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Crowdbreakers

Michael Capps

Fun games that will help get kids' attention as you prepare to start the lesson.

STICK SHIFT
Form two teams. Give a bag of stick bubble gum to a team leader on each team. On "go," each team leader chews a piece of gum and blows a bubble. Then each one must find two other teammates and tell his or her name, age, and birthday. After their introductions, team leaders give their bags of gum to two others on their teams. Continue until everyone on each team has blown a bubble and introduced themselves. Then have everyone blow a bubble at the same time to see who can blow the biggest bubble.

ELBOW MATCHARONI
This is a fun, chaotic game where kids learn about each other. Have kids spread out in your room. Call out things that kids have in common, such as "same kind of shoes" or "likes the same kind of food." After calling out each characteristic, kids rush to find as many people as possible with the same thing in common. Kids with the same characteristic lock elbows and add people until the leader calls "time" after 10 seconds. Disband groups and resume play with a different characteristic. Possible characteristics include birth month, favorite sport, and same middle name.

MIRROR MADNESS
Form two teams. Have the leaders in each team face each other while their teammates line up behind their respective leaders. The team with the tallest team leader is the lead team. Their teammates perform all the actions first while the other teammates mirror-or repeat-the action at the same time.

Have the tallest team leader do one body motion, such as hop or wiggle his or her arms. The player opposite this team leader mirrors the action. Then both players run to the back of their team's line.

The next player in line repeats the action that the lead team's leader before them did and adds another motion. The opposite player mirrors the actions and then both run to the end of their team's line. The next player in the leading team does both of those actions and adds one action. The other player mirrors the actions, and they both run to the end of the line. Continue until the team leaders return to the front of the line and do all the actions at the same time.

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