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10 Great Icebreakers for Children's Ministry

It's important to help the children in your ministry build relationships with other children.

This especially applies to children who are guests. If you want to see them return, then it's critical that they make some friends and feel known and accepted.

A great way to do this is to use icebreakers. Icebreakers get kids talking and interacting with the other children. I recommend doing icebreakers every single week. Here are 10 great icebreakers you can use to get kids talking and interacting.

#1 - Pack Your Suitcase

  • Tell the kids they are going on a trip.

  • They have to pack their suitcases.

  • Each child will get a “suitcase” (piece of paper with a suitcase image).

  • They will draw or write in their suitcase one or more of the following:

    • favorite candy or snack

    • favorite video game, toy, movie or ap

    • favorite drink

    • favorite shirt, shorts or shoes

Give them 4-5 minutes to draw or write their items(s) then go around the group and have them share their name and what they are bringing.

#2 - Smiley Face

Pick one kid in your group and have him or her try to make the other kids smile.

The other kids should make serious faces and do their best not to smile.

The first person who smiles has to be the next person who tries to make everyone else smile.

Play as many rounds as time allows.

#3 - Beat Repeat

First child says his or her name and makes a beat sound. The sound can be a clap, finger snap, table tab, tongue click, etc.

The next child will repeat the first child’s name and sound with him or her and then add his or her name and a new sound.

Keep going until everyone around the group is saying everyone’s name and sound together.

#4 - Animal Guess

Give each group a set of animal stickers or cutouts.

Put an animal sticker on each child’s forehead. Don’t let the child see which sticker you put on his or her forehead.

The first child will tell everyone his or her name.

Then the child will ask the other kids questions to try to figure out which animal is on his or her forehead.

Examples of questions:

  • What color am I?

  • What sound do I make?

  • How big am I?

Once the child guesses what animal is on his or her forehead, it will be the next child’s turn.

Keep playing until every child has guessed what his or her animal is.

Have kids take stickers off once the icebreaker is over.

#5 - Baseball Cards

Baseball cards usually have a picture of the player, their name, and some fun facts about them. Then people usually trade cards with their friends!

I thought it would be a great idea for us to make our very own baseball cards and trade them with someone else in the room.

Make Your Own Baseball Card Instructions: • Give every child a piece of paper (baseball card size). • Have crayons, pens, pencils, markers, etc. available. • Give kids 5 minutes to make their card. Here’s what it should include:





fun or interesting fact

When time is up, give kids a couple of minutes to trade cards with someone else and share with that person what they drew or wrote on the card.

#6 - Jokers

Go around your group and have the kids take turns saying their name and then telling a joke.

#7 - Time Traveler

Go around your group and have each child say their name and where they would go if they could travel back to any time period. Ask them to share why they chose that time period.

#8 - ________(your name) Says!

We’re going to play ________ (your name) Says! It’s kinda’ like Simon Says, but since my name is _________ (your name), we’ll call it __________Says.

When you hear my voice, then obey and do what I say. You’ll have 30 seconds to complete each command.(examples below) • _______ (your name) says – go to another group and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. • _______ (your name) says – find someone wearing blue, green, or red and shake hands with them. • _______ (your name) says – give your group leader a high-five.

#9 - Heard It Through the Grape Vine

Get out a ball of yarn in your group.

Hand it to a child.

Child will say his or her name and then hold onto the end of the yarn without letting go while tossing the ball of yarn to another child.

The next child will repeat the process.

Keep going until everyone has said their name and is holding onto the yarn.

This will form a “web” where all the kids are connected by the yarn.

Keep the web going by asking more questions.

Kids can answer the following questions for next rounds.

Favorite food.

Favorite color.

Favorite Bible story.

Name of pet or favorite animal.

Favorite day of the week.

#10 - Meet My Friend

Divide the kids in your group into pairs.

Have the kids ask each other these questions in their pairs. Name


Favorite video game or movie

Favorite superhero

Next, have the kids share what they learned about the other person with

the group.

p.s. Looking for curriculum that gets kids involved in the lesson with icebreakers, activities and engaging lesson strategies? Check out my new curriculum at this link. It will help you capture kids' attention and they will learn key truths and verses. Sample lessons available.


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