Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fun Icebreakers and Name Games

Enjoy trying these activities, designed to break the ice, teach names, or simply provide a fun way for your youth group to get out the laughs.

Question Balls

Take just about any ball with a weatherproof surface, such as a beach ball, and use a permanent marker to write questions for participants to answer. Have your group form a circle and toss the ball from person to person, taking turns to answer the questions on the ball. I instruct people to answer the question their left thumb lands on. Use duct tape to cover old questions and write new ones. Consider themes such as the get to know you questions, like "What is your favorite food?" or "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?"

Questions can be themed to meet just about any need from "pop quiz" questions on a subject you've taught to more theoretical questions to generate conversation in the group.

The Buffalo Song

Best sung in a circle with clapping.

All: Buff-a-lo, buff buff a lo Buff-a-lo buff buff a lo… repeat 2x

Caller: Hey (Name)

Name: Hey what?

Caller: Hey (Name)

Name: Hay what, hey what?

Caller: Show me how you buffalo

All: Show us how you buffalo!

Name: My hooves are high, my hooves are low, and this (demo dance move) is how I buffalo!

All: Her hooves are high, her hooves are low, and this (repeat dance move) is how she buaffalos!

All: Return to Buff-a-lo, buff buff a lo Buff-a-lo buff buff a lo… and repeat the song from the top. The named becomes the next caller. The song ends after everyone has “buffaloed” once.

Quick Draw (Tarp drop)

After participants have played an initial name game, separate the group in half. Have two leaders/facilitators hold up a tarp or sheet, then each group will send one member up. The goal is to say the name of the person on the other side of the sheet first. Count to 3 and drop the sheet. You can just enjoy playing or keep score. Mix up the teams and play again!

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