Heading back to school after the summer can be rough for a lot of children. Even if they have had sessions over the summer, the routine is a big change from the more relaxed time. Students may not know one another, their teacher, and your therapy session may also be new to them. Interest inventories are a wonderful way to get to know new students, but more interactive group items will help everyone to get to know one another.
Ice Breakers for Groups Sessions
When you start the new year, it may be awkward to jump right into sessions. It truly is important for you to get to know your students, as well as for them to get to know you. In addition to this, groups need to know about each other to form relationships and trust. Chatting and working on projects together is a wonderful way to accomplish this.
The Teachers Pay Teachers website has a wide variety of options available to use in your sessions. If you are a member, some of the items are free to use in your own classrooms.
- Beginning of the Year Activities – Contains multiple activities to get to know one another. Templates and activity sheets are included for items such as Classroom Puzzle Display, Brag Bag, and My Life Timeline. Could be used in a variety of therapy sessions for multiple age groups.
- All About Me Back to school T Shirt Art & Writing Activity – For middle school age students. The tee template includes 15 sections to illustrate. Students will be asked to draw a self-portrait, about their family, and favorite things.
- Back to School Beginning of the Year Activities Pack – For early elementary school students. Includes a variety of activities to do as a group. The many pieces of me sheet is perfect for independent work which may be shared within a therapy session setting.
When finished with any art projects, be sure to translate sections for multilingual learners. This will make it easier to send home for families to enjoy
Get to Know You Group Games
If you are not able to dedicate time to making a craft, there are still interactive games that will get everyone talking. If there are no food allergies, M&Ms are perfect to break the ice in a group. Give everyone a small snack sized bag of the candy. Ask them to open and randomly select one candy. Have a chart with questions for each color inside. Think outside of the box with each color and make sure they help kids to share something about themselves and life. Take turns going around the group.
If you are not able to use food, dice are another flexible option. Therapists can make a chart ahead of time with a question for each number. You may use 1-6, or expand to 1-12 with two die in play. Give each child dice on their turn and allow them to toss them to see what their number will be. Read the question to the group and allow them time to answer. Continue around the group getting to know one another.