The first day of kindergarten can overwhelm many kids as they enter a new classroom with a new teacher and new classmates. Icebreakers can help introduce kids to each other and get them talking about things that matter to them, like their toy collections or their love of hamburgers.
Getting to Know a Partner
Young children feel more comfortable in a large group if they know someone else and feel that they have a friend in the group. You can create this friendship with a simple icebreaker. Divide students into pairs and have members of the pair talk about themselves to each other. Then encourage each student to talk about what she has learned about her partner. If necessary, help students come up with ideas to talk about, such as their favorite foods, their favorite games, their families and their pets.
Me and We
For this game, you will have to make an outline of the word "ME," and photocopy it for kids to cut out. Then kids can decorate the front of the word with drawings of things that represent themselves. After they finish, let each child talk about their drawings and why they included them. Then let them turn over their "ME" projects so that the blank word "WE" appears. They can then draw pictures of things they learned about other people in the class on the "WE" side of the paper.
If I Could Be An Animal...
Kindergarteners often have very good imagination, and this game takes advantage of that. Sit around in a circle and let kids take turns completing the following sentence: "If I could be an animal, I would be a..." Encourage kids to talk about why they would be that animal and why they like the animal so much. Kids will love finding out that they share a love of unicorns or both like to jump high like a rabbit!
Encourage kids to work as a group to line up by height. Once the line is complete, kids should get to know their neighbors in the line. (The kids at the front and the back of the line can get to know each other as well.) You can play another round of this game, having kids line up by hair length. An alternative to this game involves kids getting into groups according to number of siblings, number of teeth lost, eye color, hair color, shoe size, or birth month.
Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.