9780925652126 / 0925652121

Workplay: Playing to Learn and Learning to Play


Publisher:Human Resource Development, 1992



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About the book:

WorkPlay offers you some of the most enjoyable and educational games and exercises you'll find anywhere. More than "just another" collection of structured activities, this reproducible volume includes a provocative discussion of the serious impact of fun and games on the adult learner.

WorkPlay provides training in: Leadership, team building, change, problem solving, creativity, decision making, goal setting, trust, risk taking, and more!

WorkPlay is designed to provide program designers, workshop presenters, facilitators, and consultants with creative, structured learning experiences and detailed guidance on how to use them for effective training, conferences, and workshops. It is a practical handbook containing 27 varied and versatile activities that cover a comprehensive range of learning themes. Although these activities are particularly well-suited to team building, group problem solving, and leadership training, they can be used for communication, decision making, creativity, resource management, and a multitude of other learning purposes. Each activity can serve a range of training needs and agendas. Each activity has applicability to a variety of learning themes, some of which can be explored in depth using the activity alone or in conjunction with suggested companion exercises. They can be implemented either at different times for different purposes or used singularly to accomplish a variety of related learning objectives.

WorkPlay includes:

27 reproducible activities in a convenient 3-ring binder.

Exercises include icebreakers, energizers and closing activities, scenario-based activities, and general activities for multiple objectives.

Observer/judge sheets for participants to learn by observing

Guidelines for ensuring that physically challenged participants can safely and enjoyably take part in the activities

Requirements for set-up, time, group size, materials, constraints, and safety considerations.


Experiential activities can transform learning into adventure for adults in conference, academic, and work training settings. Learning is an emotional, physical and cognitive experience. Movement and feelings affect learning. Play can engage the mind and body and provoke a positive, emotional response during exercises that are designed to enhance skills and elucidate concepts and theories. Almost any topic can be explored through gaming. Learning that involves skill building and behavioral change, such as group dynamics, communication, leadership, problem solving, teamwork, and decision making are particularly well-suited to gaming.

Playing games for the serious purpose of learning creates a paradoxical situation in which participants are simultaneously involved in serious play and playful seriousness. The object of gaming is knowledge, not fun. However, the process is enjoyable and thus conducive to learning. This type of play entails the lighthearted yet earnest pursuit of educational aims within a fun-and-games context. The paradoxical nature of gaming to learn allows players freedom to experiment with new approaches, change old approaches, and even fail with impunity. After all, learning is a risky business. Safety is ensured in the imaginative realm of play.

Conducting the Activities

Each activity provides all the information necessary to conduct the experience, including directions and other handouts that can be easily copied for the participants. Some of the games do not require these handouts for participants or may have handouts to be used by the facilitator as a guide. These handouts contain all the pertinent information necessary for the group considerations. They also ensure that the group cannot project responsibility for its performance on faulty facilitator instructions, insulating the facilitator from being unwittingly drawn into authority issues that properly belong in the group.

Many of the activities are designed to accommodat

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