Stuff from the
Ponder Path /
Make index cards to place around the area that will make an
individual, or a group stop to ponder the answer (if there is one).
Put your group into small teams and have them walk around the area,
find a card, read it out-loud and then talk about it. After they
are finished with a card, allow them to move around until the find
another card and repeat the action. There is no end of the things
to put-out on the Ponder Path. Here are a few examples you might
want to use:
Which President was responsible for bringing about Mother’s Day?
A group of what ________ is called a Paddling?
In what country did the turkey originate?
What was the name of the dog on the Cracker Jack’s box?
Did Eve have a belly-button?
What mammal cannot jump?
How many ways can you give change for a dollar?
What is the only fish that can blink with two eyes at the same time?
Variation: You could make small groups and have them sit around
you. Give one card to each group. Give them a moment or so to
discuss the card and document their answer or response. Have each
group pass their card over to the next group and repeat the scenario
until all groups have had time to work on each card. When you are
finished passing the cards around, give the answers (if there is an
answer to each card) and allow the groups to see if their answers
match-up with your answers. Do an activity that will create new,
small teams and play Ponder Path again. Answers – e-mail me
Polo / Noodle Style / Tag Game
You remember the game of Marco Polo in the swimming pool don’t you?
This game of tag is played the same in a marked off area of the
floor or playing area. Make your boundary of the imaginary pool
with rope or chalk first. Select a player to be the first tagger in
the roped area. This player will be blindfolded and given a ½ swim
noodle or ½ of a Fun Noodle. After this player is placed in the
center of the area, the other players will move into the area
silently. When all is ready, the tagger will say, Marco and the
others will respond with Polo as in the swimming pool version of the
game. Everyone tries to avoid being tagged by the noodle. All tags
need to be made below the waist and there will be no running in this
game – only power-walking or play it in “slow-motion.” When a
player is tagged, they move out of the area and run a lap or two
around the area before re-entering the game. Play for about 3 to
five minutes per round. Don’t forget to count how many players were
tagged. This will be the score for the tagger. Select another
tagger and play again. Which tagger can get the most tags in that
amount of time? Don’t forget to adjust your playing area for the
number of players and age of your players.
4 Kick 6 Initiative
Something new from my
brain today. I call it "4 Kick 6." Four players
with 6 balls to kick They could be beach balls or
The objective is for the group to keep all the balls
moving at all times. This could be a timed
initiative of a just for fun game.
I like to have one group challenge another for the win.
Split the groups away from each other so they don't get
in each other's way.
Blow the whistle and the fun begins. Tons of
communication will instantly happen. Which group
can keep all 6 of the items move longer than the other
Achilles' Heel Tag
Here's another for your
team building groups. I call it "Achilles' Heel
Tag." This is like the old Stomp the Balloon party
Give each player a handkerchief and ask them to tuck it
into the back or side of their tennis shoe. Make
sure the group is scattered out before play begins.
On the signal to begin, all players try to stomp and
dislodge other player's handkerchiefs. No player
may stop at anytime.
If they stop, they have to do 5 million Jumping Jacks!
This is a great game of agility and observation.
Kids of all ages like this one. It could also be a
team challenge. One team on one end of the gym and
the other on the other end.
Say GO! Teams cross to the other side trying to
stomp on the opponent's handkerchiefs and trying not to
lose their own.
Have them cross 5 times and then see which team has the
Activities from TERA Webpage
Texas Experiential Resources Assoc. / Conference
March 29 to April 1st.
~ INDIANA JONES & THE EARTHBALL OF DOOM! ~
Divide the group into ¼ (inner circle) and ¾ (outer
circle) sub-groups. The inner circle participants stand
with their backs together facing out. The outer circle
participants form a circle facing the inner circle.
Place one ball and one runner on the track between the
two circles. Give the runner a 4 foot lead. The
facilitator holds the ball and no one is allowed to get
behind to push start it. On “Go” everyone starts pushing
the ball towards runner with their hands as the runner
tries to run away. If participant is fast enough and
tags the ball, they win. If the ball “tags” them (or is
just about to tag them), the ball wins.
SAFETY: Do a test roll around with the ball to make sure
the two circles are spaced far enough apart. All
participants must only use their hands to propel ball
forward. No kicking or pushing with feet as the runner
could be tripped. Call “Tagged” before the runner is
actually tagged by the Earthball to avoid the runner
being flattened. Inner circle participants are often
tempted to step out to see the ball coming but that
could lead to collisions with runner.
