Adventure Activities – Adam Krieger Adventure Program


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Adventure Activities – Adam Krieger Adventure Program

This document contains ideas used in the course of facilitating groups at the Adam Krieger Adventure Program. It is printed, inserted in a binder, and placed in a backpack along with other items used while facilitating. It is organized into several sections based upon the typical sequence of a day and contains the following sections: warm up activities/large group field games, name games/get to know, cognitive activities (lunch time, down time), transitions, initiatives, low elements, high elements, debriefing, and appendices. Some of the activities overlap with those listed in “adventure activities in PE” file.

Warm Up Activities/Large Group Field Games

  1. Have You Ever – Participants stand in a circle on spots; there is one fewer spot than participants. The participant without a spot stands in the center of the circle and states an activity he or she has done. For example, “Have you ever watched a Phillies game live?” Those individuals who have must find a new spot on the other half of the circle. The participant unable to find a spot goes to the center.

    1. Variation: Participants try and stay in the middle by saying unusual yet true things. The first person to raise their hand, meaning they have also done that, takes their place (better in small groups)

    2. Variation: Instead of poly spots, have participants come to middle and slap 5, last one (or 2) to return to circle goes to the center.

  2. Count Coo-Coo

  3. Tag

    1. Walking tag

      1. Variation: Dizzy Izzy Tag – After being tagged, spin 3X’s and then go after partner.

    2. Giants, Wizards, and Elfs - see tag games on wikiPE, under lessons/activities tab

    3. Heads-Tails Tag – see tag games on wikiPE, under lessons/activities tab

    4. 3’s Company (play with 2 its) - see tag games on wikiPE, under lessons/activities tab

    5. Blob Tag – One student is it. If tagged by the blob, that student joins hands thus becoming a member of the blob. The blob continues trying to absorb all students into itself. If the blob breaks apart (lose hand grip), it can not tag anyone until it reforms.

      1. Variation: When blob reaches 4 people, it is allowed to split in half.
    6. Safety in Numbers – 3 students are selected to be it, the rest of the students are scattered in general space. Students can link arms to form safe bases by interlocking arms in groups of 2 or 3. “Its” can also partner up and tag safe bases of equal number. For example, students linked into a group of 3 can be tagged by “its” also in a group of 3.

    7. Band Aide Tag – place hand on where tagged, continue until 3rd tag, 10 jumping jacks, return

    8. Triangle Tag – see tag games on wikiPE, under lessons/activities tab

    9. Banana Tag – Everyone’s it and if tagged, put hands over hand and lean sideways (like a banana). After two people simultaneously pull their forearms down, the banana may resume the game. No tagging those helping or 3 steps afterwards.

  4. Entourage – Start with rocks, paper, scissor between two people (best of 1 or 3). The loser becomes part of the other person’s entourage and forms a group of 2. The leader and his/her entourage of 1 competes against another group of 2. The losing group joins the other to form a group of 4, one leader and 3 in the entourage. Continue until one person has the entire group as his/her entourage. Encourage festivity and support for your entourage leader (like the celebs)

    1. Variation – Ta Da – Use storm about little island and weird customs. 1) curtsey or bow, 2) do dance (ta da, ta da, ta da, ta da, ta da, ), wind hands and flash symbol
  5. Progressive Hoop Toss Relay: Have all groups get in a single file line of 5 or 6 players each. All lines should gather at one end of a field or gym. The first person in each line starts with a hula hoop. At “Go”, they turn and pass the hoop to player #2. Player #1 then walks forward. When player #2 says stop, player #1 turns and faces the line, raising their arms up and placing their palms together over their heads. Player #2 tries to ring toss player #1. If unsuccessful, the hoop is returned and they try again. If a ring toss is made, the line moves to the hoop, player #1 picks up the hoop, returns it to player #2, then goes to the end of the line. Player #2 then falls into the roll of player #1. They hand the hoop to the player behind them (originally #3), who now becomes #2. The game continues across the field or gym and back. When teams complete the course, they need to cheer for the remaining teams on the field. Tip: Demonstrate the game with one of the groups. *You might also do this as a transport activity.

  6. Pass Around Circle

    1. Knee - Try and pass an object (stuffed animal) around your circle from one person’s knee to another

    2. Hoop Relay – Pass the hoop around a circle where everyone holds hands (later use 2)

  7. Pip, Squeak, and Wilbur – Form groups of 3 in a circle, the character called must run around the circle, pass through a bridge created by their partners, and collect an item from the middle. First round, one item for each group, afterwards, one item less than the number of groups. Last one is eliminated.

  8. Bat Spin Relay

  9. Finger Tag – The group splits off into pairs and they shake each others hand with their index finger pointed at the other person. While holding the other person’s hand as such, they try and tag each other with their index finger. The only limitation is that the arm you are holding on to, from shoulder to finger, can't be tagged. In other words if you are shaking each other’s right hand, neither your right arm nor their right arm can be tagged. Once you are tagged or tag the other person, switch partners.

  10. Knock me over ... I dare you... - Position your palms at about shoulder height in front of you. When your palms touch those of your partner that activity begins. You attempt to make your partner move either their feet or have them touch any part of you first.
  11. Shoe Tie Don’t Bother Me – Place all shoes in a big pile in the center of the room. Partner participants up and have them sit around the outside edge of the room in a large circle. On the command “go”, one partner must describe their partner’s sneakers so he/she may retrieve them. Non-verbal direction such as pointing is not allowed. When the sneakers are returned, then the typing process may begin. Partners sit facing one another and place one arm behind their back. The free hand is used to tie the sneakers. When both are tied, the process repeats for the other partner.

