Get Aquainted Games
Acquaintance games are always employed when a group must get to know each other at the beginning. This is usually the case at the beginning of a new group meeting or on the first evening of a children’s or youth’s camp.
The imagination knows no limits when it comes to that kind of games. The important thing is the goal: The members of the new group will be in various stages of knowing each other, of familiarizing one another. The other aim is to reduce inhibitions and to build a certain group dynamics.
A relaxing atmosphere is important, regardless what kind of team that is: The new trainee in a company has to get to know all employees just as a new child in Kindergarten has to meet his new playmates. Ultimately, you can encounter such "games" anywhere: Whether it is when you are applying for a job - when it comes to a group of people which have to work together to find solving strategies. (Comprehensive Group Methodology). Here are some ideas from the classic "Ball with a name" game to more complex imagination games similar to the talent shows in the style of 2009 pop stars.
For a group to harmonize and work together well, it is important that all individuals get to know each other as well as possible. And what is the easiest way to do so? Of course: Also with a game!
Suitable are all games where the children must say something about themselves. You can turn it into a quiz, which also challenges the memory of each individual. In this case, a player has to listen to the other, what he tells about himself and his life. Then questions are asked, which are to be answered by the listener.
However, games to get to know each other can be exciting and full of action. For example, various sports games are very well suited for this occasion. A classic is the "Ball with a name" game in which the players each throw a ball, thereby calling the name of the catcher out loud. Thus, the names of the other group members are learned playfully and the first barrier is broken.
But games to get to know each other are suitable not only for the first meeting but also to deepen relations within themselves. This is useful, for example, when a child- or youth group just recently was formed and wants to take some time off for a trip or a youth camp in the near future. With the appropriate games, you can ensure in advance that the participants better understand each other and form a perfect team later on the trip.
- Elf, Giant, Magician
On the leaders command, the couples must assume positions to show the character and they must also make the sounds of that character. This game is similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors.
- A blind pair
Players turn, walk towards each other and meet up while blindfolded.
- Partner body positions
When the music stops, the leader will announce two body positions.
- Line up
The groups must line up in correct order.
The chosen player must name the player on his left (right).
- Shoe Pile
Everyone takes off one shoe and throws it onto a pile in the middle of the group. Then everyone will choose a shoe and try to find the player who owns the shoe.
- Stand up
Two (or more) players sit back to back with legs stretched out in front of them. They must try to stand up without using their arms.
- Greeting Rituals
The members of the group greet each other using different greetings rituals.
- The ball with names
The group sits or stands in a circle. A ball is thrown to someone whose name is called out at the same time.
- Backwards names
Your own name is said backwards.
- Name crossword
Each letter of your name is represented by a question where the first letter of the answer gives the different letters of the name.
- Making gestures
Like "I went to the market" but with gestures and movements.
Out of the game is either: the person who ducked too slowly.
- Pip squeak
The blind person in the middle must guess who made the noise.
- Introduction - Starter questions
A few questions which can be posed during an introductory round.
- Smarties and stories
Each player takes a few numbers of M & M’s or Smarties out of a bag. After all have taken from the bag, each person tells one thing about themselves for each piece of candy taken.
- Who is it?
Everyone writes down 4-5 personal characteristics about themselves. The group then guesses who the characteristics belong to.
- The group (spider) net
A ball of yarn is thrown randomly from one person to the next while posing a question with each throw.
- Newspaper Slaps
The player in the middle must “tap” the person named with the newspaper before that person can call out another person’s name.
- 3 wishes, 3 truths, 3 important things
Each person writes down 3 wishes. Afterwards the group guesses whose wish is whose.
- Formation line
The entire group must stand on a board. On command, they line up by alphabet, height or age in the right order without speaking.
Hands behind a stretched over a blanket screen must be recognised.
- Group estimations
The group estimates themselves (total age, height, distance to school.)
- Whose balloon is this?
Everyone snaps a balloon and brings it to the person whose name is on the balloon.
- Secret calls
Each group agrees on a special signal. All members are blindfolded and must try to find each other.
- Blindly sorted
All members of the group are blindfolded and have the challenge of standing in a row according to size, age, etc.
