There are so many cool activities out there to use. The first group session is the most important time to establish that fun atmosphere.
Icebreakers are great, and there are plenty out there to use. Today I want to share one of my favorites. It's a game that can really get the ball rolling.
This icebreaker lightens the atmosphere of the group and allows all group members to participate. It's a fun way for everyone to get to know each other.
Start out sitting in a circle. Explain that you are going to ask a question, point to either your right or left, and each child will answer the question for themselves, moving quickly until everyone has had a chance. Continue the game by coming up with new questions to ask. Examples include:
- What is your favorite food?
- If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
- Name a food you really, really hate to eat!
- If you could be any animal, what would you be?
- Name the one person in the world who you would choose to spend the day with if you could.
- What's a TV show that you really, really like?
After several rounds, the last question kids are asked to share is “If you had one wish for something that would make your family better, what would you wish for?” Many children will disclose who in their family has a problem with drugs or alcohol, or another stressful problem, allowing counselors insight into issues that the child is dealing with.
- What's your favorite color?
I love this activity. It helps me quickly assess which kids in my group are truly ready to talk. When I move on to introductions, and talk about why we are all there, you can be sure that I am going to choose a child who was eager to answer the final question. The rest of the group will be more willing to share after they watch a peer open up.
I'm not clear on where this game originated, and I'm sure that there are numerous variations out there. I like it because it's simple, fun, and requires just your imagination. Kids of all ages enjoy it. Make sure to keep it moving and join in on the fun!