Recently, I was a guest on the Growing People Podcast with John Losey. My good friend John and I talked about my journey as a team development professional, what my creative process looks like, my advice to new facilitators and more. HERE is the link to the full 55-minute interview if you have the time to absorb the whole thing.
For those of you pressed for time, the videos below are shorter clips taken from the interview covering a few of the main questions John had for me. I'd love to hear your feedback about my perspectives. Leave me a comment below.
Thanks for watching!!
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Chris Cavert on What Makes a Great Facilitator (7:43)
Chris Cavert Advice to Young [and not-so-young] Facilitators (4:38)
Chris Cavert Apps and Resources [My Favorites at this time.] (5:16)
Table Top Ricochet (TTR) is one of my favorites when I have access to tables. If you are familiar with the World of Ricochet then you know the fun to be had. Instead of the traditional, more firm R-Ball, I go to a softer ball for TTR (but, the firmer ones do work just fine). HERE is where you can find a set of the softer ones.
You play TTR around a table with 5 to 7 players per table. Here are the basic rules outlined by Sam in The More The Merrier (p. 331 if you have the book):
Serving (underhand or overhand), and the game, continues until a foul is made. One point is scored every time the R-Ball touches the table top. If the R-Ball makes more than one bounce off the table after a serve and is then caught, the score for that serve is doubled (e.g., two bounces after a serve is worth four points.) When a foul occurs that particular game is over and a new game can begin (if there is time). Keep track of the score for each game. Play for the highest possible points for your table group within the time given. (I find there is good play energy for about 10 to 12 minutes.)
Be sure you remind players to watch their steps when going after a runaway R-Ball.
I find TTR to be a great energizer and a fun competitive game if I'm working on "competitive" learning objectives.
What's your Top 10 list of activities? Please share with us in the comments below.
Have fun out there!
I was just searching around for something (team building dice games - still searching), when I came across a site that seems to have a variety of activities within it. I'll be going back to look around more, but I wanted to share it:
Businessballs.com (who comes up with these names?!!)
(Be sure to check the "Related Materials" links in the left hand column for additional journeys.)
While browsing around for inspiration I found this incredible list of acronyms (and Backronyms - more on this term below). I remember from one of my first trainings (way back in the day) our group participated in a "Master Mind Relay" (made popular by Project Adventure). A relay consists of all sorts of activity choices (e.g., puzzles, challenges, adventures) groups work together to solve in a certain amount of time. Solving acronyms was one of the challenges. (If you are a Karl Rohnke fan and have some of his older publications, you know he was - and still is - a fan of acronyms. Did you know, according to Karl, the term Challenge by Choice was inspired by the acronym CBC - complete blood count)
Something else I learned about at the acronym site (I love learning surprises) was the term "Backronym." I'm guessing it's been around for a while, I just haven't come across it - but I do know the idea. Basically, you create an acronym out of a word that is not an acronym. For instance, one I saw at the site: YAHOO - You Always Have Other Options (I'm sure Yahoo does not claim this slogan!)
Let me know if you find anything really good!! I'll do the same.
All the best,
Recently I received a great activity resource find discovered by Kenya. In her search for conflict resolution ideas she found this page in the most unlikely place (in my opinion). This "complaint list" page offers up five team building activity descriptions that help "encourage team binding and cooperation." These activities, as the introduction says, "can help mend conflicts and encourage positive behavior among team members."
After the activity descriptions there is a list of 20 links to other sites with more team building ideas. Some of the PDF links include:
THANKS KENYA FOR SHARING WITH US!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!
All the best,
Chris Cavert (& Kenya)
Pick up the new NO PROP ACTIVITIES book from Jim Cain - another great resource from my good friend and award winning author. Find it at the Training Wheels Online Store. (At the time of this post, the book is On Sale Now at Training Wheels.) Jim has packed "123 Powerful & Practical Activities with No Equipment Required" in a 5 by 6 inch travel size goldmine. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
The Story Of Your Name: Sit with a small group of people and share with them the origin or significance of your name - first, middle or last, or any combination of the three. I like to add that if there is no "historical" connection to a name share a story from the past related to the name.
Longest Line: Simply put, "using only the resources currently available to the members of each small group (I create groups of 6 to 8 people), construct the longest continuous line from one location towards another." As Jim says, this activity "encourages problem solving, resource management, and team commitment." (In some cases I have actually had to limit the "commitment" in order to keep people appropriately clothed!!)
The Four Minute Team: Jim includes this one in the "Reviewing Techniques & Closing Activities" section. However, I've been using it throughout my current semester-long University Adventure Education course in hopes that the metaphor, and active shift, is understood before the end of the semester. I've tried it twice so far with these directions: "Find your own personal space within the room. The challenge is for everyone to hold his or her arms up in this position [I show my arms straight out to the side so I look like a large T] for as long as possible. When it comes to at least three people putting their arms down I will stop the time. This time will be your group record. We will try this several times during the semester to see if we can improve on our time." (So far our group time is 3:20.) With this variation there has been some incredible encouragement going on within the group, but no "helping" yet. On the second try, a group of five students negotiated with each other to put their hands down together at the same time (their best, 3:20). I found out from them that this was a way to not let anyone be the first person to put his or her arms down. Good stuff!! Jim sets this one up another way - lots of great opportunities!
(FYI: If you haven't yet, get over to Jim's website for tons of FREE resources.)
How about a favorite No-Prop activity of yours? Share in t
Mark Collard, an adventure-based educator and trainer from Australia (he's been sharing his ideas so far at InspireYourGroup.com - see Resources), has recently opened up his new fee-based activity resource site (there are also some freebies). It's called Playmeo.
In a nutshell, here's why Mark thinks you'll love playmeo...
So far I've been browsing through the free activities. I might try out a membership soon. If you dive in please let us know what you think. Leave a comment.
All the best,
Robert Fulghum (know for his essay, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarden" - still appropriate for today!) wrote a book called, "Words I Wish I Wrote." It was a collection of writings that inspired a lot of his work. Well, for me, the "Book" I wish I wrote is "The Play and Game Leader's Handbook: Facilitating Fun and Positive Interaction," by Bill Michaelis and John M. O'Connell.
This booked is packed with sound and valuable information for those interested in leading games and activities for groups. Chapters include: On Playing on Purpose; The Fundamentals of Play Leadership; Getting It Going; Keeping It Going; and, Ending It well. There is also a chapter on Advanced Leadership Skills for those who have been playing a bit longer than the new game and play leader.
The book and valuable DVDs from Bill Michaelis, that demonstrate the ways of a master Play Leader in action, can be found at the Children Together website.
"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 Sale Now!
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.