Icebreaker idea of the week: Screaming Trees!
Break your large group into several small groups of at least four youth. Instruct the children to stand in a circle, toe to toe, pretending they are ‘a grove of trees’, connected at the roots. Tell them to look at the ground, and then look up towards another particpant’s face on the count of three. Instruct the children top scream and run to a new tree grove (circle) if they make eye contact with another tree (person) in their group. Count to three, watch the children switch circles, and then loudly count to three again.
The game generally takes on a life of its own for 15 minutes or so with minimal adult leadership required. Watch for groups needing help or children getting left out. I generally yell, “freeze” and instruct the group the game can’t go on until all of the trees are in a grove. As some of our fellow leaders pointed out, some children do not respond well to loud noise or the chaotic nature of the game, while others thrive in this environment. Be sure to watch for children in need of support.
Please share any variations, comments or other ideas for icebreakers!