  12. Quick Cards - Pass out a deck, participants move about the activity area. On go, they look at their card and form a line according to their suit. The aces should be in the middle with their backs to each other and butts halfway to the ground. The “2” of hearts sits on the ace of hearts knees and so on. Keep time and see how few seconds it takes to complete. When trying again, have participants move about exchanging cards face down before the go command.

  13. Elevator – Simulates the discomfort many people feel in an elevator. Participants stand in a circle. Each time, when asked, they move to the opposite side. 4 steps, 1) cross but only look down, 2) cross and look at least 3 people in the eye, 3) cross and greet at least 3 people with words and a handshake. Q’s: what strategies worked, how did it feel, how relate to life

  14. Commonalities – You provide a topic and everyone must get into groups with likeminded people. For example, if you say “favorite baseball team,” participants break into groups. Later identify the groups (favorite food, # siblings, year in school, disgusting habit, pet peeve, etc)

  15. Do What I Did – Facilitator says one of four stepping commands: left, right, forward, and backward. There are four progressions 1) say the action, do the action (say “left”, step left) 2) say the action, do the opposite (say “left”, step right) 3) say the opposite, do what I say (facilitator says “left”, participants say “right”, participants step left

    1. Variation: Ask the group to perform whatever movement you do as you do it. Now ask the group to perform the previous movement you did.

  16. Wamp Um – Using pool noodles

  1. Blanket Down – Divide the group into two teams and have each team hide behind one of the two sides of the blanket as it is held up like a wall between them. Each team sends up a person to the blanket-wall directly facing the other team. When the blanket is dropped the first person to say the other's name wins. The loser goes to the other side.

    1. Variation: The people chosen must sit back to back. The respective teams then describe the other person to them without using names or initials.

  2. Group Juggle – When the ball is tossed across the circle to someone else, one must say, “Here you go, (name of the person being tossed too),” and the person must reply, “Thank you, (name of the person throwing the ball).” The ball must make it around the circle with everyone getting the ball one time. Variation: You can turn it into an initiative to see if they can do it with no drops and timed or challenge them to see how many things they can juggle all at the same time or how quickly they can complete 1, 2, or 3 balls

  3. Adjective Circle – Stand in a circle. One person starts by saying their name and an adjective that describes them (Example: Tall Tom). Then next person says, “It’s nice to meet you Tom, I’m Softball Sally.” This continues until everyone in circle has gone. At the end, see who can go say everyone’s name without a mistake.

  4. Picnic – Go around the circle, everyone must say their name and them item they’re bringing to our picnic. The item must match the first letter of the person’s name. For example, I’m Matthew and I’m bringing Mastadon.

  5. Identity Trade – Introduce yourself to someone; include your name and two other pieces of information predetermined by questions. For example, ask about weirdest food eaten and favorite vacation destination. Move on to meet a new partner. However, you introduce yourself as the previous person you just met. Each time you meet someone, you answer as the previous individual. After X number of exchanges, introduce yourself as the last person you met. Circle members give the correct information and clear up mistakes.
  6. Bumpity Bump Bump Bump – Stand in a circle. One person is in the middle, they spin and say one the following four words to an individual, you, me, left, or right, followed by the words Bumpity Bump Bump Bump. The person spoken to must reply with a name before the person in the center says finished with Bumpity Bump Bump Bump. If the person in center say, “me,” reply with their name, if they say “you,” reply with your name, if they say “left,” reply with the name of the person to your left, if they say “right,” reply with the name of the person to your right. If you fail to produce a name in time, you move to the center. Variation: instead of saying me, you, left, right, the person in the center points to another individual before saying Bumpity Bump Bump Bump.

  7. Concentric Circles - Form two circles, an inner and outer one with participants facing one another. Each participant greets the other and answers a get to know question provided by the instructor in 60 seconds. Next, the inner circle rotates X number of spaces to the left or right and the process begins again.
Cognitive Activities (lunchtime, down times)

  1. Twenty Questions – One person chooses a mystery item. The rest of the group has a total of twenty questions, which they may ask to guess what the mystery is. All answers are Yes or No.

  2. Chief – Group sits in a circle. One person leaves the group while they decide who is going to be the chief. When the decision has been made the group begins following the chief, doing whatever s/he is doing: clapping, snapping, making funny faces, etc. The person returns and watches the group to see whom the chief is. When they figure it out, a new person is chosen.
  3. Observation – Split the group into two teams and have them line up with each line facing the other. One team is “observed” first. They freeze for a set amount of time (ex. 30 seconds) while the other team tries to memorize everything about their frozen picture. The team that is observing must stay in their line. After the allotted time, the team that was observing turns their backs while the observed team changes a set number of items (2 or 3) about their picture. For example, Samantha gives her watch to Billy to wear, or Billy zips his previously unzipped sweatshirt. These both count as one change for the team. To make the game more playable, the facilitator should explain that changes can only be done with clothing or accessories - not body positioning. After the observed team makes it’s changes, the team that was the observers turns back around and has a time limit or a set number of guesses in which to figure out what the changes are. After the time is up, swap and the observers become the observees.

  4. Green Glass DoorsThis is a word game to see what can go through the green glass doors. Any words with double letters can go through. Butter can go through but not margarine. Books can go through but not newspapers. Someone that is loony but not crazy.

