Birthday Line Ups

Type of Activity: Get to Know You/Ice breaker

Props Needed: None

Set Up: You’ll need enough space to create a large circle with your group. Works well with 10 to 25 participants for 20 to 30 minutes.

Process: Ask everyone in your group to create a Double Chicken Wing circle (see The Chicken Game) and link elbows – each participant links up with the participant to their left and right. The challenge is to, WITHOUT TALKING or removing anything from their pockets (no pens, driver license, etc.) get into Birthday order – month and day only. There must never be a complete break in the circle during the process. This means that if a participant needs to move to a different position she must first connect together the participants to her left and her right. The moving participant must then stay in contact with the circle during her movement to the new position. If the circle is broken at any time all participants are asked to, “Freeze!” until the circle is repaired, then the action can continue. If the circle breaks much too often you might stop the group to find out why this is happening and how they can prevent it from happening again – issues of following the rules can be discussed. Celebrate their success when complete. Try some variations below if the energy is there.

Variations: Have the group circle up into, Alphabetical Order by first, middle or last names, or from smallest to largest size of their favorite animal (you could even have them do this by using only the animal sounds), or by numerical order of the sum of their telephone number, or by distance they live from the program site, or an other fun order – Shoe size, memorable historical event, Books in the bible, height, etc.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did the group work together to accomplish this activity?
  • Did you learn anything new about your teammates?

For original write up purchase "The Empty Bag" by Cavert and Hammond, pg.  19 - 20. 

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