Divide the group into two teams. Each team is given a
small tarp. Each group positions members around 3 sides
of the tarp and hold it taunt. One team lowers the tarp
and the ball is placed on their tarp. The team must work
together to toss the ball over to the other tarp.
(Sometimes the ball bounces in between and then onto the
other tarp. Ok, by me!)
With two balls and two tarps, each team could compete to
see which team could loft it in the air the highest.
~ HUMAN FOOSBALL ~
Equipment: Cageball, 6-8 retired climbing ropes, open
Divide the group into 2 teams, 6-8 people per team. Each
pair will have a rope and stand across the field from
each other (like jump rope) Pairs from team A will
alternate with pairs from team B.
The cage ball is rolled into the middle from the
sidelines and the teams swing their respective ropes to
“catch” the cage ball and toss it towards the opponent’s
goal line. Each pair must remain in their areas (cannot
run up and down the field) Once the ball is thrown past
the goal line, a point is scored. SAFETY: Watch out for
swinging ropes as they can catch an eye or whip someone.
Also gloves may be advised if playing for extended
periods to prevent blisters.
The leisurely pace of Turkey Day can
be challenging for small celebrants. Keep spirits high with this fun
The dexterity test fills downtime between courses (and may
have kids hunting for runaway game pieces).
What You Need:
Chopsticks, Unshelled Walnut, Acorn, Cranberry, Pea, Small Plate
SOCIAL / REACTION ACTIVITY
This little filler activity was taught to me by a Cherokee girl
named /Sasa (Goose).
Two players face each other and assume a thumb hold / grip. As the
players say the chant, they touch each other’s shoulder on each
The chant: This is a game of concentration – no repeat – no
hesitation – and our category is….
Suggested categories: colors, zoo animals, body parts, school
If you are the player that says the last word of the chant, you
choose a category then touch the shoulder of your opponent.
This player will then say red then touch your shoulder. You say
blue and then touch the other shoulder.
This continues until a player either repeats a color or hesitates
The winning player departs to find a new challenge while the other
player does 10 Jumping Jacks.
Japanese Game of "Ohajiki"
take turns flicking small, coin-shaped pieces called ohajiki
with their fingers, to hit other pieces.
In the old days, they used pebbles, or pieces from another game, go.
Today, the pieces are usually made of glass.
When playing, make a circle with your thumb and index finger (or
middle finger), then flick one piece with your thumb.
How to play: All players
lay down the same number of ohajiki pieces on a flat
surface, and then do jan-ken (rock, paper, scissors) to
decide the order of play.
The first person to take a turn gathers everyone's pieces, using
one hand, and then scatters them on the surface..
The player then indicates two pieces, and draws an imaginary
line between them to show how he or she intends to hit one with
f The player hits the piece as indicated, he or she keeps it.
Otherwise, it is the next person's turn. At the end of the game,
the person with the most pieces is the winner.
Japanese Game of "Hanaichimonme"
Hanaichimonme is a group outdoor
game. Divide the children
into two equal groups. The two groups hold hands with the
members of their own group.
The two groups face one another. Each team picks a players they
would like to "win" from the other group.
Then, those two players play jan-ken-pon (better known to many
of us as rock, paper, scissors).
The loser leaves his team and joins the other team, while the
winning team takes a step forward and sings out "We are happy we
won this round"; the losing team takes a step backwards and
sings "we hate to lose."
The entire process is repeated until all of the players are in
Eskimo Laughing Game
I like to teach this
game during Social Studies, when we talk about the early Native
Americans. First, divide your class into two groups. Then, draw a
line or form some sort of small boundary between the two groups.
Next, tell the children that early Native Americans didn't have the
toys that we do, so they had to find other ways to have fun. One way
they had fun is to play the Eskimo laughing game. The rules of the
game are that each side gets a turn. When it is your team’s turn,
you may go you’re your opponent’s area and try to make them laugh.
If you can make a player laugh, this player is now on your team.
Allow about 1 minute for each round. Now it’s time for your
opponents (the ones that are left) to come to your side and they
will try to make your players laugh or smile. Play until one team
has eliminated the other or give each team three tries each and then
total the number of players per team. The team with the most
players wins this funny game.
