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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Amazing Race and Evolution

Both of these games can be used as pre-openers or normal activities. Pre-openers are games used when people are arriving. These allow people to participate as they walk in the door so no one is sitting around bored waiting for others to come. The Amazing Race is great to get people talking and learning more about each other. Evolution makes everyone laugh super hard! It gets people outside of their comfort zone and opens people up to talking.

My Experience
I have had great experiences with both of these games. Everyone who participated had tons of fun and were talkative. These games are definitely good ones to help people get to know each other. After you have played these games, please comment and tell us about your experiences!

The Amazing Race
As people arrive, put them in groups of two. Give them one piece of paper and a writing utensil. They have 5-10 minutes to write down as many words they can think of within a category you assign them when giving them the piece of paper. Some examples are:

  • Food
  • Words with doubles
  • Words that start with a certain letter
  • Animals
Once everyone has arrived and had a few minutes to write with their partner, call everyone together and have them count up how many words they wrote down. The partnership with the most words wins. You can give them some sort of prize (candy bars work well).

Everyone in the group must know how to play "Rock, paper, scissors." Everyone starts out as an egg, and waddles around going "Whobble, whobble!" When an egg finds another egg, they play "Rock, paper, scissors." The winner will evolve to a chicken, and hop around making chicken noises until they find another chicken to play "Rock, paper, scissors." The loser will become an egg again; an egg is the lowest species one can be. The winner of the chickens will become a dinosaur. The dinosaurs walk around like dinosaurs repeating, "Auh, Auh!" The winner of the dinosaur match becomes Elvis. Elvis walks around playing his guitar. The loser of the dinosaur match becomes a chicken again. Once Elvis has won his/her final match up (with another Elvis), he/she wins the game! 

For evolution, if you want the game to continue longer, you can tell participants to keep count of how many times they become Elvis (or something along those lines) and call the game when you feel it is over. This way the game does not end super early.
You can use the Amazing Race for fun or to get people thinking about a certain topic. For example, if you are running a Bible camp, you could have the participants write down all of the word they can think of that go along with Bible such as people, places, and things in the Bible. If you are a teacher, you could have the students write down as many adverbs, adjectives, etc. that they can think of. This game truly has endless possibilities. If you would like ideas on how to apply this game to a situation, please feel free to ask!
Please share any ideas and recommendations you have.

Life Lessons
The Amazing Race can be used to teach participants that others have a lot to contribute as well and that their ideas can be made better by others. It can teach the value of teamwork and also how to work as a team member - giving ideas and allowing others to give their ideas as well.
Evolution can be used to teach the importance of laughing. Many people do not realize how much laughing truly impacts a person. This is a great lesson for kids to learn, and adults to remember. This can also be used to teach participants that even if they have a bad day or experience that gets them down, they can make it better. You can lead this into specific examples for participants if you would like to.

No materials are needed for Evolution. For Amazing Race, you will need:
  • Enough pieces of paper for every two people (Ex. 10 people need 5 pieces of paper)
  • Enough pens for every two people
Where to Play
Both of these can be indoor or outdoor games. If the other games are outdoor, you can start out indoors or start outdoors. If the other games are indoor, I would recommend staying indoors because getting people regrouped and coming back inside after would be harder. 

Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:
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