Time: Approx.35-40 minutes.
Materials: (1) 12 blank sticky labels or strips of masking tape for each participant.
(2) A copy of the Labeling Category List for each participant. (See below).
(3) Pencils or felt-tipped markers.
Procedure: The group leader distributes a copy of the Labeling Category List to each participant along with blank name tags.
Each participant must copy each category on a separate blank nametag.
Participants mill around and choose a person who best fits each category. Stick label onto clothing of the person you select and engage in a one-minute conversation (20 minutes).
The group leader forms groups of 5-7 members. Each group must discuss their reactions to being categorized and labeled (or not labeled) by others' first impressions (15 minutes).
Labeling Category List: Warm Intelligent
Fun loving Friendly
Aims: To find out the names of other members in the group
To provide low risk activity
To stimulate logical thought
Description A game to help group members learn each other's names
The group could be sitting on the floor. The teacher enters the group and introduces the game by saying, "None of us knows any other's name. Let's play a game that will help us find them out. My name is Tom, I am going on a world trip and I am taking Tomatoes with me. If you want to come with me you have, to say your first name and what you want to bring. You have to bring the right thing. The first letter of our first name must be the first letter of the thing you bring.
The game proceeds until everyone can come.
At the end of the game the teacher asks each student two questions.
"How many names can you remember?"
"Which are they?"
Time Could take one session
Background This activity would be best used at the initial meeting of the group.
Materials: Small prizes, such as sweets.(optional)
Aims: Memory training, concentration, building groups, fun.
Procedure: Group is seated, scattered around the room. One person, A goes out. The
group moves around, changing places, and one more person, B,1eaves by the other door, or hides. A returns and has 30 seconds to guess who's missing. If he does he wins (a small sweet, if you wish to give prizes), if he doesn't B wins.
Variations: Add consequences for the loser
Aims: Positive feedback, good for closing exercise
Procedure: Members mill around. When you see someone you'd like to communicate
with, send them a message via someone else: e.g. 'Tell Joan I said thank you for helping me yesterday.' Continue until messages run out.
Variations: Do as graffiti on large paper on walls. Do with bits of paper being
delivered. Do at a run, speed up, slow motion, etc.
THE NAME OF THE GAME
Materials: One ball for every group of about 15 -16.
Aims: Introduction, memorizing names
Procedure: New group sits in a circle of not more than sixteen. One person is given a ball. The ball is passed around the circle and each person who receives the ball says their name very clearly (usually just the first name). When everyone has been named and the ball is back to the beginning, the person holding the ball throws it to any person. That person must say the thrower's name. The ball is then thrown to someone else who must say the next thrower's name. If a person cannot remember the name of the person who has thrown the ball to him, they must ask and repeat the name before proceeding with the activity. The game continues until everyone can remember the names of the people within their group. Group size is usually about sixteen.
Materials: 9 chairs, running space
Aims: Active participation, warm-up, fun
Procedure: At one end of the room, three rows of three chairs each, four feet apart. Teams: Team 1 is 'Noughts', Team 2 is 'Crosses'; they line up
In corners of the room facing the chairs. When the leader calls 'noughts', the first naught runs to a chair and sits with arms circled above
head. Runner must sit before Leader counts to 5 slowly. Leader calls 'crosses', first cross runs and sits with arms crossed on chest. Leader
continues to call them alternately until one team wins (same rules as paper Noughts and Crosses). Start over, call losing team first. Keep
Materials: Two small different objects, such as a blue felt pen and a red felt pen.
Aims: Breaking the ice, concentration
Procedure: Leader has pen (or other object), passes it to his right, saying: 'This is a tick'. Player 1 says: 'A what?' Leader repeats: 'A tick'. 1 then passes it on saying, 'This is a tick'. Player 2 says: 'A what?' to player 1, who says: 'A what?' to the leader. Each time the 'What?' must pass all the way to the leader, and the 'A tick' must pass all the way back, before the pen is passed. When this has been practiced a few times, start over, and at the same time, start another pen to the left, saying: 'This is a tock' etc. Confusion is encouraged and acceptable. Let the group try, as long as desired, to return both objects to the leader without losing the flow or concentration.
Materials: Famous names on strips of card or paper, straight pins. Could be real people (Joan of Arc), fictional (Superman), etc.
Aims: Mixing, starting conversation, ice-breaking
Procedure: As people enter, leader pins a name on each person's back. Each one must walk around and try to find out who he is by asking yes-or-
no questions of everyone else. When he knows who he is, he pins the paper on his front and continues to help others.
Variations: Try it non-verbally. Try insisting that everyone must make statements (e.g. 'I am alive'), and no questions allowed.
