Examples of Mini Trampoline Games for Children and Adults

Sick and tired of the same old boring routine on your rebounder? Did you know you can use a mini trampoline for things other than staying in shape and bouncing up and down? You can get more out of your tramp with a little bit of creativity. We have put together examples of games you can perform on your mini trampoline allowing you to continue having fun with it for many years.

The following trampoline activities are specifically for kids and parents. These can be performed both indoors and outdoors so that your children can savor active play in almost any weather conditions. Prior to trying these types of activities, ensure you have picked the best and safest mini trampoline for your kid.

Count n’ Bounce – For kids just learning to count, a fantastic game to reinforce numbers is this counting game. Simply have your little one count (one, two, three, four…) each and every time they bounce. After they have counted as high as possible, they have to stop bouncing. They can then start again from the beginning. This may seem like a super easy exercise, but it will attain a couple of things. First, it encourages your little one to try learning to count higher to achieve more bounces per round. Second of all, it will help strengthen the numbers they previously understand by tying them to a physical activity. Lastly, it gives your youngster a reason to exercise!

I’ve Got Rhythm – Another great approach to indulge your child in activity on the trampoline is to play music while they bounce. Have them then try jumping to the rhythm of the song. For added fun, rotate between slow and fast songs for variety.

Stop and Jump – For a play on the old classic “red light, green light” game, try “stop and jump” with your youngster. Select a predetermined number, for instance, twenty-five. When you say “Go”, the kid starts off attempting to get to 25 bounces. Whenever you say “Stop”, the little one should stop bouncing. If they fail to stop bouncing, they have to start again. It is hard to stop bouncing on a mini trampoline, particularly when jumping high, so your kids must learn to control their rebounding to be successful.

Catch the Ball – To truly improve hand eye coordination, try throwing a foam or light rubber ball to your child when they are bouncing. As soon as they get it, they can pitch it to you as they continue to leap. Reflexes will be tested here, but make certain your child is skillful on the mini trampoline so that they have much less chance of falling off.

The other activities listed here can be entertaining for everyone. As usual, be sure to stick to the right basic safety procedures for your model of trampoline.

Ball Return – You can utilize your trampoline for activities other than leaping. Place the trampoline against a wall in an angle and toss a small ball at it to utilize it as being a ball return. You can use ping pong balls, tennis balls, or baseballs. We suggest executing this particular exercise outdoors, as a powerful toss could send your ball a far distance.

Competitive Games – Get your friends or family involved in rebounding by having friendly competitive events. Who could bounce for the longest time without stopping? Who can balance on one leg the longest? Who can do ten bounces the fastest? There are many ways for you to hold competitions to determine who will reign as being the mini trampoline champion!

These are just some examples of games you could perform on your mini trampoline. With a little creativity I know you can think of a lot more.

The Race

The nervous thoughts began to fill my stomach as I sat in the locker room moments away from the biggest race of my life. I got up and paced back and forth, trying to control my breathing. Cold sweat already formed on the tips of my fingers. It was less than an hour before my event. I pulled my brand new racing suit out of my bag. This was the “LZR Elite” everyone was talking about. It was a $260 water-resistant suit, the fastest of its kind. My mom had heard about it and had saved enough money to buy one as a Christmas gift.

Careful not to rip it, I slowly slid the size 26 past my clean-shaven legs and it brushed right past them. As the suit neared my waist, I understood the “skin-tight feeling” everyone complained about. The compression suit tightly wrapped around my crotch in an awkward way, making it difficult to walk without flinching. I sprinkled some water onto the suit to test it and was surprised to find that the water bounced right off. I looked into the mirror and shut my eyes as I played out the entire race in my head. I imagined the start, the middle, and the finish. I imagined that I had just won the race. I jumped up and pumped my fists in the air. I smiled and waved to the crowd. But my smile quickly faded. Even then, in my own little world of imagination, doubts filled my mind.

I was racing against Jay Thompson, the fastest freestyler in the state, who also happened to be my longtime teammate and captain. All I ever wanted, all I ever dreamed of was beating Jay in any event. I wanted to prove to him that work beats talent.

Walking out of the locker room, I went and sat down beside my coach.

“Hey coach, how do I  swim  this race?” I asked even though I already knew the answer.

“You nervous?” he asked.

“Yeah, just a little bit.”

“Don’t think about it too much. Just do it like we did in practice. Keep your strokes long and strong and remember to keep your breathing pattern steady. Don’t try to keep up with Jay; you’ll burn up all your energy. Just  swim  your own race. Really kick your legs in the back half and try to get that second place.”

“Okay, thanks coach.”

I wanted to ask if there was any possibility I could win, but instead I nodded my head and left for the warm-up pool.

Heading towards the pool, I looked up into the stands. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were packed into the stands. Parents, friends, teachers, and even a few Division 1 college recruiters had come to watch this state championship meet.

As soon as I entered, I spotted Jay talking with a bunch of swimmers from the other teams.

“Look who’s here,” he said smirking.

His friends turned around and looked at me. Jay singled me out not because I was the second fastest on the team, but because I was the only one who would have the guts to challenge him. Even the coaches were obedient to him. He would make fun of my name, my skinny body. He loved it since it made him feel superior.

“What’s his name again? Jizzy? The one who wants to beat you?” one of his friends asked.

They all started laughing, but I didn’t find it funny. I knew that I had trained harder than he and deserved that first place more than anyone.

