Youth group icebreakers are used when you have a group of people that may not know each other very well. They can be used at retreats when a new youth club meets for the first time or at summer camps. There are many icebreakers for youth groups you can use at your next meeting or event.
Easy Icebreaker Games for Youth Groups
Alphabet Get to Know You
Each member of the group will have a pre-printed piece of paper that has the letters A-Z on the left-hand side of the page and a line to write on next to each letter. For each letter, the person has to find out something about someone else in the room. For example, for the letter A, a person could write, "Bob likes Apples or Jen has a broken Arm." The number of responses each person can use depends upon the number of people in the group. The object is for the group to meet and learn as much about the other members by asking them questions.
Blow Pop Rings or Candy Necklaces
You will need to know how many people you have in your group to plan for this youth group game. Each person will receive three blow pop rings or candy necklaces when they enter the room. Tell them that they cannot use the word "I" at all. If someone uses the word "I" when speaking to another person, the person who catches it gets one of the other person's rings or necklaces. The person who has the most rings or necklaces before the meeting begins wins. Try to give them a prize besides the blow-pops.
Share a Story
Use this game to divide a larger group into several smaller groups. Use a characteristic to divide the group up, such as those wearing shorts, having brown hair, or wearing sneakers. Try to divide cliques so everyone has a chance to meet new people. Once the groups are established, tell them to tell each other specific stories. The stories could include a favorite childhood memory, a funny thing that happened to them recently, something silly that they have said. Do three or four rounds of this before beginning a meeting.
Love Your Faith
Have everyone stand or sit in a circle. Ask each to say what they love most about their faith. The youth group will enjoy hearing some of the answers that others can come up with and will begin opening up more about themselves.
Fun Youth Group Icebreakers
Young teens are often shyer than their older counterparts. You can try these fun icebreaker games to help the youth group to get to know each other better.
Jelly Bean Traders
Begin this game by giving everyone 10 jellybeans. The object is for each person to get 10 of one color by trading the jellybeans with each other.
You'll need one balloon and a small piece of paper for each person in the group. As people arrive, have them write their name on a small piece of paper and roll it up into a small tube. Then they will blow up a balloon, put the small tube of paper into the balloon, and then tie it off. Collect the balloons in a corner of the room away from everyone. Once everyone has arrived, hand out the balloons for everyone to pop. Then find the person with name in the balloon that popped.
Based on speed dating, this is a quick way for everyone to get to know each other. Half of the group will need to be sitting down before the speed fellowship begins. The other half will be standing until someone rings a bell to begin, then each member of this group will sit with a member of the other group for 5 minutes. The object is to ask each other questions to get to know each other better. When the bell rings, each person from the standing group moves to the next person who is sitting down. No line hopping! This ends when everyone has had a chance to meet all of the people individually in the group.
What Am I?
Write down items on note cards before the youth group arrives. As they come into the room, tape a note card to each person's back. Each teen has to figure out the item is on their note card by asking others in the group yes or no questions. You can use items such as fruit, animals, nature, etc.
Keep the Balloon Up
This icebreaker will get the teens up and moving around. Begin by dividing the youth group into smaller teams and give each team an inflated balloon. Each team must pass the balloon around and keep it moving without touching the floor.
Pass the Beach Ball
Play this just like hot potato but with a beach ball. Begin by passing a ball around in a circle while music is playing. Once the music stops, whoever is left holding the ball is out. Continue until there is only one player remaining. You can pass around any object that you want for this game.
Online Ideas for Youth Group Icebreaker Games
There are literally hundreds of youth group icebreaker games that can be found online, and many can be made up on the spot with a little creativity. Check out the following websites for more games that you can try at your next meeting.
Youth Pastor has 366 games available to choose from. These games are all free, and for each one there is a description that tells you how to play, how long each activity takes, and what type of set up you'll need to do beforehand. This site also mentions if you'll get messy and suggests appropriate clothing based on the type of activity.
Icebreakers has a ton of fun get to know you games. Each game gives you set up instructions as well as a suggested player number. The game times vary and there are plenty of options to choose from for both large and small groups.
Christian Icebreakers gives very detailed instructions on how to play each game, the likely noise level, materials required, and whether judges are needed to participate. The site notes which games are best for various age groups.
Youth Group Icebreaker Games Are Fun for Everyone
When planning icebreakers to use at youth group, remember to have a mix of games so that there is something for everyone. If you see someone being left out or not joining in, suggest another game or try to get them involved in the fun. Before you know it, the group will be mingling and enjoying the games while getting to know one another.