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Icebreakers

Here are some great games for early meetings, first days of camp, or special events to get individuals to jell as a group and to help girls and adults learn everyone's name.

Name Games

My Name Is

How to play: Girls sit in a circle or a number of small circles, depending upon the size of the group. One girl is asked to tell the group her name. She says, "My name is Kelly Green." The girl on her left then says, "Her name is Kelly Green and my name is Maria Lopez." The next girl then says, "Her name is Kelly Green, her name is Maria Lopez, and my name is Shanna Smith." This continues until the last girl in the circle tries to name all the girls in the group. If a girl cannot recall a name, others in the circle may help her.

Linda Lemon

Illustration of a lemonHow to play: Girls make a circle. Tell the girls they are going to the market to purchase something they like, but it must begin with the same letter as their first name. The first girl might say, "My name is Linda, and I am going to the store to buy a lemon." The next girl might say, "My name is Malia, and I am going to the store to get a mango and a lemon." Player three might say, "My name is Naomi, and I am going to the store to buy a nightshirt and a mango and a lemon." The last girl gets to name everything!

Variation: Play shopping bag upset. Have the girls change places and repeat the process from any place in the circle.

Toss the String

Illustration of a ball of stringYou need: A ball of string or yarn. Groups of 15 or less.

How to play: Have the group form one or more circles. The girl with the ball of yarn starts by calling out a girl's name and tossing the yarn to her, being sure to hold onto the end of the string. The girl who catches the ball must call out another girl's name and toss the ball to her. The object is to include everyone and create a spider web with the string. The leader can then ask one girl to pull on her string while everyone else holds on. How many girls can feel the string being pulled? Use this as a starting point for a discussion on the importance of group cooperation and an individual's contribution to the group.

Warm-Up Games and Mixers

Birthday Lineup

Illustration of a birthday cakeYou need: An area where girls can line up.

How to play: Explain to the group that you want them to line up in chronological order, according to birthdays, without talking. After the girls have lined up, discuss how they arrived at their formation and note if there are any double birthdays.

Nosebag Skits

You need: Preassembled bags of assorted objects and clothing that can be used in a skit. Kitchens are good sources for such objects.

How to play: Divide the group into teams. Each team is given a bag with an item for each girl in it. The group is given five to ten minutes to create a skit using all of the items.

Human Knots

How to play: Five to ten girls stand in a circle. Each places her hands in the center and takes hold of the hands of two people other than those standing next to her. The group must work together to untie the knot without releasing hands.

Dividing-Up-the-Group Games

Number Call Out

How to play: Assemble the group. Call out a number such as "three" and the girls must scramble to get in groups of three. Try for numbers that divide evenly into your total group, or have those left out be the next callers.

Leg Extension

How to play: Have everyone stand in a circle. On the count of three each girl must extend one leg into the circle. All right-legged girls become a group and all left-legged girls become another group.

Ice Cream Flavors

Illustration of an ice cream coneHow to play: Have girls silently choose chocolate or strawberry ice cream as their flavor. They are not to tell anyone of their decision. Everyone then closes her eyes and call out the flavor she selected. Girls continue to call out their flavor while seeing others with the same flavor to come and join hands. The game ends when everyone has found her flavor. If the teams are uneven, ask someone to voluntarily move to the other team.