He declared loudly in front of everyone, “You don’t have to keep it a secret. We all know you think you can beat me. I know you’ve been working hard, but I’ve been working on my talent.”

I remembered the night when Jay broke the state record. He said to me, “Work will get you nowhere if you have no talent.” But how can you get talent? Can you build talent? He told me only a few athletes are gifted with talent and that I wasn’t one of them. But I would have none of that. I wasn’t the best, but I trained like a champion. I knew that if I trained my hardest, I could  swim  as fast as him.

I walked away from them without saying a word and jumped in the pool to start my warm-up. During the 500 yards of easy  swimming , I practiced the smooth long strokes that coach wanted. Breathe, pull, reach… Breathe, pull, reach. Simple right? I had practiced the same stroke day after day for years. But now my strokes felt foreign to me. The anxiety began to overwhelm me. My head spun. My body tensed. How much more pressure could I endure?

The meet had already started and there were only a couple more races ahead of me. I finished my warm-up and headed to the waiting room early. There were eight seats for the eight finalists for the event. Seeded with the 8th fastest time, I had barely qualified, which meant I would be  swimming  in the farthest lane. The fastest swimmers  swim  in the middle lanes, giving them a clear view of the competitors during the race. As usual, Jay was the number one seed in this event.

The television screen in the room was tuned to a sports network, with two analysts giving a preview of the race.

“… This really isn’t much of a race. It’s not IF Thompson wins, it’s how much he wins by.”

“That’s right. He is a three-time defending state champion and is looking to not only break his own state record that he set last year, but to also break the decade-long national record.”

“Folks, this is an event you will not want to miss. We’ll be back to deliver you live coverage of the men’s fifty yard freestyle… “

“Pretty cool huh?” Jay said behind me.

“Yeah, sure I guess,” I admitted.

“You guess? I’m gonna break the record and it’ll be nationally televised! Oh, and by the way, good luck. You’re gonna need it,” he said and walked away.

The pump-up music started booming from the natatorium speakers, as the PA announcer signaled us to walk out.

“… And nowww, the men’s… fifty yard freeestyyle… “

We walked in a single file line to the pool deck and lined up behind our blocks as the announcer introduced us.

“In lane 1,  swimming  for West Central… In lane 2… “

I strapped on my goggles and put on my cap. Extending my arms, I stretched shoulder to shoulder and took ten deep breaths.

“… And in lane 3, a high school All-American from Rock Valley… “

My lips quivered and my throat dried. I told myself to keep breathing and that everything was okay. But my heart was throbbing uncontrollably. I tried shaking my arms and legs to loosen my stiff body.

“… In lane 4, your top seed in this event, is a 3-time defending state champion and state record holder…  swimming  for Mission Viejo High School… Jayyy Thompsonnn… “

The roaring crowd drowned my thoughts. I picked nervously at my fingernails; and readjusted my goggles and cap, worried they might fall off during my dive.

“… And in lane 5, who was runner-up in this event last year… “

I looked into the stands trying to find my parents so I could wave to them like I always did before my race. I wanted to thank them for everything, for all the support, for all the effort that they put in for me. I kept looking, but I could not pick them out from the hundreds of onlookers.

“… In lane 6, from Lincoln High… And in lane 7… “

This was it. This was my time to shine. All those sleepless nights I spent dreaming of this race; all those hours I spent training day after day, were not for a second place finish. I poured my heart out to prepare for this last race of my high school career. I trained like a champion and now I was ready to win like one.

“… And finally in lane 8, also  swimming  for Mission Viejo, is Jizzzy MacGibsonnn… “

The whistle blew and the official signaled the swimmers to take their marks. It was dead silent… and then whoosh, off we dove into the water.

My hands entered first, in a streamline position. I glided for a few yards and took seven dolphin kicks before I surfaced. Holding my breath, I  swam  the length of the pool and charged into the wall for my flip turn. My feet positioned perfectly as I hit the wall and carried my momentum into the final length. By now, the crowd’s cheers were deafening. I took another five dolphin kicks and  swam  the rest of the race with my head down.

I finished to the wall and took a few seconds to catch my breath. Gasping for air, I lifted my head up and looked at the scoreboard. Out-touching Jay and the others by less than a tenth of a second, I had claimed my first victory.

Now as I looked into the stands, I could pick out my parents from the hundreds of spectators. They were screaming and jumping up and down with joy. I smiled and waved to them and they gave me a thumbs-up.

As I got out of the pool, a news reporter immediately congratulated me.

“Hey, great job. Do you have a moment to tell us about your race?”

“Uh yeah,” I stammered.

I had only dreamed of being interviewed, but reporters never asked me about anything.

“Well, tell me about the race. How did you prepare for it and how did it feel to finally win your first title?”

“I spent months preparing for this race. It took a lot of commitment, but through the pain, through the sweat and tears, I knew that every ounce of effort was worth it.”

I had practiced reciting those exact sentences every night for this moment, and now I was finally able to say them.

Review: Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas From Galveston

I had planned this cruise for seven months. A friend and I who had previously cruised with Carnival and Celebrity were eager to try Royal Caribbean after hearing so many positive things about the beauty of the ship, quality of food and service, etc. For the second time, I surprised my retired parents by taking them with us (the previous year I had surprised them with an Alaskan cruise which I will review later), and they were absolutely giddy with excitement when they found out that they would once again be traveling aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, which they claimed was their favorite ship of 13 other cruises they had taken. With the ship fresh out of dry dock for upgrades, were set to go to some brand-new destinations none of us had ever visited: Roatan Island, Honduras and Belize City. Expectations were high.

