What do you do when you see your team or someone on your team who seems frustrated, disconnected, exhausted or just needs a pick-me-up? What if I told you all you had to do was get them to have some fun? Basically, without getting too scientific, there are chemicals tossed around in our brain that are responsible for that feeling we have when we are having a good time. Luckily, we can trick our brain into creating a feel-good cocktail.

Here is how:

  • Induce a sense of anticipation
  • Cause an increase in heart rate
  • Create a sense of accomplishment

These three things can be easily accomplished with a quick, simple, fun game. The result is amazing. Your team will feel a sense of belonging, a surge of energy, a self-esteem boost, feelings of worthiness and much more. To help you get started, I will tell you how we have been doing this for years.

  • Call a mandatory meeting at a designated time. I usually do it at 12:30 p.m.
  • Have everything already set up so that all you have to do is divide into teams and explain the game.
  • The game should last seven to eight minutes, require the participants to move quickly, and have a goal of a competitive nature.

Example: Balloon Tower Game

  • Each team starts with the same number of balloons. The participants must quickly transport the balloons across the room to the tower build site.
  • Once all balloons are transported, the team uses tape to quickly construct a tower of balloons. The balloons cannot be taped to the floor.
  • The tallest self-standing balloon tower wins.

The Balloon Tower game is much more elaborate than many of the other ones we use. Most of the games require very little prep work and items that can easily be found in the gym. The games you use are only limited by your imagination. Over the years, we have put together quite a repertoire. Feel free to reach out for game ideas. Have fun!

View poster: Today, the Purpose Is to Have Fun! (PDF format)

By Rachel Thompson, DOR/OT, Millennium Post Acute Care, Rockhill, SC