Build a Team with Keys

I had the neighbors talking the day I cleaned and took apart 12 old computer keyboards for the Chrysalis After-School Kits out on my front deck last fall. Each CAS kit has a set of these keys. Eric Martin and I developed these teambuilding activities and I’m sure you can come up with some more. We started with the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators by Tom Heck.

We used the keys at CAS Facilitator Training 2008 for introductions. Each person got a key and used the character on that key to tell something about herself. Then each facilitator took a letter key and the group formed as many words at they could in a set amount of time. As a group got together to form a word, the leader made a tally mark on a flip chart or white board.

Download the Keyboard Team Building Activity for more ideas–Keyboard Team Building.

Idea Bombardment

This activity will help your group generate ideas for achieving personal and group goals. It provides a way for the group to “bombard” one or a small group of people with ideas for accomplishing their goals.

Start with the whole group in a large circle, then spend about five minutes talking about how to set goals–making them realistic, short-term so they can see progress, and about things they really want. The group may set personal goals for things like fitness, doing better in school, having more fun or learning a new skill. Or they may set goals for the group to accomplish something like a service project or a trip. Don’t get hung up on the writing part. The more often you do activities like this, the better people will get at setting goals. Just remember to give people opportunities to talk about how their goals are going and what they may need to do differently.

Now have each person write a goal on an index card.

Go around the group and have everyone share their goal, listening for others in the group that have similar goals.

Now, group members with similar goals take them into the center of the large group and form a smaller circle.

The group in the outside circle “bombards” the inner circle with ideas for accomplishing their goals. Those being bombarded may want to take notes about their favorite ideas. Rotate different small groups into the inner circle, giving the bombardment five minutes or less for each small group.

Pleasure Meter

The Pleasure Meter is a good activity to start discussion early in a program, but not right at the beginning. It acquaints participants with each other, indicates preferences and lets us find out about the other members of our group. It can help you learn about the participants and may help your group define sexual behavior. As you discuss pleasure and then sex, encourage the group to include sex by yourself as sex, discuss roadblocks like health, culture, shame and religion.

Pleasure Meter

Pleasure Meter

With one Raccoon Circle, make an arc shape like the one shown here. This is your pleasure meter. Ask participants to stand along the edge of the meter, at the position that best relates to them. For example, the amount of pleasure that you have right now could be just like a gas tank gauge (empty, half a tank, full). Then have them move along the edge according to the amount of pleasure the following types of people “should have;” you don’t need to do all of them. And don’t define “pleasure.”

  • Infant
  • Toddler
  • Pre-school-age child
  • Kindergartner
  • Grade school student
  • Child with ADD
  • Someone in a wheelchair
  • Middle school student
  • High school student
  • College student
  • Someone in their 20’s
  • Pregnant woman
  • People in their 30’s and 40’s
  • Retired people
  • People in nursing homes
  • Octogenarians
  • Geezers

As the group arranges itself along the meter, ask them questions about:

  • What are you thinking about when I say pleasure?
  • What are some roadblocks to feeling pleasure?
  • Where do you get pleasure?
  • Why do red flags go up when we connect pleasure with certain groups?
  • How do you define pleasure?
  • Think of an activity you consider pleasurable–would you answer the phone when you are doing this activity?
  • What would you put on a “Pleasure Menu?”

Go Ask Alice

It’s so important to have reliable information when kids come to us with questions about sex. Or at least we need to be able to FIND that reliable information. This is a great resource for that kind of info–a Health Q & A Service of Columbia University.

It has an extensive archive, a search function and is very user friendly and interactive. There are sections on sexuality, sexual health and relationships as well as general health issues. The web site is about 14 years old but still highly relevant and edgy.

In the fall of 2007, I had the pleasure to attend a keynote address and workshop by Judith Steinhart, who was involved in starting this resource at Columbia University in New York City. She is AMAZING! I learned a lot from her; she became a sex educator quite by accident. One of her students asked her about getting condoms and she was off! I developed an activity for “Becoming an Approachable Adult” called the Pleasure Meter that is based on an activity she facilitated with about 350 people. Check it out.