The Top 6 Back to School 'Ice-breakers' for your Classroom

A new school year means new friends to be made and new classroom groups. Even if you all know each other very well, it is still good to ‘break the ice’ and get re-acquainted with each other again. These games will help loosen everyone up when getting back in to the routine of school. Try one in your classroom this year.

1. ‘Get to know you’ bingo

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This is probably one of the oldest and most well known icebreakers. It's also known as "People Bingo" and "Name Bingo". It works for groups of all ages, and can be a really interesting game if played properly.

You'll need to create a name bingo sheet, (one has been provided as a PDF here). Create a table of  4 x 4 or 5 x 5 grid of personal statements. i.e. "has long hair" or "has more than 5 siblings" or "has travelled overseas" etc

Hand these people bingo sheets out to each person, give them a pen, and then send them off to mingle and find people that match the statements.

Each square needs to contain a different name.  When you fill in each square with different names across a row, or down or diagonally, then you can call out BINGO!

2. M&M Mix & Meet

Get each person to grab some M&M's. (Tell them not to eat them just yet!)

Assign a different meaning to each colour:

  • Blue = friends

  • Green = family

  • Yellow = school

  • Red = hobbies

  • Brown = music/movies

However many M&Ms they have in their hands, that is how many facts they have to tell. For example, if they have three blue, they would have to name three friends or give three facts about three friends.

When all is done, eat the sweets!

3. Secret Identity

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Have everyone secretly write down the name of a well known celebrity, sports person, historical figure or politician on a small piece of paper or a "post-it" note. Then have them tape the name on the back of the person on their left.

Everyone goes around and asks people yes or no questions about who is on their back. They can only ask each person one question. The person who can do it in the least number of questions wins.

4. Salad Names

Everyone sits in a circle. Player A says their name, then adds another players name that they want to pass it on to... e.g. Player A says "Tom, Tom - Sam, Sam" player B says "Sam, Sam- Elle, Elle"... and so on.

Add an interesting twist where pupils can’t show their teeth when they call out the fruit names, (which you do by pulling your lips over your teeth).

If you do happen to show your teeth and get caught by anyone, you alert the group by screaming "teeth teeth" and flapping your arms at the player like wings (making sure you don't show your teeth in the process!). Depending on how you want to play, you can do elimination or points lost when teeth are shown.

Played with the right group of people, this is an absolutely hilarious game. You can substitute names with fruit or vegetables.

5. ‘Ultimate Icebreaker’

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This game is literally an ‘icebreaker’. Needs a bit of prep before hand - fill up some trays or bowls with water and place a t-shirt or pair of shorts, socks or a hat in the water. Then freeze it!

You'll need at least one tray/bowl per team and it's probably best to use the same item/s for each team. Tell each team that the first ones to successfully put on an item of clothing wins! Let the teams try to melt their block of ice anyway they wish.  Obviously an outdoor activity but one that will be highly valued on the hottest day at school.

6. Team Quizzes and Puzzles

Working in teams on puzzles and quizzes is one of the best ways that you can combine learning and icebreakers for your classroom!


Turn it into a classroom competition by making quick fire rapid rounds and picking teams out of a hat! Extra! has some great current events quiz questions, world mapping, matching, newspaper search sections and much more.

Set pupils in teams of two or three and set prizes for the teams who get the most answers correct. It’s a great way to get pupils interacting and practising for the Extra! Current Events and Spelling Quizzes!