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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games for Back to School

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games

Ice breakers are a great addition to your lesson plans for the first week of kindergarten. They are a great way to help ease some anxiety and develop classroom community right off the bat. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this list of 20 kindergarten ice breaker games!

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games

These kindergarten ice breaker games can be played with your whole class and are ideal for younger students. They are also easy to modify for the needs of your particular class. 

1. Barnyard Animals

Print out some small farm animals on paper and have each student draw one slip of paper from a bucket. Tell students to keep their animal a secret. When the game begins, students will start to make the sound of their animal. They then try to find classmates making the same animal sound. This sounds like such a fun game! Idea credit: Edmentum

2. Would You Rather?

I am sure you’ve heard of this one! This game has become quite popular so it makes a great icebreaker game for even young kindergarten students.

Busyteacher.org suggests lining students up in two lines with each facing each other. They will then give their answer to the person they are facing, which gives everyone a chance to answer each question.

At the start of the game you can come up with would you rather questions but then after some time, encourage students to come up with different questions for each other. After a few turns, have one line move down so students can interact with a new partner.

3. Survey Says

Surveys are such a fun way for students to share about themselves and learn about others. These surveys are definitely a favorite thing of mine when it comes to back-to-school activity ideas.

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games for Back to School 1

If you love this idea, check out these 20 surveys that are ready to go for your classroom!

4. Something's Not Quite Right

I love this idea from Education World. Before your students arrive in the morning, move some things around in your classroom. Perhaps you take a number away from a number line, remove a letter from the alphabet, take down a color poster, change the month on the calendar… whatever you can within your classroom. 

Once students arrive, you can group them together to search the room and find things that aren’t quite right. You could send them around with a paper to draw the missing items or even a tablet to photograph their findings. This is a great opportunity for young students to work together in small groups.

5. What's Your Superpower?

Students draw a picture of themselves with a superpower they wish they had. Then, students can share their drawings with classmates and either allow them to guess their superpower or perhaps for kindergarten, each student can tell about their superpower because we know sometimes those kindergarten drawings are challenging to decipher. Idea credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

6. Spider Web

This icebreaker activity may take a little practice. You start with a ball of yarn. While holding onto one end of the yard, a student tosses the ball to a classmate and asks them a question. After the receiving student answers, they hold onto a piece of the yarn and toss it to the next person. 

It might be best to have a list of questions so you can provide a question if a student is unsure of what to ask. Once the ball of yarn goes to every student, you will have created a spider web. This is a great time to talk about how everyone worked together to create something special. Idea credit: We are Teachers

7. Stand Up, Sit Down

A super fun ice breaker game from Teacher Karma. Students simply sit down or stand up based on the directions you give. “If you have siblings, stand up” “If you are the youngest of your siblings, sit down”. Such a simple game, but a great activity for getting to know more about your students!

8. Four Corners

This game is similar to “Stand Up, Sit Down” because it gets students up and moving around as they answer questions about themselves. You can give a prompt and assign each corner a potential answer. For example, asking students how they feel about being in kindergarten. One corner of the classroom might be “happy”, one might be “nervous”, and so on. 

Once students have heard which corner is which, the students will then move to the corner that best describes them. Then you can repeat with a new prompt.

9. Candy Colors Game

This game is played with colored candy (Skittles, M&Ms, Sixlets, etc) Before the game begins, you create a color-code based on the colors of the candy you are going to use. It might look like this:

– Red: What is your favorite color? 

– Yellow: What sport do you like best? 

– Green: What is your favorite food?

 You can make the questions whatever you want. Just make sure you don’t show these questions to your students until after they have selected their color of candy. 

Once you’ve asked students what color they would like and handed them a piece of candy, the activity can begin. Going around the circle, students answer a question about themselves based on the color of their candy. Obviously, for kindergarten, you will need to read and ask the questions for your students. If you do not want to use candy, you could easily substitute colored sticks!

10. If I Could Be an Animal

Kindergarteners love animals! This is a great game for them to sit in a circle and share which animal they would be. Super simple and fun! Idea credit: The Classroom

11. Get To Know You Ball Toss

This idea from Activity Village is similar to the spider web game but a little easier for young learners. Students toss a ball and ask a question to the classmate catching the ball.

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12. Alphabet Name Game

Go around in a circle and have students introduce themselves with a word that shares the first letter of their first name. For example, Donut Deedee or Dinosaur Deedee. You could encourage your students to use the alphabet strip for help! Idea credit: Teach Thought

13. Bippity Boppity Bumblebee

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games for Back to School 3

This is a poem from Deanna Jump and I love it! Have your students sit in a circle and clap out a rhythm – pat your lap, then clap your hands. This is fun ice breaker activity to practice student names at the start of the school year.

14. Zip Zap Zop

This activity may take some practice. The first person says zip then points to a classmate who says zap, who then points to another classmate who says zop. That student points to another student and it starts over with zip. Woo! Have fun with this idea from Scholar’s Choice.

15. Who Stole the Cookies?

Another favorite game for practicing names! The group starts singing “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” The leader states (child’s name) and hands the cookie jar to the person named while everyone chimes in singing “stole the cookies from the cookie jar.” The child holding the cookie jar sings, “Who me?” The others sing, “Yes, you!’ The child with the cookie jar says, “Couldn’t be!” The others then sing, “Then who?” At that time the child holding the cookie jar passes it to another child and the song begins again with that child’s name. The game continues until everyone’s name is used. What a super fun idea from kidactivities.net!

16. Which Friend is Missing?

Put your students’ attention to detail to the test with this fun icebreaker! Have one student cover their eyes or stand in the corner where they can’t see or hear what’s going on.

While they’re waiting, have one of the remaining students leave the group and quietly wait somewhere concealed. (For example, behind the bookshelf or a room divider.) 

Invite the first student to uncover their eyes and try to figure out which friend is missing from the group. This is a great way to practice student names!

17. A Great Wind Blows

Have your students sit on chairs arranged in a large circle. Then you announce, “A great wind blows for everyone who ______.” The blank should be filled in with such things as has red hair, has a bow in their hair, who ate cereal for breakfast, who has a younger sibling, etc. 

For the students who this applies to, they stand up and change seats at least two away from where they are currently sitting. You could also play this game similar to musical chairs and remove a chair each round. Idea credit: kidactivities.net

18. I Went to Market

The first student starts and says, “I went to the market and bought… (a grocery item).” The next student says,
“I went to the market and bought (what the previous student said) and ____ (a different grocery item).” The game continues through the circle. This is a fun one for you to get involved with and help out! Idea Credit: Meraki Lane

19. School Tour Scavenger Hunt

I love doing a school tour through a scavenger hunt. In the past, I’ve read The Gingerbread Man Loose at School by Laura Murray with my class. Then I created similar riddles to correspond with our school building.

We go on a scavenger hunt looking for clues throughout our school. This is a great way to show students where they will be going for specials and to point out other important locations in the school.

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20. Mystery Counter

Make counting practice more exciting by turning it into an icebreaker! Have one student close their eyes and wait while you point at a different student to be the mystery counter. 

While the rest of the class begins counting out loud together, the mystery counter will only be moving their lips. The student will try to figure out which of their classmates is the mystery counter! This is another great way to help students practice names. 

You can also repeat this activity while singing a song, reciting a poem, or saying the alphabet.

I hope your students love these fun activities! They are perfect for the first week of school. Have a wonderful year!

20 Kindergarten Ice Breaker Games

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Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your post about kindergarten ice breaker games for back to school. As a parent, I know how important it is to help children feel comfortable and excited about starting a new school year, and these games sound like a great way to do just that.

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