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Group Size: 10 to 30
Time Needed: 15 to 30 minutes depending on size of group
Goal: To provide an icebreaker
Audience: Couples, Parents, Teens, Children, Singles
Special Considerations: Works best with outgoing and active groups; may not work well with more reserved groups. Make sure you don’t pick someone who is shy to go first. Give your participants the option to sit out if they prefer.
Resources Needed: Small ball, Dry erase board or flip chart

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Explain to participants that in order to have a successful group it is helpful to get to know each other better.
  2. Help participants brainstorm a list of questions they might ask someone they just met. Write them on a dry erase board or something similar.
  3. Ask the group to form a circle with their chairs.
  4. Place a chair in the middle of the circle and have one person from the group sit there.
  5. Toss the ball to one member of the group and explain that whoever has the ball should toss it back to the person in the center and ask them a question from the list or another question that is not too personal.
  6. Explain to whoever is in the center that they have the option to pass on any question that feels too personal or makes them uncomfortable.
  7. Each person is given 1 to 3 minutes in the center (decide on an exact time before starting).
  8. Optional: At the end of the activity give everyone a handout with each participant’s name listed. Ask them to fill out as much as they can remember about each person. Give a prize for who remembers the most and who shared the most.

Tips for Discussion and Processing

The main point of this exercise is to help participants get to know each other a little better, but it can certainly be expanded upon. This can be used to lead a discussion on how we connect and get to know other people. The group can discuss trust and intimacy, and how a relationship grows deeper and closer when people share more information with each other. This can be especially helpful to illustrate boundaries and getting to know someone well for teens. First we start with basic information like “where are you from?” When we start talking about hopes, dreams, struggles and feelings, we really start to build close relationships. It is helpful to discuss how relationships don’t usually just start off with those conversations. It takes time and trust to reach those levels.

Note: These activities can be modified to reflect a variety of skills.