Games (& other stuff) for Group, Book 1: Activities to Initiate Group Discussion

ISBN: 978-1-885473-39-4
SIZE: 8.5 x 11
PRICE $24.95

“The ultimate goal of an experiential facilitator is to guide participants through their own discovery of new experiences.  From these new experiences, participants can learn how to relate new skills, ideas, and behaviors to future life situations.”

Here are thirty-seven different 10- to 20-minute activities, focusing on topics that crucially affect experiences throughout life, including understanding gender issues, rumors and their effects, creativity, communication, and expression of emotions and frustrations.   This practical guide to experience and activity-based counseling is easily implemented for ages 12 to adult, and adaptable for younger audiences as well. Activities include “What Would it Be Like…?” and “Are You More Like…?” questions, Teaching Tales, Minute Mysteries, and assorted games.

The information in this book is presented with a spirit of adventure and fun. Making your group a fun place to be will surely encourage participation.  Adding some adventure (an undertaking involving the unknown) can create curiosity and motivate participation.  It is our job to find out what can light the fire inside.  These Games (& other stuff) for Group have really helped me.  I hope they can help you too.  Enjoy!


Excerpt from the Book


Needs: Three tossable objects, and an area for a medium-size circle.
Note: This is my variation on the classic “Group Juggling.”

Procedure: Form a medium-size circle facing in. Include yourself in the circle as the leader (at first). Take one message (a tossable object) and create a pattern within the circle by throwing it (nicely) to someone across from you. Continue the throws until everyone has received the message only once and thrown it only once. You, as the leader, should make the first and receive the last throw. I like to ask each person in the group to cross their arms in front of their body after they have caught and tossed the object. This way the tosser can find the uncrossed tossees easier.
Once a pattern is established, try it again with one object to confirm that everyone remembers who they throw to and catch from. Once this skill is mastered, add another message (object) to the pattern. Toss one after the other. See if the group can get both around. You can start to do some goal setting; for example:
How many drops will we allow ourselves? Let’s not drop any messages. How fast can we get them around?, etc.
Add a third message to the conversation and so on until the group finds its maximum potential. I have had a few groups that could get around one object apiece - everyone in the group must throw their object at the same time!

•What were players doing to make the activity easier?
•What problems were occurring?
•What suggestions could you make to help solve the problem(s)?
•Which solution could we try?
•What happens when we send a message to someone who isn’t ready?
•What are some ways we can tell someone is ready for a message?
•How can you prevent messages from colliding?
•What did you feel like when you dropped a message?
•Did the other players say anything?
•How do negative comments affect performance?
•How do positive and supportive comments affect performance?

•Timing this activity can be a great problem-solving challenge. Stick with just timing 3 messages around the pattern with these two rules:
1) You must stick to the same pattern, and
2) Each player must touch all 3 objects.
Have someone in the group help time from start to finish (someone in the middle of the pattern. Or, if you started this activity without playing, then you can time it.) After the first round of passing 3 objects, ask the group if they can get a faster time. Ask what changes they need to make to get that faster time. Most groups will stay in the same circle they started in and just move in closer or just “throw faster.” Challenge them to think lat- erally. Whatever time they achieve, cut it in half. Tell them you know they are a high functioning group and they can do it. It is possible to get under 5 seconds with a group of 12. Don’t give out any answers, be strong. Come back to the activity another time if they don’t discover they can change standing positions and stand next to the person they are throwing it to. Al- ways try to end with a successful round, then move on.

Karl Rohnke has some good ones:
•Call out “Reverse” half way through the sequence.
•Start 2 objects in one direction and 2 in the other direction.
•Add an object as a “rumor” which can go anywhere. What are the effects of rumors in our communication process? A friend of mine uses one of those rubber chickens as a rumor, then asks about the “rubber chickens” that present themselves in our lives.
•On a hot day use water balloons.

Table of Contents

Presenting & Processing
Sample Processing Questions

Section One: Activities
TP Talk
Guess Who
Pick Your Brain
Toss-A-Name Game
Name Ball
I’m Going on a Trip
Building My House
Circle Pass
Warning Bells
Sticks, Stones & Bones
Cave In
Color Challenge
Paper Chute
The Box

Section Two: What Would It Be Like...?
What Would It Be Like...? Introduction

Section Three: Teaching Tales
Teaching Tales Introduction
The Ugly Bug
Big Jim
Silver Bear’s Dream
Two Buckets
Nobody Knows
Ladybug & Frog
Other Story Suggestions

Section Four: Minute Mysteries
Minute Mysteries Introduction
Doctor’s Dilemma
Gone Hunting
A Walk in the Rain
The Elevator
The Man in the Mask
Piercing Dilemma
Frozen in Ice
Albatross Soup
Reading, Right?
Five Men

Section Five: Are You More Like...?
Are You More Like...? Introduction

Experiential/Adventure-Based Training Companies
Play Therapy Resources
Activity Equipment & Games Catalogs
Recommended Resources
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