Ice Breakers for Youth Groups

Teen girl playing a game

Silly games can get the whole youth group laughing!

Have you ever dealt with the problem of finding a new youth group ice breaker to get the teens in your church talking? Ice breakers can be hard to come up with. Teens today are savvy, technologically smart, sophisticated, and easily bored. It’s important to focus on subjects that are important to teens.

Choose Topics for Your Youth Group Ice Breakers

Although the ice breaker can certainly be separate from the lesson portion of your youth group meeting, doesn’t it make more sense to tie everything together? For this reason, one of the simplest youth group ice breakers available is asking a hard hitting question and having each youth member share their input. For example, if you are talking about cheating, ask the students if they think cheating on a test is wrong. You might just be surprised at the answers. Follow up by asking them if they think some types of cheating are worse than others. You will likely find that at least some of the students feel that cheating is okay under certain conditions. This is a golden opportunity to launch into a lesson on cheating and why it is wrong.

You might also want to create an ice breaker that has a set of tasks to complete to get the teens up and moving around the room. If you can get them to interact with one another, then you have made an impact. Some of things you might want to have them do include:

  • Find another person in the room who shares your birth month
  • If you were a doughnut, what kind of doughnut would you be?
  • Tell another student what you like to do in your spare time
  • Sing a song from your favorite band or singer

With this second ice breaker, your tasks may not be related to the theme of your lesson. Your goal with this is to get them to open up. You can always segue into the lesson by saying, “Okay, we’ve had our fun, now let’s settle down to our lesson.”

Allow Ten Minutes for Your Icebreaker

Plan to spend about ten minutes on youth group ice breakers each class period. Unless your group is particularly large, ten minutes should be enough time for each of your students to give some input. The goal is to get them to open up and then to move into the lesson. The hope is that the openness with continue and you’ll be able to have a frank discussion about the Bible and Christian living with the teens and tweens in your group.

Borrow Icebreakers from Other Youth Pastors

Get together with other youth pastors at Christian youth group conferences and at churches in your area. Share ideas at your meetings about games and activities that you do. Many small churches will also share curriculum with one another to stretch their budgets a bit more.

More Icebreaker Tips

Be open to ideas from the kids. If you hear one of the teens talk about how much they loved the game Simon Says when they were little, come up with a round of Simon Says that you can tie into your lesson. If you have some particularly outgoing students, ask them to perform a skit. If you have great singers in the group, have them open with some music. The key is to get to know the youth in your group and come up with ice breakers that fit their personalities.

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Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years - they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.