Good Examples of Ice Breaker Games Kids Love
Entering a new environment is intimidating. Kids are often anxious when they step into the unfamiliar (just like adults). It’s scary!
That’s why it’s our job to find fun ice breaker games for kids. These simple activities build trust, confidence, and relationships while helping kids relax.
These kids ice breaker games are great in the classroom, youth group setting, neighborhood, and even getting to know your family better. They’ll be exactly what you need to get the ball rolling when helping kids get to know each other.
What are some good ice breaker games?
This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn a commission at no cost to you. See our disclaimer for more.
Icebreaker Games For Preschool & Kindergarten
First, try these get to know you games for students and kids that are young.
1. “Race to the Truth”
In this game, the teacher or leader says a fact and if it’s true for the child he or she takes a step forward. The child that makes it to the front first wins!
2. Play Catch
Throw the ball around the room and each child says their name and a fact about them. If you want kids to pay attention to other’s names, you can have them state their name and the name of the child who had the ball before them.
3. Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?
Sing the classic song to learn everyone’s names!
Have kids sing “Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?” Then, they chant as you sing “_____ (name) stole the cookies from the cookie jar. The child says “who me?” “Yes you!”
Then everyone sings, _______ (name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar. Continue until you’ve done everyone in the room.
4. Create a Story
*No prep, no equipment
How to Play: Sit in a circle. One person begins a story with “once upon a time” and then you go around the circle with each person adding 4 words to the story. Players might say…
“there was a frog”
“my socks were smelly”
“Fred ate cream and mint”
5. The Telephone Game
This ice breaker game is a silly way for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten students to let their hair down.
Have the kids sit in a line. Whisper a silly phrase to the first person in line and have him/her tell the next person until everyone has been told. The last person says the phrase they think it is. (See funny telephone phrases here)
6. I Spy
Turn the classic “I Spy” game into a way to get to know kids’ names. Instead of choosing anything around the room, tell kids they have to choose something on someone around them. (A shirt, shoes, hair etc.)
As kids guess who has the color, they’ll also learn the names of the kids around them.
7. Show and Tell
First, have each child bring something from home to tell the group about.
Then, sit in a circle and share. Let other children ask one or two questions about the special possession as well.
8. Charades for Kids
In this game, kids act out different things (animals, sports, etc) and have the others guess what it is. Use this great list of charades ideas to start an easy game that helps kids forget their jitters and have fun together.
9. Animal Sound Match Up
This simple game gets kids moving. Have students think of their favorite animal. Then, they make the sound of that animal and try to find other students around the room with the same animal sound. Soon you’ll have a room filled with crazy animal noises, haha!
You can also do this with songs! Have students hum or sing the same song and have to find each other in the room.
10. Fun Physical Games
Young kids need to be moving, so any games that help them release energy are excellent ice breakers. Try Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, Freeze Dance, or Partner Tag (one person is the chaser and one is the runner).
What are Some Fun Questions to Ask?
These are ice breakers for all ages but work well in elementary students and older. The best part? Questions require no prep and no equipment!
11. Ice Breaker Questions
This big list of icebreaker questions is great for any age. Bounce the questions across the room by using a ball or popcorn-type method. Or spin a fidget spinner and the three people it points to answer the question.
12. 21 Questions
The 21 questions game rules are nice and simple! You play with two or more people. (Though it works best in small groups.) And you can allow members to pass on questions.
Play two ways:
1. One person answers the 21 questions all the way through, and then the turn goes to the next person (who answers all 21).
2. Each person answers the first question before moving on to the next question. Players take turns until everyone has answered all 21 questions.
Find a great set of 21 questions ideas here >>
13. Never Have I Ever Questions
Use the questions for never have I ever here to keep it clean, and then laugh until your bellies hurt. These questions will open up the room in an entirely new way.
14. Rapid Fire Questions
There’s no overthinking these questions! Set a timer and tell kids they have to answer as fast as possible. The responses that follow will be entertaining.
