Pinot’s Palette

What They Do: Teach your team how to creating their very own masterpieces, while giving you room to party as you see fit.

How They Do it:  Pinot’s Palette encourages you to bring a few bottles of wine to drink while you get inspired by  local artists who will guide your team on how to paint step-by-step through a featured piece of art.

What makes them Special: The events easy to plan, and they have locations clear across the United States. There is a lot of flexibility towards how you plan events with them.

Quote from the Site: 

“It doesn’t get much better than this – we let you bring your own snacks & wine at our BYO locations or purchase libations from select locations with bars – and that’s pretty much all you need to bring. We have the art supplies, wine glasses, ice buckets – and talented instructors that will turn you into Van Gogh before you can say Impressionism.”

Who should you contact:

Pinot’s Palette, 7518 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 718-491-4386

Visit their site here: http://www.pinotspalette.com/dykerheights

 

Benefits

 
Team building activities are a great way to increase team skills, communication, improve morale and productivity. Employees benefit through experiencing a sense of accomplishment in working as a group to complete a challenging task.

Team building allows employees to return to the office reinvigorated and with a new set of problem-solving skills.

Team building provides a chance for the team to participate together in an experience where everyone starts with an equal level of knowledge about the given task. The novelty requires people to draw on and create team process skills to complete the task successfully.

The challenge of a new experience also requires employees to collaborate and work together in close proximity, which helps to develop relationships quickly.

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5 Great Debriefing Activities

Debriefing let all the lessons come to the surface, conclusions can be drawn and the concepts are clarified and cemented. Here is a selection of five games that vary in time length and complexity. 

1. Top Five – Have people on the count of three say how their day went for them personally on a scale of one to five, one being worst, five being best.  Have some or everyone share why they picked that number.

2. Thumbs up, thumbs down – Have people “shake it up” (shake their fist) and then, similar to Top Five, show on a scale of thumbs up or down, how good their day was and explain.

3. Koosh Learning Toss – Toss a ball and say something they learning from the session

4. Thank yous– thank someone who is not the instructor for something they did or an idea they shared.  Make sure that person says you’re welcome.

5. Heroes and Yahoos – Who was your hero today?  Did you make a mistake today, and what was it?  It can be helpful for leaders to share their heroes and yahoos, too if they feel its appropriate. Thumbs-Up

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15 Team Building Games You Can Play Anytime

1. Human Knot

Have everyone stand in a close circle.  Everyone put in their right hand and grab the hand of someone who is not standing next to them.  Then they put their hand and grab the hand of a different person.  The goal is for everyone to be standing hand-in-hand in a circle, untangled, without breaking hand contact with the people they are attached to.

Opportunity to discuss: communication, physical challenge, problem solving, thinking ahead

2. Back-to-Back stand-up

Good ice-breaker kind of activity, and particularly great for younger teams – the physical contact isn’t embarrassing and its fun.  Have team start in groups of two.  They sit on the ground, back-to-back and then link arms.  Their challenge is to stand up using the balance against each other, and no pushing on the ground with their hands.  Then have groups of 3, then 4, and on and on until the whole group has to figure out a solution.

Opportunity to discuss: communication, the dynamics of group when just one person changes, balance

3. Group Push-up

Similar to the Human Table, have groups of 4 of similar heights lay on the ground in a square, so their feet are resting on the back  of the person to their left.  When the group is ready, they try to push up with their arms and feel the support of others.

Opportunity to discuss communication, using your strengths combined with the strengths of others, who surprised you with their strength, goal-setting

4. Lap Sit

Have the group stand in a circle (some people find it helpful to arrange people in height order), then have everyone turn so their right shoulder is in the center of the circle.  Then have them take small steps together towards the middle until they are almost touching.  Have everyone put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them and have a countdown, and everyone sits down on the lap of the person behind them.  See how long they can hold, or have them sing a song in position.

Opportunity to discuss communication, readiness, supporting one another, trust

5. Zen Counting

This can be done anywhere, anytime.  The objective is to have the group count to a certain number, they can set the goal.  Only one person can say a number at a time.  You can’t say a number after the person next to you has gone.  Your eyes must be closed.  If those rules are broken, you must start over.

