"Make Dice" is a fun app (iPhone, iPad & iPod touch) for adventure educators - especially if you have access to, or bring mobile i-devices with you to a program. If the environment is safe and clean (e.g., being indoors or having access to a clean shelter at the end of a program), and I am working with a smaller group I bring out my iPhone or iPad (sometimes both) and open up my dice.
Basically, you get to add words or numbers to a six-sided template of a die. You can even choose from a variety of colored backgrounds to identify each die. As with any new app you want to be sure to work with it for a while to discover its features - Make Dice has some pre-made dice for chore assignments and decision making (which you can switch off), as well as basic "pip" dice for your favorite dice games. It doesn't take long to master this one.
My three favorite dice and their six representative sides:
Story Die (Icebreaker): Snow, Boat, Island, Night, Bird, Bike.
Tell the group a short story that includes the item that turns up on the die.
Favorite Die (Icebreaker): Toy, Food, Song, Movie, Trip. Pet.
Share with the group about the favorite item that turns up on the die.
Idea Die (Processing): Old Idea, Crazy Idea, New Idea, Top Idea, Fun Idea, Bad Idea.
Looking back on the program we shared together, let's explore some of the ideas that turned up for us during some of the activities. How did these ideas work out for us? How did these ideas surface - what did it take to get them out?
For a bit more online information see: MakeDice.com (Or, visit the Apple Store and search for "Make Dice".)
What other useful dice can we make for our adventure programs? Leave us the six sides in a comment below.
All the best,
On my list of top-ten interesting things I've experienced as an adventure education teacher/trainer have been the complexities groups get themselves into while creating the initial "pattern" for the activity Group Juggle (click for a nice description and several variations of this Rohnke/New Games Foundation activity found on Wilderdom).
In most of my recent cases training this activity I consider this initial pattern set up as an activity in and of itself - I process this creative experience with my groups.
However, there are times when I need to cut to the case (or juggle) and get the pattern figured out right away. I discovered a fast and efficient way to set up a group juggle pattern from a coach with the Boomerang Project. Circle up your group. Count off in sequence from "1" all the way around the circle. (If you want, or if needed, hand off a tossable from #1, one player at a time, all the way around in numerical order to learn names.) When ready ask all the players in the circle to form a new circle without standing next to anyone within numerical sequence of their own number. After the adjustment, have player #1 start the juggle tossing to player #2, then #2 to #3 and so on - last numbered player tosses back to player #1.
Hope this is a revelation to some of you - it sure was for me! ("WOW, how easy was that?!")
Any other ways to set up the juggle? Comment below.
Currently I have the opportunity to teach at the college level - pre-service physical education teachers learning about adventure education. It took me a couple semesters to hone in on a good way to present adventure-based programming to my students for the first time - I call it F.U.N. planning.
F is for "fit." Once we know the objectives of our incoming group what activities can I use to fit into these objectives - what activities will bring out the learnings related to the objectives?
U is for "understand." In what way do I plan to help my participants understand the tasks I'm asking them to do. Most of my students are still learning about different ways to present information to others. Here is an overview of learning styles that will provide some ideas about presenting information. The more ways we can present information the more we can connect with our participants. We also might even what to frontload an activity in order to open the door to the possible learning that might occur. (Here is the idea of front loading from The Institute for Experiential Education - the group that brought us the Chiji Cards.)
I tell my students, and I believe this, that creative planning for understanding is the most important part of programming and lesson development. Without good planning at this stage you leave the door open for misinterpretation and off task behaviors.
N is for "notice." During the process of the activity or after the activity how do you plan to get your participants to notice the learnings you were aiming for with the activities you programmed? In adventure-baed education practices this is typically know as processing, reflection, debriefing, or reviewing (for tons of great ideas see the Active Reviewing site from Roger Greenaway). In short, how much time will you spend and what will you do to get your participants to notice what just happened to them during an activity. Some facilitators ask directed questions, others provide prop-based reflection (e.g., using Chiji Cards), others use journaling prompts or simply let the "mountain speak for itself" - allowing the participants to reflect internally about the meaning of current event. However you do it, be sure to do it!!
What programming tips can you pass along? Leave a comment for us.
All the best,
RePurposed Activities: Using existing props from one game or activity to play another.
Recently my nieces showed me Spot It (click to find/buy Spot It on Amazon - look for the video link for game idea). An ingenious little card game. There are 55 cards in the metal tin, each one is decorated with eight symbols. Any two cards pulled from the deck will have one "and only one" matching symbol.
Icebreaker Activity: For a group of 10 to 55 people, give each person a Spot It card (I'm thinking this will be good for those times when participants do not all arrive to a program or workshop at the same time - after the game begins and new players arrive, give them a card and ask them to go into the crowd and find someone to help them understand how the game is played). Back to it!
Players pair up after raising their hands and finding someone else doing the same thing. Once face-to-face, players exchange names (introductions) and then reveal the symbols on their cards. You can introduce a little bit of excitement by saying, "see who can find the matching symbol first." There is no particular reward for finding it first - just some motivational energy. After finding the matching symbol one or both of the players tries to find a "story" from his or her life that is prompted by the symbol. After one or both share, players exchange cards, raise a hand in the air and look for someone else to face up with, find the match and share a story (or two).
Be sure to jump in and play as well so you can get to know some of your participants and they can get to know you a little. Keep an eye on the energy of the group and conclude the activity before it runs out of fun.
Other ideas for the Spot It cards? Comment below.
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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.