1. Icebreaker Bingo: Create a bingo card with different traits or experiences for students to find among their peers. Students must find classmates who match each item and have them sign it.
2. Human Knot: Students stand in a circle, reach across and grab the hands of two different people, then work together to untangle themselves without letting go of hands.
3. Two Truths and a Lie: Each student shares two true statements and one lie about themselves. The rest of the group must guess which statement is the lie.
4. Friendship Bracelet Making: Teach kids how to make friendship bracelets and encourage them to give them away as a token of appreciation to fellow classmates.
5. Time Capsule: Students write letters to their future selves, seal them in envelopes, and store them away in a designated location to be opened upon middle school graduation.
6. Snowball Fight: Provide each student with paper to write down a personal goal or dream. Crumple the paper and have an indoor “snowball” fight before collecting the goals for sharing/discussion.
7. Movie Day: Watch an inspiring movie or documentary as a group, focusing on themes such as teamwork or overcoming challenges, followed by a discussion.
8. Team-Building Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of challenges/tasks that require teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills for students to complete in groups.
9. Positivity Board: Designate a bulletin board for students to post kind messages, positive quotes, or words of encouragement for their peers.
10. Mindfulness Exercises: Practice mindfulness through guided meditation or deep-breathing exercises suitable for middle schoolers.
11. Community Service Projects: Encourage empathy by volunteering together at local charities or exploring options for community service.
12. Charades: Play charades with categories relevant to middle school curriculum; great for practicing active listening and non-verbal communication.
13. Board Game Day: Gather an assortment of fun and educational board games for a day of friendly competition.
14. Would You Rather: Generate age-appropriate “Would You Rather” questions to encourage critical thinking and group discussion.
15. Hula Hoop Challenge: In teams, students must pass a hula hoop from one person to the next without releasing hands or stepping through it.
16. Escape Room: Design a middle-school-friendly escape room puzzle that challenges students’ problem-solving and teamwork abilities.
17. Debate Club: Introduce kid-friendly debate topics to hone public speaking and critical thinking skills, being sure to emphasize respect for differing opinions.
18. Skits and Improv: Encourage creativity and on-the-spot thinking by allowing students to perform short skits or improvisational scenes based on chosen themes/topics.
19. Bucket List Creation: Have each student create their own “bucket list” of significant goals/wishes they hope to accomplish while in middle school or beyond.
20. Virtual Field Trips: Explore various places around the world or within your subject matter through virtual fieldtrips, utilizing resources such as Google Earth or interactive museum experiences.