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Games to Encourage Focus

When we focus we can achieve anything!

We’ve all been there – you are trying to get something done and for whatever reason, the focus is just not in the room.  Rather than trying to control whatever is happening, why not play a couple of games as a tactic to regain focus.  These can work really well wherever you need them but they equally work as a strategy by playing it at the beginning and going back to it as needed.  For instance, you can play the Lines game at the beginning and give the instruction that if you shout ‘Lines’ followed by a category at any time during the rest of the activity, everyone has to stop what they are doing and instantly follow the instruction.  When the group is calm and settled you can check what progress people are making and amplify the challenge – add in time or performance restrictions.  Everyone will go back to their task with renewed energy and, most importantly, focus.

 

THE LINE UP GAME 

 

Everyone stands in a line, the facilitator calls out a challenge such as ‘everyone line up in order of eye or hair colour’ indicating which end is lightest and which is darkest.  The reordering has to be done in silence but miming is absolutely allowed – to add energy give a time limit – the time allowed would depend on the size of the group so make it achievable but challenging.  Feel free to make up your own categories but here are some more suggestions to get you started

 

  • Shoe size

  • Age

  • Date of birth (this challenges them to non-verbally communicate which day in a given month they are born)

  • How many brothers or sisters

  • How many pets

  • Size of pets – potential for lots of miming of big or small dogs down to insects or fish

Once you have a line why not give the group a further challenge.  Can they walk across the room, keeping the line straight without looking to the person either side so they have to rely on their other senses or pass an image down the line (physical chinese whispers)

 

GROUP COUNTING

 

The idea of the game is that the group count from 1 to 10 – sounds easy?

 

The rules

 

  • Everyone stands in a circle

  • One player shouts out the number 1

  • They are now frozen out with the people standing either side of them from saying the number 2 if any of these players say the next number you go back to the beginning

  • If 2 people shout out a number at the same time you go back to the beginning

Encourage people to settle down before starting each attempt and get them to listen to each other rather than just jumping in.  Why not try a version with eyes closed or with everyone turned out of the circle to hone the listening skills.   Set the group the challenge that everyone should say a number rather than 1 or 2 people constantly jumping in – you could set the target as the same number of people in the group.   If you keep reaching your target – try for a higher one!

 

KEEPER OF THE KEYS

 

A player is selected to be the keeper and they sit approx. 3 metres way from everyone else with a blindfold on and a bunch of keys, or other jangly object in front of them.

 

A player is selected to creep up to try to steal the keys but if the keeper hears them coming spin around with their eyes closed, clap and point in the direction they heard the noise , If they are correct the thief has to return to the line but if not they keep approaching.  If they reach the keys they become the next keeper.

 

Another variation of this, which is sometimes called the ‘bear and the honey pot’ is to have the keeper in the centre of the circle and the thief is allowed to steal the keys.  Everyone then puts their hands behind their backs and the keeper has to try to select who has the keys based on what they heard and how guilty the thief looks.

 

The group will want to make distraction noises whilst the keys are being stolen and it is up to you whether you let them do it and if you do how far you let them go.  It can be frustrating if the group are so noisy that the keeper has no chance of guessing who stole the keys.  To enhance the drama skills, have the group think about how they could look guilty when the thief takes off their blindfold to distract from the actual thief.  A debrief with the group asking them what worked well and what didn’t work when it came to ‘acting guilty’ can help to reinforce the acting element.

 

Related resources

Playlist

Here’s a couple of games in action

Additional Reading

Website

Drama toolkit blog with lots of brilliant ideas for games and exercises

 

Website

Drama Source website is another highly recommended resource