Two flags waving depicting the Unofficial Start

Unofficial Start

Strategies that facilitate early engagement & interaction.

  • Simple
  • Engaging
  • Leverages idle time
  • Promotes connections
  • Tons of options


Step-by-Step Instructions

How To Play Narrative

Practical Leadership Tips

Social-Emotional Learning

Health & Wellness Programming

Popular Variations

Virtual Adaptation

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Useful Framing Ideas

Reflection Tips & Strategies


Contributor Mark

User Reviews, Comments & Ideas (4)
5.00 avg. rating (89% score) - 1 vote

  1. David Piang-Nee

    Have had the opportunity of observing Mark do this a few times now and it is amazing to watch how this works. As Mark welcomes and guides or participants slide in and guide themselves to the activities are fantastic. With a few puzzles, cards and other self-led activities, it becomes enough and easy for the group to start as they focus on the task rather than awkwardly engaging with each other. Just a little bit of pre-planning and some props is just what’s required and the magic just happens

  2. Emily

    I agree. Mark has helped me completely shift the way I “start” programs, namely with staff, and staff are no longer late! I carry a bag of rope with me EVERYWHERE. Thank you.

    • Mark Collard

      This si so great to hear Emily, well played. Unofficial starts just make so much sense, and if for no other reason, they can be fun 🙂

  3. Sean

    I agree! No matter that you use or whether the audience is a group of adults or schools students, the Unofficial Start sets up the program ahead for success from the beginning. This strategy alone has yielded some incredible results and I cannot recommend it’s use enough!

User Reviews, Comments & Ideas...

Have you played this activity? What worked, what didn't work? What type of group? Do you have useful advice for other users? Do you know a fun variation?

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