Write a word on an index card. The word
must be a word that comes in 3's such as Larry, Moe & Curly. At the
bottom of the card, write the matches. I have used this numerous times
and it always seems to work. The one thing you have to make sure is to
have enough cards and if you have too many cards to make the adjustment
After everyone has found their
"match", I tell them that they have to sit with their
"matches" for dinner or for the next activity. I have found
that this gets people to mingle even more, instead of staying in their
There are no prizes or winner in this
game, only interaction.
Teams are determined by a colored spot or number on each nametag. After the teams of 2, 3, or 4 are assembled, give them large index cards on which have been written three verses of Scripture. Slightly alter one of the verses, for example, Colossians 3:20, Wives, obey your husbands in all things, for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. The group has to identify the incorrect verse. (Jeopardy-type answers are also very good.)
We played with at Women's Fellowship, but could be done anywhere,
especially at a baby shower.
You'll need about 10 wooden baby ABC blocks per table. Each person, in
turn, holds a block and tells a fact about themselves. They continue
building the stack of blocks and telling something about themselves
until the blocks fall.
A Bingo Ice Breaker game. Click the title for
Circle Time Toss
I've found that
this really helps my 4 year olds open up and tell about themselves. After my kids have cleaned up from free
play, I transition them into the lesson by doing this game. We all
sit in a circle and gently toss a small item (like a Koosh-ball,
inflatable globe, or roll a small car, etc.) to each other. The one
who catches the item tells a little about themselves from an
ice-breaker type of question that's related to the lesson. For
example, if the lesson is about the gift of heaven, I toss a small
present to one of the children, and then ask if he/she received what
he/she really wanted
for Christmas. Some will say they got something they really wanted,
but aren't that thrilled about it now; some may say they didn't get
what they wanted and were disappointed. It's a great way to say that
heaven is a gift you'll never get tired with or be disappointed about.
Even the children who have a short attention span, or tend to get
disruptive, like this activity. I hope this helps anyone searching for
something to draw little ones into a lesson.
Heighten feelings of belonging by building a classroom community. When you build feelings of belonging and safety in your classroom, you increase your ability to engage students' minds.
Purpose: To introduce the class to one another on the first day of class
in a supportive, team-minded way.
Materials: A bulletin board that reads "Each Piece Counts" at the top and has an outline of jigsaw pieces, construction paper precut in jigsaw pieces for each student, pencils, radio, pins, and blank paper.
Sequence of the Activity: Guide a short discussion about a puzzle, how each piece is vital to the makeup of the whole, and how all pieces are needed to complete it.
Randomly give a jigsaw piece to each student with another student's name printed on it.
Each student interviews and finds out a few interesting things about the other student, and then writes biographical items on their partner's puzzle piece. During this time, play soft classical music or jazz to make the atmosphere more comfortable. In front of the group, each pair of students introduces one another and pins their puzzle pieces on the bulletin board where they fit. When all have finished, the board should be full.
Editor's Note: this activity would fit nicely with a lesson on
the Body of Christ (1 Co. 12:27ff)
Colors of Life
Take a bag of M&M's and tell everyone to grab
a handful...or you don't have to specify to make it funny!
Assign a different meaning to each color, blue= family, green=school,
yellow=friends...and however many they have in their hands, that is how many facts they have to tell. They may also
eat them either after the game or directly after they say their fact. (It's kind of funny when someone says,
"Blue...I have two sisters.", then eats the M&M.
"Yellow...my best friend's name is Sue.", and eats the M&M.)
Have each person clip 3-4 clothespins to the back of their clothes. Next have the players collect the pins from each other. Once collected,
place on the front of your clothes. The get to know you part is to add questions or prompts to the clothespins.
For example: Red = favorite (color, food, sport, exercise, etc) Black=more personal (someone you admire, something you are proud of)
Play a round and then stop and place people in local groups to share. Play a second or third round to get more ideas or allow the groups to
meet again later and see if they remember anything.
You will need color-coding-dot-stickers, (red, yellow, blue, green). Everyone chooses a color and sticks the dot on the palm of their hand. Have children sit in a circle. Teacher
and students take turns by raising their hand with the dot, waving at the others in the room,
saying their name, and then answering the question that matches the colored dot chosen. For
example, if you have:
A challenging game of cooperation and staying focused. Click the title
to get it.
Early Bird Gets The Worm
Wrap a small gift that could be for any gender. Keep an eye on who
was the first guest to arrive but do not say anything about it. Sit
everyone in a circle. You begin by holding the gift and saying,
"State your name and a pretend form of transportation of how you came to be here
today/tonight. The way you came here must begin with the same
letter that begins your name. For example: my name is Dianne, therefore I
would state: 'My name is Dianne and I came here
today on a Donkey.' Notice Donkey starts with a D
as my name does. After making that statement you would then say, while
passing the gift to the next person, 'and this is a wiggly,
squiggly, worm.' Now that person will do the same thing you
just did only using their own name and transportation. Go around until
everyone has done this. When all have done this you state, 'Who was the first guest to arrive?' Once that is
established, you hand the gift to that person and state, 'We all know, the early bird gets the worm!'
