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September 29, 2010 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Group Activities, Games, and Challenges for Adults? (who don't respond well to hokey or woo-woo stuff) That require using teamwork and brainwork? And don't need a lot of money or materials?

I'm working with adults who are involuntarily part of my program, and who spend alot their time with us in therapeutic/psychoeducational groups, that they dislike for the most part.
To counter all that, my groups tend to be more action/fun oriented.

Some ideas that have gone over well:
Survival Ranking Debate
Spaghetti & Marshmallow Tower
Egg Drop Competition
Say What You See Mind Game Puzzles

All the materials have been coming out of pocket, so I'm unlikely to do some of the fun, longer, and more complex building challenges. I'm also not doing this to explain the science behind it, so activities that are mainly experiments aren't really what I'm after. Stuff like camp games/contests that are appropriate for adults would be better.
My groups last around an hour, so everything also needs to be able to fit in that time or be easily broken into parts to do on different days.
So, ideas? :)
posted by elleyebeebeewhy to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Consider Forbidden Island, a really clever (and only $15) strategy game in which the players are not playing against one another, but working together to beat the game (in this case, to keep an island from sinking). It's neat because each of the players has a unique ability, and all of the unique abilities need to be used together for the best results, which causes lots of cool conversation and planning across the table.
posted by jbickers at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2010

Lateral Thinking Puzzles. These are short stories which present a situation, and the participants need to ask yes/no questions of the moderator to see if they can figure out what caused the situation.

Example: A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, "Thank you," and walks out.

I linked to the first website that google showed; there are lots of others out there.
posted by CathyG at 12:38 PM on September 29, 2010

Apples to Apples might be a good game. It's lots of fun, and really gets people thinking and talking, especially when called upon to defend their decisions.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about barnga? When I played it, it was part of a cultural communication thing, but I think it works well as just a game, too. It might take much less time than an hour, though. But dirt cheap!
posted by peep at 1:25 PM on September 29, 2010

This is the third question for which I've suggested Hotel Rwanda Sykes as an answer. It's free, fun, hilarious, stimulating, and it goes like this:
Hotel Rwanda Sykes is a game my friends and I made up. Essentially it's a long list of pop culture references piggy-backed on top of each other. For instance, if there are three people playing, the first couple rounds would look like this:

Person 1: "Carrot Top."
Person 2: "Carrot Top-anga Lawrence"
Person 3: "Carrot Top-anga Lawren-Samuel L Jackson"
Person 1: "Carrot Top-anga Lawren-Samuel L Jackson Pollack"

The game is won by the first person to bring the list back to its first entry. A winning move on the game above would be:

Person 2: "Carrot Top-anga Lawren-Samuel L Jackson Polla-Carrot Top"
As this seems to be taking place in an institutional setting, you might want to change the name of the game to something more sensitive.
posted by The White Hat at 2:31 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fluxx isn't too expensive, and you can get it at many game/comic shops. Family Fluxx is a lighter and easier version (that doesn't include the Death, War, etc. cards, if that's a concern). It's a great game because you can strategize or not, and still win; people can go from losing to winning in a moment (it's not like Monopoly, where you can lose for hours). The first game or two for each player will be weird, but after that, it's easy. People can drop into a game. They will need to be able to read the instructions on each card, but that's about it. It's pretty fast-paced and fun, and games usually don't last more than 15 minutes.
posted by wintersweet at 7:40 PM on September 29, 2010

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