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Welcoming New 4-Hers!


It is always a little bit difficult starting something new in a new place with new people.  In 4-H we want to create a safe environment where all youth and volunteers can speak their mind, share ideas, and work together as a team.  That is why we try our best to make anyone and everyone always feel welcome.

Teambuilding is a major part of 4-H and a very important one too.  In order for youth to grow and expand they must be able to work together and accomplish tasks as a team.  This also helps them feel accepted, wanted, and confident in the role they play as part of their club or team.

The new 4-H year is upon us, and I felt it was a good idea to share some great icebreakers and get to know you activities, so as we have new members join our 4-H programs all over the district we can reference some great resources from our toolbox to get everyone acquainted.

Listed below are the icebreaker activities I have included with directions and links to pdf’s so you can print.

  • Two Truths and a Lie
    • Purpose: Teambuilding/Icebreaker
    • Groups of: 4-20 (split groups larger than 20 into smaller groups)
    • Age Range: 9 and above
    • Procedures: Everyone is given a card or piece of paper on which they are instructed to write two truths and a lie about themselves. After they have done this, each participant takes their turn reading aloud their three statements about themselves and the group must guess which they think is the lie.
    • TIPS: As they are writing them, encourage them to find unique and possibly strange things about themselves that are true, so that it will be harder for people to guess. You can also prepare them for this by letting them know a day early what will be asked of them so they can take some time to think up some good stuff.
    • Icebreaker 1
  • Ball Toss
    • This activity can be high energy, but with a large group ends up being more about focus and group problem-solving.
    • Directions 1. Ask group to form a circle
    • 2. Explain that you will toss the ball to one person and they must say their name. They will then toss it to a new person and they must say their name, but everyone must remember who threw it to them and who they threw it to and their name. This will create a pattern which will include everyone in the circle. Everyone must get the ball once (but only once), until the ball ends up with the person who started it.
    • 3. Rules: If the ball is ever dropped, it immediately starts over. Also, you may not toss to the person immediately next to you.
    • 4. Note to facilitator: When the ball is dropped, encourage the group by saying its okay. Help them support each other. After a few drops, before starting over again, pause the activity and ask the group to problem-solve: ‘What can we do as a group to help us succeed?’
    • 5. Sometimes, it will take a group very long (10-15 minutes) just to get it around one time. If that’s the case, you may celebrate and be done. If the group is able to complete this in a relatively short period of time (a few minutes), start them over, but let them know that you will be adding a second ball, which will follow the same pattern. Plus, if any ball is dropped, all balls must start over. If the group is expert, you can then add in a third, fourth, or even fifth ball. When you’ve reached a level of high challenge, let them know that if they succeed here they will have finished the task at its highest level of difficulty.
    • Icebreaker 2
  • Name Association
    • Items Needed: None
    • Each person sits in a circle and thinks of one thing (food, animal, etc.) that starts with the same letter as their name. Then the children can introduce themselves: “I am _______, and I like ________.” The next person repeats what the first child said and then adds his/her own.
    • example – child 1: My name is Alex and I like apples; child 2: Alex likes apples.  My name is Jara and I like junk food; child 3: Alex likes apples.  Jara likes junk food.  My name is Carlos and I like carrots; continue around circle until everyone has had a turn.
    • Icebreaker 3
  • Find the Guest
    • Items Needed: Sticky-type Name Tags, Marker, 3×5 cards, Pens or Pencils
    • Place another person’s name tag on the back of each person in the group.
    • Do not tell the person whose name is on their back. Give each person a 3×5 card and a pen or pencil and instruct group members to find out from others as much as they can about the person whose name is on their back and write the information on the card.
    • While gathering information, he/she tries to guess whose name is on his/her own back.
    • At the end of a set time limit, have the group gather together and allow each person a chance to guess whose name they had on their back.
    • After finding out whose name was on his/her back, have each person introduce the person whose name they had on their back by using the information gathered on their card.
    • Icebreaker 4

I hope you find these activities beneficial and helpful for your new 4-H year.  If you have any questions about 4-H or being involved in your local county programs contact your local Extension Office for more details.

Thank you to and for the icebreakers and directions.  These two websites also have many more to choose from, so I urge you to take a look.