Icebreaker activities are used to welcome and warm up the conversation among students in a new class, meeting or new situation. Any event that requires students to comfortably interact with each other and a teacher is an opportunity to use an icebreaker to help students feel more comfortable. An effective icebreaker will warm up the conversation in your class or meeting, reinforce the topic of the session, and ensure that students enjoy their interaction and the session. When participants don’t know each other, the icebreaker will help them introduce themselves to the other students.

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Traffic Jam

Equipment: Spots or markers on the ground

Description: Class is divided into two even groups. One group lines up on the long line of spots facing one way to the front and the other half of the class does the same lining up facing the other group with one spot in the middle separating them. The goal is to get your group all the way to the other end facing away from each other without stepping off the spots.

Circle Slap

Equipment: None

Description: The class will lie on their chest on the floor and hold hands with the person next to them. This can be played inside or outside. The group leader will then nominate someone to start. On the leader’s command the person nominated will squeeze the hand of the person next to them and this will carry on around the circle until it arrives back at the start. If the circuit is broken or someone squeezes too early they will then be asked a question about someone in the group. You can challenge the class to see how quickly they can complete the circle slap by timing them with a stop watch, and recording the time. See if they can beat this next time you play the game.

Name by Name

Equipment: None

Description: Class stands in one long, straight line. This can be played inside or outside. Each member of the class calls out their name one at a time. At the end of this the class has to rearrange itself in alphabetical order of Christian name without any verbal communication. Once successful the group then calls out their surname and the process is repeated.

Scattergories

Equipment: None

Description: Class starts by standing in a circle inside or outside. The teacher will start with a category, which can be anything such as fruit. The class then goes around the circle saying any type of fruit. If a member of the group repeats a fruit that has been said they are eliminated and need to sit down, or if they take too long thinking of one they are also out. The person next in line has five seconds to think of another category and it starts around the circle again.

Class Storytelling

Equipment: None

Description: The class stands or sits in a circle to start. The teacher starts by saying, “Once upon a time”, then the student next to the teachers gets to say another sentence. It keeps going around the circle. The rule is that each student can say one sentence only. See how long you can keep the story going. After this you can start again, but this time each student is only allowed to say one word. These stories often end up quite funny and students will leave the class feeling happy and confident.