Secret Greetings

Purpose: To get to know each other, awareness, and think on your feet.

How many: Best played in pairs in a group of 8 or more.


We use this game to foster introductions, connections, and pairings for future activities.

Original Version: Group divides into pairs. Each pair comes up with a secret handshake. Then find a new partner. With that new partner, come up with a secret word that has some meaning for you both. Next, a new partner and this time come up with a secret cheer or sound. Finally, a new partner where you come up with a secret dance move. The facilitator then rapidly calls our “Secret handshake”, “Secret Word,” etc., giving partners a chance to revisit with each pair in random order.

Source: I originally learned this game from Zoe Galvez.

Our Adaptation:

Facilitate the game the same way as above, but with each new pair, offer a prompt to support connection to learning objectives. For example, when working with a group to develop leadership a prompt could be: Take 60 seconds each to share about a role model in your life and why they influenced you. For each new pair, a new prompt that supports the learning outcomes would be provided. If this were a workshop on developing public speaking, a prompt could include: What are three elements that are essential to engaging an audience? Or what public figures speak with passion and authority- what about how they speak engages you?

As with all games, it is important to debrief the experience, process, and outcomes so that while fun is inevitable, learning is key!