" It is a
purpose of this game is to "break the ice" among classroom participants and to
encourage unity. Or as Marsha
Stout, the creator of "Get Connected" puts it, "I developed this game to
try and get my
girls to gel!"
Click the title to Get Connected!
Guess their Baby
Pass out a list of 10 famous Bible parents such as Elisabeth and Zacharias
or Abraham and Sarah*. Guests must correctly answer the baby's
names within 3 minutes. The one with the most correct answers wins. Good for baby
Sent in by:
Melanie, Denver, CO
* Answer: John the Baptist, Isaac.
At the beginning of class or a social, tape the name of a Bible character to the back of each person. They cannot see the name--only
the other participants will know which character they represent. Each person can ask questions about who they are e.g., male or female, Old or New Testament, The first person to guess who they are wins, and so on.
Participants write personal facts and then place them on
one another's backs. Click the title to get the directions.
Sent in by: Jenny Hartnett
Know You. . .Know You Not
With a group that already knows one another, each member must introduce
another member. (Even though everyone was familiar with one another, it
was really sweet and informative to hear what one person had to say
about another - and we all wound up learning new things about old
friends.) With a group that doesn't already know each other, each person
must spend 5 minutes with the person next to him or her, doing a
mini-interview. At the end of that time, everyone introduces their new
Sent in by: Sandi B.
Meet My Match
Write one half of a familiar verse of Scripture on a slip of paper and put it in an envelope. Do the same with the other half of the verse. As each adult enters, give them an envelope and ask them not to open it until the signal. After the customary welcome, ask everyone to open their
envelopes and find the person with the other half. They are to talk with each other for a brief five minutes then each pair will take turns introducing themselves to the entire group by saying,
"Hi, my name is ___________ and this is ___________who is the mother of 3 children (who traveled to England last summer, who has been teaching for 25
the kids begin by going around and shaking other children’s hands
while music is playing.
an adult leader stop the music. When
the music stops all the children should be paired up. The
adult will shout out a question and each pair of children will
introduce themselves to each other and answer the question. “Hello
my name is _________ and my favorite__________ is _________.” The
question could be: What is your favorite color? What
is your favorite subject in school? What is your favorite TV show?
Food? etc. Ask a different question each time the music stops.
Encourage the children to find someone new each time the music stops.At the end of the game ask what they found out about each
other; who did they have the same answer as, etc.
Sent in by: Linda
Name "TAG" That Person
Here is a great get acquainted game kids AND
adults alike enjoy. Participants make their own name tag according to
the theme for your lesson. Then everyone needs to choose a name
that goes along with the theme and that starts with the first
letter of their name.
Examples: Characteristic theme: Undersea theme:
Electric Eel Ellen
Magnificent Mug-fish Mel
After everyone has chosen a name, have them make their name tag with the
name on it and decorate it, so the name is readable. Have everyone sit
in a circle on the floor or in chairs and play a modified version of Hot
Potato. Instead of a potato, use an inflatable fish or bug or ball. When
you throw it to someone, YOU MUST SAY THEIR NAME and then throw it to
someone else, saying their name and so on. Go slow at first and then go
faster as you go along.
If you have a lot of people, break them up into groups of 8 to 10. Too
many people and names to remember is not fun. Enjoy and everyone learns
to know everyone's name and SO WILL YOU!
My prayers and peace of Christ,
VBS Director / Sunday School Teacher
Junior Church Teacher and Coordinator
The Church of Christ at Greenpoint
Brooklyn, New York
This is a neat game to play in a class with parents and their kids present.
Give each parent an index card and ask them to finish the statement, "What I love most about my child is..." Put the responses in a basket, then line the kids up and have them each pick a response. Have each child read one statement each. When the response is read that fits with a particular child, he or she must go get it. It's fun to see how well the kids know their parents. Next, switch the roles and have the kids complete the statement, "My parents are..." It is interesting and can get pretty funny.
