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the ultimate name game: Everyone is someone else.

“What was your name again?” is a question your hear all the time, especially during a training or at a meeting. The ultimate name game plays with this idea. The ultimate name game is, like the activities described above, a good way to get acquainted.
This activity promotes
    • acquaintance
    • contact
    • energy
    • fun
    • many more
Required material
     • name tags (to pin or put down and a marker)
Game sequence / instruction
You will see during trainings or seminars that after registration, you will receive a name tag that you can pin on your shirt. This also happens in training rooms in the form of a folded card on the table.
With this method you give each participant a card that is not his/her own. It is then the first task of that person to find and hand over the name card owner.
How you organize it exactly is up to you. Examples: you consciously pin the wrong card on arrival at the participant (or you let someone of your team do this) and tell them that they will soon be told why they did not receive their own card.
Or allow the participants to enter the room and they will find a ticket in their seat. But you ask them to pin it and then find the owner. Extra assignment: Let them discover why they have just received a card that belongs to somebody else (search for community).

“Guess the animal” The game

This way of working is, just like Human Bingo, a way to start before the training, workshop or meeting begins to get the participants to get to know each other.
This icebreaker promotes
Required material
  • two rolls (painters) of tape
  • good black highlighters.
Game sequence / instruction
The participants do not know each other. You want them to come into contact with each other in a easy-going way.
You start your explanation by saying that you tear off a piece of tape and write an animal name on it. You stick this tape to someone on his back without him knowing what animal name there is. This person must discover by asking closed questions which animal he ‘is’. In the meantime, others are also busy tearing down tapes and writing animal names on them and sticking these tapes to someone else’s back.
When the last participants have arrived, you can see if you can complete the game. Of course, there must be a few people who have guessed their name.
There is no need to evaluate. Look for yourself what kind of meat you have in the tub; which people are more easy-going and which are more quiet and introverted, so that you as a trainer also get to know the group.
Have you tried this game? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below!



Susan Lattanzi Roser


Energizers! contains 88 energizers for children. The motto of the book is “To learn well, children need to move!” The idea behind the book is that children learn better when the exercise and let their energy out. In Energizers! you will find energizers that are easy to teach and learn. There are energizers for every age and include suggestions and variations to make sure that the fit the group. The activities are labeled by grade level. The energizers can help to calm the children down but also to stimulate them. And they can be done anywhere, Inside and Outside, in a circle, or waiting in line.


Energizers! starts with 12 tips on how to use the energizer which is very convenient. Roser explains the energizers very good. On the side of the page is helpful information such as the pronounciation of certain words or for which grade the activity is suitable. The pictures in the book look really nice and match with the philosophy of the book. Energizers! uses music and rhythm to get the children engaged. A lot of the energizers involve singing or clapping. The writer has a lot of experience with chilren and learning and combines this with a love for piano.

If you want to order the book or read more about it, you can click here.

201 Icebreakers : Group Mixers, Warm-Ups, Energizers, and Playful Activities.

By Edie West


201 Icebreakers is great for trainers, speakers and group facilitators. The book contains many activities that cost little time and preparation. Most activities can be done in less than five minutes. This makes it perfect at the beginning of a meeting to break the ice, or in the middle to get everyone excited and going again. With the games, quizzes, energizers, and brainteasers, this book has to offer. You will have a great atmosphere in no time!

The stampdance

An energizer which immediately gives you energy and joy and can be finished within 2 minutes without a lot of explanation. icebreaker

How it works:

  1. Everyone stands in a circle.
  2. Stand firmly on the ground.
  3. first move your right hand from your chest to the front and back.
  4. Move eight times to the front in a rhythmic manner, you count since you are the trainer.
  5. Then your left arm; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. After that you stamp with your right foot on the ground until number 8. After this you do the same with your left foot.
  6. Subsequently you repeat the movements again with the arms and the feet but seven times, you keep counting.
  7. Then 6x, then 5x, then 4x, then 3x and then 2x and finally everyone just once.
  8. At a sudden moment you only need to call the number before you begin.

The knot

A fun energizer in which there is a lot of physical contact and people can laugh a lot is ‘The Knot’.

Give this instruction:

Stand shoulder to shoulder in a small circle.

Close the eyes, put the hands in front at the height of the shoulders.

Look with closed eyes for the hands of other people and grab them. When everyone has found two hands the eyes can be opened again.

Now the knot has to be untied WITHOUT releasing the hands!

Playing Transformer tag

Here is another old-fashioned active game which was invented for children but is very fun to do with adults.

Required materials



Arrange the children in a group, standing or sitting.


Tell the group that it’s important to put differences and habits aside. There won’t be fixed teams and it can happen that you suddenly belong to the team of the ” opponent”.

How it works:

  • Show the group the two possible positions which they can use
  • Tell the participants that they have to choose between two positions but that they aren’t allowed to tell their position to others.
  • If you say “transform” the participants start standing in their choosen position.
  • The teams tap eachother. If you are tapped you transform to another position and belong to the other team.
  • Keep on until 1 team is left.

It can be played multiple times if the group likes it. Make clear that with each new game a different position can be choosen.


Let the group think of two new positions/postures themselves. If those postures can be carried out well will turn out later.


Not needed

Points of interest

Fairplay is important, if you are tapped you belong to the other team.

Security check

Explain how people are supposed to tap, in order to prevent taps that look more like beating and pushing.


This energy-boosting exercise takes very short, is hilarious and can let the cerebral hemispheres work together again.

How it works:

Form couples.

Each couple keeps working together so there is no change.

  • Count to three together;
  • First one person says: 1
  • After that the other one says: 2
  • Finally the first person counts again and says: 3.
  • Let the participants do this for about half a minute.

Then the next phase starts:

Replace the ‘1’ by clapping in the hands. The other says: 2, then 3 and then there has to be clapped again.

Then the next phase starts:

The ’2′ is replaced by stamping with your right foot.

Then the next phase starts:

The ’3′ is replaced by ‘scratching’ at the arm of the other.

Race against the clock

A very simple energizer which only takes 2 minutes, which will make everyone gasp (after it) and everyone feels alive again. What gorgeous after dinner!

How it works:

The group starts to stand in a circle. Everyone holds eachother’s hand. You, as the trainer give the go-ahead sign. When you have given the go-ahead sign, the group starts to turn around three times clockwise, stop, and turn around two times counter-clockwise.

It has no meaning or whatsoever…., but it is really fun to do! And… everyone is ready to ‘learn and discover’ again.


With a large group you can also turn around only once.

Do this while you are recording the time. After the first time you encourage the group to do it faster the second time.

Color areas

This method promotes:

The instruction:

Time: 1-10 min

Participants: limited to 4 (Adapt the color areas to the size of the group)

Inside and outside

Required materials

3 ropes (length is dependent on the size of the group starting from 5 meter)


lay down three ropes parallel to each other (space between the ropes has to be at least 1.5 meter)

The space up to rope 1: red

Space from 1-2: white               

Space from 2-3: blue

Space after rope 3: orange

How it works:

Say a color and the participants have to try to stand in the area with this color as fast as possible. The last one which tries to stand in it drops out. If you stand in a wrong area you also drop off.

An alternative way:  

  • To make it a bit harder for the participants you can:
  • Split the area from red white blue in a different order than the order of the Dutch flag.
  • Say red and point to the blue area.
  • Say the wrong colors.
  • Make the areas bigger.