No Props Games.
1. Have you ever…
Sitting down on chairs in a circle or using a pair of shoes on the ground to mark your spot. Children in a circle first child says have you ever… The children who have done whatever then move one space. The object of the game is for the first person to get back to their original spot wins.
2. Finger Fencing
In partners holding hands like you are shaking hands with your pointer finger pointing up. Pretend to be fencing. The object is to touch your partner on the knee with your finger.
3. Thumb Wrestle
Holding hands with thumbs up try to push your partners thumb down with yours.
In partners put your right hand out with your palm facing up and your left hand out with your index finger pointing down. Your partner should do the same so there is one index finger pointing down towards each palm that is facing up. On the command go, everyone tries to catch the finger of their partner as well as trying to stop them from catching their own finger.
5. Don’t Touch Me Hoop Game
Everyone gets into a circle facing each other. Put a hoop in the centre of the circle lying down. The object is to change places with the person opposite you by walking through the centre putting one foot in the hoop without touching anyone. You can shout out “Don’t touch me “ as you go through. You may like to see if anyone can think of a better way of doing it.
6. Circle to Circle
Everyone standing in a circle with hands joined. Pass the hoop around the circle without letting go of hands. This means people need to step through the hoop as it gets passed around.
7. Thru the Wringer
To find the quickest way to get everyone in the circle to go through the hoop.
8. Fleece Ball Tag
One person starts with a soft ball throwing it at children with the aim of hitting them. When someone gets hit they are then on the team of the ball thrower and can help to throw the ball at other children to get them out. If you get the ball to throw you need to stand still while throwing the ball. The game continues until everyone ends up being on the ball-thrower team, and there is no-one left to dodge the ball.
9. Follow Me
In pairs choose one person to be A and one person to be B. On the word “go” A chases B to tag them. If they are tagged then B chases A.
Would You Rather…
Would you rather eat chips or candy?
Would you rather have fries or cookies?
Would you rather eat pizza or hot dogs?
Would you rather only be able to eat your favorite food for the rest of your life or never eat your favorite food again?
Would you rather be a firefighter or a police officer?
Would you rather be a doctor or a garbage man?
Would you rather be a chef or a waiter/waitress?
Would you rather be a teacher or a janitor?
Would you rather have smelly feet or bad breath?
Would you rather never have to shower again or never have to brush your teeth again?
Would you rather eat a live bug or a dead worm?
Would you rather lick your shoe or eat your boogers?
Would you rather get good grades or be a good athlete?
Would you rather go to the school in the summer and have the rest of the year off or go to school during the rest of the year and have summers off?
Would you rather be the most popular kid in school or the smartest kid in school?
Would you rather stay at your current age or be 10 years older?
Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout?
Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Would you rather be really tall or really short?
Would you rather have the ability to fly or to be invisible?
Would you rather always have to say everything that you are thinking or never speak again?
Would you rather help set the table before dinner or help clean up after dinner?
Would you rather stay up late or get up early?
Would you rather jump into a pool of chocolate pudding or a pool of chocolate ice cream?
Would you rather have a pet cat or a pet dog?
Would you rather go to the dentist or go to the doctor?
Would you rather be outside all day or inside all day?
Would you rather be really hairy or completely bald?
Would you rather be 4’5″ or 7’7″?
Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Would you rather be tall and fat or short and well built?
Would you rather eat healthy or exercise regularly?
Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Would you rather lose half your hair or lose half your hearing?
Would you rather look weak and actually be strong or look strong and actually be weak?
Would you rather have a third eye or a third arm?
Would you rather be as wide as you are tall, or as tall as you are wide?
Would you rather be poor and work at a job you love or be rich and work at a job you hate?
Would you rather be rich and ugly or poor and good looking?
Would you rather be rich or be poor and find true love?
Would you rather work really hard at an interesting job or slack off at a boring job?
Would you rather take a guaranteed $100,000 or a 50/50 chance at $1,000,000?
Would you rather be in constant pain or have a constant itch?
Would you rather be blind or not be able to talk for the rest of your life?
Would you rather go through life unable to answer any questions or unable to ask any questions?
Would you rather have no sense of smell or smell everything near you as though it were right in front of your nose?
Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout everything?
Would you rather save the life of someone that you’re close to or save the lives of 5 random strangers?
Would you rather never touch another human again or never touch a computer powered device again?
Would you rather be the first to die among your close friends or be the last one to die?
Would you rather have a lousy short term memory or a terrible long term memory?
Would you rather have 1 wish granted today or 3 wishes granted 5 years from now?
Would you rather be homeless or live without family and friends?
Would you rather go without the internet or a car for a month?
Would you rather have to sit all day or stand all day?
Would you rather go to jail for a year or live in your car for a year?
Would you rather not be able to use your hands or not be able to walk?
Would you rather be a parent or a child?
Would you rather dump someone else or be the person getting dumped?
Would you rather be stuck in a house with someone you hate or be stuck in a house alone?
Would you rather be a genius in a world of morons, or a moron in a world of geniuses?
Would you rather be ugly and marry a good looking person or be good looking and marry an ugly person?
Would you rather take an ice cold shower and be clean or not shower at all?
Would you rather lick someone else’s armpit or have someone else lick your armpit?
Would you rather eat a stick of butter or snort a tablespoon of salt?
Would you rather smell your own fart or smell someone elses?
Would you rather be a chronic farter or a chronic burper?
Would you rather drink a cup of spoiled milk or pee your pants in public?
Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to read people’s mind?
Would you rather have your flight delayed by 8 hours or lose your luggage?
Would you rather be the worst player on the best team or the best player on a great team?
Would you rather never be able to eat hot food again or never take a hot shower again?
Would you rather be ignorant and happy or be knowledgeable and never fully content?
Would you rather never play or play but always lose?
Would you rather be 10 minutes late or be 20 minutes early for everything?
Would you rather give out bad advice or receive bad advice?
Would you rather be a master of every musical instrument or be fluent in every language?
Would you rather be stuck in a home that is constantly dark or a house that is constantly bright?
Would you rather be a vegetarian or only be able to eat meat?
Would you rather be in your pajamas all day or in a suit all day?
Would you rather go forward or back in time?
The Great Communicator
Listening Skills and Practice Communication Skills
Group members need to practice speaking to one another so that they can clearly explain the ideas they wish to put into action. Try having all groups try the Great Communicator at one time. Space is not an issue. Try this challenge early in your team building program. As your groups develop (or struggle to develop), you may wish to repeat this challenge from time to time as a test of communication success.
The group members sit either in a semicircle or randomly in an area assigned only to that group. One member of the group is selected as the Great Communicator.
The Great Communicator attempts to describe a picture in teams that will allow the group members to draw the objects being described. The Great Communicator may not, however, use certain terms describing standard shapes. Terms such as circle, square, rectangle or triangle may not be used. Also, group members may not ask the Great Communicator questions or request further descriptions.
Pencil and Piece of Paper for each student. Picture for the Great Communicator to describe. Clipboard for Great Communicator
The solutions will vary according to the descriptive skills of the Great Communicator and the listening skills of the group members. As the group displays their drawings and compares them to the Great Communicator’s picture, they will get an indication of their success in listening and speaking. As the group practices this challenge a few times, members should see an improvement in their communication efforts and skills.
Group members, using verbal clues and cues, will assist other group members (the construction workers), who will be wearing blindfolds, to assemble a large puzzle. The challenge is not only for the blindfolded group members to complete the puzzle, but also for the sighted group members to communicate in a clear manner so that the construction workers can successfully follow the directions given to them.
Blindfold as many of the group members as you wish. After blindfolding the designated construction workers, the sighted group members mix up the parts of the puzzle. Although there is no end to the types of puzzles you or your students could create, we assume the puzzle you will use will become a square when assembled.
The sighted group member’s five verbal directions to the blindfolded construction workers. The construction workers will need to be guided to the puzzle pieces and then be guided in assembling them. The sighted groups are not allowed to touch the puzzle pieces or the blindfolded group members.
Make sure the working area is completely free of obstructions or other physical structures.
1-4 blindfolds per group. Puzzle pieces (made from plywood or tag board). recommended that they are color coded. Rules: Only the blindfolded members may touch the puzzle pieces. If sighted members physically touch puzzle pieces, the group must mix up the puzzle again and start from the beginning.
