That Person Over There made it's debut as a no-prop activity in, The Empty Bag (Hammond & Cavert, 2003 - Find it Here). I added Chiji Processing Cards (shown above) to the next version for the activity in The Chiji Guidebook. In this first Chiji version of That Person Over There, everyone picks a card that represents a characteristic of themselves (e.g., for me I could pick the Turtle card and say I'm self sufficient). As the cards are exchanged, people are sharing the characteristic of the person that belongs to the card they are holding. Sharing one characteristic with others is fairly (but not always) easy to remember - so a pretty easy challenge.. In the newest variation I ask my participants to share a bit more about themselves in order to take the learning a little deeper.
That Person Over There: Stories I ask my participants to choose a Chiji image card (all the cards are spread out on a table or on the floor) that reminds them of an uplifting/happy story in their lives - a story they would be willing to share with someone else. When everyone has a card (with a story in mind) I ask them to find another person in the room and share their story (if they need someone to share with just tell them to raise a hand up and look for someone else doing the same thing - get together and share).
After each person shares their story with their partner the two switch cards. Each one then goes off to find someone else to talk with. When they meet up with a different person they will be sharing the story of the card they are holding and pointing out the person the card (story) belongs to. For example, if I have Katie's card I say, "This card belongs to Katie, she's over there (I point to Katie), the one in the blue shirt. She chose this card with a present on it because she loved Christmas time as a child - and still does." Then. my partner would do the same - point out the person who belongs to her card and then share the story. After we both share we exchange cards and go off to share the new story we are holding.
As I'm sure you can surmise, this activity is like the game Telephone. Messages have a tendency to change the more they are passed along. So, after about three minutes of exchanging stories I ask everyone to stop. Then, go find the person that is connected to the card in their possession. Have them tell the story they know about the card and find out how accurate it ends up. If there are some inaccuracies the true story can be shared between pairs. Everyone is asked to circle up after they get their card/story, back.
Powerful Lesson I'm sure it's obvious to you what major lesson can be drawn from information that changes as it's passed from person-to-person (e.g., gossip) - basically, you might not be able to believe all that you hear because of this dynamic. For me, there is a more powerful lesson from this direct experience. I end up asking the question, "Did anyone check with the person that told the original story about a card you received?" Everyone was milling around in close proximity to each other. It would be easy to check with anyone in the group. So, why didn't we do this? (And, why don't we do this in our everyday lives?) I've had some great conversations around this question in the recent past. It seems to boil down to, "We don't think about asking the person." Why is that? And, what do we want to do about this situation?
Note: Many of you know I'm partial to Chiji Cards, but any image cards can work, even pictures cut out of magazines. My next favorite sets of images are on the Climer Cards.
Let me know how this one goes for you!
All the best,
If you're reading this post it's probably a safe bet that you've been a part of, or have lead, a Human Knot activity. So far, the earliest version I've seen in print is from The New Games Foundation's book The New Games Book (1976) - it's simply called: Knot. (Here is a really awesome history of The New Games Foundation - if you're into the origin stuff.)
My favorite way to run the "Knot" involves noodles (go figure). I can comfortably get 14 players in the mix and the colorful props seem to invite engagement (and the players are not in anyone's pits - if you know what I mean). Recently, I also learned how to set up the Knot so my group(s) will always end up in ONE circle (random connections with players can result in a few different solutions). Here's how I set it up:
Noodle Knot Into One Circle
Other Knot (with Objects) Variations I've Tried
Share your favorite Knot variations in the comments below! Thanks!
Have FUN out there.
P.S. Did you know about the books 50 Ways to Use Your Noodle: Loads of Land Games with Foam Noodle Toys, and 50 More Ways to Use Your Noodle: Loads of Land and Water Games with Foam Noodle Toys? From yours truly (Chris Cavert) and the one and only Sam Sikes. Get your copies from DoingWorks.
