10 easy IceBreaker Games for Kindergarten
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IceBreaker Games for Kindergarten

At first glance, icebreaker games may seem more appropriate for college children or even adults in the workplace. But what if I told you they could be used for your child’s flawless transition into their new classroom?

This article explores why icebreakers are useful, vital elements for an icebreaker and some of the well used and popular icebreakers that have been proven to work wonders in kindergarten.

Why are Kindergarten Icebreakers useful?

Makes learners feel at ease

icebreakers are a great way to get the children in your classroom comfortable with one another. It is essential for children to feel at ease when learning because it will help them adapt more to formal lessons and relax them in what is a new and scary environment.

A lesson with a group of strangers can feel very uncomfortable, and as a result, the children will not feel like they are part of the classroom community. They also allow certain aspects about themselves to shine through their personalities while breaking down social barriers simultaneously.

Many times this leads to lasting friendships and relationships outside of school hours.

Excellent way to meet their new teachers

Icebreakers are also an excellent tool for recognizing and meeting new teachers and classmates. If the teacher is new to the children, they can use the icebreaker to get their name out there and become more known by their students, funny facts and favorite things are always valuable information to kindergarteners!

It is an excellent opportunity for classmates to talk about themselves positively while also learning new information about others in their class.

IceBreaker Games for Kindergarten

The Key Elements of an Icebreaker Game

Action based

An icebreaker needs to have some action involved; otherwise, it becomes boring very quickly. The majority of kindergarteners want something fun rather than sitting down for too long listening to instructions from the teacher on what they need to do next. They prefer games or activities where everyone gets involved instead of just being told to sit still.

Non competitive

An icebreaker should also be non-competitive. You don’t want children to lose hope right away before even getting to the objective of the whole thing. It doesn’t always need to relate to the subject directly, but it should capture their attention and be an activity they can participate in without feeling intimidated.

The key here is that each child is allowed to share their thoughts positively. This can help them build confidence and feel more comfortable when speaking with others throughout the school day

Short in length

Icebreakers should also be pretty short in length to ensure that kids stay focused on the activity and don’t lose interest. If you are looking for icebreaker games, try to find ones with activities that only take a few minutes at most because it is unlikely they will have their attention span last much longer than this.

Clear objectives

An Icebreaker should also have a clear objective so that children know exactly what they are expected to do. While this might be obvious for older children, many kindergartners won’t understand if there isn’t any explanation given by the teacher or parent playing along with them, which leads to confusion and frustration.

Fun and engaging

Finally, an icebreaker should be fun and engaging. You want to make sure that the children are having a good time. If they aren’t interested in the activity or don’t think it is fun, their attention will begin wavering very quickly, which leads to them not wanting to participate.

IceBreaker Games for Kindergarten

10 Popular ice breakers for kindergarten: 

Guess Who

pass out slips of paper and instruct children to write down something about themselves without telling anyone else what was written until everyone has had a chance to do so. You can give examples or put them on the board.

If the class is very young, ESL or are not to comfortable or skilled in writing you can give ready made slips of paper with my favourite animal, color, food etc to help them along.

Then you can put the paper in a hat or bowl and have children pick one and the rest of the class have to guess who it belongs to. You can keep a record on the board of who likes what or whose favourites are what.

Question ball

You will need a inflatable beach ball for this and an indelible marker. you are going to have to write on the ball, but you can then reuse it year on year so it’s worth the few dollars to make this work.

Its very simple you can play this seated or standing. Students have to throw the ball to each other til lthe teacher stays stop, or the music stops if you want to make it like pass the parcel. There Is a little preparation needed first.

  • Think of 4 to 6 questions, depending how many panels on your beach ball
  • Write them on the ball with permanent marker and allow to dry ( important!)
  • then students can either pass the ball around the circle or throw/roll it to each other.
    When ever the music stops or the ball goes to a new students they have to answer th question facing them on the ball.
  • Then it all starts all over again.

You can of course make the questions as easy or as difficult as you wish, and even have balls for other subjects or occasions with different questions as well. !

Animal sound game

Making animal sounds can be a fun way to break the ice. Have a bowl full of animal names and children have to pick an animal and then act or pretend or make the sound of the animal while the rest of the class tries to guess what it is.

You can of course use pictures as well if reading is an issue. As the game continues, kids will become more creative in what type of noise or acting they can create.  Children love this kind of game, and it is a great way to get them thinking.