Then cruise time came. While I am not prepared to say that we had a BAD time on this cruise, I think it is fair to say that our expectations were a bit deflated, pretty much from the minute we arrived at the Port of Galveston. Allow me to take you through the high and low lights of life on the high seas aboard Navigator of the Seas.

The Highs

Our dining experience– Most definitely the best service we received on the ship was in the main Sapphire Dining Room, which is without a doubt the most gorgeous dining room I have seen on a cruise ship. Walking into the dining room is like entering a regal opera house complete with grand stair case and three levels of dining with windows on each side. Our two servers were extremely attentive, noting my step-mother’s preference of making her own ice tea with two glasses of ice, 2 tea bags and some hot water, which was waiting for her every night after night one. I could fault her for being a “tea snob,” but then I’d have to look at myself in the mirror with my Starbucks in hand turning my nose up at Folgers. All of us enjoyed the variety of meal choices and thought the food was of very high quality, with service running like clock work. It was truly a pleasure to dine each evening.

Here we are at dinner. I am the goof-ball in blue.

The Cabin– Inside cabin 7667 (Aft Port) was home sweet home for our week at sea. My parents were right next door in 7669. For an inside cabin, there was plenty of room to stow all of our stuff and have a completely clear space to move in. I would say the bed was a bit hard, but it’s all about your preference as my friend and traveling partner Jay (the guy in purple) said his was just right. Ample closet and drawer space allowed us to each have sufficient space to unpack. Our steward service was also top-notch, re-stocking and tidying up twice daily.

The ship– Navigator is definitely a beautiful ship. Of note is the Royal Promenade, a series of shops, restaurants and bars running aft to forward giving cruisers the feel of strolling down a cobblestone street while at sea. I recommend the Two Poets Pub for some nice ambiance and people-watching. The main atrium is gorgeous, and the various lounges and bars are designed with a very classy yet comfortable feel. The pool deck is also impressive, featuring two main pools flanked by several hot tubs, some of which are shaded. For the most part there are plenty of chairs both in and out of the shade, but if your cruise is full you had better get there early to snag one. We also thought the nightclub overlooking the pool deck with its floor-to-ceiling windows added a nice touch to the ship’s offerings. The ship’s casino is also pretty decent, but since smoking is allowed in there, you may come out smelling like an ash tray.

Overlooking the Royal Promenade

The Grand Atrium

Beverage Package–Three of us on this cruise had the premium package for $55 per day, but since my dad only drinks beer, we got him the basic package. At first glance, this package might seem a bit pricey (Royal Caribbean’s beverage packages are some of the most expensive at sea), but overall we got our money’s worth. What I especially liked was that basically nothing on the drink menu was off limits short of the super premium stuff. You could even opt for Grey Goose vodka at no extra charge. The flip side here is the bar service (see below).

Theatre Entertainment–If you ever find yourself on Navigator of the Seas, don’t miss the ice-skating show. It is fantastic and was much better than I thought it was going to be. We also enjoyed the Elton John impersonator, the bar flair show and the adult game show.

The Lows

Embarkation/Debarkation–The words fiasco, nightmare, eternity and disorganization come to mind for both. This was hands-down the WORST embarkation/debarkation process I have ever experienced, and my parents who had been on 13 previous cruises agreed. We should have expected this when Royal Caribbean sent us out an e-mail prior to the cruise instructing us to arrive at certain times based on the deck on which our cabin was located. As it happened, we had flown into Houston, and our transfer dropped us off right at the time we were supposed to be there, which was 12:30 p.m. We did not step foot on the ship until almost 2 p.m, as we were stuck two different lines, both of which were extremely slow-moving. This is definitely not the way you want to start your vacation, and very few smiles were to be found in the security and check-in lines. Mind you, I totally expect a bit of a wait checking in, but this was just ridiculous. I think the longest wait I have ever experienced prior to this was 30 minutes tops. I definitely expressed my dissatisfaction to the check-in lady.

Debarkation was practically just as bad. Since we had a driver waiting for us, we opted for the self check-out and were given a specific time and place to meet. We have done this on other cruises with minimal waiting, with customs officers boarding the ship to collect forms. In the past, we have basically just walked off the ship. Not this time. When we arrived at the appointed spot we then waited another good 45 minutes just to be allowed to disembark. Once off the ship, guess what? Another line, another 45 minutes to pass through customs. I ended up being a charged an additional wait fee by my driver, thanks to Royal Caribbean and the Port of Galveston.

Bottom line–I will never cruise from Galveston, Texas again as they clearly do not have the ability to handle the volume of people that cruise ships have. Basically, Royal Caribbean left a negative first impression and a negative last impression.

Service–Aside from our servers at dinner, service in the bars and lounges on this ship was average at best and certainly not what I am accustomed to on a cruise. While some bartenders were standouts, it generally took forever to get a drink and often you felt as if you were a bother to the bartender or server. The worst service was probably at the pool bar. Some might say that I am too demanding, but when I spend my hard-earned money on vacation I want decent service. Period. I didn’t really get it on this cruise. My parents also commented that “things just weren’t the same on this cruise” as their previous experience on Navigator of the Seas.

