25 Elementary School Icebreakers To Jumpstart the Year

There is hardly a better time to get to know your students than at the start of the school year. It is also the perfect time for you to encourage the students to interact and bond with one another. In this post, there are 25 of the most effective elementary school icebreakers to help form a positive relationship between your students.

  1. The Book of Me

Each student will design a book jacket cover in this exercise, including a table of contents that says something about themselves. Encourage them to use creative titles and illustrate the front cover in a way that best describes them. The back cover should have a mini-biography, like an “About the Author” section. Each chapter on the table of contents will be named after something very important. It could be their family member, best friend, favorite hobbies, etc.

  1. Circles

Have each child draw three concentric circles on a blank sheet of unlined paper. Please select a category (sports, tv shows, food, etc.), then have each child write their preferred category in the smallest three circles. Have them write “love” and “like” in the remaining two circles. Lastly, have them scribble “don’t like” outside the circles. 

For the next stage, the students will go around and pick a partner each. Each student will ask the other for one thing to fit into the two circles on the right and left, leaving out the center circle. They will then write their partner’s response on the paper.

Students will go around and pair up. They will each ask their students to fill in a circle (apart from the center) with one idea, and they will record their peers’ answers on their papers. One sport, for instance, that they both love and dislike. After recording each other’s responses, they move around and look for another partner. The aim is to speak to as many students as possible in a limited period. You can switch topics in the middle if you’d like. 

  1. Jigsaw

Create a jigsaw puzzle on a sizable piece of poster board using enough pieces for each student and you. Give one to each pupil after cutting out the pieces. Students should add their names, adjectives that describe them, and images to their work. Ask each student to share their puzzle piece and its meaning once everyone has finished. After that, place the puzzle together on a white wall or bulletin board. The completed puzzle will not only provide a visually appealing display but will also illustrate how each student contributes to the overall character of your class. 

  1. Spider Web

Students should form a broad circle. Toss a ball of yarn to one pupil while tightly holding onto one end. Ask them, “What kind of birthday cake is your favorite?” Following their response, students will hand the ball to a different pupil while holding onto a piece of yarn. They will then follow up with a separate query. Once each student has received the ball, you should have a striking web in the center of your circle. Remind children that it took everyone’s effort to create this lovely piece of art while taking a moment to admire it. 

  1. Windows

Divide a bulletin board or blank wall in your classroom into “window panes,” one for each pupil in your class, using masking tape. Each day, ask two children to bring in a tiny object that embodies their identity. Ask each student to deliver their materials during the morning meeting. After that, mark one of the panes with the student’s name and mount the object in the center. You’ll have a gorgeous display for your class once everyone has had a turn, and your pupils will get to know one another better. 

  1. Labels

Give each student a 2″ x 4″ mailing label. Tell them to write the following information on their label: 

  • Centre: name 
  • Top left corner: one word that best characterizes them
  • Top right corner: favorite subject in school
  • Bottom left corner: a hobby.
  • Bottom right: preferred location 

Alternately, adjust the themes to your specific group of students. Each student should pair up with a classmate to discuss their labels after finishing them. Set a timer for three minutes. Everyone changes partners once the timer sounds, and the procedure is repeated. Continue the mixing until most pupils have had an opportunity to get to know one other. 

  1. Inside, Outside circle

Put your class in two rings, with half of them inside (A) and the other half outside (B) (B). Students should turn to face their classmates in the neighboring circle at each circle. Students in circle A talk about the topic, such as “my favorite weekend activity,” while students in circle B listen. Then reverse it so that A listens and B speaks. Once everyone has finished, have the pupils on the outside circle move one pupil to the left. Give each student in each couple the chance to share a different topic. Repeat.

  1. Observation 

Students should be paired off and instructed to stand in two lines, facing their companions. You can participate in the game if there are an odd number of students in your class. Allow students 30 seconds to carefully examine their partners for 30 seconds, taking note of every little detail. Request that all of the pupils in one line turn around and face the opposite way. Now the opposite line of students will alter one aspect of their look. One student might place their shoes on the opposite feet, while another might take a clip from their hair as an example. The first line of pupils must predict what their partner changed when they turn around. Switch now, and let the first line perform the adjustment while the second line tries to determine the difference. Students can switch partners and play again if they have time. 

  1. Colors

Scribble the following information on a large piece of chart paper to prepare for this exercise, then cover it until the activity starts. 

Red— a summertime memory I love

Green— Your best thing about school

Blue—a best hobby, sport, or activity

Yellow— one of your best books

Black—as you choose (share anything) 

By grouping them, create a bucket of pipe cleaners in the same colors. Pass the bucket around and instruct the students to take five pieces of each hue to start the activity. Show the chart now. Each student should get a chance to identify themselves and provide one fact for every pipe cleaner. Each student should twist their pipe cleaners together to create a bracelet, necklace, or headband once everyone has had a turn. 

  1. Emojis

If you are teaching online, this is a great activity. Give students a list of subjects, and instruct them to communicate using the text feature solely to emojis. See the illustration below. If you are in-person instructing, have the students write their responses on paper and create emojis for themselves. 