- Animals find their partner
Each blindfolded member of the group must now try to find his partner by making animal sounds.
- Spoon grab
A blindfolded member of the group must try to recognise another group member with a table spoon.
- Who knows all of the group members by name?
On the command, the members of staff let the blanket fall. Whoever names the person sitting opposite them first has won.
- What Belongs to Whom?
Volunteers stretch out their arms or legs out from under a blanket.
- I love…
This is a good game to learn about the others’ hobbies and such.
- The perfect chaos
Each group member receives a task. An exact opposite task exists for each task.
- Family Maier, Meier, Mayer and Meyer
A game for allocating and finding groups with initial communication difficulties.
- Like to like
A game for allocating groups with noises.
- Lipstick kiss or footprint
Every player makes a fingerprint, a lipstick kiss or a shoe print on his paper. The group guesses whose paper belongs to whom.
- Remember the name even in this paper mess
As quickly as possible you need to find out who has a name with a given letter.
- Sitting on the Meadow
A circle of chairs game to learn names.
- Speed dating
In two minute intervals tell the other person something about yourself, then change.
- Mini Chaos Game
Think about to which person you would like to go
- Truth or False
Everyone has to find out whether it is an experienced, or made-up story.
- Throwing Snowballs – getting to know one another
Getting to know one another in the snow.
- Something to play with and something to tell ...
The object from a Kinder Surprise has to be connected with something from your own life.
- Shadow Clone on paper
Who can tell from the shadow, who’s head it is?
- Toss me your name
A ballgame in the circle of chairs to get to know each other.
- Blind Date
Very quickly say the name of the person behind the curtain.
- Game with blankets
Whoever cannot say the other person’s name fast enough needs to change sides.
- My favourite food
Everyone has to find out the other one’s favourite food.
- Characteristics ala motor boat
You need to find matching answers to pairs of words.
- Question time
Questions are to be answered. In the end, we check who remembers the most questions.
- Where I have been ...
Everyone tells in which countries he was and what unique things he has experienced.
- Am I the only one who can...?
Everyone thinks of a characteristic or unique talent; of which he thinks he is the only one who can do that.
- Know the name
Throwing a ball to another kid and calling out his name
- Island game
Children gather together to little islands. For example, everyone who has a sister, everyone who has brown hair
- Who can escape the hunter?
The name, which is called, the hunter has to catch.
- Memorizing my classmates
1-2 volunteering children try to give all the others the correct name tag
- Klaus kisses Kermit
Create a sentence where all words start with the first letter of your name.
- Eerie Edding
Each child represents itself with a characteristic which starts with the first letter of his first name. The Edding pen plays only a supporting role.
- Remembering names
In turn, each child introduces and identifies a favourite activity, which is also represented in pantomime. The speakers are again presented with the associated movements.
- Who am I looking for?
One person from the group is described while the others have to guess who it might be.
- The first impression counts
Other group members are assessed. Then it comes to the exchange, why someone was evaluated a certain way.
- I want to know
What I would like to know about another team member?
- Favourite number
Everyone thinks of his favourite number and represents himself with the equal number of characteristics.
- What is your favourite food?
In the beginning, everybody says his favourite name of a child within the group. Next, the kids throw a ball to each other, however, instead of calling them by their names, they are called by their favourite food.
- Getting to know Bingo
The objective is to write down as many as possible characteristics of the kids in the group.
- The other way around
A getting-to-know-game using a dice – call out the name of the person who matches the casting number.
- Emotional getting to know each other
In each round, a new characteristic will be presented. A hobby, what makes you sad or happy, etc.
- Getting to know Domino
Each participant must write down something that belongs to him, then the group creates a Domino image.
- Network game
Players must try to find some common ground with other group members.
- Parliament (rather for youth groups)
The goal is to fill all 4 marked seats with people of their own team (party).
Players with the same characteristics are supposed to come together.
- Common and different
The participants have to find similarities and differences with other players.
- Name Scrabble
The objective is to create an as long as possible word with the initials of the child’s first and last name.
[ © www.games4youthgroups.com ]