  5. Number Game – Hold up one finger, this is zero. Hold up two fingers, this is one. Hold up three fingers, this is two. Hold up four fingers, this is three. Hold up five fingers, this is four. Hold up six fingers, this is five. Continue to hold up between 1 and 5 fingers and ask students what number it is. The pattern is that the number is always the previous one shown.

  6. University Entrance Examlater in document

  7. Brain Teasers – later in document

  8. Minute Mysteries – later in document

TRANSITIONS- moving from one activity to another on a path

  1. Trust Walk - Students work in partners, one is blindfolded while the other is behind them with a hand on each shoulder. When the music starts, walk in general space. The sighted student guides the blindfolded student while avoiding any collisions.

    1. Variations: change “driver,” change from walking to another movement pattern or speed, shrink the area of the playing surface
    2. Variation: Sherpa Walk - Participants are given blindfolds and can be asked to get into a formation (typically a line) that can move or they can hold onto a rope. The person in front guides the group by following the clapping hands of the facilitator. Make sure that participants are aware that if at any time they feel uncomfortable, they can let you know, take off the blindfold, or say the word "freeze"

  2. Introductions - Learn about someone & introduce them

  3. Two Truths and a Lie – Each person in the group thinks of two truths and one lie about themselves. The members each share their three stories and the group votes on which one is a lie.

  4. Buddy Teach – As students walk, each person teaches the other something interesting (French phrase, snapping quirk, etc)

  5. Comfort Line – Have participants stand near the facilitator relative to their comfort level with something. It can be done reflectively after an activity, or at the start of the day in discussing the Challenge by Choice philosophy. This will give the facilitator an idea of how people are feeling about their upcoming or past experiences.


Lower Activity in Smaller Groups

  1. Look Down, Look Up – Form one circle. Instruct everyone to look down at the ground, then count to three or tell everyone to look up. When they look up, they should make/ attempt to make eye contact with someone else in the circle. If two people link eyes, they must scream and leave the circle and form another one. This continues, with people swapping circles every time they make eye contact. If one looks up and that person has made contact with someone else they simply remain in the same circle.
  2. Gotcha! – Participants find a partner and stand face to face a comfortable distance apart. Each partner points their left palm face up in front of them. Each partner then places the tip of their right index finger on the palm of their partner. When the leader says “GO,” each partner closes their palm trying to catch the other person’s index finger. Of course, while closing your palm, you are also trying to remove your finger. Find another pair and form a circle. Using the people on either side, form larger and larger groups as players begin to laugh and have more fun!

    1. Variation – Clap hands using your partners in a circle formation (Noel’s game), vary # of claps

  3. Electricity – Group forms a circle holding hands. Someone starts the impulse by squeezing the hand of the person next to him or her. As soon as the impulse gets to you, pass it on to the person beside you.

  4. Warp Speed - The object is for the ball (any kind, a ping pong ball works great) to be touched by everyone in the group in the shortest time possible without individuals touching one another. It can be done in l or 2 seconds or less!

    1. Variation: Must hold the touch for 10 seconds

  5. Camera – Get a partner and stand behind them with your fingertips on each temple. Spin them in a desired location and have them open theirs eyes. Both partners take note of what they are looking at. Repeat three times and switch partners. Afterwards, see how many times the partners match in terms of what they picked out. Debrief on the power of perspective and how each person sees the world differently through their lens.

  6. Ah, So, You – The facilitator demonstrates the commands with volume and zest. Create a samurai story to match. AH (yelled) is like bringing one arm up to your forehead as if saluting. SO is doing likewise but in front of your neck (defensive maneuver). YOU is an offensive maneuver where you point in a chopping motion to someone else. Practice these maneuvers. AH is the start, whichever direction the fingers point, that person alongside must do the SO. Whatever direction the SO fingers point, the person alongside must do the YOU. Whoever was pointed out continues with the AH. If done incorrectly, the groups says You Outta Here. Those removed become the designated harassers (DH’s) and whisper the words to others still playing.
  7. Who am I? – Each person has an animal, famous character or person's name taped on their back, and they get to ask yes and no questions to figure out who they are.

  8. Hagoo: The group forms a gauntlet and tries to get a person to smile, without touching them, as they walk though the line.

    1. Variation: Have the person walking through with a mouthful of water.

  9. Handcuff – Create a string (about 3 feet long) with a loop on each end. Place a hand through each loop, cross the string with your partner, then try and get out without removing your hand from the loop.

  10. Paper Portal – Send one or two students away while giving the remaining group the challenge of passing through a piece of paper. First, fold it in half, cut parallel lines on the ends from the folded side, cut the middle of the folded side, now cut parallel lines alternating on each side. When the two return, the group must describe, using only words, how to accomplish the task.

  11. Hug a Tree – Partners in a wooded area. One partner is blindfolded. Non blinded partner leads other to a tree then away in a meandering path. Blindfold is removed and participant tries to determine which tree they were originally led to.

Higher Activity in Smaller Groups

  1. Longest Line – Divide into groups of 7-8 and choose a starting line. When you say go, the group is trying to make the longest line without detaching from each other. They may use anything they have ON them to help connect the line. Longest line wins but review each line to determine if there are any breaks.
  2. Key Punch – Place the numbered poly spots down in any order to form a “key pad.” Create a boundary around the “key pad” (indoors, typically a basketball key). Do not let the group see the set up. They are to start from a starting line a set distance away from the “key pad.” Tell the group a set order of numbers that they must punch in (ex: lowest to highest or all even numbers, etc.) in order to disarm the nuke or some other scenario. Only one person is allowed inside the boundaries to touch the keypad at a time. If multiple students enter, both must exit before someone returns and give a time penalty. They may touch a key in any number of ways. Give the group time to plan strategy. To start, the group runs together from the start line to the “key pad,” punches in the code, and run back together to the finish line as quickly as possible. Time them, and repeat as many times as necessary until they are satisfied with their time.

