A fun way of learning names.

  • The group stands in a circle and begins by throwing a beanbag or bouncing a medium-sized ball, such as a children’s football, across the circle from one person to another.
  • Make sure people are ready to throw and ready to catch. Eye contact is important.
  • Now, introduce yourself as you throw or bounce the ball across the circle – “Hi, I’m ______”.
  • Once everybody has had a go at that, continue the game but this time say the name of the person that you are throwing to – “Jessica to Isla”. The group should ensure that everybody receives the ball. One way of doing this is for everybody to hold one hand up until they have caught the ball, or each person folds their arms when they have thrown it.
  • As a variation, the catcher can call out the name of the thrower.
  • Ask everybody to call out the name of the thrower.
  • More balls can be added in so that it develops into a Group juggle.
  • Don’t make name games into an actual test – people are less likely to learn names if they feel pressurised. Keep it light and enjoyable.
  • A useful adaptation for language learners – use word categories so that each person throwing the ball must say a word in the named category.