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# Staff Development Reference Guide

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A compilation of ice breakers, team builders, and general development activities. Each activity is broken down by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) as well as time frame, group size, and activity level.

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### Staff Development Reference Guide

1. 1. Staff Development Reference Guide A few notes about this packet: Each activity is broken down into three main categories: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Every activity also has an estimated timeframe, ideal group size, and approximate activity level. This being said, many of the activities in this guide can be structured/adapted to fit the needs of your particular group. Some activities are accompanied by processing questions, whereas others will need the facilitator to think of his/her own. Either way, make it your own! This guide is a compilation of activities from a variety of sources. I have not facilitated or processed many of these personally, so some of the estimations listed for each activity could be slightly inaccurate. Just go with it, and feel free to update whatever works for you.  Compiled by C. Drew August 2011
5. 5. Fuzzy Ducky Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low Silly concentration game and great warm-up. All participants in a circle. We will count numbers clockwise, except: o any number that is a multiple of 3, or contains a 3 (like 13) becomes 'Fuzzy' o any number that is a multiple of 7 or contains a 7 (like 17) becomes 'Ducky' o any number that is a multiple of 3 and 7 (like 21) or contains both 3 and 7 (like 73 and 37) becomes 'Fuzzy Ducky') Hesitate Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: Low In this game a scene is played, in which at any time, any player may 'hesitate', and ask the audience for help. Anything provided by the audience must be justified and incorporated. (Examples: James, hand me that .... (signs the audience for a word) -- Lollypop. Or: Ah, I was sailing the 7 seas in my .... Newspaper. Yes, Newspaper, finest vessel ever built by ..... (Martians) Killer Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low The group sits in a circle, where one participant has been designated, “it” (by drawing cards, or slip of paper, whatever the facilitator chooses.) The object is for the killer to wink at group members, who then “die” (leave the game.) Encourage creativity in death scenes. One can accuse if one suspects or catch the killer in action, but if they are wrong, they must also die. Enemies & Allies Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Moderate/High Individually, participants mentally select one other participant to be their “Enemy” and another participant to be their “Ally.” When the facilitator says, “Go,” participants should run around and try to align themselves so that their Ally is directly between them and their Enemy. Play continues as long as the facilitator would like. Jedi Mind Trick Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Moderate/High Stand in a circle with one person in the middle. The goal of the person in the center is to take another participant’s place in the circle. Members of the outer circle attempt to switch places without losing a spot in the circle to the person in the middle. To switch places, a participant on the outside makes eye contact with another member of the circle and then both members run across the circle and switch places – no one may switch spots with the person next to them. No talking or additional gestures can be used. Human Letters Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: Moderate Divide the team into groups of 4 to 5 people. The facilitator calls out a letter. Each group has to spell out the letter on the ground with their bodies. The group to get the letter the fastest, or the most accurate, wins. Keep score.
10. 10. Eye Contact Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low Standing in a circle, have everyone look down. On a certain cue have everyone look up at a specific person. If you make eye contact with someone you must take a step back from the circle. If you do not make eye contact with the person you are still in the game. The game continues until two people remain. Psychic Ten Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low Sitting in a group, with eyes closed, try to count to 10. Only one person in the group can speak at a time, if more than one speaks, the group must start over again. Name Crostics Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Moderate Give a piece of paper to every participant and ask them to write their name in the middle of the paper about a half an inch high. When given the signal, the participants should move around the room, attaching their names to their name if the letters fit (like a crossword puzzle). The person who is able to attach the most names is the winner. Balloon/Ball Game Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low/Moderate Pass a beach ball/balloon around the circle and have everyone write one or two questions on it (depending on the size of the group and the ball.) Once it is complete, pass the ball around the circle. The person who catches it must answer the question nearest to his/her right thumb. Option: create your own “question ball/balloon” & provide it to the participants. The Cold Wind Blows Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Moderate/High All players but one sitting a circle, one person in the middle. The person in the middle calls out a category or some descriptive that applies to that person, and at least one other person in the middle. (i.e “The cold wind blows on anyone who likes the color yellow.”) When called, if a player matches the description must leave his/her chair and find another chair. The person that doesn't find a chair becomes the next in the middle. Note: the things shared in the middle can be as lighthearted or deep as the group is comfortable. Human Dragon Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: High Divide your team into 4 teams of 6-8 individuals. You can have odd numbers or vary the length of the "dragon" depending on the skill, size and ability of your athletes. Each team designates the "head" person and the "tail " section of the Human Dragon. All other team members fill in behind the head of the dragon by holding on to the person in front of them at the waist. The goal of the activity is to have the head of each dragon attempt to tag the tail of any other dragon team. Only heads of the dragon can do the tagging because all other team members must remain connected (with two hands) to their teammates. Players attempt to avoid having their team's tail be tagged and skillfully attempt to shield their tail from other dragons on the prowl.
