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Easy Get to Know Activities for Students for Good Friendships

Easy Get To Know You Activities For Students To Get To Know Each Other, Make Good Friendships, And Build Community.

Using engaging get to know activities for students at the beginning of the year can set the stage for a smooth and happy school year. Starting off by building strong friendships can reduce anxiety and help ensure your students have a positive experience. 

Elementary students can feel anxious at the beginning of school, especially if it's their first year. Helping them form connections early on is crucial for their wellbeing and overall feelings about coming to school.

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Teachers can use get to know activities for students to break the ice and encourage new friendships. Asking questions to get to know someone on a deeper level is an easy way to show students how to find common interests and bond over them.

But making friends is just part of feeling comfortable in a new situation. Students also need to feel safe and included, so they look forward to coming to school. Creating a positive classroom culture where kindness and respect are the norm helps achieve this.

Keep reading for practical ideas to break the ice, help students get to know each other, and foster kindness and empathy for an inclusive classroom community.

Get to Know Activities for Students - Kindergarten-2nd Grade

1. Get to Know Questions

There are lots of effective ways to help students connect but one of the most direct strategies is providing them some questions to ask someone to get to know them better. 

Have your students pair up and take turns asking questions, or organize them into small groups for more interaction. Encourage them to pay attention to classmates who share common interests and use these similarities to start building friendships.

Make Question Cards
Start by creating a set of question cards with simple wording and visual cues. Use pictures and symbols with short sentences to make the questions easy for young students to read. 

For example, a card with a picture of a dog and the words "Do you have a pet?" or a card with a soccer ball and the question "Do you like to play outside?" You can involve the students by letting them draw pictures for the questions.

Pair Up or Small Groups
Have students pair up and take turns drawing a card and asking their partner the question. After answering, they switch roles. This can be done multiple times with different partners to maximize interactions. Alternatively, you can organize the students into small groups to allow for more varied conversations and interactions.

Class Participation
To involve the whole class, try a standing activity. One student draws a question card and reads it aloud to the class. For example, a card with a picture of a dog and the question "Do you have a pet?" If the answer is yes, those students stand up. Students can take note of anyone who shares similar interests or experiences.

Follow-Up Questions
Encourage students to ask follow-up questions. If someone stands up for having a dog, they can ask, "What kind of dog do you have?" or "What is your dog's name?" This deepens the conversation and helps students learn more about each other.

Reflect and Share
After the activity, gather the students in a circle and have them share one new thing they learned about a classmate. This reflection helps reinforce the connections made during the activity and allows students to practice listening and speaking skills.

Incorporating these get to know activities for students, you can create a classroom environment where students feel connected and included.

Here are some example questions:

  • What's your favorite color?
  • Do you have any pets? What are their names?
  • What's your favorite food or snack?
  • What's your favorite game?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  • Do you like to draw or color?
  • What's your favorite movie or TV show?
  • What do you like to do at recess?
  • Do you like to play sports? What's your favorite?What's your favorite thing to do with your family?
  • Do you have a favorite superhero or cartoon character?
  • What do you like most about school?

2. Getting to Know You Paper Hats

These friendship hats are a lovely activity for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders. They're great breaking the ice activities for students to help them connect and feel like they belong in their class. 

Kids get to choose pictures of things they love and glue them to a template to make a cool headband. They wear their paper hats and walk around the room to find classmates who share their interests. It's a fun way for them to feel included and confident at school.

The activity offers differentiated options to cater to various ages and skill levels. You can choose for students to color a template or use pre-colored printables.

An extension activity for older students involves actively listening and engaging with peers. They identify common interests and decide who they'd like to have a conversation with. This engaging approach can help students form friendship groups.

This activity isn't just about having fun. It also helps kids with cutting, coloring, and talking to each other. These are important fine motor and social skills to help them feel good about school.

This Friendship Hats Kids Includes:

  • 10 color & 10 outlined headband fronts (plus a blank)
    - designs for boys and girls
  • Extension bands with 4 or 6 extra squares for kids to add a total or 6 or 8 images
  • 20 color images of common likes
  • 20 outlined images of common likes to color
  • 4 differentiated record sheets for older students to note people with things in common
  • Color & outlined letters for older students to cut & paste their name on their headband
  • A list of 30 getting to know you questions & instructions for teachers

3. Kindness Bookmarks for Younger Students

These kindness bookmarks are an easier version of my popular resource for older kids. Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders will love the short phrases and simple graphics.

