The basic idea is to take a group of predetermined words and connect them together ending up with a circle - each word is appropriately connected (verifiable) to the word in front of it and the word after it (e.g., compound words, a two-word phrase, two common words that make up one word, etc.)
For example, here is a Word Circle Puzzle set up in solution order:
Room, Light, Show, Boat, Club, Soda, Pop, Corn, Field, Gun, Stock, Still (connects to Room). If you haven't done so already, check out the picture above to see five completed Word Circle Puzzles. (Suggestion: Grab some index cards and make yourself a collection of Circle Puzzles - the five above and the two in this post.)
To make this a team building activity, write out each word on an index card - nice and big. (Of course you could also digitize the words, copy, laminate and cut.) Each participant in your group will need at least one word card (for most variations of play). The easiest set up is simply telling the group to "arrange all the words so they connect to each other forming one big circle - all words need to be used." Then let them at it. As with any team building activity keep an eye out for the dynamics - those great things you'll want to talk about.
In the Word Circle Puzzles Starter Kit there are 12 different Presentation Ideas. Here is another presentation idea I've been trying out:
Silent Word Circle Puzzle
Before handing out the word cards tell participants they are not allowed to show anyone the word(s) they possess. Hand out the word cards (no more than two cards per person). Tell the participants they are allowed to tell one person (and only one person) in the group what word(s) they possess. This is the only person that is then allowed to tell the group what word is being held by the player they spoke with. If a participant is holding more than one card, she/he is allowed to give one card away.
Again, word cards are not to be shown to anyone else in the group (of course, if a card is given away, it can be looked at be the receiver). Players must be standing in a circle - they believe to be the correct answer - before revealing the word card(s) they are holding.
Here is another new puzzle for you - not in solution order. Have fun.
Start, Form, Lap, He, Ding, End, Bat, Up, Letter, Bed, Head, Ear, Dog, Art
(The answer is below.)
Picture Word Circle Puzzle - Since this original post back in 2012, I've created Picture Word Circle Puzzles and ICON Circle Puzzles. Check them out for the next level of Circle Puzzles challenge. (Both have free print-n-play downloads.)
Where can you find Word Circle Puzzles? My first recommendation is to create them yourself. Short ones are a bit more challenging to create than the longer ones. Longer puzzles are more challenging to solve. If you'd like to save some time, check out the three downloadable Circle Puzzles Kits at the FUNdoing Store.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Circle Puzzle Answer: Bat, He, Art, Form, Letter, Head, Start, Up, End, Ear, Lap, Dog, Bed, Ding