Opportunity to discuss how we handle frustration, patience, feeling it, goal-setting

6. Trust Fall

Teach the group the proper method of catching people, their arms in a “zipper” formation, with someone making sure to support the “golden triangle” of head and shoulders, those all-important bits.  Spotting stance is with one leg slightly in front of the other to make that stable triangle with the legs.

Have partners begin with trust leans – have people of similar heights pair up, and have the spotter stand in spotting position.  The leaner stands with their back to them and crossing their arms on their chest, makes their bodies stiff and then leans back into the arms of the spotter.  When both have had an opportunity to try out roles, have someone stand on a low (2 ½  to 3 ft) platform with their back to the group.  Do a safety check to make sure everyone is lined up and safe – have the group do a safety check for that matter.  Have the faller say “Ready to fall” and the group responds “Fall away.”   You can also add a “Spotters ready?” “Ready to Spot!” command.  Then the faller leans back with arms crossed on chest and body stiff.  They are released feet first to the ground.

Opportunity to discuss trust, readiness, maturity, when  do you feel safe?

7. Wind in the Willows

This is a fun activity for teaching spotting. First, teach everyone proper spotting techniques according to your organization.  Then have the group stand in a tight circle with a foot forward.  Then a team member volunteers to be in the middle.  They are to cross their arms and keep their body stiff – no dead weight!  Everyone in the circle should have one foot against the person in the middle’s feet and one foot behind them for stability, and their hands up with fingers together to protect them.  Then the person leans back and is GENTLY passed around the circle.  Everyone gets a turn in the middle.  It is a good incentive to have kids know that if they are not safe in this activity, they are not going to be able to do the low ropes elements, which is a good incentive, cuz that stuff is fun.  Remind them that they spot for the person who is doing something a little risky, and also to protect themselves.  It keeps people focused on that person, which is helpful, too.

Opportunity to discuss support, focus, trust, patience (this takes a long time so maybe limit people’s passing to one time around the circle)

8. I am Robot, Stand Me Up

This one is too much fun for the instructor! It’s a personal fave because it is FUN..  Introduce yourself as a robot from outer space who has learned the human language only to the degree where we can only understand literal instructions.  Then the facilitator lies on the group and tells the group it is their job to get the robot to stand up.  NOSTUESO (No One Speaks Twice Until Everyone Speaks First) is a great rule, and literally do what they tell you, for example, they’ll say “Stand up” – be silly and try to spontaneously stand up.  The group will eventually get the idea that they need to give really specific and step by step instructions.  I’ve had kids get down on the floor and see what the first step to getting up is.  This is a great doorway to discuss seeing things from other people’s point of view.

Opportunity to discuss empathy (they had to think like the robot to stand it up), communication, how people receive and give  information according to their needs,

9. Insignificant I

This can be very powerful.  I love it.  Have the group stand in a shoulder-to-shoulder circle, then take three average steps backward.  Their goal is to make it back into the shoulder-to-shoulder circle following these rules: Everyone is silent, No one steps twice until everyone steps once, You don’t step right after the person next to you has stepped, Only step one person at a time, Everyone must take exactly three steps.  If any rule is broken, you reform the circle and take steps backward.  But no talking in between.  Usually people figure out a pattern and it is up to others to agree and catch on.

Opportunity to discuss leadership, communication, following others’ lead

10. Light as a feather, stiff as a board

The general principle is that one team member lies in the middle of a group circle, and everyone puts two fingers from each hand underneath the person and they lift them up to their ankles, to their knees, to their waist, shoulders, and above their heads if they can.  Proper spotting would be preferred.

Opportunity to discuss trust and groups sometimes making work easier when everyone is committed to a common cause

11.Trust walk

Great if you are taking your team on a trail and want to make things interesting.  Pair up team members however you want, but I don’t recommend having them choose.  Then have one person be blindfolded and the other as a leader.  Discuss ways to make the other person feel safe.  Then have them follow you and then switch.

