- Opening activity – Have people pair a movement with their name.
Question re: accessibility needs:
- older folks
- folks with limited mobility
- language needs
- high energy without standing up
- low-risk activitieis
- smaller subsections of groups
- consent/physicality – low physical interaction
- diversity in willingness to take risks
What folks are looking for:
- Meeting appropriate ice-breaker
Why are we learning games? What uses do they have? What challenges we have?:
- figuring out group dynamics
- trust building
- games are fun
- meetings tend to be boring
- energizers (changing the energy) – opportunity to pause or channel the energy
- relationship building
- allow people to tap into creative & body knowledge
- bookends trainings (this might be ingrained though)
- great way to attract people to move from one thing to the next
What about resistance to games:
- If people don’t have buy in, people will be resistant.
- Lack of attention to accessibility (assumptions that everyone can stand up, or that everyone wants to be touched, etc)
- Games can be really fluffy – and they’re taking away from the substance that we want to get at. Especially if it’s unclear how it relates to the content.
- It’s about using them well, and tying them in well. If the activity is not well chosen, people are going to be more resistant.
- Facilitators sometimes feel resistant to the idea of games. Lack of training power for those who are looking for the games
- Content role play
- two people demonstrate the content (first time they botch it, then they do better, then they debrief, then they do it again?
- Spell your name with your butt!
- self explanatory, lots of laughs
- Am I tomato?
- labels on forehead
- ask people questions to figure out what they are (questions can be open or limited, yes or no, this or that, for example)
- Circle and cross
- make a circle with your right hand, make a cross with your left, then try to do both at the same time (very few people can do this)
- asking people to jump up and down and laugh for 15 seconds.
- stretching, breathing, grounding, welcoming people to breath for 3 minutes
- pairing a guided meditation followed with laughing is hilarious
- eyes closed laughing sometimes feels funny
- laughter is healing, good for the soul (great intro), brings in context. Found it easier to laugh when we heard other people laughing.
- Bingo – “find someone who”
- try to make it relevant to the content
- Ex from Empower DC – “find someone who’s been to a rally” “find someone who’s been to a____”
- implied follow up questions
- Concentric Circles – had it done with a really big group, you have to find someone to answer the questions & you mill around.
- Two truths and a lie – often used for silliness, chance to be outrageous
- seems like something that would work well in a better knit group
- if this is serious, it could be an interesting experiment
- Concentric circles
- subcategory: soultrain parallel lines where one person moves down the line to change partners
- Alphabet themed questions
- have people go through the alphabet or a word and think about a work that starts with the appropriate letter that describes a topic to support the content of the workshop
- All the prompts – poems
- everyone in a group comes up with a poetry prompt, and then have people write poems to include all or most (or a certain number) of prompts.
- Jungle animals – what animal?
- people say animals and animal sounds, good way to break up into groups
- “Mindmeld word game”
- goal is to get people thinking on the same wavelength
- I’m going to count to three and say a word
- have people listen to one another and think about the word
- count to three again
- say another word
- mostly a listening exercise
- Story of self
- from NOI website
- structured opportunity to give a “story of self” within x number of minutes
- if appropriate, you can have people give feedback
- can also be more targeted – “what brings you here today” “why did you become a facilitator?” “what brought you to work with youth?” “why do you do what you do?”
- “I really liked when you shared this detail, but I’d like to hear more about this moment”
- what did you like about it? (gathering group wisdom)
- people get to choose how vulnerable they get
- awesome & bodacious
- someone talks for a minute about something inaucuous (their hair or their shoes) partner tries their best not to listen (process is very transparent)
- awesome people: how does it feel to not be listened to? what were your persons behaviours
- switch – you don’t get to get back at the person. awesome people are listening for facts, feelings or values (or needs)
- and then the awesome people give feedback
- a&b both get to tell a story; there’s no revenge.
- Singing! Art! Drawing! Creative Writing!
instead of movement name, maybe a song title
give people half of a song line. (memory card style), and they’ll call on someone to see if that person has the other half of their line.
then the person can be your partner for the rest of the day!
requires prep, knowing your audience (and what songs they would kno
Using What You’ve Learned in Games:
- whether it’s games or go arounds – there’s an opportunity to apply knowledge from what you learn in activities in the rest of the day
- games aren’t just distractions or fillers
- facts, feelings, values
- people debrief what it feels like not to be listened to (example sex violence survivors – talking to cops, social workers, etc)
- allows people to talk about active listening and think about building skills around it with low risk
Moving People from Low Risk to Higher Risk Activities:
- turn next to someone next to you – more than asking a big group a question and asking everyone a question
- risk can also seem higher if you’re less whatever the norm is
- instead of make a ridiculous noise and make a motion. – come up with the slogan for our office, come up with a new logo for our organization. (maybe don’t start with pushing the boundaries of movement and singing and actively playing).
- find the places where people are willing to be silly
- activities depend on the temperament of the person, it’s important to figure out how to equalize voices
- identifying moments to step up step back.
- Opt-in activities are really important.
- Allow for quiet space. It’s okay if the room is quiet for a minute – because some people need that extra time to think