  3. Frozen Pond (Don’t Break the Ice) – Create a pond with a climbing rope on the ground. Each person gets to throw a poly spot into the pond. The spots represent a floating piece of ice. The entire group must move onto the ice floats and off again without touching the ice. If someone steps on the ice, the whole group goes back. Before round 2, have the group decide upon one spot to remove and one to relocate. Ask the group for a goal of how few spots they can get down to. Allow piggy backs only for trusted groups.

  4. Blind Square - A rope is placed near the blindfolded participants. The team must first find the rope, then unravel it completely and make a perfect square on the ground, all within the allotted time. This activity focuses on communication, problem solving, leadership and team effectiveness.

    1. Variation: To make it more challenging, mute them and/or make them get into an order around the shape they make (birthday, height, shoe size...)

  5. All Aboard - All students in class or a subset of the class must get themselves aboard a small area such as tape marks on the floor or a piece of wood. The class must work together to determine how this is possible. Once all aboard, students have to hold it for X amount of time or sing a song such as row row row your boat.... If successful, reduce the size of the area.

  6. Line Ups – participants must get in the correct order without saying a word (good icebreakers)

    1. Birthday – Line up in order of birthday (modify so students need to line up according to birth year as well as month, day)

    2. Last name
  7. Lily Pads - Students are given X number of poly spots (lily pads). They must cross the alligator infested swamp without falling in. If someone falls, the entire team must go back. If a poly spot (lily pad) is left unattended, the alligator (facilitator) eats it. Students are given 5-10 minutes to discuss solutions and strategy. The number of spots to distribute equals the number of participants divided by 2 plus 1.

  8. Trust Activities (Spotter’s Position - Feet shoulder width apart and staggered, knees bent, hands up, and eyes on the participant; General Commands - Participant: [Name] ready to fall? Spotters: [Name] ready to catch, Participant: [Name] falling, Spotters: [Name] fall away)

    1. Dyad or Stiff as a Board – One partner stands stiff as a board (body tight, hands interlocked under the chin). The other partner is the catching position meaning their legs are staggered and bent, their arms are up and ready. The first fall begins with the catchers hands on the back of the faller. The faller and catcher go through the above commands and then the faller falls backwards. The catcher catches the faller focusing on his or her legs and then stands up the faller and stabilizers him/her. When comfortable, the faller can tell the catcher to step progressively step back when comfortable so the hands no longer start on the fall.

    2. Triad or Book Ends – A three-person trust fall similar to the dyad except after the fall is stood up vertical, they fall forward. The forward catcher catches on the upper arm near the bicep.

    3. Mortar and Pestle – Similar to triad except that the faller may fall sideways as well as forward and backward. Therefore, there are four catchers around the fall. If the faller falls sideways, the catch is made just below the shoulder.
    4. Levitation (see figure) – The person being levitated lays stiff on the ground in the falling position. Warn participants this is a serious activity because failure can result in paralysis and death. Eight individuals are positioned around the person being levitated. One person, the leader or #1, is at the feet lifting along the achilles tendon. Lifters 2, 3, and 4 are spread out along one side with both hands under the person being levitated. Lifter #5 is at head supporting it. Lifters 6, 7, and 8 are on the other side. When #1 says “first position”, the person is lifted to waist high. When #1 says “second position”, the person is lifted to shoulder height. When #1 says, “third position”, the person is lifted to the height of the shortest persons outstretched hands. Next, the person being levitated is slowly rocked back and forth while being lowered, falling almost like a leaf of feather. There should be no talking during this activity besides #1

    5. Trust Falls –Participants have one of four options: a) be a supporter or catcher, b) be lifted from the ground to a height, c) be lifted from a height onto the ground, or d) fall backwards onto a bed or arms. The bed of arms should be organized like a zipper with each person alternating arms. The fingertips should extend to the elbow on the opposite side. Each person’s lower body should be in the catching position with arms bent. It is important for the fall to remain stiff as a board and not bend at the waist. One person should be positioned on the height (a vault, a series of mats etc) to align the faller with the zipper of arms. The fall should have a donut (or deck ring) around their arms to prevent them from flailing.

  9. Group Support

    1. Back to Back – Participants sit back to back on the floor. They must stand up using the other person for support. Neither participant can use their hands.

    2. Yurt Circle – Students stand in a circle and hold hands. Number students 1 or 2 (or P, E or colors, etc). On count of 3, all 1’s lean forward and all 2’s lean back. Alternate moving forward and backward. See how far you can get.

    3. Partner Pull Up – Partners face each other, sitting down with their toes touching. They reach forward, bending their knees, grasp hands and pull together to try to stand up and then sit down again. Variation: Add group members to form circles which stand up. First with two participants, then 4, then 6, then 8 etc. See if the whole group can stand up.
    4. Flower Power – Partners stand toes to toes and hold hands or grab arms. They attempt to lean back and straighten their arms. When successful, find another pair and stand toes touching, facing one another. They are requested to do the same thing by grabbing each other’s hands or forearms and attempt to lean back and straighten their arms. Then a group of eight attempts the same movement.

