This is a noisy, running around game which works well as an ice-breaker. You'll need chairs for all of the kids, and space to play. You can play outdoors on a dry day, perhaps using a cushion or bean bag for each child to sit on.
Ice Breaker Games
Coping with a large group of children who you don't know can be intimidating for an adult - and it can be very scary for the children, too. We have listed below some good ice-breaker games which will help the kids to get to know each other (and you to get to know them, too). Explore below...
Great for pairing up children at the beginning of a party, and for breaking the ice when kids don't know each other well as everyone has an excuse to approach other people and start talking.
This is a useful "quiet" ice-breaking activity for groups of older children. The finished flags also make a fabulous early display for the classroom, before the term's work goes up on the walls!
This is an excellent game to play when you have a group of children who don't know each other well. You can play it with children as young as 4.
This game needs a little preparation and a big classroom or group to make it work, but it's a fun way of getting the kids to mingle and talk to each other. Best for age 7 and over.
Although not a game as such, I decided to include this here as it is such a good "getting to know you" activity for a group or class of children.
This is a game that shows children that they are unique but also allows them to see things that they have in common. It works best in smallish groups (about 10) of 4-8 year olds.
This is a good game for younger or shyer children who may find it difficult to talk confidently to a group. It is a perfect ice-breaker game. It works best with children aged 5 and over.
This is a particularly good game if you have a few new members joining a group. Based on the old favourite Duck, Duck, Goose, it helps everyone learn the children's names. Play it with kids aged 4 and over.
This is a well known game - and it can get a bit dangerous with older children! But it works well with children aged 7-10ish and it can be a fun way to break the ice. Keep a careful eye on it though, and only play if you are sure that the children will keep it under control.
This is a lovely game for a group of children or a family gathering. Play it as an ice-breaker, around the dinner table, on car journeys, as an after-tea party game... in fact, play it anywhere!
This is a fun ice-breaker game for older children. You will need space to sit in a circle and listen carefully to each other, so we've found it works best with no more than 10-12 children. You could split into groups if you have more.
You need at least 12 children, or 10 children and two adults, to make this game worthwhile. It can be noisy but it's a good way to help a group of children learn each other's names, and "bond" a little with the other kids in their team.
The Line Up Game is a really fun ice breaker game which works well in a school or group setting, but also makes a super mixed-age party gathering - perfect for a large family party!
This is probably my all-time favourite game, as it can be tailored for all occasions, works with all ages, breaks the ice when people don't know each other, and causes much merriment even when played with the best of friends.
Two Truths and a Lie is a very old game which has been popularised on radio and television over the years. This version makes a simple ice breaker game for older children, who will enjoy trying to fool the other kids.
This fun ice breaker game requires lots of running around and sometimes some bumping into each other - so it's best played in a large hall or the playground!
This is a nice way of calming down a group of children as it tests not only their powers of observation but also their ability to listen closely. It can be varied for all age groups.
Best played with a large group of kids but we have had fun playing this at family dinner times, with just four. It works with any age, but is better when the children are young.