Kids, kids, kids– OK, I am probably going to get some eye-rolls for this, and maybe for some it wouldn’t be a negative, but there were just too many kids taking over the main pool area on this ship. As with anyplace else, parents are partially to blame here, allowing their little monsters to run amuck and splash others in the main pool, but I fault Royal Caribbean for not enforcing pool rules. On past cruises, kids weren’t even allowed in hot tubs, but they were in this one. Granted, there is an adults-only pool and hot tub, but the problem is that there isn’t any entertainment there (not that the entertainment at the main pool was anything to write home about).

We did not participate in any excursions on this cruise, so I can’t speak to their quality. We did hear various comments that the excursions were over-priced and not worth the money. One excursion was even over an hour late and had to be delivered to the ship by boat as it was departing Honduras.

The verdict–If I had to choose between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I would probably go with Carnival based on past experiences. I am not totally closed to giving Royal Caribbean another chance, but they would have to completely WOW me to keep me coming back.

Coaching Defined

Coaching has been around as an established profession since the early-1980’s. However, it seems that every time I tell someone I’m a coach the response is typically this:

First – a momentary pause,

Next – a quizzical look,

Then – an “ahh” (and somewhere behind the “ahh” you can hear the wheels spinning), Finally – ending with something like: “So what is it that you do?”, “Who do you coach?”, or “Coaching? What’s that?”

It’s time to get clear on what coaching is all about. Coaching is an extraordinary profession in that the sole purpose is to support someone in achieving what they want. Coaching is a “high touch” service business. Coaches are like Sherpas in that they support their clients to successfully reach new heights. Coaches often will ask their clients to do more than they may have done on their own. They help their clients stay focused in order to produce results faster. Clients are provided with the tools, support and structure needed to accomplish more. While most coaches would agree with these statements as a general base for what they do, we will look at some of the distinctions between different forms of coaching. We’ll review executive, business, and corporate coaching; personal and life coaching; and sports coaching. Then, we’ll identify the distinctions between coaching, consulting, and therapy. Last, we’ll provide tips on how to select a coach and conclude by summarizing the benefits of coaching.

Executive, business, and corporate coaching are grouped together based on their commonality in dealing with business and the workplace. Typically, people looking to reach new heights with their career or business will seek out an executive, business or corporate coach.

Personal and life coaching are both focused on supporting individuals who are looking to develop personally. There are many niche areas for personal and life coaches from finances and work/life balance to image and relationships. People typically invest in a personal or life coach because they are ready to take action on a change they want to make.

Sport coaching is a type of coaching that everyone seems to understand. The one big distinction between a sport coach and other coaches is the competitive nature of sports. It creates a win/lose environment. A sport coach is not just pushing for someone to be their best. They are pushing for the person or team to win which means someone loses. In business and personal coaching, the coach is helping their client get to win/win solutions not win/lose solutions.

Often the discussion around “What exactly is a coach?” includes identifying the difference between a coach and a consultant or therapist. The definitions, while oversimplified, should help bring clarity around the distinctions between the three professions. A consultant is typically hired for their expertise in an area. They are brought in to help solve a problem and advise you or the company on what to do. The consultant then leaves you to implement the solution on your own. A coach will do less advising and more questioning to help you find the answer that best works for you. A coach will stay with you and support you as you implement the solution.

A therapist is typically hired when someone has a problem they want to overcome. The focus is in exploring the past. The therapist helps the person identify the root cause of the problem by delving into the person’s past and exploring from a human behavior viewpoint how the problem came into existence. The focus of a coach is future-based. A coach supports you in achieving your goals. There doesn’t have to be a problem to work with a coach, just a goal, desire or dream that you want to make a reality.

So, you may be wondering, “Who uses a coach?” The value of coaching has proven itself when two things are present: 1) a person or team has a desire to grow or develop and 2) there is a gap between where they are and where they want to be. With those two ingredients you have what is needed for a coach to successfully help you reach new heights.

So the next question becomes, “Who’s the right coach for me?” The coach and client relationship is that of a partnership. It is critical for you to be able to be open and honest with your coach in order to truly receive the full value of coaching. Consider interviewing your coach just as you would a new partner in business. Here are some questions to ask yourself before interviewing a coach*:

1. What do I want to use a coach for?

2. Do I care if my coach is male or female?

3. What kind of background would I prefer in my coach?

4. What will I expect of my coach?

5. What should my coach know about me?

Next, here are some questions you can ask a coach during an interview:

1. Describe your coaching style.

2. What’s your specialty or niche?

3. How long have you been coaching? Are you a certified coach? If so, what certification? If not, what are your coaching qualifications?

4. What is your coaching format?

5. What is your fee structure?

To conclude we’ll summarize the benefits of partnering with a coach which have been interwoven throughout this article. You can get clear about what you want and set the right goals to get there. You can have more money either personally or for your business. A coach can help you focus on making better decisions for you or your business. You can increase your energy so you can do more of what you want, and reach new heights by realizing the successful life you desire!

* Questions from Coach U- 2002

Types of Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts have been popular with youth, adults, and children throughout the ages. With the recent popularity of “The Amazing Race” and reality TV shows, scavenger hunts are just as popular today as they have ever been. They can take a variety of forms, be modified with different rules, and be tailored to a variety of themes, locations, and age groups. They are great for building community, fostering team work, and generating lots of fun and excitement.

Here are some of the more common types of Scavenger Hunts.