Requires a group to transport themselves across a large open space. There is one basic solution to this task, but it usually takes a group the better part of a class period to successfully complete the challenge.
The team will transfer themselves from one area to the other without touching the ground with their bodies. The group may use two folded tumbling mats (or pieces of plywood) to create a riverboat. All members of the team and all equipment must make it to the other side.
2 standard tumbling mats or pieces of plywood. Two small tires. 2 long jump ropes or pieces of rope
1. If a group member touches the ground with any part of their body, the entire group must go back to the starting position.
2. All equipment must be brought across the river.
3. No one may call a teammate by his or her last name.
Group members will attempt to build a series of shapes or patterns on a cargo net using the bodies of all the group members to form each figure. Very physically challenging.
Task: Group members begin by standing under the cargo net. All the members must climb onto the cargo net to form a shape. After the shape is approved, all the group members must get off the cargo net before the next shape is constructed. Using paper and pencils, the group can prepare a plan whereby each person is assigned a specific part of the designated shape.
Equipment: Cargo net, soft surface to crash on to (safety), shapes to be built (square, circle, triangle, +, etc.), paper and pencils
All group members must be on the cargo net and off the floor when the shape is constructed.
2. All group members must be on the same side of the net.
3. All group members must get off the net before the next shape is constructed.
Toxic Waste Transfer
Requires the group to transport objects across an open space without directly touching the objects or their container. The group will manipulate a bucket filled with small objects using ropes attached to the bucket.
Task: After forming a circle around the 5-gallon bucket and holding the ends of the ropes attached to the bucket. The group will transport the bucket from one location to another. When they reach the location, they will be required to transfer some of the contents of the bucket into the other container. If something is spilled (toxic waste) then the team must choose a member of the team to dress in protective clothing, remove the contents, come back, remove the protective clothing, and then the team goes again. Each time there is a spill, a new team member is the toxic waste expert.
Equipment: 5-gallon bucket (attach 10-12 ropes, 8 feet or more in length by drilling holes in the bucket), 5-gallon bucketto transfer material into and protective clothing
If the toxic waster bucket touches the floor, the entire group must start over.
2. Students without protective clothing may not touch the toxic waste.
3. No last names or put-downs may be used.
Members must physically assist and balance one another while traveling across a designated space. The group will creatively sculpt with their bodies a large millipede-like creature that moves with only a limited number of body parts touching the ground.
Task: The team will move themselves across an area (about 30 feet) with collectively only five body parts in contact with the ground. This challenge is set-up for a seven member team. The number of floor contact points can change depending on the number of team members.
Equipment: Cones to mark start and finish points, soft surface to go across (grass will work)
1. If more than the number of specified contact points touches the floor, the entire team must return to the starting line.
2. No last names or put-downs may be used.
Ship to Shore
A team is stranded on a sinking ship in the ocean. The team members must devise a way to get back to shore before the ship goes down.
Task: Group members will begin to travel with equipment on their stranded ship in the middle of the ocean. All team members must travel from the ship to island 1 and stay on island 1 before advancing to island 2. Teammates must stay at island 2 before traveling to shore.
Equipment: Places designated as shore and ship ways for students to get across ocean
1. All group members must reach and remain on island 1 before anyone travels to island 2.
2. All group members must reach and remain on island 2 before traveling to shore.
3. Group members may not touch the water with any part of their bodies.
4. If any rule is broken, the person who broke the rule plus a successful member must return to the ship and start over.
Grand Canyon II
Task: The group will transfer its members from cliff 1 to cliff 2. They will attempt to swing across the open space between the cliffs and land safely on the second cliff. Group members will need to assist one another both in swinging as well as safe landing. The placement of the rope in relationship to cliff 1 will determine the difficulty level of this challenge.
Equipment: Climbing rope to swing (if you perform this outside, hang from a very sturdy tree), platforms for the students to swing on to.
To add difficulty: throw out balls for the students to grab while swinging.
1. If a group member touches the floor, that person and one more successful person must return to cliff 1.
2. If a group member falls off a cliff onto the floor, that person and one successful person must go back to cliff 1.
3. No one may use last names or put-downs.
The challenge is for a group to work themselves through a horizontal spider web without touching any part of the web. This is a difficult challenge that requires a great deal of physical help from teammates.
Task: All group members must travel from one end of the web to the other-without touching the web or any supports that hold the web. Group members must travel over each web strand. They are not to travel under the web.
Equipment: 2 high balance beams or other sturdy supports, 20 to 30 yards of elastic string or yarn and an area for the students to fall onto.
1. All group members must start at one end of the web.
2. Team members must not touch any part of the web or any part of the supports.
3. Group members must never travel under the web.
4. If a rule is broken, the group must sacrifice the one who made the mistake plus one or more successful members as needed for assistance reentering the web.
Equipment: Length of rope, blindfolds for everyone. (Use neckerchiefs.)
Concepts: Handicap awareness, teamwork, cooperation, communication
Objective: To form a geometric shape with a 50 foot loop of rope.
Task: Gather the group into a large circle, Place the loop of rope on the ground inside of the circle at the feet of all of the participants. Tell the group to blindfold themselves, then pick up the rope. When the group is ready tell them to form a perfect square with the rope. When they think they have succeeded, have them remove their blindfolds.
Rules: Each participant must hold onto the rope with at least one hand at all times, blindfolds are to remain in place until they feel they have completed the figure.
Questions: 1. What did the group think the purpose of this activity was?
2. How did being blind make you feel?
3. Ask them to describe what happened, how well did the person perform? Why?
4. How could the activity be improved?
Equipment: Heavy weight (about 200 pounds), pulley, strong/large diameter rope, timer.
Concepts: Teamwork, cooperation, leadership
Objective: To raise and lower a weight using a rope and pulley as often as possible in a given time.
Task: A weight is attached to a rope running through a pulley or tackle. Each person in the group must hold the rope behind a set point and then raise and lower the weight as many times as possible in two minutes.
Rules: The weight may not be dropped from the top of the pulley, a safety area is drawn on the ground six feet around the weight and no one is allowed to enter it.
Questions: 1. What was the purpose of this activity?
2. Were you doing more or less work than you thought you should?
3. Did the group arrange itself in any particular order?
4. How were they arranged?
5. What was physically hard about this activity?
6. What was mentally hard about this activity?
7. How well did your group do?
8. What could you do to improve?
Equipment: A watch with a second hand or a stopwatch.
Concepts: Problem-solving, self-esteem
Objective: To develop an awareness of the duration of a minute and to practice estimating time spans.
Task: Ask the group to find a comfortable spot and sit down. Explain that they are going to estimate three minutes. Have them close their eyes and keep them closed. They begin timing on a signal from the instructor. At the end of one minute, each one should raise their hand with one finger up. At the end of two minutes, they should raise another finger. At the end of three minutes, they should open their eyes and put down their hand. Everyone should remain silent until everyone is finished.
Rules: Everyone keeps their eyes closed until they are finished timing, everyone remains silent until the end of the activity.
Questions: 1. How did you estimate the time?
2. For those who finished first, how did you feel?
3. What did you learn about yourself?
4. Are there other ways we tell time?
5. What are ways people use to estimate time?
6. If you did it again, what would you do differently?
7. Did you care if you were close or not?
8. Would you like to do this again to see if you could improve?
9. Did the time spent waiting seem to take longer?
Concepts: Problem solving, teamwork, cooperation, trust
Objective: To move a group across an open field as quickly as possible.
Task: Instruct the group that they are to get across an open field as quickly as possible. To get across a person must be carried.
Rules: The first person must return to be carried across, if someone being carried across touches the ground, both must return to be carried across.
Questions: 1.How did the group decide to solve the problem?
2.Did anyone become the leader?
3.How did the leader emerge?
4.What things did you have to think about before you started?
5.How did you feel when things didn’t go as well as you wanted?
6.How did you deal with the feelings?
Concepts: Communication, problem solving, handicap awareness
Objective: For the group to align themselves according to height.
Task: Instruct the group to blindfold themselves. When everyone is blindfolded, tell the group to arrange themselves in a line according to height without speaking.
Rules: No one may talk during the activity, blindfolds must remain in place throughout the activity.