As students color the kind words, they're reminded of the good behavior you expect. Unconsciously repeating the affirmations encourages positive thinking and a growth mindset.

This is a fantastic activity to develop the small muscles in their hands and the skills they need for writing.  

This Kindness Craft Activity Includes:

  • 18 outlined kindness bookmarks for students to color
    - 9 designs for boys
    - 9 designs for girls
  • Information about the benefits of kindness
  • Information about the benefits of coloring
  • Ideas for using bookmarks
  • Suggestions of great kindness books

4. Kindness Workbook - Printed Book or Digital Option

Support SEL lessons with this kindness workbook for the school or homeschooling classroom.

The printed book has instructions for parents to help their child complete activities. It's a fun way for them to teach positive character traits and values while spending quality time with their child.

Teachers can download printable PDFs with options for use in the classroom or to send home. Bind the printed pages and gift them to students as a great way to encourage kindness outside of the classroom. 

This SEL packet includes coloring pages, tracing, bookmarks, matching games, word mapping, hidden picture puzzles, bucket filling, and more. It's a fun way to improve important social-emotional and developmental skills. Some activities are differentiated to suit preschool, kindergarten, and 1st-grade students.

Either option sets the tone for a warm and inclusive environment. Students will be excited to be the champions of kindness. They'll love to participate in the kindness challenges either with their classmates or families. There's even a community activity to show them just how easily they can be kind in different settings.

Parents can see more on the printed book on Amazon while teachers can see a preview on TPT.

This Printable Classroom Resource Includes:

  • classroom workbook
  • take home workbook for students to use with parents
  • teacher instruction guide
  • 15 Kindness Coloring Pages with affirmations or I statements to help embed kind thoughts.
  • 15 Coloring Pages with Letter Tracing for older kids to practice writing while learning kind words.
  • Kindness Matching and Word Mapping to help kids learn kind concepts, word recognition and develop spatial awareness.
  • Find and Spot the Differences puzzles develops visual identification skills and attention to detail.
  • Personalized Kindness Poster lets kids decide which kind acts they want to practice.
  • Bucket Filling is a fantastic way for kids to learn the social and emotional value of being kind and gets the family involved in a challenge.
  • The Kindness Bookmark Challenge takes empathy and caring into the community.
  • Kindness Bingo is an engaging way to promote kind behavior at home.
  • The Certificate celebrates your child’s kindness and encourages them to continue being kind.
  • Classroom Bucket Filler Posters in 11x17 inches and A3 sizes.
  • Comprehensive Instructions for parents or teachers.

The Homeschool Workbook Includes:

  • 15 Kindness Coloring Pages with simple images and affirmations or I statements show your kids how to be kind and embed good thoughts to develop a growth mindset.
  • 15 Kindness Coloring Pages with Letter Tracing for older kids to practice writing while learning kind words.
  • Kindness Matching & Word Mapping to help kids learn kind concepts, word recognition, and develop spatial awareness.
  • Hidden Picture & Spot the Differences puzzles to enhance visual identification skills, concentration, and attention to detail.
  • Personalized Kindness Poster lets kids decide for themselves which kind acts they want to practice.
  • Bucket Filler Activities that promote empathy and help kids learn the social and emotional value of being kind. It also gets the family involved in a fun kindness challenge.
  • The Kindness Bookmark Challenge takes kindness and empathy into the community. They’ll be joining thousands of kids around the world who adore this activity.
  • Kindness Bingo is an engaging way to promote kind behavior at home while practicing cutting and pasting.
  • The Certificate celebrates your child’s kindness and encourages them to continue being kind as they see it proudly hanging on their wall.
  • Parent Instructions make it easy to work your way through the activities and spend quality time with your child as they learn important concepts. Perfect for teachers and counsellors too!

5. Digital Friendship Activity with Short Story

This digital friendship activity is a fun way to introduce your 1st or 2nd grade students to kindness and friendship. This no-prep, SEL lesson is a digital character-building activity to promote good friendships and behavior.

