ACTIVITY: Name game ball toss

Purpose: Increase energy in the room and learn names or something about each other

Materials needed: Beanie babies or balls


  1. Start by asking the group to form a circle.
  2. Tell the group that we will be throwing a ball or beanie baby with two rules. Call out the name of the person you are throwing the ball to, and remember who you threw it to, because we will be doing it again in the same pattern. Again, two rules: call out the name of the person you are throwing it to and remember who you threw it to.
  3. Begin by calling out a member’s name and throw the ball to that person and watch as the group throws it making sure no one goes twice.
  4. Now ask the group to throw the ball in the same pattern calling the names in the same order.
  5. Once they’ve done that, ask if they can do it one more time a little faster.
  6. Start the ball toss again and then add another ball and then another. Depending on the size of the group, you should be able to get at least three balls going at the same time.
  7. Once done, celebrate the success, even if some balls were dropped.


  • Ask the group what skills they needed to keep the balls in the air (e.g., communication, eye contact, patience, self-regulation).
  • Make the connection between the game and the process of recovery or behavior change – that we need to focus on one thing at a time, to manage our discomfort, to rely on others for help.
  • You can use this game to help people learn names, increase the energy in the group, or at any time to mix things up. Instead of names, you can ask people to throw the balls calling out favorite places to vacation or superpowers.

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