Games for Getting to Know Each Other

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Ideally played outside

For this game the participants and the facilitators have to stand in a circle. It can be nice to play this game outside. A first participant throws the ball to someone else while shouting his or her name. It is then the turn of the person who cought the ball to do the same with someone else. The game goes on like this until each name hab been said at least once.

An alternative is to not only say the name of the person, but also an adjective that begins with the same letters as the name, e.g. sunny Svetlana

Speed Dating

Very interactive and noisy

The participants build two lines. Each of them has a partner in the front. The moderator stands in the front of the lines and explains the rules of the game. The participants got three questions and they had to discuss it with his partner within one minute for each question (which is not enough, but a first impulse for later conversations). The questions were:

  1. How does a day from your life look like?
  2. How does your future plans for this year look like?
  3. What/ Who inspires you?
  4. What is your favorite book or movie, and why?
  5. What are the 3 top counties that you would like to visit,and why?
  6. What do you think you were in your previous life?
  7. Imagine our Region after 20 years how it will look like?
  8. If you win a lottery and get 1 million of euro, what are you going to do with the money?
  9. If you can choose to have a supernatural power, what would it be?
  10. What makes you feel happy?
  11. If you get on the island what are the 3 main objects what will you take?
  12. What is the craziest thing you have done in your life?

After three minutes the moderator makes a sign (in our case was a dong) and the participants make a step right. They get another partner, with them they discuss the same questions. Source:

Political Speed Dating

Get in touch with different worldviews

Similar to a partner interview, this task is conducted in pairs. Four questions - then change with other four questions

  • Round 1: Security or Freedom? Conservative or progressive? Political center or edge? For or against?
  • Round 2: About which topic would you not prefer to talk anymore? Does the society need more conflict or more consensus? Where do you wish more security? Which topic is not sufficiently discussed?
  • Round 3: Both participants answer to the following two questions: In regards to which topic is it 5 to 12? And in regards to whhich topi is it half past ten?

Source: From InterAktion

Map Game

Present the place of your permanent residence on a map

For this game a map of Europe is placed at the wall of the room. One after another the participants go to the map and make a red point at the place where their home town is. They also complete the sentence "I like to live in my city because ..." and say their name once again. Like this names of more silent participants can also be remembered. In addition to that it shows the diversity of home countries of the participants. Later on the map can be used as decoration for the seminar room.

Map Game II

Sociometric mapping

For this game the participants have to place themselves in an imaginary map. The point of orientation is the city where the seminar takes place, the four points of the compass and the contours of the continent. The participants can position themselves according to their home towns, the cities where they study, live etc.

Continue with another way of sorting participants: Please sort yourself on a line in regards to your travel time. Sort yourself according to letters of the first name, shoe size, frequency your were attending similar trainings,...

This task is giving additiinal funny and serious information about each other and is also bringing participants from different sub-groups together.

Background: Sociometry


Remember the name of your neighbor

The participants form a circle with their chairs, every seat is occupied. One participant is standing in the middle of the circle. He can address himself to a seated participant. When saying "Flik" the seated person has to say the name of his left neighbour, when saying "Flak" he has to say his right neighbours name. If the seated person does not know the name of his neighbour he has to change position with the person standing in the middle of the circle. When "Flik-Flak" is said all the participants have to change the seats as fast as possible. The slowest person will find him or herself in the middle of the circle and everything restarts.


Game with gestures

The participants form a circle and say one after another their names and also show a typical gesture. When everybody has done that one participants starts to say the name of someone else and shows the corresponding gesture. The next person is the one whose name has just been said. The game works like the ballgame.

As an alternative to typical gestures, the favourite hobby can be enacted in mime. The advantage of this exercise is the combination of name, face and gesture what strongly helps to remember the person. At the same time this game motivates the partners to exchange themselves about hobbies and other activities.

Personal Symbols

Explain symbols characterizing yourseöf to a partner

Every participant thinks about a symbol to present himself and draws the symbol on a little card which can then be put on cloth. The participants then form pairs and explain their symbols to each other. In the end every participant with the help of the symbol presents his partner.

Partner Portrait

Interview and draw a partner

Two participants ask each other either given (in example on a copied paper) or freely invented questions. In example:

  • How is your everyday looking like?
  • What is your position regarding the overall topic of the seminar?
  • What is inspiring you?
  • What kind of hobbies do you have?
  • What else is characteristical?

The interviewer is writing the answers down. The last task is to draw the person, on the other side of the paper or the other half of it.

Now the interviewed person starts the interview and portrait.

In the plenum the interviewers present each other in a short way. The drawings are pinned at a wall - the new participants' gallery.

Partner Interview II

Exchange with a partner and present her or him to the group

Two participants sit together and ask each other either given or freely invented questions. The participants do not know anything more at this point of the game. After ten minutes time a semicircle is formed with the chairs and one chair is positioned in the middle. One couple at a time is asked to come in the middle. One of them will sit down on the chair, the other person will stand behind the chair and put the hands on the shoulders of his partner. The person standing then starts to talk about the sitting one as if it were him: "My name is ... I come from ...". The information that he or she got before can be used as well as freely invented things about the sitting person. After the presentation, the audience has the possibility to ask three questions. The person standing will answer the questions for the sitting person. Finally the person who is sitting has the possibility to correct the things that have been said.

Dot Game

Remember favors and characteristics of the different group members. Vivid and interactive.

The game has four rounds. For the first three rounds there is each one question that has to be answered. "What is your favourite colour?" "What are your hobbies?" etc. The participants make a round and ask each other the questions and try to remember the answers. The rounds can have a time limitation. During the fourth round each participant receives a piece of paper with sticking points and asks randomly the other participants questions. "What is my favourite colour?" "What are my hobbies?" etc. If the person asked does not know the answer, he or she gets a sticking point on the face.

Fishing Game

Fishing of anonymously completed questionaries in the shape of a fish and finding the author.

The participants form couples and collect information about their partner. The information can be collected on little fish. They then present each other for everybody.

  • 8 to max. 20 people
  • 1 hour
  • material: per person one fish pattern (in colour) with statements that have to be finished, pens, a blue sheet or piece of cloth

Steps: 1. The fish pattern is completed by each participant anonymous. On the fishpattern there are the following questions:

  • My favourite food is ...
  • In my free time I mostly like to ...
  • When I think of other people I appreciate most ...
  • At the moment I am ...
  • In ten years I will be ...
  • I would like to travel to ...

2. The blue cloth is put on the floor as the "ocean". The participants throw their fish in the ocean. Then every participant goes fishing and takes one fish (if he fishes his own fish he has to try again and throw the fish back in the ocean. [15 minutes]

3. Then every participant tries to find the corresponding "fish" to the fish pattern. Therefore, everybody moves in the room and asks other participants ("Have you always wanted to travel to India?" "Do you like Haribo?) in order to find the right person. When all fish are found a presentation round begins. [15 minutes]

4. Presentation round in the plenum: One person now starts to present his or her fish with the help of the questions, e.g. "I angled XY, she studies German in Jerewan and is at the moment very curious to get to know more about the seminar. She has always wanted to go to Georgia and ..."). If the fish wants to, he can add more information. Then the fish becomes a fisher and presents his fish and so on. [30-40 minutes]


When using this method at the opening evening it might take a bit longer until the participants have found their fish, because they do not know a lot about each other. When presenting it is important to ask the fish to come on stage as well, so that the audience connects the given information with the fish and not with the person presenting. The questions can be different but it should not be more than five or six.