11. 11. Money Madne\$\$ Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: High The moderator needs a whistle and follows the sequence on the paper. Each person gets \$3000 to start the game. Tell the participants that every time they hear the whistle they have to throw a \$1000 in the air. If you get it back, great, if not, someone else gets it. Special Note: Each participant gets one free exchange of money during the game. If they get down to only a \$1000 they may ask someone else for a \$1000. If you get asked for a \$1000 you must hand it over. But you only may do this once during the game, so do it sparingly. Listed below are some ideas, feel free to make up your own: o Find someone of the same sex. Add up the letters of your first, middle, and last name. The competitor with the longest name wins \$1000 from the loser. o Find someone with glasses on, or contacts. Say “AHH” together until one person runs out of breath. Whoever can say “ahh” the longest wins \$1000 from the loser. o Find anyone you don’t know. Both of you start singing the National Anthem one word at a time alternating between both of you. The first person to make a mistake gives \$1000 to the other person. o Find someone that looks like you. Play the game “Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish…” (You know the game you all played when you were young to decide who was it first.) The loser of the game has to give the winner \$1000. o Find someone who has the same color hair as you do. Both of you empty your front two pockets. Whoever has the most junk in them has to give the other person \$1000. o Find someone who is the same heights as you. They must switch money with you! Group Juggling Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Activity Level: Low/Moderate Create a group of 5-7; meanwhile, have available enough comparatively soft, throwable objects (nerf balls, softies, beanbags, tennis balls) so that there are a few more than one per person. Have the group stand in a circle facing one another and so that the circle’s diameter is no more than 12-15 feet. One person in a group of six keeps the throwable objects nearby and lobs one of them to a person across the circle. That person lobs the ball to a person opposite from him/her and this continues until a person-to-person sequence is set. Do no throw to the person next to you. Once everyone knows whom to throw to and receive from, the initiator starts the ball again, but this time includes another ball and eventually another until there are six balls being kept aloft simultaneously. Try reversing the sequence; i.e., throwing to the person you formerly received from and/or juggle the same amount of objects as there are people in the group (i.e. 6 people, 6 objects.) Guess It Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: High This is good activity for large groups. The facilitator explains that s/he is going to mention a few things about him/her and then make a guess as to how many of the participants have any of those things in common. The participants should raise their hands if the statement applies. For example, the facilitator might say, “I like the color purple. I guess that 10 of you will also like the color purple.” The participants then raise their hands. This activity allows the participants to get a sense of commonalities. Option: if the facilitator gets it right (or very close, depending on the size of the group,) bring someone else to the front to share & guess. Also: the facilitator can write his/her guess on a piece of paper, rather than saying it aloud.
12. 12. Two Truths and a Lie (with a small twist) Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low Each team member writes 2 true facts and one lie on a card. The facilitator collects the cards and reads them aloud. The team members try to first guess who wrote the “facts” on the card, and then decide which fact is the lie. Tic Tac Toe Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Small/Medium Group Activity Level: Low/Moderate You need nine chairs set up in three rows. Divide the team into two groups: X's and O's. Just like in regular tic-tac- toe, the X's and O's alternate, except they sit in the chairs instead of drawing it out on paper. Ask a question of your choosing (could be about anything,) the first team to answer correctly gets to send a representative to a chair. The first team to get three in a row, diagonally, vertically or horizontally, wins. Recommendation: use some sort of buzzer to aid in the answering of questions. Card Triangles Estimated Time: 15 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: Moderate Before the activity, get a deck of playing cards and cut the cards in half diagonally, then in half diagonally again, so each card is now in four triangle quarters. Mix all the pieces well, and place an equal number of pieces in the same number of envelopes as you will have groups. Divide the participants into teams of approximately three or four. Give each team an envelope containing playing card triangles. Tell the teams that they have only pieces of their cards, and that the other teams have the other pieces. Tell them that in a minute, you will open bartering and teams will be allowed to trade with each other to get the pieces that they are missing. Give the teams 3 minutes to examine and sort out their pieces, and to plan their strategy for bartering. Open the bartering. Everyone participates by bartering for the pieces their team needs. They may barter individually or as a team. Allow 8 minutes for bartering. Count the teams’ completed cards, and announce the winning team (optional). Debrief the activity using these sample questions (optional): How willing were others to trade with you? What negotiation tactics were most successful for you? (Seeing what they wanted and offering that; Being aggressive; Being a nice guy; etc.) How did your strategy change during play? Why? What other skills did you have to draw on to be successful? (Listening; Empathy; Giving a personal touch; Creative problem solving; etc.) In what situations do we find ourselves for negotiating for time, information, or resources? Rock-Paper-Scissors Tag Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes Audience: Medium/Large Group Activity Level: High Form two groups. During each turn, a team must decide whether they are “rock, paper, or scissors”. The teams face each other, and on the count of three shows either rock, paper, scissors. The one who wins chases the other team. If the chased team member gets caught before they reach a designated home base, s/he becomes part of the other team.