  10. Traffic Jam - Divide the group into two teams. The teams face each other in single file lines or horseshoe pattern with each person standing on a carpet square. Place one carpet square between the two teams. The object is to have the teams pass each other and trade places. The rules: you cannot go backwards, only one person on a square at a time, you can only pass onto an open square, you cannot pass anyone from your own team or more than one person at a time. You can: move into the empty space right in front of you and move around a person facing you into an empty space.

    1. Variation: TP Shuffle - The TP stands for telephone poll. Students must switch places without falling off of a telephone pole in the woods. Otherwise the group goes back.

    2. Variation: Begin the activity with two groups performing separate traffic jams. After one group completes the challenge, have them help the other. Afterwards, have both groups combine to do one traffic jam.

  1. Minefield - Pairs are formed with one partner blindfolded. Set up boundaries with various objects scattered around within the boundaries. Sighted individual must stand on the sideline and guide their blind partner through the "minefield" without letting that person touch any of the objects. If a object is touched the pair must begin again. The guide needs to stay out of the minefield!

  2. Log Jam - Have all students stand on a long narrow object (log outside, low balance beam inside, etc). The task is to rearrange the group according to some criteria such as height or age. No member of the group is allowed to touch the ground or lift another. Consequences include starting over or wearing blindfolds.
  3. Human Knot - All students or a selected number stand in a circle and link arms with someone across the circle. The objective is to untangle the knot into its most simple form-usually one circle or two interlocking circles. Group members may not leg go unless they feel unsafe. Give tough challenges one “out” where they can briefly let one connection go and rejoin.

    1. Variation: Spaghetti Soup – Tie the ends of a length of rope together so they won’t easily come apart. The rope should be approximately 5-6 feet per participant. Coil or jumble the rope along the floor in a line. Each participant simultaneously bends over and grabs a section of rope on the OPPOSITE side with one hand. Participants stand up and must return the rope to a circle formation without releasing their grip.

  4. Magic Rope - Similar to turnstile where everyone must go through without getting caught. However, the group must decipher the code, otherwise the rope will stop twirling and everyone must start over. Examples of codes include alternating gender, all girls then all boys, tallest to shortest, etc.

  5. Electric Fence - Facilitator and the chaperone hold the ends of a jump rope high enough so that the shortest individual cannot jump over the rope. The group must then grasp hands in a line and without breaking hands or touching the rope, get the entire group safely over the rope. You may position one or two assistants on the opposite side to help.

    1. Variation: Allow students to not hold hands

  6. Noodle Cubes – Two teams each get 12 noodles. From behind a rope they are timed to see how fast they can build a cube (4 for base, 4 walls, 4 roof). Compare times. Next, build one large cube (record is 9 seconds); floor is 8, walls 8 (two high), ceiling 8.

  7. Science – Calculate height of a tree (can also use a paint stir)

  8. Turnstile - Whole group must move one at a time through a large turning rope without touching it. Rope turners must also go through. If a person is caught, whole group must go back. Allow students time to devise strategy and practice.
    1. Variation: One jump in the middle, must go through with a partner, whole class at once. Run around and perform again to see how many participants can pass through in a minute

  9. The Blob – The challenge is to create a balanced shape, using all group members and with the fewest number of body parts touching the floor. All players must be connected. The group must maintain the balanced position for a count of 10.

  10. Tug of War – Have a bandana tied in the middle. Once the bandana crosses a certain point, one team wins.

  11. Moonball - The group must move a beach ball or similar ball from the starting line across a space to the finish line. All group members must start behind the line. Each group member must hit the ball at last once before anyone can hit the ball a second time. Variations: 1) count the number of hits before a drop, no person may hit the ball a second time before all others have done so, 2) Lose a limb – If you contact the ball with your right arm, you lose it and can no longer hit the ball with it. You can still use your legs for mobility even if you use them to keep the moonball up.

  12. Maze - Students must navigate through a maze or pattern on a sheet. The facilitator has a map of the maze where certain squares are colored. However, participants only see a blank maze. After a student steps on a square, the facilitator gives the thumbs up or thumbs down. If the participant doesn’t look up to check, the thumbs down symbol is given. Following the thumbs up, the participant may try a new square. If not successful, a new participant must attempt the maze. With each successive thumbs up, the group moves through the maze with one person standing on each successful square. However, if a thumbs down is given, the whole group must go back.
  13. Blindfolds - A series of actives using blindfolds to create blindness. 1) line up from shortest to tallest, 2) trust walks - assign two locations for non-sighted and sighted partners to touch before returning to the start (no physical contact between participants), 3) distribute related cards and students must find their partner (peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, etc), make these difficult, 4) repeat step 3 but this time participants must find their partner using non-verbal communication only (make cards words which students can communicate non-verbally to others such as hot and cold), 5) the group forms a linked line, participants must navigate across an area to another location, allow time to plan and have participants use landmarks along the way (keep participants safe, bring a whistle), 6) ball toss, one partner is sighted and the other is blindfolded. Upon a successful catch, step back, if a catch is missed, step in, 7) Blindfold Tag – form partners, one person is blindfolded. The pair may walk together in the boundaries and communicate through verbal commands. They can't touch each other. Designate one pair as "it." When they tag another blindfolded individual, they are the new team "it." You can also have the person who is blindfolded carry a noodle to tag other participants.

