Five Engaging Exercises From Your Favorite Board Games

  • SumoMe

We are forced to keep it interesting.  It’s part of the job.  People enter our training rooms and classrooms to learn and we need to keep them engaged and there are a ton of well reasoned, scientific reasons for that and I won’t be going into them in this article.  I will, however, be discussing a few ways that you can use your previous experience to build activities to keep people engaged in the content and in your sessions.

I’ll be discussing five different games that you have played as a child or an adult and how you can spin them into an engaging activity for your training session.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘I hope he mentions Jeopardy!’  I don’t.  It’s not that this isn’t a valuable activity but would be willing to wager that out the the last 5 Game-Themed exercises you’ve been through, Jeopardy has been in there at least 3 times.  It’s been done.  People are mildly amused by it but I think we can give them more.

Taboo – Quiz Board Game
I always liked Taboo as a game.  It was a simple quiz based game that challenges people to get the other participant to say a phrase without using a specific set of words that would make it too easy.  It’s a bit like Password but you can say whatever you want as long as the words aren’t taboo…(Oh!  I get it now!).  The Adaptation – Put together a group of terms relating to the topic at hand and include on the card some obvious related words that they aren’t allowed to say.  This would work pretty good with a small crowd.

Guess Who – Board Game
In Guess Who, each of the players has a bunch of flipped up unique character-cards in front of them that only they can see.  Each player is looking at their own set of the same cards and each player ‘picks’ one while the other tries to ‘guess who’ it is by asking about specific characteristics of appearance.  The Adaptation – Have all of the terms or related ideas written out on cards (two sets).  Have each player pick a specific term or idea and then have them guess one at a time.  Eventually one of them guesses the right one.  The nice part about this is you can get many people at one time doing this exercise.

Family Feud – Game Show
I don’t know if Steve Harvey has made it better but he certainly is the host, that’s for sure.  If you’re unfamiliar, Family Feud is a show where two families battle to guess the most common responses to any given survey question.  If they win the face-off question they get to decide to guess the rest of the answers or pass it to the other family. The Adaptation – You might not have access to survey questions and answers but you do have some common questions and related answers that you can pull right from the material. Split the class in two for a smaller group or take volunteers for a medium sized group. For a medium sized group people remaining in the audience can ask the questions to stay involved.  Just build the questions so that they have several answers and allow the teams to discuss their possible answers for a few seconds to get the creative juices flowing.

Battleship – Board Game
In Battleship players place pieces of their navy on a grid like board, hidden from their opponent, that is marked the same way as a map; numbers on one axis, letters on the other.  Players take turn ‘bombing’ coordinates on their opponents maps, trying to sink a battleship. The Adaptation – It’s pretty much the same but involve a quiz element by making teams (not individuals) answer questions correctly to be able to strike the opposite teams battleships.  It’s team based, gamified, and it reviews content.  It’s a triple-threat!

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? – Kids Game Show
This show was amazing. It taught kids about geography and world culture through the guise of trying to catch world renowned thief (?) Carmen Sandiego. The Adaptation – Using whatever content you have trained on create a basic narrative where you are trying to thwart a criminal or fix a problem.  Apply some basic turn and team based aspects and you’re all set!

None of these are very inventive adaptations but that’s the beauty of this!  Someone has already created these games (and made good honest money off of them) and all you have to do it tweak the format, buy some queue cards and trick someone into writing questions on them!  Easy-peasy!

Let me know which games you’ve adapted and used in your training sessions!

One thought on “Five Engaging Exercises From Your Favorite Board Games

  1. Pingback: TBF024 – 5 Engaging “Activities” & Learning Contracts | TRAINING BY FIRE – learning about learning

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