5 Awesome Ice Breaker Activities for Middle School Girls
A good ice breaker can be worth its weight in gold when working with middle school girls. Why? Because there’s a lot of ice (and some angst) to break through with this age group!
And any activity, game, or conversation starter that can help you turn a bunch of individual girls in the uncomfortable “I don’t really know these people” stage into a group that is communicative, engaged, and comfortable with each other is priceless!
So what are our favorite ice breakers for this age level? Here are a few tried and true favorites of ours to use with your group of girls.
What’s Your Theme Song?
This can be done with any age level, really. You ask the girls to imagine they are a character in a movie and the narrator is introducing them to the audience. As they enter the scene, their theme song will play in the background. What would that song be? Is it a rousing rock anthem? A stirring string quartet?
Give the girls a few minutes to choose and then have them share their choice and give a short explanation. If time and / or electronics allow, you can even let the girls play their song for the group!
Would You Rather?
A simple game where you ask girls a question and they must choose one option over the other. You can split the girls into small groups and have them share their answer with just their group. You can have them give a “thumbs up” for option one and “thumbs down” for option two. Whatever works best for your setting. Remember to begin each question with “would you rather” and then give them some interesting or funny options to choose between. The possible questions are endless but here are a few of our favorites:
- Would you rather be the worst player on a team that always wins or the best player on a team that always loses?
- Would you rather be able to live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
- Would you rather go a month without access to video games or a month without access to social media?
- Would you rather be an Olympic gold medalist or the President of the United States?
- Would you rather discover a hidden treasure or a live dinosaur?
- Would you rather be the funniest person alive or the smartest person alive?
- Would you rather live where it snows year round or where the temperature never falls below 90 degrees?
Games & Movement Activities
Thumb Ball Toss
This is a great game for learning both names and fun facts about others in the group. You take a beach ball or a soccer ball and write questions all over it with permanent marker. Then have the girls form a circle and toss the ball gently from girl to girl across the circle. When a girl catches the ball she says her name (if the group is unfamiliar with each other) and then answers whatever question her thumb is on or closest to on the ball. If they have both thumbs on the ball when catching it, you can let the girls pick the question they’d rather answer between their options.
The Warm Wind Blows
We love this game as it gets them up, helps them discover commonalities, and when it’s over everyone’s seating is mixed up.
Have girls arrange their chairs into a circle with one less chair than the number of girls in the group. The girl without a chair stands in the middle and says “the warm wind blows to anyone who is [choose a descriptor that describes herself].” Then everyone who fits that description must stand up and move to a new chair at least 2 chairs away from where they were sitting. Whoever does not have a seat (as the girl in the center will move as well to a vacated chair) is in the middle. Then the “warm wind blows” again with the same rules, just a different descriptor chosen by the new girl. Girls should pick descriptors they might have in common with someone else, examples are “only child,” “loves soccer,” “has green eyes,” “a Marvel Comics fan,” etc.
Similar to “Would You Rather” but with more options and movement. Hang up signs that say “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” on different walls around the room. Or just designate different areas of the room as the “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” areas.
Ask a question (you can have a list prepared or you can ask a few and then let the girls ask fun and appropriate questions) and have girls move to the area of the room to show their “answer” to the question. Start out with some simple questions and then mold the rest depending on the other activities you’re doing today. Letting girls share some thoughts and opinions about why they chose which answer tends to open up the group and pave the way for better conversations and rapport. Some of our favorite question options are below.
- Were you born in Ohio?
- Have you ever stood up for a friend?
- Did you go anywhere cool or new over break (or summer vacation)?
- Are you a good dancer?
- Could you spend a week without social media?
- Would you go (or have you gone) whitewater rafting?
- Do you like story problems?
- Would you want to be president someday?
So what do you think of our favorite ice breakers? Ready to try one (or all) out this year with your group of middle school girls? It’s time to break the ice, Girl Scout style!