MOVE TO THE SPOT
Introductory Movement Awareness Relaxation
Large, empty room or space
Learning to follow simple instructions, movement, warm-u for Drama P
Leader says: 'Find a place to stand by yourself. Now look at and concentrate on a fixed spot on the floor, somewhere across the room. Now, move to that spot in a straight line pacing yourself so as not to have to stop, while avoiding bumping into anyone.'
Leader continues to give similar instructions, allowing time for individuals to (A) concentrate on each spot, (B) move at their own pace, and (C) settle into the new spot.
Instructions for (B) could include moving to the new spot:
in as few steps as possible
in as many steps as possible
travelling in circles
travelling in squares
using as few jumps as possible
with hands on knees, toes etc.
moving along floor without using hands
using only two out of four legs
Variations Have group invent more instructions.
Who: Small Group
Where: Inside or outside in roomy area
Objectives: To assess social skills, ability to communicate, willingness to
To encourage group bonding, relax with each other
Leaders Hints: Observe who is enthusiastic, imaginative with suggestions
Observe who seems confident, shows group spirit, who becomes competitive.
Instructions: 1. The group stands in a circle and tells the story of Mrs O'Grady and accompanies with actions:
First person: "Did you hear what happened to Mrs O'Grady?"
Second person: " No. What happened?"
First person: "She died."
Second person: "How did she die?"
First person: "She died with her hand on her head" (places hand on
2. The second person puts their hand on their head too, says the same
speech to the third per son and adds another action, so the person at
the end has all the different actions.
Conclusion This is a silly game intended to relax the group and begin group bonding.
TOILET PAPER GAME
Group Size 6 - 8 people is mot effective, but slightly smaller or slightly larger would also work.
Materials A roll of toilet paper per group
When and Where On arrival to an O'Camp or State Conference site where the to use group will be placed in a situation where they may need
toilet paper for the next certain period of time, but do not have access to go and buy any.
Procedure Sit down with designated group and explain to them that in all the rush, we were not aware that the site does not supply toilet paper. However, each group has one role of toilet paper until tomorrow when we go to the shop. Each group member is to then take as much toilet paper as they feel necessary to last them that amount of time.
Once each member of the group has their toilet paper, the leader explains that we do actually have toilet paper and that what each member of the group must do is tell the group one thing about themselves for each piece of paper that they have.
MAKING THE LONGEST CHAIN
Group Size 2 teams (or more) of at least 4
Where and When A fun break inbetween activities with a group who are familiar with each other.
Procedure Tell each group that the aim of this game is to make the longest chain. The chains must be made of only the clothing currently being worn by the people in the group. The aim is that people have to strip down as far as possible to make the longest chain.
The team with the longest chain of clothing wins.
Group Size 6 and up
Materials Chairs for everyone but one person
Where and When A good game to get to know people or in between sessions when working with a small to middle sized group. A bonus in some instances as no close physical contact is involved.
Procedure Seat your group in a circle, but make sure that there is one less chair then the number of people on the group. You stand in the middle of the circle to begin the activity.
Explain that you are going to call out a sentence and anyone to whom the sentence applies must get up and change chairs. It is not possible to move to the chair on either side of their present position. Your aim is to occupy one of the vacant places before someone else, so that you are no longer the person in the middle.
Then the person who has been caught in the middle must think up a sentence that will cause others to change chairs, so that he/she can get to a chair first.
Examples of sentences that can be called out - "All those wearing watches." "All those who had breakfast this morning." "All those with blue eyes." When "scrambled eggs" is called out, everyone must change chairs.
Group Size Any size
Time 5 minutes
Where and When Use to break the workload, to use up excess energy, as a getting to know you activity.
Procedure 1. Ask the participants to spread out around the room so that they have plenty of space to swing their arms about
Explain that the activity they are about to do is called "Be It" and is involves a bit of imagination and letting go of your inhibitions.
Then explain that you are going to name a series of objects, and each time they should try to shape their bodies into the form of that object.
Variations For a group that is more comfortable with each other, ask them to make a noise as well as an action.
Suggested Ideas Banana
Food Vending Machine
CAN I COME TO THE PARTY?
Who: Small groups (separated into pairs)
Where: Enough room for the group to form a large circle
Objectives: To learn from observation
To communicate non-verbally
To motivate and energise the group
Leaders' Hints: Observe how participants react to the cues
Do those who don’t understand become frustrated, determined or “give up”?
Instructions: 1. The leaders need to decide the criterion for coming to the party. This can vary and have any degree of difficulty. You may invite:
Those who are wearing clothing ending with a consonant
Those who have their feet crossed when they are to be invited
Those who ask when you have your feet crossed
Those who ask you addressing you by name
Sit participants in a circle and explain that you are going to hold a party to which they may or may not be able to come. Invite them to ask if they can come to the party. Use the criterion agreed upon, start the game.
You can give hints, such as “No you can’t come wearing a bra, but you can come in suspenders” (!)
When the criterion has been guessed, invite one of the group to be the “party host”.
