For any group to work well together, it is important that they know each other well enough and are comfortable in each other's presence. The same goes for kids.
Though, if you leave kids on their own, they are bound to become friends pretty early on. But something to facilitate the process does not hurt -- so in spirit of streamlining it all, here are some of the best icebreakers that you can use and get those kids to bond.
If icebreakers are introduced in the form of games, they work amazingly well for kids. It makes a lot of sense because while you're getting the kids to know each other well, they are having fun as well. Win-Win.
1. The Bonny Song
Get the group of kids together and tag a person to become the leader. Make everyone sit in a circle. The leader then explains the rules -- a special alphabet will be used for each round of the game, and whenever that alphabet comes about (in a song, for example), the kids have to either sit down or stand up (depending on their position at that time).
So let's suppose the letter is 'B'. The leader starts singing the song My Bonny lies over the ocean...Bring back my Bonny to me... or any other song that has a lot of occurrence of the letter B. Every time the letter B comes in, the group stands and remains standing till there is another instance of the letter B, at which they are expected to sit.
Whoever fails to do so will be disqualified. The game continues till there is a clear winner. This game ensues a lot of laughs.
2. Cars and Dogs
Divide the kids into two teams -- cars and dogs. Draw a line in the center and then two more on either side marking the territory of both teams. Use a slipper as a dice - with one side denoting the cars and the other the dogs. Have a referee judge the game.
To start the game, both teams stand in the center and the referee throws the slipper into the air, the side on which the slipper falls, that team starts chasing the other. The team that is running needs to cross the line and get back into their area without being caught.
If they are caught, they automatically become a part of the other team. The game continues for a designated time, after which the team that has the most members wins. This is a high energy game and quite the favorite among kids.
3. ... And I Am
This is an introduction game. For this, have everyone sit in a circle. The first person states his name and something that he likes to do. The person on his right goes next, but before he introduces himself, he has to state what the person before him said.
4. Collect the Balls
Pair all the kids in twos. Give them each two buckets -- one that is filled with ping pong balls and the other that is empty. Have them stand with a considerable distance between themselves.
At the blow of the whistle, the kid with the full bucket has to throw the balls to his partner one by one, who has to collect them in the empty bucket. If the balls fall to the ground, he cannot retrieve them. At the end of the minute, the team that managed to collect the most balls, wins.
5. Flying Snowballs
Have all the kids write 5 facts about themselves on a piece of paper and then crumple their paper into snowballs. At the start of the 30 seconds, everyone starts throwing their snowballs around the room. They continue to pick up and throw the snowballs for those 30 seconds.
At the end of the 30 seconds, they have to find a snowball that is closest to them, find the person who has written it and introduce that person to the others.
6. What's That Set
Have all the kids sit in a group, then choose a referee. The referee picks a set of 3-4 kids who have something in common -- like they are all wearing blue jeans, have glasses, or their surnames start with the letter 'A'. It could be just anything that makes them a set. Make the group to guess what makes them a set. This game is a lot of fun, as you can see.
7. Guess Who's There
Have everyone introduce themselves at the beginning of this game. Divide the group into two teams. Make both teams stand on either side of the room. At the start of the game, two members from each team are blindfolded and taken to the center of the room where two people are standing with a blanket separating the two.
At the blow of the whistle, the blanket is thrown down and the two kids can see each other -- the kid who says the name of the kid on the opposite side first, wins, and the kid who fails goes to the opposite team. The game continues till all the members are in one team or after a designated time, the team that has the maximum members is declared the winner.
8. Form a Group
Have everyone stand in the center of the room. The referee then shouts 'Form a group of 4' and everyone has to form the group. Those who are unable to form a group are disqualified. The game continues with varying numbers till there are only two people left.
9. Ball Bob
Have everyone introduce themselves before the game starts. Then ask them to sit in a circle and tag a person to be 'it'. 'It' stands in the center of the circle. The game starts with 'it' tapping someone on their shoulder -- that kid has to say his name out loud and say someone else's name as well.
He has to do this before 'it' can count up till three or else he gets bobbed on the leg with a ping pong ball rolled in a sock and the tag is shifted to him. If, however, he is successful in saying someone else's name before the count of three, the next person has to continue with the trend. Continue the game till everyone has had a chance to be both.
10. Untangle Me Free
Have everyone stand in a circle and hold out their hands. They must use both their hands and grab hold of the hands of two different people. This will leave them in a twisted circle -- the challenge is to untangle themselves and form a circle in a stipulated time.
Using games as icebreakers for kids is not only a great way for the kids to get to know each other better, but is also quite the perfect way of going about it because the kids end up having fun all the way through. So you need icebreakers, you know where to pick and choose from.