Games bring - no matter what the situation - variety and fun. Various games can also be helpful in seminars to lighten the mood, regain energy and promote team spirit in the group.
However, it should be well considered in advance which and how many games are to be incorporated into the seminar schedule. When considering, not only the number of participants should be taken into account, but also the seminar topic. The games should do justice to the technical content. The coach should think of games that don't take too much effort and time. Each game should last 15-20 minutes on average. The shorter and more interactive these games are, the greater the motivation and acceptance of the participants.
A game is also an excellent way to conduct the welcome and introduction round. On the one hand, this breaks the ice and any inhibitions of the participants right at the beginning. You also get to know each other better through play.
In the following, we present 5 different game categories and one sample game each.
Learning games promote sustainable knowledge building. New knowledge is conveyed to the participants in a playful way. Active learning makes content easier to remember.
- Quiz: Question cards prepared by the trainer (suitable for the respective (partial) topic of the seminar) are placed face down in a pile. In turn, each participant draws a question card and the others have to guess / give the right answer. One point is given for each correct answer. This game is also ideal as a group game. The coach can also think of a small prize for the winner/winning team.
Welcome games are a great way to get to know the group at the beginning. The trainer and the participants get a direct first impression of each other.
- Interview: Groups of 2 are formed. In each group there is an interviewer and one who is being interviewed. Questions can be asked to get to know the interviewee. After 5 minutes the roles are switched. Afterwards, all participants come together and one after the other each introduces their respective interview partner in a short presentation.
Group Dynamic Games
Group dynamic games are ideal for strengthening group cohesion, promoting team spirit and strengthening cooperation and communication within the group.
- Draw by ear: groups of 2 are formed. Each team sits back to back. One participant gets a piece of paper and a pen, the teammate receives ready-made pieces of paper with different (simple) drawings and shapes. Now the contestant has to try to draw the teammate's drawings and shapes based on their explanations. Of course, he is not allowed to say the exact words for the picture and has to paraphrase the picture.
Depending on the size and duration of a seminar, the team leader can also consider moving a game outside. The advantage of an outdoor game is that the participants move in the fresh air and thus regain energy, a clear head and variety. Mutual trust, active listening and communication among each other are also strengthened.
- Minefield: For this you need a slightly larger free lawn or parking lot, some objects and something to be able to blindfold (e.g. an opaque scarf). The participants form teams of two. Each team gets an equal number of items (these items shouldn't be too big as the participants only have to hold them with one hand). One member of each team is blindfolded and the respective teammate now distributes the items randomly on the free area. The trainer can (if he has the appropriate tools) also set up a small obstacle course on the area. This increases the difficulty a bit. Now the "blind" team member - without speaking himself - has to try to find the individual items just by calling out to the teammate.
- Complaints game: Two participants each form a group. One participant mimics the customer, the other the salesperson. The other participants are spectators and explain the scene afterwards. The roles are then swapped.
Integrating various short games into the course of the seminar is definitely recommended. They lighten the atmosphere, increase group cohesion, and each participant is encouraged to leave their comfort zone. The learning effect that comes with a game should not be underestimated. What has been learned is not only practiced theoretically, but is directly transferred to the level of action.
The following game categories await you in the next part of this two-part article series: