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7 tips to successful icebreaking

Using ice breakers successfully is similar to being able to tell a good story: you need to know your audience, delivery is everything, and good stories build up intensity as they go along. And props never hurt if you have them.

1. Know your audience. Before deciding which activities to use, assess the group for the following: age, familiarity with one another, purpose of the group gathering, and potential considerations for physical abilities

2. Build in intensity. A general rule of thumb is a start with activities with limited movement, minimal physical contact, and most simple of rules, and progressively increase each of those factors. For example, start with a simple name game, then a common ground activity, and then a more active game that has some physical contact (ie, “high fives” or holding hands), and possibly an activity that has lots of motion. Generally, with youth you can move pretty quickly into highly active, or silly games that get everyone laughing. For “too-cool” teens or “very serious” adults, you need to proceed very slowly. You can always tell how things are going by the level of conversation and laughter.

3. Be very flexible. As with most games, you can change the rules to suit the group. For a group of young campers, you may want to roll a large beach ball instead of throwing an object during a name game, for teens, you may want to throw many objects simultaneously, etc.

4. Participate enthusiastically. The whole point of name games and ice breakers is to help participants break down barriers, learn something about the others in the group, and most of all… have fun. Be sure to play an active role in the game, as it is important that the campers learn something about you as well. This goes equally as well for corporate or youth groups, too!

5. Use fun props. Buy rubber chickens, silly rubber faces, fun stuffed animals, or other objects that create laughter or interest by themselves. Whenever possible, use these props in place of tennis balls, or whatever standard objects you might use. If you don’t have any, don’t worry, the activities are fun enough, fun props are just a bonus!

6. Use activities that use the same prop (or maybe none at all). For example, you may not always have a tennis ball hand for a name toss. So, instead of a tossing an object, use high fives, or winks, etc. You might only have a tennis ball rattling around in your trunk, so learn five or so games that you can use with just a ball.

7. Change your routine. When you learn a new game, you present it with contagious enthusiasm. When an activity seems stale while you are presenting it, it’s time to change your routine and learn a new game to become enthusiastic about. We know a great web site…

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Dodgeball – an international perspective

Dodgeball is the basic game of hitting other players with a ball and avoid being hit. There are many variations of this classical game, but generally the main objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by a member of the opposing team, or forcing them to move outside the court boundaries when a ball is thrown at them.

In Denmark, the game is typically played among children ages 6 – 12 in elementary school. The reason is that as a game it develops balance, eye-hand coordination, and reflex skills among young children. But Dodgeball is also considered a teamsport that is growing, and has emerged as a popular middle school, high school and college sport as well. It is also popular in informal settings and is often played on a playground, in a gym, or in organized recreational leagues.


A group of players, usually teams of even strength can play. Rules dictate both a minimum number of players needed to start the game and a maximum number of players allowed on the court at any one time. The maximum number of players per side is typically the same as the number starting the game.

After a player is eliminated, he may re-enter the match if another player on his team catches an opponent’s thrown ball (provided his team does not already have the maximum amount of players on the court). Players must re-enter the game in the order in which they were eliminated.

Some leagues allow players that have been eliminated to assist their team by directing thrown balls back to the players on the court, while other leagues confine eliminated players to a designated area off the court and prohibit them from participating in the game until they are allowed back on the court.


One to ten dodgeballs can be used in a game, but three, or six dodgeballs are most common. Exceptions are usually made if a court is particularly small or if many people participate.

There is no standard worldwide measurement or material for a dodgeball. It can vary in size from that of a softball to that of a soccer ball, and is made out of anything from cloth to hard rubber. However, most dodgeballs are roughly the size of a volleyball and composed of foam with a thin plastic shell. Some leagues allow the use of multiple sizes of dodgeballs in a single match (often with restrictions on whether men or women can throw certain sizes), while others use one standard size for all balls.

Rules of play

Once the game has commenced, players throw balls at members of the opposing team. When a player has been hit by a ball that has not previously become “out” due to hitting the ground or a court obstruction, that player has been eliminated and must move to his team’s designated bench area. If a player catches a ball thrown by the opposing team, then the player who threw the ball is eliminated and the team that caught the ball can reinstate one of its eliminated players. A player who moves completely out of bounds when a ball is thrown at the player and does not catch that ball is also eliminated.

Players can pick up dead balls and throw them back at the other team. Players are allowed to leave the confines of the court to gather balls, but cannot throw the ball until they are back inside the court. A ball thrown from outside the court cannot eliminate an opponent who is hit, but the thrower can be eliminated if the ball is caught.

Depending on the rules of a particular game, a ball in the possession of a player can be used to block incoming balls thrown by the opposing team.

Once all the players on one team are eliminated, the game ends.

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Fighting games

The reason to play fighting games in todays violence world

It might sound irrisponsible to suggest playing violence games with children, but on of the positive effects is that playing such kind of games actually would reduce the violence.

Mind and body

The main pedagogy in Denmark have for many years been centraliced around talking. It starts at the kindergarden level all the way up to adult supervision. If a child hits another, its been told that its not okay, and the way to prevent it happening again, is to have the child talk about why it acted the way it did and vocaly reflect over its actions. This is not entirely a bad approach. But the concensus of modern psycological study, is that the body and mind can’t (and should not) be separated, the the brain starts at the toes. The embodied mind are bound to the perceptual system and therefor shaped by it. The mind can not produce ideas and thoughts without the body (George Lakoff).

Building a good understanding of your body

It is important to build up a good feeling of what you are capable of. This is where fighting games come into play.

The basic rules of fighting games:

  • Fight with each other, not against each other
  • Find a partner with equal size and weight
  • Fight fair: Its prohibited to hit, kick, pinch, scratch or bite.
  • If a combatant yells “stop” or bang the hand on the floor, the games stops immidiatly!
  • Before the game starts, ask you opponent “Are you ready?”
  • Respect the judges calls.