Meeting and greeting new people can often be difficult for both kids and adults. This “mixer” is a great way to get folks chatting by connecting them through commonalities such as favorite sports teams, hobbies, activities, etc. By finding a common ground, they can begin conversing more easily, and possibly even start new friendships!
AgeTweens, Teens, Adults, Seniors
Number of Players5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+, As many as you can handle!
Prep Time5 minutes or less
Time Length5 - 15 minutes
DifficultyEasy peasy (fun and simple)
Space NeededSmall (a clearable open space the size of a 1-car garage), Medium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage), Large (gym, outdoor field, reception hall)
Mess FactorClean and tidy
1. Make sure everyone is wearing a name tag. Hand out rosters (or paper) and pens to each player.
2. Break your entire group into smaller groups of 6 to 10 people. You may want to take a poll ahead of time, and find out who in the large group considers themselves to be an outgoing/talkative person. Make sure that there is at least one outgoing person per group.
3. Have the groups form a circle facing each other. Spread the groups throughout the room so that each group has space.
How to Play
1. Have one person in each group introduce themselves, and start talking about the things that they are passionate about. For example: “Hi I’m Henry. I’m an avid motorcycle enthusiast. I love the X-Games. I am a whiz at making pancakes. I like planting strawberries, and I make my own root beer.”
2. When someone in the group finds a passionate connection to what Henry is saying, they should say so. For example, as Henry speaks, Amelia might say, "Oh, I'm Amelia, and I love planting strawberries too." At that point, those two write down or check off each other's names and leave the group. Someone else in the group will now take over the lead in their circle.
3. Meanwhile, Amelia and Henry can either join another pair that has splintered off, or join a smaller group that has already formed. If there are no other new groups formed yet, Amelia and Henry should continue talking about what they have in common, until another pair joins them. The object here is to mix with as many people as possible in an allotted time. The object is not how many people you meet, but finding things in common with those that you do.
4. The team leader can determine the timing of this game. Usually 10 to 15 minutes will do.
1. The group organizer should circulate around the room, encouraging folks to lead their groups with introductions, etc. They should also help in pairs to form new groups.
2. Folks can be shy about sharing, so remind them to simply share things that they love or believe in strongly.
3. Players may want to jot down a note or two about the people they meet -- their interests, etc., so that they can continue chatting at a later time.