Learning each others name is an important step in getting groups acquainted with one another. But it doesn’t need to be boring! We’ve compiled a list of 5 great games to play as an icebreaker to help everyone loosen up and get familiar.
1. Fart Gun
A GREAT one for anyone that can handle a fart joke! Everyone stands in a circle, and a person in the middle picks someone on the outside of the circle. They “shoot” someone by saying their name and then making a fart noise. The shot person has to duck and the people on either side of that ducking person has to say the other person’s name and then a farting noise before the other can get to them. An elimination game that ends in a Fart Gun Draw, wild west style, ten paces in all.
2. Ball toss
Everyone stands in a circle and the facilitator tosses a ball or other fun object around the circle and saying the name of the person you are tossing to. Then you have the group repeat the same pattern and time it. Then try to get faster each time, and maybe even one of the smarties will realize they should reorder themselves so they are just passing it around and make better tosses.
3. Whomp ‘Em
Another great one. Have everyone sit in a circle. The person who is “it” has a foam noodle in their hand and says their name and the name of someone in the circle, let’s say “Fred.” Fred has to say his name and the name of another person in the circle before he can be tagged, like “Fred, Khadija.” The “it” person has to race to Khadija before she can say her name and the name of someone else. If tagged, or saying the name of the “it” person, you then become “it.”
4. Blanket Game
Divide the group in half and have them seated on the ground and then you hold up a tarp or blanket between the group. Each group sends one person to the front by the blanket and the person in front has to say the other person’s name first. Everyone loves this game, I personally think it is lame-o because it makes everyone point to the quiet kid and say “hey, no one knows YOUR name!” But it can also give them a weird kind of status.
5. Name Baseball
Divide the group into two “teams.” The group that is batting gets a tennis ball to throw as far as they can. The team that is “fielding” has to line up behind the ball wherever it lands and pass it over/under style til it gets to the end of the line and then they yell “done!” The batting team, meanwhile, says the name of each person in the group, and each time around they score another “run.” Then they switch. Strategies will form and the competitive nature is good. Feel free to change the name if you want.