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Type: attention game, icebreaker, name learning game
Number of players: at least 8, better more
Location: sitting in a circle of chairs (usually indoors)
Equipment: chairs, newspaper
Duration: arbitrary
Preparation: the names of the participants should already be known

Mailman is an ice breaker game when sitting in a circle. It can be played by a group of at least eight players or so. Being a variation of the name slapping game, it can also be used to train the names of people in the group.


  • Newspaper
  • Chairs


The players are sitting in a circle on chairs. One player is standing in the middle, holding a rolled-up newspaper. If the names of the participants are not already known, everybody then presents his name to the group.

One player begins and calls the name of another player. This player than again has to call the name of yet another player, and so forth. The player in the middle has to intercept that chain of names. Once a name is expressed, he may it the respective player with his newspaper (softly, of course, we don't want anybody to be hurt). If he manages to hit the player before that player can call out the next name, both switch positions (making the hit player the next one to stand in the middle).

When places are switched, the name stays with the chair! The chairs are always named after the initial player who sat on them. So, if A is standing in the middle, and B is sitting on the first chair, and they are switching places, A then has to react to the name of B for the following round (until he sits on another chair).


  • Players may not return a call, so if A called B, B may not call A right away.
  • Males may only call female names and vice versa