Opportunity to discuss trust, how you like to be lead, empathy for your partner

12. Human Spider

Give the group certain specifications on which body parts can be touching the floor – like 15 hands, 17 feet, 5 elbows, etc.  You can give them a time-limit to complete the task.  You can also do this as a parade format and have the group travel from point A to point B with the specifications you make.  Maximum fun for this is very short.  You could also have the group come up with their own challenges.

Opportunity to discuss the feeling of accomplishment, who was willing to sacrifice their comfort for the group, did that person change, thinking creatively

13. Deep listening

Simple.  Partners.  One person talks for two minutes straight, and the other person cannot talk, and still show they are listening.  Then they switch and reflect back to the other person how they knew they were listening.

Opportunity to discuss how you know when you are being listened to and how other people know you are listening and concerned

GirlListeningOnBalcony

14. I Am From Poem

This is so powerful and cool.  This is a writing exercise especially great for a group that might be from lots of different places.  Have the group divide a paper into four sections and make lists of 1) familiar sounds and sights from childhood 2) where you consider your family heritage to be from 3) familiar foods and smells from childhood 4) familiar phrases from childhood and family.  After a reasonable time have people read their poems in the format “I am from” before each of the four topics.  This is great for people who are great at writing, and even the simplest poem can be the most eloquent poem.

Opportunity to discuss empathy.  Nothing, you can just enjoy knowing what people can express. 

15. Human Alphabet

A really fun one.  Tell the group they have to make as many letters of the alphabet in 10 minutes.  Here are the rules:  they cannot speak, they do not have to be in alphabetical order, they should do only capitol letters, the letters have to make sense from an aerial view and neat, and every person should be involved in every letter.  This is especially effective when you have groups for a rotation of 10 minutes each so they can kind of compete with each other.  Familiarity with English alphabet is a plus.

Opportunity to discuss leadership and following, communication, planning, strategy, competition, making sure everyone’s ideas are heard

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Great Team Building Games

These games will require a little more prep, like props or space specific requirements. Sometimes it is easier to have a game you can create from nothing, but when you have the space and time, these are great group bonding games.

Group Juggle

A personal favorite.  This is almost a name game, but doesn’t really work as such, it is part ice-breaker, part name game, part team-builder.  Okay, so stand in a circle.  The leader begins the game, tossing a ball to one person and says their name.  That person passes it on to a person who hasn’t gotten the ball yet.  It’s important to remember who you are throwing to!  Once the ball has gotten to all participants, then have them repeat the pattern a little faster.  After that round, start adding another ball.  Between rounds, reflect on how the group is functioning, and see what suggestions people have for the group.  I recommend having ridiculous objects at your disposal, because you can also bring up the topics of distraction and focus to group dynamics.

Opportunity for: communication, focus, laughing together, getting a rhythm as a group

Margic Carpet

A good starter is to have everyone stand around the tarp in a circle and then pick it up with their hands on the edge.  Their goal is to flip the tarp over without anyone’s hands leaving the tarp.  Then, when they’ve completed that challenge, move on to the next challenge: Have a group stand on a tarp that is just big enough for all participants to stand on.  The objective is to have the participants completely flip the tarp over without any body part touching the ground and end up standing on the other side.  There are two basic solutions: 1) have everyone crowd to one side and have someone twist a corner to the opposite side.  One person stands on that turned over bit and twists that part bigger and another person joins.  2) everyone crowds on one side and they bring the opposite corner over, so there’s a triangle of turned-over space that one person stands on, and people have to shuffle to coax this one over.  Topics to discuss – who was the leader?  Who had an idea and didn’t speak up?

Other challenges: silently, blindfolded.

Opportunity to discuss:: communication, leadership, following, creative problem-solving

Human Table

You need 4 milk crates for this one.  Arrange the crates in a 2×2 square, with the solid bottom side on top.  Have 4 participants sit on the crates, so when everyone lays back, their heads are on the lap of someone else, and someone’s head is on their lap, so in all different directions.  Have everyone lay back so their heads are resting on the person’s lap to their left.  Then engage their muscles so they are supporting each other and then you can pull the crates out.  It is a great idea to have them see how long they think they can hold it.

