Group Size: 10 or more
Time Needed: 10 to 20 minutes
Goal: To help group members get to know each other
Audience: Couples, Singles, Parents, Teens, Children
Special Considerations: This can get loud. Actively make sure only nice things are being written. This activity is great for first day introductions. With two facilitators, both can participate by adding positive messages to each person’s papers. Sometimes facilitators can share some of their first impressions of each other and whether or not they held true.
- One piece of cardboard or card stock per participant (size of a standard sheet of paper)
- Writing utensils
- Masking tape
- Pass out a piece of card stock or cardboard, a writing utensil, and a piece of masking tape to each participant.
- Ask participants to write their names at the top of their sheet and help them attach it to their backs with tape. You may also ask participants to help each other do this.
- Direct the group to stand up and mingle for about 10 to 15 minutes. They should try to meet at least 10 people and talk for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Explain to participants that when they are done talking to each person, they will write their first impressions of the other on his or her back. Emphasize that all comments should be positive and encouraging. Give participants the following examples of positive first impressions: fascinating, can’t wait to get to know you better, nice smile, friendly, genuine, etc.
- After time is up, allow participants to return to their seats and look at their sheets. Discuss how they felt meeting new people and what they thought of their first impressions.
Tips for Discussion and Processing
This is a light hearted and engaging activity that almost always leaves people with good feelings about the group and themselves. This can also lead to a great discussion about first impressions and about non-verbal messages.
Note: These activities can be modified to reflect a variety of skills.