Play "Snowball Fight" to Break the Ice or Review Lessons

Paper Snowballs Can Make Test Review Fun

Happy man and woman sitting at desk with crumpled pieces of paper on it.
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What could be more fun than a snowball fight -- in school?! This snowball fight doesn’t send icy shivers down the neck of your jacket or sting your face. It’s just fun, memorable, and effective. And you don’t need mittens. One, two, three…fight!


This very flexible game can be used as an ice-breaker or as a tool for learning or reviewing academic content. The general idea is very simple:

  1. Everyone writes one sentence or question (the content depends upon the context) on a piece of paper
  2. Everyone balls up their paper into a ball
  3. Everyone throws their ball
  4. Each player picks up someone else's snowball and reads the sentence aloud or answers the question

Detailed Instructions:

This game works with a group of at least a dozen people. It can also work well with a very large group, such as a lecture class or club meeting. The game can be played by individuals, or players can be divided into groups.


Snowball Fight is often used as an icebreaker -- that is, a tool for introducing strangers to one another in a fun, low-key manner. When used in this way, players can either write fun facts about themselves (Jane Smith has six cats!) or write questions to be answered by the reader (do you have pets?).

But can be used in a wide range of contexts, for many different purposes. For example:

  • Write review facts on snowballs and have students read them aloud (Mark Twain was the author of Huckleberry Finn)
  • Write review questions on snowballs and have students answer them (Who wrote Huckleberry Finn?)
  • Write conceptual questions for students to answer (What is the role of the character of Jim in Huckleberry Finn?)

Time Needed

The game can either be time-limited, or it can end when all the snowballs have been opened.

Materials Needed

Paper from your recycle bin is perfect if one side is blank.


If used for introductions, give each student a piece of paper and ask them to write their name and three fun things about themselves. Have them crumple the paper into a snowball. Divide the group into two teams on opposite sides of the room and let the snowball fight begin!

When you call stop, each student is to pick up the nearest snowball and find the person whose name is inside. Once everyone has found their snowman or snowwoman, have them introduce him or her to the rest of the group.

Alternatively, you can have players write appropriate questions -- or you can write the questions yourself to avoid any embarrassment.

If used for recapping or test prep, ask students to write a fact or question regarding the topic you want to review. Provide each student with several pieces of paper so there is abundant snow. If you want to make sure certain issues are covered, add some snowballs of your own.

When the snowball fight is over, each student will pick up a snowball and answer the question in it.

If your room accommodates this, it can be nice to keep students on their feet during this exercise since they’ll be picking up snowballs throughout it. Moving around also helps people retain learning, and it’s a great way to energize a classroom.


Debriefing is necessary only if you’re recapping or prepping for a test. Were all topics covered? Which questions were the hardest to answer? Were there any that were too easy? Why is that? Were they gimmes or was it because everybody has a thorough understanding?