11 Icebreaker Games for Elementary Students They Will Love

When it comes to elementary students, it’s no secret that they are fond of games, as they are often integrated into the curriculum.

The beginning of the school year is no exception.

As a teacher, utilizing icebreaker games for elementary students is an excellent way to set a positive, motivating, and inspirational tone in the classroom.

The following icebreaker games, well-suited for lower and upper elementary students, provide an opportunity for students to get to know each other in a fun and relaxed manner.

Icebreaker Games for Elementary Students

1. Participate In a Scavenger Hunt.

Start your elementary icebreaker games with a fun scavenger hunt!

Create a list of items commonly found in the classroom or your school (e.g., a pencil, a ruler, a book).

Divide students into small teams and give them the scavenger hunt list. They collaborate to find the items on the list within a certain amount of time.

See scavenger hunt game.

2. Make Colorful Connections.

Give each student a piece of colored construction paper (different colors).

They must then find other students with the same color paper, introduce themselves and share something about themselves with their color group.

3. Become a Talk Show Host.

This is arguably one of the most exciting icebreaker games for upper elementary students.

For this fun activity, students imagine themselves as talk show hosts and prepare a set of questions they would like to ask their classmates.

They may use pencils or pens as makeshift microphones.

Once ready, they find a partner.

With the ‘microphone’ in hand, one student acts as the talk show host and asks her partner the prepared questions.

The ‘microphone’ is positioned near the partner’s mouth as if he is answering.

This exchange continues back and forth until both students have had a chance to play the role of the host and guest.

Afterward, they switch partners and repeat the process for several rounds.

4. Play Matchmaker.

Prepare cards with pictures or drawings of various objects or animals in pairs (e.g., sun and moon, peanut butter and jelly, computer and mouse).

Hand out the cards randomly to each student, and they must find their match by looking for the person with the corresponding card.

5. Do a Birthday Lineup.

In this icebreaker game, elementary students form a line based on their birthdays.

Doing so requires them to work collectively to arrange themselves in chronological order according to their birthdates.

See if students can complete this task before the birthday lineup timer runs out!

6. Play Categories.

Call out a category. Students then work together to categorize themselves based on the given criteria.

For example, you could ask students to categorize themselves by birthdays, the number of siblings they have, a certain teacher they had last school year, or what mode of transportation they utilize to get home after school.

The category possibilities are numerous.

7. Collaborate to String a Story Together.

Have students sit in a circle.

The first student starts a story with one sentence.

The next student adds another sentence, and so on, until a complete story is created, going around the circle.

8. Play “What’s in the Bag?”.

Fill a bag with various objects (e.g., a toy, a pencil, a rubber band).

Each student takes a turn reaching into the bag, feeling the object without looking, and describing what he/she thinks it is.

After everyone has had a turn, reveal the objects and see how close students were in their descriptions.

9. Race to Alphabetize.

Divide students into groups of four or five.

Each group participates in a race to alphabetize themselves based on various criteria.

For instance, they may alphabetize themselves by their first names, followed by their last names.

Alternatively, they may arrange themselves according to their birthdays or alphabetize by their favorite fruits or the colors of their eyes.

10. Create a Name Train.

Ask students to sit in a line or a circle.

The first student says her name aloud and chooses an adjective that starts with the same letter as her name (e.g., “Productive Patty”).

The next student repeats the first person’s name and adjective and then adds his own.

Continue until every student has added his or her name phrase.

11. Make Venn diagram Comparisons.

In this fun icebreaker game, elementary students work with a partner to jot down on sticky notes all the ways they are alike and different. 

To add fun to this activity, allow students to stick the Post-It notes on themselves. 

They will then switch partners and start the process again. 

Final Thoughts On Elementary Icebreaker Games

These fun icebreaker games for elementary students are sure to bring smiles and a sense of camaraderie among classmates as they start a new school year.

They help to lay a solid foundation for a successful school year.