Whenever a new group of people get together, it is helpful for them to meet each other in some way. There are many formal and informal ways for groups of people to learn about each other. But, often, especially in the case of children, it is important for them to get to know more about each other than they would learn if they were just to converse among themselves.
With a group of Girl Scouts, it is important for them to get to know each other so that they can relate to each other and so that they can work together as a group. I have done many such ice breakers with my group of Brownie Girl Scouts. One such ice breaker is my favorite and it involves giving each girl a sheet of paper with statements on it. Each girl must then talk to the other girls and fine one girl who will fit each statement. If there are only a few girls, you may wish to say that each person can be used for two statements however it is important that the girls get the chance to talk to as many different girls as possible. Here is my list of statements that can be used for such an ice breaker.
Who likes the color purple_______________________
Who likes pizza_______________________
Who likes to play games_______________________
Who is 7 years old_______________________
Who is 6 years old_______________________
Who lives in Maryland_______________________
Who lives in Delaware_______________________
Who likes to do art_______________________
Who went to camp this summer_______________________
Who went swimming this summer_______________________
Who can do a sommersault_______________________
Who likes to wear a ponytail_______________________
Who has lots of stuffed animals at home_______________________
Who knows the Girl Scout Promise_______________________
After filling out their sheets, the girls must then sit in a circle and each girl is asked to tell something she learned about each of the other girls. If the group is large and it would take too long for each girl to share something about every other girl then each girl should share something about say, 4 other girls in the group
Another good ice breaker activity is a game where the girls have to work together on some sort of challenge. One such example of a challenge is the marshmallow building game. In this game girls are divided into small groups and each group is given an equal number of marshmellows and toothpicks. They are challenged to build the tallest structure that they can build that will stand up by itself. As a group, they must work through different ideas and figure out what will work the best.
Yet one more ice breaker activity that I have used successfully in the past is kind of tricky (it’s like you’re playing a trick on the girls!). You have a bowl of M&Ms or other popular small candy. You tell each girl that she can take as many as she wants but that there have to be enough for everyone. The girls then count their M&Ms and for each M&M that they have taken, they have to tell one thing about themselves! So, the more candies that they take, the more they have to tell about themselves. It gets the girls giggly and they really do learn a lot about each others likes and dislikes!
Once the girls are all familiar with each other, it is much easier to work with them as a group. And, even if you think that the girls already know each other, it will surprise even them to figure out how much more they can learn!