Note: this page is dedicated to sharing ideas and activities among facilitators of experiential education. If you have an activity or idea you'd like to share, send it to Carla Hacker.
Cacophony: With group in a circle, the leader begins by making some kind of a noise. Using a hand squeeze, she continues with her sound and the person next to her adds their own. Continue around the circle until there is a cacophony. The leader then stops her sound, squeezes the hand of the person next to her, who stops hers, and so on around the circle until it is quiet.
Everybody's It: A tagging game that involves each participant as both a runner and a tagger. When tagged, runner drops to one knee. S/he can rejoin the game by tagging a runner and exchanging places. Game ends when 2 players are left and one is tagged or takes a step backward.
Name Swat: Person in the middle is armed with a "bopper" -long soft tagging item. Someone in the circle calls a name. The person whose name was called quickly calls another person's name and so on. If the center person tags them below the knees before they call another name, they replace the tagger.
Ah-So-Koh: Standing in a circle, this game begins when one person puts their hand on top of their head and says "Ah". The person next to them in the direction their fingers are pointing puts their hand under their chin and says "So". The person next to them in the direction their fingers are pointing points to someone across the circle and says "Koh". The person pointed to can begin again with Ah or send it back to the pointer by holding hands up and saying "No", in which case the pointer begins again with "Ah". As players make mistakes, they are removed from the game by the rest of the group counting "1-2-3 Yer Outta Here!" Players outside the circle heckle remaining players without touching, or blocking vision attempting to cause them to make a mistake.
Mergers: Beginning with various circle sizes, scattered throughout the available space, have participants put feet completely on or in a circle. When signaled to switch, move to new circle with the same criteria. Facilitator removes circles until one remains.
Waiting to Inhale: Moving in a line, each person in the line is the line leader for the group for as long as they can hum on one breath. When they are close to running out of air, they use a signal to let the person behind them know that the next person needs to move up. The leader then moves to the end of the line. Leadership continually changes, have group set a goal for distance they can cover on one rotation, etc.
Get it Together: A line up icebreaker activity that involved lining up three different ways: Alphabetically by street name using voices, line up by age -no voice, line up by number of siblings, no voice, no hand signals.
Fox and Squirrels: Using a circle formation, give the group three balls, two identical, one different. The balls that are the same are the foxes, the different one is the squirrel. The foxes can move around the circle by being passed hand to hand in either direction. The squirrel can be passed around or tossed across the circle. The squirrel is caught by the foxes anytime the foxes are on both sides of the squirrel.
Screaming Toes: In a circle formation on a verbal signal, the entire group looks up, looks down, looks across the circle at another player. If they make eye contact with the person they are looking at, both people scream and trade places.
Hula Hoop Activities:
- Circle the Circle: Standing in a circle with hands joined, and a hula hoop between two people, send the hula-hoop around the circle without letting go of hands. Try two hoops moving in different directions.
- Time portal: This activity can be presented with the story line of a lost day that needs to be retrieved, a Wrinkle in Time scenario, etc. Everyone stands in a circle with hands joined. Two people hold on to each side of the hoop. The entire group must pass through the hoop without touching it and be in the starting configuration when they are finished.
Morels: Begin with the group standing on spots scattered around the playing area. On a signal, each person must switch to a different spot. Any unattended spot may be picked up by the facilitator. The goal is to keep as many of the spots as possible.
What Am I Doing?: Participants stand in circle. One pair is in the middle, one of the pair begins to do an action, the other person asks "What are you doing?" S/he responds with an answer different than the action being performed. The other person begins to do the action stated, while the first person asks the question. Continue until someone misses. Replace with a new pair.
Twizzle: Group stands facing either cw or ccw in a circle and are given a set of commands to move in the direction they are facing. The commands are Walk-walk forward, Stop-freeze, Turn-turn 180 and freeze, Jump-jump and turn 180 and freeze, Twizzle-jump and turn 360 and freeze (this turn can be made in 1,2,or 4 jumps). Players who make a mistake are invited to take themselves out of the game, but will not be eliminated by the leader or other players. (Quicksilver, p. 137)
Auto Tag: Everyone finds a partner and links up. One pair is "it" and each holds soft objects in outside free hands. A tag is made if they hit one of the other pairs. After a hit the partner drops the ball and the team that was hit picks up the balls and is now "it". (Quicksilver, p.100)
Bing Bang Buzz: With group in a circle, one person begins counting. Going around the circle each person says a number sequentially until they get to the number 7, a multiple of 7 or a number with 7 in it. That person says BUZZ and the direction reverses. As the need for challenge increases add BANG for 5's. As group progresses add BING for 3's. (Quicksilver p.105)
Wizards and Gelflings: Taggers are the wizards and they are armed with a soft tagging object. Gelflings are the runners. There is a scenario involving the wizards being controlling creatures who want to get in the way of the gelflings fun. After being tagged the gelfling is frozen and holding one palm flat, the other in a fist with thumb pointing up the gelfling beats their fist up and down on the outstretched palm and squeals "Help Me, Help Me". To be freed, two other gelflings on the loose must join hands around the frozen gelfling and say, "Go free gelfling, Go free!" Continue until all the gelflings are frozen or until there is a need to change wizards. (Quicksilver, p. 143)