Low-Risk Group Exercises and Getting Acquainted Activities
- Have roommates introduce each other, telling something they have found out about each other.
- Have residents bring some object that best describes them or has real meaning to them
- Have residents introduce the people that live next door to them.
Non-verbal introduction: each person introduces himself or herself without using words.
Draw a picture that tells something about them (interests, hobbies, family, home).
Use Your Imagination
Summer vacations, future plans, travel, hobbies, interests, sports, etc.
Human Scavenger Hunt
Prepare a ditto leaving a space for a name next to a bit of information (has been to Europe, plays a musical instrument, has not been downhill skiing, etc.) – the object of the game is to match names to each item by milling around and asking questions; a person may only be used for one space, so you get to meet more people.
Every resident is given a piece of paper with the title of a well-known but simple song (e.g. Happy Birthday) written on it – they must walk around humming this song until they find another person humming the same song – this is a good way to pair people off for a disclosure activity.
When working with a large group, have everyone take off one shoe and throw them all in a pile, each person picks out one foreign shoe and tries to find its owner.
Build a Machine
Have a group of 6-8 simulate a blender with all the moving parts, including noises (consider other machines like dishwashers, lawnmowers, toasters, popcorn poppers).
Everyone stands in a circle and puts their hands into the middle, grab the hands of two other people. You or another designated person tries to untie the human knot.
Write these questions out on a piece of paper and have pairs interview each other:
- Some unique things I have done with my family, friends, clubs, etc. that have had a significant impact on my life are…
- The best way to characterize the area I grew up in is…
- Before coming to JMU, I was most involved in…
- The grades I would like to earn fall semester are…
- The things I find most annoying is…
- Times when I would most prefer to be by myself are…
- My outlook on life could best be described as…
- When things are going really well, I…
- My favorite things to eat are…
*For other examples, look through the Encyclopedia of Teambuilding Activities at FYI or check with the Area Directors, the Program Advisors, your Hall Director, and other staff members.
**Consider doing a name-game or icebreaker at your first few meetings with your residents. Don’t assume because you have learned everyone’s name that they have also.