Needs & Numbers: One long activity rope for 10 to 30 players.
Description: Place a long activity rope on the ground in a straight line (or, maybe a circle - that would be fun). Designate one end as, "Not me at all!" and the other end as, "That's Really Me!" Then, the facilitator (at first), asks preference-type questions to the group. After each question, players place themselves on the rope depending on how they fit between, Not me at all! and That's really me! After the facilitator asks some questions, open it up to the group members to ask questions. Examples:
- I love to travel.
- School/work is fun for me.
- I get my schoolwork done right away.
- I am an outdoorsy person. I'm into reading.
- I follow the news.
- I love to cook.
- I'm a risk taker.
Someone Like Me (Name Game & Ice-breaker, from workshop notes, then I changed it up a bit from what I saw - adding, break up lines when there are more than three players.)
Needs & Numbers: No props needed. Play with at least 20 and up to 50.
Description: Circle up the group and count off by threes - 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 - until everyone has a number. Now, mingle around as a group for 15 seconds, saying hello, maybe share some head-nods. After 15 seconds, the facilitator says, "Shake!"
At this time, everyone starts shaking hands with others in the group. Their shaking must equal the number they gave themselves - a 1, 2 or 3. So, if I am a three, I shake a person's hand three times. When a shaker finds someone shaking the same number of times, they stay together (they can hold hands or link elbows).
Staying together, they continue shaking with their free hand (someone will be offering a left-handed shake, this is okay). When they find a like shaker, they stay connected. When a line of shakers gets longer than three players, this line divides in half (or close to it). The smaller lines go off to shake some more. Play until everyone is connected to a line. Celebrate people like you and move on....
Letters with Friends (Name Game & Warm-Up, from a Mike Spiller booklet)
Needs & Numbers: No props needed. Plays well with 20 to 50 people.
Description: Players mingle around the room sharing high-fives (or fist bumps) with other players, as they do this they say the name of the player they are connecting with - or, ask the name if unknown and say "hello" to this person.
Every 10 seconds, or so, the facilitator will call out a letter. Players get together in groups of three or four and form the letter using their bodies - challenge everyone in the small group to be a part of the letter.
When everyone has achieved the lettering, the facilitator calls, "Mingle" - all players jump up and mingle around again sharing high-fives and learning/saying names.
Easier Letters: A, C, D, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, T, U, V, Y, Z
Harder Letters: B, G, J, O, P, Q, R, S, W, X
Add it Up (Group Challenge, adapted from a Mike Spiller workshop activity - I added the group adding, instead of just adding in pairs.)
Needs & Numbers: No props needed. I think 10 to 14 players in a group would work (I haven't tried this one yet. Let me know....)
Description: This is a timed activity. During this challenge, no planning is allowed - it's meant to be a jump-in-it challenge. Only throwing numbers and counting are allowed. (Maybe some telepathy can be allowed??)
Circle up your group - designate a "start" player and a "finish" player - these two players are standing next to each other. On, "1, 2, 3, throw" (rock, paper, scissors style), each player "throws" out a number in front of them, zero to five with one hand.
The "start" player calls out his/her number, let's say, "Three!" (At this point, the stopwatch starts.) The next player (going in the direction away from the "finish" player) adds his/her number (let's say, four) to the first number, and says, "Seven!" The next player adds on and shouts the sum and so on around the circle until the "finish" play shouts the final sum of all the numbers added together. Time stops!
If someone catches a mistake, they "BUZZZZZ" the group. Restart. Try a few rounds to see how fast they can get. Change the "start" and "finish" players each round.
Cross the Divide (Problem Solving, conference workshop notes from 1992!!)
Needs & Number: Something to designate a start and finish line - something the groups will not trip over. This one works with 12 to 24 players.
Description: Designate a start and finish line - about 20 feet apart. Players get into groups of two or three behind the starting line and stand side-by-side and foot-to-foot (sides of the shoes touching).
Challenge each small group to cross the space between start and finish keeping their feet/shoes connected at all times (end players will not be connected by their outside foot). If the feet/shoes separate, they start again.
When everyone makes it across, combine two (four to six player) groups together in a line and have them go back across. How did the activity change after making the group larger?
Super Challenge: The whole group crosses in one long line.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.