Name Tag Games to Use as Icebreakers

Eviatar Bach [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you have ever been to an orientation or conference, then you are probably accustomed to having to wear a name tag. But, just wearing a name tag means awkward moments of talking to someone, and at the same time, trying to get a good look at their written name. And if someone like me writes their name sloppily, well, good luck with that!

Name tag games are what happens when you combine name tags with icebreaker games. If that’s what you are looking for–and who wouldn’t be?–then check out these name tag games.

Eviatar Bach [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Put a Little Something Extra on Your Name Tag

Numbers Fun

Everyone has a year that holds special meaning: year of birth, year of your marriage, year of your first kiss, etc. Well, these can be great conversation starters with strangers.

Put the relevant year on your name tag, and then start guessing what others’ special years are referencing. Just make sure you pick something appropriate to the audience!

All About Me

There are two different approaches to this one:

Text: In addition to your name, you write facts (e.g., in each corner) about yourself on the name tag. Whoever is in charge should predetermine which categories will be used. Some categories that could be used include: favorite (or recently watched) movies, hobbies, places you have lived, favorite (or recently watched) television shows, favorite songs, favorite books (or most recently read books), etc. Just pick something that everyone is likely to have something to write.

Pictures: As you may expect, this is the same as the textual version, except you would draw pictures. This may work best with children (e.g., perhaps the week of class to help everyone learn names). And with a specific set of categories, though it could be interesting to see everyone’s interpretation of their favorite music, movie, or book.

Where is Your Name?

Famous Person Identification

Why would you write your name on your personal name tag? That’s for boring people, right?

In this game, you instead write the last name of a famous person with the same first name as you. The fun is picking someone famous enough to be known, but no so famous that everyone will know who they are. This can also be a fun exercise in determining what people know.

Pick a sports star, and watch a number of people struggle to figure out your name.

Or pick a popular Youtuber, and watch a number of people struggle with why you think they’re famous (alternate digital divide!).

Where in the World?

No, we are not chasing Carmen Sandiego. But just like real estate, this game is all about location, location, location!

The idea is to use the name of a city as an icebreaker. The city can be anything significant to you: where you were born, where you got married, where you had your first kiss, where you would go on your dream vacation, and so on.

Just like the prior game, make this one personal but not so personal that you would not (or should not) want to share.

What’s the Question?

Really, this is just a broader version of the previous name tag game. The city version is the most popular, but you could really do it with any question. And you could even let attendees come up with their own question rather than giving everyone the same prompt.

About Wesley Lyles 117 Articles
Wesley is a jack of all trades hobbyist. Though much of his spare time is spent playing board games (especially solo card games like Legendary), Hearthstone, Rocket League, and MLB The Show.e He also enjoys most sports, but pays way too much attention to baseball and football.

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