  14. Zoom – Book by Istvan Banyai (1998) featuring pictures of a scene that gradually step back. Randomly distribute the pages of the book on the ground(must be torn out). Participants pick them up and place them against their chest. On go, participants are allowed to study the picture for 60 seconds. Afterwards, give participants time to talk (~3 minutes), look at pictures (60 seconds), talk (4 minutes), look at picture (60 seconds), talk as a group (4 minutes). Participants try and organize pictures in the correct sequence. You can alternate looking at pictures and talking until participants are ready.

  1. Hickory Jump

  2. Challenge Wall (upper & lower)

  3. Whale Watch (upper & lower)

  4. Porthole (Rebirth)

  5. Do I Go?

  6. Spider’s Web (can do with a rope instead of participants)

  7. Mohawk Walk

  8. Triangle Traverse

  9. Nitro Pit (single & double)

  10. Wild Woozy (upper and lower)

  11. Islands – horizontally suspended climbing net (can use intermediate island)

  12. Birds Nest ??

  13. Swinging Tires


  1. Stemming Tree

  2. MultiVine (upper & lower)

  3. Pirate’s Crossing
  4. Burma Bridge (upper and lower)

  5. Vertical Playpen

  6. Ships Passing

  7. Horizontal Playpen

  8. Pamper Pole

  9. Cat Walk (log traverse)

  10. Tire traverse

Whale Watch – levels 1) balance on it, 2) balance while partners on opposite sides switch places, 3) balance where everyone moves across center in chess knight trajectory, 4) partners on opposite sides try and stand up on whale watch at same time, 5) whole group tries to stand up on whale watch at same time.
Nitro Trolley (Nitro Crossing) – Scatter objects in the middle, retrieve as you navigate the middle. Designate participants as pirates and sailors; the pirates cannot exceed the number of sailors on either side.


  1. Web of Compliments – One person starts with a ball of yarn and thinks of a compliment for another group member. They say what they are proud of in that person and why they appreciated their accomplishment and then pass the ball of yarn to them while holding onto the end. This continues throughout the circle so that each person holds onto their piece of the yarn when they pass the ball. This can continue as long as you’d like or have time for, however as a facilitator you should make sure that each person has received it at least one before ending the activity. There are a lot of discussions that you can then have about what the web represents to your group, etc.

  2. Concentric Circles - Form two circles, an inner and outer one. Participants greet each other and answer a debriefing question provided by the instructor. After a satisfactory period of time, the inner circle rotates X number of spaces to the left or right and the process begins again.
  3. Chiji Cards – Spread the cards out before the group and have them pick a card that best represents an experience or feeling they had. Go around and ask each participant to share why they picked that card. Can also ask how one card might represent the group’s performance or the whole group could choose 3 cards of their experience that tell a story, or determine only one card that represents the entire activity. A great avenue to create chiji cards (unless you buy them online) is to print and laminate clip art which is available free online or with Microsoft Word.

  4. Index Card – Write processing question on different index card and pass them out. Afterwards, have the participants reflect and answer the question as part of whole group, in partners, in small groups (place #’s or symbols on the cards to form groups), or silently. You may have participants exchange cards and at the conclusion, have them share part of their conversation on what they learned.

  5. Quick Toss – Toss an object around the circle and when caught, participants answer a predetermined question or can share a thought, compliment, or experience.

  6. Circle Shuffle – All participants stand in a tight shoulder with arms behind each others’ back. The circle rotates to the left until someone yells “stop.” That person makes a compliment directed towards someone or the group. That same person yells “right” and this continues until another person yells “stop” and the process continues.

  7. Rose, Thorn, & Bud – At the end of the activity, have each person share their rose, bud, & thorn – something they enjoyed about the activity (rose), an area that needed improvement (thorn), and something they hope to take away that they learned (bud).

  8. Thumbs Up, Middle, & Down – Have group members show with their thumbs how they thought the activity went with thumbs up, middle, or down and have them explain why they chose what they did.

  9. Car/House Parts – Ask each person to choose the part of a car or part of a house that best represents their role within the group or particular activity. For example, the foundation might be the person that is like the rock of the group, the computer provides information, the mirrors help see things that aren’t always obvious, etc.
  10. Nature Object – Have group members find an object in nature that they can bring back to the group (as long as it doesn’t disrupt nature) and share how it represents them or something they felt or experienced.

  11. Quick Celebration – Slap own knees twice, clap hands twice, snap fingers twice, then say “ya” all together

Briefing/Debriefing Topics

  • Goal setting (realistic, challenging, obstacles)

  • Goal commitment (how do we/you know)

  • Trust (what builds, what destroys, trusting, trustworthy, earning, gift)

  • Communication (types, effectiveness)

  • Perseverance

  • Initiative/self direction

  • Resources (personal, inanimate), expressing opinion/idea

  • Roles in group projects (leadership/following)

  • Listening skills

  • Circle of comfort, concern, and avoidance

  • Problem solving (5 steps), plan acceptance

  • Acceptance of oneself and others

  • Fear/risk taking (dealing with fear), opportunity

  • Respect for others, stereotypes

  • Attention to detail

  • Patience

  • Emotions/dealing with frustrations

  • Team interactions, choosing partners

  • Resolving conflict


  • Fear is the great limiter

  • There is more in us than we realize. Once you find it, there is no going back (paraphrase, Kurt Han)

  • Trust is built by many activities and lost by one.

  • Trust is a gift that must be earned

General Debriefing Questions

What are your thoughts?

