My friend, team building colleague, FUN Follower, and all around awesome person Jennifer Steinmetz shared this activity write-up with me. It's one of her favorites. I really like the energy she put into making the Beach Theme cards (shown above) - and yes, you can have them too. They are in the PDF below.
Years ago (even before Claytionary was a real board game at one time), Karl Rohnke wrote up the activity "Claydoughnary or Claytionary" in Quicksilver (1995). Karl called "this game a hands-on winner, courtesy of Ann Driscoll." Karl's/Ann's version was played with small teams as well (the way Jennifer describes). When the sculptor for each team received their word they ran back to their group to model the word with Play-Doh. The first team to guess the word was the winner (indicated by shouts of victory). Then another sculptor went up for the next word. All team members have two turns to sculpt (assuming each team has the same amount of players) after which the team with the highest score wins.
Below is the main write up (rejuvenated by) Jennifer. I helped with a few edits and additions to round it out for additional fun. In the PDF document attached you will find the same directions, plus a chart with additional charades themes & words from Jennifer's collection AND the set of eight Beach Themed cards (as seen above) she shared with me (or I should say US!). I hope this inspiration moves you to play up this fun classic again. (AND you know, you don't need Play-Doh to play charades right?!).
After receiving Jennifer's activity, I also remembered a bookmarked website I save with charades themes & words. Find it HERE.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO FUTURE CONTRIBUTORS to the FUN. Sending me an activity you created or adapted to share with us FUN Followers is a pretty good way to bounce it off of someone who writes and edits a lot of activities (if that would be worth something to you?!) Hint, Hint!!
Name of the game: PLAY-DOH Charades
(Directions developed by Jennifer Steinmetz & Chris Cavert)
Number of players: Any group divided into smaller groups of 4 or 5.
TIME: 15-20 minutes
Space: Minimal; groups will need space sitting around tables or on the floor away from each other to prevent “overhearing” each other.
Supplies: One tub of Play-Doh (or modeling clay of some sort) and a plate (or similar to protect surfaces) per team. Clue cards prepared in advance
OVERVIEW: This game plays like charades. You will need to separate your larger group into small teams of 4 or 5 participants. Each team will get a tub of Play-Doh (find them cheep at Wal-Mart or Target) and a paper plate (or something to use under the Play-Doh – a piece of paper, an index card, or a small coaster). Prepare your clue sheet or cards in advance. (The Beach Theme sheet/cards are included on the PDF below, or of course, make up your own theme of words – remember, the item words will need to be molded from Play-doh right?!.)
If I don’t have my theme sheet/cards I use index cards with theme words printed on one side and then I sequentially number them on the other side. I plan for each player getting at least 2 tries (so you need 8 to 10 clues depending upon the team size.) I usually prepare at least 5 more “harder” clues for bonus rounds. If they are having a blast, I use these additional bonus cards to keep the fun going.
GOAL: Using only the Play-Doh provided; create sculptures, which will be guessed by your team.
PLAY – OPTION 1: After all the small groups are settled into their spots (e.g., around a table, sitting on the floor), each small group sends one representative up to the front of the room (where you, the facilitator, are waiting with your charade words/cards. This person will become the first artist.
Tell this first group of artists (quietly so the guessers can’t hear) the first charade word. Let them know that the person returning to the front with the correct answer must say the “exact” word(s) if they want the next word(s) to model (e.g., Palm Trees – the answer is not Palm TREE). They all return to their teams and silently model the word(s) with the Play-Doh.
The non-artist team members will guess (quietly so other groups can’t hear their answers) what the Play-Doh represents.
When the correct answer is givin, a new player will go up to the front, share the answer with the facilitator, and get their next word(s) – this player is then the next artist. (If for some reason the answer is incorrect, send this person back to his/her group to get the right answer – more Play-Doh modeling might be necessary).
