For many of us meeting new people makes us nervous. Playing name and icebreaker games are a great way for kids ease any butterflies in their tummies.
Here are some tips for leading name and icebreaker games.
Make sure you know the names of all the kids in the group.
Make everyone feel welcome.
If you see a child who looks partially nervous don’t have them go first.
Set ground rules before playing to ensure a safe respectful environment.
Try some of these fun name and icebreaker games below:
Shake it Up Name Game
Have all players stand in a circle. Each player has to do a different motion for each syllable of their name. For example Jenn-i-fer, Jenn(shake hips)-i(clap hands)-fer(stomp feet). Once the player completes their motion the entire circle says the name while completing the motion. The next player does the same thing with their name using different motions. When they are finished the entire circle says the name while doing the motions of the first player than the second. Repeat until everyone in the circle has a turn.
Follow the Beat Name Game
Have all the players stand in a circle. Teach the group a beat. For example slap thighs twice, stomp feet twice, clap hands twice. The beat will be repeated throughout the entire game. Have the group practice the beat. Once they all have it down you can start the game. To play have the group start the beat. The first player says their name at the start of the beat. Then the second player goes when the beat starts again. Go around until everyone in the group has a turn. When it’s the first players turn again do the beat faster. Go around the circle again. When it’s the first players turn again go faster. See how many times the kids can go around the circle without messing up.
Left, Right, Both
Have the group stand in a circle. Go around the circle and have each player say their name. After everyone has had a turn choose a player to be “it”. That player stands in the middle of the circle. The player who is “it” points to another player and says “left, right or both”. If the player says right the person chosen has 3 seconds to say the person to the rights name. If the player says left the person to say the person to the lefts name. If the player says both the person have to say the person to the left and rights name. If they mess up or times runs out they are now it and has to stand in the middle of the circle.
Getting to Know Me
Have all the kids stand in a circle. As a group think of 5 questions that they want to find out about each other such as:
What is your name?
When is your birthday?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite food?
Name something your good at?
After you decide on the questions you can start the game. Give one player the ball. Have them throw the ball across the circle to another player. Whoever catches it has to answer the 5 questions. When they answer the questions they throw it to another player who then answers the same questions. To make sure everyone gets a turn make it a rule that you have to throw the ball to someone that didn’t already have a turn