Conclusion: This is another activity involving learning through observation. By exercising these skills, we become better at learning from those cues that people give us.
Who: Small teams of people (say 3-5 in each)
Where: A room large enough for each team to be able to sit in a circle.
Aids A blanket
A number of objects (eg a book, a spoon, a phone etc)
Pen / Paper / Score Sheet
Objectives Simple memory test
Leaders Hints Nil
Instructions Place 10-15 objects under the blanket
Everybody has 5 seconds to look at them
Then people individually write down what they saw
Next collectively write down the objects (within each team)
Remove blanket and check that all items were identified
If time remaining replace blanket and ask each team to draw a map of objects as laid out under than blanket.
Variation If too easy, ask for more details eg title of book, colour of spoon
Conclusion Non-threatening team game for new members
Who: Small groups, no real limit on the total number
Where: A room
Aids Large sheets of paper
An atlas (for the judges)
Pens for each group
Objectives To informally test people’s general knowledge of world geography
Leaders Hints Nil
Instructions Draw a map of the world, showing the borders of each country and the location of the capital, but not the names of the countries or the capitals
See how many countries and capitals each group can identify in a given time period (say 10 minutes)
Award 1 point for each country, 1 point for each capital (accuracy is up to the judges)
Conclusion A good game for breaking a large group up into small teams. Particularly useful for AIESEC, since at the end of the exercise you can identify which of the countries are AIESEC Member Countries.
Who: Small groups
Where: Outside on a cement (or other hard) surface
Aids Chalk, Stones
Objectives To have fun
Leaders Hints Be careful to explain the rules carefully
Instructions The whole team must travel up and down the hopscotch “board”. Each team must do several laps or several games, depending on the time allowed.
Each player uses a flat stone; player tosses the stone into square one, then hops over it as far as he/she can ie into square 2,3 etc. Player turns and hops back to square one to retrieve stone, then hops back to square they landed in and throws stone into next square. Process is repeated until person has travelled up and back.
Each team member takes a turn.
If stone does not land in appropriate square, or player hops into square containing stone of if player touches the ground with hand of foot they must start again.
Conclusion Good team game, may be used in mini-olympics.
Who: Large groups (approx 20)
Where: Inside or Outside
Objectives To get people to mix
To have the person in the centre of the circle try to catch the train
Leaders Hints Appoint your most vocal people as stations and crossings
Instructions Group stands in circle with hands joined
One person stands in the middle of the circle
The train moves by a squeeze of the hand, so if a person feels a squeeze of the hand on the left side, they must squeeze the hand of the person on their right side
Appoint a few people around the circle to be crossings (these people shout “ding-a-ling” as the train passes through them) and stations (these people shout “Toot” as the train passes through, and they also have the power to change the direction the train is travelling)
The person in the middle catches the train by pointing at a person who has received the train on one side but has not passed it on to the other side of them.
Conclusion A good game for groups of people who know each other well enough to feel comfortable holding hands, or for groups who are beginning to be bonded (eg new directors at a national conference)
Who: The more the merrier (at least 20)
Where: In a large room or outside
Aids Animal names on slips of paper
Blindfolds if you have them
Objectives To communicate with others without using normal everyday words
Leaders Hints Nil
Instructions Each person is given a piece of paper with the name of an animal on it eg cow, horse, goat, owl, elephant, dog, and turkey. The number of animals you use is up to you, but you want to use each animal at least 4 or 5 times.
Everyone has to close their eyes (or be blindfolded) and by making the noise of their animal, find the other cows, horses etc, keeping their eyes closed all the time.
Variations For large groups, just give inform each person of their animal verbally.
Conclusion Sit back and laugh
Who: A group of people (preferably 15 – 25)
Where: Inside a room big enough for everyone to walk around
Objectives To learn from observation
Instructions Everyone sits in a circle and covers their eyes.
You choose a murderer (unknown to others) by tapping them on the head
Everyone uncovers their eyes and starts to walk around so that they frequently pass each other.
The murderer may kill anyone by winking at him or her. If a person receives a wink he/she must wait for 5 seconds and then fall to the ground (shouting “aaagh!” on the way down). That person is now dead and cannot participate in the rest of the game.
If a person spots another person winking at someone, he may accuse that person of being the murderer, by pointing at the accused & saying, “I think X is the murderer”.
After the accusation has been made, the accuser must have someone else back up his or her claim. If not, the accuser must withdraw from the game. The suspect does not have to comment.
A murderer is caught if he/she is accused correctly by tow people, and a new game starts.
If an accuser and a supporter are both wrong, they must both withdraw from the game.
Conclusion A good game for a group of strangers, or even friends!
WHO’S CHANGING THE MOVEMENT
Who: Groups of people (approx 20)
Where: Enough room to sit in a circle, inside or outside
Objectives To test people’s powers of observation
Leaders Hints Nil
Instructions Groups sit in a circle facing inwards, one person per group leaves the room. The others decide who will be the leader.
