Though summer is here, the next school year is always lingering at the back of the mind of most school psychologists. You may be thinking about what new challenges will pop up over the summer or be on the lookout for new activities that you can use to help your students. As icebreaker activities will be a great asset as the school year begins and everyone is trying to develop relationships with new students or those who are facing new situations in their lives, we have gathered a few activity ideas that might help you get the school year started off right.
Tell Me One Thing
This is a simple game that you can play with students of any age. All you need is a die or spinner and a list of questions. Assign a question to each number or color on the die or spinner, then go back and forth with your student and answer icebreaker questions about yourselves. For instance, you can use questions like “Tell me one thing you did over summer vacation,” or “Tell me one thing about your favorite food.” To expand on the activity, allow the student to come up with a list of their own questions and play together again.
Block Tower Games
Block tower party games can have questions attached to each block for a simple icebreaker. As you pull a block from the tower, you must answer the question before placing it back on the stack. Continue the game until the tower collapses. Play this as many times as necessary to help your students get more comfortable and start opening up a bit.
Never Have I Ever
This modified version of “Never Have I Ever” is a fun way to get students who are less talkative to tell you more about themselves. Simply make statements that begin with the phrase “Never Have I Ever” and they simply can hold up a “I have” or “Never” card, raise a hand if they agree or disagree with the statement, or speak out that they have or have never done that activity. Keep the questions light and silly to begin, as this will help them relax and feel more confident that they can share with you.
For this game, students will answer questions about themselves by the snack they choose to eat. Write a list of questions out, assigning each to a candy or other snack, then invite the student to answer the question that is associated with the snack that they would like. If you use this frequently with the same students, be sure to mix the questions up periodically, as they may gravitate to one particular snack.
Two Truths and a Lie
This is a classic game that allows everyone to be silly while sharing facts about themselves and opening up a bit. They (or you) will announce three statements about themselves, one of which is not true. Then the other person will try to guess which of the things is a lie. With this game, you may want to go first to help set boundaries and give an example so that you can get a little useful information out of your students.
There are plenty of options out there for breaking the ice with new students or refreshing your relationship with returning students at the beginning of the school year. Leave us a comment with some of your favorites!
Amidst your icebreaker planning with students, if you’re also planning to make a change in your school psychology career, why not start with a new opportunity or travel/temp option? Check out our exciting opportunities here.