5 – 10 Throwable Objects (Small Balls, Dog Toys, Etc.)
Stand in a circle. Go around the circle and have everyone share names, one at a time. Let participants know that its OK to ask someone else’s name if you don’t remember. Start with one object, like a koosh ball. Explain: "I'm going to start by tossing this ball to someone else in the circle. If you receive it, toss it to someone else in the circle not immediately on either side of you. That person will toss it to another person who has not yet received it and again not immediately on either side of him or her. Throwing continues until the last person tosses the ball back to me. Remember who you tossed to because we will try to recreate the pattern in the next phase. Any questions?" This is a good point to encourage people to wait until the person you call looks you in the eye to throw the ball. When the person catches the ball, he or she thanks the person by name who threw the ball and then states a name and throws to a new person. Set a pattern so that each person in the circle throws and receives the ball one time. Explain: "Now we are going to try to repeat the process, but we are going to see how many balls we can keep up in the air at any one time. Any questions?" Once any questions have been answered, toss the ball to the first person. As soon as they toss the ball, grab another one from your stash and toss it. Repeat until a) there is exactly the number of balls going as there are participants (an almost Herculean task) or b) the process begins to break down. Notice how many balls the group has going, and retrieve them as they come back to you. Inform the group as to how many balls they had in the air when they were doing their best. Ask the group to consider how they might improve their performance. Typical modifications allow for participants to move their position, make agreements as to how they will throw to each other (e.g., "I'll toss mine to you high" or "I'll roll mine across the floor"), agree to pause the process when one ball goes awry, etc. Begin the process again.