Opportunity to discuss: communication, using your strengths combined with the strengths of others, who surprised you with their strength, goal-setting

Maze of Life

Make a grid pattern with tape or lines drawn in the ground.  Start simple, such as a 3×3 grid with spaces big enough for a person to stand in.  The objective is for the group to start on one side of the grid and to follow a pattern to the other side.  The participants are trying to figure out the pattern the facilitator has thought of.  Participants have to start on the side closest to them and end on the opposite side.  The next step will always be a square touching theirs, side-by-side or diagonally.  They will use every square.  No one attempts twice, until everyone has attempted once, and so on.

Optional rules: 1 person on the grid at a time.

If you are on the grid, you can’t talk

If you are on the grid, you are the only one allowed to talk

No one crosses to the other side of the grid until everyone is on the grid.

Opportunity to discuss decision-making, how we handle making mistakes, peer pressure, paying attention to the mistakes of others, patience, strategic problem-solving

 

Closed-Eye Rope Shapes

Have everyone stand in a circle around a long piece of rope that is tied together in a circle.  Their hands are now cemented to that part of the rope.  Now, blindfold everyone.  Give them a shape to make and have them let you know when the group has successfully completed that polygon.  You can say they have to make it as perfect as possible.  Or not.  Then have everyone take off their blindfolds and laugh at the hot mess of a polygon they have made.  Start with easy shapes like triangles, and squares, then move up to stars, or octagons or whatever geometry has to offer.  On this plane.

Opportunity to discuss how everyone might have a different idea of “perfect” or “success,” communication, leading and following, group agreement

 

Crossing the River with pieces of stuff that you have to reuse

Often called the Peanut Butter River or Lily Pads, but I can’t get down with that.  Anyway, the objective for this game is for everyone to pass over a “river” usually marked off with rope, only using some carpet squares or “lily pads”.  Other rules to play with: no one can be on the opposite shore until everyone is off the first shore, if no one is touching a lily pad, then the facilitator takes away that pad, they can choose to start over at any time, and when they do, they get all their lily pads back.

Opportunity to discuss sacrifices (the lily pads), balance, communication, problem solving, the challenge of communicating in a line rather than a circle

Build a tower

This is a City Year goodie.  We were given random assorted office supplies and told to make the tallest tower that we could in 20 minutes with a group.  I believe everyone had different handicaps – one person could see and talk but their hands were tied behind their back, one person could be blindfolded and talk and they had to do the building.  Or you could keep it simple and just say everyone had to be involved in some way.  Then test each tower for height and strength and find something positive about each tower.  Encourage other groups to say something positive and constructive about each tower.

Opportunity to discuss how people achieve the task, how we define success, goal setting

Lighthouse

A favorite with many!  Simple version: Have everyone stand in a shoulder-to-shoulder line.  One person is selected to be blindfolded and find an object in an area where the whole group cansee.  One person is selected to give instructions to the person finding the object.  The instruction-giver can’t see where the object is hidden (by the facilitator), but they can see everyone else in the group.  The people in line cannot move their feet or speak in any way.  The game continues until the blindfolded person has found the object.

Fancy version: There are two lines of mimes, facing each other, two finders, and two instruction-givers.  You can hide two objects or make it a race to find one object.  You can also add a “singer” who stands on the opposite team’s side in a confined space like a hula hoop and “sings” as a distraction to the other team – no words allowed though.

Opportunity to discuss communication, working to people’s strengths, frustration, group goals, disappointment (everyone wants to be blindfolded), patience, agreement on strategy

Pitcher Pass

Have the group stand in a circle.  Give them a pitcher full of water, or if you can’t get messy, then a pitcher of tennis balls.  They are to pass the pitcher around the circle without spilling it.  Now without their hands, not without their arms, now without their feet – get creative on their limitations and creativity will come back to you.  Lots of fun!