Eskimo Shoe Game
participants partner with a member of the opposite gender, if
possible (this game is described for a mixed-gender group - you will
have to modify for an all-female group). Have participants form
large circle in a male-female-male-female order. Have all male
participants remove right shoe and place in the middle of the
circle. Once the music starts participants weave in and out like in
a square dance until the music stops. Once the music stops, female
participants rush to the center and grab one shoe each. Once they
have a shoe they must then find the owner of the shoe and place back
onto their foot and sit on the floor. The last group to sit down is
out. To continue, the males put their right shoes randomly
back in the middle and start again. The last pair in the game are
declared the winners once all other groups have been eliminated.
People should get a different shoe every time to ensure that no one
is cheating by getting the same shoe each round. Variations:
This game can be adapted in many different ways. Participants could
switch roles. Different articles of clothing can be used like mitts,
Eskimo - Human Cat's Cradle
This is a lot of fun!
You'll need a large rope and ten people. First, have two players
with a smaller rope do the steps in the cat's cradle string game,
and then mimic using the large rope and lots of players as the
See how far through the string game they can get!
Ice Breaker / Getting to Know You Activity
Cut open the corner of a bag of
M&Ms and pour-out 3 to 5 M&Ms to each player. The players will then
tell the others about themselves according to the colors they have
been given. If you have a Red M&M = tell about your family. If you
have a Green M&M = tell about your school. If you have a Blue M&M =
tell something personal about yourself. Use the other colors and
select other things to talk about. Have a snack and learn about
each other at the same time.
Jacks / Small Group Activity
Make a circle of players and
select one player to start in the central hula hoop. This player
has an inflated balloon to use as the ball. The circle players will
stand about 10 to 15 feet away from the hoop and facing the hoop.
The central player will bop the balloon into the air, quickly run to
touch one of the players (this player sits down), and back to catch
the balloon before it hits the floor. The catch has to be made with
both feet in the hoop. This process continues around the circle
until all the players are sitting and the last balloon bop is
caught. It is now time to touch 2 players (they sit) and get back
in time to catch the balloon. Can a player make his/her way around
the circle of players without any mistakes? Play continues by
adding an additional touch each round. If a player can’t catch the
balloon after touching the player/s and the balloon hits the floor,
the next player takes his/her turn. Variation: When just learning
the game, use chalk and draw a larger circle in the center. This
will make the game a bit easier to start.
Toe Toss Stick
To play this game,
you needed a stick. To set up play, you first made a mark on the
ground. Then you stood behind the mark and balanced a stick on your
The object was the toss the stick as high as you could and have
it land on the mark. You got points for height and for accuracy.
Have you played Ninja
Slap or Ninja Ken yet?
Click here for rules of play
Kings Guards / Small
Make teams of five for this tag game. One player is selected
the King or Queen to begin the game, three players are the Guards
and the last player is the IT!
The objective is for the IT to tag the King or Queen if possible in
a given amount of time. The Guards must keep their hands on
their hips at all times and the IT cannot touch the guards.
If the IT touches a Guard, he will freeze, count to ten and then
resume the attack. After a set amount of time, the group will
select a new King or Queen, new Guards and a new IT to play again."
Piece Puzzle Passing
Take a piece of construction paper and cut it into five pieces.
Make several ahead of time or allow the campers or students to make
their own. Each puzzle needs to have a different cut to
challenge the players. Have your group sit in a circle to
begin with. Each player has a puzzle in front of them.
On the signal to begin, all players try to put their puzzle together
as quickly as possible or allow the group 30 seconds to a minute to
solve the puzzle. Once the time has elapsed or all the puzzles
are together, have the player’s mix-up their puzzle pieces and pass
them to the player on their right. The process begins once
more on the signal to begin.
Variation for Fitness: give each player s puzzle and have them sit
on a start-line side-by-side. Place 5 cones in front of the
group some 10 feet apart. On the “Go” signal, players quickly
put their puzzles together. The first player finished will not
have to exercise this round. The 2nd player
finished will stand and jog around the 2nd cone and back
to his/her original spot. The 3rd player finished
will jog around the 3rd
cone and back, etc. If a player can’t complete the puzzle in
the allotted time, he/she will jog around the last cone and back.
When they are beck in their original places, pass the puzzles to the
right with the end puzzle going back to the other end. Play
Suggestion: for younger students, mark the back side of the
puzzle before play. It makes it a bit easier.
Classic Game of
Rainy Day Play or when traveling.
