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Name Games

Here are some name games we commonly use to introduce program participants to one another.  Find more name games in our book Growing Together.  For a complete list of the PDF version of the following games, click here.

 

TITLE: Bippity Bop Bop Bop

IMPACT: Energizes a group and enables participants to learn each other’s names

RISK: Low (Don’t use as a first name game.)

GROUP SIZE: 5 or more

TIME REQUIRED: 5-10 minutes

 

DIRECTIONS:

• Stand in a circle with one person in the middle. This person is “it.”

• To begin, the person in the middle spins around in a circle, stops suddenly, points to someone, and says or shouts “bippity bop bop bop.” Before “it” finishes saying this phrase, the person to whom he or she is pointing tries to say or shout the name of someone else in the circle. If the person fails to say another name in time, says a made up name, or messes up in any way, then s/he is out and becomes “it” in the center of the circle. The game continues like this for a little while. Read more

 

 

 

 

TITLE: I Sit in the Grass With My Friend

IMPACT: Uses repetitive actions and phrases, movement, and low-level competition to help group members learn each other’s names

RISK: Low

GROUP SIZE: 10 – 30 people

TIME REQUIRED: 5-10 minutes

 

DIRECTIONS:

• Arrange everyone in a circle, with all participants sitting on something that designates

his or her place, such as a paper plate, blanket, or shoe. (Chairs can be used when inside.) Leave one of the sitting spaces (e.g., plate or chair) vacant.

• When the facilitator says, ”go”, the game begins with a race between the people on either side of the open space trying to move into that space.

• The winner who claims the spot then says loudly, "I sit."

• The person who had been sitting next to the winner now moves into the space vacated by the winner so that s/he is sitting next to the winner again. As s/he sits, s/he says loudly, "in the grass". Read more

 

Spirit of Play, used with permission. Besides the playful personal story of Dale Le Fevre, there is a wealth of information about what makes cooperative New Games so special, how to lead the games and adapt them for any group. Forty games presented, 158 pages. You can learn more at www.inewgames.com, or order the book at www.inewgames.com/spiritofplay.htm

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Jack-In-The -Box

IMPACT: Facilitates group members’ learning each other’s names through a funny and physical activity.

RISK: Low (Do not use as a first name game.)

GROUP SIZE: 10 or more

TIME REQUIRED: 5 minutes

 

DIRECTIONS:

• Ask the group to form a circle and sit down.

• One person starts by standing up and saying her name. Then she introduces the

first four people to her left, starting with the farthest person. As each name is said, that person stands up and sits down quickly. There is a jack-in-the-box effect with people standing up and sitting down one after the other.

• Then the turn of introducer moves to the person to the right of the first introducer, and he now similarly introduces himself and four people to his left.

• By the time each participant has been an introducer, the names will be quite familiar.

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Name and Action Game

IMPACT: Facilitates participants learning each other’s names; requires concentration while encouraging laughter

RISK: Low

GROUP SIZE: 6 or more

TIME REQUIRED: 5 – 10 minutes

 

DIRECTIONS:

• The group sits in a circle and claps on their laps to a certain rhythm.

• The group leader begins by saying his or her name and adding a simple action to the rhythm. The next person in the circle repeats the name(s) and action(s) already introduced and then adds his or her own. The game continues around the circle until participants have learned all the names.

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Name Ripple

IMPACT: Encourages laughter and physical creativity while helping participants learn each other’s names

RISK: Low to moderate

GROUP SIZE: 10 or more

TIME REQUIRED: 5 – 10 minutes

 

DIRECTIONS:

• The group stands in a circle. If the group is new, each person in the circle says his or her name to begin.

• Then the facilitator says the name of someone else in the circle and makes a corresponding motion, for instance “Ja-mil” with a low squat and a high jump.

• The person to the right of the facilitator then repeats the name and motion, followed by each successive person to the right repeating the name and motion one at a time like a wave.  Read more

 

Spirit of Play, used with permission. Besides the playful personal story of Dale Le Fevre, there is a wealth of information about what makes cooperative New Games so special, how to lead the games and adapt them for any group. Forty games presented, 158 pages. You can learn more at www.inewgames.com, or order the book at www.inewgames.com/spiritofplay.htm

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