Questions: 1. What bothered you about not being able to speak?
2. How did you communicate?
3. Who became a leader?
4. How did you decide to lead or follow?
5. How did you know where to fit into the line?
6. What did you learn from this activity?
ORDER OUT OF CHAOS
Concepts: Communication, problem solving, leadership, teamwork
Objective: Develop nonverbal communication in carrying out a task, try with blindfolds.
Task: The group is blindfolded. Each member is assigned a number. Once the numbers are given out, the members must line up in proper numerical order without talking.
Rules: No talking is allowed, blindfolds should remain in place until the task is completed.
Questions: 1. What do you think is the purpose of this activity?
2. What ways did you see to solve the problem?
3. How did you try to communicate this solution?
4. What examples can of not understanding what someone was trying to say?
5. How did you deal with any frustration?
6. What kind of leadership came out of the group?
What did you like about how the group made decisions?
REACH FOR THE SKY
Equipment: Two inch masking tape or other marking material.
Concepts: Teamwork, cooperation, communication
Objective: To place a marker as high on an object (tree or wall) as possible.
Task: Break the group into groups of five. The group is then to place a mark as high as possible on an object using resources of the group.
Rules: The group may not use the object for climbing, only for placement.
Questions: 1. What do you think was the purpose of the activity?
What was the best part?
What was the hardest part?
How did the group decide to proceed?
How well did you communicate with one another to solve the problem?
Did anything hamper communication?
7. When did the group cooperate in completing the activity?
8. How did cooperation lead to success in the activity?
Equipment: Space markers
Concepts: Leadership, decision making, communication
Objective: To have two groups, of at least three people each, exchange places on a line of spaces.
Task: Have the two group’s line up facing each other on the spaces. There should be one more space than the number of participants and that space should be in the middle, separating the two groups. The spaces should be one step apart. The groups are now to switch positions on the line. A’s should move to the right of the center space and the B’s should end up on the left of the center space. They must do this by following these procedures:
1.Stepping off to an adjacent empty square, or
2.Stepping around a person facing the opposite way to an empty space.
Rules: Persons cannot move backwards, persons may not step around someone facing in the same direction, two people may not move at once.
Questions: 1.What was the purpose of this activity?
2.Did a leader emerge and how did he lead?
3.How well did the group do and why?
4.If you disagreed with the group, how did you deal with it?
5.What did you like about this activity?
Equipment: Stable two by two foot platform
Concepts: Problem Solving, teamwork, cooperation, trust.
Objective:. For an entire group to stand on a two by two foot platform without anyone touching the ground.
Task: Everyone in a group must get off the ground and onto the platform. For groups of 10-15, a two by two foot platform is adequate. Use smaller or larger platforms accordingly. In order to be counted as on the platform, each participant must have both feet off the ground for five seconds.
Rules: Everyone must have both feet off the ground, simultaneously, for 5 to 10 seconds.
Questions: 1. What was the purpose of this activity?
2. Did it seem simple at first?
3. How difficult was the activity?
4. What made the activity go well or not?
5. What things involved teamwork?
6. Did everyone want to cooperate?
7. What did you learn from this activity?
8. How did you decide what to do?
Equipment: 1-3 or 4 balls, any kind and size
Concepts: working together, creating a rhythm
Objective: to move the ball around the circle as quickly as possible, from lap to lap without using the hands.
Task: All sit in a tight circle, touching your neighbor, with the legs extended toward the middle. Place a basketball on the lap of one person in the circle. Move the ball around the circle as quickly as possible, from lap to lap but you can not use your hands. Add a couple of signals like: reverse, go, slow motion. You may add more balls. Add a smaller ball (like a softball or tennis ball and eventually a golf ball or ping pong ball).
Concepts:: cooperation, focus on each other
Objective: to have exactly four people standing at all times
Task: Start with everyone sitting down. Anyone can stand up whenever they want to but you cannot remain standing for more than five seconds at a time before you sit down again. Then you can get right up again if you want to. The object is to have exactly four people standing up at all times. This game usually lasts about a minute, but what pandemonium and laughter is generated in that minute!
Concepts: trust, cooperation, communication
Objective: move a person along the “river on the laps of the seated people to the end.
Task: Form a long, double line, facing each other. Sit opposite, with feet straight out and next to the side of the other’s hips. Tighten up the total line so everyone is snug. The line can curve. This works better outside and on a gentle slope of a hill. Now, people enter the river by laying flat on their backs, head down river. The lines begin to move the person along the rapids, with hands underneath and with knees raised as necessary to move the person along. Reflect feelings at the end and then join the river at the end
Concepts: Cooperation, trust, communication
Objective: Successfully bring one person from one end of the oven to the other end of the oven.
Task: Form two lines that face each other, all standing shoulder to shoulder with elbows bent and forearm in front, palms up. The forearms should alternate, one player’s arm should each be flanked by the arms of players across from them. Everyone must bunch together very closely, with one foot forward and one foot back for balance. Now, a solidly built oven with a conveyer belt running down the middle has been built. Make sure all watches, rings and anything sharp are removed from the oven and glasses and belts from the cookie. The cookie stands at one end of the oven, announces what kind of cookie they want to be and slides them into the oven. The rest of the class are bakers and chant their cookie choice (Chocolate chip, chocolate chip ) as they bounce them along the conveyor belt, turning them over halfway through, until they pop out the other end, freshly baked. Make sure there are two strong bakers available to ease each cookie out of the oven. After the cookie is done they join the oven.
Equipment: Frisbee, plastic plate or metal cover
Concepts: cooperation, communication
Objective: Pass the Frisbee around the circle without using hands.
Task: Everyone forms a circle on hands and knees with heads facing inward. A Frisbee is placed in the middle of one person’s back. The object of the game is to pass the object around the circle, from back to back, without using hands. If the object falls, it is picked up by hand and placed on the back of the last person who had it. The game continues until the disc is passed successfully around the entire circle.
FOX AND SQUIRREL
Equipment: 2 balls alike, 1 ball that is different
Concepts: Passing skills, communication, thinking strategies
Objective: for the foxes to catch the squirrel by tagging whoever is holding the squirrel ball with one (or both) of the fox balls.
Task: Everyone stands in a circle and begins passing the fox balls from player to player. You may change directions but may only pass to the person next to you. You may throw the squirrel across the circle. Call out Fox or Squirrel each time you pass one of the balls. You may also pass the squirrel to your neighbor.
Equipment: 1 ball per person (5-8 in a group)
Concepts: Cooperation, tossing and catching skills.
Objective: To pass the ball to all participants once, eventually add a ball per person
Have everyone stand in a circle. First a pattern/throwing routine must be established. The first one throws the object to another person (not the one next to him/her). Then that person throws the object to another person. Once the pattern is made you must remember who you throw it to and who throws to you. The next step is to increase a ball with each pattern repetition.
Concepts: cooperation, communication
Objective: line up by the way told, either communicating, non-verbal
Task: 1. Line up by age: non-verbally, verbally
Line up by height: non-verbally, time them
3. Do these tasks blindfolded
Equipment: none (could use blindfolds)
Objective: Avoid being snatched by the Body Snatcher
Task: Choose one player as the evil invader from outer space and the rest go around with their eyes closed. The invading body snatcher gets to keep their eyes open. They creep up to an unsuspecting citizen and make whatever blood-curdling sound they want and that person becomes a new body snatcher. The last one left gets to be the new body snatcher.
Equipment: Paper balls, socks, plastic balls or anything that resembles a ball, mousetraps!!!, blindfolds for each pair
Objective: Verbally guide the blindfolded person across the minefield in as little time as possible.
Task: Take the boundaries and spread out the mines. Find a partner and go to opposite sides of the minefield. One player is blindfolded and the other verbally tells them how to go through the field. If a mine is blown up (touched) a ten second time penalty is added to their final time. You can do this alone or the whole group together. It makes for better listening!
Objective: to travel across a distance without laughing/ to make someone from the other team laugh Hagoo means come here in Tlingit Indians of Alaska.
