Have You Ever

Description: Active and fun group activity exploring people's experiences.  Works well with large groups.

Purpose(s): Ice Breaker and a way to celebrate the rich diversity in the group.

Time: 10-15 mins

Resources: None

Instructions: The instructor explains that he/she will call out different things that may or may not apply to each person.  If the item does apply to you, step into the middle of the circle, and acknowledge the others who join you - you can smile, laugh, high-five - however you are moved to express yourself.

A list of about 20 items should be tailored to the particular group, setting, and program goals, but some suggestions are below.  Usually the items are of a "Have You Ever....?" form, but also free to ad lib, e.g., "Does Anyone Have....?"

Items should be carefully considered in order to prevent embarrassment, ridicule, etc.
The motivation of participants to participate often needs some amping up.  Try to do some other warm-ups first.  The rest is down to the leader's skill in demonstrating and encouraging.

Some possible "Have Your Ever?" items (you can probably think of others that are relevant to the group):

 

  • Have you ever been parachuting or done a bungee jump?
  • Have you ever lived overseas for more than 1 year?
  • Have you ever been in a protest march?
  • Have you ever been without a shower for more than 2 weeks?
  • Do you have both a brother and a sister?
  • Do you have a recycling system in your house?
  • Have you ever ridden a horse?
  • Have you ever grown your own vegetables?
  • Can you speak 2 or more languages?
  • Have you ever been in love with someone who was vegetarian?
  • Have you swum in 3 or more different oceans?
  • Have you ever flown an aeroplane?
  • Have you broken 3 or more bones in your body?
  • Have you done volunteer work sometime in the last month?
  • Can you not click your fingers on your non-dominant hand?
  • Have you ever swum with a dolphin?


Variation

Participants can generate their own questions.  Here's one way.  People are sitting in a circle. Everyone has a chair (or rope ring or hula hoop) except the person who is IT, standing in the center.

The person in the middle asks a "Have You Ever" question that is true for him/her self e.g., "have you ever climbed a mountain over 10,000 feet?"

Anyone whose answer is "yes" gets up and moves to an empty seat. So, if four people get up they try to exchange seats as quickly as possible. The person who asked the question tries to quickly gain a seat, leaving one other person without a seat and they become the new IT.

In choosing a question, participants can try for questions which reveal something e.g., “have you ever trekked the Great Wall of China?” or ask simple questions like “have you ever fallen off a bicycle?” for which nearly everyone would get up.

Notes