For both teachers and students, the first day of school can be a little daunting. These fun ‘introduce yourself’ and ‘who am I’ activities, will be a sure way to develop a healthy and happy classroom culture. It’s important to build strong classroom bonds in the early days, and these activities will help you achieve just that! Here are a few ideas for some different games and activities to get you started!
1. Two Truths and a Lie
Fun for both students and teachers, you think of two truths and one lie about yourself and read them aloud in any order. The students then ask ‘yes/no’ questions to determine the correct answers. Use more unbelievable truths to make the game even trickier!
Learn More: Slideshare
2. Knowing me, Knowing you
This game gives students the opportunity to chat with their classmates using prompt cards to stimulate conversation. Not only are there fun facts and general behaviors, but there are also cards that discuss empathy and looking after each other in the classroom.
Learn More: Slideshare
3. Wordsearch Names
So simple and effective. Learning names is an important part of identity. This activity can be quickly made in class or set as a task to take home. Use a word search creator to make a word search that includes all the names of the pupils plus teaching assistants as well
Learn More: The Word Search
4. Lets Line Up
‘Lining up’ games are great for finding out more information about the class, whilst being interactive for the children. They could line up in birthday order, shoe size, tallest to smallest, etc. For an added extra, insist on silence and have learners communicate non-verbally for an extra layer of fun!
Learn More: Activity Village
5. The Human Knot
A super fun game to develop teamwork and strategy. Each student takes someone else’s wrist and holds onto it. Once everyone is connected, instruct the students to try and untangle themselves, but without letting go of each other’s wrists!
Learn More: Child’s Play in Action
6. Forehead Dots
Another great non-verbal game for team building! This takes minimal prep-simply stick a single colored dot onto each child’s forehead. They then have to work out what color they have on their forehead by communicating with their classmates.
Learn More: Venture Team Building
7. Stranded on a Desert Island
Group your children and ask them to decide which of the items on the sheet they would bring with them to a desert island and why. The whole group must be in agreement and will need to justify their choices.
Learn More: Word Press
8. A Great Wind Blows
This great icebreaker is good for those students who may be a little nervous. It’s a slight take on musical chairs. Set chairs up in a circle, but with one less than the number of students. The teacher states “A great wind blows for everyone who…” and fills in the statement with a characteristic that students may have in common. The students then move to new chairs. Every time someone gets up, a chair is removed.
Learn More: Funny Game Ideas
9. I’m Awesome
A game for the 21st century! This requires only large flipchart paper and a marker pen. Stick these around the room and ask children to write 3 hashtags that describe themselves. This will start good discussions of similarities and differences between the class and give pupils an opportunity to learn more about each other.
Learn More: eLearning Industry
10. Who Am I?
This is a version of Pictionary to allow the children to find more out about themselves. Hand out sticky notes and the students will write down their favorite singers, bands, athletes, etc, and stick (unseen) to a partner’s head. Their partner has to then ask questions to find out who they are. This can be repeated with several partners.
Learn More: WikiHow
11. Time Capsules
A definite favorite! Students could write letters to their future selves that include what they hope to achieve throughout the year, a list of hobbies, and their favorite things. On the final day of class that year, give them back out and find out how much they have changed, learned, and achieved that year!
Learn More: Teachers Printables
12. Create a Commercial
Task your students with writing a two to three-minute television advert about why someone should hire them. The commercial should highlight their special qualities so that others can get to know them. Students can perform in groups or individually.
Learn More: Live About
13. Classroom Bingo
Use one of these handy free printables and make a copy for each member of your class. You can customize it so it is appropriate for your classroom. Students must find someone in their class who has these qualities!
Learn More: My Free Bingo Cards
14. Beach Ball Buzz
On a beach ball write questions for your class to answer. The students take turns throwing the ball to each other and whichever question is closest to them when they catch it, they answer. This game would be great in a large, outdoor space!
Learn More: Thought Co.
15. Design a T-Shirt
For a quiet, creative activity, ask your students to design a t-shirt that incorporates images about them; including their favorite subject, foods, and a self-portrait of themselves. You could create a template for them to fill in and hang up as a ‘washing line’ of class t-shirts in the classroom
Learn More: Pinterest
16. The ‘I’ Museum
Give students a small space and a time allocation to set up a museum exhibit about themselves. They could use poems, favorite books, photographs, favorite pieces of work, etc. to show everyone who they are. After the exhibits are complete, learners can take turns walking around and having a look at their peer’s displays!
