• You will need a piece of paper and a pencil for everyone to write their new name on.

What a boring title, I know.  But it is not a boring game,I promise.  Plus it can be played with a group of almost any size and age.  It is a quick game to explain and understand and thus is an easy spur of the moment game.

We played this like 5 times over the break and never tired of it.  It even inspired some new funny nick names.

family name game

This is how you play:

  • Everyone picks a name and writes the name down on a scrap of paper. It could be any name you can think up. We have used the name of a first boyfriend, Will Smith, Cookie Monster, or a play on words like, “Naughty or Nice.” Since someone will be asking you, ” Are you (insert name), ” it is funny to write down names like, “Smelly” because then it becomes, “Are you Smelly?”
  • Put all the names unanimously into a hat or bowl. 
  • One person will read all of the names out loud once or twice.
  • Discard the names.
  • Pick someone to start.
  • Remembering the names that were just read, that person will randomly ask someone in the group, ” Are you (insert name from list).” 
  • If the answer if yes then that person becomes a part of your team. You can then tell the members of your team your name and discuss what they think the other people’s names are.  The more names you guess the larger your team becomes.
  • If the answer is no then that person gets a turn to ask someone else. (If the answer is yes then the turn goes to the new leader of the group, if the answer is no then the person that said no gets the turn.)
  • This continues while teams form and you discuss with your teammates who is who and decide who to guess next.
  • When someone guesses right, they take over the whole team and they are the leader.
  • Eventually one team will win.

* Only one person wins:  If you want one winner instead of a whole team all you need to do is have the new leader of the group be the only person that can talk.  The people in your group simply become a number and not a team that you can work with.  This means you need to remember who is who and what all names are all by yourself.  It defiantly makes the game more challenging.

So What?

This is a great ice breaker game for a group that does not know each other well and does not want to get out of their comfort zone too much.  It is non embarrassing but helps you learn about the person and get to know names.  It is easy enough for anyone to ask some who they are, and by directly asking someone a question you now have confidence to talk to that person in a new or more “dangerous” environment.

It is also very fun with a group you know well.  It brings in a new dynamic of, “who would pick that name, ” and leads the group to analyze and get to know each other better.  In a family setting it is quick, easy, encourages working together, and will bring great memories.

 family name game