15. Would You Rather Questions
Would you rather kids questions is one of the best ice breaker games because the options tend to be outrageous. It’s a unique way to get to know someone without the pressure.
16. What Am I Riddles
Can you guess the animal or thing? Have kids pick an object they love (or one they hate). Then give the other person clues until they guess it.
You can also do this with animals, sports, etc. Try free what am I riddles and answers >>
17. This or That Questions
First, draw a line in the room. Then call out these this or that questions examples and have kids pick where they want to be. Examples include:
1. Batman or Superman?
2. Dinosaur or dragon?
3. Chapter book or picture book?
4. Spaceship or robot?
18. Tongue Twisters For Kids
Try this list of tongue twisters and get kids talking! This activity works well for shy kids that don’t want to talk about themselves, and gets everyone acting silly. It’s a great way to loosen up the room.
19. What If Questions
For middle schoolers and high school students, these questions can be incredibly insightful. Get them thinking and engaging in thoughtful debate over hypothetical situations. Examples include:
- What if LEGO wanted you to create a new lego set? What would you make?
- What if you found out your mom or dad was actually a spy?
- What if you woke up and realized you were the President of the United States?
20. Funny Questions for Kids
When in doubt, pull out these funny questions. They promote creativity and imagination, without the stress of serious stuff.
More Good Icebreaker Games for Elementary Students
21. Family Feud Questions
You wouldn’t believe what people say to these questions. And your kids won’t either! Pull out this easy family feud game for kids and get playing. (You don’t even have to keep score if you don’t want to!)
22. Find the Person Bingo
For this game, you’ll need paper and pencil. Make a chart with 9 squares on the paper and either you or the entire class fills in each square with descriptions.
Things like… owns a dog, like to play Minecraft, plays soccer, etc. Then, have kids walk around the room until they find someone with that characteristic to sign the square with their name.
23. Two Truths & a Lie
This kids icebreaker game is a winner in many elementary school and youth group settings. It’s memorable and helps kids talk about how unique they are. Kids write down two true things and one lie about themselves and see if the group can pick out which one is the lie.
Find great two truths and a lie examples >>
24. The Line-Up Game
Want to get kids to learn each other’s names fast? See how fast they can line themselves up in alphabetical order.
25. Name Pictionary
First, students write their names by drawing a picture of something that correlates to each letter of their name. Then, have the group spell out the name and guess the child’s name.
A child named Alex might draw an apple, lightbulb, elephant, and xylophone.
26. Kids Jokes and Punch Lines
Write out kids jokes and punch lines on separate pieces of paper. Then, have students draw from a hat. They must find the joke that matches the person who has the punchline somewhere in the room.
27. Tricky Stickers
This works well with small group settings. (Great for a youth group!).
Give each child a sheet of stickers. Then, kids must secretly put them on other people around the room. If they get caught, they have to take a sticker from the other person.
Kids can only do one sticker at a time and the game can last as long as you want. The first child to get rid of all of their stickers wins.
28. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament
Put students in a line and then pair them with a partner. Have kids do the best out of three and then the child that lost is out. The losers cheer on the winners. When one person is left, he/she is proclaimed the winner.
Make it a “human” rock paper scissors game! First, decide on a full-body sign that will stand for each element. Then, split the entire group into two teams. Before the round starts, each team decides on their pose and does it together when the play begins. Play continues with each team deciding together on the poses.
28. Gorilla, Man, Net
*A 4th grade favorite!
This game gets kids laughing together as they get to know one another.
Gorilla, Man, Net is a fun variation to Rock, Paper, Scissors. First, form a line or pair up randomly. Then, have kids stand back to back. When they hear the word “go” kids turns around and immediately give their gesture of gorilla, man, or net. Here are the gestures:
GORILLA: roars while beating his/her hands on their chest.
MAN: stands with his/her head facing up and hands and arms folded proudly.
NET: Pretends to throw a net on his/her partner.
