I'm currently employed as youth advocate for zany freshman high school kids at an inner city school in north portland. Its a rewarding and sometimes degrading job where kids call me a hippy and laugh at me and make fun of second hand clothes. I have to battle rap them to keep em in line every now and then. Anyway I'm looking for some ideas for creative games to play with 3-8 kids during our down time when they don't have any homework. any ideas from all you creative folk? something educational would be beneficial but any ideas are much appreciated. thanks bunches all you beautiful people

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Comment by Todd Fadel on March 21, 2010 at 6:46am

Comment by Todd Fadel on May 26, 2009 at 12:53pm
Comment by Todd Fadel on January 4, 2009 at 9:56pm
Comment by Todd Fadel on January 4, 2009 at 9:28am
'nother one:

MATCHBOOK (made up by Todd)- a resource to teach the importance of "contrast" and broadening aesthetic

resources needed: 3-4 sheets of 8.5x11" full-sheet sticker paper, regular 8.5x11" paper, scissors, pencils, magazines, crayons, recycling, ruler, matchbook

- with a ruler, measure 8.5"x11" full-sheet sticker paper into four 2" x 11" strips and mark them with a line every 1 1/4". There should be 8 "panels" made on every strip

- explain how they will be filling the panels with whatever they can come up with in a minute. Brainstorm a list of things that can fill a panel. (examples: poetry, drawing, collage, comix, jokes, short essay, fabric/tangible object, facts, resources links, puzzles) Stress the importance of making their 8 panels very different from one another.

- ask them to think of what they will do for the first two panels, and start the clock for the first one: 1 minute. (This can be altered to allow for time)

- after they stop ask each person what they decided to do. Then, discuss the concept of "contrast". What does it mean? How can one approach contrast from another?

- Start the clock for the second panel.

- Give them time to reflect on the two panels and discuss what similarities the first two panels have with one another and encourage them to do something on the next two that SHARPLY contrasts from the first two. Repeat this when the next two are finished. Repeat again.

- Then, take a regular sheet of paper and fold it this way:
2 hotdogs, 3 hamburgers, unfold and accordian fold (see video).
This will make a mini accordian-folded booklet. The participants will take the panels that were made and affix them to each individual "page" of the booklet

- cut out each panel and encourage participants to trade/swap panels with one another. Identify highly inventive usages for the panels.

- Peel off back of sticker paper and affix the panels to the booklet/zine.

Show that the booklet is small enough to fit in a matchbook. Also, show the participants that the project can be expanded/adjusted to fill EVERY PANEL on the page, both sides and create 4 CONTRASTING booklet/zines just by folding the paper differently.

Instructional videos to follow.
Comment by e-majyn on January 3, 2009 at 12:35pm
Thanks a million Todd, that's freaking great! I'm going to incorporate this for sure. I'd love to see some of the ones you've been a part of.
Comment by Todd Fadel on January 3, 2009 at 8:48am
a total crowd-pleaser every time:

resources needed: paper (8.5x14" preferred), golf pencils

- give every participant a piece of paper

- have them fold the piece of paper so that there are as many panels as there are participants. (fold instruction hint : "hotdog"= length-wise, "hamburger"= width-wise, example: "fold your paper 1 hotdog, 2 hamburgers and you will have 8 panels")

- explain that each person will be drawing a simple picture in one panel. Show the panel order and determine order of people (who's number #1, #2). Give them 20 seconds (countdown from 20 OUT LOUD) to draw on the first panel (top LEFT). Explain that after they draw their first drawing they will pass their paper to their RIGHT.

- explain that when they receive the paper from the person on their left, they will go to the next panel to the right and continue the story/image in any way they wish. FOR EXTRA FUN: tell them not to use any written words.

- give them 5-10 seconds to "contextualize" (look at the previous drawings to get ideas) and countdown 20 seconds OUT LOUD.

- tell them to "switch!" and prompt them to pass the paper they have to their right. Proceed with as many turns as it takes to get their own paper back.

- When the panels are filled, you can either a) have them share what the finished work looks like or b) start over with captions under the drawings and have them pass the paper to their LEFT after the OUT LOUD 20 second countdown.

I'd love to see what you come up with. I'll post a couple of these that we've done. It tends to get really strange (and funny) very quickly.

Comment by e-majyn on January 2, 2009 at 3:48pm
yea thats a correct assumption. little to know resources cause all I have is a plastic box to lug around my supplies.
Comment by Todd Fadel on January 2, 2009 at 3:38pm
i'm assuming your looking for something that takes little or no resources besides paper and pencil. Right?


“There is plenty of courage among us for the abstract but not for the concrete.” - Helen Keller

“Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being "drawn toward." Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk.” - Carter Heyward


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