The person comes back into the room and stands in the middle.
The leader makes a series of movements eg scratching head, waving arms, lifting leg up and down, bending forward etc and the others in the group have to copy the movements.
The person in the middle, by carefully watching the change of the movements has to guess whom the leader is.
Aims: Role-playing, group decision-making, group interaction.
Procedure: Divide in groups of 8 - 10. Each group member adopts a specific role, usually an occupation, e.g. a doctor, an athlete, a teacher, movie-star, mother, housewife, etc. (These can be written out and picked from a hat). Tell groups they are in an air-raid shelter after an atom bomb has fallen, big enough and with enough air and food for only six people, therefore they must get rid of several members. Each group member must argue as to why he should be allowed to survive. A group decision must be reached as to who goes and stays: no suicides or murder allowed. Set a time limit for the decision. Later discuss how the group interacted making the decision, whether each person played an active or passive role, how satisfied each was with his role, etc.
Variations: Instead of an air-raid shelter, have a life raft or desert island or space ship. Add incidents, accidents, rituals, funerals, ceremonies.
ONE SPECIAL THING
This exercise is a good one to use early in the semester because it helps to build a sense of group rapport through the establishment of an environment for self-disclosure.
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct the students to carry on a normal conversation for five minutes, each person telling the other as much as possible about himself. Ask the students to pick those things about themselves that they think are important to share. After five minutes ask the class to come back together again as one large group (preferably in a circle). Then ask each student to introduce his partner by stating his partner's name and the one special thing that impressed him as most important about that person.
If you like, you can end the discussion by asking the group to talk about what it was like to talk to the other person and what it was like to be talked about in the group.
Every person needs recognition. It is expressed cogently by the lad who says, Mother, let's play darts. I'll throw the darts and you say `Wonderful.' "
Educator Handbook of Stories, Quotes, and Humor
M. Dale Baughman
Aims: Trust, concentration, group development
Procedure: Group chooses each member in turn and elevates them to a horizontal
position above the heads of the group. The person is held there for a specific period, and then lowered carefully to the floor. The elevated person must relax and close eyes. It is often a good idea to have the groups raise and lower in unison. This often avoids confusion and helps concentration.
Variations: Vary speed and control of lift,- walk, rock, etc.
Have the person involved give instructions to the group.
Combine with Backward fall & catch.
Materials: Circle of over 25 people
Aims: Trust, fun
Procedure: a) Group stands in a close circle, in queue form, with right shoulders towards the center of the circle.
b) Circle closes so that everyone is touching the person in front and behind them.
c) Participants hold the waist of the person in front d Everyone bends their knees until they feel themselves supported on the knee of the person behind.
e) If successful (rare first time) the whole group is self supported, each person sitting on the knee of the person behind.
Note: This can only be successful if the circular shape is maintained throughout and it is helpful if the group leans slightly towards the center as they are trying to settle down.
Variations After secure sitting position is achieved
1 Everyone leans inwards slightly and raises left leg
2 Try alternate stepping with right and left feet, (very difficult.)
Aims: Group development, trust, warm-up
Procedure: Whole group links hands into a human chain. First person leads chain
through itself, over and under arms, between legs, etc. Extra care must be taken not to break the chain, to move slowly and to be gentle. Tangle ends when group is too tightly packed to move. One person then untangles the group, giving them directions without touching them.
Materials: One chair
Aims: Self-validation, group development
Procedure: A chair is placed in front of the group. Each person has a chance to sit on the chair and talk to the group. They can develop any subject
of their choice. It is often better to start out with descriptions of themselves - group leader setting the pace by going first.
This is very important activity which can become a permanent feature of each drama lesson, especially if a drama lesson is over 60 minutes long.
Positive developments can result in group discussion and ways of resolving problems.
Variations: Speak on controversial subjects, give views, then discuss, argue, do values continuum, etc.
Aims: Improvisation, movement
Procedure: Work in pairs or teams: use mime or short improvisations
Compare silence with noise, running with slow motion (really slow,
running and leaping with slow motion, exuberance with
old people - young people
tall I people - short people
big (expansive and extrovert) - small (nervous and introvert)
floating - mud wallowing
sleek and darting - slow and ponderous
slow witted - quick witted
stiff person - loose person
rich - poor
strong - weak
industrious - lazy
taciturn person - chatterbox
Englishman - Frenchman
pompous person - friendly person
serious person - silly person
school teacher - school child
policeman - criminal
angel - devil
motorist - pedestrian
slow people - quick people
Variations: Development into improvisations: dealing with various situations; people might be involved in conversation,1etter writing, shopping
Who: Large Group
Where: Walking outside
Objectives: To develop group and individual trust
To communicate without words
Leaders Hints: Who is willing to trust the person in front of them? (step
Who communicates with the people behind?