What did you mean by that?

How did you contribute to the groups success?

Who did something good for someone else?

Raise your hand if you heard or saw something positive today?

What did you learn yesterday about yourself?

What was the most difficult part of the day for you?

How have you challenged yourself today in the workshop?

What had the most impact on the trust of the group?

What were your feelings upon seeing the course: initially, on belay, off belay, during the high elements?

Who represents the harness, carabineer, rope, etc in your life?

How can you implement this message in your daily lives?

In stage two, the publishing (sharing) phase,

• What went on/happened?

• How did you feel about that?

• Who else had the same experience?

• Who reacted differently?

• Were there any surprises/puzzlements?

In stage three, the processing (interpreting) phase,

• How did you account for what happened?

• How might it have been different?

• Do you see something operating there?

• What do you understand better about yourself/your group?

In stage four, the generalizing phase,

• What might we draw/pull from this experience?

• What did you learn/relearn?

• What does that suggest to you about [communication/conflict/etc.] in general?

• Does that remind you of anything? What does that help explain?

• How does this relate to other experiences you’ve had?

In stage five, the applying phase,

• How could you apply/transfer that?

• What might you do to help/hinder yourself?

• How could you make it better?

• What modifications can you make work for you?


Interpret the Following:



  1. MAN


  1. STAND


  1. / R / E / A / D / I / N / G /

  2. WEAR


6. R










10. O




11. i i i i


  1. CHAIR

  2. Dice


14. T











16. MIND



18. E C N A L G


20. MOTH cry cry cry


  1. Y





23. B




24. AGES


1. sandbox

2. man over board

3. I understand

4. reading between the lines

5. long underwear

6. crossroads

7. tricycle

8. split level

9. neon lights

10. three degrees below zero

11. circles under the eyes

12. high chair

13. paradise

14. touchdown

15. six feet under ground

16. mind over matter

17. he’s beside himself

18. backward glance

19. life after death

20. moth bawls

21. just between me and you

22. hurry up

23. see through blouse

24. dark ages

Brain Teasers:

Q1.What is black and white and read all over?

Q2. If I dig a hole 3 ft by 2ft deep, how much dirt is in the hole?

Q4. How far can a deer run into the forest?

Q7. Which is heavier: a pound of feathers, gold or nails?

Q8. What time can you spell the same backwards and forwards?

Q10. Two fathers and two sons divided $21 in dollar bills evenly amongst themselves. Each received an equal amount of dollar bills. How could this be?

Q11. Some months have 30 days, while others have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?

Q12. A three-rung ladder is located on the side of a boat. The water level rises ½ rung every hour. How long will it take all the rungs to be submerged in the water?

Q14. The person that makes it doesn’t want it. The person that buys it doesn’t use it. The person that uses it doesn’t know it. What is it?

Q15. A dying father had three sons. He did not want to divide his property into thirds, so he gave each of his sons $5 and told them that whoever could fill up the room with something would receive all of his property. The first son bought $5 worth of straw and covered the floor. The second son bought $5 worth of bricks and filled half of the room. The youngest son bought two small items and filled the room. What did he buy?

Q17. What was the highest mountain in the world before Mt. Everest was discovered?

Q18. Which candles burn longer: beeswax or tallow?

Q19. What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add to letters to it?

Q20. What has four legs and only one foot?

Q24. What common word is pronounced wrongly by over half of all Yale and Harvard graduates?

A1. A newspaper. It is read and not red.

A2. There is no dirt in a hole.

A4. Half way and then they are running out.

A7. They are all the same- one pound.

A8. Noon

A10. A grandfather, a father and a son each get $7.

A11. All months have 28 days.

A12. Never. A boat floats on water so the water level on the ladder will always remain the same.

A14. A coffin

A15. He bought a candle and a match and filled the room with light.

A17. Mt. Everest

A18. No candles burn longer. All candles burn shorter.

A19. Short

A20. A bed

A24. Wrongly

Minute Mysteries:

Q1.A woman lives on the 38th floor of an apartment. On rainy days (and when someone else is in the elevator) she goes all the way up, but on sunny days she goes half way up and walks the other half. Why?

Q2.Harry and Freda are lying in a puddle of water surrounded by broken glass and the window is open. How did they die?

Q3. There was a black dog in a black city with black roads and black buildings. The power went out. There was a woman driving down the road and the dog walked out on the street. The woman stops the car. Why?

Q4. There is a man sitting against a building reading in a dark city with black roads, etc. The power goes out and the man continues to read. How?

Q6. There is a man lying beside a rock. He didn’t touch the rock and the rock didn’t touch him. How did he die?

Q8. A man is lying dead at the bottom of a mountain with a straw in his hand. How did he die?

Q11. A woman walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender pours her a Pepsi on the rocks and then she takes the gun from under the bar and fires it up into the air. Everyone runs out of the bar in a mad rush except the woman. The woman thanks the bar tender and quietly leaves the bar without drinking her Pepsi. Why?

Q12. A man rides into town on Tuesday at noon. He stays in town for three days and rides out on Tuesday at two o’clock. How does he do it?

Q13. A woman was born in 1921, lived for 36 years, and died in 1925. How?

Q14. A car pulls up to a hotel, and immediately the man knows he’s bankrupt. How?

Q15. Assume that there are approximately 5 billion people on earth. What would you estimate to be the result, if you multiply together the number of fingers on every person’s left hand?

