Some great ideas for the first day of school
When you have a classroom full of nervous, shy, excited, and terrified little faces looking at you and each other, it’s important to build relationships on the first day. Here are five ice breaker games for kids you can use on the first day of school.
- The name game. I play this every year. The children sit in a circle with you. You begin by saying your name. The student next you you has to say your name and his or her name. The third student has to say your name, the first student’s name, and his or her name. the game continues around the circle with every child repeating the previous names (with your help of course) and adding their name to the bottom of the list. At the end, you say the whole list. Variations: After going around the circle, children switch spots and play again. You can also assign a food name that begins with the first letter of their name. Students add that to the list. For example, “Meghan macaroni, Gabby grapes, Ethan egg…”
- Four Corners. Assign each corner of your room with a number. Have students stand in the middle of your room. Tell them “When I say go, but not yet… go to corner 1 if your favorite snack is popcorn, corner 2 if your favorite snack is chips, corner 3 if your favorite snack is yogurt, and corner 4 if your favorite snack is cookies.” The topic can be changed, and this can be played all year long for brainbreaks and transitions.
- Would You Rather. My kids play this and it’s gross. I don’t really want to choose between the two grossest things that they can think of. But you adapt for your students and change it to “Would you rather have toasted marshmallows or burnt marshmallows on your S’mores?
- Find a friend who. Students stand in the middle of the room. You say, “Find a friend who has the same favorite animal as you.” They walk around asking each other what their favorite animal is and grouping together if they find someone with the same choice.
- Ball toss. Give the students a ball or a bean bag. Students say something about themselves. “I like sea turtles” and then toss the ball to another student. They say something about themselves, “I play baseball.”
Having a lesson plan done well in advance allows me to be better prepared and ready to focus on the class. I created an activities and book companion to use in my own classroom to go along with The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. It includes five days of lesson plans and anchor charts, along with everything else you need to get through Halloween week. It is full of activities, games, worksheets and more. Using this resource every year frees up some time to decorate, find a costume, and celebrate halloween with my class.