Learn More: Women’s Ministry Toolbox
17. Who’s in Your Circles?
First, have students draw three concentric circles, and in the middle fill in their favorite foods, hobbies, and subjects. Around the circles, the students fill in love, like, and don’t like. They then leave their papers on the desk and visit other learners to fill their names in where they deem appropriate.
Learn More: The Thinker Builder
18. Duck, Duck, Goose
A twist on the classic, ‘duck, duck, goose’ game. Students will sit in a circle and the person who is “on” goes around the circle saying each student’s name. However, if the person who is “on” says the class name instead, such as ‘Mrs. Smith’s class!’ and not their peer’s name, the other student chases them around before they take their spot back in the circle.
Learn More: Party Games 4 Kids
19. All About Me Cube
Use the handy template provided here and ask the students to color and write the answers on their cubes. Glue and construct! This is super easy and will generate lots of discussion between the children.
Learn More: Boy Mama Teacher Mama
Give the students an outline of a person and ask them to draw themselves as a superhero; including what their superpower would be. Put the students into groups and ask them to discuss what they have all created and found out.
Learn More: Pinterest
21. Thanks for the Compliment
All you need is paper, pens, and tape. Stick a piece of paper on the back of each student with their name at the top. Other students walk around and write positive comments or something they like about their new classmates. This activity is a great self-esteem booster and allows students to find out what they all mean to each other.
Learn More: Maren Schmidt
22. Never Have I Ever…
Students sit in a circle and hold up 10 fingers. Students start by saying something that they have never done. For example, “Never have I been on a safari.” For each statement made, all the other students put a finger down if they have engaged in the activity. The game provides a good way of finding out unique facts about your classmates.
Learn More: Never Have Ever
23. Funny Interviews
A super simple activity but one that is sure to have students roaring with laughter whilst getting to know each other. Students can ask a range of silly, unique, and inspiring questions using the list provided.
Learn More: Gathered Again
24. Gallery Walk
Turn your classroom into an art gallery of pictures that they will know for example, book covers, music artists, famous artwork, animals, etc. You could hang paper next to them for comments and scribbles with their thoughts. A great way to get to know your student’s likes and dislikes!
Learn More: Carleton.edu
25. Kahoot Quiz
Have a go at creating a Kahoot quiz. Students can answer some questions about you which will generate more ‘getting to know you’ questions. This is a fun, collaborative activity!
Learn More: Kahoot!
26. A Piece of the Class
Give your students a jigsaw piece to decorate with facts about them. These can then be joined up to make a fun classroom display whilst all the children learn about each other.
Learn More: I Heart Crafty Things
27. Paper Aeroplane Game
Students make a paper airplane and write 2 questions they want to find out from someone in their class. Everyone stands in a circle and throws their airplane. Students retrieve someone else’s plane and find the original owner to answer the questions.
Learn More: Ice Breakers
28. Balloon Pop
Give each student a small piece of paper and a balloon. They will then write information about themselves on the paper, tuck it into the balloon and throw it into the middle of the classroom. The students then take turns popping a balloon and guessing who the information belongs to
Learn More: Creative Youth Ideas
29. Self Portraits
Ask your students to draw a small self-portrait of themselves. Hang all the portraits up and have the students guess who each face belongs to.
Learn More: Art and Possibility
30. Show and Tell
If you have time, ask your students to bring in something to ‘show and tell’ the class so that everyone learns about each other. Encourage students to bring in fun and exciting objects such as trophies or medals, favorite toys, or books.
Learn More: Wonder Years
31. Race for the Truth
This fun game has students stand in a line while you read off general facts. If the fact is true for any student they can move one space forward. The first across the line wins!
Learn More: Sign Up Genius
32. The Circle Game
Another super easy-to-prep activity! You need a selection of colored circles to display around the room. Prepare some questions for the students and say things such as: “Run to the red circle if you love dogs!” This awesome, interactive activity allows learners to then later bond over their similarities.
Learn More: Word Wall