Gorilla beats man because he is bigger and stronger. Man beats net because he invented it. And net beats gorilla because a net captures a gorilla. Whoever wins goes and finds another partner who won, and losers are out. Play until you have one victorious winner.
30. A Great Wind Blows
Put the chairs in a circle. One player starts in the middle of the circle.
How to Play: The person in the middle starts by saying ” a great wind blow for everyone who…” and then follows with an action or description (anyone who’s been to Alaska, anyone with a dog, anyone who is wearing tennis shoes). All the players that it applies to have to get up and find a new chair (that is more than 2 chairs away).
The person who’s not able to find a seat is the new person in the middle.
31. UnGame Kids Version – Amazon
Ungame for Kids is a great non-competitive game that allows kids to share their opinions and beliefs. It’s a great ice breaker used by teachers, church leaders, and counselors.
32. Conversation Cubes – Amazon
33. Over, Under, Through
- Start with groups of three kids.
- Two kids link hands and the third child does what you call out: either stepping over the hands, under the hands, or through the hands of the other kids.
Now, yell out a variation of the words Over, Under, Through (ex: through, over, under, OR under, over, over, etc…) You don’t have to use all three directions each round, but each round needs to be different.
Each remaining child takes turns doing this. The three kids have to work together to figure out how to get everyone over, under, and through in whatever order you said the words.
The first team to finish all three kids sits down and wins the round. Keep playing with more variations of the words.
Add the direction around to make it harder. So it becomes over, under, through, and around. Hula hoops can also be used for younger kids that might struggle to use their arms with the directions.
Icebreaker Games for Teens and Middle School
These games are good ice breakers for middle schoolers and teenagers who don’t love talking about themselves in front of a group.
34. Four Corners
Call out a question and have kids go to the corner of the room that reveals their answer. You can have pictures of the options in each corner or state them before reading the question.
When I taught Spanish, I would put adverbs in the four corners – rarely, never, sometimes, and often. Then, I’d say the vocabulary of the unit and kids went to the corner that described them.
35. Trivia Questions For Kids
A trivia quiz is fun because it keeps everyone engaged while they learn something new. Many of these trivia questions and answers for kids will surprise you. And for older kids, dig into teen trivia questions and answers.
36. Take an Item
Have a bowl of candy or roll of toilet paper and tell students to take as much as they would like. After, kids must tell as many facts about themselves as they have in their hands.
For example, if they took two squares of toilet paper they tell two facts.
37. Deserted Island Game
For this get to know you game, each person says one thing they would take with them on a deserted island. The next person in the circle must name the items that were said before them, and add their own. Keep going until someone can’t remember all the items.
38. The Name Game
First, each person writes the name of someone famous on a piece of paper. Fold the slips of paper and put them in a bowl or hat. (You’ll use these same names for ALL rounds)
Now, what makes this game tricky is that it’s a combination of different types of games. And it gets harder as you go.
Players describe the person (without saying the name like Taboo or Catchphrase).
Players do charades to have their team guess the person.
Players can only say one word to get their team to guess. (By now, players know the names well)
And for the last round, players can only give a facial expression to have their team guess.
39. Yes or No Questions Game
Yes or no questions are great for shy kids because you don’t have to give lengthy responses. Turn it into a game by seeing how many questions you can ask in a short period of time. Or you can see how many questions the partners answer the same.
40. Giant Jenga With Questions
41. Beach Ball Get to Know You
First, buy a large inflatable beach ball and write get-to-know-you questions on it. Then, toss it around and have teens answer the question that their hand lands on.
42. Who Am I Game
Just like with the “what am I game” (#16), you give clues until your partner or person in your group guesses who you are. But this time, you’re picking famous people.
43. Can You Spot the Difference Game
*Fun for middle school!
Pair students up and give them 30 seconds to memorize everything about their partner’s appearance. When the time is called, they turn away from each other and change something . They can change their hair, switch shoes, etc.
Now, see which partner pairing can find the difference the fastest.
