Saturday, December 15, 2012

Game of the Month Holiday Edition - Solemn and Silent



Purpose: The purpose of this game is to integrate group members and work on self control skills.
Materials: Just the participants.
Description:
  • Members pair back to back. 
  • On the count of three, everyone must face their partner, look each other in the eyes, and then try to remain solemn and serious.  No speaking! 
  • The first to smile or laugh must sit down.
  • All who remain standing then take a new partner and the activity continues until only one person has not smiled or laughed.  (Second round of playing can involve two teams competing to outlast each other.)
  • If you get a pair at the end, who are both keeping a straight face, the rest of the group can act as hecklers to disrupt them.
Discussion/Reflection:
Good activity for breaking into activity groups.
At the end of the activity ask the group the following questions
  • Why do you think we did this activity?
  • What strategy did you have to complete this activity?
  • How did you COMMUNICATE with the group?

Friday, December 14, 2012

TDSB Strike Day Camp on December 18th REGISTER NOW

On December 18th, we'll be offering Strike camps to those affected by the TDSB Strike. We'll have two different locations for these strike camps: 
One will be at Centre Camp which is located at Bathurst and Sheppard.

The other will be at Adventure Valley which is located at Leslie and Steeles.

SPACE IS LIMITED!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Create relationship not bullies" -Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough Mirror, November 22, 2012


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November Game of the Month: The Machine



Purpose: This activity brings out strong communication and cooperation skills.

Materials: Just a group of participants.

Description:
  • The object of this game is to create a machine out of a group of people (i.e. ceiling fan, hot air balloon, watch, etc.). 
  • You might want to split your group into two or three smaller groups.  
  • Each person is required to be accountable for one noise and one motion of the machine.  The group members should then put their motions and sounds together to create the machine.  
  • Give each group about 5 minutes to work together and prepare, and then have the groups present to everyone. 
  • Ask the other groups to guess what machine the group is.

Discussion/Reflection:
  • At the end of the activity ask groups some of the following questions
  • Why do you think we did this activity?
  • Why did you choose the machine you did?
  • If we were to do this challenge again what if anything would you do differently?


8 Creative Snowmen

With winter coming soon, we thought we would show you several unique snowmen that people have created. These are just some that really show off what thinking outside the box can accomplish.

The Breakdancer

Army of Snowmen

Snow Car

Spongebob

Workout Snowman

Phonecalling Snowman

Homer Simpson

Snowman Bowling

Share with us what you think of these snowmen and show us some photos of snowmen that you've created or seen that are real standouts.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Why You Should Come To The Unicorn Gala


Come to The Unicorn Gala where Dynamix has donated a FREE birthday party to the silent auction to help them raise money to support the Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children's Centre so please come out and support this wonderful event as well. Here's more about the event:
The Unicorn Gala is taking place on November 6, 2012 at Arcadian Court in downtown Toronto. To date, the Unicorn Gala has raised over $500,000 in support of the Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children’s Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital. 
The Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children’s Centre was established in 2004 to provide home palliative care support to dying children and their families, and to provide a variety of counseling and bereavement programs for children and youth living with the dying and death of a loved one.  The Centre has developed a number of innovative and effective programs, services and academic ventures that have garnered local, national and international interest and recognition. The Centre also provides consultation and education sessions for health professionals, teachers and boards of education. The Max and Bea Centre is the only specialized Centre in Ontario that offers medical and counseling support for dying children and their families in their home. The Centre is funded entirely by donations.    
The theme of the event is GIVING and we are honouring three people – Dr. Larry Librach, Abby Tobias and Dr. Aubrey Green. These three honourees understand the power of giving. They are people who give of their time, skills and compassion in an infinite number of small and large ways, enriching their own lives and hearts in the process.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October Game of the Month: Back-to-back


Purpose: This activity brings out communication, cooperation, and trust.


Materials: Just a group of participants.
Description:
  • Every group member must find a partner of approximately equal height and weight, if possible.  
  • The partners will lock arms with their backs to one another. 
  •  With arms remaining locked at all times, the partners will sit down on the ground, kick their legs out straight, and try to stand back up. 
  •  Then groups of four will try the same thing.  Then groups of eight, sixteen, and eventually, the entire group together. 
Discussion/Reflection:
This is the perfect activity for building trust.
At the end of the activity ask groups some of the following questions
  • Why do you think we did this activity?
  • Were you comfortable during this activity or did you feel a little uncomfortable?
  • Did you trust your partner/ partners? Why/Why Not?