Best if played with older kids or teens and their parents
When everyone arrives give them name tags and ask them to choose a penny
from a bag. When everyone is seated ask them to look at the date on
their penny. Ask them to think about something that happened to them
that year. Start with the oldest by asking "Does anyone have a
penny with a date before 1950? 1960? etc. Start with the oldest
date and work forward until the most recent penny is shared. When
this activity was used at our church we got these type of responses
"1950 was the year my oldest son was born" "1988 I
turned 35, just got divorced, was a single mom with two kids and thought
my life was half over. But through the grace of God today I am 50 and
happily remarried to a fine Christian man who is an excellent
father to my children." When the person stands they should
give their name, how long they have been coming to your church (group,
etc.) and then say something about the date. The answers can be funny,
short or serious and allows each person to share as much or as little as they
Sent in by Rebecca H. Rollins - Delaware
Participants must produce one object from their pocket (purse, wallet or body,
jewelry, belt, etc.) that has meaning for them and explain it's significance to the group.
Sent in by: Sandi B.
Before participants arrive, make puzzle pieces by
cutting 8.5" x 11" paper in half using a random cutting
pattern to make two unique parts that will fit together to form one
puzzle piece. Each sheet must be cut differently so that no other sheets
have the same pattern. If you have a very large group, you might want to
use four different colored papers. The puzzles are then mixed up and
when participants arrive each person receives one half of one of the
puzzle pieces. (The only tricky thing about this ice breaker is to
make sure that all halves are not over or under distributed. One
of the leaders may opt to participate, or not, in order to make sure
that the other participants will be evenly matched.) After the initial
welcomes, the participants are told to find their puzzle partner match.
Once found, they must find out three things about him or her and write
it down on their puzzle piece. When everyone has found their partner,
they introduce him or her and tell the rest of
the group what they discovered. This could also be used to match prayer partners during your
event. Successfully used with ages 10 to adult.
Copyright 2000 Sarah Keith
On A Roll
Pass around a roll of toilet paper with this
instruction: "Each person should take as much as he/she
thinks he/she needs." Do not give any more direction than
that. After every person has taken whatever amount of toilet
paper they think they might need, the game goes on...for every sheet
of toilet paper, the person must relate one fact about them (i.e. I
have a sister named Sue). It is really funny when someone takes
a lot of toilet paper.
Participants are challenged to think of a spiritual application to
Spin the Bottle, Break the Ice
Draw a circle on the floor and divide in quarters, or use four large sheets of
paper to make four sections. On the each section write a topic such as, Food,
School, Activity, Family. Participants sit in a circle around the four topics.
Place a bottle in the center of the four sections. Teacher begins by saying his
or her name and then spins the bottle. The topic it lands on is what he or she
tells about, i.e. his or her favorite food, favorite activity, something about
his or her family, school, etc. Next person takes his or her turn, proceeding
clockwise. If you have time, go around the circle several times.
Participants stand behind their chair. Every time players can answer
"yes" to a statement they may move
to the chair on their left. If they answer "no," they stay where they are. (This is fun because people
sometimes must stand 3 or 4 in a line before some can move on.) Try statements like these: You have
granddaughters. You have tomatoes in your garden. You are retired. You have a blue vehicle. You were
born in another state. The first person back to their chair wins.
Each person must make three statements about themselves, one of which isn't true. (I have two kids, I was born in D.C., I have a motorcycle). The group must guess, or vote
on, which statement is the tale. This got very funny and silly! Great icebreaker.
Sent in by: Sandi B.
Wet Noodle Dance
This is somewhat like musical chairs, but no one is out.
On Wednesday night when we want to encourage new friendships, this is what we do:
1. Have someone play a CD. (The more exciting the music the better.)
2. Tell the children when they hear the music they are to go around all the chairs, or could be tables or just the room, in the same direction and wiggle and jiggle like a wet noodle.
3. Now tell them to look to their left and right at who is sitting next to them. Most likely it will
be a friend they usually sit with.
4. Tell them that when the music stops they are to sit next to two new people.
5. Once they are reseated they give the person next to them the wet noodle handshake. (Each child takes both hands and wiggles them touching the other person's fingers.)
6. We will repeat this one to two times and then they stay in that seat for the remainder of the class, sitting next to someone they would usually
not sit next to.
7. We have also changed the type of dance, as we call it. We have done a baby crawl, chicken dance, you can put many different type of actions into play here.
We have had a lot of fun with this. The children come in on Wednesday night and ask if we can do the wet noodle dance. This has also produced a more unified group of children. Some children that would not talk to others have opened up.
I pray this is a blessing to you.
Children's Ministry Director
ROLC, Aiken SC
Make a handout with examples of things the students may have
experienced. Give the handout to each student who must duplicate
something about somebody else. Here are some examples that the students
must match: A broken leg or arm, went on a vacation outside of their
state (or country), fell off a bike, has two brothers, likes/dislikes,
amusement parks, ballet, played baseball/softball, went fishing, went to
vacation Bible school, went to camp, wears contacts, had a birthday in
the summer, has a pet, rode a horse, went on a plane for the first time,
went to the beach, and/or anything you make up about the students.