Opportunity to discuss creativity, blaming vs. encouragement, teaching, learning, trusting a person not to spill on you

Tank

This is a sneaky team-building game because kids don’t realize they are working together!  Partner students together, one tank-driver and one tank.  The tank is blindfolded and the tank driver cannot touch the tank, only give them verbal instructions.  There are several soft and squishy balls scattered over the playing field.  The tanks are the only ones allowed to pick up the balls and throw them at other teams.  If either member of a team is hit, they are both out.  Play to elimination.

Opportunity to discuss what successful teamwork looks like, encouragement, competition and teamwork, trust

Steal my Chicken

A popular one.  The facilitator has some object at their feet- let’s say it’s a rubber chicken with their back turned to the group.  The group is behind a line about 30-40 feet away to start with.  When you say “Steal my Chicken” the students advance toward you. When you say “Gotcha” you turn around and the group freezes – if someone doesn’t freeze immediately, they go back to the beginning.  They are trying to get the chicken back over the line before you can guess who has it on the way back.  Tell the group to really plot against you and be sneaky.

Opportunity to discuss strategic thinking, planning as a group, agreement on a method, goals

Pipeline

Fun, and requires specialized materials.  People sometimes make pipelines out of PVC pipe cut in half.  When there isn’t that option, I’ve used bowls, pitchers and plates in between.  You also need a marble.  Set up a bucket about 20 feet away from a starting mark.  I often tell the students that a tiny planet (the marble), has been flung out of its galaxy (the bucket) and needs to get back to the planet only touching the special objects you have given them, otherwise the planet will be flung back to the beginning.  Also, it must pass through everyone’s pipeline in order to be protected.  If you successfully complete it, you will be treated to dinner by anyone on the tiny planet when you visit next time.  Cheesy story, but it works.

Opportunity to discuss frustration, persistence, changing a plan, patience when something goes wrong

All aboard

Have a platform about half a foot high that the group has to squeeze to fit everyone onto.  Then have them all fit onto the platform so no body part is touching the ground for however long of a goal they set.

Opportunity to discuss personal space and groups, creative problem solving, who was willing to sacrifice their comfort for another, using people’s strengths

 

Turnstiles

This is essentially a giant jump rope game.  Old climbing rope is fabulous for this because it’s nice and long.  Have the group start on one side of the rope and tell them when they are ready, they have to ask you permission to turn the rope.  Then they all have to get to the other side without getting hit by the rope.  Variations include, having them all go at once, having them go in varying group sizes, give them an enigmatic pattern that they never get right.

Opportunity to discuss trust in team- mates, strategic planning, encouragement

 

Helen Keller

Divide the group into pairs.  One person is Helen Keller and is blindfolded and is not allowed to talk.  The other is supposed to teach the person an action or concept without talking to them.  Things to learn can be a number, the Macarena, kicking, waving, etc.  Then have the groups switch.

Opportunity to discuss empathy for how another person processes information, patience, creativity,

Helium Hula Hoop

Have everyone stand in a circle with their index fingers out in front of them, palms facing each other.  Then lower a hula hoop onto the participants’ fingers and tell them the objective is to lower the hula hoop to the ground.  They are not allowed to hook their fingers or put anything on top of the hula hoop.  This also works great with a tent pole with people in a line facing each other.

Opportunity to discuss how to handle frustration, problem-solving, leadership and following

 

25 Get to Know You Games for Small Groups

Games encourage groups to break down barriers by having a little fun together. Sometimes it takes a little inspiration to find some new things to do with your team. We’ve got you covered! Here is a list of 25 new ideas to inspire you!

1. Foot Tower

Have everyone lay in a circle with their feet in the middle of the circle, and try to make a foot tower as high as they can.

2. M&Ms

Everyone loves chocolate and talking about themselves.  Have everyone take a handful of M&Ms but don’t eat them yet.  Then, you go around the circle and each person shares one thing about themselves per M&M.  You can assign different colors different topics like family, pets, friends, love etc. if you want to get fancy.

3. The Question

Simply ask a question at the beginning of each session and let everyone who wants to answer it.  This is simple, but people really get to know each other.  I was in an awful freshman seminar, but the question game was my favorite part of the day.  You can also have everyone put a question into a hat and then someone else picks a question, reads it, go around the circle and answer it.  Passes are optional.

