Icebreaker activities

For those of you who work with children and teenagers, which activities do you use to establish rapport with your clients? Last semester during my first undergrad clinic I simply colored with the kids while asking them about themselves, but I think plannng an interactive activity would be more fun and productive.
(Anonymous)
Depending on their deficits, maybe pick an age appropriate game?

Apples to apples, 20 questions, trivial pursuit, catch phrase... something that they'd like to play. Or, let them pick. Also, if they're teenagers, it's important to make sure it's relevant and that they have a say in their therapy. You might ask them about what they want to get out of therapy and their goals for themselves.
They're 10 and 12, both literacy cases. I was going to ask some general questions and specific literacy questions. Their favorite books, favorite things about reading, etc. I know they both enjoyed reading books in the junie b jones series last semester.
early school age artic client - i printed off a coloring page of a snow scene. i drew a venn diagram. i asked the client what sorts of things she likes to do in the snow, with the coloring page being a reference if she had trouble coming up with ideas. i made her use a complete sentence, "In the snow, I like to..." On one side of the Venn diagram, I wrote down things she likes to do, on the other side things I like to do, and in the middle things we both like to do. Then smiled and cheered about how much we have in common. I asked her if she would like to take the coloring page home and color it, keep it. She said yes. It went well.
(Anonymous)
I made a "question board" for one of my clients--just a piece of white poster board with squares of colored construction paper glued to it so that they created little pockets. Inside some of the pockets I put index cards cut in half with "getting to know you" questions written on them. In the other pockets were "surprises" (in this case, little foam shapes to incorporate into a craft in the next activity) to motivate the client to keep answering the questions. I also target the client's goals in this activity--she is working on fluency, so we practiced answering the questions using easy speech. I think this sort of game is fun and adaptable to lots of different goals.
I used a "would you rather" game with middle schoolers that worked pretty well. I just printed out slips of paper with questions like "Would you rather time travel to the future or the past? Why?" or "Would you rather be 3 feet taller or 3 feet shorter? Why?" I was working with two students at once, but you could do the same with one student.

We all took turns drawing cards, reading the question, and discussing our answers. They were more interested in sharing opinions about unusual circumstances than just answering personal questions. It's a little less threatening for the first session and it's easier for you as a clinician to join in and maintain a conversation that doesn't feel as forced/fake. You can branch off into a lot of other topics from these questions, as well.

This isn't the most exciting activity ever, but I've found that for some kids (mainly older ones) it is better if you start out with something more low key. Some of them shut down if you do anything too cutesy.
i like this idea. im going to be starting my first clinical practicum in a couple of weeks and it's in a high school, which kind of terrifies me. i'm very comfortable with elementary and pretty comfortable with middle school, but high school is just very intimidating to me. but i think this would be a good ice breaker for a few of the groups. thanks!
Hey, I really ended up enjoying my time with the high schoolers. I was able to gain experience with students with a wide range of abilities - students who were cognitively very low and whose primary means of communication was eye gaze to kids with dyslexia, fluency, voice, AAC, /r/ and /s/ artic, of course language, and even one swallowing student. The activities were primarily academically driven, and the SLP would push into a lot of the classes. For the students who were in SDC, she would push in. Any students who were resource, she would pull them out either individually, but usually groups.
For those students, there was a lot of focus on vocab development (for SAT prep) and then the use of the vocab correctly in sentences. Additionally, we would do activities that required the students to listen to a short passage and then answer questions. there were activities that focused on figuring out the main topic, summarizing, who, what, where, when, how.
played apples to apples, especially for kids with more social goals. jeopardy that incorporated all goals. trivial pursuit, which was basically jeopardy in a different format. for students who needed to work on problem solving, i created a "problem solving" jenga which was the game jenga and each block had a "problem" on it (most of them were social problems) and the students would draw a block and then have to figure out how to solve the problem. this was following a lesson on problem solving...
there were a few worksheets, especially for the vocab/SAT prep type stuff, but to make it more exciting, I would have the students teach each other or lead the group and i would sit in their seat as a student, which they seemed to enjoy. if there was a student who didn't want to, i wouldn't pressure that student to do so. But i think if i were to continue in that setting, i would probably try to find a more exciting/motivating way to work on vocab.
There was also a bit of emphasis on executive function skills/strategies - attention, memory. we did quite a few visualization and verbalization activities for this.

let me know if you have questions about specifics, I kind of just listed what we did with the students who were either speech only or resource, not the students who were in SDC since their abilities were so varied and we worked on things ranging from A+A+O to reading comprehension to idioms to answering wh questions to music therapy.