Games with an Environmental / Sustainability Theme

Experiential learning is a methodology, not a subject, so when I see it applied across a school’s curriculum, I get particularly excited.

That is to say, experiential learning is not the domain of the “outdoor educator” or camp leader alone. It is a way of learning, and thus it can be applied to ALL areas of the curriculum including literacy, numeracy, the arts, sciences, health & physical education, etc, etc.


Adapting Interactive Games for a Purpose


Some weeks ago, I was engaged by a playmeo member to workshop a bunch of ways in which many of the interactive group games & activities we all use to break the ice, energise and build trust in our groups, and adapt them to an environmental or sustainable theme.

It’s not possible to search for this theme (yet) within our powerful activity search engine, so it was necessary to sit down and wonder out loud about how this could be done and what it would look like.


In less than 30 minutes, we created more than 20 fun and exciting ways to enhance this member’s environmental program with group games & activities all imbued with powerful environmental lessons.

Here’s a truncated list of the sorts of ideas we discussed. Please reach out to me if you’d like the deeper details:

  • The Being – create the shape of a tree, rather than a person.
  • Palm Tree – this simple exercise is just begging to be made into a tree and connected to environmental lessons.
  • Hug a Tree – an ideal partner exercise that accentuates the senses. It also lends itself powerfully when combined with group initiatives such as the Blind Maze so that your participants know what the final tree feels like.
  • Human Camera – perfect for inviting your group to look more closely at the details of something we often overlook until it’s too late.
  • Arrowheads Puzzle – such a powerful exercise when connected to the lessons of acknowledging different perspectives.
  • The Maze – as above, another wonderful substantive group exercise that teaches a powerful lesson about perspective and its impact on others.
  • Not a Knot – so incredibly simple, yet one of the most powerful tools I use to teach about perspectives.
  • Minefield – navigate a minefield filled with countless obstacles with a partner whereby your framing clearly indicates certain obstacles are synonymous with various environmental threats or problems.
  • Madagascar Rescue – classic group initiative which is super-related to the current climate change debate and offers many powerful environmental metaphors.
  • Group Juggle – another classic that is just begging to be framed as comprised of the many interrelated elements of what keeps our earth alive and thriving.
  • Making Connections – this is just one of many dozens (if not hundreds) of activities in our database that relate to the benefits of being connected, a message not out of place in the current environmental debate.


What Would You Like to be Adapted?


Maybe environmental education is not your thing, fair enough.

But I bet you have a program that would benefit from the integration of a variety of interactive group games & activities, adapted to your specific program needs.

Not only would these activities be fun and help your group connect with one another, they would also raise engagement levels with your content and heighten the learning outcomes of your particular curriculum.

Get in touch with me today if you think this would help you, too.


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