This activity can be a very effective ice-breaker, particularly useful at the start of the session and when working with a new group of residents.It’s a fun and engaging way of introducing the group to one another and allows everyone to express how they’re feeling – either about the session or just in general.
Chairs for everyone to sit in a circle, preferably in a fairly quiet space.
Step by Step Guide:
Once everyone’s seated in the circle, explain that you’re going to go around the circle asking everyone two questions: Who are you? and how are you?
In response to ‘who are you?’ ask people to think of something about themselves – this could be a hobby they enjoy; a special skill or talent; or something they’ve done as a job and to do an action to express this physically (e.g. arms moving in a swimming movement to reflect someone who enjoys swimming)
Once everyone has selected something, go around the circle asking them to say their name whilst doing the action, beginning with your own as a demonstration.
Ask the group to repeat each name and action.
Ask the group to repeat this back to you – the name and action.
Next, explain that in response to ‘how are you?’ people need to respond with a sound and action to explain how they’re feeling (e.g. yawning and stretching with an ‘ahhh’ to say you’re sleepy)
Ask the group to repeat this back
Go around the group asking each person these questions and encouraging the group to repeat them back.
Ideas for Further Activities With This Idea:
You could build on this activity by building up the sound and action for how people are feeling – so that by the time you reach the last person in the group, the sequence includes each resident’s sound and action.
You can also experiment with making the sound and gestures bigger or smaller.
Ways to adapt for less able residents:
Depending on the support you have available, you could allocate staff to sit with the residents who need the most help.
For people who are struggling to think of an activity for themselves, you could open it up to staff and / or the group if they know them.
Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa:
This activity is ideally done in a group, if however, you’re working with only one person, you can each choose a gesture and mirror it back to the other person.