Instructions: 1. Everyone lines up in a single row behind the leader.(Group leaders should be spaced every couple of students to ensure they remain safe)
2. Each person puts on a blindfold.
3. Each person puts their hands on the shoulders of the one ahead of them. Explain that when they walk outside, if they need to step up the person in front will tap their right leg, and if they need to step down, the person in front will tap their left leg. They must do the same to the people behind them and pass the message along.
4. The leader leads the line outside and around the grounds.
Conclusion This activity can be used after contemplative reflection (Sunday morning) or towards the end of the camp, when people are more familiar with each other.
Who: Small Group (with presentation to the whole camp)
Where: Individual groups then in large area or hall
Objectives: To assess emotional expression and adaptability
To motivate and energise students
To provide a variety of activity and have the groups working together spontaneously
Leaders Hints: Observe who dominates the group, who comes up with ideas, who stands away or doesn't contribute
Observe who is willing to participate, who keeps everyone involved
Observe who is shy in front of the main group or is unwilling to be involved
Instructions: 1. Each group is given a proverb/expression and ten minutes to prepare.
The skit is to be quick and similar to charades, where the phrase is spelt or acted out. The main group has to guess the
2. Leaders can give an example in front of the group before the others begin.
Conclusion This activity can be used in place of the usual "skit". By giving each group a different expression, there is more variety and tests the general knowledge of the group.
While on exchange, students are often ask or required to do things which are "silly" cr in front of others. This activity provides some initial experience and tests the willingness of the students to do things that think make them appear foolish.
Suggestions: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
"A rolling stone gathers no moss"
"Once bitten, twice shy"
"A stitch in time save nine"
"Let sleeping dogs lie"
"Good things come in small bundles"
"Too many cook, spoil the broth"
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"
Group Size 7 - 12 (For Larger groups, split up into smaller groups, or use the variation below)
When and Where This is an activity which requires people to make close physical contact. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this sort of thing, so keep this in mind, especially with a group who are unfamiliar with each other. Use before, during or after a session of work, to develop group identity.
Procedure Group meets together in a tight circle with arms outstretched in front and eyes closed. Each person grasps one hand of someone close and one hand of someone further away. Each hand should be linked with only one other hand. Make sure that no two people are holding both of each other's hands.
Now, as a group, attempt to unknot the circle. Hand grips are allowed to be changed but not broken.
Variation For a group larger than 12: Form a circle and hold hands. Break the circle at one point and ask one of the end persons to tie the rest of the group into a knot. When the knot is complete, the person at the other end tries to untangle the knot. Hand grips cannot be changed or broken.
Who: Small Groups of 5-7
Where: Enough room for each group to have plenty of room around them
Aids/Equipment: Lots of drinking straws
Objectives: To get new participants working as a team
To introduce participants to each other in a non-threatening way
Leaders' Hints: Observe who talks the most, who is quiet, who just does what they are told
Instructions: “Workers sit together on the floor with a pile of straws in the centre. The “workers” are instructed to work as a team & use the straws to make a big beautiful design on the floor.
Conclusion: A simple team building game ideal for groups of strangers. Variations
on this game include giving them teams each 30 rolled up newspapers
and seeing which group can make the tallest construction.
Who: A single group of 5 – 20 people.
Where: A room large enough to hold the entire group, or outside (but not with lots of people standing around watching, as participants may get a bit embarrassed).
Objectives: To use your imagination
To get to know each other
Leaders' Hint: This game rewards the people who are the most imaginative
Instructions: Participants are to become parts of a large imaginary machine. One person acts out a repetitive motion or sound of a machine part. One by one other arts are added to the machine until the whole groups is involved. An example would be an engine with people playing the roles of: Starter
Moving Handle etc
Variation: Breaking the group up, one group becomes a machine and the other group has to guess what sort of a machine it is, then vice-versa.
Conclusion: This exercise requires a fair amount of imagination, but can also be a lot of fun if the people really get into the acting.
Who: Teams of up at least 3 people
Aids Scrabble Tablets
Score sheet – pen
Objectives To learn to work as a team using non-verbal communication
Leaders Hints Observe those who assume the role of team leader
Instructions Each team member chooses one scrabble table. They must not look at the tablet. They must stick it to their forehead immediately. No team member is allowed to inform another team member of what that person’s letter is.
The team must create as many words as possible in the time given. A judge needs to write down each word as the team forms it. The words must be at least 3 letters, although there may be more people in each group.
The words created must never be said aloud, since this would allow people to find out their letter too easily.
Award one point for each letter used, with a bonus of 5 points for using all the tablets in the group.
Variation 1 Make it harder by increasing the minimum number of letters per word.
