Drama Name Game – Name Juggle

**Note: this activity requires tennis balls or similar.**

Add another to your collection of name games in preparation for meeting your new class.

Name Juggle is an energetic warmup that helps students learn each other’s names quickly while focussing an excitable new group.

Instructions

  • Ask students to stand in a circle.
  • In turn, each student should say their name to the group and the group repeat it.
  • If students are still unsure, ask them to repeat this step.
  • Introduce a tennis ball.
  • Students should say the name of another student and then pass the ball to them.
  • Clarify that they must ensure the person whose name they call is looking at them before they throw the ball.
  • Once they are in a good rhythm, introduce a second ball.
  • Continue to increase the number of balls as you see fit.

Extension

  • Once there are a number of balls in play, increase the focus by introducing eliminations.
  • Each time a student drops the ball, pause the game and ask them to leave the circle.
  • Continue to use the same number of balls as the number of players decreases.
  • By the end you will have two students trying to juggle multiple balls.

The repetition of names helps a group to learn very quickly. Concentrating on not dropping the balls ensures students are thoroughly listening and absorb each other’s names better.

Top tip: this game should be a team builder. Make it clear to the students that they should not be trying to eliminate others. Don’t be afraid to disqualify a student who is spoiling the game by intentionally making it difficult for others. 

Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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