4. Group Juggling

Everyone stands in a circle.  Start with one ball, saying one person’s name and tossing it to them – it should get to everyone with no repeats and then back to the facilitator.  You may want to remind them to remember who they threw it to.  Then have them repeat a little faster, and then add other objects.  Start with things like tennis balls and then move up to the stuffed gorilla to get people to laugh.   I really like this, but not everyone does.  I like that it gets people to laugh and you can see who is able to focus.

5. Middle names

Tell us what it means.  Go around the circle.  Done.  Good little time filler.

6. Animal Game, Quaker style

Sit in a circle, and everyone go around and decide on what will be their animal sign.  Then you get a rhythm going so that its kind of like name tag: clap clap your own gesture, clap clap someone else’s gesture.  Then that person has to do their own gesture and someone else’s gesture, on and on, til someone messes up.  Fun and silly.

7. Screaming Toes

Stand in a circle.  The facilitator will say either “look down” or “look up.” When they say look down, everyone looks at their toes.  When the facilitator says “look up” they look at someone’s face.  If the person they are looking at happens to be looking back, they have to scream and then they are both out.  Surprisingly amusing.

8. CY Smackdown

Everyone lays down on their bellies with their heads towards the middle of the circle.  Everyone puts their right hand face down, and then their left hand underneath the right hand of the person next to you.  Then try and go around without a person using the wrong hand at the wrong time.  If you mess up, the hand that messed up is out, but the other hand is still in til it messes up.  Play with misses, double hits to reverse, knock to skip a hand, and double-knock to reverse skip.

9. Zoom

Say “Zoom” to pass the game to the person to your left, then you can reverse the direction either with Zoom or you can make up a different word.  Add other random words to move things along: “Ramp” you put your arm diagonally and the play skips the person next to you.  “Zap” moves the play to any person in the circle you are looking at, and they have to continue.  “Wow” makes everyone change places except the person holding the “energy ball” and “Superwow” everyone has to dance to a new spot.  Make stuff up as your creativity allows.   This is a game to get people focused and energized.  You can play it elimination style where if you hesitate or say the wrong thing.

10. This is a What

Players sit in a circle on the ground.  This is a focus game that for some reason when I was a kid we played for a long time – it’s a focus game.  So, you need a pile of random objects in front of the person starting out.  Let’s say they pick up a spoon and they turn to the person next to them and the following dialogue ensues.

1.  This is a spoon

2. A what?

1. A spoon

2. A what?

1. A spoon

2. Oh, a spoon!

Then 2 turns to 3 and repeats this little dialogue.  Meanwhile, 1 starts another dialogue with 2 with a different object.  So you try to go around the circle with no one messing up the order.  You might have to see it to get it.

11. Ducky Fuzz

Everyone sits in a circle.  Saying “fuzzy duck” passes the play to the person on the right, and “ducky fuzz” passes the play to the left.  If you mess up, you have to do a silly dance or are out.

12. Ninja Training

I always tell people that in this game, do as I say, not as I do.  The facilitator will tell the group that they are going to say either “head” “shoulders” or “knees” and the players will have to touch any of these places.  However, the instructor might say “head” while touching his/her shoulders and will mess everyone up.  Elimination or just to test themselves and improve.

13. Gotcha

Everyone stands in a circle, and you put your right finger in the left palm of person next to you.  Make sure everyone has flat palms.  When the leader says “gotcha,” try to get your finger to escape and grab the person’s finger next to you.  Then you can reverse (left finger, right palm) to test people.  People LOVE this.

14. Finger Wiggle Thing

You know the thing where you put your hands together so that your middle fingers look like they’re one big finger wiggling in the middle?  Palms together, cross middle fingers and then turn your hands in opposite directions so they are still palm to palm, but one middle finger up and one finger down.  Try it by yourself, then try to do that with a partner.  Then stand in a circle and see if you can get the whole group to finger wiggle together.