2 Give everyone a letter, allowing him or her to see it. Shout out words and have people find other letters and line up as the word as soon as possible. Make it a competition by eliminating people who don’t become part of a word.
Conclusion A good fun team game.
Who: Groups of 5 – 6
Where: Inside or outside
Objectives To learn to make an argument about the importance of oneself
To learn to negotiate with other people
Leaders Hints Look for those who try to intimidate others
Instructions Groups sit in a fairly small circle, which represents the basket of the passenger balloon. Each person has to pick an occupation for himself or herself eg plumber, lawyer, doctor etc. Make sure that people have chosen their occupation before you explain the scenario to them.
The balloon is slowly losing altitude and in order for some of the people to survive, one person has to jump out.
Everyone has to put forward their reasons why they shouldn’t have to jump out and why someone else should. Everyone must agree on who has to jump within 5 mins or everyone will perish
Conclusion This game is a bit like bomb-shelter. It is quite useful since the people don’t need to know each other to be able to play it.
Who: Small teams (say 4-5 people)
Aids 2 blindfolds per team (one for walker, one for next person in line), Chalk, 1 Chair per team, 1 Spoon / box of matches / apple per team
Other obstacles (eg bins)
Objective To win by trusting each other
Instructions Draw course on the ground (including circles for pick up / put down points), One team member is blindfolded
Navigate course with instructions from other team members. Navigate obstacles and pick up / put down objects (judge to return object to pick up point after it is put down)
Repeat with other team members Fastest Team wins
Commands Stop, Go Left, Right
Forward, Back Down, Up
Pick up, Put down Yes, No
Conclusion Bit of trust involved, so good for people who at least have met before
Who: Groups of 30-40 people.
Where: Inside a very large room or outside, preferably over a carpet or grass surface.
Objectives To build people’s trust in each other
To work together as a large team
Leaders' Hints Spread the strong people evenly amongst the two groups
Instructions Form lines of about 30-40 people
Line up in pairs, one pair behind the other
With the help of two strong people at the front and back if needed, life a person, life a person up an pass them along the top of the line lying flat and supported by the hands of the people underneath.
ConclusionA good trust, you can also increase the number of people you pass along so that everyone who feels comfortable can have a go.
LINKING UP 1 – 10
Who: Groups of up between 7 – 12 people
Leaders' Hints Look for the innovators who can solve this problem
Instructions Give each group member a number from 1 – 7 (or 10, or 12 etc)
Make sure that no-one else knows what their number is. They then have to line up in numerical order, but they must close their eyes
and not talk. After an appropriate amount of time, stop the game.
Discuss how they felt about not being able to do it, and see if they can find ways that may have made it easier eg tapping their numbers on each other’s back.
Group Size Any Size
Where and When A good game to play when the group's concentration is fading. It is quick, gets people's bodies moving, and you can then lead into another session or carry on where you left off. It is not advisable to use this activity on groups who are unfamiliar with each other as it can be threatening.
Procedure The leader calls a part of the body and a colour that can e found in the room. Everybody must then rush and place that part of their body on that colour eg noses on red. Everyone must stay in that position until another colour has been called.
NOTE: be careful not to let this drag on too long or it will become a de-energiser
Group size: Approx ten
Materials: 1 Blanket for each group
Procedure: Each group has to stand on their blanket and race down to the other end
of the room. They must stay on their blankets at all times. The first
group to reach the end is the winner.
KNIGHT; MOUNT; CAVALIER
Materials Large open space
When and Where Use to release energy and for lots of fun. Excellent in playfairs.
Procedure Ask the group members to pair off, finding a partner roughly the same size. Explain that this activity is called "Knight; Mount; Cavalier". There are three positions that they need to know.
Knight: One person kneels on one knee with their partner sitting on their other knee.
Mount: One person gets down on their hands and knees, the other person stands over them.
Cavalier: One partner picks up the other person
(Demonstrate these positions)
Proceed to call out the different instructions in a random order, giving people just enough time to get into one position before you call out the next.
NOTE: Don't let this activity drag on - it should be short or people will get sick of it and drop out.
Variations 1. Make it Competitive: Anyone doing the wrong position is out.
2. Change the roles around so that the person being picked up is then the one who picks up the partner and so on.
Group Size 10 and up
When and Where Great for breaks in between sessions and for use in playfairs. However, close physical contact is involved and may be intimidating for groups who are unfamiliar with one another.
Procedure Divide the participants into 5 equal sized groups. Nominate each group with a part of the sandwich. There must be 2 groups allocated bread, 1 group allocated meat, 1 group allocated tomato and 1 group allocated lettuce. The aim is to then make the sandwiches. There needs to be a piece of bread on the bottom (one person lies down), a piece of ham (the next person lies on top of the first), the lettuce and ham and then finally the last piece of bread on the top of the pile. On completion there should be a pile of five people making the sandwich.