How Social Media increases bullying

In this New York Times article, Emily Layden tells a story about her sixth grade brother’s friend posting a status on Facebook asking them to “LIKE if you hate” Emily’s brother. Shockingly, 57 people liked the status, confirming their “hatred” for Emily’s brother. Without a doubt, it would be incredibly damaging to a child’s self-esteem and self-worth to learn that 57 kids “hate” him or her.  As an adult, I couldn't imagine how this would affect me today.  Sometimes, it seems like it truly is “social warfare” out there for today’s youth, where social media is one of the strongest weapons in any potential enemy’s arsenal.
Does the boy who started this chain of “hate” for Emily’s brother grasp the extent of the harm he has caused? Do his 57 peers understand what that simple click of the mouse truly means? Could you imagine 57 children lining up at the cafeteria to tell one child they “hate” them? This would never happen, right?  Herein lies the power of social media messages, both positive and negative.  Simply put, it is so easy to spread the word, and as a result, bullying messages are spread at lightning speed.  In the cafeteria or classroom, a responsible adult usually takes notice and steps in. Alas, in the world of social media, it is quite difficult to take notice and step in before the damage is done.
So why are children so readily spreading these hate messages through social media?  Perhaps it’s the anonymity, perhaps it seems less harmful you can’t see the victim’s reaction or maybe it’s the freedom from adult supervision in the cyber world.
The question that has been asked over and over again by parents and educators is what do we do about this?  Should we simply ban the use of social media for our children?  Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a band-aid solution.  When addressing difficult situations like this we need to ask ourselves if  our “solution”  is really designed to teach our children, or does it just  make our  lives easier by making the problem go away. We need to seize every teachable moment we can, and cyberbullying is packed with teachable moments.  Below is a list of some things you can try to both prevent cyberbullying and address if it does occur:
Parents & Educators UNITE!
Note to parents: Cyberbullying is not only the teacher’s problem to deal with
Note to educators: Cyberbullying is not only the parent’s problem to deal with
Students UNITE!
Create connected school communities offline by helping your students get to know each other, unite as a team and foster positive relationships.  Students are less likely to act like a bully when they see each other as friends.  Even more powerful is the fact that other students are less likely to laugh with the bully, participate in the bullying, or stand idly by when they see the ‘victim’ as a friend.
Hold your children accountable for their decisions:
Whether online or offline, choices must be addressed and accompanied by consequences.  Notice here that we say “choices” not necessarily “bad choices”.  A good choice, like treating each other with respect should be accompanied by a good consequence.  Similarly, bad choices, like posting a negative online status a peer, should bring a negative consequence that creates an opportunity for learning.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Win a FREE Birthday Party!


It's our 10th birthday and we want to give YOU a gift!

Take advantage while we are still confused about how this is supposed to work!!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are soccer skills more important than life skills?! Ontario minor soccer thinks so!

Posted by Mitch Zeltzer

Growing up playing various sports taught me athletic skills, coordination, sports knowledge, the value of healthy lifestyle, commitment/loyalty, and the importance of practice.  Possibly more importantly though, it taught me about team spirit, good sportsmanship, what it takes to rise to the top and be the best, respecting the game, how to win graciously, and one of the more difficult lessons - how to accept losses.

It was recently announced that Ontario minor soccer is going to stop keeping score and standings for leagues of players 13 years old and younger.  In this article, people who were involved in the decision making or the implementation of this new philosophy seem to be missing the point.  They keep talking about soccer skill development as though that is the only reason parents are encouraging their children to participate in team sports like soccer.

Sure, I grew up dreaming of becoming the next Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, etc.  But we need to acknowlege the reality of the role sports should play in a child's life.  According to some sources less than 2% of high school athletes continue to play their respective sports in college, and the odds of going pro are event worse, with only 0.0008% of athletes making the big leagues (and the odds could be even worse depending on the sport you are going after!)

So knowing this, how could it make sense to sacrifice lessons of healthy competition and sportsmanship for more soccer skill development?  If every youth league followed suit, how are Ontario's youth going to learn how to deal with compitition appropriately?  How are they going to learn to become gracious winners and how to accept losses?  Competition is part of life, and like any other skills, in order to develop it, we must have the opportunity to practice it starting at a young age.

In my humble opinion, this is a step in the wrong direction.  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Game of the Month: Name Tag Grab

Purpose: This game is often used as an ice-breaker, but can also be a great way to talk about competition vs. collaboration.

Materials: 1 name tag per participant (with his/her name on it!)

Description:

  • Have the participants stand in a circle. 
  • Place a name tag on each participant's back.  Do not let them know what name they have on their backs, also, be sure that no one has his/her own name on his/her back.
  • On "Go!" the group is to scatter and to try and find their respective name tags. 
  • When the find the person who has their name tag, they should introduce themselves, or do a funny handshake, and then take their name tag and put it on their chest.
  • Once a player has both found his/her name tag AND no longer has a name tag on his / her back, he/she is to return to the original circle.
  • The game ends when everyone has returned to the circle.
  • Time the group's performance to see how quickly they can complete the challenge.
Things to Note:
  • How long did it take the group to complete the task
  • Were they competitive in their approach, trying to be the first to complete the task?
  • Were they collaborative in their approach, not worrying about only themselves but rather how they can help everyone complete the challenge faster? 
HAVE FUN!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caine's Arcade- [MUST WATCH VIDEO!]

