Starting a new school year can be exciting but also nerve-wracking, especially for students with disabilities entering a new adapted P.E. class. Icebreaker games are a great way to get students comfortable with each other and start building a supportive community. Here are some fun and inclusive icebreakers to try in your adapted P.E. class this year:
Ball Toss Name Game
Have students stand in a circle and toss a ball gently to someone else in the circle, saying their name as they toss it. That person then says their name and tosses to someone new. This gets students familiar with names while practicing gross motor skills.
The Flee Ball name game is a fun variation on calling out names and throwing a ball. To play, have students spread out around the playing area. One student starts by throwing the ball straight upward while calling out another student’s name loudly. When the ball is in the air, all other students flee to avoid being tagged except the one whose name was called – that student tries to catch the ball. If they catch it, they yell “Stop!” to freeze the fleeing students. The catcher then takes two steps towards the closest frozen student and rolls or tosses the ball gently to them while calling out their name. The new catcher repeats the process and play continues with students practicing reaction time, following directions, and gross motor skills as they take turns being the caller.
Find Someone Who…
Hand out cards or sheets of paper with statements like “Find someone who…likes pizza, plays basketball, has a pet dog, etc.” Students mingle, asking questions until they find someone who matches each statement and record their name.
Create Bingo cards with facts about students like favorite foods, hobbies, etc. Have students move around meeting classmates and finding facts that match their Bingo card. First with a Bingo wins!
🥳Such a FUN 1st week activity-esp 1st day when kids may be dressed up!— PEwithCoachSmith (@kellidsmith) August 13, 2023
Be sure to ask what they learned! You may hear something like “I learned Coach had a cavity!”🤪🤦🏼♀️
So much interaction & smiles! ❤️😀@BakerElem #BetterTogether #PhysEd
Here’s doc…https://t.co/vVvcEHZFeq pic.twitter.com/YWreW9bUjO
In a circle, have each student take turns giving the person to their left a compliment. Go around until everyone has received and given a compliment.
Starting the year off with fun icebreakers like these can help adapted P.E. students feel more comfortable and bond as a group. Use your imagination to come up with inclusive, active games that allow students to share, move, and laugh as they kick off a new year together. What are some of your favorite icebreakers to try?
Check out our Team Building Games in Adapted PE Post below