Watch Out Game is a quick moving and fast paced energiser game which can be used to illustrate and teach safety awareness.
Benefits of the Watch Out Energizer Group Activity
- Very energetic
- Hones observation skills
- Encourages collaboration
- Rubber or gym-spots
Considering a change in your activities? This game could be it. Allow the group to form a circle, everyone one needs to stand on a particular “Spot”, which could be a drawn mark on the floor or some type of object.
You, as the facilitator, take up your position in the middle of the circle. Explain to the group that at any time during the game they are allowed to leave their safe Spot and attempt to swop Spots with someone on the far side of the circle.
This usually happens when one member of the group makes eye contact with somebody on the other side of the circle. Then, as soon as they are ready, they give the give the signal, usually, a nod. They must then move as fast as possible and swap their positions.
Now the fun begins, for as soon as you leave your Spot, the one in the middle of the circle is entitled to take it. This means that one of the members who are in the process of changing Spots will be left stranded, so they in turn now become the one in the middle.
As the game warms up, you will need to instruct the group to take care and not run around wildly, knocking someone over in the process. If the problem persists, you will have to bring in another rule, when running you are not allowed to touch anyone at all. This will create a safer environment for the activity.
The purpose of the activity is to find out how many times members of the group can swap Spots before the person in the middle is able to secure an open spot. If your group is competitive and want to keep score, suggest that whenever a successful swap is made, they score one point. You will be able to bring this into your discussion after the activity has come to an end.
You can play the game for as long as you like or until everyone is too exhausted to continue. Apart from being a great warm-up event, the activity also encompasses the idea of safety as well as commitment. You will be able to discuss all aspects of the activity afterwards; how it worked out for you and what happened when all your good intentions came to nothing.
Knowing that there might be a very good chance that you will not be successful in your task, will you still be prepared to take the risk? The risk factor for this motivating activity is high and, you may experience biting off more than you can chew.
Apart from the other lessons, we can learn from this activity and relate it to it within our own lives. Learning, all of us are responsible for our own actions. There is always the tendency in life to blame someone else if things go wrong. This activity brings out the truth very clearly, you find that the cost of making a poor decision bears immediate results.
Step-by-Step Instructions for facilitating the Watch Out Group Energizer Activity
- Get the group to form a circle and have everyone stand on a certain Spot, which can be marked by some type of object or a drawn mark on the floor.
- You, as the facilitator, do not have a Spot and need to take your place in the middle of the circle
- Instruct the group that during the game anyone can swap Spots with someone else directly opposite them in the circle. At the same time, they need to try and stop you the person in the middle, from taking away their empty Spot.
- The aim is to make as many successful swaps as possible during the game.
- When all the Spots have been filled, then the one left without a Spot becomes the new person in the middle of the circle.
- Instruct the group from the start, that safety is paramount, and they need to be very careful. They must avoid knocking someone over and must try to move around without making bodily contact with the other members of the group.
- You can play the game for as long as you like, or until the entire group is exhausted.
Facilitator and Leaders Tips
There is no problem if you make use of “Poly-Spots” or “Gym-Spots” for marking where you want the group to stand. Also, it is not even necessary to have members standing, they can all be seated on chairs.
This exercise is ideal for large groups, the larger the group the bigger the circle will be. This makes more space available for players to make their move, as well as raising the chances for someone to swap positions.
Instruct the group again about safety and to avoid knocking each other over. You will find that though you stress this point, invariably someone will, in their haste, bump into somebody else. However, try to keep these occasions down to a minimum.
If you see that the safety of the group is becoming too risky, stop the game and consult with the group. Bring up your concerns and suggest other options.
Debriefing and Reflection Strategies
Here are a few questions, which will help the group process their experience of the game ‘Commitment’
- How difficult was it for you to take the chance and move off your Spot?
- Were you ever left without a Spot? What did you do?
- Was it difficult for you to commit to someone else?
- Can you discuss what you think hinders us from moving forward?
- Did this activity teach you anything with regard to commitment?
Popular Variations of the Watch Out Activity
- Fill Any Spot: After you have played the game for a while and excitement has increased, permit one member from anywhere in the circle to steal an empty Spot. This means that as soon as any two members have committed to swapping positions, anybody can take their open Spots, even the person standing next to them. All they need to do is step over from their Spot and take the empty one. Not forgetting that the player in the middle is still bent on stealing someone’s empty Spot.
- Obligatory Moves: Instruct all group members to make a move and swap positions once every 30 seconds. This will force those who are cautious to make a move and liven up the game.
- Another fun tag game you can try is “Swat Tag” this is similar in the sense of stealing positions.
Another “Spot Swapping” fun game you might consider is “Don’t Touch Me”