Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ice breaker games

I want to make church fun for children as well as spiritually nourishing.   know I am shaping attitudes and creating memories.  I want what I shape and create to be the most positive possible hoping that children will not even want to leave the church as they get older, but if they do that when they have children of their own they will want their children to have the same great church experience they had as a child, bringing them back to the church and the potential of re connecting with God.  One of the ways that I like to do this is through the use of games.  I use four different types of games.  Icebreaker games are used to help warm the child socially to the class or group setting.  These games may or may not have any other value.  Memory verse games which are used to in graft scripture in the minds and spirits of our young charges.  What have you learned games which are my measuring tool to know if I accomplished my goal.  Were they listening, did they understand.  This gives me a second opportunity to make my point if I failed the first time and it gives the children incentive to pay attention.  Interactive learning games which are designed to actually illustrate the teaching objective.  I would like to share some of my games that I have gathered with you to use as well.  

Icebreaker Games:  I usually use these at the beginning of the class time before all the children have gathered but they can be used as fillers as well.  

Dig sites:  

Marbles  In a bowl filled with glass marbles place a few individually wrapped round candies.  Blindfold the child and place him in front of the bowl.  Using a stop watch(your cell phone) let the child have 15 seconds to one by one take out what he thinks are the candies.  Want to add more challenge?  Make them wear a plastic glove.  Let them keep the candies.

Safety pins in rice:  Same principle as above.

Save the red ones:   In a bowl of sand, rice or cornmeal, hide many different colors of pom poms.  The child must wear a blind fold.  The goal is to take out all the pom poms but only the red ones count.  For each pom pom that is not red a red one must be discounted.  The child is scored on the number of red ones remaining.


Covered Wagon:   I used this with our unity called "Pioneer Days".  Select two children to play.  Allow these children to select two children to be either the wagon or the driver.  The child (wagon) will get on all fours and the driver picks up their feet like the wheel barrow races.  The difference is that they must load their wagon with things like blankets, candles, food, clothing etc.  The children must race to the finish line without spilling their contents.  If they spill they must re load and start again.

Dress up:  I use this with many units and what they choose to put on is consistent with the unit.  For the Island Unit we would use leis, Hawaiian shirt, grass skirt, Sunglasses.  Divide 8 or more into two teams.  The children must put on all the clothing and take it off.  The next child does the same until the last child is completed.  The team finishing first wins. 
Take pictures.  This is fun.

Crab Walk:   Select 2 children or more to crab walk to a finish line.

Barrel Racing:   Using stick horses and buckets create a race track.  It is helpful to use masking tape to mark out the direction they are to go around the buckets.  Select 2 children and start them at opposite ends of the track.  Whoever gets to the other end first wins.

Scavenger Hunts
This can be done by listing the items on a power point or overhead projector, making your list on a white board or individual lists given to each team.   Hide the items in your room ahead of time  You can select the items as they relate to your theme so for a Wild West theme you could have:  Cowboy boot, Sheriff badge, Rope, Bandanna, Straw, Snake, Gun, Stick horse or plastic horse, Plastic cow, etc.  Divide the class in two teams.  Give them 1 minute.  The children with the most items on the list win.
Swab the deck:  You need two mops  (dollar store) several sponges and two buckets.  Select two children to play.  Allow them to select a partner to hold the bucket.  Spread the sponges and give them 30 seconds to mop up as many sponges as they can into the buckets.  

The clothes pin race:  Select two children to play.  Allow them to choose their child who will be the clothesline.  Place 2 sets of clothes pins in two different colors at the opposite end of the room.  At the signal "GO" the runner runs to their designated clothespins picks up one and runs back and pins it on their clothesline,(child's clothing).  The first team to get all the clothes pins on thier "clothesline" wins.

Packing peanut race:  This is messy.  The first player on each team is the runner.  The runner puts one cup on the racket.  The second player is the scooper and wears the blindfold.  The scooper uses another cup to scoop packing peanuts and tries to pour them into the cup on the racket  The runner’s job is to position the racket to catch the packing peanuts and to tell the scooper when to pour or when to stop.  The cup on the racket must be full before the scooper can stop.  The runner may not touch the scooper or the scooper’s cup. 
Once the cup on the racket is full, the runner runs around the chair at the other side of the room without touching the cup, and returns to dump the cup and packing peanuts back in the bucket.  While the runner is running the scooper puts the blindfold on the next person in line.  The old scooper then retrieves the cup from the bucket and becomes the new runner.  The third person in line becomes the new scooper.  Keep going until everyone has been the runner.  The team that finishes first wins. 

These are just a few fun games.  Next time I will list my memory verse games.  I love these because they make learning memory verses so fun that the kids don't even know they are working.  


  1. Sounds like you have a fun class! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    1. We do have fun. I believe that church should be memorable. Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Great ideas! I'll be pinning so that we can use some of these in our kids ministry. :)

  3. Fun ideas! Reminds me of the fun I had in Sunday School.

    1. One of my goals in teaching children is to create lasting memories that will keep children faithful to God as they grow.

  4. Great list! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Hi Wanda! Great game ideas. I have been invoved in kids ministry for almost 38 years and have worked with thousands of children through a mission organization I am involved with. I also write kid min ideas for our the volunteers that we train. We have a common connection. :) Finding someone with the same heart is a real blessing! The children are a precious treasure and 100% of the future!

    1. Thank you! It is always a treat for me to find someone with a like passion. May God bless your ministry!

  6. Hello Wanda, I think this kind of information is needed now days! How wonderful that you have such a heart for children. Writing for Sunday school lessons and activities is so precious!
    Thanks for Linking up at the Party!
    Blessings, Miss Roxy