Ever since my first workshop with Jim Cain (I have to say, "back in the day") I've been growing my collecting of ponderables for The Big Question ice breaker. I just love talking to people, asking them questions and getting to learn more about what they think. I still remember thinking how good Jim's questions were - they really got us talking.
Well, recently, Jim launched his latest back-pocket book. The International Edition of Teamwork & Teamplay. It includes (in it's 4.5 by 6 inch portable size), 50 "team" activities that are each briefly described in 16 different languages and then detailed out in English. Included in this collect is The Big Question (the reason for my trip down memory lane).
Find your copy today on Amazon. In this new book Jim references his Teamwork & Teamplay Cards. With this oversized deck of cards you can run over a dozen activities - Jim's collection of 52 BIG questions are included on the faces of the cards. (And, you guessed it, you can use T&T Cards as a standard deck of playing cards. To those of you on the FUN Followers list, Box Cards from FUNdoing Fridays (April 8th) is enhanced with the oversized cards.) Find your Teamwork & Teamplay Cards here.
Below are some of Jim's questions (from his new book) and some of mine that I've used (collected) over the years.
PLAY: I simply ask my participants to stand back-to-back with someone else. When everyone is paired up I ask everyone to turn around and say hello to their partner. Then, I shout out a BIG Question from my list and ask everyone to share their answers with their partners. After sufficient time I call out, "Back-to-back with someone new!" When everyone is paired up again I repeat the process. Usually six or seven questions keeps the interest going. Then it's off to the next activity...
Questions from Jim:
Questions from Chris:
Make the Questions Mobile Take a screen capture of these questions and send it to your mobile device, then crop the questions out and have them close by for easy access. (Or, Join the FUN E-List before April 15th and you'll receive a downloadable PDF of the questions to send to your mobile device.)
What are your favorite questions to ask participants? Share them with us in the comments below.
Have FUN out there.
Table Top Ricochet (TTR) first made its debut in The More The Merrier. It comes from the creative mind of Sam Sikes. Like me (as of late), he needed activities that could be done indoors or outdoors in particular settings (e.g., a room full of tables or natural outdoor settings with limited solid surfaces). So, with his understanding of, "The World of Ricochet" TTR was born.
I've been using this activity a lot lately for programs of a competitive nature - small teams competing against each other during their company "teambuilding outing" (I find it interesting how people view team building in their different settings - but that's another topic for another post). Participants are loving TTR. It's fast-paced, unpredictable, and exciting. In the hopes of rejuvenating the Ricochet spirit I want to "reprise" TTR here as a digital record of the fun. (For more Ricochet fun and to find out about the "Record Books" activities in The World of Ricochet, visit the page through the link.)
First you're going to need some Ricochet Balls. Here are my go-to resources at the time of this post:
For lots of good play time you'll want one ricochet ball (R-ball) for every 3 to 6 players.
GAME PLAY: Table-Top Ricochet
Form teams of 3 to 6 participants. Give each team one R-ball. If you are playing around tables, have each team circle up around a table. If you are outdoors (without tables), each team will be asked to "go out" and find the solid surface they will want to play their game off of after the directions are given. (In the videos below there is a team around a table - indoors - and a team around a bench - outdoors.)
Games can get pretty energetic so be sure all teams have enough room between each other to move around safely. And, be sure the area of play is safe enough to move around without dangerous obstacles. The stakes of the game play should not be more important than the safety of the players! (But you knew that.)
Be sure to check out The World of Ricochet page here at FUNdoing for more games with the Odd Ball!! And, there are games with World Records (serious!!) that can be fun to surpass during your summer (or anytime) programming. I'd love to see those long-standing records get broken - and some games don't even have records yet. Be the first on the board!
Here are a couple of videos to give you the idea of TTR play! (NOTE: The players using the bench in the second video are playing a variation with multiple bounces - each bounce is a point.)
Have fun out there......
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.