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Fun Ways to Build Community From Day One!

The first few days of a new school year can be nerve-wracking for teachers and students 😳 Why not break down some of those nerves during that first week with some fun getting-to-know-you ice breaker games and activities?

Giving your students a chance to share ✨special facts✨ about themselves will help ease first-day jitters as it is a topic they are already experts on! Make sure you get involved too as it is a great opportunity for students to learn more about their teacher.It also kicks off that all-important feeling of belonging and sense of community in the class – basically, winning all round! πŸ™ŒπŸ»



One of our favourite ways for everyone to learn more about each other is to create an ‘All about Me’ display in the classroom. Students (and teachers) have the chance to share lots of different things about themselves as well as learn what makes each of us unique and what we might have in common with each other! Seeing student work on display so early in the year also boosts the warm fuzzies and community feel in your classroom. Your display could be as simple as a self-portrait displayed on a gallery wall. You might be also interested in some of our print and go displays, such as ‘A TEE about ME’, ‘All About Me’ Bunting and ‘A Backpack About Me’.



Nothing breaks the ice and calms those first-day jitters more than some quick and fun games to get the class up, moving, and really getting to know each other. Here are some easy games you can play with your students that require no prep at all!


πŸ’› This or That: My students always LOVED this game at the start of the year. I would have all students standing in the middle of the room, and ask a question such as “do you like pizza or ice cream?” (indicating to a ‘side’ of the room as I say each item). Students simply move to the side that has their preference! This could also be done at desks in a sit down/stand up manner – or with older children, you could even use all four corners of the room and have 4 options! Ideas of questions to ask are:



πŸ’› Favourite colours 🎨


πŸ’› Favourite foods πŸ”


πŸ’› Indoors or outdoors? ⛺️


πŸ’› Sweets or savouries? 🍭


πŸ’› Dogs or cats? πŸˆβ€β¬›



Or you could use our ‘This or That’ Digital PowerPoint resource to do all the thinking for you!


πŸ’› Turn and Talk: Have students walk around the room to music, and when the music stops they turn to the person next to them and wait for the question prompt. It is important for teachers to be close by so you can grab anyone who is left out and help them find a partner. Once in partners or groups of 3, give students a ‘getting to know you’ question to chat about! If your student desks are in groups you could also do this whilst sitting, and have students take turns to talk to their shoulder partners, and then those opposite and diagonal to them! We have a ‘See and Say’ Digital Powerpoint available that will give you a selection of getting to know you questions to choose from!


πŸ’› Animal Antics: This one is a bit noisy but so much fun! To play, give each student a piece of paper with a picture of an animal on it (make sure there are at least 2 of each animal in the mix). Students should keep which animal they are given a secret. When you’re ready to play, tell your students to start making the same sound as the animal on their paper. Students should then try to find classmates with the same animal as them and then sit together when found. A quieter version would be asking students to act like the animals on the paper slips. This is such a great game to help with first-day nerves and get students feeling more relaxed and comfortable around classmates. Use our Animal & Plant Cards to make setup even easier!



Maybe you are a little nervous about whole-class games on the first day – and we get that! You can still build class community and boost relationships with small groups or partner games (in fact, this is sometimes better!)

Here are some of our favourites from our webby:


πŸ’› Get to Know You Chatterbox: Who doesn’t love a chatterbox! These are super easy to make and are great for students to sit with a new friend and get to know each other.

πŸ’› Dice to Meet You: a fun dice game where students take turns rolling a dice and answering the related question. This resource includes two different sets of questions. It can also be played as a whole class.

πŸ’› Find Someone ‘Whooo’: Use this fun game to help students get to know each other at the start of the year. Students walk around the room, introducing themselves and shaking hands, then ask their new friends some questions. If they answer yes to one of the questions the interviewer can write their name into that box, then move on to meet some new people.



We’ve all heard it before: those first few days of school are all about creating a welcoming classroom environment and building relationships with your students as well as amongst your students. Settling everyone’s nerves with some ice-breaking activities whilst getting to know each other is the perfect way to kick this process off and help start your new school year with a classroom full of community and warm fuzzies πŸ₯°

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