Archives: 2014 & Earlier

Great Group Games: 175 Boredom-Busting, Zero-Prep Team Builders for All Ages

Susan Ragsdale, Ann Saylor
Search Institute Press
225 pages. $16.95.

This rich, well-organized collection of games for groups of all kinds (ages 12 and up) offers valuable tips for game leaders. Ragsdale and Saylor train leaders and youth in agencies such as the YMCA and 4-H about how to use games to help groups grow together. The games here are tied to the Search Institute’s “Developmental Assets” and arranged in six stages of group development.

Get-acquainted name games come first. In stage two, relationship-building games range from warm-ups to energy builders, such as “Airplane Aerobics,” in which players stretch in the direction of arrows on a flight plan. Team builders in the next stage include tag and word games like “group poetry.” Trust games in stage four feature superb instructions for leading powerful, risky, trust-learning activities. Stage five contains problem-solving exercises, and stage six celebrates successes.

From old favorites to fresh ideas, each game includes directions and time estimates, with notes on set- up, safety and “going deeper,” as needed. A game index gives risk and energy levels, as well as locations and supplies. The result is an infinitely usable guide. (800) 888-4741,


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