The following activities are designed to provide opportunities for meaningful youth-adult connections through problem-solving, trust, teamwork, leadership, and communication. They are designed to be interactive, safe and fun, and to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles. Most of us have heard the phrase “you learn by doing,” and the following activities are a great way for everyone to learn, grow and connect with each other by doing just that.
The following activities and others, along with facilitation instructions, can be found in our Activities to Connect Generations book.
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Click on the title of an activity to download that activity’s description and rules in pdf format. Please note that there is more than one page of activities, and you can move between pages using the links at the top of each activity list. You will need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader to view these files, which is available for free by clicking here. Stay safe and have fun!
Applauding Your Differences
In this game, participants will cheer wildly for each other as they discover things they have in common and things that make them different. This game is a great way to celebrate diversity, break down barriers of shyness, and boost everyone’s self-esteem!
In this game, two teams try to score as many points as possible by throwing or bopping a large beach ball toward the opposing teams backboard.This activity provides the opportunity to increase levels of communication, planning, leadership, team work, social skills, and adult/youth collaboration.
In this activity, participants must execute a challenging series of movements while holding balloons between their stomach and the back of the person in front of them. This activity focuses on teamwork and communication, but be advised that it does require participants to be physically close to one another.
The Color of Success
This game provides participants with the chance to illustrate and share with each other what success means to them. This helps everyone in a group think about and discuss what success means to different people, and how we all can use our individual strengths to reach our personal vision of success.
In this game, participants are asked to answer a list of questions about themselves and each other. By engaging in this activity, everyone gets to know each other in an active and low-risk way, celebrating both common interests and diverse ones!
Crazy Fish Camp
During the “crazy fish camp,” participants attempt to open a very well wrapped “fish” while performing a variety of strange and silly tasks. This is a high-energy activity designed to get people working together quickly!
Do You Hear What I See?
In this activity, one partner describes an image, and the other, without seeing the image, attempts to draw it. This helps participants to focus on verbal communication, listening skills, and on how our different perspectives shape our reality.
Here is the script for Alaska ICE’s Dreamcatcher presentation, which has been delivered in communities all across Alaska. We encourage local community members to give this presentation in their community or school, and adapt this script to fit their needs. This presentation is a great way to introduce a group to asset building and community engagement.
Find Your Mother Like a Little Penguin
In this activity, blindfolded adults and youth try to locate each other by making sounds and listening. This helps youth and adults attempt to connect with each other, despite surrounding noise and chaos!
Follow the Leader
In this game, participants attempt to mirror a chosen leader’s actions. One participant, who does not know who the leader is, attempts to figure it out! This helps group members practice their powers of social observation. Are we picking up the clues that are around us?
Using coordination, concentration, and teamwork, a series of tennis balls are passed around in an established pattern, resulting in the entire group juggling together. After this activity, participants are asked to think about who they can turn to in difficult times, and what they can do to support others in need.
During this activity, the group starts in a seated position, and then takes hands and stands together at the exact same time. This focuses on problem solving, and especially on how as things become more challenging, solutions need to be adapted. It also provides an opportunity to break down barriers, as it asks for a lot of physical contact in a fun and safe environment.
This activity give youth and adults the chance to work together as teams of two to complete a zany relay! Teams are then asked to think about how they solve problems and communicate while attempting a tough but fun challenge together.
I Love All of My Neighbors
In this activity, participants introduce themselves, and are asked to switch seats based on things they have in common. This helps a group get to know each other and boost self-esteem, and is also a great way to mix participants so that they are sitting next to new people.
In this game, participants are asked to form groups of suits, based on the card they have. However, they are not allowed to look at their own cards, nor speak throughout the activity. This provides participants with an experience in the dynamics of inclusion, non-verbal communication, and connectivity.
During this activity, participants attempt to find the person who holds the other half of their puzzle piece while blindfolded. This allows adults and youth take some personal risks to find each other, and then have one-on-one discussions.
The goal of this activity is to move a cup of water from a tarp to a higher surface using nothing but pieces of yarn. This encourages participants to work together to enhance their communication and problem-solving skills.
Turn the World Around
In this activity, participants must stand on one side of a tarp and then try to turn it upside down without anyone ever stepping off the tarp. This is a great way for participants to reflect on what is needed to turn their community into a positive place to live, and what that place might look like.
Walk of Faith
During this activity, blind and mute participants must lead each other through an obstacle course. This helps teams of two to learn to trust each other and to communicate and work together through a challenging activity.
This is an ongoing activity to be used during a workshop. In the washer game, participants are asked to pass washers around to each other, accompanied by genuine compliments, throughout an entire workshop. This helps break down barriers of shyness and focuses people on looking for the strengths in others.
In this activity, participants are challenged to pass a container of water around a circle without using hands or arms. This helps a group to focus on using problem-solving skills and working together as a team.