Classic Scavenger Hunt

This is the traditional scavenger hunt where participants are given a list of items to retrieve and bring back within a designated time limit. Examples include both common and hard to find items like: a basketball, an 8 track tape, a spork, a coin with a specific date, or a postage stamp. The scavenger hunt consists of a list of the selected objects and some rules. Variations may allow photos of an object to replace the actual object or creative substitutions. The rules may forbid the purchase of items or restrict the participants from going to their own homes or malls to collect items. Various points are assigned to the objects based upon the difficulty necessary to obtain them. Themes can focus the items and add fun to the hunt. For example, a superhero scavenger hunt may require them to bring costumes, comics and other collectibles related to specific superheroes.

Destination Unknown

In this scavenger hunt, clues lead participants to a specific destination where they find a clue to the next location. Successive clues will ultimately lead them to a specific location where there is a party. Clues may be in the form of riddles or directions to follow and serve to guide participants to famous landmarks and other locations. Sometimes helpers are positioned at the various locations to hand out the next clue. In other places the clues may be hidden under a park bench or other inconspicuous locations where the public is not likely to remove them.

Find the Pieces Scavenger Hunt

Hide pieces of a jigsaw puzzle around the designated game area. This could be a school, a church, or even a local park. Instead of a puzzle you can use any machine or object that has multiple pieces. As an Example, for a Halloween party you could purchase plastic skeletons and disassemble them, hiding the bones before the party starts. Let the participants search for them and then reassemble the skeleton. Hide batteries, a tape recorder, and a cassette tape with a pre-recorded message describing the next clue. Hide chess pieces, ingredients for a meal, or even clothes and accessories. One of the activities may be to dress up as superman, but to do so they must collect several pieces of the costume which have been strategically hidden around the game area.

Information Scavenger Hunt

Instead of retrieving objects, or taking pictures, participants in this scavenger hunt must find information. It could be the date on a tombstone, the last item on a restaurant menu, the inscription on a cornerstone, or any other factual information that requires participants to visit a specific location. Victory goes to the first team to correctly collect the most answers or to the team with the most answers in the time limit.

Mystery Photo Hunt

In this scavenger hunt you scout out the location in advance with a digital camera. Take photos of textures, objects, landmarks, unspecified locations, and items from around the venue. Tightly crop them so that they are not easily identifiable. The images should be tightly cropped to a small square that only shows a portion of the object. Examples: The last few letters on a street sign, a small portion of a painting n the wall, a statue from a local park, the nose of a sculpture, the number 8 from an elevator, the intricately carved frame of a wooden door, the hose of a fire extinguisher, the handle on a cabinet, and others. Participants are then given a printout of all the photos and must identify each object and where it is located within the time limit. Online examples of this can be found at: http://www.mysteryphotos.com

People Scavenger Hunts

In various incarnations, these scavenger hunts have groups search for people rather than objects. These could be people that participants know or total strangers. Participants can be required to get autographs, business cards, or photographs with the persons in order to prove they found them. Targets may be in disguise, dressed as certain characters from famous books, or simply roaming about a large mall.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

In this scavenger hunt, participants must take photos of their group with objects or in specific situations. The scavenger hunt format is a list of situations and objects to be included in the photos. One common variation is to include an object that must be present in every photograph such as a school mascot, a flag, a teddy bear or even something as outrageous as a couch. Participants may be given an instant 35mm camera or a digital camera. Boundaries and time limits can be used to limit the scope and duration of the game. Pictures are variously awarded points based upon meeting the stipulations of the photos and the creativity of the teams.

Pre-Arranged Scavenger Hunt

This is similar to the classic scavenger hunt, but the items are placed in the designated playing area in advance. A traditional Easter Egg is a common version of this hunt. Participants may be given a general instruction to “Find all the wrapped Christmas packages” or be given a list of specific items to find. In one variation, participants are to leave the item in place and merely note the exact location of the item. Alternatively the first team to locate the item and retrieve it will get the points. There may be more than one item hidden about the play area. You can even hide an item for each team to find. Simply color code the items with a piece of colored yard or thread. Disqualify any team that interferes with another team’s items.

Sound Scavenger Hunt

Instead of retrieving objects, students are given a tape recorder or other audio recording device and given a list of sounds to record. Sounds may include those made by objects, such as a ticking clock, ringing church bell, something announced on the radio or a radio commercial, a message from a person, animal sounds, and many others. The team that collects the most sounds from the list in the designated time is declared the winner.

Treasure Hunt

In a treasure hunt there is one final thing to search for rather than a list of items. Successive clues lead to a final destination where the treasure can be found. Teams compete against each other to solve the clues, and follow them to the treasure.

Video Scavenger Hunts

In this scavenger hunt, participants are given a list of actions and situations that must be filmed on video. Teams film video footage of themselves or other people in certain places and performing challenging and sometimes ridiculous tasks. Video is usually 30-45 seconds for each situation otherwise the time to view entries will be too long. This can be combined with community service so that some of the items might include the team raking leaves, helping someone take groceries to their car, etc.

Combination Scavenger Hunts

Combine various types of scavenger hunts together and tailor them to your theme. In this case the list will have situations to video or photograph as well as objects to retrieve, people to find, clues to solve, and facts to discover. Various items will appeal to various personalities so that everyone has fun.

Team Building Activities for Youth – 5 Engaging Ideas, Games, and Activities

Building a team of young people might look simple as the young tend to flock together, but in actual fact it is quite tricky. Team building activities for youth have to be fun and at the same time we should keep in mind not to veer away from the actual objective, that of team building.