PLAY – OPTION 2: Set up every group with a set of themed charade word cards, a tub a Play-Doh, and a paper plate (or other working surface that can be passed around). The cards are placed face down in a pile in the center of the group. One participant will have the Doh and the plate – this is the first artist.
When the game begins (“Ready, GO!”), the first artist takes the top card off of his/her team's pile (without letting anyone else see it), looks at the word, places the card image side down close by, and then begins to sculpt a representation of the word(s) with the Play-Doh. When the word(s) is(are) guess (quietly and) correctly the card is turned over (face up) and placed into the center of the circle.
The Play-Doh, remaining on top of the plate, is passed over to the next person (e.g., to the left). This person is the new artist. He/She picks up the next card from the top of the pile and begins creating. This process continues until all the words have been successfully charaded (this is the verb form of charades : ).
WINNING: For both options, play until you have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placed teams - indicated by sequential screams of victory. Then, go for a rematch with a new theme.
BOUNDARIES (for both Options):
Notes: Do not underestimate the FUNN value of this activity. I suggest a minimum of 3 teams, but this plays well with up to 8 (is the most I’ve tried so far).
Source: Jennifer Stanchfield: the Experiential Tools Newsletter
Have FUN out there. AND, if you create some Charade Theme Cards I'd love to share them with the other FUN Followers - pass them on!!
All the best,
Here's a great (short) video of the traditional Bull Ring in action (called the Focus Ring by Tom Heck). You'll see a nifty, east-to-create PVC pedestal (NOTE: take the top coupling off for the 3-D Bull Ring version so the 3-inch pipe fits over it), and the original ring-and-string version of this wonderful portable activity. ANOTHER NOTE: Listen to the dialogue of the participants during the action - this is very typical of the activity. The language tends to outweigh the relationships in the group - the TASK overpowers the RELATIONSHIPS!
1) Hit 21 in a Row, 2)Hit 21 in a Row with the Dominant Hand, 3) Hit 21 in a Row with the Non-Dominant Hand, 4) 21 in a Row using both hands but standing on One Foot, 5) 21 in a Row but after hit Clap Three Times before Hitting Again, 6) 21 in a Row but after hit High Five Someone before Hitting Again, 7) After Hitting Say a Letter of the Alphabet - without a drop Get from A to Z, 8) After hit Say an Animal Name through the Alphabet (skipping Q and X?), 9) Create your Own way to Hit up to 21, 10) Eliminate a Hand after a Hit and when All Hands are gone All Hands can be Put back in Play up to 21.
Jim makes the Petecas himself and sells them through Training Wheels HERE - they are called Funderbirds at the TW store. (NOTE: I've done most of the challenges using a small inflatable rubber ball about the size of a softball - I didn't have enough Petecas for my large group so I improvised. They worked just fine but did lack the visual flare!)
With a group of 12 participants ask them to close their eyes. Then, hand each person one of the objects. The challenge for the group is to identify the two objects that are identical without opening their eyes - using only verbal communication. Each participant is allowed to ask the facilitator one (the same) question. For Jim's pieces the question is: What color is this? Jim then responds out loud for all to hear. You can make up a question that is related to the objects in play in order to help your group with the challenge.
Jim told me that My Life Line (or what he now calls The Walk of Life) has been his most recent go-to icebreaker (a re-kindled activity). To summarize, each group of three people roll out a 15-foot length of webbing along the ground/floor. Then, one person at a time, flanked by a person to his/her left and right, slowly walks down the length of the webbing sharing "timeline" highlights of his/her life. Jim told some recent workshop participants (above), you could also share timelines of other things like one's timeline of high school, college or work history, or the timeline of a significant challenge they had to go through. Jim says its a great way to share your voice in a small group.
There you have it! I'm not sure if it's just 10 of his favorites, but there's some great take-aways! Thanks Dr. Cain. You're the best!
I invite you to share your TOP 10 in the comments below.
Have fun out there.
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.