Type of strategy: Energizers and State ChangersMovementOpeners & Get to Know You
Get to know you activity to show similarities between each other.
Group Size: 10 – 30
Age Range: middle school – adult
Intensity: Mental=1, Physical=1
Time: 5 minutes
Space: Minimal – Medium – Lots
Set Up Time: 60 seconds
Props: One spot marker per person
Share information about yourself in a fun, non-threatening way.
Set Up / Preparation
The group stands in a circle (arms length from each other) and the leader stands in the center. Everyone except the leader is provided with a spot marker to stand on top of. Make sure the spot marker will not easily slide on the floor (I use 6” x 6” carpet squares with rubber backing or you can use a piece of masking tape).
The leader then says something true about themselves and if the statement is also true for anyone standing in the circle, they must move to another spot. Because there is one less spot marker than there are people, someone will always be “caught” in the center (after the person in the center makes their true statement they quickly try to find a free spot marker). If you’re wondering why this activity is called “All My Neighbors” here’s why…the person caught in the center says “All my neighbors who love ice cream” or “All my neighbors who’ve received a speeding ticket”, etc.
You can’t move to a spot marker next to you.
No Running (quick walking is OK).
If you use a spot marker that easily slides on the floor, it’s likely to cause someone to fall on the ground. Use masking tape as a spot marker if the ground is slippery.
I’ve led this activity with all kinds of groups, both young and old, and it’s always fun. You might find with younger groups that they will purposely try to get “caught” in the middle just so they can have the spot light.
I’ve seen this done with groups larger than 30 people but it seems to lose something. If your group is larger than 30, consider dividing the group up into small groups of 15 – 20 and have them work separately.
One of the things I like about this activity is that you can participate without participating. By this I mean if someone doesn’t want to divulge something about themselves (i.e. move to a new spot marker) they can stay put. This gives people the option of participating at the level they choose.
Sometimes I’ll ask a group to keep the truths they share “G rated” (as in the movie rating). I’ll do this if I sense the group might say something inappropriate.