If you don’t have much time or space, but you want to do something with your group to build up morale and communication, WE ARE HERE TO HELP! Here are three activities from our bag o’ tricks that you can do in-house:
1. Hula Hoop Pass – Have your group stand in a circle holding hands and pass a hula hoop around the circle while you time them. They cannot let go of each others hands, and cannot use their fingers to help pass it along. They should encourage each other and help each other while they are passing the hoop around! See if they can improve their time each round. This initiative helps groups with goal setting and time management as well as to simply take a break and share some laughs.
2. Biggest Fan – Have your group get into pairs and play rock-paper-scissors with their partner. The loser becomes the winner’s ‘Biggest Fan’, and follows the winner around cheering them on while facing off with a new opponent. Each time there is a face off, the loser and their fans join the winner’s line of fans! Eventually, there are only two people left and one becomes the overall winner. After they are done celebrating, ask your group how it felt to lose the face off, how it felt to cheer on the winner, and how it felt to be cheered on by the group.
3. Helium Stick – With a hula hoop or a light weight stick (a tent pole works great), have your group line up in two rows facing each other or around the hoop. Ask the group to point both index fingers (like guns) and hold their arms out. Lay the Helium Stick down on their fingers so everyone’s index fingers are touching the stick. The challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground while every person’s fingers are in contact at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole is not allowed – it must rest on top of fingers. As the team lowers the stick, emphasize that the stick (or hoop) must stay level and that all index fingers must stay in contact. If a finger comes off or grabs the stick, give a 5-10 second penalty. The secret (keep it to yourself) is that the collective upwards pressure created by everyone’s fingers tends to be greater than the weight of the stick. As a result, the more a group tries, the more the stick tends to ‘float’ upwards. Eventually the group needs to calm down, concentrate, and very slowly, patiently lower the Helium Stick – easier said than done!
Sometimes the simplest activities can reveal the most about your group, the strengths of the group and areas for improvement.