I had the great pleasure of hanging out with my friend Jim Cain two different times in the last several months (he's on the left, then it's me, and then Sam Sikes - Jim and Sam were standing on there tip-toes!). So, to continue the series of "Top 10s" (see Sam's Top 10 HERE, and my Portable Top 10 HERE) let's find out what's on Jim's list:
- The Big Question - this is a great ice=breaker I highlighted in a post HERE.
- Bull Ring - Jim loves all the variations that have been developed over the years - a number of them are found in his book, Teamwork and Teamplay (find it HERE). However, his recent favorite is the 3-D Bull Ring. The strings are connected to a 3-inch piece of PVC pipe at different levels to increase the engagement of the players. To the left is a recent picture of the contraption.
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!)
- Teamplay Tubes - (This is more of a favorite prop for Jim since it can do so much!) Jim created this set of (50) 1/2-inch PVC tubes and connectors that can be used to run (at least) 22 different activities. See Jim's PDF Summary Handout of the possibilities - my favorite activity is The Network (which he now calls Space Station). In my work with the Teamplay Tubes I like to have one set for every four to five participants - I believe there is more engagement with this ratio. Find your sets HERE.
- Perfect Match - This is one of Jim's newest developments. As he told me, he had a bunch of extra wooden shapes left over from another activity he produces and wanted to use them up. Perfect match is 12 objects (in the picture below are Jim's extra shapes he stained and drilled holes into, but he says you could be creative and put together 12 objects of any kind but two of them have to be identical).
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.
- Virtual Slide Show - This debriefing prop is one of Jim's favorite tools for sharing significant moments of a program experience. The group needs to imagine a large screen out in front of them (or on a nearby wall). The participant with the "clicker" clicks up a slide (or picture for those that don't know about "slides") of a picture that he/she describes to the others. This description is rich with details and emotional connects. For example, "This is me and Shawn working our way through the obstacles when he was blindfolded. I wasn't sure I could get him through it without touching anything, but we did it. He really trusted me to get him to the end." And, if you need to show another slide you just "click" another one up to the screen. Find your "clicker" HERE.
- Raccoon Circles - As many of you know Tom Smith and Jim Cain wrote, The Revised & Expanded Book of Raccoon Circles (get your copy HERE). It includes more than 125 activities using tubular webbing lengths (often tied into circles) 15 feet long (you can get them HERE). To get you hooked, Jim has a FREE PDF of 18 activities HERE. Included in the PDF are three of his favorite icebreakers (in his recent Top 10 choices): Wrapped Around My Finger, Where Ya From, Where Ya Been (one of my favorites), and My Life Line.
I invite you to share your TOP 10 in the comments below.
Have fun out there.