NOTE: This will work most effectively if demonstrated first by people who are familiar with both the leader and the game.
STATUES (MAKE THEM FRIENDLIER)
Group Size 7 people (4 boys and 3 girls), plus as many spectators as you want
Procedure Take 5 people (3 boys and 2 girls) outside and keep 2 inside. Bring in a male, and tell him take the two people inside and "make them friendlier". After he has finished, get him to swap places with the male. Bring in the next girl. Do the same, and swap with the girl. On the last male do the same, but get him to swap with the girl, leaving the two males in a slightly sexual position.
Group Size 10 and up
Where and When A good game to begin a session or just generally wake a group up. Game works most effectively with people who know each other as there is an element of honesty involved.
Procedure There are four stages to this game: Egg, Chicken, Bird and Superman. The idea is that participants evolve through the four phases.
Everyone begins walking around the room banging their fists on their foreheads chanting "egg egg egg egg egg". Participants pair up and have a game of paper; scissors; rock. The winner of this game evolves to the next stage, the looser stays an egg.
The game continues and the participants who evolved walk around like a chicken, flapping their arms and squarking, the eggs continue to be eggs. The chickens pair up with chickens and the eggs pair up with eggs to once again play paper; scissors; rock. Those who win evolve to the next stage where as those who loose remain where they are. The game continues with the birds flapping their arms and supermen soaring around with both arms in the air.
When the game works correctly there should be one egg, chicken and bird left and the rest of the players are supermen (or superpeople to be politically correct)
Group Size 3 volunteers (but any number of people can watch)
Materials 3 funnels
3 blind folds
3 jugs of water
1 packet of jaffas
When and Where Use on a hot day where people have the opportunity to change their clothes. Also with people who will not kill the demonstrator.
Procedure Get three people up the front. Put the funnel in the front of their pants and the spoon in their mouth. Put the jaffa on the spoon, count to three and get them to drop it in the funnel. Easy. Tell them that they will now be blindfolded and will have to do it again. Blindfold them. Count to three, but on two pour water into the funnel.
Group size: Any size
Procedure: Divide the group into three groups and form a group of three with one person from each group. Nominate one person as the leader on
the group. This person becomes the Master of the other two people in the group who are now Slaves. The Master then has one minute
to command the slaves to do anything they say ( within reason of course). Swap the roles to give every member of the group the
chance to be Master
Group Size Any Size
Where and WhenA trust building, physical boundary breaking activity which can be great fun for a group who are comfortable with physical contact, but may be awkward with groups who find physical contact more difficult.
Procedure Have the group lie diagonally across the room on their backs, as close to one another as possible. The person at one end then proceeds to roll over the top of the others to reach the other end, where they lie down next to the last person. When they arrive the next person does the same.
Variations 1. Group lies on their backs on the floor, with every person lying in the opposite direction to the person next to them. Close everyone up so that their heads 'interlock'. Everyone then stretches their hands above their heads. One member of the group lies down along the top of the outstretched arms and is passed along the top of the arms to the other end.
NOTE: It is necessary to have someone, preferably the leader at first, at both ends to start each person off carefully and catch the head of each person as they finish. Also, start off with lighter people and gradually build up group confidence in tackling the heavier members.
2. Place a 20 cent piece on the first persons chest. The aim is to pass the 20 cent piece from one person to another without touching it with anyone's hands or dropping it on the floor. This variation requires each person to roll only onto the next person and then back to their original position. The 20 cent piece should make it to the other end of the chain.
NOTE: This can be made competitive by having two teams going at once. The winning team has the 20 cent piece arrive at the other end of the chain first.
HUMAN TUNNEL BALL
Group size: Three or four groups depending on the size of the group.
Procedure: The groups line up one behind the other, facing the same direction each person about an arms length behind each other. They spread
their legs apart and join hands, the right hand going under their legs joining with the persons left hand behind them. The race begins
the first person moving under the tunnel and not breaking the linking hands and the tunnel moves under itself until all the group has
gone through the tunnel hands always linked.
Group size: Approx 10
Procedure: Each group must form a human pyramid and walk the pyramid forward towards the other end of the room. The first group to reach the
end wins. The pyramid classically consists of 4 people on the bottom level, three on the next, then two and one person on the top.
Group size: Any
Materials: Music (that can be stopped and started)
Procedure: The group forms into pairs. The pairs then kneel facing each other with their hands on each others shoulders, forming an inner and
outer circle. When the music starts the outside circle stands and begins to move clockwise, the inner circle at the same time works in
an anti clockwise direction. When the music stops the circles must re-pair and kneel with their hands upon each others shoulders. The
last pair to do so is OUT. The game continues until only one pair remains
Group size: Groups of between 2 and 8
Procedure: The group is split into smaller groups of between 2 and 8 people. The leader then gives an example of a particular structure which the
groups construct by linking themselves together
Examples, Tree, Crane, Modern building, Bridge, Plane / Helicopter, Car / truck/ Bus, Ship, lighthouse etc
HUMAN OBSTACLE RACE
Group size: Approximately six or size to suit Materials-None
Procedure: The teams line up and the race begins. No.1 moves down the line:
Patting No.2 on the head;
Going through No.3's legs;
Linking arms and spinning twice with No.4;
Sitting on No.5's right knee,
Blowing in No.6's ear.