Favorite cuisine: 



Future objective:

Origin: HMH 

  1. Introduction

Set a three-minute timer and pair up two students. One student will interview the other when the timer goes off, asking as many questions as possible to learn more about the other student. Switch when the timer sounds. Call one pair of partners to the front of the class at a time after both students have gone through the process of interviewing each other. The two students will be introduced to the class by their partners, who will give as much information as they can recall. Students can learn to remember facts, ask questions, and speak in front of others by participating in this activity. 

  1. Would You Rather

Ask the kids a series of “would you rather” questions, such as these, while seated at their desks or tables. For instance, “Would you rather swim like a dolphin or fly like a bird?” Give the kids the first option a thumbs up and the second a thumbs down. Be sure to take a brief break to allow kids to survey the room and observe how everyone voted. 

  1. Construct a Tower 

Group the pupils in your class into groups of four or five. Give each group a roll of duct tape and a bag of drinking straws. Set a 15-minute timer. Tell the class that the activity’s objective is to construct the tallest tower you can using only straws and tape. Pay close attention to how well the pupils collaborate. Go around the room and, if necessary, give advice. 

  1. Flash Sign 

Ask each pupil to think of a distinct motion or sound. A few examples are a high kick, two claps, a whistle, a curtsy, a speech, or a gesture. As you form a circle, begin by stating your name and sign. Give each student a chance to speak their name and wave their sign as you go around the circle. Repeat the circle a few times to help the pupils retain one another’s names.

  1. Superpower

What superpower, if any, would you have? You should ask your students. Then give each child a paper doll template to customize as a superhero version of themselves. Ask them to list their potential superpower on the back. Once everyone is done, call students one at a time to share their pictures and choose three others to guess their superpower. 

  1. Corners

With paper signs that say Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree, mark the four corners of the classroom. At their desks, students are seated to begin. Call out a statement like “Cats are superior to dogs” or “Math is my favorite class in school.” Students stand up and move to the area that best reflects the viewpoint they have on the matter. Students can use this game to discover what viewpoints they share with their classmates. It can also be modified to be done outside. 

  1. Bingo

Get to Know You is a well-liked icebreaker. The bingo game is a fantastic way for pupils to get to know their classmates better. Fill in each square on a blank bingo board like this one by typing in phrases like “has a dog,” “traveled this summer,” “plays soccer,” etc. Hand each kid a pencil and a card, then tell them to identify one individual who fits the description in each box. On their sheet, players are only permitted to use their classmates once. When someone enters a different name in each box on the entire grid, the game is ended. 

  1. Common

Sort your class into equal-sized groups. Give them five minutes to discuss three things they have in common—the better, the stranger (or funnier) the topic. When the time is over, have each group present their three items to the class. After everyone has left, ask the class to vote on which group’s three shared characteristics are the oddest (or funniest). 

  1. All of My Pals

Assemble all of your students in a big circle. All my friends like…, while standing in the middle and saying anything you like—pepperoni pizza, swimming, kangaroos, etc.—to fill in the blank. Any kid who shares that interest must leave their spot in the circle and take a different seat. Everyone who doesn’t have a space to switch to moves to the center, just like in a game of musical chairs, and the phrase “All my friends like…” repeats itself. 

  1. Guess Who?

Hand each child an index card, and instruct them to write three interesting things about themselves. I have dark hair, which should be the first fact you mention. Make the second fact a bit difficult by saying something like, “I am left-handed.” The third fact should be something unique to you that you don’t believe anyone else will share, like “My grandmother is from Italy.” Gather the cards and read aloud to the students each card as you bring it out during the day. To guess whose card you just read, call on three kids. Ask the kid who wrote it to rise if no one can guess. 

  1. Blobs and Lines

Thanks to this interesting icebreaker from Cult of Pedagogy, your pupils will be motivated to move around, converse, and discover things they have in common. Ask pupils to form lines in a specific sequence according to their birthday, height, shoe size, etc. Ask students to form groups for blobs based on something they have in common, like a favorite movie, dessert, or sibling count. To build their lines or blobs, students must speak with one another. 

  1. Music Mingle

You should invite each student to write a question on an index card that they would like to ask the other students in the class. What is your favorite animal, for instance, or what is your favorite movie? After that, play some music and instruct the students to get up and walk around the room. Students must stand next to the person nearest to them when the music stops and ask each other the questions listed on their cards. Both pupils must answer both questions. Students mix once again when the music starts up, and when it stops, they pair up with a new classmate. Repeat. 

  1. Three Words 

With your students, come up with a few story ideas. It could be about a soccer match, a snowstorm, or a trip to the zoo. Now, begin the class’s story with just three words. In their turn, each pupil will add three more words. Move quickly from each student to the next and try to say the first three words that spring to mind, whether or not they make sense. 

  1. Where in the world

Ask pupils where they would go if they could travel anywhere around the globe. have each student fill out an index card with their name and three hints about the place they want to visit, but not the location’s name. Gather all the cards, then read the hints to the class. Give three people the opportunity to guess. If no one makes a good guess, have the card’s creator reveal the location. Ask the student to describe why they wish to go there after the final location is known. 

  1. Never Have I Ever

Have your students stand in a circle, both hands raised, with their ten fingers extended. Read one of the Never Have I Ever questions from this collection of elementary-level ones. Students place one finger down if they have followed the instructions in the statement. If someone said, “Never have I ever seen a shooting star,” you would fold down one finger to indicate that you HAD seen a shooting star. The player or players with the most fingers left standing at the end of the game win.

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