Musical icebreaker games can be used as "getting acquainted" activities for large groups of kids who have not formally met yet. Often, these icebreaker games can be used again and again any time the same group of kids gets together, as warm-up games before the main activity begins. Icebreakers are a great way to start any meeting or group gathering, and help promote a sense of community within a group.
Create groups of index cards with an animal sound written on them. Choose six different animals, being sure that there are at least three to four cards with the same animal written on them. Some good choices for animals for this game are dog, cat, lion, and horse. As kids enter the meeting space, hand each of them an index card with the name of an animal on it. Once everyone is present, turn out the lights and tell the kids they must find the others in their animal group ONLY by making the noise of that animal, without talking. For an added challenge, play music during this activity. The first group to find all of their members wins.
Rhythm Rain Storm
Have your group of children sit in a circle with you. Have the entire group close their eyes. Begin the rhythm rain game by rubbing your palms together to make a swooshing sound. The group will follow you. Once everyone has joined in, begin snapping your fingers in rhythmic pattern. As everyone joins in, pat your legs rhythmically faster and faster. As the storm reaches its peak, stomp your feet on the floor. Allow the storm to brew for a minute or two before repeating all of the actions backwards until the storm comes back to just the quiet swooshing sound. This is a great activity to use right before you need to have everyone's attention on you, as you can have the children keep their eyes closed after the "storm" is over to make announcements or give directions while it is still very quiet.
This activity is a great vocal warm up for singing groups or kids involved in a musical production. Have the group stand shoulder to shoulder in a circle, eyes closed. Tap one student on the shoulder to begin the music box. That student should make a rhythmic sound such is "da dum, da dum, da dum". One by one, tap each student on the shoulder. As you tap, each student should add their own "music" to the group by snapping, whistling, or singing in rhythm. The game should continue until all students have had a chance to add their voice, at which point the last one to join will slowly fade out. Each student will slowly fade their sound until only the original "da dum, da dum, da dum" remains.
Break the group into three to four smaller groups. The teacher or leader will give the groups a word, theme or topic (such as "Blue"). The teams have three minutes to come up with as many song lines as they can that mention the topic word. When the three minutes is up, each team will sing their lines together to the leader. Continue until you have exhausted the possibilities of the topic word, or one team passes, or one team is not able to sing together as a team, then choose another topic word.
Kara Bietz has been writing professionally since 1999. Her professional observation work has appeared in the early childhood education textbook "The Art of Awareness" by Margie Carter and Deb Curtis. Bietz has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 16 years. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in child development from Mesa College.