ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTHWORKERS
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This page will present new and changing ideas for fun activities. Please send your activities by e-mail or use the guest book. Ideas from youth are especially welcome.
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Scroll through the activities or select a category to find an activity that meets your needs.
Contributed by Darin Ulmer
Guidelines: Have the group start as they are, do not ask them to circle up or sit down. Just ask the participants to all
get in the exact same position, every body part placed identically to everyone else's on the team. "We can go on as
soon as everyone complies."
Processing: Who was eventually copied by everyone else and why?
What steps can you identify that you went through as you attempted to conform to the
same position that everyone was in?
How comfortable was it to become exactly like everyone else or to go along with the peer
Who resisted and why?
THE RESULTS DRIVEN STRUCTURE
Another from Darin Ulmer
Equipment: blocks or Legos or other building materials
Guidelines: Half of the group is sightless. I usually just have them close their eyes on the honor system for safety purposes. The sighted half is without speech but each person can make a unique noise (e.g. one person may snap their fingers, another may clap, another may thump their cheek, another may whistle, etc.,). A structure is built quickly by the facilitator in the middle of the room. The speechless members may study it for up to one minute and then the facilitator will disassemble the structure and place the pieces around the room. The sightless team members may touch the building materials and may speak. The speechless team members may see and make noises, but may not touch the sightless persons nor the building materials. The team is to reassemble the structure as it was originally built by the facilitator.
What was this like in your life/job/organization?
How did it feel to be without sight/speech?
How did the team reach the solution?
Who took the lead and what did they do that was most effective?
A great indoor/rainy day activity passed on by the Florida State University Challenge Course.
Material: A box of big Legos or Tinker Toys for each team plus one extra (must be equal in terms of shapes, colors and sizes)
Preparation: Make a "creation" with one box of blocks and put it in a room where it can not be seen by the participants
Activity: To reproduce the unseen "creation" exactly.
Divide the participants into groups or keep as one, depending on size. Each group selects a Principal, Vice-Principal and a Secretary and is then given a box of blocks to assemble into the "creation" with the following conditions.
Principals are the only ones who see the "creation". Their only means of communication is talking and they can only talk to the Vice-Principals. They may not see what the team is building.
Vice-Principals may only answer the team's questions with "yes", "no" or "I don't know". They may return to talk to the Principals at any time. They can not build.
Secretaries are observers and can go anywhere but can not talk or help build. They may take notes on the action/interaction/process that takes place.
We have separate tiny rooms for all this to take place. It is fun and the kids really talk about communication, frustration, etc.
This is also a great initiative for corporate groups. A time limit is usually necessary, maybe 35-45 minutes, but it can go longer depending on the group.
Contributed by Carl.
The goal of this initiative is for a blindfolded group to form a shape with a long length of rope.
Rules are simple: No one's hands may leave the rope for more than 5 seconds at a time and the group decides when it has completed the task.
You can vary the difficulty by the length of rope, the shape the group must make (a circle is easier than a pentagon) or the method of giving them the rope. You can put it in their hands, lay it on the ground near their feet or a distance away.
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Here's a simple, yet fun activity: Each person uses different colored pen, creates a
squiggly line or scribble (the only rule is no intersecting lines) and passes it to the
person on the right who makes a drawing out of it. When a squiggle is received it can be
rotated in any direction to get an idea what to make out of it.
The drawings can be wild and imaginative, they are not judged, they're just for fun. The
results usually bring lots of laughter.
CHASE YOUR TAIL
A children's game that is fun for all ages. A great warm up activity.
Have the group stand in a line and wrap their arms around the waist of the person in front. You can name the creature just formed any animal you want. Animal sounds add to the fun. The last person in line dons the "tail", a bandana tucked into the belt or waistband. The object of the game is for the head to capture the tail (grab the bandana). When this happens the head becomes the new tail and the second in line becomes the head. People in the middle of the line can decide to help either the head or the tail and can switch allegiance at will. Larger groups can form more than one animal and each animal can chase its own tail or the tail of another animal.
Scissors is a neat trick to have in your bag for those down times when everyone is getting bored. Unfortunately, you can not do it more than once with the same group. If you do not have a pair of scissors, two sticks, two pencils or anything which can simulate open or closed scissors will do.
Have the group sit in a circle. While passing the scissors to the person on his/her right, the leader says "I receive the scissors (either open or closed) and I pass them (either open or closed)". The person receiving repeats the statement while passing to the next person. The leader (and anyone else who has caught on to the trick) announces if each part of the statement is right or wrong. Continue until everyone can pass the scissors correctly.
The trick has nothing to do with the scissors. Open and closed refer to whether the person's legs or feet are crossed (closed) or uncrossed (open) when receiving and passing.
This activity usually generates some discussion about the importance of looking past the obvious and thinking creatively.
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Contributed by Bonnie Knapp, University of Iowa
I have a game that you might be interested in to help people
understand their prejudices. You make up index cards that have
descriptions of different types of people. It could cover race, religion,
disabilities, whatever you come up with. Each person has an index card
placed on their back and they don't know what they have been labeled with.
Each person has to guess what their label is by the way others act towrds
them. I think that you could make a more serious activity by having quite
a bit of processing afterwards to talk about why others acted towards you
in a stereotypical way, and how they need to recognize these stereotypes
and prejudices that they knew they had or just recognized with this
activity. Good Luck!
Contributed by Greg.
This is a warm up activity which provides a fun and easy way to start talking about cultural diversities.
The leader names a cultural/ethnic heritage and all who are of that background, totally or in part, move to one side of the room. The others go to the opposite side. Each person in the "cultural" side shares a fact or experience about his or her heritage with the entire group. Another heritage is then named and the individuals move and repeat the process.
End with a call for those whose cultural roots have not been called and/or those who do not know their heritage.
This is a great activity for building teamwork, learning about the services available in your community and updating your resource files.
Divide your group into teams of 4 to 8. Each team should include youth and adults.
Each team receives a list of items for a scavenger hunt for information about community services. Examples: a schedule of activities at the "Y"; a Job Corps application; a brochure from a runaway shelter; a brochure from the teen health center
Teams are given a deadline to return for a pizza/ ice cream/whatever party. The team with the most items wins a small prize
Your community and the interests of your group will determine the items on the list.
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Student Staff Development and Team Building A variety of team building activities
Project WILD Handbook Information on facilitating activities and directions for some games and initiatives
Activity and Treatment Ideas Creative therapeutic recreation activity ideas that you can use in your programs
Bernie DeKoven Center For Fun and Profit Cooperative games and the Intergenerational Play Project
Games Kids Play Rules, general games information and directions for 250 games
Activity Page Another page of activities contributed by visitors to the page
Adventure and Experiential Education Directory of Web Sites
Silver Bullets by Karl Rohnke
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