Project Connect is dedicated to its mission to provide cutting edge teambuilding activities and tools for educators. These activities can be used for exciting teambuilding days and can reinforce everyday moments with children and teens!
Toobeez are the incredible construction tubes used to build and create the activities for your group! A one-of-kind construction system, Toobeez gives you the chance to “connect” as a group while engaging everybody in constructive play. Toobeez is a hands-on, easy-to-assemble, and safe product that captivates the imagination of anyone who uses it. You can use them indoors or outdoors so you can hold a powerful teambuilding experience anytime!
The Activity Guide includes detailed lesson plans with safety reminders, helpful hints, procedures, debriefing questions and more to build and develop the communication and teambuilding skills of your group.
The Activity CD contains video clips of the activities to provide a visual aid for conducting these activities. The CD contains video clips of the activities and other information regarding teambuilding. To view the video clips you’ll need the latest version of Apple’s “QuickTime Player” which is available as a FREE download from the following website: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
You must have the CD in your computer to view the video clips.
Who you are as a leader will dramatically affect what and how participants learn through the activities. In other words, the more developed you are as a person, the more likely your participants will experience positive growth and development both individually and as a team.
How you feel about yourself as a leader will be the first message you send to your group, so the more effective you want to be as a leader, the stronger your Personal Foundation needs to be. When you strengthen who you are by dedicating yourself to personal development, you will be able to lead the games described in this guide with greater effectiveness. As a result, this will maximize the participants’ ability to learn and grow.
Here are four of the 25 components to building a stronger Personal Foundation:
These activities are wonderful, and they can help create a positive effect on your group. The key to learning through experiential teambuilding exercises is the combination of activity PLUS discussion, however the activities described here can be done just for fun without going into a discussion about what was learned. Hopefully, the activities will be utilized to create opportunities for meaningful dialogue. Suggestions for starting a conversation are offered in each description.
Each activity in this program should be led so that participants understand they have a choice as to whether they participate or not. Encourage each person to determine their comfort level with the activity and to join in at the level they choose (full, partial, none) rather than be coerced into participation.
Toobeez are a unique means of teaching social skills, teamwork, and problem solving. For the first time, the Toobeez program has been adapted for utilization in schools and educational forums as a useful teaching tool. The lesson plans developed with Toobeez are designed to challenge students to evaluate concepts from a practical point of view with hands-on learning opportunities.
Teachers can use Toobeez as an innovative tool to implement the current educational practices discussed below. In addition, use of Toobeez in the classroom allows students to connect with their peers and teachers!
The Toobeez program activities support brain-based research by engaging learners and providing enjoyable hands-on experiences. The essence of brain research suggests that all learners are human beings with emotions, desires and needs. Researchers have found that relaxed, yet active, experiences that completely immerse the participants provide the most authentic learning experiences. In this learning environment, brain-based research shows increased retention, enjoyment, and positive feelings about learning. Toobeez provides activities that challenge each participant at their individual comfort level, while engrossing them in a fun-filled learning environment.
Developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, the Multiple Intelligence Theory suggests there is a range of learning styles which maximize the learning potential in children and adults. Suggesting people learn in different ways, the theory accounts for various strengths in individuals including linguistic, logical, spatial, kinesthetic as well as other styles of learning. The Toobeez program provides a unique way to broaden learning experience beyond traditional methods. By allowing instructors to offer lessons which address different learning styles, learning increases across the classroom.
The Toobeez program allows instructors to adapt lessons to meet the various learning styles and abilities in the classroom. Activities can be enhanced for a greater challenge, or they can be toned down for a simpler activity. Also, individuals are encouraged to participate at their own level of comfort so all participants experience success.
Lesson plans and activities in the Toobeez program require critical thinking and problem-solving skills as participants need to work together to brainstorm, select and execute solutions to each activity challenge.
