As parents, we often find ourselves in situations where kids need to bond in a group before an activity, project, event, or class. Get to know you games for kids are a great way to both entertain kids and build initial bonds among them. Teachers are masters of these sorts of games and know the best ones to get those kids out of their shells to participate together. These get to know you games for kids go beyond just learning names and instead ask kids to get familiar with one another on a more meaningful level.
Further, you want kids to feel comfortable forming a group or groups and working together toward a common goal. Most importantly, these games are actually fun for children and will allow them to express their own unique points of view. Now, let’s talk icebreakers!
Find the Best Get to Know You Games for Kids to Break the Ice!
Two Truths and a Lie (Grades 2+)
This classic icebreaker game for kids can be played in a large group or smaller groups. Kids especially love this one so we decided to kick this list of get to know you games for kids with it.
- Have each person in the group come up with three statements about themselves. Two must be true and one must be false. Depending on the age of the kids, have them write down their three statements to help them remember and practice their writing skills.
- Call on students one by one. Have them read their three statements and have the group determine which statement is the false one.
- There are a couple of ways to play. First, by having the kids raise their hands to vote on the false statement. Or, you can ask each student to write down the false statement of each person to see who gets the most right.
Breaking the Ice with a Beach Ball (Grades 2+)
Another one of the most fun get to know you games for kids involves a prop, a beachball.
- Before the game begins, use a marker to write questions on each panel of a beach ball.
- Have the children stand or sit in a circle and roll or toss the ball to each other.
- The question that faces the child when it gets to them is the one they must answer for the group. Then, they pass the ball to the next person to do the same.
- Use the setting of your group as a guide to come up with questions. Take into account the context to formulate questions that feel appropriate. They can be as broad as “What do you love to do on the weekend?” to “What month you were born?” or as specific as “What would you like to learn about today?”
Find Four (Grades 2-5)
Find for is one of the best get to know you games for kids who need to expend some energy as they get to know one another.
- Give the kids a card that has been separated into four different sections. Each square contains different instructions for them to follow.
- Each one of the instructions should inform students to “find four” others in the group that meets the criteria. This could be an instruction like “find classmates who have a pet cat.”
- This motivates kids to go around the group to find out about others to see if they have certain things in common until they have found their four.
- Another great element to add is to ask students to write the names of their four for each square. This helps them remember new names.
The Name Chase (Grades Pre-K+)
This is one of the get to know you games for kids that gets them moving. This one is similar to “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
- Ask your kids to sit in a circle except for the person you choose to be “it,” who you should instruct to stand outside the circle.
- The person who is “it” must walk around the circle and gently tap each person’s head and says their name instead of “duck.”
- If the “it” person says “chase” instead, the tapped person has to chase “it” around the circle to try and tag them before “it” takes their spot in the circle.
- This is a great way to learn names and have plenty of fun.
Fortune Teller Icebreaker for Kids (Grades 3-6)
Do you remember those folded paper fortune tellers that have flaps to reveal answers? They can easily be adapted to one of the most fun get to know you games for kids.
- Simply print out the fortune teller template for kids and fill it in with questions like “how old are you?” or “what is your birthday?” or “how many siblings do you have?”
- Make copies of fortune-tellers and distribute them to the kids. Then, ask them to pair up to play “fortune teller” where each person tries to guess the details of their partner. They’ll have so much fun guessing while getting to know more about their partner.
A Fan of Compliments (Grades 2-5)
This is one of the get to know you games for kids that encourages children to give each other reassuring compliments and validations.
- Give each kid a piece of paper.
- Have students make a fan by folding the piece of paper back and forth into seven equal sections. Once fans are folded, have students write their names on the top section, unfold their fan, and pass it to another kid.
- The kid writes something they really appreciate about the child in the section immediately below the student’s name, folds the section under so the comment is hidden, and passes the fan to another student.
- Children pass the fans until each section has a positive statement.
- When complete, fans are returned to the student whose name is at the top.
- As students read the compliments from their peers, they realize how many “fans” they have on their team!
Smile Trial (Grades Pre-K-3)
Here’s one of the funniest get to know you games for kids that can get very cheesy. It’s essentially a try not to laugh challenge.
- Have the kids sit in a circle, facing each other.
- You choose a student to start the game. Inform them that they must show off their biggest, widest smile to share with the group. Tell them they must not laugh or make any faces, just smile.
- For each child who laughs at the smiling one, they get a point.
- After they have smiled at everyone in the group, they “wipe” the smile off their face with their hand and “pass” the smile to the next person in the circle.
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Keep Reading for Even More Get to Know Games for Kids!
All In One Game (Pre-K-5)
Here’s one of the get to know you games for kids that takes little to no setup but is most fun played by larger groups.
- Have the group stand in a circle, holding hands.
- Pick a kid to go to the center. Then, that kid gets to invite another kid (by name if they’re learning names) to join them inside the circle.
