classroom best practices

7 Ways to Make Classroom Icebreakers Fun

Icebreakers are used to allow new students the opportunity to get to know each other.  You can also use them to help new students meet students already in school. Make your icebreakers fun and light-hearted, and don’t force students to get too personal with who they are.

Do you struggle with new ideas for icebreakers? Here are a few ideas.

Six Degrees of Separation

Divide the class into pairs and have each pair come up with 6 things they have in common with each other.  It can be anything (example:  they like the same type of music, or they both have children, etc.). When time is called, ask a few of the pairs to share their list with the entire group.

Mobile Show and Tell

Put students into groups (no more than 7).  Have each student pull up one photo on their phone that best describes who they are.  Each student in the group shares their photo and tells the story as to why that photo best describes who they are.

Ask Anyone

Create a set of index cards with a different question written on each index card. Each student is to pull an index card.  They will read their question and then mingle around the room asking other students the question.  When time is called ask students to take their seats and ask for a few shares. Create questions that will help the students learn about each other.  Questions might include:

  • If you won the lottery, what would be your ultimate luxury item?
  • What name would you choose for the rock group?
  • Which cartoon character/superhero would you choose? Why?”
  • Which birthday was your happiest?  Why
  • If money were not an option, where would your ultimate vacation home be?
  • If you had to be a character on a T.V. show, who would you be?
  • If you had the opportunity to be invisible for one day, where would you go? What would you want to see?
  • If you only could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Agree or Disagree

Give each student a sign that says “Agree” on one side of the room and “Disagree” on the other side of the room.  Put the students in a circle and have them face each other.  Read them a series of questions and have them answer with their signs – agree or disagree.  Questions should be light-hearted and fun and help you learn a few fun facts about each student.  Questions might include:

  • I prefer Coke over Pepsi.
  • I am a morning person.
  • I prefer dogs over cats.
  • I prefer salty over sweets.
  • I believe that America’s team is the Dallas Cowboys (Sorry all my Wisconsin schools I had to throw that one in for you!)

Common Link

Have a student stand in the front of the room and tell the students something about themselves.  When a student hears something, they have in common with that student, they are to jump up and link his/her arms with the student in the front of the room.  The student that just joined the link will begin to share something about themselves when students hear something they have in common with that student they are to jump up and link their arms with that student, and so on and so on.  The chain will continue in this manner until everyone is linked in one long chain.

Candy Fun

Purchase a bag of colorful candy such as M&M’s or Skittles.  Have each participant pick one piece of candy.  Put students into groups of 5.  Have each person answer one question based on the color of the candy they chose.  Put a slide up on the screen with your questions and which color they correspond to.  For example:

  • GREEN:  A recent accomplishment you are proud of.
  • ORANGE:  If you could travel anywhere where would it be and why?
  • RED:  3 things you do in your spare time.
  • BROWN:  How would you spend a totally free day.
  • YELLOW:  You just won 10 Million… what would you spend it on first and why?
  • BLUE:  Who is the most influential person you have met and why?

Human Scavenger Hunt

Create and pass out Human Scavenger Hunt Cards to each student.  Give the students 9 minutes to move around the room and ask questions of their classmates, as it relates to the Scavenger Hunt Card.  Once they have found a classmate that meets the statement on the card, they can put that classmate’s initials in the box.  They may only use a student’s name one time on their card and they may not use themselves.  The first student to fill in all squares wins!  Here is an example of various questions you might include.

Human Scavenger Hunt

Has attended beauty school before Dislikes Chocolate Has a pet other than a dog or cat Has an older brother or sister
Is extremely excited to start school. Reads Fashion Magazines/Blogs Has traveled to another country Watches Beauty and Wellness related YouTube videos.
Has the same color hair as you Is a fan of Game of Thrones Current haircolor is their natural haircolor Is a vegetarian
Has flown in a Hot Air Balloon Would love to go Sky Diving Has never been on an airplane Loves the Ocean

What icebreakers do you use in your classroom?

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Lisha Barnes

Lisha Barnes

Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.