Helping young people develop good character is a goal of many educational settings nationwide. The Character Themes listed below have been aligned with the activities in this guide, and the first page of each activity associates a Character Education trait with the activity. The Toobeez program offers activities that can supplement or launch a Character Education curriculum.
Research has shown that a sense of “connectedness” to parents and peers is the most influential protective factor in a teenager’s life. If teenagers lacked this connection, their chance of engaging in risky behaviors increases. Through increasing teambuilding skills, the Toobeez program brings peers together while boosting the individual’s self-confidence and sense of “connectedness” with others.
The Toobeez program centers around a collaborative learning environment. Groups work together to solve each challenge while completing interactive, hands-on activities. Each lesson involves member participation, movement and teamwork for completion of the activity.
The facilitator plays a crucial role in the Toobeez program activities. First, the facilitator selects and presents the activities in the guide. Then while executing the activity’s instructions, the facilitator must monitor the safe management of the activity while also observing the group’s dynamics. Most importantly, it is the facilitator’s responsibility to convey positive leadership and the potential for success to create the best environment for these teambuilding activities.
Once the facilitator determines an activity is suitable for a particular group, he or she must make judgments about how the group is working. The facilitator is responsible for running the activity; however he or she should not run the group. Instead, the facilitator should act as a leadership guide for participants and ask questions which will help the group to progress in the activity. The facilitator should positively motivate participants so each individual enjoys the best possible teambuilding experience.
Several of the activities in the guide require lifting participants. After determining if a group is ready for such an activity, the facilitator must make sure all the participants have learned how to spot and ensure the activity is conducted in the safest possible manner. In addition, the facilitator must encourage participants to focus while getting the group to take on the responsibility of spotting and lifting.
While running the activity, the facilitator must allow participants to problem solve on their own. When groups are working, the facilitator should take a step away and observe the group’s dynamics so he or she can guide the group appropriately if they encounter problems.
The facilitator begins the debriefing discussion by asking the questions he or she feels are most appropriate for the group based on the observations made during the activity. While considering the lessons learned from the challenges and possible “failures,” the facilitator should focus on the group’s positive learning experiences while acknowledging both negative and positive feelings if they arise.
Challenge and adventure activities can present elements of physical and emotional risk. No single source of adventure-based experiential education can substitute for practical experience and education. While this activity guide serves as an introduction to the use of adventure based experiential learning, it is only an introduction. Studying the material in this activity guide is not a substitute for professional training. Please refer to page 4 for information regarding the training options offered by Project Connect.
It is not possible to run a perfectly safe program since “safe” infers an absence of risk. Adventure learning activities are adventuresome because of the presence of risk. It’s impossible to remove all risk from adventure learning activities (the type of activities you read about in this activity guide) since eliminating all risk removes the trust-building elements of the activities and renders the activities useless.
The information presented in this activity guide is a reference, and the facilitator is ultimately responsible for judging the suitability of an activity and safely supervising the activity. Therefore:
The facilitator’s job is to make safety a priority and to manage the risk.
The publisher of this document assumes no responsibility or liability for the use of the information presented in this guide (including errors due to misprinting or omission of detail).
The following list provides suggested strategies for the managing of risk in this adventure learning program:
Some of the activities presented in this activity guide require participants to lift each other off the ground. This can be dangerous for both the lifters and the person being lifted. For this reason, the facilitator must convey the importance of proper spotting.
Spotting is the art of protecting a team member’s head and upper body from the impact of a fall by creating a cushion to effectively slow their fall. Spotting does not mean you catch a person when they fall.
Effective spotting requires that all participants pay close attention to the activity. If members of the group are not ready to participate in an activity that requires spotting, choose another activity.
To be effective spotters, participants must have a high degree of trust. If participants are engaging in horseplay or are using language (or other forms of communication) that takes away from the feeling of trust, please reconsider using any activity that involves spotting.
Spotting is a difficult task to teach because the potential spotter usually doesn’t recognize his importance until they actually have to support a falling body.