Children find the first day of school both exciting and terrifying. Starting a year with new classmates and teachers is an intimidating prospect. Play a few icebreaker games with your elementary students and the children will warm up to each other in no time at all.
Who Am I?
Write the name of well-known characters from cartoons, books or movies onto sticky notes and place a note on each child's back. Put children in groups of two and instruct them to read each others' sticky notes. Each child tries to guess his own character by asking the partner three yes or no questions. The children begin guessing their identities, and once they pick the correct characters, they move the sticky notes to their chests. Each child with a sticky note on his chest then gives clues to classmates still trying to figure out their identities.
Choose four animals that make obvious noises. Create as many slips of paper as there are children. On each slip of paper, write the name of one of the four animals you chose. Make sure each animal is written down more than once. Give each child a slip of paper, telling him to keep his animal a secret. The goal of the game is for the children to find other animals of their kind. This is achieved by students imitating noises their animal makes. No talking is allowed in the game. Once the children begin finding animals of their kind, they stay together until all children have found their groups.
Middle Name Game
Divide students into two teams. Have the children line up alphabetically, according to their middle names. The first team to complete their line correctly wins. Repeat this game two more times by dividing the children into new teams and having them line up according to their first and last names.
I Like To
Give each child a name tag and have them sit in a large circle. Ask each child to think of an activity she likes. Pick someone to start the game and give the group an example, such as "I like to dance." After the first person tells the group what she likes to do, the person to her right tells the group what the first person likes to do, then adds what he like to do. For example, "Anna likes to play with her dog. I like to play soccer." This continues until the last person has to say what everyone in the circle likes to do. All participants should be encouraged to mime an activity when a child is having trouble remembering.
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