For a typical team building program for youth, be ready to have multiple games and activities to mix things up. Creative ideas come in handy to keep their attention span.

1. The Name Game: In this game everyone will sit in a circle. One person will say his or her name and a personal characteristic starting with the same alphabet as the name. The second person will utter the name and characteristic of the first and add his own to it. In this way it will continue till everyone has participated. A good game to start with, it opens up everybody.

2. Two Truths and a Lie: This game requires each participant to say a two true things and one lie about himself. The others in the group are supposed to guess the lie. This is another very popular activity of the youth.

3. Bingo: Here everyone has to write three facts about themselves. There will be a leader who will put two of the facts of each member on a Bingo board without any names. This is then photocopied and distributed in the group. Then in ten minutes each member will interview the group and try to correlate the facts with the names. The leader declares the winner.

4. Line Up: In this activity the members are asked to line up according to their age. The best part is it has to be done silently. So knowledge about your fellow team member is a must.

5. Rain: To round up a session the Rain, which is relaxing and sublime is a perfect game. All the members sit in a circle. All are supposed to close their eyes. First of all everyone rubs their palms together to make it rain lightly. Gradually they snap their fingers for it to rain harder. And finally they clap loudly to bring a downpour. They then gradually go back to a light drizzle.

There are numerous other activities that can be utilized to build and bind youthful teams. The main criterion here is that they have to be entertaining and varied.

8 Head Games the Narcissist Plays – Ping-Pong, Anyone?

Narcopath Manipulation Characterized as Games

Narcopaths (malignant narcissists, narcissistic sociopath) are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are sore losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child.

I have to say upfront, I am not comfortable calling what a narcopath does to us as games, but I can’t think of a better alternative. I used manipulation characterized as games, but that’s a mouthful. Anyway, every therapist I’ve talked with uses the term, so I will, too. When I think of games, I think of fun, laughter and enjoying myself. Nothing about my experience with the narcopath comes even close, so it’s hard for me to think of the narcopath and games in the same setting. Polar opposites in my mind.

I don’t want to play games with a narcopath anymore. The rules are not written down and change according to her whim. I’ve lost before the game even begins. However, I am not a pacifist by any stretch of the imagination. I won’t walk away when I’ve been challenged very often, so when I urge you not to play the narcopath’s games, it’s not because I don’t like a good challenge. I just want a fair playing field or at the very least be playing by the same rules. The narcopath is too skilled and had far more experience playing these games than we ever will. If we are going to triumph against the narcopath, and we are going to, we have to play by OUR rules, not theirs. Oh, you may win a skirmish here and there, but remember, they don’t think like we think. This article reminds me a story a friend of mine, Dale, told recently. He and his young five-year-old son had a marathon checkers match one evening, and after several hours of winning game after game, Dale told his son he was calling it a night, but his son looked perplexed and exclaimed “But, the game’s not over yet!” Dale said he told him they played about a hundred games already, and what did he mean “the game’s not over?” His son looked at him with the most serious look a five-year-old could muster, and said, “the game’s not over until I win”. This mentality is what we face with the narcopath.

The most important thing you must remember about all these game is that no one can know the rules except the narcopath. Here are some of the more common “games” that narcopaths play:

  1. Ping-Pong: When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on. The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play. You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.
  2. Crazy Eights: This is a favorite game of narcissists. YOU are called crazy anytime you confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: he/she tells you that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy). They will claim not to remember even unforgettable events, flatly deny they ever happened, and will never entertain the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and infuriating tactic called “gaslighting”, a common technique used by abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, or reasoning.
  3. Liars Poker: Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) play this game fantastically. They lie better than anyone I’ve ever been around. Unless you know them well, they don’t show any of the tells experts look for in exposing deception. My guess is this is how they are able to con so many therapists. I know first hand what that look is on a narcopath. When she was here, the things she didn’t tell us, most with tears in her eyes. I felt so much sympathy for the horrible things that her ex and her parents did to her trying to control her. The stories she told us were outrageous and I bought every one of them, hook, line and sinker. Their persona and their entire world are totally based in lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up to trick and seduce others into giving them their fix of narcissistic-supply: praise, adulation and accolades.
  4. Gotcha! The narcopath is a master of phony empathy. He/She appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.
  5. Death by a Thousand Cuts: This is a really fun game that all narcissists like to play! Some of your strongest trauma bonds are created with this sadistic game. It involves destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. You both start with empty buckets. The first one to fill his/her bucket wins. They win the game if they are successful at turning everything about you and everything you do into a complete failure. They earn extra points when they successfully take all the credit for everything good that has ever happened in your life, and you thank them. They earn double points when they manage to put all blame for everything bad in your bucket.
  6. King/Queen Game: Either the king narcopath or the queen narcopath gets to make up the rules as they go along; they don’t have to tell the you the new rules, and they change the rules when it suits them. They are the king/queen and, as your superior, entitled to win this game, always. You suffer the consequences for breaking the rules, even those you didn’t know existed.
  7. Cat and Mouse: This is a kind of competitive patience (solitaire) game for two players. It is also known as Spite and Malice. You start this game by arranging the cards from low to high with the Kings/Queens being wild. Suits (the normal order of things and/or common societal rules) are irrelevant in the game. The game ends when someone wins by playing the last card of their “pay-off” pile. The game can also end if the players run out of cards, in which case the result is a draw. Cat and Mouse (or Spite and Malice) is a perfect game for a narcissist because it is actually a form of solitaire, it requires “one-upmanship”, and involves pulling out “better” cards to beat the opponent. It involves a “payoff” and for the narcopath, that usually means hurting you somehow. They keep track of real and imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. This is their “pile” and they will pull a card from it and use it against you when they feel like it.
  8. Guess Who?: This is a pretty simple game, and quite popular. The rules are few. Basically, you must summon all your psychic skills for this game. It is your job to read the narcopath’s sick mind, then decide what kind of mood he/she is in, and respond to her without her saying a word. Your options include, but are not limited to, two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum; Guilt-tripping puppeteer; Poor unappreciated Cinderella; Cock of the Walk; Coy tease; Inquisitor; Keeper of the Gate; add your favorites to the list. If you get it right, then you win the right to change your behavior to mirror his/hers, and your day will be a good one. Get it wrong and you lose. You get to listen to what a loser you are all day long. Either way, they win. OR, you don’t guess at all this time. Instead, you pack up and leave crazy narcopath and win you back.

