student attending my own youth group. Our youth group leader would pass around slips of paper and pencils and we would write a nice compliment about another teen in our youth group. At first, we thought the whole idea was kind of lame. But as we got to know each other, our warm fuzzies became more thoughtful and meaningful and we all began to look forward to this activity.
You can let your teens decide who they will direct their warm fuzzy towards, but this leaves the risk of someone being left out. A better option is to tell teens to write a warm fuzzy to the person on their right or left. If your youth group is small, you can take the time to read each warm fuzzy out loud. But if you have a large youth group, consider breaking up into smaller groups and completing the warm fuzzy icebreaker within these groups instead.
Warm Fuzzies are a great way to teach teens the importance of building each other up, instead of tearing people down. Words are powerful and encouraging, thoughtful words can go a long way in motivating teens, especially if they come from a home where they never really hear good things about themselves.
You may find that when you first try this activity with your teens, the warm fuzzies may be shallow and may only touch on the surface. For example, your teens might say that they like the clothing or hair style of another teen. But encourage your teens to dig deeper with their warm fuzzies and find something of more substance to say. They may compliment them on a success they had at school, at their after-school job, or a good deed that they caught the other person doing.
As your teens get to know each other better it will be easier to find words that touch the other person’s heart and give them real encouragement instead of just a throw-away compliment. Keep reminding them of the purpose of this exercise – to build up and encourage the other person and helping them to remember how important they are to God, your youth group, your church and this world.