I.E.s - Team Building Games : What are they?
I.E.s (initiative exercises) are challenges that make you think. They could be used for international selections, choosing PLs or to just simply have fun. (Also good as icebreakers!) I caught the I.E. bug while on a PGL camp and have done them ever since. They are excellent, but don't do them too often otherwise the girls get bored and get to know the rules.
1. Space-ship. Mark off a circle with rope to be the spaceship and tell The girls to stand in it. They must always stay in contact with the ship. Then put a box or something similar away from the ship to be the satellite - usually twice the number of paces to the number of girls in the ship but it depends how hard you need the challenge to be. Explain that they must retrieve the satellite without losing contact with the ship. It can be done by forming a human chain while the end person makes sure that her foot is always within the boundary of the ship. The further away it is the more thought they have to put into the challenge as if they still can't reach they can take off items of clothes to add onto the chain to make it longer. This one really helps the team gel and you can also see who the leaders are.
2. The Knot: Everyone stands in a tight circle and put their arms up in front of them - like zombies! and joins hands with two different people opposite them in the circle. They then have to untangle themselves without breaking hands to form a circle. (sometimes people are back to front or a small circle is formed separate to the large circle but most of the time it works fine.
3. Line Games: Get everyone into groups of 5 and ask each group of 5 to stand on a bench. Then ask them to get into order of height, shoe size, DoB etc without getting off the bench.
4. Fox, chicken, grain and farmer: Either name people within a group these names or have cards with the pictures on and get them all to stand at one end of the room. The aim is to get everyone to the other side of the room, HOWEVER the farmer must always escort the player across the room and can only take one thing at a time (we did it on a lake so the farmer had to drive the boat), the chicken must not be left with the grain because it will eat it, the fox must not be left with the chicken (at either end of the room) Solution: Farmer takes the chicken across, Farmer comes back to collect the fox, takes across the fox and leaves it there but takes the chicken back, collects the grain but leaves the chicken there, takes the grain across to leave with the fox and then goes back to collect the chicken.
5. Can you get everyone on one brick? Of course you can! Provide just one brick and ask the group to see if they can get every member of the group on that brick while singing a song. It may take a while to click, but if the whole group sings the song and then one-by-one stands on the brick for a few seconds and then gets off and allows another member on, until the whole group has stood on the brick.
6. Animal Pen: Each group needs one/two (depending on the size and age of group) shepherd; after that has been chosen everyone else has to pick an animal and provide the appropriate sound to go with it (bird - tweet, tweet). Mark of a 'pen' with rope and explain that the animals will be spread out around the room and it is the shepherd's job the retrieve all his animals from the field and get them back into the pen. However as soon as the animals are spread out they can no longer speak human language and will be blindfolded, therefore the group must devise a code (clapping etc.) that all the group understands so that the shepherd can get them back quickly and easily. When the code has been agreed spread out the animals (blindfolded) so that they are not all facing the same direction and ask them to make their animal's sound. The shepherd(s) must then get all the animals to the pen one by one as quickly as possible. This one could be done with two groups racing against each other.
7. Circle Sit: Get the group into a circle and then ask them to all turn so that their right shoulder is facing into the circle. Ask them to get as close as possible to the person in front but without making any 'corners' to the circle. Then ask every one to sit down on the knee's of the person behind them. It does work but may take a few goes and involves a lot of trust! If the group get really confident see if they can produce a 'circle in motion' like a wheel turning.
8. Letters: Have the letters A to H on separate bits of card and ask the group to arrange them in a sequence based around the framework below so that the lines between the letters do not lead to a letter to it which is next to in the alphabet. So C can not be next to B or D etc. The solution is:
9. Wishing Well: Mark off a rope circle and cut two lengths of string the diameter of the circle and tie a pencil to either end of both bits of string. Place a cup (preferably with a rim) full of water in the centre of the circle and challenge the group to get the cup out using just the string and without touching the inside of the circle or dropping the water.
10. Magic Stones: Gather together five stones and get the group to sit in a circle with you. Explain that these stones are special as when you throw them up into the air some of them become magic. Throw all five stones on the ground and subtly as you throw show the number of magic stones there are going to be. (any number 1-5) Ask the group how many magic stones there are and either confirm or disagree with the answers given as appropriate. Keep repeating this maybe making your hand actions less subtle. Most of the time everyone thinks it is in how they land and they don't look at your hands!!
11. Who's that? Get the group to stand in a circle and then blind fold them. Then ask if they know the names of people standing two spaces to their right. If they do not know the answer say who it is; keep asking until the group should have built up a mental picture of the circle. Keep changing the questions, eg. opposite, next to etc.
12. I want to go to… Ask the group to think of a country they would like to go to. Using a rule such as saying 'um' before the country, start by using yours - I would like to go to um Australia. Ask the girls to say where they would like to go, if they say um before their country they can go, and if they don't they can not. Go round the whole group with each member stating where they would like to go and you stating whether they can or not. When you get to the end ask why some people can't go - do they know - if they do keep it to themselves. Go round again until most of the group understand the rule. Other rules would be to cross your arms, or to touch your arm etc.
Print this page by using the "print" option in your browser bar