Kids are more likely to enjoy going to church when they are known, befriended, and having a blast. So when you begin a ministry year, help kids befriend their leaders and each other. Use the three super-easy and super-fun games below for making friends.
Ask kids in your church what they like about going back to school, and most say seeing their friends again. That’s because friendship is so important to kids—and it’s important in children’s ministry, too! When kids make meaningful friendships at church, they want to come back week after week to spend more time with each other and with Jesus.
Group’s Notes From Jesus: What Your New Best Friend Wants You to Know is also great to give kids who are just starting a relationship with Jesus. It has doable, kid-sized ideas for readers to become even better friends with Jesus.
But for some kids, friendships aren’t so easy. They may need help coming out of their shell and feeling comfortable in a room full of kids and grownups they don’t spend much time with throughout the week.
Help elementary and preteen kids at your church get to know one another better with these three kid-tested, leader-approved games. They’re simple to lead and readily fit into any lesson. Take a look! Which one will you try this week?
3 KidMin Games for Making Friends
1. Making Friends: Name Game
This game helps children get to know one another. Players discover that God gives each of us different interests and talents that make us special.
Scripture: Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
Names and Motions
Have all the children stand in a circle.
Say: I’m glad all of you are here. I’d like to teach you a game that will help us get to know one another.
As the leader, begin the game. Introduce yourself by telling your name and something about yourself (for example, an interest or hobby). Also choose an action or hand motion that represents that quality. For example, you might say, “I’m Pete and I like to play baseball” while pretending to swing a bat.
The child to your left goes next. She may say, “Pete likes to play baseball” while pretending to swing a bat. Then “I’m Jessica and I love to read” while pretending to hold a book.
Play continues around the circle, with each child recalling the name, interest, and action of the previous group members, then introducing themselves and choosing an action. The last person must recall the whole group! But it’s okay to ask for help.
Be sure to include all adult leaders in this activity. Be prepared to help timid children think of a characteristic and motion. After everyone has had a turn, ask if anyone else wants to attempt to recall the whole group.
After playing the game, have kids sit down in the circle and discuss the following:
- Why do you think God gave each of us different interests and abilities?
- Proverbs 22:1 says that a good name, or a good reputation, is more valuable than riches. What do you think it means to have a “good name”?
- How can you make sure your choices and actions give you a good name?
Now that the kids know a little more about each other, they’ll feel more comfortable interacting!