- Eye Contact Partner Tag (The EMPTY Bag)
- Chiji Connection (The Chiji Guidebook)
- The Building Block Sequence (Described HERE)
- Moonball (See my favorite variations HERE)
- Flipping Burgers & Elbow Tag Trio (Noodle Books ONE & TWO)
- Fastball (Portable Teambuilding Activities - my latest book)
- Key Pad (Rohnke's Quicksilver)
- Bull Ring (Teamwork & Teamplay)
- Corner-to-Corner (Portable Teambuilding Activities)
- Four-of-a-Kind (The POSSIBLES Bag Activity Manual - written up below)
The parent activity to Four-of-a-Kind is Word Building in 50 More Ways to Use Your Noodle (Cavert & Sikes). I was after a more portable version of the activity because I really like the dynamics it produces. So, Four-or-a-Kind fit the bill.
(NOTE: I worked with an adult group recently and one of the participants did not know what was on the faces of a deck of cards - true story. So, don't assume participants will know what four-of-a-kind means. You'll need to explain. Now, if using playing cards is a bad idea for your group make up some letter cards so the teams can obtain four-of-a-kind in letters.)
- Only one player from each team can enter into the circle of cards at a time (i.e., if there are six teams, up to six people can be in the circle).
- After entering the circle you are only allowed to pickup/touch one card.
- If you choose to take this card from the circle you and your "teammates" may not look at the card until it is flipped over onto the team spot/carpet square. [NOTE: Nothing was said in this rule about someone else in the group seeing the card once it is picked up inside the circle - this is often discovered after a few rounds of play.]
- All players on a team must take turns going into the card circle - meaning, all players from a team must go into the circle once before someone can go in a second time and so forth.
- If your team decides to keep the card taken from the circle it is placed down on the floor/ground and must be touching the spot or be touching a card that's touching the spot.
- If your team decides not to keep the card it is brought back into the circle of cards and placed face down inside the circle. In other words, if you don't want the card it goes back into the circle. This means you may not hand a card that you have to another team.
- Each team may have up to five cards in their area - touching the spot. Once a sixth card is brought to their area someone in the team must bring a card back when going into the circle.
I usually get in at least three rounds so the group can experience improvement. If they delve into their mental models and phantom rules results can be impressive.
That's the gist of one of my TOP 10s. I like it because it brings up a lot of discussion about assumptions, mental models, and phantom rules, and pushes participants towards helping each other in order to clock the fastest possible time. It's also a good activity for working on goal setting and meeting expectations. I've seen it done with a group of 20 players in under 90 seconds.
Speaking of assumptions, here's one I made that lead to a variation of Four-of-a-Kind that I now use on a regular basis (if you have time to read on). I've been working with Group Dynamix in Texas recently, a company that provides team building programs for groups. I saw they had a couple decks of SUPER JUMBO cards so I grabbed a deck for Four-of-a-Kind. As I was setting down the cards my group was taking a short break. By habit I was counting the cards as I set them out. 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56. Rats.
My mind started going to the place where I was wondering what idiot....but, I thought, let's see what happens. When I presented the rules to the group I did say, "There are more than 52 cards here and I don't know if there is a complete deck - please keep this in mind." Well, of course one of the teams was after a set of four that was missing a card. At first it was an issue, then it became an opportunity for the group. Good stuff.
WARNING: Since this discovery I've set up the deck in a way where some cards are missing - adding extras from another deck - and I do not frontload with any warnings. In one case so far I was harshly accused of "setting the group up" for failure. However, it did end well after a good processing session about assumptions and the difference between "reacting" to challenges and "responding" to challenges. Concepts this group needed to hear. Again, good stuff!
I'd love to read your TOP 10 - share in the comments!!
Have fun out there.