Breaking the ice at youth nights, lock-ins and other events in essential. It helps build relationships and can also help prepare hearts and minds for shared time in God’s Word. Pre-covid, the high school youth group I lead got away from doing ice breakers consistently. My congregation really only serves one school district, and most of the kids know each other. But knowing of each other is vastly different than knowing each other.
After seeing the impact Covid has had on our relational abilities, and my group’s relationships with each other, my youth ministry team and I decided we needed to get back into the habit of doing an icebreaker game every week. Looking for ice breakers can be touch. Some are too “touchy-feely” for kids today. Some are too “cliche” for modern youth, and others have been done to death. Even your groups most favorite game today could be old new next week.
Below are links to some new icebreaker ideas for you. Before you jump in, there are two key things that are important to keep in mind.
First, make sure that the icebreaker fits where your group is at. If you have a lot of competitive youth, consider picking icebreakers are are more cooperative in nature. If your group doesn’t know each other well, start with games that don’t ask for any physical touch or disclosure of personal information. As they get to know each other, you can build that into your games. Starting with something that asks them to stretch way outside their comfort zone with people they don’t know is a surefire way to get them to shut down. Double check your space and supplies to make sure you can do the game safely and effectively in the space your group uses.
Second, if your goal is for kids to get to know different people, you may need to come up with creative ways to form their groups. I usually tell them they need to have at least one person of a different grade in their group. Sometimes I tell them they need the same number of boys and girls. Find something that mixes the kids up. If you have a smaller group, this might not be an issue – but even in groups of 10 or more I make sure to get them moving around. I also encourage our adult leaders to play along so that they get to know the youth and the youth get to know them.
Here are 4 Easy, Low Prep Icebreakers
- What’s Your Favorite…
- Three is a Crowd
- Blanket Name Game
- Number Cruncher
- If you were a __________
- Sound Effects