Three “Get To Know You” Games for the First Week of School

Three Get to Know You Games for the First Week of School
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Giving your new students the opportunity to get to know one another during those first few days is critical if you want to create a strong classroom community. Some children have a tough time sharing in groups, and others tend to dominate. These three “get to know you” games for the first week of school will help level the playing field for all your kids. Besides, who doesn’t love a fun, low-prep game?

Name Game

Not gonna lie—this is one of the most useful “get to know you” games and is mainly for me. I have played this game every year with my students, and it really helps me learn all their names. Here’s how it works.

Sit with your kids in a circle on the carpet (if you have one) or outside on the blacktop. Designate the kid sitting to your left as the first player, the one to your right as next to last. You can switch that if you want—just make sure you’re the last.

The student you designate as the first begins the game by saying his or her name. The next child says his or her name plus the name of the child that went first. The third child says his or her name plus the name of the second and first child. We continue around the circle just like this until it’s my turn. I have to say all the names in the class. This game was much easier when I was 27. Now that I’m scaring the tar out of 50, I struggle. The kids love to watch me fumble through their names, and it lets them know that I’m human, and it’s okay to make mistakes when you’re learning new things.

You can play this game a couple of times through. By the third round, you’ll know everyone’s name. Bonus! You can hear children say their own names so you don’t mispronounce any. As an additional note, you may want to put children with special needs closer to the beginning of the game. As far as the kid that sits in that next-to-last spot? You may want to ask for any volunteers who like a challenge. I promise, someone will volunteer.

Beach Ball “Get to Know You” Game

This is a game you could play on the second or third day of school; it requires a little prep. Grab an inflatable beach ball from your favorite dollar store or use my affiliate link to purchase this three pack through Amazon. Use permanent markers to write some questions on it.  You may even wait until you have a day or two with your class to write the questions on the ball. You will again sit your students in a circle. First, have them pass the ball in order. Whichever question their hands land on, is the question they answer.

You could do a “hot potato” version where you play music. The kids keep passing the ball until you stop the music. The kid that has the ball has to answer a question. You could also bat it around the room and have them try to keep it going until the music stops. Here are a few of my favorite of the “get to know you” games questions you could put on your ball:

  • What is one thing you like to do when it’s raining outside?
  • What game would you like to play during inside recess?
  • What game would you like to play during outside recess?
  • What’s your favorite playground equipment?
  • What is one thing you would like to learn this year?
  • What is one book you’d like to read or have read to you this year?
  • What is your favorite resource/specials/elective class?
  • What is your favorite section in the library?
  • What is your favorite lunch choice?

Jot some of their answers down for future conversation starters with kids. They love it when you remember facts like these about them. This game is also great for math, science, reading, and social studies review.

One of My Favorite “Get to Know You” Games: How Many Names Can You Collect?

Here is another fun activity that I always do with students. Give each kid a sheet with a grid of phrases. Have students read the words on their own or read the sheet to them. Allow the children to mingle around the room with their sheets and a pencil to see which phrases apply to which classmates. When a child sees a fact on a fellow student’s sheet that applies to them, he or she signs the block. The object of the game is to get a different student signature in each block. When the game is finished, sit the kids in a circle and challenge them to share facts about other classmates.

To celebrate the start of the new school year, I made a grid for you to share with your students. Grab your free game here!

Free Get to Know You Game
Pin this game so you won’t forgt!

Before You Go

Thanks so much for stopping by! I would love it if you would subscribe to this blog, and pin this post! While you’re at it, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for some products to help your first days of school go smoothly. Follow my store for updates!

Check out these low- or no-prep inexpensive products to make planning your first days of school MUCH easier:

*Back-to-School Math, Reading, and Craft Packet

*Back-to-School and End-of-School Writing Task Cards

*Back-to-School Readers Theater Script

*Back-to-School Bundled Activities

*Prompts for Entrance/Exit Tickets: Six Word Responses:

I wrote about using the Six Word Response resource here!

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