Benefits & Barriers
Primary Market
Health, Seniors Therapy
Items Needed
1 Toobeez Set, Twine, 30 - 50 index cards, Masking Tape, Eight small pieces of paper, Markers
The Activity Time
45 minutes


  • Develop leisure awareness
  • Develop self-awareness
  • Identify the benefits of activities
  • Identify the barriers that prevent participation
  • Identify ways to overcome barriers
  • Promote problem-solving skills
  • Work cooperatively as a team
Activity Focus
Leisure Education
Participants will identify benefits and barriers to leisure, as well as offer ways to overcome potential barriers.
Time 15 minutes

  • 1 Toobeez Set
  • Twine
  • 30 – 50 index cards
  • Masking Tape
  • Eight small pieces of paper
  • Markers
Please see the following points.
Group Size: Small group.
Time: 45 minutes

Activity Setup

Card Setup(This setup can be done in advance or as part of the activity with your group)
1. Take 30 to 50 index cards and write one activity on each of the cards (for example, quilting, gardening, swimming, etc.).

Benefts and Barrier Wheel Setup
1. Build a square using the 11” tubes and four spheres. Place this on the ground.
2. Attach one 36” tube to each sphere so these tubes point vertically.
3. Connect one sphere to each open end of the 36” tubes, and then connect these with additional 11” tubes to form the three-dimensional base.
4. To create the fan, take one sphere and attach eight 16” tubes.
5. To attach the fan to the base, attach one 24” tube perpendicularly to the center sphere of the fan. Then place this 24” tube on the top right of the base and attach securely with twine (as pictured below).
6. Using eight small pieces of paper, write the word “Barrier” on half of the pieces and “Benefit” on the other half.
7. Attach these pieces of paper with masking tape to every other 11” “blade” of the fan, alternating labels on each tube.

Safety Reminders

Appropriate caution is important to conduct activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and share reminders with the group if necessary.
  • Apply the “no discount” rule; all suggestions in the group are valued and are not put down, reduced or “discounted” in any way, as all group members’ comments are Important

Helpful Hints
This activity can be used with a group with diverse functioning levels as all can participate with prompts

Activity Instructions

1. Circle up the group. Open with a brief discussion on the benefits of recreation (improving health, being social). Discuss potential barriers that prevent people from participating and ways to adapt to the barriers.
2. Now, read the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.Activity Challenge:Participants will identify benefits and barriers to leisure, as well offer ways to overcome potential barriers.
3. When the group is ready to begin the activity, share the following guidelines for the game.
“Benefits and Barriers”
You are on a game show called “Benefits and Barriers!” To play, draw an activity card. Next, spin the Benefits and Barriers Wheel. Depending on where your spin falls, you must give three examples of either benefits or barriers (as well as ways to overcome the barriers) to the activity on your activity card.
4. Explain to participants how to spin the wheel. The tube that stops in alignment with the front vertical support bar of the base is the tube that will indicate whether the team names a benefit or barrier.
5. Have a player draw an activity card. Next, they will spin the wheel. Whichever it lands on (Benefits or Barriers), the participants must give three examples. Below are some examples of play:
Example One: Alan draws an activity card for “walking.” He spins and the wheel lands on “Benefits.” Alan answers that “Walking reduces stress, increases health, and gets people outside are three benefits to walking.
Example Two: Sarah draws an activity card for “walking.” She spins and the wheel lands on “Barriers.” Sarah answers that “Poor balance, cold weather, and poor coordination may inhibit someone from walking.” Then the participants should name ways to overcome these barriers. They might respond, “Sitting and marching in place while inside overcomes these barriers.”
6. Allow the participants to play for the time allotted for the activity.
7. If your group is struggling, or if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present an activity variation.
8. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section.
9. Below are some additional examples:
activity example
Here are the available Teambuilding Training Options.

Activity Variations

1. Use trivia questions.
Mark the “fans” with point values and spin to answer trivia questions.
2. Sensory stimulation.
Cognitively-impaired adults who have difficulty relating and responding to the environment may respond to the “wind” created by the spin.
3. Add to other activities.If using an activity such as Pictionary, use the wheel to spin for points before the word is drawn. It adds another element to the game.
4. Adaptation for lower-functioning participants
Have participants spin the wheel and name one positive recreational activity.

Activity Discussion and Processing

The effectiveness of the group process will often determine the outcome for the participant. These are only suggested questions to begin the discussion. Select the ones you feel will best benefit your group. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s feelings are important!

Suggested questions for Processing:

  • How did you feel when you heard we were going to “play” on a game show?
  • What did What did you learn today?
  • Why is it important to know the benefits of activities?
  • How does it feel when barriers prevent us from doing activities we want to do?
  • Was this activity challenging?
  • Why is it important to think about leisure?
  • Do you value leisure in your life?
Closing the Activity
Review the challenge of the group and summarize how the challenge was (or was
not) achieved. Highlight the main contributions and resolve unfinished issues.
Affirm their efforts for support and acceptance of each other’s feelings. End with the following quote:“The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things.” – Jean Baer
Vicky Pitner is the author of the Toobeez Senior Therapy Activity Workbook and the upcoming Toobeez Recreational Activity Workbook. Recreation Services provides therapeutic recreation consulting, program development, staff and respite training, inclusion training, and workshops.
All Activities of Vicky Pitner, CTRS

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