Posted by Adam Kertesz

This is a must watch video and maybe my favourite one that I've seen all year. This kid is a perfect example of how creativity can shine through in so many amazing ways. We hear all the time about how video games are draining kids of their imagination and creativity, well check this out and tell me if your opinion has slightly changed on that topic.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

FREE Family Teambuilding Adventure - Toronto



Hey Toronto, Join us for a FREE Family Teambuidling Adventures this May!

Various locations & dates to choose from.

Visit http://www.getdynamix.com/FamilyTeam for more information.

Spaces limited, don't miss out and REGISTER NOW!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Girls and Bullying

posted by Mitch Zeltzer

I read an article today that was all about Girls and Bullying.

The article asks the reader to consider: "is your daughter a mean girl?"
http://www.todaysparent.com/tweens-teens/tween-teen-bullying/is-your-daughter-a-mean-girl

It's an interesting article and even more interesting are the comments from the readers.

What do you think about this article's position and language??

Here were my comments to the article:
Wow... this article seems to have really struck a chord with a lot of people.  It's no surprise for such an important/controversial issue facing today's youth.
Firstly, I will say, that I really like some of Beverly's advice.  
One thing that really jumped out at me though was the irony of the article's title "Is your daughter a mean girl?" when you put it next to some of the most important advice in the article: "we have to be very careful that we are not labeling any child."
Yes, children can make some very poor and -at times- cruel choices.  And yes, some children make these types of choices more frequently than others might. But, these children are not "bad kids" or "mean girls", and if we label them as such, you can be sure a pattern will definitely emerge. Beverly is right in that it is  the adults role to help these children learn to make better choices, and one of the best ways is to nurture the great choices they are already making by acknowledging the good they already do and boosting their self-esteem and self-worth.  This WILL in the long run help them make better choices in the future.
Many of the commenters have voiced that they feel a punishment or consequence is appropriate if your child is making bully-like choices.  I would argue that there is ALWAYS a consequence to our actions.  Our role is to help our children see the consequences of our choices both good and bad.  This is where discussion, reflection, apologies, role-playing, etc. come into play.  The trick is to not focus on punishing our children, but rather on educating them and preparing them for the next time they are faced with a similar choice to make.
There is so much more that can be said about this, but I will leave it at that for now.
-Mitch

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bonus Game of the Month: Mystery Count

Purpose: To develop group cohesion, concentration and patience.

Materials: none!

Description:

  • The goal of the game is as a group to count as high as possible.
  • Have the group sit in a circle with heads down/ eyes closed. 
  • There is no predetermined order, anyone may say a number at any time, as long as they follow the following rules:
  • Only 1 voice may say a number
  • The group must count in order without skipping any numbers
  • Not an easy feat for any group, but it's amazing to see when the group slows down, is patient and begins getting a feel for each other how high you can count

Game of the Month: Tail Pull

Purpose: Illustrate the point of working towards a common goal

Materials: 1 "tail" per participant, evenly distribute tails of 5 different colours. (tail can be made of ribbon, socks, etc.)

Description:

  • Sit everyone in a circle and evenly distribute 1 of 5 different colour tails to to the group 
  • Have the participants tuck the end of the tail into the band of their pants leaving the rest hang down
  • Tell players, "you each have a coloured tail" the game ends when there is exactly 1 person of every color left standing. 
  • The group must try and pull out other peoples tails. Once your tail is pulled, you must sit out and can no longer pull out tails
Discussion / Reflection: 
As much as you may feel the need, do not help the group come up with a strategy to successfully finish this task. What you will likely see happen is a very chaotic every man for himself approach. However, without proper planning and teamwork, this challenge will be very difficult to accomplish.  This makes the debrief even more powerful when you ask questions like:

  • Why did YOU want to be the one left standing?
  • What prevented your group of thinking to get together with the people of the same color and everyone pulling your own tail out except for 1 person? 
  • Why don't we think of working together? 
  • What got in the way of our group achieving our common goal?


Friday, March 2, 2012

Kid's say the Darndest Things!

Sometimes we form such a great bond with a group that the adult-child lines get blurred; that's when magic happens!

Kindergarten girl: 
"Why do you always talk so loud?"


Dynamix Staff: "Because I'm so excited to come play with you guys every week!"


Kindergarten girl: "Well I am too, but you don't see me yelling"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Dynamix Website!

Visit our website at www.getdynamix.com to see our new look!

Let us know what you think of the new design and content.