Getting to know people can be hard, especially in a large group setting in a new environment. Students in a new class at the beginning of a semester, the first employees at a new business or people attending a seminar in which knowing the group is important can play a number of ice breaking games that will take the pressure off of meeting new people.
The Name Game is a great way to start off group introductions because it helps everyone to remember each other's names. To play, have everyone form a circle. The first person must say his name, preceded by a word that describes him and begins with the same letter. The next person repeats the first person's description and name before saying her own, the third person says the first two people's descriptions and names before saying his own. For example, the fourth person would say "Hi, Darling Daniel, Crazy Carla and Responsible Ron; I am Serious Silas."
Autograph Bingo requires that there be 24 participants or more. Each player is given a Bingo card with an interesting fact in each box. Examples might be "is an only child," "has run a 5K," "hates ice cream" or "has been to Hawaii." The group must mingle and get each person to sign off on a fact that is true of him. The first person to have a row full of autographs (or one in each box, should you choose to play that way) shouts "Bingo!"
Sort and Mingle
There are two parts to the Sort and Mingle game. First, the sorting part. The leader asks the group which of two items they prefer (for example, coffee or tea, movies or books or rock or country music) and sends them to a corner of the room assigned to that option. After a few rounds of this type of sorting, the leader calls out another set of options, but tells the group they must mingle with one another and discover who in the crowd has the same preferences, creating their own groups in the end.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is a great game to play at the end of your introductory period, after the group has gotten to know each other just a little bit. Each person prepares three statements, two of which are true, and one of which is a lie. One at a time, the people share their two truths and a lie, while the rest try to guess which one is bogus. Another variation of this game is Two Truths and a Dream Wish, in which the lie is replaced with the person's biggest wish.