15. Enemy/Protector

Define boundaries so everyone has enough room to move around.  Then everyone silently picks one person at random to be their enemy and a different person to be their protector.  Once everyone has picked  both people, then the facilitator says “go” and everyone tries to get as close to their protector and as far away from their enemy as they can go (within the boundaries of course)  Maximum fun time for this game is very short, but it’s a goofy fun one.

16. Scream Test

Great stress reliever.  Everyone stands in a line, shoulder to shoulder.  Then you run as long as you can scream in one breath.  Then each person stops where they ran out of breath.  You can do this individually or have the entire group go.  Some people use this as a chance to talk about diversity in people and in nature, and how without diversity, neither groups of people nor nature would continue to function.  Some people don’t.  But who doesn’t like to scream and run?

17. Two Truths and a Lie

One person in the group says three things about themselves – two of which are true and one is a lie.  The group has to guess which is the lie.  This game is fun in its simplicity.

18. Jedi Mind Trick

A City Year fave.  Everyone stands in a circle and one person in the middle is “it.”  Everyone starts looking around.  Once they make eye contact with someone they have to switch places.  The person who is “it” will try and take someone’s place while they are in transit.  A safety note – kids should cross their arms over their chest and keep these “bumpers” up during the game to reduce pushing and shoving.

19. Wah

Everyone stands in a circle.  One person begins by clapping their hands together towards another person and screams “wah!”  The person they pointed to claps their hands over their head and says “wah!” At the same time the two people standing next to the person who was pointed at pretend to chop at that person in the stomach and shout “wah!”  Then the person who was pointed out points at someone else and the process starts again.  Elimination game.

20. Dippety Dippety Dip

This is even more ridiculous than Wah.  So, one person (A) begins by saying “Dippety Dippety Dip!”  On each word A points their hands (which are clapped together) at someone.  The person they point to on “Dip”, let’s call them B.  B then says and points the “Dippety Dippety Dip” thing.  Meanwhile, the two people standing next to B say “Dip Dip Dip” while bouncing in a circle on each “Dip.”  It’s wicked confusing.  So if you mess up you are out!

21. Heads and Butts

Divide into two groups.  One group is the heads, and they put one hand on their head.  The butts put one hand on their butt.  Define boundaries.  When the facilitator says “Go!’ then everyone starts to tag each other.  If a head tags a butt, they become a head.  If a butt tags a head, they turn into a butt.  The game ends when everyone is either a head or a butt.  If you go out of bounds, you have to put one hand on your head and one hand on your butt and do the “danky butt-head dance.”   Way fun.

Elbow Tag – A classic.  Everyone stands in a pair with elbows linked except for two people.  One is “it” and one is being chased.  If the person being chased gets tagged, they are it.  The person being chased can be saved by finding another pair of people and linking elbows with one of them.  The person on the end of that chain has to then be chased by the person who is it.

22. Giants, Wizards, Elves

A big version of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Divide the group into two groups.  Each group starts out behind a set of cones or line of some sort.  The groups have to decide if they are going to be giants, wizards or elves.  Then the have a showdown where they shout “Giants! Wizards! Elves!” until they meet in the middle and they present whatever they are.  Giants have hands above their heads, wizards have their hands out in front and elves make little elf ears with their hands.  Giants beat wizards, wizards beat elves, elves beat giants.  Whoever wins the showdown tries to tag the other group before they make it over the line.  Anyone the winning group tags joins their team.

23. Amoeba

Tie everyone together and make them move from one place to another

24. Eetchee Meeney Hoi!

A GREAT game.  This is a competitive team game, but involves no skill whatsoever.  The set-up is a baseball diamond, preferably with the bases closer together than normal.  Divide the group into two teams and have them each line-up behind home plate.  The first person in line from each team starts walking the bases, but one team heads to 3rd base first, and the other heads to 1st base first.  They should WALK until they meet the opposing team.  Then they do Rock, Paper, Scissors, but they have to say Eetchee Meeney Hoi.  The loser is out, and the winner continues to try and score a run.  Whoever has the most runs wins.  SO fun!

