5 Fun back-to-school icebreakers for the first school day

New school, new opportunity. New class, new kids, new friends. Every student is a little bit scared and excited for their first day of school. “Who will be my teacher? Who will be my new friend? Will they like me?”, and so on. Their school bags are ready and clothing is picked. They probably didn’t get much sleep. The big day is finally there. As it happens, they are not the only ones to feel that way. It’s a first day for a teacher too.

Relax and get to know each other in an informal atmosphere with these fun introductory games, which you can use as icebreaker activities. If you’re feeling creative, make the games by hand, or use BookWidgets (check out our examples in widget library!).

Almost all introductory games are icebreaker activities for elementary students. But as I give you the inspiration and the purpose of these games, you can easily transform them to icebreaker games for high school students.

Top 5 Introductory Icebreaker Games For Students

1. Bingo

Back-to-School Bingo is a fantastic icebreaker activity for middle school children as it will help them to get to know their classmates. Create a Bingo Card in BookWidgets and in each square, write a brief description, such as:

  • Lives close to school
  • Likes pizza
  • Has 3 siblings
  • Loves sport
  • Can juggle

Challenge your students to go around the room, asking classmates one question. When they have a match, they are allowed to tick off that square. Click here to check it out: Bingo Card.


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Want to do more with a bingo game in your classroom? You’ll find some more inspiration in this blog post about using bingo games in your lessons.

2. Randomness

The Randomness widget is handy for creating a variety of first day of school activities. Spin the wheel to generate a student and ask them to talk about a randomly selected topic. Alternatively, you can give a specific topic and spin the wheel to see which student is chosen. Curious for our example? Click here: Randomness

Topics may include:

  • What would you do with 1 million euro?
  • What is your favorite place on earth?
  • What is your biggest dream?


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Here are some more examples on how you can use a randomness game in your lessons.

3. Pair Matching

Let each student participate in a back-to-school icebreaker activity by writing down a single word that describes them, or shares something special about them. Collect all the words, and during lesson preparation, place all the words and all the students in the Pair Matching widget. In class, let your students find the two matching pairs by guessing which word belongs to whom. Check out our example: Pair Matching.

Pair matching game

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Here are some extra lesson ideas with Pair Matching games. Check it out!

4. Memory

Use a memory game to help yourself and your students to keep up with all the new names.

Create two cards:

  • one card with the faces
  • a second card with everyone’s names

Now let the students match the names to the faces. You can join in too! Click here to see our creation: Memory Game


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5. Snowman

You can present yourself as a teacher with this game, or you can give students a turn. You can compare the snowman game with it’s traditional variant: “the hangman game”. Give them a clue, such as “food”, “town” or “hobby”. This creative icebreaker is easy and offers many laughs. Check it out: Snowman


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If you are wondering on how to use a snowman game in your lessons for other purposes, check out this blog post with 19 ways to use a hangman game in your lessons.

Hands are shaken, friendships are made. No stress. What a nice second day of school it will be!

Extra classroom inspiration

I have more great classroom inspiration and lesson ideas for you!

If you don’t know what to do yet on the first day of school, check out this blog post with 15 fun lesson ideas for the first day of school.

And when you’re thinking about loosening up your students, you definitely need to see these creative energizers for in your classroom!

Wrap up

Fun icebreaker games are a fantastic way to foster a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere among students. Let’s embrace the power of icebreakers. Game on!

Which example will you try out? Let us know on Twitter and join our Teaching with BookWidgets Facebook Group to gather more inspiration.

Hopefully, I was able to inspire you. Don’t forget to say hi👋 to me on LinkedIn.

back-to-school icebreakers

Lucie Renard

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