You need a second one. Does everyone got two? Alright I’ll put these in the pocket for now. Okay.
Alright, so standing on your feet for this next exercise your object over the next minute or two before we move into our morning tea break is to have a series of conversations with…
Thank you sir.
Is to have a series of conversations with as many people as you can because you one objective. Right now you all hold two treats, two Minties, at the end of the next two minutes when we complete this exercise you hope to have many more Minties than you do right now.
Now, of course, in order for some people to have more others have to have less. It’s quite likely at the end of this exercise you’ll have none. Good luck to you, but you hope to have at least one left at the end, but it’s possible that you might have six or seven.
And this is the way it works.
For example your name is?
Terrific, is that your name Ryan?
Great, every time you get someone to say that word “Yes” I get to take a Mintie from you. So you need to work hard…
Exactly! So it just seems so simple doesn’t it? You already know the rule. Just don’t say that word, but how difficult that can be. So you will find shifty ways to get someone, a volunteer that you’re about come up to, to be able to say that.
So, for example your name is?
Fantastic, Kim. So the rule is you never say the word “yes” right?
Good move. She avoided saying the word yes, and at the end of that interaction I’ll then move onto somebody else hoping to be able to convince them to say “Yes.”
You willing give it up you don’t need to chase then around the room for the Mintie you’ve just earned because it’s very likely the next interaction you have is where you have to give up one.
So any time you say “yes” that person who got you to say that word will ask you to hand over a Mintie.
(What about yeah?)
(Or like nodding?)
You need to actually have a conversation with each person. So you need to actually converse. You can’t avoid the conversation because (a) you could do that, but that would be just no fun. Go!
(Group starts to question each other as part of Mintie Game)
Yup, starting now.
(Each person continues attempting to earn sweets as part of Mintie Game.)
I’m not playing.
How To Play Narrative
Ohhhh, this seems so easy to do, but I swear the simple task of not saying “YES” is so hard.
My choice of sweets (or candy) are ‘Minties’ (refreshingly chewy mint lolly available in Australia,) but it works just as well with any wrapped sweet.
Distribute an exact number, say five, to everyone in your group, and then just as quickly, tell them not to eat them – just yet!
By way of demonstration, invite your group to mix and mingle with each other, engaging in a short conversation as often as possible. Encourage them to introduce themselves, exchange pleasantries etc, etc, and then engage in the fine art of conversation.
But, this is not just any form of conversation – explain that each person’s goal is to cause the other person to say the word “YES.” Every time your partner utters this pleasantly uncomplicated word, you gain a Mintie from their pile.
Allow the playful interaction to continue for 2 to 5 minutes. The person with the most Minties at the end ‘wins.’
Conclude the activity by eating your collected treats.
Practical Leadership Tips
Better to use wrapped sweets, otherwise, the holding and sharing of sweets gets rather sticky and messy.
My favourite line to gain a quick Mintie? I spy anyone on their own, approach them and calmly ask “Do you have any Minties left? “Yes I do, er…arghhhhhh..” Works like a charm.
You could integrate the Mintie Game as part of a well-designed SEL program to develop your group’s ability to manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviours effectively in different situations and to achieve goals.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Anticipating & Evaluating the Consequences of One’s Actions
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 required to successfully avoid saying ‘”YES” may reflect some of the key elements of mindfulness, but this would not be considered its most important attribute. You could also explore a range of emotional intelligence competencies that show up during the game, such as the ability to read social cues and navigate awkward social situations.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which the Mintie Game could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Don’t Say That: Substitute the word “YES” with other colloquially popular words such as “LIKE,” and if you want to make it really difficult – the word “AND.” It’s near impossible!
Not A Sweet-Tooth? Use any other small hand-held object, such as coins, buttons, or playing cards, instead of sweets.
Motivate Interaction: To promote mixing and interaction within your group, ring a bell (or other obvious signal) every 20 seconds or so, inviting everyone to move onto a new person.
Take a look at Jelly Bean Trade to enjoy another sweet-fuelled interactive game.
Active circle name-game with lots of fun variations.
Jump Clap Spin Run
Energiser that grows increasingly more chaotic & fun.
Useful Framing Ideas
Have you heard of the Pavlov’s dog experiment? In short, Pavlov conditioned a dog to salivate every time it heard a bell rang because the dog learned to associate the ringing of the bell with the appearance of food. However, Pavlov proved that once conditioned to expect this response, the dog would salivate immediately it heard the bell, whether the food appeared or not. Well, this next activity is not an experiment as such, but it will test your conditioning…
Imagine if you could be rewarded with a lolly or something sweet every time you had a conversation with another person. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? It would make you want to interact with others a lot more often, right…?
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 fun, interactive game:
What sorts of emotions did you experience during the activity?
Was it difficult to not say “YES?” Why?
How did you respond to this difficulty? Did you retreat, or work even harder?
What else are you, or our group conditioned to do in response to some stimuli? Give examples.
The inspiration for the Mintie Game, and many more fun, interactive community-building games, was sourced from the following publication: