I attended the first annual Xperiential Symposium this month here in Chicago. Good people and good learning!! My friend and fellow experiential educator Barney Straus share a nice "repurpose" of a puzzle game for kids called Rhyming Words. He says he picked this up at Target. The game includes 50 sturdy puzzle pieces - enough for up to 25 puzzle pairs (but you knew that!). It sells for about $15 on Amazon.
Activity 1: The first activity he introduced involved each participant in the group finding his or her rhyming pair. Barney first gathered from the box the number of puzzle pieces we needed so each of us, with one piece, would have a rhyming match. He shuffled up the pieces and then we each picked one from the pile (if you have an odd number of players, then you, the facilitator, get to play). On "GO" we turned our card over and then mingled around until we found our match. After pairing up we introduced ourselves and shared some facts about each other - a nice way to connect with someone else in a safe way. And a great way to pair up participants randomly.
Activity 2: Barney then asked all the pairs to come up with a sentence that included the two words they have and a strategy as to how each pair would present their sentence to the group. There was a nice variety of presentation styles. This was a nice easy challenge for two people and a low-level risk of presenting "ourselves" in front of a group.
Activity 3: Being the experiential educators that we are, we proceeded to check out all the cards and found that we could create a fair number of "word lines" - think Word Circle Puzzles without connecting the words into a circle. House Cat & Fire Truck are two starts I remember....
Activity 4: We also noticed that the puzzle images could be used as a frontloading or processing tool. "Choose an image that best represents......" Like a TIRE, we want to make sure we keep rolling and recognize when we're stuck. We should remember to keep the FIRE burning for what we think is important. Lets be sure to acknowledge the things that can BUG us and figure out strategies to work through these things. We will likely have to wear different HATS during our time together - some of these hats are....
I'm sure there will be more fun pulled out of this versatile game. If you try it out pass along any new ideas through the comments below.
All the best,
I finally picked up the Pictionary Card Game from Barnes & Nobel. When I first saw it a while ago I thought these cards would make a nice processing tool.
When I opened up the carton I found the game comes with two identical sets of 44 cards - a red and blue set - all for $6.95 (share a set with a friend or split your group in half so there is more talk time between participants). I was also surprised to find out the cards (printed on sturdy card stock) measure 2 inches by 2.5 inches. I actually like the idea of a tiny-tool to carry with me everywhere. And, another nice little feature is that the pictures on each card are printed on both sides so you never have to spend valuable time turning all the cards face up!! (You know what I'm talking about!!)
The cards have a variety of recognizable images (a plane, a male stick figure, a female stick figure, a house, a star, a clock, and more) and some interpretable images (three wavy lines - see carton picture, three straight lines, and some different geometric shapes). I see lots of connections through the images for meaningful processing conversations.
These little cards can also be used for most of the activities found in the Chiji Guidebook. For example, deal everyone a pictionary card and when you say go participants are challenged to line up in order, as quickly as possible, based on the "realistic" size of the object depicted on the card. Or, line up alphabetically, as quickly as possible, by the name of the object on the card. There will be some interesting interpretations to talk about in both versions of these line ups.
And of course, you can always play the pictionary game during down time, lunch breaks, and evening recreation gatherings.
If you try this tiny-tool, let us know how it goes. Share through the comments below.
All the best,
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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.
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.