44. Colorful Facts: Icebreaker Games For Kids
Buy a big bowl of candy (or something else colorful) and give each person an array of colors. For each color, kids have to tell a different type of fact about themselves.
Use the ideas in the image above, or create your own things to share per color. For Starbursts, you could try….
Pink – favorite animal
Red – what they ate for breakfast
Orange – favorite place to go, etc…
45. Color Categories Icebreakers Game
In Color Categories, have two kids stand up. Then, the group picks a category (like food) and a color (like brown). The kids then alternate saying brown foods until one person hesitates. The first person to stop loses the round.
46. We! Engage Cards Icebreaker Quotes Trust Building Games, Team Building Activities, Conversation Starters for Meetings and New Relationships
We Engage Ice Breaker Cards are full of interactive activities, engaging questions, and visual photos to promote the power of storytelling. It’s a complete set to build trust and confidence quickly within your group.
47. Totem the feel good game, Self-Esteem Game for Team Building, School, Family Game Night | Counseling and Therapy Card Game for Kids, Teens, Adults
In this feel good game, kids create positive relationships, build trust in teams, and encourage self-esteem. Use the cards to discover your strengths through others’ eyes.
Ice Breaker Activities For All Ages
These activities aren’t necessarily games, but they’re still great ways for kids to get to know each other quickly.
48. Use Directed Topics
Specific topics and conversation starters can be helpful when meeting people for the first time. Try these good topics to discuss that can help you facilitate connections.
49. Make a Vision Board
Get out posterboard and have kids create their own vision boards. Not only does it help kids dream big, but they can share some of their hopes of the future with others in the group.
After, discuss things that kids have in common and how they can relate.
50. Do a Growth Mindset Activity
Growth mindset activities are great because they promote an attitude of constant learning.
Encouraging kids to do this together will create fellowship and outstanding teamwork. Try one of these amazing activities for growth mindset to get your kids thinking this way.
51. Make a Bucket List & Share It
If a vision board is too personal for an ice breaker, consider a bucket list instead. Kids draw and write about the cool things they want to do this year and beyond. They’ll have fun sharing and you’ll learn a lot about their personalities too.
52. All About Me Worksheet
Use this free all about me worksheet printable to help kids introduce themselves to others. All they have to do is fill it out, and then they share with partners or with the larger group.
53. Letters of Your Name Poster
Have students make a poster by spelling out their name and giving adjectives or descriptions with each letter. For example, if the name is Jenn: J: likes to eat jelly donuts or is a fan of jewelry.
54. High and Low
I’ve seen this work extremely well in a high school classroom to build fellowship amongst small/ medium groups of students. Kids go around the group telling something good about their day (high) and something not so good (low).
Dr. Jamie Donnelly, an experienced school psychologist, suggests “high, low, cheer.” “Cheer takes it a step further and it can be someone you are rooting for or someone who has helped you that day.”
And we do another version of this in our home called “good and grit.” The kids say one good thing about the day and one thing that challenged them.
55. Show Your Scars
*Great way to encourage empathy in kids and teens!
This one helps kids get to know each other beyond the superficial.
Go around the room and have kids show a scar they have and explain how they got it. Your kids will have a new found respect for the challenges that others have gone through.
BONUS – Easy Get to Know You Activity
Have students write something about themselves and wad the paper up. Then everyone gets in a circle and throws their paper. Let them pick up and throw several times like a snowball fight.
After, everyone grabs a paper, opens it, and reads it. Each child tries to guess the person based on what the paper says.
To Consider With Kids Icebreaker Games
Phew, that’s a big list! Enjoy making new connections and building trust within your kids’ circle of friends and family.
What are your most played ice breaker games for kids? Leave a comment and let me know!
Next, watch Fun Ice Breaker Questions for Kids & Students on our YouTube Channel! Go there now!
More Healthy Happy Impactful posts you’ll love…
- Best Who’s Most Likely To Questions to Ask
- Deep Questions to Ask Friends
- Kids Love Quotes From Parents