Q18. Four men sat down to play. They played all night till the break of day. They played for gold and not for fun, with separate scores for everyone. When they came to square accounts they all made quite fair amounts. Can you this paradox explain? If no one lost, how could all gain?

Q19. A woman entered a city art gallery and did terrible damage to some very valuable Impressionist paintings. Later that day, instead of being arrested, she was thanked by the curator of the gallery for her actions. How come?

Q20. A man was trapped on an island in the middle or a large and deep lake. He could not swim and had no boat or means of making one. He waited desperately for help, but none came. Eventually, he managed to escape. How?

Q21. A woman buys coconuts at $5 a dozen and sells them at $3 a dozen. As a result of this she becomes a millionaire. How come?

Q22. A man was born before his father, killed his mother, and married his sister. Yet those that knew him considered him normal. How come?

Q23. A woman was running along a corridor clutching a piece of paper. she saw the lights flicker. She gave a cry of anguish and walked on dejectedly. Why?

Q24. A married couple lived on the 8th floor of a building. Every morning, the man woke up, kissed his wife goodbye, rode the elevator down to the 1st floor, and went to work. One morning, the man kissed his wife goodbye and got on the elevator. The elevator stopped halfway down, and the man knew his wife was dead. How?

Q25. A mountain climber in the Himalayas took along with her two mountain guides. After a few hours, one of the guides fell into a deep crevasse. The climber and the other guide continued the climb and did not raise the alarm. Why?

Q26. A man making over $10 million a year drives a small car, lives in a modest house, and insists he can’t afford luxuries. Why not?

Q27. In a room, there is a turned over table, a dead man, and 53 bicycles. Why?

Q30. There is one situation in which eleven plus three is two. How?

Q33. There’s a woman found in the middle of a burnt forest. She is unhurt and has a lit match. She did not start the fire. What happened?

Q37. Two men order a coke on the rocks. One goes to the bathroom then drinks his drink. The other drinks it straight away and doesn’t die, the other does. Why?

A1. The woman is a midget and can only reach the 4th floor button. If it is raining, she uses the umbrella to reach the button.

A2. Harry and Freda are fish. The fish bowl was blown over and broke when it hit the floor.

A3. It was daytime. It is a warm sunny day. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the city is black.

A4. He is blind. He is reading Braille.

A6. He is Superman; the rock is kryptonite. Superman’s powers weaken and he dies when he is near kryptonite.

A8. The two men were in a hot air balloon, the balloon was too heavy and it wouldn’t be able to make it over the mountains. They drew straws to see who would jump out of the balloon. The man drew the shortest straw and he jumped out of the balloon to save his friend.

A11. Because the gunshot cured the woman of her hick-ups, so she had no need for her drink.

A12. The horse’s name is Tuesday.

A13. They are house numbers, not years.

A14. It is a game of monopoly. The guy was using the car piece and landed on a property with a hotel and he went bankrupt.

A15. Zero. It only takes one person with no fingers on their left hand for the product to be zero.

A18. They were musicians playing a gig.

A19. The woman was a firefighter. There was a fire at the gallery, and the woman put out the fire, damaging some paintings but saving the others.

A20. Winter came and the lake froze over, and the man walked across.

A21. The woman was a philanthropist who bought coconuts to sell to poor people at prices they could afford. She started out as a billionaire, but lost so much money that she became a millionaire.

A22. He was born in the presence of his father. His mother died at the birth. He became a pastor and married his sister to her husband.

A23. The woman was carrying a stay of execution for a condemned man who was due to die in the electric chair. When she saw the lights flicker, she knew it was too late.

A24. She was on life support. The power went out, stopping the elevator, and killing his wife.

A25. One of the guides was a book.

A26. He works at a mint. He makes a lot of money, but only draws a modest salary.

A27. The bicycles are Bicycle cards. The two men were playing cards; one man cheated, and the other got angry, turned over the table, and shot the other.

A30. On a clock. Eleven o’clock plus three hours is two o’clock.

A33. She’s downwind of a fire. She’s blocked off by a river, so she took a match and lit in front of her, and then put it out and stepped over it. That way, when the fire came, it stopped there because there was nothing to burn.

A37. The ice is poisoned.

Parachute Activities

  1. Put a couple students in the middle of parachute. Wind the parachute clockwise around them. Then unwind it quickly so the students spin.

  2. Popcorn – pop the objects in the middle as high as they can go

  3. Remove students from one side of parachute and see how long it takes to get all of the objects off.

  4. Propel – Use one ball, try and propel it all the way to the ceiling

  5. Have students switch places under the raging sea (students making waves)

  6. Climb the mountain – Everyone lift parachute up and then pull down to make a mountain. Then have students climb the mountain with their hands and feet until the parachute is back down on the floor

  7. Sit Inside – Lift up high but when pull parachute down, sit on the inside. Try and cover the openings so as little air escapes as possible.

  8. Pop-corn – Put shapes into the middle. Work cooperatively to try and get shapes off in as little time as possible.

    1. Use the problem solving circle

  1. Pop-corn – Have one side of the parachute compete against the other side. One team wins if it has fewer shapes behind them.

  2. Flying Ghost – Have everyone pull up on the parachute with a lot of force and let go simultaneously. If done correctly, parachute will hover briefly like a ghost.

  3. Shark – Students sit with their feet underneath the parachute. One student, the shark, swims around under the parachute looking for an appetizing set of feet. The shark grabs the feet and gently tugs them under while the victim lets out a “blood curdling” scream. Game continues until all are under the parachute.

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