This fall new students and new classrooms mean children need some help adjusting. We can help make this easier by playing games to help children get to know each other. Here are six games to kickstart the school year.
Hi My Name Is. Everyone must walk around practicing introducing themselves with the following exchange. The first person says, “Hi, my name is _____.” The second person says, “Hi, my name is _____.” The first person says, “Nice to meet you.” The second person repeats this back. The first person says, “See you later.” The second person responds, “Bye!”
Move Your Booty. Everyone stands in a circle. One person begins in the middle and says something that is true about themselves, for example move your booty if you loved playing four square at recess as a child or move your booty if you have been to Africa. If that statement also true of you, you must move from your spot in the circle. The person who doesn’t make it to a spot gets to say the next statement. Tip: this game is easier with place markers, such as cones or chairs for those in the circle.
Name Touch. Standing in a circle, go around (twice) and have everyone say their name so that others can remember it. One person becomes the tagger in the center of the circle. Everyone in the circle hold out the hands palms up. Begin with one person in the circle saying the name of another person in the circle. The tagger must gently like a butterfly tag the hand of the person whose name was called before that person calls out another person in the circle. If the player is tagged or a player calls the name of someone not in the circle, they must switch with the person in the center.
If You Really Knew Me… In groups of two, take turns speaking and listening. For sixty seconds, the speaker shares as many statements beginning with “If you really knew me” as they can while the other listens, maintaining eye contact but not speaking. Statements could range from “If you really knew me, you would know I’m the oldest of three kids” to “if you really knew me, you would know I like the color red.” It sounds simple and easy, but a full minute can be challenging!
Group Count. Teach patience and counting by having a group of children take turns counting. They must count as high as they can, but may not go in a specific order. Every child remains silent unless they are saying a number. If two people say a number at the same time, the group must start back at one.
Ro Sham Bo Evolution. Every student starts as a egg and turns to a neighbor to play roshambo (also called rock paper scissors). The winner becomes a chicken. Then each chicken finds another chicken and eggs find other eggs and so on. A chicken becomes a dinosaur. Dinosaurs become rock stars. And rock stars become superheroes. Learn more about how to play Evolution.