50 Icebreaker Activities and Questions for Scouts
Most kids who join a scout troop do so because they want to make new friends. But unfamiliar social settings make it easy to freeze up. That's why it's essential for the grownups in charge to plan some activities to break the ice.
Getting to Know You Questions
- If you could have one super power, what would it be?
- If you had to give up one of your five senses, which would it be?
- If you had three wishes, what would they be?
- What do you think the world will be like in 10 years? What will be different and what will stay the same?
- What do you hope your life is like in 10 years? 20 years?
- What is something that is hard for you to do?
- What are the three most important qualities in a friend?
- What's you favorite word? Why?
- If you could create one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what would it be?
- If you could live in another country temporarily, which country would you pick? Why?
- What's the biggest challenge facing our world today?
- If you could be famous for one thing, what would it be?
- What was your first thought when you woke up today?
- Who do you admire and why?
- If aliens came to Earth from another planet, what do you think they would think of us?
Collect supplies for a scout camping trip with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- If you could switch places with one member of your family for one day, who would it be? Why?
- Describe your perfect day.
- How do you like to spend a rainy day?
- If you could eat only one food for an entire year, what would it be?
- What's the best thing that happened to you today? (Or this week or month.)
- If you could have any pet, what would it be?
- If you could be reborn as an animal, what would it be?
- Disney or Universal Studios?
- What's the coolest Halloween costume you ever wore?
- If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
- What's the best gift you've ever received?
- What is your favorite subject in school and why?
- If you won $1 million, what would you do with it?
- What was the last book you read? Did you like it? Why?
- What is your biggest pet peeve?
Games and Activities: Getting to Know You Better
- M&M Game - Allow each child to pick one M&M from a bowl. (But don't eat it!) Have them each answer one question about themself that corresponds to the color M&M they picked. For example, reds say what their favorite sport it. Greens say what their favorite school subject is. Bring extra M&Ms to eat after the game is done!
- Name That Person - Give each scout an index card and have them write three little-known facts about themself on it. Collect the cards. Read a random card to the group and see if they can guess who wrote it.
- Two Truths and a Dream - Have each child stand up and say three things about themselves � two that are true and one that they wish was true. Have the group guess which statement was just a dream.
- Beach Ball Toss - Blow up an inexpensive beach ball, then use a permanent marker to write several get-to-know-you questions on the ball (For example, what's your favorite food? School subject? Sport? Vacation place?). Toss the ball to each scout and have her answer the question that is underneath their right thumb when they catch the ball.
- Where the Wind Blows - Form a circle of chairs with enough chairs for all but one of the members of your group. Recruit a volunteer to stand in the center of the circle and make one true statement about him/herself. (I am an only child, for example.) Everyone who shares this characteristic has to stand up and run to another chair, while the person who is "It" also tries to get one of the open chairs. Whoever is left standing is now "It." Keep going until most have had a chance to be "It."
- Sit Down If You - Have everyone stand up, then read off a list of random statements and have each scout sit down if the statement pertains to them. For example, sit down if you are an only child, sit down if you were born in December and so on. Keep going until everyone is sitting.
- Snowball Fight - Give each scout a piece of white paper and have her write one thing about herself on it. Then have scouts crumple the paper up into a ball and have a snowball fight with the whole group! At the end, each scout should pick up a snowball and try to figure out whom it belongs to.
- Tape Measure � Bring a ball of yarn, and have scouts measure each other � height, wingspan, head circumference, etc. Compare scout members. You might be surprised with the results!
Organize parents to be troop helpers with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- Human Bingo � Create a Bingo card with scouting categories such as "likes to go camping" or "master seller." Ask scouts to stand and explain the answer behind the category when they have a match. Bring candy or small prizes for the winners.
- Name a Fruit - Sit in a circle and have one scout say her name, then the name of a fruit that starts with the same letter as her first name (Caitlyn Cranberry, Robert Raspberry). Have the next scout say her name and fruit, then introduce the first scout to the group using her name and fruit. Keep going and see how far your group can get without forgetting the names!
- Name Pantomime - Go around the circle and have each person say his name following by an action verb (Caitlyn Climbing, Robert Running). Then have everyone in the group repeat the name and verb together while acting out the verb. See how creative the kids can get!
- ABC Names - Have the scouts arrange themselves in alphabetical order, by first names, with no help from the adults. Make it a competition by dividing the group into two teams and seeing which team can do it the quickest.
- Name Toss - Have your scouts stand in a circle. Give a ball to one scout, who has to say the name of another scout before tossing it to that scout. Then that scout does the same. Continue until everyone in the circle has received the ball once.
Plan your troop's Pinewood Derby with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- Make a Sale � Get ready for cookie or popcorn sales by setting up a mock booth at a meeting. Have scouts take turns approaching each other and asking questions about themselves and their products.
- Telephone - A classic � with a scout twist! With the kids sitting in a circle, have one scout whisper a scout tenet or motto to the scout next to him, who in turn will whisper it to the next scout, and so on. When you get to the last scout, have him say the message aloud to see how it compares to the original message.
- Scout Pictionary � Come up with some words that relate to scouting (knots, Pinewood Derby, daisies, marshmallows, etc.). Split into teams. One member as to draw the word while the others guess.
- Once Upon a Time - Give each scout a picture � possibly from a magazine or newspaper � of favorite outdoor place. Have one scout start a story that incorporates whatever is in her picture. The next scout continues the story, incorporating whatever is in her picture. Keep going until each scout has gotten a chance to contribute to the tangled tale!
- Supermarket - Have the scouts sit in a circle. The first person says, "I went to the supermarket and I bought a _______," filling in the blank with an item starting with the letter "A." The second person repeats the item the first person said, and adds a second item starting with the letter "B." See how far you can get through the alphabet!
- Pass the Hula-Hoop - Have the scouts stand in a circle holding hands. Put a hula-hoop over the head of one scout. Then challenge the scouts to pass the hoop around the circle without letting go of anyone's hand.
- Back to Back - Have two scouts sit on the floor, back to back, with their arms linked. Then challenge them to stand up together by using each other for support. Once they've done that, keep adding scouts until the whole group is trying to stand up together.
Whether you choose an activity or questions, your troop members are sure to become fast friends!
Jen Pilla Taylor is a former journalist and mother of two school-age children. She is in her fifth year of teaching their Sunday School classes.