Starting the school year or walking into a new room daily as a substitute can become pretty draining and confronting for teachers and students.

    Luckily, there are things you can do to break the ice and make the kids feel a lot more enthused and comfortable about learning.  Simply spend 10 to 15 minutes trying a couple of the activities listed below to help break that awkward tension.


    11 fun and engaging teaching icebreaker activities for groups and individuals NO PREP REQUIRED. Your students will love the creativity, fun and capacity to grow together.

    Great anytime activity. I use these throughout the year. Kids love them!Amanda F.


    These are a few of my favorite things.

    Pass around a sheet of paper and some pens. Ask the students to write their name and their favorite TV shows (you can come up with your own topic for favorite things). Collect the papers and pens. Begin reading the answers, but have the class guess who wrote the response.

    Birthday Lineup.

    Call out any month of the year and have all students born in that month come up to the front of the room. It is up to the students to decide who stands first, second, etc., so they are standing from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. Now call out another month (don’t call the months in order), and have those students try to position themselves correctly by day and by where they should stand as an entire month. This is a great way to get kids working together and knowing each other. Once all of the kids have lined up, test them to see if they are correct.

     The Snowball Activity.

    Have students write three things about themselves on a piece of paper. Then have them crumble up the paper to resemble a snowball. Let the students have a snowball fight for about one minute. Now everyone grabs one of the snowballs and has to try and find the person who wrote on it. Once they find their partner, they have to bring that person up in front of the class and explain what they learned about their new friend with the three facts written on the piece of paper.

     The Observation Game.

    Line up the students in two lines facing each other. If there is an odd number of students, you can play the game, too. Give students 30 seconds to look each other over really good, paying attention to all details about their partner. The students in one line now turn facing the other way while the other line of students changes something about themselves. For example, a girl might take off a hair bow, or a boy might un-tuck his shirt. When the kids in the first line turn back around, they have to guess what their partner changed. Now switch and let the first line make the change and the second line guess the difference.

    Icebreaker Pictionary.

    Have the students draw pictures about what they like to do, what their favorite foods are, and what is their favorite subject in school. Have each student come up and show their pictures to the class. See if the students can guess what each student drew that tells a little bit about themselves. For instance, if a student draws a yellow M, can anyone guess that she likes McDonalds?

     Show and Tell.

    Don’t forget about this old time favorite part of class. Instruct students to bring in something that they cherish, or just want to share with the class. Give each student a turn to come up and tell about the item they brought in. This way the class will get to know each other and something that makes each student happy.


    Have your students draw themselves. After they have done this, collect the papers and hang them up for the whole class to see. Now have students try to guess who the artist was for each picture.

     Letter Writing.

    Write a short letter about yourself as the teacher at the beginning of the year. Tell the students where you live, what your hobbies are, and if you have any children, pets, etc. Hand out your letter to each student in your class and ask them to write you back with similar information about themselves. View this excellent guide to letter writing here.

    The Mingle Game.

    Give each student an index card. Have them write a question that they would like to ask the other students in the class. Examples might include, “What is your favorite song?” or “What is your favorite sport?” Next, have the students get up and walk around the room. When you say, “stop,” students have to stand beside the person closest to them and ask the question that is on their own card. Both students have to answer the questions. Now have them mingle again and meet a new person.

    The “What Am I?” Game.

    Have the students get into a circle. Give each student a post-it note. Have each person write a noun on the post-it note. Then stick the post-it on the forehead of the person standing to right of them with the noun showing. Now have student take a turn to ask the group a “yes/no” question that will help them guess the noun on their forehead. If they do not guess correctly, the person on their right gets to ask a question. Keep going until all of the noun have been guessed, or your time limit has expired.

    Top 5 Ice Breaking Games For Students

    Icebreaking games create a welcoming atmosphere, fostering comfort and authenticity among students. Students build camaraderie, respect, and communication skills through active participation and collaboration. These games facilitate connections based on shared experiences, interests, and empathy, setting a positive tone for the academic year. By investing in relationship-building from the start, teachers cultivate a supportive learning community where students feel valued and motivated to engage. Ultimately, icebreakers serve as catalysts for strong relationships, enhancing the overall classroom experience and contributing to a positive learning environment.

    Here are 5 ice breaker games you should try with your students today.

    1. Two Truths and a Lie: Each student takes turns sharing three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie. The rest of the group then tries to guess which statement is the lie. This game helps students get to know each other and encourages critical thinking and observation skills.
    2. Human Bingo: Create bingo cards with different characteristics or experiences written in each square (e.g., “Has a pet,” “Has travelled outside the country,” “Plays a musical instrument”). Students mingle and find classmates who match the descriptions, writing down their names in the corresponding squares. The first student to fill a row, column, or diagonal with names shouts “Bingo!” and wins a prize.
    3. The Name Game: Have students stand or sit in a circle. The first student says their name and something they like that starts with the same letter as their name (e.g., “Hi, I’m Sarah, and I like soccer”). The next student repeats the previous person’s name and like, then adds their own (e.g., “Hi Sarah, I’m Alex, and I like apples”). Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn.
    4. Emoji Charades: Write down various emojis on separate pieces of paper and place them in a bowl. Students take turns picking an emoji and acting it out without speaking while the rest of the group guesses what it is. This game encourages creativity, non-verbal communication, and teamwork.
    5. Find Someone Who: Create a list of statements or questions (e.g., “Find someone who shares your favorite food,” “Find someone who has a sibling”). Students mingle and try to find classmates who fit each statement, writing down their names next to the corresponding statement. This game promotes interaction, discovery, and finding commonalities among peers.

    These icebreaker games can help break the ice, foster a positive classroom atmosphere, and encourage students to engage with each other in a fun and relaxed setting.

    Similar Posts