Group Juggle / Name Toss

Type of Activity: Name Game/Problem-Solving

Props Needed: Various sizes and shapes of throwable objects

Set Up: Ask your group to circle-up--include yourself in the circle.

Process: Announce that you are going to throw a ball to a person across the circle, and that person will the throw the ball to another person on the other side of the circle of the circle.  This throw and catch continues until everyone in the  circle has thrown and caught the ball.   Emphasize that each person has to remember who they threw the ball to and who they received it from.  To facilitate this throwing/receiving process, ask each person who has not yet received the ball to hold both hands in a receiving position.  Once this person-to-person sequence is established, indicate that you are going to start a ball in the familiar sequence and continue to add similar balls in a metronome 1-2-3 throwing pattern until there are almost as many balls in motion as there are people in the group.

Variations: This can also be a great name game.  Have each person come up with an alliteration that goes with the name they go by.  For example, if your name is Michelle, you could be Mischievous Michelle.  The alliteration does not have to  describe the person.  Jack could be Jumping Jack, Dave could be Daring Dave and so on.  By having each participant call out the name of the person they are throwing the ball to can help the group juggle process and also helps them remember the names of those I the group they do not know very well.

Also adding time as a factor and see how fast they can get the balls through the sequence. Adding objects that go in reverse order but continue throwing objects in the original direction at the same time increases the difficulty. Typically you want one color or type object going one direction and another color or type going in the opposite. Also adding a rule of only one object in hands at a time so no one can collect and group goes as fast as their slowest person.

Debriefing Topics:

  • Who can name everyone in the circle?
  • What things do you juggle I your life?
  • What happens when someone ‘drops the ball’ at work/home/school?
  • What strategies did you use to be successful with this activity?

For original write up purchase "Cowtails & Cobras 2" by Karl Rohnke.  

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