Students enjoy reading along with the audio in this animated cartoon story. They read about a new kid named Tessa who faces unkind classmates on her first day of school. They learn to empathize with Tessa and understand her feelings.

There are slides with self-checking comprehension questions after the story. Students enjoy instant feedback about their understanding of kindness and being a good friend.

The slides help students practice reading, writing, and typing as they answer questions. Kids type into fields and drag statements into the correct boxes to improve digital skills. They also get to create a colorful poster as they learn ways to treat others with kindness.

After completing the tasks, there is a 12-piece digital jigsaw puzzle to solve.

There is also a printable component with friendship worksheets where kids choose how they'll be a good friend.

This Digital Friendship Activity Includes:

  • A zipped file with an instruction pdf with printables AND a folder with program files for the web-based activity that can be downloaded to devices to use offline
  • Short, animated story video about friendship
  • Interactive slides with comprehension questions
  • Digital file to work online or download to a device without internet access
  • 7 friendship coloring pages/worksheets
  • 1 friendship poster
  • 1 sheet with friendship suggestions to cut and paste onto the worksheets
  • 12-piece digital jigsaw puzzle
  • Teacher instructions and information about the benefits of kindness

Get to Know Activities for Students - 3rd-6th Grade

1. Get to Know You Paper Fortune Teller

Make coming back to school exciting with these magical friendship fortune tellers (cootie catcher). This get to know you icebreaker game can make classroom introductions fun!

Students love learning about each other with this engaging paper craft. It's perfect for building friendships and a positive classroom community.

Kids use skills like reading, writing, coloring, and following directions as they make their game. They also work on social skills as they interact with their peers while playing.

Fun Kindness Fortune Teller Game For Elementary Students.

There are ready-made paper fortune teller games or digital and printed templates. These can be personalized with chosen getting to know you questions. The Google Slides™ template allows teachers to add questions tailored to their grade.

After coloring, cutting, and folding, students use the game to ask a partner questions. Older students can work in groups and record answers. They then select the person with the most in common and ask more questions from prompts on a worksheet. This one-on-one time is an opportunity to really connect with someone new and perhaps even find a life-long friend!

Printables For Editable Get To Know Activities For Students. This Fortune Teller Is Such An Engaging Friendship Activity For Elementary Kids.

The Friendship Fortune Teller Includes:

  • 3 ready to print and use color fortune tellers
  • 3 outlined fortune tellers for students to color
  • 3 templates for writing personalized questions
  • 1 blank template to add questions and pictures
  • Google Slides template and clipart for students to customize their own fortune teller online or for teachers to include specific questions
  • 1 color poster and coloring page with getting to know you questions
  • Digital and printable worksheets for students to record answers to questions when they work in groups
  • Student Instructions for folding and use
  • Educator guide and instructions

2. Getting to Know You Booklet

This Getting to Know Me booklet is a unique friendship activity and ice breaker to help kids connect and feel comfortable in class.

Kids make an about me booklet from worksheets they fill out, color, and fold to share. They include details about their family, pets, favorites, and goals. There's also a section about positive character traits friends should have and write about traits that make them a good friend.

As classmates read booklets, they record answers to friendship questions on a worksheet to find common interests. These students pair up later and ask provided questions or their own to see if they can make a connection. This one-on-one time gives kids a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level and maybe even find a lifelong friend!

Kids use skills like reading, writing, cutting, coloring, and following directions, plus improve their social skills. 

Resources For Elementary Students To Make A Booklet That Helps Their Classmates Get To Know Them.

This Getting to Know You Booklet Includes:

  • Students receive 2 double-sided pages that they cut in half. When they assemble the pages, the completed booklet is 16-pages.
  • Student record sheet to use for data collection and analysis.
  • A sheet with 36 extra questions students can ask one another.
  • Teacher instructions for use, how to assemble booklets, and suggestions for extension activities. 4 US letter pages to print back-to-back.

3. Getting to Know You Conversation Starter Questions

Build friendships with fun classroom ice breaker activities with questions for classmates.