The only way for the you to win any of the narcopath’s games to not play. If you are in a relationship, you can walk away from the toxic narcissist in your life. If your boss is an abusive narcissist, you can find another job. You can walk away from your parents, too, if they are abusive. If it’s a family member, move away, go no contact or low contact.

Keep Away Game for You: Keep Away is a game the narcopath doesn’t play, but if you must stay in near the narcopath, it’s one you need to master, and the rules of this game are not to respond the any of the narcopath’s attempt to pull you into one of her no-win games. You are not allowed to respond to jabs, barbs, promises, put-downs, etc. It will take focus and determination to break old habits and create new ones. It only takes 21 days of consistent behavior modification to create a new habit. This is not going to be easy, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick. Think of it like this: if you’re playing a game of catch, the only way to stop the game is to not catch the ball when someone throws it to you. It’s possible to stop playing games with a narcissist, as long as you mentally prepare for the challenge, and prepare yourself for the onslaught of negativity, accusations and histrionics. Ignore inciting words, don’t respond to inciting words, hang up the phone politely or leave. Take a drive, go for a long walk, anything. Just get away. There are many ways you can refuse to catch the ball and not throw it back. This is the game of “Keep Away”. You stay away, walk away, and refuse to play. This is a game that you, yourself, must learn to play. It is important to recognize that the narcopath will never acknowledge that he/she is now, or has ever played mind games. It’s up to you to stop playing. Don’t try to get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened or it was your fault.

3 Benefits of Playing Memory Games

A fun-filled and worthwhile activity that both adults and children can enjoy is playing games. Playing games do not only help us socialize and/or pass the time in a fun way, it can also give us great benefits that can enhance our overall well-being. There are many different kinds of games that can be chosen from. There are physical games that can help strengthen our bodies and make us healthy. There are also intellectual games that can increase our knowledge while there are also memory games that can help our brains become sharper.

Aside from making the brain sharp, there are also other great benefits that can be reaped from playing memory-enhancing games. Here are three of the great benefits of playing such games.

  • Helps in exercising the brain.

Memory games, like other kinds of games, serve to exercise certain parts of the body – in this case the brain’s memory function. When these games are played consistently, it will be equivalent to exercising the brain to make it more alert and sharp. You can do this by playing memory games 30 minutes to one hour every day. It does not matter how short or long you play the game. The important key to remember is playing it consistently. This will also harness one’s concentration and focus level in such a way that it will be improved as you go along.

  • Helps in preventing memory-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.

Memory loss is a natural process that all people may go through as we age and it may prove to be a little difficult to prevent and it cannot be halted. However, it can be slowed down by properly exercising your brain and this can be done by playing memory games. When you play these games and exercise your brain consistently, you will be able to avoid illnesses and diseases which are memory-related. This is primarily because the brain is kept active often.

  • Helps in enhancing other brain functions.

Others think that memory games are just all for improving the memory and others may not feel that it will be useful or beneficial in their day-to-day life. However, that is completely incorrect. When a person plays memory and brain-enhancing games regularly, he or she will not only be able to enhance the brain’s memory function, but also other brain skills like concentration, focus, attention level, cognitive skills as well as reading and reasoning skills. This is because many memory games are developed to allow the brain to think strategically and critically. There are many memory games that have various levels of difficulties to holistically train and boost the brain.

Memory games are a fun way and efficient way to pass the time. On top of that, if done on a regular basis, it can also help in boosting the brain making us sharper and wiser.

Some Reasons Why Kids Love To Play Games

Kids are in love with games. This is because games are short and they attract kids with all the animation and moving pictures. It is to be noted that the games children like to play are not among the ones that are easy to play. Most of them are quite challenging that are difficult to master. Exploring these kinds of games takes time to learn through focused playing and thus mastering at the end.

It is not a fact that on which kind of device they are playing the games. The games can be both video games and the PC games. Both types of devices do attract them. There are several reasons why children love to play games.

When they were asked that what interests them to play games so much, most of their answers were like it relaxes them and puts them out of their learning and homework pressures. In a way, they are quite true. Nowadays the kids are much pressurized with studies. Saying this I do not mean that studies are bad. No! It is simply that there should be a proper balance that should be maintained so that the kids find the time to recreate and refresh their minds.

Another reason that most of the children have highlighted are that they can form teams with friends and enjoy the games. Yes, this is what you can call an advantage of today’s technology. Games have become interactive. Team members can interact with each other, help them in games.

Why should parents allow their children to play games?

