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Get-To-Know-You games

We tend to talk so much about teambuilding games and programs that we don’t have any time left for another, similarly important social game type—get-to-know-you, or icebreaker games

We tend to talk so much about teambuilding games and programs that we don’t have any time left for another, similarly important social game type—get-to-know-you, or icebreaker games. It’s quite rare when a team needs to be built from the very ground up, but it’s really important how we take the first steps.

These Get-to-know-you games help to get through the introduction and initial tension phases, and once the members get closer to each other, we can say that the game fulfilled its purpose.

 “Get to know you” games for kids

It’s much more usual that kids get into a situation where they need to get acquainted with mostly unknown children: a kindergarten, school class or summer camp are all examples for occasions when it makes sense to play these kind of games.

To start things off, they could learn each other’s names by adding adjectives to it; let’s see an example:

“Hi, I’m Ben, the cool.”

“He is Ben, the cool and I am Anne, the pretty…” and so on and so forth.

It’s a bit more difficult, but also more fun if they add alliteration:

“Hi, I am Ben, the brave.”

“He is Ben, the brave and I am Anne, the earnest…etc.”

The collaboration within a group can be improved with some simple steps, let’s say the kids need to form a queue, but they must follow each other by the starting letter of their first name. If they do it as a competition against another group of children, then it can be even more exciting.

They can also gain a deeper knowledge about their fellow group members if we ask them to share some information about themselves in private, and then the kids need to introduce their partners in front of the whole group.

“Get-to-know-you” games for adults

Adults rarely bump into situations where they form a group with totally unknown people. But even if it’s rare, there’s a chance that it happens: a company sets up a brand new branch or department, or you go on a trip where you are surrounded by new people. As adults are getting older and older, the ability to get acquainted with others is slowly fading as they are becoming less and less open unlike children.

So this is why get-to-know-you games are important in the beginning. Feel free to use the same games with adults that children enjoy. If the group is a bit more tense, start off with something more serious. They can talk about how they got their name or introduce themselves within a time limit—ask them to light a match and talk until it’s burning. The point is to create a foundation for the oncoming conversations.

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