Take yourself and be very careful because it’s clearly very humid, I’d like you to take yourself a little piece of tape. So come on up and grab yourself a piece of tape. Just grab the very ends of it. Try not to touch too much of it.
Very good. And I’ll share mine with David. Very good. Excellent. I’ll do my best here, Dave, share half of it with you, because I think you’ll enjoy this exercise.
(I’m disappointed I only get half of it.)
There we go. Got it. Very good. Now, hopefully this will work with the humidity. I’d like you to roll your tape now into a circle, yours will be bigger than mine, where the sticky bit is on the outside.
You’ve created a little circle. Mine is even smaller than yours. Fantastic.
Everyone got that? Now wipe your nose, because I’m going to ask you now to place it right on the very end of your nose.
Now some of us have more real estate in that regard than others, but place it on the very end of your nose. Remove any humidity that may be there at the moment. So you’ll look a lot like David and I at this point.
Here’s the exercise. Your object is now to come up to another person close enough so that… Oh yeah, that’s right, peaks should go around the other way, this would be the combat position with the peak cap behind, and come close enough so that your actual taped noses come close enough so that my tape might take the tape off his nose or vice versa.
If I take his tape off, I keep it. I keep playing until the very last person has everyone’s tape on the end of their nose.
Let’s see how it works. Here we go. Here we go, Dave.
Alright, the game continues. Go!
(people playing Sticky Beak)
How To Play Narrative
To save time, prepare a bunch of pre-cut or torn strips of masking-tape in advance, one piece for each person in your group. Cut each strip to approx 10cm (4″) in length, and hang them off the edge of a table or other useful ledge for later use.
When ready, ask each person in your group to grab a strip and then, by way of demonstration, roll it into a circle where the two ends meet, with the sticky side facing out.
Then, invite each person to place this sticky apparatus onto the very end of their nose. For longer staying power and strength, people may clamp down the tape (using the inside of the sticky tube) onto the bridge of their nose.
Then on “GO,” invite everyone to face off with another person, moving gently towards the other in an attempt to have their sticky beak touch their partner’s sticky beak, then quickly pull back. In most cases, one person will ‘steal’ the tape from their opponent’s nose so that it now sticks precariously to the end of their taped nose.
The game continues with those who still posses a sticky beak attempting to eliminate all other competitors, until at last, one person remains – the winner!
Practical Leadership Tips
Note, the sticky beak may be positioned on the end of one’s nose, OR the bridge – not both.
It’s OK for people to occasionally tamp down on their original (ie first) masking-tape circle, to help it to remain stuck to one’s nose. However, mashing all of the accumulated tapes into one big sticky mess is not kosher!
To prevent arguments of unfair advantage, ensure that the lengths of the individual strips of masking tape are all about the same size.
Keep your camera handy, because the elongated masking-taped nose of the winner is always worth a shot.
Given the excitement and natural ‘high’ this activity produces, I often present it just before a break or the end of my program.
You could integrate Sticky Beak as part of a well-designed SEL program to promote and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse people.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Anticipating & Evaluating the Consequences of One’s Actions
Promoting Personal & Collective Well-Being
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s wellbeing of enjoying a good laugh.
In a small way, you could argue that the focus and effort required to successfully snatch the tape of your opponent may speak to the adaptability and resilient characteristics of the players, but these would not be considered the primary purposes of this fun group game.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Sticky Beak could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Extra Lives: Provide each person with two or three strips of masking tape to give everyone a couple of extra ‘lives.’
Team Event: Designate teams, and the team that ends up with the most tape rolls within, say, 30 seconds, wins. Or, announce that the last person standing wins for their team.
Playful Nonsense: Take a look at Wizz Bang and The Story Game to enjoy two more entertaining group games which are simple, super-fun and thoroughly FUNN.
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Useful Framing Ideas
Have you ever heard the term sticky beak? It means someone who sticks their nose into other people’s business, and in my experience, these kinds of people aren’t very welcome. Until today – in a few moments, I expect we’ll be celebrating the most successful sticky beak in the room…
When it comes to noses, let’s face it, some of us have more real-estate than others. And that’s a good thing to have for this next exercise…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this zany stunt:
What chances did you give yourself going into the contest?
Did you have fun? In what ways?
What strategies did you discover were successful?
Are there any lessons to be learned from this fun game that can be applied to real life?
Large Group ‘Community-Building Games’ Session
What You Need:
10+ people, 60 mins, index cards, pen, multiple ’52 Card Pick-Up’ sets (Print+Play)
PDQ Test – zany audience-style activity that will generate bursts of laughter