Help your group learn names by playing a series of fun & playful name-games.
Playing a series of fun, interactive name-games is one of the most useful ways to help your group, especially people who don’t know each other, to learn names.
The fun helps people engage with others, and the interaction provides ample opportunities for names to be mentioned, exchanged, reinforced and remembered.
Socially, learning names is one of the most important skills one can learn. We often marvel at someone who can recall the name of someone they have not seen for a long time. And while some people have a gift for remembering names, most do not – it’s a skill that needs to be practised.
Key Principles of Effective Name-Games
When structuring a program, particularly for a group of strangers, consider these principles:
Name-tags are often unnecessary. Playful, highly-interactive and fun experiences are always preferred and frequently appreciated. There is no shortage of fun name-games to discover here.
Invite group members to introduce themselves every time they interact with someone new. Make frequent reminders to give each person permission to do this.
Create a culture where it’s okay to ask for someone’s name. This interaction says ‘I care enough to want to know it’ and not that ‘I’m stupid and forgot.’
Furthermore, encourage and celebrate when people make a mistake recalling a name. These are wonderful moments in which people can support one another in their effort to learn something new.
As the leader, frequently use the names of group members when they make a contribution, volunteer or perform a task. This will not only reinforce the person’s name, but it will also assist you (and the group) to pronounce the name correctly if it happens to be less common.
Introduce one or more formal or dedicated name-games into your program, but not too early. Playing names-games too early may encourage some people to pull back from participating for fear of making a mistake.
Activity Ideas Which Help People to Learn Names
The images below provide links to a sample of fun group activities which focus on names drawn from playmeo’s ever-expanding activity database.
Enjoy browsing to your heart’s content.
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