Click here to link to game or go to the top of this
page and click on
"A Game 4 U" for many more games.
Native American Indian Game of "Sticks."
Click the above link for game page.
Bowling / Just For Fun Game / Communication Game
player is blindfolded and their teammates direct him/her to knock
over as many specifically placed 2 liter plastic bottles in 30
seconds. Each team receives the number of points that the
blindfolded player knocks down. Play continues until each player
has had a turn. The points are added and the team with the most
bottles knocked down is the winner.
is a test of quickness and it has been enjoyed by many for a long
time. The activity is played by two players. One is
holding a copper penny in his out-stretched hand, palm up. The
other player is the Copperhead (snake) and will try to take the
penny from the other player before he/she can close their fist
around the coin. The Copperhead places his hand 8 to 12 inches
above the out-stretched hand and waits for the precise moment to
strike. The copperhead should have his hand with all fingers
and thumb pointed down at the penny. The object is to strike
the out-stretched hand with fingers and thumb around the penny and
have it bounce up and into the grasp of the copperhead. This
will take a bit of practice before the Copperhead can get the coin
almost every time. The player with the penny cannot close his
hand until the copperhead starts to strike. Let the Copperhead
try 5 times to get the coin. He/she will receive 1 point for
each successful attempt. Now, it is the other player’s turn to
be the snake.
Game - Great Table Game for all ages
sit round a table with their hands flat on the table top. The
person who starts decides the direction of play and slaps their
hands down on the table, one at a time. The next player follows
immediately and play continues round the table.
These variations can be introduced at any time: a double slap
changes direction of play a triple slap means slap alternate hands
only a quadruple slap means everyone has to stand, spin round and
continue to play. Inevitably, the speed of play increases. Any
hesitation or mistake incurs forfeits or lose of one hand.
Kick Jack /
Cooperative Activity from Vietnam
is a simple but very contagious activity. I use a regular sized
beach ball and work in groups of 8 to 10 players each. The
objective is to keep the ball in play as long as possible as if
playing “Hacky Sac.” Each player may strike the ball no more than
three times before passing it to the next player. Have a group play
for a while and see how many consecutive hits they can make. After
each group is well adapted to the game, have them challenge each
other like a tournament. They will really get into this activity
from Viet Nam.
Dice Game for ALL
All players inflate their balloon,
but don't tie it.
Some players may need help. When the adult helper says "1,2,3,GO!"
The players release their balloons in the direction of the
target. If you are having a theme party, use a picture from the
theme as the target center. Score 5 points for the closest balloon
and 15 points for a direct hit. This game works well with teams -
each team gets their own colored balloons; red, blue, green etc. Or,
you do not need to keep score at all and just have fun playing the
game several times
What's My Line ?
The children sit in a circle. One
player leaves the room. While she is away the others decide what
she should be when she returns. If they decide on a Rock star, for
example, they call her back and she has to ask each player in turn
what she has to buy for herself. One will say guitar, another a
fancy costume, another a microphone and so on. If the "guesser" goes
all the way around the circle without guessing what she is, then she
must go out again. Then the players will choose something else. This
game is very easy to adapt for different age groups ,
interests, and party themes.
Large Group and/or Camp Activity
Divide into groups of three, each picking
a different bird sound such as "coo-coo," "tweet-tweet,"
One person conducts the band to the tune of a common
song such as "Mary had a little lamb."
As the conductor points to a group, they chirp or tweet
to the tune in progress.
It sounds crazy and young kids love it. Singing
and conducting are equally fun.
/ PARTY GAME
Equip: pack of cards
Players sit on chairs
in a circle and are given the name of a suit of cards (Hearts,
Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds).
The Leader turns over the top card, the players of that suit move
one chair to the left.
If the chair is occupied they sit on that persons lap. If a suit is
called and a player has someone on their lap both players move to
the next chair.
The objective is to be
the first player to make it all the way around their circle and back
to their original seat.
The following moves can also be used:
Hearts – 1 place left
Diamonds – 1 place
Clubs – 2 places left
Spades 2 places right
This is a great party game so make sure you have a great prize for
JOKERS WILD / TAG
Equip: pack of playing cards
Two players are given the joker cards, the remaining players have a
The jokers tag the other players and remove their cards.
After 1 minute, play is stopped, and the “jokers” add up how many
cards the have.
Change the “jokers”, re-distribute the cards and play again. The
“joker” collecting the most cards wins.