One of my Adventure Ed students inspired me to check out PECentral for Team Building activities after he submitted a good find from the site - Beach Ball Challenge. I did find (it takes a little work through the search function - I used "team building" in the internal search tool) a couple more that I liked, so here are three activities for some summer fun.
Beach Ball Challenge (my student referenced this activity to PECentral, but I could not find the original write up - when I find it I'll include an active link). As you might know from a previous post, I love Moonball variations. If you're not in the know just yet, a good sized beach ball is hit into the air by members of the group with certain restrictions to play. Generally, if the Moonball (that's the beach ball) touches the ground that particular round of the game is over. Points are recorded and another attempt for more points usually ensues. (If you need more particulars go over to my previous post.)
In this variation you'll need a way to mark off three squares in the playing area (see diagram). Use game spots, paper plates or maybe even spray paint some corners if you are outside. You want to markers to be flat in order to avoid tripping issues. Divide your group into three sub-groups and put one sub-group in each square - this is the "home" position for all players. The challenge, using a well-inflated beach ball, is for everyone in the group to hit the beach ball into the air from every square without the beach ball ever touching the ground. You can apply any other Moonball rules (or your own rules) that fit the challenge and your group. In other words, once a player hits up the beach ball from his or her home position s/he moves into another square. After hitting the beach ball from this second square s/he moves into the third square. Now, after this player hits the beach ball up from this third square does this player step out of the game or continue to help the process? This of course is up to you. And, if the beach ball does hit the ground, send everyone back to his or her home position to start the challenge over. (Or......)
The Human Square I found this one to be a very interesting trust building activity. It does involve unsighted movement, so be sure your group is ready for this. In a nutshell, (almost) everyone is scattered around the play area. They are then asked to shut their eyes (the write up includes sighted observers) or put blindfolds on if this is appropriate to your situation (I don't use blindfolds any more - I just ask for eyes closed). Then, with bumpers up (this is arms and hands up in front of the chest for encounter protection), the participants "are instructed to carefully and gently make their way to the center of the [playing area]." Once there, "they must figure out how they can create a human square formation that requires everyone to lay down on the ground." Interesting challenge and great photo opps in this one. Of course, the safety of unsighted players will be important. Set up safety signals and communicate often with your group. I'm thinking of using the observers to help watch and prevent unwanted encounters. Head over through the link (name of activity in blue) for more details.
Cooperative Challenge This looks like a fun culminating challenge for a day program or at the end of a multi-day program to really pull group learning and cooperation together. You'll need lengths of rope (e.g., jump ropes), game spots and a bunch of bean bags (or small trash-balls - i.e., wads of paper). It's a 5-step challenge that is written in a way to challenge a number of small groups at the same time. However, it's not about competing (but most groups think this way). It's all about being successful together. Head over through the link (name of the activity in blue) for more details.
Have fun out there. Let us know how it goes this summer!
All the best,
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.