Task: Two teams face each other, about 3 feet apart. Two players, one for each team, who stand at the opposite ends of the lines are challengers. They step forward and face each other down the length of the gauntlet. With a bow and the invitation Hagoo, they walk towards each other, breaking neither their eye contact nor their reserve. In the middle, they pass and continue to the end, determined to suppress their smile. The rest of the players may engage in any form of facial movements or noises but no touching. If you make it the whole length then you stay with your team. If you smile or laugh you join the other team. You play until everyone has done it or there is only one team.
Equipment: Length of rope about forty to fifty feet long
Concepts: Communication, cooperation
Objective: For the group to untie the knots without letting go of the rope
Task: Tie three simple slip through knots at about the quarter, half and three-quarter points. Instruct people to take hold of the rope with one hand, making sure that there are 2,3,4 people along each quarter of the rope. The task is then to untie the knots without letting go of the rope.
Objective: Collaboratively countdown to 0.
Task: Someone must start at the top of the numbers (if there are 10 in the group then the number is 10) and then someone else (not sitting next to that person) must say the next lower number. You must countdown to 1. Do not sit in a circle and there are no assigned numbers. The leader says countdown and someone starts with the highest number. If two people call the same number at the same time, the leader calls out Cancel the Launch, and they start over. If there is too long a pause in the countdown the leader can cancel the launch.
MOBIL TEE PEE
Equipment: Bell or gong, mats and stop watch
Objective: Form a human tee pee in 120 seconds and move it
Task: Give the ten people 120 seconds to build a human tee pee using all ten people. Next task is for the group to move the human tee pee from one point to another without breaking the tee pee formation. Have spotters.
Equipment: Ball of yarn, blindfolds
Concepts: Communication, cooperation
Objective: To form a circle while holding the yarn and blindfolded
Task: Have the players line up by their birthdays (month and date) starting with January. Put on a blindfold and give them the yarn and ask them to hold it and then as a group form a perfect circle. Take off the blindfolds when you think you have one.
THE SHRINKING SHIP
Equipment: 6-8 foot rope and stop watch
Concept: team building, cooperation
Objective: put everyone’s feet in the circle
Task: Make the perimeter of the circle large enough to guarantee success. Everyone’s feet must be inside of the circle in fifteen seconds. Once they have experienced success from the first round, ask them if they would be willing to make the circle smaller. Continue as long as the group is willing.
Equipment: Hula hoop, rope, ball and weight
Concepts: Tossing and catching skills, cooperation
Objective: toss the ball through the hoop and someone catches it.
Task: Hang a hoop and tie a weight at the bottom to steady it. Divide the group, with half going to opposite sides of the hoop. Have them toss the ball through the hoop and someone catch it on the other side. Do this until everyone has tossed and caught. Now the leader winds up the hoop so that it begins to spin. Begin the tossing and catching again. After a person has done the task they go to the end of the line on the other side of the hoop.
Equipment: two hula hoops
Concepts: cooperation, communication
Objective: group to walk across the space without dropping either hoop without using their hands.
Task: Use 6-9 people and divide them into 3 groups. The group at the center places their left leg inside one hula hoop, and right leg inside a second hoop. The side groups then connect to the opposite sides oh the hoops. The leader raises the hoops to knee level and tells them to put tension on it to hold it above the ground. They then have to walk across the assigned space without dropping either hoop. If the group drops the hoop, then have them return to the starting point and start again.
HULA HOOP PASS
Equipment: Hula hoop
Concepts: Cooperation, communication
Objective: Get the hoop around the circle of hand held people without letting go of hands
Task: Form a circle and all join hands. Put the hoop on the grasped hands of two players. See how fast you can pass the hoop around the people in the circle without letting go of hands. You can add another hoop and make it go the other way.
Objective: cooperation, communication
Object: Team must move across the field as quickly as possible.
Task: A minimum of one team members’ entire body must be off the ground at all times. The entire group must be connected at all times. No one is allowed to run. If the person or persons being carried touch the ground at all or team members become disconnected then the entire team is disqualified. Works best in large groups of 15-20
CROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE
Equipment: none except boundary lines
Concept: communication, cooperation
Objective: To cross the area without becoming detached.
Task: Players line up with sides of feet touching. Group has an area which everyone must get around or across without feet becoming detached. If their feet become detached, the group must begin again.
Equipment: Carpet squares for everyone, boundary lines
Concepts: Cooperation, communication
Objective: Line up by birthday and reverse the order by stepping on carpet squares.
Task: Each member gets one square. They may not touch the ground. The squares may not touch each other. Have the group line up by the order of their birthdays. They are to cross the area so they land on the other side in the reverse order. In crossing they may only step on the squares and the squares must not touch each other or they start over again. You may step on someone else’s square.
BODY PARTS MOVING
Equipment: record : Hap Palmer, Movin,
Concepts: Enhance body and spatial awareness, cooperation
Objective: In groups of three move through space attempting to follow challenge’s
Tasks: Move with: three feet touching the ground with hands on ankles Five body parts on the ground Some body parts at a medium level and some parts at a low level, All players on their side and connected to each other One person at a low level and two persons at a high level All players making a round and low shape, Lots of noise without using feet or mouths, All backs touching and very fast, Body parts being used so the group looks like a spider
Equipment: one hula hoop for each student
Concepts: Cooperation, awareness
Objective: To spin a hoop so it falls on the ground at the same time as our partner’s hoop.
Task: Pairs of students, each with a hoop, try to spin hoops with the same speed and force so the hoops fall on the ground and stop at the same time.
TELEPHONE NUMBER DANCE
Concepts: Cooperation, communication, creativity
Objective: To create a group dance based on a seven-digit telephone number.
Task: Students are divided into groups of 14 or 7 and given a 7 digit telephone number. Each pair of students within each group receives a telephone number digit and is responsible for creating movement to represent this digit. For example, 3 might be three arm circles. Each pair of students teaches its number movement to the rest of the group. After each group practice performing all seven-movements in sequence, they perform their dance for the rest of the class, and the class tries to guess the telephone number.
Objective: To form a knot by holding hands in a group and untie it
Task: To form the knot, stand in a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder, and place your hands in the center. Now everybody grab a couple of hands. Do not hold hands of the person standing next to you or the same hands of one person. Now untie it. You may have a leader point to one at a time to do something to untie or just do it as a group.
Equipment: marble or something equally small
Objective: Pass the marble without the “it” knowing who has it.
Task: Form a circle and put the “it” in the middle with their eyes closed. Give someone the marble and they start passing it from person to person. The best method of passing is to hold the marble in one fist, palm down, and drop it into the palm-up hand of the next person. Then s/he passes it from one fist to the other and on. The “it” tries to see who has the marble and taps the fist. If wrong they get to guess again. If right that person becomes the new “it”.
Equipment: Pair of 12-48inch wooden dowels or wands for each player
Concepts: rhythm, cooperation
Objective: develop a rhythmic pattern of tapping sticks to a chant or music
Task: Stand in a circle holding the stick vertically in front of you. Establish a rhythm and begin adding variations. Maintaining the rhythm, click your two sticks together every few beats. Then, between touching them to the ground, click one or both of them against your partner’s sticks or your neighbors’ on either side. Try various combinations of all these. You may begin tossing sticks through the air to each other in time with the rhythm.
Objective: to roll over bodies lying side by side and move as a group to a designated spot
Task: Everyone lies on their stomachs, side-by-side. Make sure you’re packed really closely together. Now have the person on the end roll over onto her/his neighbor and keep rolling down the road of bodies. When s/he gets to the end of the line, s/he lies on her/his stomach, and the next person at the other end starts rolling.
THE REVERSING PYRAMID
Objective: reverse the pyramid by moving only three people
Task: Divide your class into groups of 10 and ask those 10 people to arrange themselves into a 4-3-2-1 standing pyramid, like this Once pyramid ally arranged, ask that symmetrical group of 10 to reverse the apex and base of the pyramid (triangle) by moving only three people.
GIMME A LEG TO STAND ON
Equipment: mats and spotters
Objective: See how many anatomical contact points are necessary to support a group of 10-12 people off the floor.
Task: Get a group of 10-12 people on a mat and tell them to have as few as possible body parts touching the ground.
Objective: to gradually keep adding people to the group so that while holding hands, feet touching, starting in a seated position to stand upright together
Task: Start with two people facing one another so that the bottoms of their feet are opposed, knees bent, and grasping each other’s hands. From this position try to pull up to a standing position. Ask someone to join and keep doing it. To be successful you must: have hands grasped, feet in contact, and all buttocks are off the ground at about the same time.