- Each subsequent child invites someone else inside the circle. The children who have not been invited into the circle must keep it intact by still holding hands.
- The goal is to see how many kids can squeeze inside the circle before they can no longer be held by those in the perimeter.
Creating a Commercial About Me (Grades 3+)
A really fun way that gets kids’ creative energy going and one of the best get to know you games for kids young and old involves making a “Me-mercial.”
- Ask each kid to create a short “commercial” about why they should be hired for a job.
- The kids should basically list the qualities about themselves that will make a good fit and it’s presented as a sort of infomercial through the kids’ lens.
- As each child to come in front of the group to present their “Me-mercial” so that kids get a sense of the person’s character and sense of humor.
A Touch of Kindness (Grades 1-4)
This is one of the best get to know you games for kids if you have access to (a few) crafting supplies.
- Ask kids to draw an outline of their hand on paper. Then, cut them out for the kids (or skip that step altogether).
- Then, ask your group to share ways people can be kind to one another. As the kids answer, tell them to write the kindnesses that most resonated with them on each finger. For young kids, ask them to draw a picture to represent it.
- This can become a full-on crafting exercise where kids decorate their hands after filling them with kindness.
The Great Continental Divide (Grades 3+)
This is one of the get to know you games for kids that places children into teams.
- Place children into teams (more teams will compete in bigger groups and it can be played with just two teams for smaller ones).
- Tell them to stand shoulder to shoulder with their teammates and tell them that their shoes are “fused” with the person to their left and right so that their shoes must move together for the entire team to move forward.
- They must race to get from point A to point B but if someone steps out of sync with the group they must return to point A.
- The first team to make it to the finish line wins.
Secret Compliments (Grades 2+)
This is one of the get to know you games for kids that requires some materials including paper, pens or markers, and tape.
- Tape a piece of construction paper on the back of each person in the group.
- Each person is given a marker. Each person in the group must walk around the room and write a compliment or positive remark (or even a word) about that person on their back.
- When everyone has had ample time to get and give secret compliments, divide the group into smaller groups. Ask those in these groups to remove the pieces of paper from their backs and take turns reading the compliments to each other. Talk about a self-esteem boost!
Sitting and Standing in Pairs (Grades 1+)
Here’s one of the best get to know you games for kids that involves physical activity.
- Have your group split up into pairs.
- The pairs will sit on the floor, back pressed to back. They must stand up without using their hands.
- Those who fall or use their hands must retry until they successfully accomplish the task.
- After a pair stands up, have them find another pair who has done the same and all 4 of them must sit down and stand up.
- Go on until the entire group is together and have everyone try to stand up.
- This is a good game to promote friendship and trust. It’s very fun when you have a large group.
Guess That Animal (Grades 2+)
Believe it or not, this is one of the get to know you games for kids that can be played and enjoyed by those of any age. It really helps to break the ice and overcome shyness.
- Line up the group in two rows with backs to one another.
- Tape a picture of an animal to each child’s back. Do not let them see it.
- Kids must then circulate among others in the room and ask “yes” or “no” questions about the animal in an attempt to identify it.
- Encourage kids to continue to circulate and each time an animal is correctly guessed, remove the animal from their back and tell them to help others guess animals.
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Joke and Punchline Icebreaker for Kids (Grades 3+)
This is one of the cutest get to know you games for kids that requires a bit of planning on your part. You’ll first need to ensure that you have an even number of players or make an accommodation.
- Write a joke on one piece of paper and its punchline on another. There should be a piece of paper for each kid in the group. Mix the pieces of paper up and pass one to each child.
- Then, encourage individuals to determine if they have a punchline or a joke. Those with jokes should try and find the matching punchline and vice-versa. This forces kids to interact.
- After each person has found their pair, ask them to ask three questions about their partner. Simple things like: “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” or “Do you have siblings?” etc.
- After this is complete, ask the pairs to stick together but to form a circle with the larger group. Then, they get to tell their jokes and punchlines to the group.
Do you think these get to know you games for kids will help break the ice? We certainly hope you found some options that might work for your group. Getting kids to come out of their shells can take some coaxing but it’s not impossible. These get to know you games for kids will help them shine bright!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Find the Best Get to Know You Games for Kids to Break the Ice!
- 2 Keep Reading for Even More Get to Know Games for Kids!
- 2.1 All In One Game (Pre-K-5)
- 2.2 Creating a Commercial About Me (Grades 3+)
- 2.3 A Touch of Kindness (Grades 1-4)
- 2.4 The Great Continental Divide (Grades 3+)
- 2.5 Secret Compliments (Grades 2+)
- 2.6 Sitting and Standing in Pairs (Grades 1+)
- 2.7 Guess That Animal (Grades 2+)
- 2.8 Joke and Punchline Icebreaker for Kids (Grades 3+)
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