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Preschoolers may be shy at first and hesitant to socialize with their classmates. It takes a long time for some to warm up and feel at home in class, especially for those who are coming to school for the first time and are still experiencing separation anxiety and homesickness. However, once they get used to the routine, they begin to loosen up and join in on the fun!
Here are some of the fun and easy ice breakers that can make your kids giggle, move their bodies, make new friends, and free their crazy selves!
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What Are You Doing?
Let the kids stand in a circle. If there are a lot of students, you can divide them into groups while you and your assistant (if you have one) roam around and supervise. Each is given a turn to ask the one beside him, “What are you doing?" When the child answers, “I am scratching my nose," then everyone in the circle does the action repeatedly until the next one gives another action. The one who answered asks the classmate beside him the same question. Once an answer is given, everybody does the action again.
If you think your kids are ready for a more challenging version, you can have them do this. One child asks the question. For example, his classmate answers, “I am brushing my teeth." The child who asked will do the action of brushing his teeth. The child who answered asks the one beside him. When an answer is given, the one who asked is the one who will do the action. Everybody keeps on doing the action until the turn reaches them again.
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Sing a familiar song with accompanying actions. Cross out one or two words at a time, then sing the song without saying the omitted words but still doing the movements. After several rounds, try singing the song faster. An additional challenge is to have kids replace some of the words with the first word they can think of. They will need to sing the song in the same way, but with these words in place.
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Write names of different body parts in small pieces of paper. Fold them and let each child pick one. Have him draw that body part on a large paper. At the end, stick all the parts together to form a human figure. Usually, the result has everyone bursting into laughter. You can then have the children suggest names for the character.
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Spread a huge paper on the floor. Prepare paints of various colors in large trays. Let the students dip their hands in the paints and make prints on the paper. They can combine colors and position their hands and fingers in different ways to create designs. Tell them that they have to fill up all the spaces.
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Prepare different art materials--- buttons, sequins, paints, oil pastel, art paper, foam stamps, and more. Give each student a cardboard hat to design so as to represent himself. Present samples that exhibit this. For example, a child who loves to read books can cut out pictures of books and stick them on the hat. When everybody is finished, let them form a circle. Tell them that the “Hat Show" will begin. Have each child wear his hat and show to everyone, while the others try to guess what it tells about him.
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There are many ice breaker games for preschool teachers to use with their students. You may try a few at the beginning of the year to get them started on the right foot. This is a great way to develop socialization skills and build friendships. It will also help you manage your class better, and have fun interacting with the kids at the same time. You may also want to try some Preschool Circle Time Activities.