Concepts: arm strength, cooperation
Objective: Try to get your entire group supported off the ground with only the participant’s hands touching the ground- hands only.
Task: You may just say the above directions or demonstrate having one person lie down on the ground as it to do a push-up. The second person lies face down, perpendicular to the first person, so that the tops of his/her feet are on top of the first person’s lower back. Each person does the same. On a signal, everyone does a push-up and, if done together, there will be four raised bodies, with only eight hands touching the ground.
HULA HOOP PASS
Equipment: Hula hoop attached to stances or poles of some kind or suspended from basketball goal
Objective: get everyone through the hoop without touching the hoop
Task: Having mats under you for protection, try to get the entire group through the hoop without touching it.
FLYING HOOP JUMP
Equipment: Climbing rope, 5 hoops, box or pile of mats 2-3 feet high
Objective: for all of the students to get into the hoops without stepping out or falling
Tasks: Have the group stand on a box or mats. A climbing rope is within grasping reach. Five hoops are placed 3-4 feet in front of the mat. The object is for all of the students to get into the hoops without stepping out or falling. Once they accomplish this, remove a hoop.
Equipment: Box of ice cream cones, or cardboard cones or cups, ball, ruler
Objective: Have the team create a tower as high as they can that will still allow a ball to pass underneath
Task: Using the cones or cups build a tower as high as you can but still allow a ball to pass underneath. Measure it with the ruler to see who has the highest.
Equipment: 2 scooters, rope, 2 rubber rings
Objective: team to cross the area without touching the floor
Task: Give the students the scooters and rope and rings and have them transport themselves across the river without touching the floor. If they do they have to go back.
Objective: To have everyone sitting on each other’s laps in a circle
Task: Have the students get in a circle all facing one direction. The object is for everyone to sit on the person’s lap behind them without the group falling. It works if everyone sits down at the same time, but that’s the part they need to figure out for themselves. Once they have figured out how to do it, you can see how long they can hold themselves there without falling, each time trying to beat their own time.
Equipment: one dowel rod for every 2 students. Dowel rods should be approximately 18 long and * -1 in diameter.
Objective: One will attempt to walk across the ladder held by their teammates
Task: Students should find a partner. Have each partner group hold a dowel rod between them at about waist high level. Each partner group should face each other
and stand shoulder to shoulder with another partner group. You can split the class up into small partner groups (3-5) or group the entire class together. The formation will appear as a ladder with students being the rails, and the dowel rods being the rungs. One student will then attempt to walk across the ladder. The walker should be instructed not to stay on any one rung for a long amount of time, but the walker also should not run. One variation on this is to have the pairs at the beginning of the ladder move to the end of the ladder as soon as their rung has been walked. This will make a never-ending ladder. Use mats and spotters.
Equipment: Clothesline, two volleyball standards and wall rings, mats
Objective: To travel through the web without waking the tarantulas
Task: The 3D spider web is made of clothes line, two volleyball standards and the wall rings attached to the wall. The two standards were approximately 5 feet apart and 6 feet from the wall. Attach the rope to the rings on the wall initially then out to each standard. The web is obviously in a triangular formation which gives it the 3D effect. Place mats on the floor and hang spiders from the web using fishing line. Every member of the group has to travel through a 3 dimensional spider web without waking the sleeping tarantulas. All members must successfully cross through in order to complete the task. If any person wakes the spider, the whole group must start over.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
Equipment: trapezoid (or folded mat), 2 pillow polo sticks (or plungers), 30 white wiffle balls (or any small ball)
Objective: To travel across the white water without tipping over or touching the floor
Task: The water is rougher than a normal river. Your group has to travel on the raft (mat), using oars (plungers or polo sticks), on the white water (balls) underneath the raft. The key is keeping the balls underneath the raft at all times. As the balls roll out the back, they need to be gathered and passed to the front of the raft.
TUG OF PEACE
Equipment: tug-of-war rope
Objective: All holding the rope, two teams facing each other, and balanced
Task: Two teams are arranged as if they are going to play tug-of-war, but they try to achieve a static balance with the rope instead. All players try to lean back far enough so that they are out of balance, but the two teams stay balanced.
Equipment: Cage ball
Concept: Cooperation and teamwork
Objective: Avoid being touched by the cage ball
Task: The players are divided into two teams with one team having two-thirds of the players. The team with two-thirds of the players evenly spreads apart (5-7 feet) forming a large circle. The team with one-third of the players forms a smaller inner circle spaced approximately 4 feet away from the outer larger circle. The cage ball is approximately 4 feet away from the outer larger circle. The cage ball is placed in the Comet’s Path . A player is selected and placed approximately 8-10 feet in front of the cage ball. On the teacher’s command, the player begins running and the rest of the players start moving the cage ball and try to catch the running player.
SUGGESTIONS: Rotate the players from the inside circle to the outside circle. Rotate runners. Reverse the game by having the runner attempt to catch the cage ball. Have the students try the game in a kneeling position.
Equipment: A small container with about 20 to 40 cards, each with a body-part word or action written on it, one word or phrase per card (examples: nose,
elbow, twirl, knees, shout, jump, clap, skip, crab walk, karate kick, hip, jog, hands, etc.)
Objective: Come up with their own personalized Secret Handshake using the three actions or body parts
Task: Have one child in the class reach into the small container containing the different phrases or words. The child pulls out three cards to be included in the Secret Handshake. The activity cards have one body part or motion on them. For instance, one card might say hands, and another crab walk, and another karate kick. The students are then paired up and given a few minutes to come up with their own personalized Secret Handshake using the three actions or body parts-put into any order—which were chosen at the beginning of the activity. The partners should be able to repeat their handshake at least three times with it looking the same each time. At the end of a few minutes, have half of the class show off their handshake to the other half, then repeat so all students have had the chance to show their handshake.
THROW AND GO
Equipment: Hula hoop per set of students, a different throwing object in each hoop (es. Nerf balls, tennis balls, foam dice, deck rings, footballs, bean bags, etc.)
Concept: Cooperation, throwing and catching, teamwork
Objective: Throw and catch with a partner
Task: Line the hula hoops in a straight line with 1 throwing object in each hoop. Have students get back-to-back with a partner, then get on each side of the hoops.
On Go students throw object back and forth to each other until the whistle (or music stops). On the whistle, each set shifts to the left leaving the last set on the left to run to the first hoop which is now empty. If the running set of partners gets to the first hoop and all the throwing objects are in their respective hoop before 10 seconds the class gets a point, if not the teacher gets the point.
DON’T TOUCH ME
Equipment: Eight inch spot for 5-16 people, or a cone for 18-26 people, or a hula hoop for larger groups, stopwatch
Concept: Cooperation and communication
Objective: For everyone to touch the object in the middle and switch places with his partner as fast as possible without touching anyone.
Task: Place the spot, cone, or hoop on the ground in the center of the circle of people. Pick a partner from across the circle. Each person should have his/her own partner. The object of this game is for everyone to touch the spot and switch places with their partner as quickly as possible without touching anyone in the process. While you are in motion, say Don’t touch me! like you mean it until you have reached your partner’s position. Time the overall time it takes the group to accomplish the task. Each time someone touches someone else, one second is added to the group’s overall time.
Variation: round one as in above,.
Round two: each person finds another spot across the circle, once found look down at the floor, repeat the crossing without a touch and without looking up.
Round three: each person finds another spot, they also pick someone standing across from them, this time when they cross they need to walk up to their selected person and greet them, don’t touch anyone else.
Round four: place a hula hoop or small circle on the ground in the center of the circled group. Round four is timed. Each person finds a spot across the circle.
This time on the signal the group must switch sides without touching and each person must step in the hula hoop as they cross. There is a five second penalty for each touch. After the group has tried once, determine their first try time. Allow the group time to problem solve and come up with their plan to better their time.
ANOTHER SUGGESTED ROUND: have the participants pick a spot, put their hands up in front of them for bumpers and then close their eyes. Try to cross without any touches. Allow the group to problem solve and come up with a plan.
Equipment: Ten foot rope, 30-50 foot rope which is a different type from the 10 foot rope
Objective: Team ties an overhand knot at the secured end of a long rope without touching the secured end.
