Bubbles are a terrific way to celebrate the end of a training session, particularly a session that is more than a day or two in length. My friend and mentor Sharon Bowman taught me that we shouldn’t end training with an evaluation. When we do, all of the class energy subsides as folks focus in on the evaluation. Instead, we need to CELEBRATE!
So that is when I use the bubbles. When participants hand me their completed evaluation, I hand them a mini bubble bottle with a small wand folded up inside. They need to take care in opening the bottles, because they have aluminum foil across the top that can accidentally cut a finger. I suggest that they open up the bottle with a pen to puncture the foil, then they have to either hook their little finger into the bottle liquid to reach the wand- or some enterprising folks have figured out that they can make a hook with a pipe cleaner to reach the wand. This is an excellent solution for folks with thicker fingers or folks who would prefer not to get the soapy mixture all over their hands.
Once everyone has their bubbles open, I ask them to form a circle to the sound of “Celebration” from Kool and the Gang. Groups really have a great time blowing bubbles- and those of you who remember Lawrence Welk will get nostalgic with all of the bubbles in the air! [Just make sure the group is on carpet rather than a bare floor, because when the bubbles pop, they can make the floor very slippery!]
When they’re ready to stop blowing bubbles, the group is instructed to go give specific thanks to the folks who made their participation so valuable. This honors the learning community we established and maintained- and gives a real party atmosphere to the close of the session. Folks leave on a wave of happy energy.
You can get mini bubbles with all sorts of different colorful themes, such as Mardi Gras, tropical fish., race car, ‘60’s, aloha, sport ball, wild and crazy, and all holiday seasons. Packed in boxes of two dozen, this is by far the heaviest item I pack., but well worth it.
Back scratchers are a big surprise to participants. Oriental Trading Company sells 16″ plastic back scratchers in blue, red, yellow, pink, green, and purple. They come 72 in a box. They are wonderfully light to pack and a very inexpensive give-away when playing games that everyone wins (like relay races). Participants enjoy selecting a color, they almost always take them home with them, some use them for their intended purpose and others use them to duel!
Next week, we’ll continue our discussion of my participants’ favorite give-aways and prizes, looking at flashing star bouncing balls!
If there are other great novelties, toys, prizes, or give-aways that your participants appreciate, please let us know about them!.
This week, we conclude a discussion of my participants’ favorite give-aways and prizes- with flashing star bouncing balls.