Icebreaker: Name Roulette

Ideal for groups whose members are unfamiliar with one another, Name Roulette is a great icebreaker activity to get your group on their feet and engaged while getting to know each person’s name in a fun way.

Time Needed: 10 minutes

Group Size: 6 or more (Challenge and fun increases with group size!)

Materials: 2 floor markers (these can be poly spots, Xs made with masking tape or something else that will easily stay in one place on the ground to indicate where participants should stop)

Directions: This game is played with two circles rotating next to each other. (Picture two wheels turning side-by-side.) 

Divide the group into two circles: Circle A and Circle B. Each circle should have participants facing in yet spread apart (a few feet between each person). Move the two circles close together so that one person from Circle A is standing back-to-back (yet not touching) with one person from Circle B. Place a floor dot where each of these two people are standing, and then ask them to stand on top of the dots. 

Ask each circle to look down. On the count of “3” each circle begins to rotate to the right making sure to keep good space between each person. After a few seconds, the facilitator yells “Stop” then “Turn.” The people standing on the dots will then turn to face each other and call out the other person’s name. Whoever calls the name fastest brings the other person into their circle. Resume playing with participants looking down. 

If participants are wearing nametags, allow them to play the entire game with nametags showing so that if they can’t remember the person’s name they can always look at the nametag for help.

The game ends when one circle is completely absorbed or time runs out. 

Debrief Questions:

  • Why is it important that we learn and use each other’s names?
  • What are some techniques we can use to help us?
  • What can we do if we forget someone’s name?
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