Would you rather

As easy way to get Kindergarteners talking is to play the game would you rather.

You can make this as easy or difficult as you like depending on your class and students, but you can choose gross or nice options

  • eat candy or ice-cream
  • dance or sing
  • sleep or play
  • eat boogers or smell dog poop
  • run or walk

You can encourage your class to think of questions to ask as well, but have some as a back up just in case.

IceBreaker Games for Kindergarten

Sharing Drawings

Another fun option for icebreakers is to ask children to create a drawing of their favorite animal and then share it with the class. This is something that they can do very quickly and still see how others react as well.

Most children will react positively to this activity, but some will be shy about drawing their favorite animal in front of everyone. Try to encourage them to be creative and draw a realistic-looking animal or even create an imaginary creature that they have created in their mind.

Class Spiders Question Web

Prepare a list of questions on the board so students can see and have a (large) ball of string or colored wool or yarn. the idea is to create a spiders web. Explain that each student will have to have at least one go, and that they will have to think of and answer questions.

They have to throw the string to another student who then has to answer a question and hold on to the string or yarn. they then throw the string or yearn to another student who holds on to it and answers a question, and it continues to at least one question has been answered by every student.

it will have created a mixed up web in the middle ( forgot to mention have them in a circle for this!) you can take a photo of this and send it home to Mum and dad as its a great icebreaker for those first days of school.

Teacher Says

this game is unlikely to require much explaining, but just in case!

The teacher, at least first, says instructions to the class, if they say teacher says ( or any name you wish) the students have to do it, if you give an instruction but don’t have teacher says first then they should not do it. If they do ( after a couple of practice rounds) they have to sit down and wait for the next game.

Make sure the students are aware and fully understand the rules by playing a couple of practice rounds first. and make sure you let them become the teacher sometimes as well and you can play along with them.

Step Up

A great game that incorporates getting to know each other and movement. The teacher, or game leader simply says step up if you XXXX and who ever has that item or thing has to stand up and stand in the middle.

it is better if you are seated in a circle for this game, so they don’t have to climb over each other, and the questions can be anything you like but as its an icebreaker they should be geared towards getting to know their classmates.

Once a few rounds have been played then the teacher can hand over to a student to try to ask a few questions as well.

  • is a boy
  • likes ice cream
  • walks to school
  • has blond hair
  • is good at XYZ

Keep the questions simple, and encourage students to ask other questions of the people in the middle once they are there.

Crowded Corners

You need a little preparation for this beforehand. However it is a great way to let children know other students with the same interests or likes / dislikes as them.

Label four areas in the classroom, or outside is better! with the following labels. you can use Love and hate. like don’t like, yes no or whatever is appropriate where you teach.

  • Really agree
  • Agree
  • Don’t agree
  • Really Don’t Agree

You can then read out statements. like sushi is the best food, English class is great, football is better than baseball, i like watching tv more than computer games or anything that comes to your head.

Students have to run to the area with the label they feel is correct. You can tell them there is not right or wrong answer and they can go wherever they feel is right. It is a great game to discovered shared interests in your class.

Snowball Name Fight

One some scrap paper have each student write their name. then tell them to make it into a ball to make a snowball.

Make sure they don’t make it too small so it turns solid though! Then line them up far enough apart on a line so there wont be any problems and to throw the ball at the other team, they can keep throwing and collecting as long as they can until you say stop.

Once you say stop they have to collect ONE ball, and open it up. it will have a name on it all the names will be different (most of the time) and they have to go say hello to that student, or shake hands bump elbows or similar.

If you want to add some “risk” to the game you can add some forfeit snowballs that say things like act like an elephant, do the floss dance, sing the ABC song etc and any student with those snowballs has to do the forfeit.

It is a lot of fun, but of course children can get over excited so make sure you stay on top of it, or even have groups rather than the full class do this in turn.

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Conclusion

First day of Kindergarten can be a scary time, for teachers as well as students. New people, new environment, new things everywhere. Making it as comfortable a transition should be the top priority for every teacher in those first few weeks and days.

using Icebreakers brings down barriers like shyness or nervousness and helps children to get to know each other. and Scary experiences are much better shared!

The ideas above can be adapted for multiple levels of course, but we hope they give you a great start in these first days of Kindergarten.

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