Task: Tie the two ropes securely together to make a longer rope. Tie the other end of the shorter rope to a stationary object such as a column, doorway or post. Start the activity asking, How many people know how to tie a simple overhand knot? Ask everyone in the group to line up and grab the long rope with one hand. No one should be holding the shorter rope that is attached to the longer rope and secured at the end. The goal of the group is to tie a simple overhand knot in the short rope without touching the short rope in the process. The leader should be able to easily identify the knot when you are done. Everyone can slide along the long rope, but cannot let go of it or trade places with anyone in the line. The short rope cannot be touched. The long and short ropes cannot be untied.
One solution strategy: The whole team should slide toward the loose end of the long rope to create some unoccupied space on the long rope. The person closest to the short and long rope connection forms a loop in the excess long rope and steps through the loop. The rest of the group will also have to step through he loop just like the first person. When everyone is through, the team should have a loosely tied overhand knot. The team can maneuver the loose knot toward the short rope and pull it tight in the short rope with a little work. Most teams seem to send the person at the loose end of the long rope around the group to form the knot. That strategy will work, but may be more confusing.
FING FONG FOOEY
Concept: Math skills
Objective: Creates a way for a group to decide who will do or get something.
Task: The activity starts off like the Rock, Paper, Scissors game except that each person will hold out 1,2,or 3 fingers after the count. With everyone in a circle, count off (fists striding open hands) fing, fong, fooey and end with everyone’s fingers pointing showing their choice of 1,2,or 3. Add the number of fingers exposed. Then, starting with yourself, count each person around the circle until you reach the total number fingers counted. The last person counted is it. For example: You have five people in a group and all together you say fing, fong, fooey. Add the number of fingers showing (let’s say it’s 10) then count each person around the circle until you reach 10. In this case, the person right next to you is it .
GIANT TEXAS LIZARD EGG
Equipment: 1 bowling ball, at least one 3-6 foot rope per participant, milk crate or canvass bag.
Objective: Move a bowling ball across the floor and into a basket using ropes.
Task: You have found yourselves in the middle of a crisis. An egg from a giant Texas lizard has rolled from its nest and needs to be replaced before the mother returns. Unfortunately, the shell of the lizard egg has properties of the adult lizard’s tail: it emits a sweet odor but is highly toxic. Fortunately for you, a game warden has left some specially treated ropes nearby for just such an incident. The ropes have been treated with radiation to eliminate the possibility of a premature hatching. The radiation is at tolerable levels, however, over-exposure causes instant and terrible side effects such as blindness, muteness, or confusion. Over-exposure occurs when a person touches his own rope with more than one hand. Somehow you must discover a way to move the egg, without breaking it, back into its nest before the mother returns. Be sure not to contact the egg with anything but the treated ropes. Don’t over-expose yourselves…. And don’t even try moving that nest. Giant Texas lizards are especially sensitive to movement of their nests.
RADIATION CONTAMINATED MATERIAL
Equipment: Strings, large elastic band, pin or styrofoam cylinder, crate or box
Concept: Cooperation and communication
Objective: Move the contaminated material to the box without touching it and only using the string and elastic band
Task: Get 8 people and have 4 hold the strings, while facing each other, equally distanced from each other. The stings are attached to and elastic band. The four that are holding the strings should close their eyes or have blindfolds. The other 4 get a partner of the string holders and act as their eyes. The pin is in the middle of the 4 people with the strings. Pull on the strings and the elastic will open so you can put it over the pin and pick it up to bring it to the box. Each non-blindfolded person is telling their partner how much to pull and which way to go.
Equipment: I inexpensive quarter-round sticks (the wooden or plastic trim sticks that are used to cover the edges of wall corners). Any hardware store will have a selection. Buy the cheapest the store has. The simulated wood is best because it bends instead of breaking. A steel ball, or marble and a stop watch.
Objective: Roll a ball from person to person as quickly as possible without dropping it.
Task: Everyone stands in a circle, and has a gutter. (You can pair up and share a gutter.) Use the gutters you have to transport this ball from the first person to the next all the way around and then back to the first person. Now that you have the feel for the task, try to send the ball through the process as fast as you can, beginning and ending on the first person’s gutter. This time there will be a few constraints for solving the problem. No one’s gutter can be skipped. Gutters cannot touch each other. Gutter per person method-your own pinkies must be touching each other all the time. Gutter per pair method- Each person must choose one end of the gutter to hold and hold it within three inches of the end. People cannot touch the ball as it travels from beginning, through the process and back to the beginning. If the ball falls from a gutter, the process must be restarted.
Equipment: one 30-40 foot rope. A retired climbing rope works well.
Objective: Use a rope to form a house.
Task: Ask the group to pick up the rope. Tell them they can slide their hands along the rope, but they can’t let go and /or trade places in the line. Their task is to form a house or an envelope, whichever they prefer, without the rope doubling back on itself. You may need to provide a sketch of the end product for them to see.
(Page 79, Zircon Gorilla)
Equipment: rope for start or finish line (optional), Polaroid camera (optional)
Objective: Everyone on a team crosses a finish line at exactly the same time.
Task: Everyone must start behind he starting line and go toward the finish line and cross the finish line at exactly the same time. If someone finishes before or after anyone else, the whole team tries again from behind the starting line. The team has an unlimited number of tries.
Equipment: a roll of very inexpensive plastic wrap cut to four inches wide.
Objective: A group moves from one side of a room to another as fast as they can as a unit wrapped by plastic wrap.
Task: The group gathers in a tight clump, shoulder to shoulder. Take the four inch wide roll of plastic wrap and begin wrapping it around the whole group at about waist height. Make about 5 rounds while emphasizing to the group that they should not break the band holding them together and they should not take it off the group. Once they are wrapped up, ask them how fast they think they can get from one side of the room and touch the other side of the room. When they have guessed, time their travel and celebrate the effort regardless. Ask them if they could travel the same distance in a shorter time. Yes is almost always immediately the reply. Time them again when they have problem solved enough. Ask everyone to move to the center of the room and back away from the center of the circle until the band breaks or they just can’t move back anymore. When you use good stretchy plastic wrap, the circle often stretches 30 feet in diameter or more and people see that they just had to stretch their boundaries to accomplish their goal.
Equipment: three portable zigzag boards, at least fourteen 8 * inch rubber or carpet spots. Each of the three zig zag boards consists of a long 2x 4 board, two eight-inch 2×4 boards, two eight inch in diameter circular boards, and a four-inch 2×4 and with a four-inch piece of board from the same type of wood as the circles. All the pieces are fastened together with dry wall screws. Each long 2×4 board is a different length.
Objective: Team uses the zig-zag boards to travel from point A to point B on the spots without touching the ground.
Task: Place spots on the floor at intervals that will exactly match your beams. A bit of masking tape under each spot will help it stay in place. The spots will be placed in pairs, side-by-side, except for the single spot at the beginning and the end. A pattern of long-short-medium-long-medium-short-medium (14 spots) works well in most spaces and gives the activity a variety of dynamics such as planning, space issues, individualism vs teamwork, etc. Feel free to place the spots around corners to increase the communication difficulty and make the end of the journey a surprise. The team members cannot touch the ground and the teams cannot touch the ground. The spots protect the beam pads from the ground, but the stationery spots cannot be touched by the participants. Spots cannot be moved. The whole team must cross from here to there maintaining physical contact the whole way.
Equipment: 40-50 foot rope tied to itself to form a large circle
Objective: The whole group creates a five pointed star (the kind that crisscrosses in the middle) with a circle of rope.
Task: Everyone in the group grabs the rope and gets into a circle. Inform everyone that they cannot let go of the rope or trade places with the people next to them to accomplish this challenging task (although they can slide along the rope). The goal of this activity is for the whole group to create a five pointed star with the rope (the kind that crisscrosses in the middle). Once they think the task is complete, ask them to slowly lower the star to the ground and step back to admire their work.
Equipment: none (blindfolds)
Objective: The participants are asked to form their animal groups without talking
Task: A great activity to form small groups (stress safety). Each participant is privately assigned an animal, if four groups are needed * of the group would be assigned dog, * of the group cow, * frog and * cat. Once all have been assigned an animal the group is blindfolded or asked to close their eyes, hands up for bumpers. The participants are asked to form their animal groups without talking, they can only make the proper animal noise to locate the others in their group.
