I like to break up pairs when I do most of my games, ice breakers or activities. It helps to keep cliques from forming, develops new interactions and sometimes, it’s just good to shake things up.
In order to pair them up deliberately, it’s easier to have them in a random order. To do this, I have them line up by an obscure characteristic, like number of cousins on mother’s side or length of thumbs. I do this for two reasons: First, it gets the kids talking to one another and is something they have to think about, as opposed to birth day or height. Second, it gives me time to identify the pairs in the line and devise a good way of dividing the group, whether I count them off by 1, 2, 3’s, or the first 4 is a group, then the next 4, or even just counting off randomly, like 1,3,2,1,4,3,3,2…you get the picture.
In my youth ministry, when I say line up by (insert goofy order characteristic here), there is no question as to why, they just dive into figuring it out. About every 4th time, I check to see if they actually figured it out or stood by their friends, but more times than not, they figure it out. It’s a fun trick-of-my-trade that I’m recommending for you, so line ’em up.