Ask The Community: Break the Ice Activities for Kids

We’ve rounded up some creative and unique activities – straight from our clients, the Amilia team and online community!

Alanna Crochetiere
Alanna Crochetiere
August 9, 2022 2 min read

During the first few days of a new program, it can be hard. Each group of kids is unique, with different personalities, experiences and chemistry. An important part of kicking off a new session is getting to know your group and helping them to get to know each other.

With fall programming around the corner, it’s time to refresh or reinvent how you help your students, swimmers or athletes get comfortable in a new environment – and keep them coming back!

For kids 8 and up at swimming lessons: Swim if you...

“This game helps everyone get to know each other and they practice their swimming! Just make sure to ask questions that are inclusive for everyone.”

  • Alanna C., Former Lifeguard


Have the kids line up with one hand on the wall (on the width of the pool so it’s not too long of a distance to swim more than once).

How to play:

Ask them to swim to the other side when you say something that applies to them. “Swim if you have 1 sibling or more!” “Swim if you grew up in another city!” “Swim if you are in grade 1... swim if you are in grade 2”. Keep going until the kids are tired or your time allotted for an activity is over!

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For kids of all ages: Story of Your Name

“The story of your name helps everyone learn each other’s names. “


Have kids sit in a circle on the floor.

How to Play:

Ask the group to share the meaning or story behind their first, middle, last/surname or a nickname. Encourage the kids to not only share about their given name for extra interesting stories!

For kids of all ages: The Ask Game

“The Ask Game is always a hit with kids of any age.”


Grab a deck of conversation starting cards or download a numbered list of questions. Make sure they are age appropriate for your group.

How to play:

Ask each kid to pick a card or a number to select a question. The player has to answer the question they get!

Check out this example.

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For Kids 12 and up: The Bingo Game

“There's the bingo game that has categories like "has travelled outside the country" or "likes mustard more than ketchup" instead of numbers. You can print as many sheets as you need which makes it perfect for larger groups.”

  • Miriam – Former Camp Counselor


Create a bingo card using this free tool.

How to Play:

Hand out the bingo cards and provide a pen to each participant. Ask participants to mingle and talk, each player is looking for someone who fits the description or characteristic on the card. Once a player has met enough people who fit the right characteristics to create a bingo, they win!

Kids of all ages: The Animal Game

“This is a great one for camp!”

  • Sara V., Former Camp Counselor


Place participants in a circle and choose 1 person to stand in the middle and be “it”.

How to play:

Each player must choose an animal noise and a gesture. For example: Bird, tweet and flap your arms. The person who starts makes the noise and gesture of another player and then that player must quickly make the noise and gesture of another player before the person in the middle can run to them and tag them. You can't pass back to the same person (i.e. if bird passes to the elephant, the elephant can't pass back to the bird). There are two ways you can become “it”: If they mess up, they become the tag in the middle or if the person in the middle tags them before they can pass it to someone else.

Any age: What’s Your Favorite Dessert

“I used this one to help get to know the team when I started at Amilia!”

  • Mél A., VP Marketing @ Amilia


There’s none!

How to play:

Give everyone the chance to share their favorite dessert and why it’s their favorite.

For Kids 8 and up: Balloon Pop

“I loved this game because there was always an element of surprise!”

  • Jen Cyr, Former Girl Guide


Write down “get to know you” questions on small pieces of paper (you need enough questions for all the players). Put a paper in each balloon and blow them up, then tie a 24” piece of string to each balloon.

How to play:

Give each person a balloon and string and tell them to tie the string that is attached to their balloon to their ankle. The objective is to stomp on someone else's balloon while trying to protect your own. Whenever a balloon breaks, everyone must stop. The person whose balloon just popped tells the group their name then reads and answers the question. Keep playing until the last balloon is broken.

Good luck with your new session!

Getting kids to loosen up can be a challenge! Whether it’s a shy athlete, a new swimmer, or a hesitant student – trying to get the group to know one another can really help kids get the most out of your activity. Not only is taking the time to run some ice breakers at the beginning of a new session important because kids will get more out of it, but if they have a good time and make friends, there’s a greater chance they’ll come back again!

Have an idea you want to share that isn’t here? We want to hear about it! Tag us on social media with the hashtag #AmiliaInAction and let us know.

Visit our blog for more activity and recreation news, updates, tips and tricks.

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