DIMINISHING LOAD PROBLEM
Objective: To get all participants across this void
Task: A line is drawn as a boundary or start in front of the group. A second line is drawn 15-20 yards away, the finish. Each line goes on for infinity therefore it is impossible to go around the void between the start and finish . The object is to get all participants across this void. Anyone that touches the ground must return to the start. The only person to walk across and stay is the last. Do this in the least amount of trips.
FOUR QUAD (FORK WAD)
Equipment: two ropes (stretch cord works well), enough colored balls so that each participant will have two and the balls will be of four different colors
(colored paper rolled into balls and taped will do), bag, stop watch
Concept: Cooperation, tossing and catching skills
Objective: See how long it takes the group to separate the balls by color into the four grids.
Task: Split the group into four equal subgroups. Each group is assigned a square, the squares are arranged similar to a four square court with no outside boundaries. Four volunteers hold up two ropes tightly separating the four groups approximately chin height. Each participant is asked to take two balls out of a bag without regard for the color.
The problem: on the instructors signal the objective is to see how long it takes the group to separate the balls by color into the four grids. The rules: the balls must be exchanged by a toss over the dividing line, the balls may only be held by the hands (no underarm stuffing), each dropped ball is a five second penalty and remains on the ground for a final count, each touch of the dividing line is a ten second penalty.
READY AIM FIRE
Equipment: two soft balls (nerf balls, rolled paper balls, sock balls) per pair, pins
Concept: Cooperation, communication, tossing
Objective: Knock down all the pins
Task: Have the group get into pairs which ever way you prefer. Designate one partner as the launcher and one as the weapons guidance system. The launcher is equipped with two soft objects. The launcher is also blind folded )or eyes closed). On the signal, the weapons guidance directs their launcher into position to fire on any pin. Once the launcher has been readied and aimed the guidance announces fire and a missile is launched. Once the launcher has fired both missiles the guidance system must direct their launcher to retrieve any discarded missiles and continue to launch.
Rules: each launch must be from the chest out, no over arm throws, the guidance system may not touch the launcher or the missiles. After the allotted time cease fire and compare pins. Switch roles and play again.
Equipment: Frisbee or disc with 10-15 eight foot ropes connected around its rim, a 2 liter soda bottle and a start and finish area designated
Objective: to lift the bottle (nuclear safe area) with the disc using only the ropes and transfer it to the finish area (nuclear safe area).
Task: 8 students hold onto the ends of the ropes and attempt to transfer the bottle to the finish line. If the bottle falls the group starts again.
Equipment: 1 mat per group
Objective: To walk on hands and knees together with the turtle shell on your backs
Task: A group of about 7 or8 children get on their hands and knees under a large turtle shell and try to make the turtle move in one direction. Younger kids lay down
first and need to be given extra directions about working together. The older ones can try to get the turtle to go over a mountain (bench) or through an obstacle
course without losing the shell.
Objective: Get the snake to be connected to everyone in the class, roll over and curl up and sleep
Task: The children start by stretching out on their stomachs and holding the ankles of the person in front of them to make a two-people snake that slithers across the floor on its belly. They soon connect up for a four-people snake, and eight-people snake, and so on, until the whole group is on Big Snake. At various lengths, the children like to see if they can turn the whole snake over on its back without its coming apart. The snake can also go over mountains, through holes, or up trees, or may curl up and go to sleep. I takes a coordinated snake to do these last two feats.
CATERPILLAR OVER THE MOUNTAIN
Equipment: mat, bench
Objective: To crawl on hands and knees while holding the ankles of those in front of you and crawl over the mountain
Task: First the children work together either to construct a mountain or to move it into place. The mountain can consist of a bench, large play blocks, or anything else that appeals to them. Once the children have helped move the mountain they again work together to put the grass on top of the mountain. A mat draped over the mountain makes good grass. To form the caterpillar, the children line up on their hands and knees, and hold the ankles of the child in front of them. Four children can form one sixteen-legged caterpillar, which moves around the room and over the mountain. Caterpillars can link up with other caterpillars until one giant caterpillar is formed, which crawls over the mountain and slides down the other side. A whole-class caterpillar may need more than one mountain to crawl over. Caterpillars can also coil up or crawl into a cocoon.
Equipment: 13 inch tire or a heavy-duty box, several mats
Objective: Get the entire group on the rock (or off the floor) for a slow count of five.
Task: All group members must balance on the rock (or be off the floor) for a slow count of five. The group needs to find a way to help each other maintain balance; that could mean group members will experience close encounters with one another. Place the rock in the middle of the mat away from walls. All group members must be off the floor (mat) and on the rock. All group members do not have to be touching the rock as long as they are off the floor. Once you have been on the rock, touching the floor (or mat) for even an instant means the group must start over with no one on the rock. No last names or put-down may be used.
Equipment: a tug-of-war rope
Objective: The group members create the shape with the rope and they must cover the rope with their bodies.
Task: The group is given a list of shapes such as numbers, letters, names, words, or designs. The challenge is mastered when the group completes the number of shapes assigned. Make the shape using a tug-of-war rope. All group members bust lie on the rope. The tug-of-war rope must be completely covered by group members. The group must have each shape approved by the teacher before beginning another shape. No last names or put-downs. *CJ two sections. You must go back if a rule is broken.
THE POWER LINE
Equipment: Horizontal bar set not higher than the tallest group member. (The bar can be half of an even or uneven parallel bar system or a rope strung between
two standards.) mats, large crash mat for landing, 8-foot two-by-four board.
Objective: Group members try to cross over a horizontal bar while standing on a board lifted by group members
Task: No group member may touch the Power Line. The board may not touch the Power Line. Group members who have crossed over the Power Line may not touch the floor on the beginning side of the Power Line nor reach under the bar to assist a teammate. All group members must remain on the floor mats except when going over the Power Line. If any rule is broken, the person making the mistake and one who has crossed the bar must return to the starting line
THE ELECTRIC FENCE
Equipment: High balance beam, mats, net and two standards or poles
Objective: All group members must successfully cross under the fence and stand on the exit ma on the beam.
Task: The students must begin the task by getting on top of the balance beam. The students, may not touch the floor or mats between the entry and exit mats. Group members must go under the net without touching it. The students must get back on the topside of the beam before getting off the beam. Once a student gets off the beam and onto the exit mat s/he may not get back onto the beam. Only people on the beam may help group members hanging under the beam. Any broken rule requires the person making the mistake and one who has crossed the beam to start over.
THE GRAND CANYON
Equipment: Climbing rope, vaulting box (or four folded mats stacked upon one another), and mats placed around for safety
Objective: All group members cross the Grand Canyon and are standing on the opposite canyon rim.
Task: The Grand Canyon is the area between the starting line and the vaulting box. If any member of the group touches the floor anywhere in the Grand Canyon, a student who has successful crossed the canyon and the person who touched the floor must start over. If a group member falls or jumps off the vaulting box, that person and one other person must start over. The students swing over the Grand Canyon and onto the vaulting box. The group needs to help one another get onto both the rope and the vaulting box.
THE WHOLE WORLD IN THEIR HANDS
Equipment: cage ball, two tires or hula hoops
Objective: Move the cage ball from one tire to the other without touching it with hands or arms and the ball not touching the floor
Task: Choose an open working space. Group members start by sitting around the cage ball in a crab walk position. The may sit on the floor. During the challenge, they may move to other positions. The cage ball cannot touch the floor. The cage ball cannot touch the hands or arms of any group member. If a rule is broken, the ball must be returned to tire 1 and the group must begin the task again. No last names or put downs.
Equipment: Large folding 12″ landing mat standing on end and mats to lay under the12″ landing mat.
Objective: The entire group has to cross over the wall
Task: The12″ landing mat may not fall over. Students may not grasp crash pad handles or ropes holding the crash mat together. Students may not step over the line dividing the mats
Leader Hunt. Leaders go hide, young people have to go find the leaders and get each one to sign next to their name on a piece of paper that each person or team (depending) receives at the start. First person to get all signatures wins.
Giant Pictionary. In groups the young people have to use their bodies get into shapes that are called out. E.g. Tree, car and house.
