Here’s a game that will break the social ice among kids who don’t know each other very well. Whether it’s a new class of kids or a birthday party for the new kid, the questions are fun. These questions and answers sessions need adult supervision, and the big person should read each question and keep the reactions under control. Take the opportunity to help kids expand on answers.
Ages 5 to 7
For the younger ones in kindergarten through primary school, getting them to think about how they fit into the world is an excellent goal for this game. From about 5 through 7 years, children are just beginning their journey into life. It’s a valuable thing for them to imagine their lives in exciting ways.
Questions that make them think about life in a new way and uncover likes and dislikes they’d never before considered. If a child answers with one word, try to open up by asking follow-up questions. Some answers may provoke group discussions, which is what you want.
- Would you choose to live in a blue world, a pink world, or a green planet?
- How many brothers and sisters would you like to have? How many are too many?
- What is your favorite name for a dog?
- What kind of books do you like?
- What is your favorite cookie? How do you make it?
- If you couldn’t have cereal in the morning, what would you choose to eat?
- Chickens or snakes, which is cuddlier?
- How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without bread?
- Who cooks better, your parents or your grandparents?
- If you could choose just three, which foods would you eat forever?
- Would you instead grow up to be a farmer, a truck driver, or a librarian?
- Would you instead act in a movie or have a film written about you?
- Would you rather be really funny or very smart?
- What would your mom do if you called her by her first name instead of mom?
- Explain to the group how to ride a bicycle.
Ages 8 – 11
Older kids in elementary school are beginning to have a better grasp imagining all the myriad possibilities in life. They are better able to imagine themselves in unusual situations and compare them in their mind’s eye. Using more open-ended questions will really stretch their forward thinking to more mature levels.
- What is something you’re glad your mom and dad don’t know about you?
- Have you considered becoming a vegetarian or vegan? What would your parents say?
- What was the best truth you told this week? What was the worst lie?
- Would you like your homeroom teacher to be your parent? Why or why not?
- What kind of pizza do you hate? Name all the reasons.
- What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you definitely not like to be?
- Do you save your money, or do you spend it right away? Could you change that?
- Who is your favorite relative? Are you like them?
- Have you ever been camping? Were you scared of the bears or did nothing frighten you? Are you sure?
- Name three instruments you would like to learn to play?
- Who is your favorite movie star? What’s so special about them?
- Which is your favorite cartoon star and why?
- Have you ever secretly stayed up at night to read a book?
- Did you ever sew anything? Would you like to design your own clothes?
- If you aren’t, would you like to be named after your mom or dad? Why or why not?
- Would you rather eat an apple or a grapefruit?
- Where in the world would you like to go on vacation and why?
- Would you rather be a school bus driver or an airline pilot?
- What job would you like when you grow up?
- If you had a horse, what would you name her?
- What are your grandmothers’ first names and when were they born?
- Would you like to be a movie star? Why or why not?
- What is the name you wish you had instead of your own?
- Is your mom or dad the better cook?
- Would you rather be the oldest or the youngest sibling in your family?
- Can you make your own bed? Do you?
- How tall do you think you’ll grow?
- Do you have your own library card?
- What is the name of your school janitor?
- What color is your bedroom and do you want to change
Use these suggestions as a jumping-off point to guide the group through the exploration of mutual fears, challenges, and accomplishments. Many children feel they are not like others, but exercises like this help them see they are normal kids after all. Don’t hesitate to stay on a subject if it seems that kids are challenged by the question. Getting to know themselves and others is a great use of together time.