Re: Pow-Wow Games
Barb Stephens (bsteph@CREIGHTON.EDU)
Wed, 27 Mar 1996 16:07:22 -0600
At our Pow Wow two years ago, I took a session on games, where I learned
how to promote "non-competitive" games. Here's the games we learned:
TIPS ON FORMING A CIRCLE:
Ask participants to form a fingertip circle. Bend the arms, putting
the hands at shoulder height, then turn the palms away from the shoulders.
Join fingertips with the two participants on either side. This puts just the
right amount of space between players!
COOPERATIVE MUSICAL HOOPS
This has the same basic rules as the traditional game of musical
chairs except no one is ever out. Spread hula-hoops on the floor and play
lively, fun music. As you remove the hoops, let the group know that no
one is out. Let them figure out that they may share the hoops in order to
remain playing. It's fun to see how many people can share a hoop.
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE
Everyone has a partner except for the leader. The leader chants
body parts for partners to touch. For example: "head to head" or "elbow
to elbow." After doing a few of these the leader calls out "people to
people," at which time everyone, including the leader, must find a new
partner (thus there's a new leader). The game continues in this fashion.
Players form a circle. The leader gives each member a number.
Consecutively numbered people should not be near each other, but across
the circle from each other. The players must then toss a ball starting with
person #1 up to the last numbered person who returns the ball to person
#1. As the players get used to the pattern with one ball, add another, and
For smaller children, whose coordination is still developing, use
stuffed animals to toss. Lower elementary children can use medium to large
nerf balls, while junior high and above can use tennis balls.
Have players form a circle and join hands. The leader has a hula-
hoop resting on his arm (and is holding hands with those beside him/her).
Without breaking hands, the leader must pass the hoop to the next person
and it continues around the circle with each player stepping into the hoop
and then over his/her head and on to the next person.
Once this concept is learned, see if you can get two players through
the hoop together, then three and so on. Some little kids have actually
gotten five in at a time!
Players begin by forming a circle. Toss a beach ball or balloon ball
(balloon with cloth cover) into the circle and see how long the group can
keep the ball in the air (count number of hits). If the ball hits the ground,
start again and try to improve your record.
Help teach problem solving: When the ball hits the ground, ask the
group what they think will help them do better. Then try their suggestions. ZOO
Have players form a circle. Players must get in the zoom position
(leaning into the circle, one foot in front of the other, both hands on the
front knee) - "assume the zoom." Begin by passing the word "zoom"
around the circle (verbally). You can't "pass" the "zoom" until you've
received "it." Record the time it takes to get the word all the way around
the circle. Ask for suggestions on how to improve your time. Try to beat
your previous time. Incorporate any reasonable suggestions.
Ask a group of ten or thirteen people to form a tight circle. Have
each person extend both hands into the center, and grasp the hand of two
different people. When this is completed, the group must then untangle the
knot they have created.
Physical hand-to-hand contact may not be broken to untangle the
knot. Grips may change and palms may pivot on one another, but contact
must be maintained. If time is running out, the problem can be simplified
by breaking one grip and asking the group to form a single line instead of
The goal is to get a group of twelve to sixteen people on a two-foot
square platform without anyone touching the ground. Rules:
1) Each person must have both feet off the ground.
2) Everyone in the group must remain on the platform for at
least 10 seconds.
3) Participants can not lay on top of each other, forming a dog
pile, as a solution to this activity.
Variation: use hula-hoops instead of platforms.
BLIND HEIGHT ALIGNMENT
Blindfold each member of the group, and instruct them to align
themselves according to height. The group is not allowed to talk to each
other, and blindfolds must remain in place throughout this activity.
The object of this game is to have a group of at least eight
participants form a perfect square while blindfolded. After participants have
put on blindfolds, place a rope that is tied in a circle, in each person's
hands. Participants must then form the rope into the shape of a square.
When they believe the square has been formed, the participants place the
rope carefully on the ground and remove their blindfolds. All participants
must have at least on hand on the rope at all times.
Variation: after successfully forming a square, try a triangle, or
Barb Stephens firstname.lastname@example.org
Creighton University Phone: (402) 280-2263
Omaha, NE 68178 Fax: (402) 280-2573
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City