Neat Names

Type of Activity: Name Game

Props Needed: None

Set Up: You need enough room to make a circle with your group. Plays well with 8 to 25 for 15 to 25 minutes.

Process: At the beginning of our programs we like to circle up the participants (Single Chicken Wing to the Right works well. See The Chicken Game for details) and come up with Neat Names that can use during the day. We challenge each participant to choose an adjective or verb that would go with their first or last name. The word, we suggest, should either rhyme or start with the first letter of the name used. Dick’s Neat Name has been “Dizzy” and Chris’ has been “Crispy.” So, as the facilitator you can move around the inside of the circle pointing at participants and asking them for their Neat Name, “Magnificent Mary.” Make sure the group hears the name and then have them say, “Hello Magnificent Mary” then on to the next, “Powerful Pete.” You also might want to go back and review names if there is a large group of participants to remember. It is okay for a participant to pass if they can’t think of a name. You can also let other participants make suggestions – making sure the names are not disrespectful in any way (bring up the Digital Contract if needed). After a few more participants share make sure you return to the passer to get his or her Neat Name. It’s fun to use the names throughout the day. It helps to practice and remember names. It also seems to add some fun energy to the environment.

Variations: On occasion we might have to split a larger group into two or more groups – working around in stations. After Neat Names we might have the group come up with a “Group” name and a cheer that goes with it. This helps to identify and call your groups together after breaks – the cheers are great energizers.

For original write up purchase "The Empty Bag" by Cavert and Hammond, pg. 16. 

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