Learning the names of new campers can be a difficult task. How often have you arrived at a big gathering and been introduced to a large sum of people, only to forget their names minutes later and find yourself referring to them as “hey you” or ”pal” or something equally as cringe-worthy?
What is your name again? – This question can really make you seem like a bad listener. To avoid the embarrassment of a forgotten name and possibly ruining your camp fun, learn names fast with these simple name games.
Try the following 5 fun name games!
The Compass Name Game
To begin this game, have everybody should gather in a circle with one person standing in the center. This person will be “the caller”.
The caller points to a random member of the circle and says one of the following terms: “The Right”, “The Left”, “Myself” or “Yourself”. The player that has been pointed at by “the caller” will have to answer with the proper name within five seconds.
- Yourself: Gives their own name.
- Myself: Gives the name of the caller.
- The Left: Gives the name of the person on their left.
- The Right: Gives the name of the person on their right.
If the wrong name is called, or if the five-second window passes without an answer, the player will become the caller. If the correct name is called, the caller will then point to the next person in the circle.
This is a great party name games activity to use if you want to get your group into pairs and breed familiarity while encouraging name recognition at the same time. To start playing, everyone should gather around in a group and make notes of how many letters are in their first name.
They should go around the room and try to find a person who has the same amount of letters in their name. If they can’t, they can instead use a nickname; for example, Jess instead of Jessica.
I like to…
This is a great game that helps in name recognition as well as learning interesting information about people in your group. In it, one person starts by saying their name, an activity or hobby that they enjoy, and then they have to act out that hobby.
The group then repeats back the name and hobby alongside the appropriate action. This continues until everyone has shared their name and hobby. For example, I am Jessica. I like to swim. [This would be attended by swimming gestures].
The Toilet Paper Game
If you’re looking for easy interactive name games, this one is for you. You will need a new roll of toilet paper and someone destined as “the toilet paper custodian”. Select one person and ask them to choose a number anywhere between 5 and 50.
Once they have selected a number, hand out a corresponding amount of toilet paper squares. For example, if they said six you would give them 6 squares of toilet paper.
Go around the group and do the same thing until everybody has a stack of toilet paper squares. The toilet paper keeper will then go around the group and request one piece of information for every square that they have.
The game is finished when everyone has handed in all their toilet paper squares.
Let’s move it, move it
One of my favorite name games for youth includes this one! To kick things off, have everybody gather in a circle. Going clockwise around the circle, everyone needs to assign an action to a syllable of their name.
For example, Bobby’s name has two syllables so he needs to think of two actions. Bob could be a hop and by could be an air punch. Everyone would then repeat Bobby’s name and actions.
Each person will have a go as you go around the circle, and you will need to add the preceding names and syllables to the sequence. For example, Jessica was after Bobby.
Jessica’s actions could be a jump for “Jess”, a spin for “I” and a kick for “ca”. So everyone would repeat Jessica’s actions with her name and then they would repeat Bobby’s again. This name game continues until everyone has had a turn.
Special thanks to Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center for making this name games article possible.