You know that you need to make your training more interactive and participatory. You have seen or experienced wonderful learning games and activities that cost a bundle, but you are limited by a strict training budget. You may not have a training budget at all.
It is possible to engage participants in highly interactive and experiential classroom training activities that are either inexpensive or free. For example, there are at least 26 different activities that are based on a simple piece of paper! There are also at least 14 activities that are free, because they don’t require ANY materials.
First, let’s look at learning activities that use paper: either a flip chart, an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper, or a 3” x 5” index card.
Here are 6 activities that use a flip chart:
- Large group brainstorming
- Table groups posting their responses or analysis
- Gallery walk
- Relay race
- Process map
- Competitive brainstorming
Here are 13 activities based on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper:
- Fill in the blanks
- Case study problem situations with questions
- Role play scenarios with roles and procedures to follow
- Crossword and word search puzzles
- Mind mapping
- Scavenger hunts
- Mark ups
- Bingo icebreaker
- Art projects that require drawing
- Picture and description of self as an animal, a vehicle or a food group; etc.
- Snowball toss
Here are 7 activities that use a 3” x 5 “ index card:
- Role play information
- individual or group brainstorming
- Self-directed group quiz
- Presentation notes
- Progressive problem solving
- Nominal group decision making
There are also learning activities that do not require materials, so they are absolutely free. Here are 14 free activities:
- Pop ups
- Shout outs
- Verbal relay
- Pair shares
- Group discussion
- Question and answer sessions
- Panels of experts
- Stump the trainer
- Round robin answers
So, the next time you want to increase the effectiveness of your training programs by making them more interactive and participatory, don’t worry about the cost. These 40 learning activities will spice up learning without making a dent in your budget.
Question: What other participatory activities do you use that are inexpensive or free?
May your learning be sweet- and safe.
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