All children's church lessons I create have some form of an icebreaker introduction. Let me list some reasons I think you should include them too.
Kids Need to Relax
Do you remember when you were a kid? How did it feel to walk into a new Sunday School class for the first time? Were you ever a guest visiting a new church? No … it's not fun, especially for shy or very young children who aren't used to separating from their parents. Separation isn't easy and it's sure not fun for the kids, parents or teachers. Children's church lesson icebreakers can ease a kid into the flow of the class. A simple fun game or activity can engage kids and help them to relax.
Kids Need to Connect
Imagine again walking into a room where you don't know anyone. Think of it like the first day on a new job. You are stressed and uptight. You don't know your boss or co-workers, and you don't know the rules! You're lost and you just want to turn around and walk back out the door. A simple, fun game or activity can get kids laughing, talking and connecting with one another before you actually begin your children's church lesson. The kid's anxiety diminishes and their guard begins to drop. The best thing for a new kid is to find a buddy they can talk to!
- This one may shock you. Make your children's church lesson icebreaker generic. Don't play a Bible game or Bible activity as your icebreaker. Remember … the whole idea of the icebreaker introduction is to provide an activity or game that kids can jump right into, participate, contribute and feel successful. New kids weren't there for last week's children's church lesson. If your icebreaker is a lesson review, they won't be able to participate and they may feel awkward and isolated.
- Non-church kids most likely don't know the Bible at all. If you start with a Bible game or Bible activity there is a good chance they will feel uncomfortable right off the bat! These kids don't know how to look up Bible verses. They probably won't know Bible characters or Bible stories. This destroys all the benefits of an icebreaker!
Set up your children's church lesson icebreaker to run immediately. Start the game or activity with early arrivals and during the check in process. This way all the kids and especially visitors and shy kids can flow into the activity or game immediately without waiting around and feeling uncomfortable.
* Use one activity or game for your icebreaker or set up different stations of games and activities the kids can do themselves. Icebreakers are the perfect way to begin children's church lessons. Watch and see … your kids will be warmed up and ready for your lesson to begin!