Well, if you are a parent and worrying about your child’s playing habits then I would say it is quite natural. But, I assure you not to worry much. Just ensure that they are playing the right kind of games. There are games that have been designed to increase the intelligence of the child. Some games increase their learning and memory.

If your child is a preschooler allow them to play games that teach them A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3, 4. There are certain apps which also teach them to write and learn the words associated with it. Even the school goers can benefit by playing games that need strategies and problem-solving skills. In the long run, your child will understand that winning and losing is a part of the game and winning will become easier if they can learn to rectify their mistakes.

Shhhhh…

Like enough of the noise awready! Geesh, people…

No, I’m not talking about the sometimes nearly overwhelming noise pollution that goes hand in hand with living in a big city. Traffic sounds, horns, sirens, airplanes, construction noises. I’m not even referring to the eardrum-shattering volume of the concert and bar bands – or the door-vibrating music coming from our kid’s rooms. Not even the irritating boom bass enlarging the size of the cracks on the car’s windshield next to us at the stoplight.

Yeah, the noise is bad and it seems like it’s getting worse. Sometimes I think about the warm, quite summer evenings from my younger days back on the farm when all there was to listen to was the crickets, a few frogs and maybe once in a while a coyote or two howling off in the distance. And I wonder, considering how the db level has skyrocketed over the past several years, why the heck I didn’t have the foresight to go into audiology instead of adult education. There are fortunes to be made in that career field. So who knew…?

But that’s not the kind of noise that concerns me most. The one that really bothers me – and makes me wonder just where the heck we humans are headed are the noises that are blasting out of our mouths.

YOU #@*&% IDIOT – WHERE’D YOU LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!!? I WANT TO SEE YOUR MANAGER – AND I MEAN NOW!!! WOULD YOU GET YOUR FAT REAR OUTTA THE WAY!!? IF YOU DON’T CLEAN UP ALL THE CRAP IN YOUR ROOM, YOUR BUTT’S GROUNDED!!! WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!!? JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!!? DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR #&%@* SLAVE!!? WHERE’S MY #%&@* KEYS!!?

Whew!

We’ve all heard it. On the streets, in the stores, at the ball games, on the playground, next door. And let’s admit it. Almost every one of us at one time or another in our lives has “let it fly”. Unfortunately, for too many of us, this kind of communication – this personalized air pollution – has become a way of life. It’s what we do. It’s the way we are. I’ve even heard people describe high volume spousal relationships as “just their way of communicating and letting off steam”.

Houston, we have a problem!

One of the problems of course, is that as our volume increases the quality of our communications slides right into the crapper. Most folks normally react to shouting by implementing their most comfortable defensive action which is usually shouting right back. It becomes a “loud” contest. For sure, nobody’s listening.

And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s unfortunately fairly common for this type of confrontation to deteriorate even further into physical altercations with frequently disastrous results. First we say it, then we do it. Grabbing, slapping, punching, pushing… The self control has vaporized and we revert to our basic animal instincts.

Yeah, we could overcome some of these tendencies by applying one of the common anger management techniques. Back off, cool off and give ourselves some time to re-evaluate the situation and circumstances that led up to the shouting match. It can help. But it’s not the permanent solution.

And no, I realize that there’s not much we can do about “society”. There’s not much we can do about all the pressures we experience just by living in these times. The pressures that tend to fertilize our aggravations and worries – and our tendencies to relieve this stress by “spoutin’ off”. And we can’t change the fact that we perhaps grew up in a confrontational, loud household – and therefore have become programmed to act and react just like our parents did.

If we really want to though, we can change ourselves. If we’re tired of the shouting or at least not thoroughly convinced that this is the best way to go through life, we can do something about it. We can change our immediate environment – our personal world – into a place that’s a lot more comfortable to live in.

Just the realization that we don’t need to live this way any longer if we don’t want to is a major step in the right direction. But where do we go from there? If confrontational shouting is a life-limiting factor, the next step could be to seek professional help. A lifestyle filled with verbal, mental, emotional and physical abuse is not something we can move away from without assistance from trained helpers. There are plenty of people, organizations and support groups that are readily available to help us work our way out of our personal battlefield.

Beyond that, there are things we need to learn and experience. Part of it, I would suggest, is using the foundation concepts of personal development and self-help to gain a better understanding of our thought processes and learn the steps we can take to modify our mental/emotional programming so that we can move on to more peaceful (and productive) thinking techniques. Again, there is plenty of help and information immediately available to assist in this process – on the Web, in countless books and articles, tapes, CD’s and seminars – and in our local communities. All it takes is just a little bit of effort to identify these resources. Start with the information contained in this site and in our books if you wish, then take it from there to find your own personal best path to a quieter lifestyle.

I would suggest too, that to complement our attempts to upgrade our thought processes, that we seriously (or light-heartedly might even work better) consider looking into connecting with our spiritual selves and whatever/whoever we consider as our spiritual leader or master teacher. Finding our own personal spiritual path or belief system can help build a solid foundation for whatever we feel we want our life to become. It’s an important ingredient that is all too frequently overlooked in the developmental process. But believe me, it can make the journey one heck of a lot easier.

Where we go from here now is of course, up to each one of us individually. We can maintain and feed our chaotic, high volume lifestyle – or we can put forth just a little effort to start the transition to a more peaceful, productive, enjoyable environment. For sure, if you happen to be one of my acquaintances or next door neighbors, I’d really appreciate it if you’d at least try! Please…?