This activity is fun because it includes a digital spinner to pick a random number. Kids love to take turns to reveal questions for students to answer. They can also read it out when it's their turn.

This is a great activity for circle time. Morning meeting discussion questions can encourage even the shyest children to share. It gives everyone a chance to learn about classmates with similar interests.

14 preloaded questions give kids insights into their peers' character and preferences. Questions can be replaced in Google Slides™ with any of the 44 suggestions provided. Otherwise, add personalized questions if there are specific friendship challenges to address.

Extension activities for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders are included. Students gather data, record similarities, and determine which classmates have more in common with them. They can use the data to create questionnaires, as writing prompts, to plot graphs and charts, or to identify those they want to learn more about.

This Digital Conversation Starter Activity Includes:

  • 14 editable hyperlinked question slides
  • 44 Getting to Know You question suggestions
  • Fun random number selection spinner
  • Extension activities for older students
  • Data collection sheet for older students in digital and print formats
  • Student and teacher instructions

4. Unique Friendship Board Game

Bring a positive vibe to your classroom with this unique friendship board game! It’s a fantastic way for students to connect through questions and fun challenges. Plus, it’s a great tool for managing friendship problems throughout the year.

Unlike typical board games where kids compete against each other, this game encourages teamwork.

A turn involves rolling the dice, moving, reading a card, or throwing the challenge cube. Each child has a turn but there's no downtime as everyone participates. No matter whose turn it is, everyone answers questions or takes part in activities.

During one of the activities, students each contribute a square to a friendship quilt. Using a template, they write down positive character traits and qualities of good friends. When put together, their colored squares turn into to a beautiful quilt. This friendship bulletin board is a wonderful reminder for students to observe the qualities of a good friend.

As a bonus, there’s a set of conflict cards to help older students sort out relationship issues.

Students learn to show respect, get to know each other, and bond by supporting their teammates. It means everyone's a winner as each student plays to "win" a friendship or two! 

A Unique Friendship Board Game For Elementary Students In 4Th, 5Th And 6Th Grades.

This Unique Friendship Board Game Includes:

  • Game board - tabloid size (279 x 432mm)
  • 4 sets of question cards (32 cards)
    blue - favorites
    pink - friends
    green - school
    yellow - sillies
  • Challenge cube with 6 group activities
  • Instruction card for students
  • 6 quilt square templates for students to write a friendship message on and add to a bulletin board
  • Friendship quilt banner to color in and a blank quilted border to add your own friendship heading
  • Extra set of conflict cards with questions for students with disagreements

5. Kindness Quilt

This collaborative kindness quilt bulletin board kit absolute favorite or building community. It's a best seller because students feel proud to have their work displayed in such a positive way.

A Gorgeous Kindness Quilt Colored And Assembled By Primary And Elementary School Students.

Kindness quilt submitted by Karen Caswell, fourth grade teacher at Coomera Rivers State School

This patchwork quilt includes 30 premade squares with a kindness quote. There are also kindness images and bordered squares for students to make their own patch. 

Ready-made quilt squares include colored sheets ready to cut and assemble and outlines to use as coloring pages. If kids or teachers want to add their own messages, they can easily do so with the Google Slides™ template. It's a great way to practice writing and spelling as they write or type an inspirational quote and personalize their piece with a picture.

Digital And Printable Resources For A Kindness Quilt For Primary And Elementary School Students By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

This Gorgeous Collaborative Kindness Bulletin Board Includes:

  • 30 kindness quote quilt squares in black outlines for students to color
  • 30 colored quilt squares ready to print
  • 10 blank designs for students to write their own kindness quote
  • 10 kindness image designs to include visuals or as fillers if you want to fill up the space
  • Google Slides doc where teachers or students can type their own kindness message
  • Kindness information and facts about the benefits of coloring
  • Kindness book recommendations
Kindness Quilt Patch By Karen Caswell Coomera Rivers State School
Kindness Quilt Piece By Karen Caswell Coomera Rivers State School

Using get to know activities for students at the start of the year can set the tone for the whole school year. But don't make back to school the only time you use them. These friendship activities can be used whenever you have unrest or problems in your classroom, or when a new student starts. 

What are your favorite get to know activities? Let me know HERE.

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