Group Energizers

Have you ever gone to sleep in a class, lecture or meeting? More importantly, have participants in your groups gone to sleep or looked bleary eyed and started yawning? This is a signal, not to go faster and try and get through copious notes more quickly, but to have a break of some kind. 

A Variety of Ways to TAKE A BREAK…

* The obvious one is to have a tea break. Preferably offering fruit, filtered water, juice and healthy light snacks. Too much sugar and heavy cakes can give a sugar spike to the blood sugar followed by a big drop in energy later on.

* Change chairs and visit an open window on the way. Take 3 deep breaths of the fresh air

* All stand up and have a big stretch and a yawn by massaging the jaw

* Use any ‘Cross-Crawling’ activity. Have a look at some of these free Brain Gym activities http://sspw.dpi.wi.gov/files/sspw/pdf/sascevanshandouts.pdf

* Juggle or throw a ball around the room for 5 minutes

* Drink a glass of cold water

* Give yourself an ear massage from the top of the earlobe down, rolling the ear out as you go down. This helps switch on the hearing if you’re sitting in an auditory presentation or wanting people to listen well.

* Change activities or brake into small groups

* Throw in a story with humour involved

* All the Group can act out the information being covered or be involved in creating a model of it. Find some way for people to use their bodies actively.

* Play an Energizer or active group game or process. One of my favourites is ‘Big Animals, Little Animals’ from our ‘Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’. ( http://dynamicgroups.com.au/shop/#!/~/product/category=2749073&id=11984875 )

Here’s the instructions – BIG ANIMALS, LITTLE ANIMALS

This is a very active game that really needs to be played inside on a soft  floor in a room with few breakable items (it  can be very boisterous). We’ve also played it outside in a garden full of trees and other hidie holes. It is simple – divide the group  into halves,  explain to one half that they are “BIG, HUNGRY,  FEROCIOUS ANIMALS”, the other group are “small, tiny, timid, delicious to eat animals“. “Now GO!”

 After a few minutes of mayhem (remember play fighting when you were a child ?) yell for them to “STOP” and explain that everyone is to swap roles and “GO  AGAIN”.  This allows a bit of  friendly revenge and balances up the energy. De-Role at the end by shaking off the body and says one;s real name a few times. 

About Robin Clayfield

Robin Clayfield is an international teacher, facilitator and author who is passionate about healthy groups, organisations and communities, their structures and governance and most importantly, their facilitation and group dynamics. She presents and consults all around the world to support global health, well-being and whole systems change through using Permaculture, Social Permaculture and ‘Dynamic Groups’ methodology. Robin is a Permaculture Pioneer and Elder who has lived at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village in SE Queensland, Australia since 1988. Her books and resources include ‘You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too’, ‘The New Permaculture Principles Card Game’, ‘The Creative Community Governance and Decision Making Resource Kit’ and the ‘Creative Process Wild Cards’. She is also the co-auther (with Skye in 1995) of ‘The Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’ plus several resources and card games for teachers and facilitators.

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