3 x Fun Home Group Activities

This article strikes at the heart of one of the most common uses of interactive group games & activities – designing a program that will engage students who gather as part of their regular Home Group sessions.


What is a ‘Home Group?’


You may know of the concept of Home Groups by another name, eg Pastoral Care Groups, Connect Groups, etc.

By any name, the term Home Groups refers to that part of a school’s curriculum when small groups of students representing multi-age or year levels gather frequently to build connections and relationships. They are quite common in schools these days.

I think the key is the word “home.” They are intended to be a safe place for students to gather, to be with each other, and build community.

Consequently, a critical element of their success will be their ability to form healthy & trusting relationships among the students. And as I’ve always said, if you think that simply invite a group of people to ‘be’ together is sufficient to build relationships, think again.

The missing ingredient is ‘intention,’ and playmeo’s collection of ‘home group’ activities overflows with intentional opportunities to build connections and relationships.


The Practice of Building Relationships


Typically, Home Groups meet at least once a week (sometimes daily) for a very limited time, often as short as 10 minutes. Yep, that short, I’m afraid.

Of course, maths, language, science, arts, sports, etc are all important elements of a student’s education, but when the research and science clearly state the #1 most significant influence on a student’s success in life is their ability to form and sustain healthy relationships – I think dedicating only 10 minutes a week to the practice of building relationships is kinda dumb.

(But that’s another story for another time.)

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Top Ten Icebreakers & Group Games

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3 x Home Group Program Templates


Working on the basis of a short length of time dedicated to Home Groups, here are three quick program overviews that are purposefully designed to invite students to play, interact, share and build trust. All of which, over time, form the basis of building relationships.

I’ll work on the basis that your Home Group is scheduled to meet for 20 minutes. Let’s call this 15 minutes of actual program time.


Home Group Fun #1
  • Crossword Names – great arrival activity, and ideal for building name-knowingness
  • Name Swap – perfect segue from having focused on names, to building a little bit of friendly competition.
Home Group Fun #2
  • Card Talk – all you need is a deck of playing cards, and you’ll be ready to invite random mixing & sharing.
  • Spot the Difference – fun partner exercise to sharpen observation skills.
Home Group Fun #3
  • Wordles – again, another great arrival activity that will quickly engage the interest of every student as they arrive.
  • Mintie Game – who doesn’t like a sweet treat? Excellent mixing activity that will trigger bursts of laughter.


Of course, these three templates are just the tip of the iceberg.

I could have designed 100, 200 or more programs that invite students (indeed, any group of people) to build connections. It’s what playmeo does so well, and explains why so many educators and group leaders join our community.

If you’re interested in learning more, start a 7-Day Free Trial. Have a look around, and if you like what you see, upgrade to a fully-fledged annual plan (for less than $8/month.)

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