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Get to Know You Games

  • INSTANT ID  Divide into two teams. Have two people hold a large, thick blanket up like a curtain. Have a person from each team stand facing each other with the blanket between, then quickly drop the blanket. First one to correctly say the other person’s name earns a point for his team. This game often produces hilarious results.
  • I’VE NEVER This game works much like musical chairs. Start with a person standing in the middle, and everyone else seated in a circle with no extra chairs. The middle person makes an “I’ve never” statement; for instance, “I’ve never been to the beach.” Everyone who also has never been to the beach needs to jump up and get to a new chair. Whoever gets stuck without a seat takes over the middle spot and makes the next “I’ve never” statement.
  • M&M GAME Pass around a bag of M&M’s and have each person take as many as they want. For each color of the M&M’s have a question that they have to answer. For instance, red can be, “Describe your first crush.” You can play this with Skittles or other colored candies.
  • A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS  Have each person write three “yes or no” questions on a 3×5 card.   These questions should relate to the general makeup of the group such as, “Did you grow up in Beijing?” “Do you like hamburgers?” “Are you in the Chemistry Department?”  (Don’t give the people any further instructions until they have written their questions.) Then give each person three pennies (or other tokens such as paper clips), and explain that the object of the game is to gather as many pennies as possible in the time allotted.  Each person needs to find as many people as possible who can answer “yes” to their questions. For each “yes” answer, they can receive a penny from the person answering-unless that person is out of pennies. Allow seven to ten minutes, depending on the size of your group.
  • 2 TRUTHS AND A LIE  Have each person write 2 truths and a lie about themselves. They then share it with the group and have others guess which is the lie.
  • FIRST LETTER FUN  Have each person describe him/herself by using the first letter of his/her name. For example: My name is Steve and I like Spaghetti, my favorite candy is Sugarbabies and my favorite animal is a Snake.
  • NAME THROW Throw a Koosh ball or pillow or another small non-threatening object to someone. That person says his name and describe why he loves his Koosh ball (let them be as creative as they want to be!). He throws it to the next person, who must introduce herself and the person who went before her, including the “why I love this Koosh” story. Do this until everyone has been introduced.
  • INTERVIEW INTROS Split the group up into pairs. Give them a few minutes to interview each other and then have them introduce one another to the group. This allows two people to get to know each other quickly and form a friendship. It’s often easier for international students to talk about others than themselves.
  • BALL BOUNCE  Find a nice bouncy ball, like a four-square ball (this works best on an uncarpeted floor). First player says her name and quickly bounces the ball to another while saying that person’s name. See how fast people can keep the ball moving. Try it with two balls if it’s not already too confusing.
  • SENTENCE FROM A NAME  Have everyone pair up with someone they don’t know. Each person writes his first name on a piece of paper and exchanges it with his partner. After a minute or two getting to know each other, each person makes up a sentence with words starting with the letter of the other person’s name. For example: KEVIN: Koalas Enjoy Vegetables In November.
  • WHO IS IT?  Best for smaller groups. Each student writes down on a scrap of paper a little-known fact about him or herself (the more unusual, the better). These are then read and everyone tries to guess who it is. A prize can be given to the person who guesses the most correctly.
  • THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS Best for smaller groups, or sub-groups in a large setting
    • “If you were to see God face to face today, what one thing would you like to either ask Him or say to Him?”
    • “If you could choose to walk in someone’s shoes for a week, whose would you pick and why?”
  • STRING TOSS GAME  Get a spool of string or yarn. Have each person answer a question of some sort when they have the string in their possession. They then hold on to the string and throw the ball/spool to another so they can answer the question. You eventually create a web of some sort. In the end, describe how the web is analogous to the group in that we all play a part in creating the web, and that if one person was gone it would look different. Likewise, it is important that we all take part to make the group what it is, unique and special.
  • SHOE PILE This activity provides a good way to have internationals meet new people. Have everyone take off one of their shoes and throw it into a big pile. Then everyone needs to go pick up a shoe from the pile and proceed to find the person who belongs to that shoe and introduce themselves. This works well for a large group.


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