There are plenty of on-line places where you can purchase training games or exercises but it is often more fun – and certainly cheaper – to make your own. I have always had a yen for creating things, from back in the day when you used washing up liquid bottles and old date boxes. All you added was a soupcon of sticky backed plastic and a sprinkle of glitter, then hey presto – another ‘gift for Auntie’. And I could never resist the challenge of creating a ‘clever storage for your pens’, or a ‘sofa for Sindy’. Blue Peter has a lot to answer for!
So before you find yourself carried away on a raft of cardboard loo-roll inserts, some questions you may want to consider:
- Does the game/exercise genuinely bring out the learning – or is it being used as an excuse for the trainer to put their feet up for a moment?
- Is it easy to transport? Remember you may have to lug it up several flights of stairs, or stow it in an aircraft hold if you travel for work.
- Does it need to be durable? Here is where wipe-off laminating works wonders. The cost of lamination should be justified by the amount of times an exercise can be re-used. Whereas if it is for single-use it won’t matter that it has been written on or that it is now a little dog-eared.
- Will the benefit your delegates derive from it justify the time and effort needed to create it? Sometimes the best use of your time here is to click the ‘purchase’ button on a ready-made learning tool and suck up the cost.
- Are the rules easy to explain – and easy to follow? Often a trainer will have a great idea for a game but for it to be a success delegates need to understand how to take part and what benefits they gain from joining in.
- Does it fit the time allowed? You need to factor in how much time you will need to explain it (see above) and how much time the delegates – who are seeing this for the first time – will need to perform it properly. Also, does it fit within the time frame of the rest of training session?
If you have considered all of the above and still feel fine about it, then go ahead, have fun, re-live your inner Anthea Turner and save yourself some cash into the bargain.
Action Point: If you want to create some in-house games/exercises for yourselves, or if you would like to work with a training organisation that designs interesting and effective training materials, contact us for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team