In an online class, kids might feel like they are on a one-way learning street. The teacher is up there talking, and the kids are down here listening. There’s not a lot of interaction. They don’t even know each other’s names. So how do you connect? How do you create community? This is where icebreakers come in.
Icebreakers help kids feel comfortable with each other and the online environment. It removes the awkwardness that can happen when you get to know someone new. And it provides a welcome distraction from the stresses of schoolwork.
Today we’ll look at some fun icebreaker activities for use in an online class setting with children. These activities are designed to help students get to know each other and take a break from the academic grind. So without further ado, let’s take a look at them!
The first icebreaker on our list is designed to help kids learn more about each other. This activity helps kids feel comfortable with each other and start building relationships.
Have each student introduce themselves by sharing their name, favorite color, hobby, etc. You can also have them share what they hope to learn in the class.
This is also a great chance to have their camera’s on so they can see each other’s faces.
Choose a familiar song that everyone knows and loves. Then have the students take turns singing a line from the song or sing it together. You can even make it into a game by awarding points for creativity, enthusiasm, etc.
Some of the popular kids’ songs that would work well for this activity are:
This icebreaker is guaranteed to get kids excited and engaged. It’s also a great way to review material covered in the previous class.
Create a quiz with questions about the material covered in the previous class. Then have the students compete against each other to see who can answer the most questions correctly.
Inform the students to use the raise hand button to signal that they know the answer. The first one to raise their hand gets to answer the question.
Each student takes a turn saying a word that begins with the letter of the alphabet that comes after the previous word. For example, if the first person says “apple,” the next person might say “banana.”
This continues until someone gets stumped or repeats a word. It is an excellent game for building vocabulary and getting kids to think on their feet.
Show a funny or interesting video that is appropriate for the age group. This can be a clip from a movie, TV show, or even a commercial. You can also create a mini vlog (video blog) and have the students watch it.
After the video, you can discuss it with the students or have them answer questions about it.
This popular game is always a hit with kids. It’s also a great way to study commands and vocabulary words.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Simon Says is played by one person giving commands to the others while saying “Simon Says.” The other players can only follow the commands if preceded by “Simon Says.”
For example, “Simon Says, touch your nose” or “Simon Says stand up.” If the player does not say “Simon Says” before the command, the other players should not follow it.
This next icebreaker is a great way to get kids up. They sit in front of a computer all day and need to move their bodies.
Have the students stand up and stretch their arms, legs, and bodies. Then have them take some deep breaths. You can even have them close their eyes and imagine they are in a peaceful place.
When it comes to icebreakers, charades are a classic. Here’s how it works: Choose a word and act it out for the kids. The kids have to guess the word. You can make it more difficult by giving them a category, such as animals, food, things that start with the letter “B,” etc.
Check your camera angle before the game starts to ensure everyone can see you. You can also use props to help act out the word.
This is a fun twist on the classic game of charades.
Instead of acting out the word, draw it out. You can use online tools such as Google Drawing or Padlet. Choose a word and start drawing. The kids have to guess the word.
You can also assign students to be the “artist” and have them take turns drawing the words.
Kids love stories, so why not use this to your advantage?
To get started, kids can choose a story they know well or make up their own. The stories can be about anything, such as their weekend, a family member, a favorite animal, etc.
After everyone has a chance to share, kids can discuss what they liked about the stories and what they learned.
It can be hard to focus when you’re staring at a screen all day, and it can be even harder to get to know your classmates when you’re not in the same room. That’s why kids frequently list “icebreakers” as their favorite things to do in an online class.
The most important part of an icebreaker is finding one that is appropriate for the group you’re teaching. With kids, this is especially important as they can be easily overwhelmed or too shy to participate.
However, plenty of great icebreaker games and activities are perfect for kids in an online classroom setting. Take the time to find a suitable activity, so you can help kids feel more comfortable and engaged in the learning process.
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