No.1 then joins the line and No.2 goes down the line carrying out the tasks in the same order, and so on. The list above is only an
example of tasks for each number. Use your imagination
Group size: Any size
Procedure: In pairs sit back to back and link arms. Then try to stand up. Do the
same in threes, fours, fives etc until you can do it with the entire group.
Group size: Approx ten
Materials: 1 Balloon per Person
Procedure: Distribute 1 balloon and a piece of string to each person.
Instruct each person to blow up their balloon and tie it to their ankle.
Once all balloons are in place, tell the group to burst as many balloons belonging to other people as possible.
Sit down when your balloon has been burst.
Activity is best if no one is wearing shoes.
Who: A group of people, between 10 and 20.
Where: Inside a large room
Objectives To coordinate your progress with others
Instructions Participants lie in a circle on the floor as far from the centre of the room as possible with all heads toward the centre.
Group closes eyes, and slowly crawls into the centre, forming a pile, then each person crosses to the other side of the room.
This should take about 5 minutes.
Conclusion A fun activity for people who know each other relatively well.
PEELING THE SNAKE
Who: Large groups of people (up to 50 in each group)
Where: Inside a large room or outside
Instructions Form single file lines for each group
Each person faces the back of the person on his or her right.
Bending over, each person places their right hand back between their legs and reaches their left hand to grab the right hand of the person in front of them.
The last person in the line lies down, and the snake unpeels by the rest of the line slowly walking backwards, still joined, over the top of that person who has lay down. One by one each person lies down, still holding hands, with the others passing over the top of them.
To test people’s ability not to laugh (in the variation)
Instructions Instruct each group to lie down so that each person’s head is resting on the stomach of the person before them.
Tell the person at the head of the each line a joke, and they will giggle. When the person with their head on that person’s stomach feels them giggle, they will also giggle and your chain reaction has started.
Variation Have the first person cough, and then each subsequent person cough, but no-one is allowed to laugh or giggle.
Aims: Developing imagination, self-validation, sensory awareness, awareness, body control.
Procedure: Whole group lies on backs, arms on the floor, legs separate, eyes closed. Leader talks smoothly and steadily and asks the group to
focus their senses within their bodies. Bodies are described as containing blood vessels with blood pulsing through; lungs exchanging
oxygen for carbon dioxide (good air for used air); stomachs digesting food, etc. Group is asked to concentrate on one particular
function of the body and the leader asks the group to be aware (even synthetically) of the existence of the activity, without feeling for
signs with their hands.
Real sensations to notice
Pseudo sensations (to imagine entirely)
air in the blood
food passing to muscles acids attacking the teeth, etc.
Variations 1 Concentration through breathing. Take a deep breath. Imagine your ribs expanding, the air rushing down your throat, filling your lungs, entering your blood and kicking the old air out. (continue with exhaling.)
Concentration through heartbeat. Blood sucked into one
chamber - expelled into next chamber and then back into vein or artery. Concentration upon the feeling (in rhythm with the beats) of this expansion and contraction.
Materials Large sheet of paper per person and pencil or felt tip
Procedure Each person is asked to make a road map of their life so far. Beginning with birth and extending to the present. Each map should
somehow show the good places (either scenic or open road, etc.) or the bad places (bumpy spots, etc.), hospital (road works etc.) Also
barriers, detours, and the general direction of their present course.
Compare life's past course with your imagined future, i.e. goals, etc. How will they be achieved? What has made the good spots?
Variations 1 Extend and project the map into the future. (conjecture or daydream)
2 Construct lists of positive and negative problems and events. Decide on points systems, i.e., + and -, and evaluate your life.
3 Role-play passing detours, etc.
Who: Pairs of people
Where: Inside a large room.
Aids Obstacles eg chairs and tables
Objectives To learn to trust your partner
To feel what it is like to have no power over your own actions
Leaders Hints Nil
Instructions In each pair, person A is a tin soldier, person B is their Director
Tin soldiers can only move under directions from B. They have no power to think or make decisions. Tin soldiers walk slowly with stiff legs & arm joints.
B’s job is to guide his/her tin soldier to the other side of the room, by giving directions to avoid hitting walls, tables, chairs & other tin soldiers.
Now have B’s wind up their tin soldiers & begin giving directions.
After a few minutes, stop and reverse roles.
Conclusion A good fun game for friends or strangers. It may have an interesting effect on people who like to be in control.