The Hello World Activity is a group activity that includes fun and unusual movements.
Benefits of the Hello World Activity
- Encourages creativity
- Teaches diversity
- Great to fill in extra time
- No props needed
How To Play the Hello World Activity
This is a great activity when it comes to filling in extra time between other exercises during a program. Gather everyone together and have them sit down and relax. Inform everyone the next exercise is going to be a test, but not to worry as it will be self-assessed. This means each person will only know if they passed or failed, nobody else. Warn the group that the test will also become more challenging as you progress.
This activity is unique, as whoever is leading the group, is the one who comes up with the ideas. This person will then only provide a test they can pass 100%. There are plenty of test ideas out there, here are a few to get you going.
Start off with something simple and easy to do, get everyone to snap their fingers. The first thing group members will do is use their more dominant hand, to increase the challenge, ask them to try it with their other less-dominant hand.
Folding tongue: Instruct group members to try and fold the sides of their tongue. Demonstrate by sticking your tongue out and folding the edges together. You will be surprised how many can and cannot do this.
Whistling: Most people have learned to do this, but there are others who still struggle with this action. It’s easy to solve this problem, just lean in towards a neighbour who can whistle and pretend you are doing it too. This activity is for fun after all.
Staying with the whistling theme, there is a more difficult and challenging one. Take your hands and cup them together, so that the thumbs are lying next to each other. You will notice a small narrow opening between the thumbs. The trick is to blow across the top section of the opening, causing a hollow sound (similar to blowing over a bottle opening).
Finger Illusion: Take your hands and form a fist, then extend both index fingers. Bring the index fingers together, so the tips are touching. Bring your hands to eye level and focus on the centre where the two fingers meet. You should be able to see what looks like a short third finger in-between the two index fingers. If you can’t see this the first time, try again by squinting or un-focusing on the area, the image should pop out at you. Turn your hands to the side and connect more fingers with the same result. You can also move the fingers slightly away from each other, now you will see some floating extra fingers.
Arm twister: Take the one arm and bend it over your shoulder onto your back. Take the other arm around your side to the back and try to touch hands.
Another great option is the activity Wiggle Waggle, along with a number of other fun ‘tests’. The point is to get the group to relax and just enjoy themselves before starting into another more serious activity.
Contextual Framing Ideas
In life there are times we are prepared for difficult circumstances, but what of those times when we come across something different and challenging. When we are faced with these situations, most of us will meet the challenge and try our best. Here are a few ‘tests’ and challenges for you, let’s see how you do…
You will be given a number of challenges to perform in the next few minutes. Now, don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert or Einstein to perform them. Whether you are able to perform these challenges or not, you will surely have a lot of fun trying. On the other hand, I have been attempting these challenges for a long time, so don’t be surprised at my superb abilities…
Step-by-Step Instructions for the Hello World Activity
- Gather the group together where they can either sit or stand
- Inform the group that you are going to introduce a number of different challenges or ‘tests,’ which everyone in the group must try and do.
- Inform the group it is a self-assessed ‘test’ and that they don’t have to worry about failing.
- Begin with a simple challenge – snap fingers together, first with the dominant hand and then ask everyone to try with their other hand.
- Next, follow up with a number of challenges, each one more difficult to do than the last one.
- As a leader or facilitator, make sure you can successfully perform each challenge or ‘test’.
- To end off the exercise, allow some volunteers to show everyone something challenging they can do, others find difficult.
Leaders and Facilitators Tips
It is recommended that the group begins this exercise seated, as it has been found that this position is less threatening. The group will feel more comfortable and as the activity progresses, the group will loosen and start to have some fun. Another point to remember is to begin the activity with simple and easy ideas. This will keep the group interested and engaged, willing to participate further. Near the end, you might find some volunteers showing off their unique abilities. For example, how about somebody who can fit their entire fist into their mouths!
Debriefing and Reflection Strategies
Here are some questions to ask the group, which will help them to process their experience of playing the game ‘Hello World Activity ’
- Were you able to pass all the ‘tests’? Do you think it really matters?
- Was there a challenge you found to be unusual?
- Did you feel embarrassed by some of the challenges? Why?
Variations of the Hello World Activity
- Take a turn: Have a volunteer in the group come to the front and demonstrate a talent they have. Bending their fingers out of joint, touching their nose with their tongue etc. Many of these things are usually great party tricks.
- Smaller groups: First demonstrate a few ‘test’ before dividing the group into smaller teams. Each team must then discover what their team-mates can do, then introduce the challenge to all the groups/teams.