Monday, May 12, 2014

Do It Yourself Teambuilding- Frozen Bean Bag

Activity Name: Frozen Beanbag

Materials: 1 Beanbag per participant

Setup: Give each player a beanbag to place on their shoulder, and have them choose a spot to stand

Goal: For all players to circulate around the room without dropping his or her own beanbag

How to play:
Players keep the beanbag on their shoulder and circulate around the room. If a player drops the beanbag they need to freeze. This player remains frozen until another player unfreezes them by picking up the beanbag and placing it back on their shoulder. Younger groups can hold their beanbag as they pick up another player’s beanbag. Older groups have to unfreeze a player without holding their own beanbag. Modify the movement to increase difficulty during the game (instruct players to job, dance, hop, etc.)

The rules:
· Players cannot touch their own beanbags.
· Younger groups can only touch their own beanbag when helping another player pick up a beanbag.

Suggestions for discussion questions:
· How did you communicate during this game?
· Did you ever get frustrated? Why?
· What was your strategy for picking up beanbags?

We would love to hear how this game went for you! Share with us in comments or on Facebook!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Advice to Graduates: When in Doubt, Ask for Help!

Graduation is a huge milestone. Leaving high school behind means breaking out of the imposed structure of one’s teenage years and forming one’s own life as a young adult. This is indeed an exciting time of liberation and self-reliance. However, cherishing this newfound independence too much may become a hindrance to future success. This lesson was illustrated beautifully by some grade four students with whom I recently worked:

I split the class into three groups and had each group stand on their own tarp. The class’ goal was to flip over their tarps without anyone touching the floor or using anything in the room to balance. After a few minutes, the class informed me that this task was "IMPOSSIBLE!" No matter how carefully they began to flip over their tarps, there just wasn't enough room for the whole group and someone always ended up touching the floor. The problem was that everybody had put their blinders on; they were all looking down at their tarps, unaware of the other groups around them. I asked the kids to stop and look around. They glanced up and a few kids noticed how close the groups were to each other. One child asked, "Can I step on another group's tarp?" And with that, the magical moment I had been hoping for occurred. Each group took turns crowding onto the other two groups’ tarps so they could flip theirs over. By reaching out to each other and sharing their resources, the class was easily able to accomplish a task that they had just moments before deemed impossible. 

It is an ironic fact of human nature that we turn inward at the exact moment when we should be turning outward. Faced with a particularly hard challenge or trying circumstance, we put our heads down and attempt to work though our difficulties alone. We should instead be looking around for assistance. So while independence can be wonderful, it is sometimes not the most beneficial course of action. My advice to graduates is a simple phrase I often find myself repeating to younger students: When in doubt, ask for help!

 Written by Shira Lurie, Toronto lead facilitator.

Dynamix: Team-building for Kids and Teens, since 2002.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Another happy group! Great feedback from St. Maria Goretti, TCDSB

“The Spirit Challenge [Assembly] which Dynamix delivered at our school was wonderful.  It was high energy and FUN (which the kids loved) and provided positive messaging (which the teachers and the admin team loved).  This is a great program for anyone who is interested in promoting the concepts of Respect, Cooperation and/or Team Spirit to a large group.  I highly recommend it!”

- Maureen Murphy VP, St. Maria Goretti