According to social psychologists in the article “How to Increase Your Sense of Belonging” by Kendra Cherry, spending time with people who make us feel like we belong helps us develop trust in others and a positive sense of self.
One way to nurture feelings of belonging is to incorporate activities during club meetings that empower members to engage with one another. Use one of the following icebreaker activities at a club meeting to jumpstart meaningful connections among members.
Sharing Something Meaningful
Purpose: To give members an energizing and authentic way to open up to club members and get to know one another.
Time: 15 minutes.
Supplies: Before the meeting, ask members to bring in an item that means a lot to them.
Instructions: Divide members into groups of four to five. Ask them to sit in a circle. Each member has two to three minutes to talk about their meaningful item and why it is important to them. After everyone is finished, thank club members for sharing.
Reflection: Ask members: What did you learn about someone in your group? Is there one thing you learned that surprised you? Did you learn about an interest someone in your group talked about that is also an interest of yours?
Purpose: To give members a fun way to get to know one another as they enjoy drawing.
Time: 25 minutes.
Supplies: Markers or crayons and paper for each participant.
Instructions: Separate participants into groups of three to four. Give each member a piece of paper and markers. Ask members to think about what they would share when being introduced to a stranger. Here’s the fun part — instead of talking to introduce themselves, members will draw their introduction!
Let members know they have 10 minutes to draw things they want others to know about who they are and what they like. Share an example of what to draw: If you love your pet dog, draw a picture of your dog and hearts above the dog. If you have a big family, draw smiling faces of your family members. If your favorite activity is going on a walk, draw yourself with trees and flowers around you. Give members 10 minutes to draw until their paper is full of meaningful drawings that tell their story.
Then ask members to share their drawings with people in their group to find what they have in common and what’s different. Speaking to the club, ask for volunteers to share the most interesting things they learned about each other.
Reflection: Ask members to discuss how they felt sharing with others. Was it easy or difficult to share through drawing? Have members sign their drawings and display them in the room — or take them home to share what they did during the club meeting.
Try using icebreakers and teambuilding activities like the ones shared in this article to increase inclusivity within your Aktion Club.