A quick and easy exercise in teamwork that focuses on group mind, listening, and patience.
- No materials are needed for this activity.
Numbers is excellent as either a quick transition activity from something upbeat to something more calming or as a warm-up before another group activity to help establish their group mind. This activity serves as a demonstration that every contribution to the achievement of a goal, no matter how small, is important. If a group isn’t working as a whole, even a normally simple task can be difficult to complete.
- Have your participants spread out around the room and lie down on the floor on their backs.
- Ensuring that none of them can see each other, the participants will collectively count to 21 by having one person at a time contributing a number, starting with 1.
- There is no pattern to uncover, just the expectation to contribute the next number when appropriate, allowing a participant to say two consecutive numbers if needed.
- Everyone should remain completely silent unless contributing a number. If two or more participants speak at the same time, or a number is repeated, the group must restart the counting from 1.
- Alternatively, you could have the group stand in a tight circle, eyes closed, and have them count to 21. The challenge with this version would be for the group not to count to 21 going around the circle.
- Participants may get frustrated but remind them that they don’t need to make it to 21 right away. In fact, it will likely take them several tries to get there.
After ending the game, either when the group has reached 21 or you’ve ended it after a few tries, reconvene for a brief reflection by posing to them some questions like:
- At point did you feel like the group would/wouldn’t make it to 21?
- What patterns did you notice?
- What strategies did you use?
Canadian improv games. “Numbers/21.” Improv.ca. Retrieved online from: http://improv.ca/numbers21/