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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You're a Star and Sign my Cast

These are some of my favorite pre-openers! Pre-openers are activities used at the beginning of a social as people arrive. Pre-openers are meant to keep people involved and talking so they do not lose interest. I have used these as activities as well - not just pre-openers. Either way they are fun and keep the participants' attention.

My Experience
I have always had great success with these games. One time, everyone wanted to keep playing - we played You're a Star five times! I was starting to run out of names so I had the participants write names and tape them on their friend's back. Both games are easy to explain and very chill so the participants can talk, catch up, get to know each other, etc.  

Sign My Cast
Give every participant a brown bag with a hole in the bottom and a marker. The participants put their dominant arm through the brown bag to create a cast. The participants walk around mingling and signing each other casts with their non-dominant hands. When everyone seems to have all of the signatures, have them stop and count the number of signatures they have. Have those with 10 signatures raise their hands, then 15, 20, and so on until only one person's hand is up. Have that person say how many he/she has and then give him/her a piece of candy or some other prize. 

You're a Star
Before everyone comes, write the name of a famous person on different index cards. Choose names the group will know. Tape an index card on each players back without showing the player the name written on the card. Have all the players walk around asking each other "yes/no" questions untill the players figure out who they are. If someone figures it out quickly, give them a new one to keep the game going or just have them try to help others.

Here are some ideas for You're a Star: 

  • Kids: 
    • Characters from Disney shows/movies
      • Jessie
      • Ariel 
      • Simba
    • Superheroes
      • Batman
      • Thor
  • Teenagers and Adults 
    • Characters from recent movies/television shows
    • Different actors
      • Will Smith
    • Sport players
      • Michael Jordan
      • Peyton Manning
  • Elderly
    • Characters from older movies/television shows
      • Casa Blanca
      • MASH
    • Famous sports players from his/her era
Also with You're a Star, if you are having a hard time coming up with names, have participants write down a famous person and tape it to another participant's back. Participants definitely have a lot of fun this way because they are more involved.

Life Lessons
These activities can be used to build communication and social skills. You're a Star practices problem solving skills and critical thinking while having fun! Sign my Cast practices motor skills especially since everyone will be using their non-dominant hand.

Make sure to bring extra materials just in case more people show up, etc.

  • You're a Star
    • Enough index cards for each person to go twice - just in case
    • Markers to write the names with
  • Sign my Cast
    • Enough markers for everyone to use one
    • Enough brown bags for everyone participating

Where to Play
You can play both of these inside or outside. I love it!

Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

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