Play Elbow Tag

Martha McCormickTeam Building4 Comments

Elbow Tag Team Building Game

This is another great game for mixing up your group and busting cliques. The action gets so frantic that people don’t pay attention to who they’re grabbing onto. You do have to lay some ground rules to keep the game fair though. Boundaries are really important so the “chasee” has to stay in the vicinity. Some groups may need the … Read

Play People to People

Martha McCormickTeam Building9 Comments

This is a great game for any group of more than about a dozen people. I’ve played it outdoors, in classrooms and auditoriums. If you have an even number of people, just add yourself into the mix. Pair up participants. Start out being the “caller” unless you have someone with experience who is dying to do it. The caller yells … Read

Upset the Stagecoach

Martha McCormickTeam Building3 Comments

This is a great game I learned when I first started working in Urban 4-H with Rick Hofmaster. It is hilarious and has a sneaky way of helping people become comfortable speaking in front of a group, even if all they say is “The stagecoach upset!” You can adapt it to holidays or themes like “Santa Claus is Upset,” “The … Read

Teach an Easy Card Game

Martha McCormickTeam Building1 Comment

I’ve taught and played Speed for about a million years now, with literally generations of kids. I still love it but unfortunately my daughter can almost always beat me. I usually have to play until I catch her off guard though, just because. Speed is a great game that also teaches math skills and reading readiness through patterns. I found … Read

Touch Someone Who…

Martha McCormickTeam BuildingLeave a Comment

Mingling at Central Iowa Yoga Retreat

Yesterday at CAS training we worked on compliments, one aspect of giving and receiving honest feedback. Compliments are difficult to receive, especially for women it seems to me.The Chrysalis After-School mentors and facilitators discussed the kinds of compliments we like to get–about our work, being on time, and those we are not so fond of–our looks, the back-handed kind, those … Read

Divide Your Group

Martha McCormickTeam BuildingLeave a Comment

As I facilitate experiential education or group discussions, I like to divide any group that is larger than seven people into smaller groups. This makes it easier for quieter people to be heard. If I’m with a group for more than an hour or so, I mix the groups up so everyone gets to know each other better. I’ve experimented with … Read

Mingle Mingle!

Martha McCormickTeam Building2 Comments

This is a really fun way to mix a group up and then divide up cliques without anyone being the wiser. Here’s a video that is worth 10,000 words of explanation for a game I’ve used for years.

Web the Group’s Words

Martha McCormickTeam BuildingLeave a Comment

This planning technique is a group version of mind mapping; I use this system of visual note taking all the time to capture memories and ideas. Tony Buzan developed mind mapping in Britain a number of years ago; it’s used a lot more in Europe, but a good friend of mine used it in graduate school for everything from  notetaking … Read

Create a Treasure Box

Martha McCormickTeam Building1 Comment

One of my favorite ways to process learning is to use my treasure box. I usually save it for groups with whom I’ve spent at least a day. I’ve found that middle school girls love this way of processing what they have gained from their time together. A bonus is that they get to keep something to remind them of … Read

Have Fun Generating Ideas

Martha McCormickSocial Justice, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Here is a site that gives a clear description of brainstorming, with a process for narrowing ideas after the initial discussion. These eight rules provide some background for refining your brainstorming techniques for the best results in your groups. And this site for teachers has some free stuff and other ideas to take off from brainstorming like– 1. oBrainstorming Web … Read