Simon Says. Young people follow the leaders actions. The leader says, “Simon says do this” and then they do an action. But when the leader says, “that” instead of, “this” then the people who follow the action sit down.
Pirates. The hall is divided into parts. One person shouts commands and the young people have to follow the commands. Commands like, “north, south, east, west, man overboard, shark attack, scrub the deck” and whatever else fits. The last person to do the action is out.
Coke Bubble Blow:
Props: 2 buckets or bowls, 2 500ml bottles of coke and 8 straws
Participants: 3 kids per team
Playing: On the word “Go”! One player per team runs up to the front with their straw sticks it into the bottle, blows really hard until the coke fizzes up and overflows. Allow the kid 5 secs before you shout “CHANGE” the kid runs back tags the next person in their team who does the same. The winning team is the team with the least amount of coke left in the bottle at the end.
Sticky Jam Nose:
Props: jam, cotton balls, 2 paper bowls
Participants: 4 kids per team
Preparation: fill 2 bowls with cotton balls, 6 per team. Put jam on the players noses and have them line up at the back in their teams.
Playing: On the word “Go” the first player runs up, leader sticks a cotton ball on their nose. Without using their hands, the most get the cotton ball to fall off their nose, team captain will stick the cotton ball in their team bowl. Once they have done it, they run back tag the next person who does the same. The winning team is the team with the most amount of cotton balls in their bowl at the end
Props: Bag of cotton balls, disposable wipes and jam.
Participants: 5 kids per team
Preparation: Fill two bowls with cotton balls. One person from each team has to be the wiseman. Stand on the stage and have jam smeared on their cheeks & chin.
Playing: On the word “Go”! The first player runs up gets a cotton ball from the leader and sticks it to their team mates face, then runs back tags the next person who does the same. The winning team is the team with the most cotton balls on the wiseman’s beard at the end.
Aye Aye Captain:
How to play: You will be the Captain and the kids are the crew on your ship. You will shout out different orders and your “crew” need to do exactly what you say.
If any kid doesn’t follow the instructions, or is the last kid to complete the order, they are automatically out. You will need to demonstrate all of the actions before you start the game so the kids are clear on what they need to do. Once you’ve played a couple of rounds of the game you can let the kids take turns in being the Captain.
To the ship: run to the captain’s right
To the island: run to the captain’s left
Hit the deck: lay down on your stomach
Attention on deck: salute and yell, “Aye, aye captain!”
Three men in a boat: the crew must form groups of three and sing “Row, row, row your boat” Anybody who is not in a group of three is out.
Scrub the deck: everyone on their knees scrubbing
Sick turtle: Everyone falls onto their backs and waves hands and feet in the air.
Clear the deck: everyone must have their feet up off the floor
Captain’s Quarters: everyone ran towards the captain.
Periscope: Every player falls on their back and sticks one leg in the air. The last ones are eliminated.
SHARK: Everyone must run to a designated base. The last player to the base is eliminated.
How to play: Get your small group to sit in a circle and you choose a detective. The detective goes outside (or just turns their back to the group) whilst you choose the murderer. Then the detective can join the group again and stand in the middle of the circle. When the murderer winks at someone in the group they must die dramatically and stay dead! The murder continues to kill people and the detective has three guesses to work out who the murderer is.
You can play several rounds of this game and increase the number of murderers/detectives as the game goes on.
Get all your kids to stand up in a circle, one leader walks round the circle, taps each child on the head and gives them the name of a fruit, apple, orange or banana. Once everyone knows what fruit they are you’re ready to plan. If the leader shouts “apple” all the “apples” run around the outside of the circle clockwise back to their place. The last person to get back to their spot is out. You can play as many rounds as you like. You can also call out two fruits at a time to make the game more challenging.
Zip, Zap, Zop:
Start the game by pointing at someone in the circle and saying, “Zip”. Then that person must straight away point to someone else in the group and say, “Zap”. That person must then immediately point to someone else and say “Zop.” Then you they point to someone else and say, “zip”, and you follow the same pattern. If anyone hesitates or says the wrong word they are out.
Get everyone to stand up. The leader will shout out a number and an item and the kids have to make it with their bodies. E.g. if the leader shouts 2 elephant, the kids have to get into two’s and make the shape of an elephant.
6 table & chairs
2 basketball net
Items needed: Balloons, permanent or whiteboard markers
Before the game: Divide the kids into teams minimum 5 players per team then blow up the balloons so you have enough to give each team 1. Ask the kids to line up at one end of the room and the leaders stand at the other end of the room holding the balloons. Give each team a marker.
Aim of the game: Each team needs to draw a face onto their balloon including the following features: eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes nose, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, freckles, beard or moustache.
Playing the game: When you say “Go” the first person from each team runs to the front and draws one feature onto their face then runs back and tags the next person who does the same. Each player is only allowed to draw one feature on their turn e.g. one lip or one tooth or one eyelash etc.
The winning team is the team with the best balloon face at the end of the game.
Items needed: balloons.
Before the game: Divide the kids into teams (minimum of six per team or a maximum of 10). Blow up enough balloons that you give two different coloured balloons to each team. Get the teams to line up in a line. You can play multiple rounds of this game.
Round 1: Overhead: Pass the balloon over your head to the person in front who does the same all the way down the line and back again. The first team to get both their balloons down the line back to the start wins. If the balloon is dropped it has to go back to the start.
Round 2: No Hands: Place the balloon in between your elbows and pass it to the next person who needs to grab it only using their elbows, they pass it to the next person and so on all the way down the line and back again. If the kids hold the balloon with their hands or drop it the balloon has to go back to the start.
Round 3: One Hand: Pass the balloon to the person in front of you only using one hand, all the way down the line and back again. If the kids touch the balloon with both hands or drop it, the balloon has to go back to the start.
Round 4: Feet: Everyone sits on the floor in their line. The first person in the line places the balloon in between their feet and pass it to the next person who grabs it with their feet and passes it all the way down the line and back to the front. Only feet can be used, if the kids touch it with their hands or drop it, the balloon has to go back to the start.
Paper jet competition:
Items needed: A4 paper
Give each kid a sheet of A4 paper to make a paper aeroplane and give them a chance to colour it in and decorate if they want. When everyone is ready get the kids to line up and throw their paper aeroplane. The aeroplane that goes the furthest wins.
Playing: Choose 2-4 players to be throwers. They stand on the outside of the playing area and are not allowed in the square. Everyone else can only be in the square. The game starts when the leader shouts ‘Dodge ball’.
The goal for the players on the outside is to throw the ball underarm and hit the players on the inside of the square. No overarm throwing and only hits below the waist count.
If a player is hit they must come out of the square and join the throwing team. As the game continues the throwing team increases and the team in the square decreases. The game ends with the last man standing. You can play multiple rounds if you have the time.
Kids can go a little crazy with this one so be firm on throwing underarm and only below the waist.
Be aware of players in the square pushing others and grabbing others as shields.
You could start the first round with only leaders throwing.
Leaders must play! There is nothing better than being allowed to throw things at your leader
Items needed: chairs
Before the game:
Set up chairs in a tight circle (one for each player)
Playing: Choose one kid (or leader) to stand in the middle of the circle so that there is one free chair. This player’s goal is to sit on a free chair. The players sitting down need to shuffle clockwise from chair to chair preventing the player in the middle from sitting down. If the player manages to find a chair the player sitting to their right must then stand in the middle. Play as many rounds as you have tie for.
Items needed: Two chairs. ball
Before the game: Divide the group into two teams. Place a chair at each end of the room. One person from each team needs to stand on the chair to be the goalkeeper for their team. Everyone else spreads out anywhere on their half of the room.
Playing: The leader throws the ball into the centre of the room, and any player can try to gain possession. The aim of the game is to score goals by passing the ball around your team in order to pass it back to your goalkeeper on the bench. Each team has to make FIVE PASSES before getting the ball to their keeper. There must be no more or no less than FIVE PASSES made in order to score a goal. If the ball is dropped or the opposition gain possession, then you start again. When a goal is scored the opposition restarts by throwing the ball in from the goal line (behind the chair where the goal was scored). If the ball is knocked out of the court by one team, then the other team gets to throw in from behind the sideline.