If you are looking for an activity to play with a class or large group that will help teach teamwork and social skills, as well as helping review concepts that they’ve previously learned (how to manage anger, anxiety, manners, emotional expression, etc.), this game is a great one. Basically it’s a do-it-yourself, life-sized version of the game “Sorry”. Your students/clients are the movers and their goal is to get from their “Start section, all the way around the board to “Home”. The standard “Sorry” game has 4 movers of each of the 4 colours, meaning 16 players would give you a full “set”, but you could play this game with more, or with as few as four group members. You might just choose to have a shorter game or ask players to go around the board more than once.
Game mat: Plastic tarps, markers, and tape
1 die (A larger one or even a fuzzy die adds some extra fun, but a regular game die will do)
Game cards or PowerPoint show with “big move” questions.
To make the board:
I bought 4 plastic tarps from the dollar store (You would need quite a large room or outdoor space to build a board of this size. Otherwise, build smaller. I taped the tarps together and using a metre stick and some permanent markers set to work. You will likely need a couple of hours to make the board, but if you do it well, you can use it again and again for different topics/groups. The board ended up looking like this.
Here is a picture of the actual board (apologies for the glare!):
Make sure you divide each of the four sides into individual spaces. On a couple of spaces on each side we included instructions like “go back 3 spaces”, or “move ahead 5 spaces”, or even “return to start”.
To make the game “cards”:
In place of making game cards, our group used a projector with PowerPoint slides on them. Each PowerPoint had a question on it that the team had to answer correctly. Once they did so, the group was told how many spaces forward or back the player had to go.
Examples of game card/PowerPoint questions could include:
- Demonstrate one strategy for calming down when you are angry?
- What is one way that you can help yourself feel better when you are anxious?
- True or false: It is okay to call someone names when you are mad at them
- Is it okay to take a toy away from someone else who is using it? Why or why not?
You may also choose to include bonus moves (see attached PowerPoint), which a player/team can earn on some questions if they provide more than one answer, if a teammate can also answer, or if there is a follow-up to the original question.
Divide your participants into 4 groups. Have each of the groups stand in one of the starting circles (you can also choose to only use 2 or 3 teams depending on the size of your group, or to have less than 4 players per team.
The rules are like “Sorry” but with a twist. Each team takes turns moving one player. They must decide together which player will move.
Players choose to either roll the die OR to pick a card/PowerPoint question. The die is the safe option, whereas the question cards are a bit more of a gamble. The “cards” have bigger rewards (i.e., move ahead 10 spaces) and bigger costs (i.e., go back to start, move back 7 spaces). Plus, the group must answer the question correctly in order to move ahead. After the dice has been rolled and/or the question been answered, the player moves the designated number of spaces. If they land on a space with special instructions (move forward, backward, go back to start), they then follow those instructions. If players land on the first space of the slide arrow, they get to slide ahead to the end of the arrow (exception is if the arrow takes them past their home space).
If a player lands on a space where a player from another team is already standing, that player gets sent back to his/her start space and must set out again. To win the game all players in a team must get “Home”.
Here is the PowerPoint template I made for this game: 2015 Life Size Board Game
Additional instructions are included in the first few slides. Feel free to adjust it to meet your needs. If you will not be using PowerPoint, feel free to print the slides as handouts to make game cards.
You will see that I have not included any questions or even a game title in the PowerPoint. I have purposely left the questions blank as the applications for this game are so broad. You may have other board games/counselling workbooks that you can draw questions from. Feel free to leave a comment saying how you used this game, and if you like, I am happy to share your questions on this post so that those with similar client needs can benefit.