25. Yeehaw!

Stand in a circle.  YEHAW with an arm movement to the left or the right passes movement around the circle.  You can HAYBARN with a movement with your arms above your head and your hands together.  This skips the person next to you and goes to the next person.  DOWN LITTLE DOGGIE  you turn your fingers into little guns and point to someone in the circle, and they are now it.  If anyone messes up, they become hecklers on the side.  This is usually a short game.

 

 

Top 10 List of Get to Know You Games for Large Groups

Playing games is a great way for teams to bond- you laugh, you communicate, you learn how to work together in an atmosphere of friendly competition. Here is a list of 10 games that you can play just about any where and require little to no preparation.

1. Captain’s Coming

One of those milling about games.  The facilitator will tell the participants certain groups that might be called out, such as “lifeboat” (3 people linking arms in a circle), Lookout (one person kneels on the ground with one leg up, the other with their foot up on the leg of the other, looking out), rowboat (6 people in two rows, rowing), captain’s coming (everyone freezes individually while people get them to laugh).  This is an elimination game and if you don’t find yourself in a group or laugh during Captain’s Coming, then you’re out and try to get others to laugh when CC is called.

2. Evolution

This is another fun variation on Rock Paper Scissors.  Everyone starts out as an egg (squatting and hands above the heads) and then plays one another in Rock Paper Scissors.  The winner of the game will “evolve” to become a Chicken (arms flapping).  They find another Chicken to play and then evolve to a Robot, Big Fluffy Cloud (arms waving), Dinosaur (arms making a giant mouth), Super Hero (hand on hip, other fist in air) and a Supreme Being a.k.a. a Nature’s Classroom teacher if you happen to be in that fantastic role.  If you lose to a Supreme Being, you would go back to being an egg, etc.

3. Go

An improv game that is simple and fun. In a circle, you say a person’s name and move to take their space in the circle.  They have to say someone’s name before you take their place.  Maximum fun time is short.

4. Human Bingo

Requires a bit of preparation, just a warning.  You can take this in two directions. 1) You ask everyone to write down a fact about them that others might not know and then compile the list into a bingo sheet or 2) Just make up your own human bingo sheet with items like “I am scared of spiders” “I have red hair” “I can’t stand snow” whatever.  The idea is that then you set the group loose, and they have to either get someone to write their name in all spaces, or in a traditional bingo pattern.

5. Person to Person

Best for a big, big group.  You have the group wander around and then you call out two body parts, like “Knee to knee” or “Elbow to ankle.”  Everyone has to find a pair in that particular configuration and then share a deep personal piece of information such as their favorite cereal.

6. The Great Wind Blows

Everyone stands in a circle and then one person goes in the middle.  The person in the middle says that “The great wind blows for anyone who….” Enjoys fishing, pizza, is wearing jeans, etc.  If the last bit applies to you, you have to find a new space.   If you are caught without the space, you go in the middle and raise a topic.  Beware the wise-ass kid who will not find a space on purpose to monopolize the game!

7. Pigeon’s in the Park

Everyone mills around and there are a few “pigeons.”  When the leader calls “Pigeons in the Park” everyone freezes with their eyes open and the pigeons are to go around and try to get the statue-like children to laugh without touching them.  If they laugh, they become pigeons for the next round.  Hilarity ensues.

8. Each One Teach One

Based on a South African principle about how to educate a nation with limited resources.  The idea was that one person teaches one other person some skill they have and knowledge spreads.  So, a great activity for a large group is to have people pair off with someone they don’t know, or whoever and they take about 4 or 5 minutes to teach each other a skill they have.  I’ve seen anything from how to fall asleep on public transport without getting your wallet stolen to tortilla-making.

9. Rock Paper Scissors Cheerleaders

Very fun and simple and it has a definite end, which can be great.  People mill about and play each other in Rock Paper Scissors.  The loser then becomes the winner’s cheerleader in their next game and it kind of snowballs until there’s a huge championship.

10. Will’s Song Game

This game is super fun.  Divide the group up into maybe four equal groups.  Then, the object is for each group to sing a line from a song that has a certain word like “love” in it.  If they repeat or hesitate too long, then their group is out and you keep going til there’s a champion.  Other fun words to use: “sad” “sun” “happy” “rain”