Books about Adventure-based Group Activities, Games, Exercises & Initiatives
Warning: Not all game descriptions and game books are the same. In fact, the quality and price varies widely (and not necessarily in direct proportion!). An expert description generally provides more detail and experienced advice about how to set up, facilitate, and debrief the activity. Many books consist of lightly re-written versions of descriptions from other game books. Many books that sound good on the surface are padded out with ordinary or common activity descriptions. So, it is well worth reading book reviews before purchase. Don't despair though, good group game books do exist! Several recommended books are highlighted below.
Karl Rohnke: Original Adventure Game & Activity Guru
The most prolific author in the area of experiential adventure activities and games is Karl Rohnke, a key figure in the evolution of Project Adventure from the early 1970's. Rohnke's books are recommended classic adventure activity texts. The earlier books are getting a little dated, but broke new ground with their emphasis on creative, fun, group physical activities. Rohnke has continued to innovate and disseminate new games and books over a period of 30 years, with a shift towards developing more portable, flexible, games. Rohnke describes activities in a down-to-earth manner, with a characteristic sense of humor. The books are well illustrated and among many people's favourites.
This book offers a guide to the experiential education theory and techniques pioneered by the Czechs and Slovaks. Central to this book is the concept of dramaturgy, a process involving elements of learning psychology, role play and theatre that concentrates holistically on physical, social, creative and reflective/emotional learning states. The book has a detailed set of guidelines for designing outdoor and experiential events, and instructions for 30 novel dramaturgy games/scenarios. This book arguably represents the most innovative recent contribution to the book literature on experiential games and activities. Preface & Table of Contents. Book details. Ch3 The Five Steps of Dramaturgy [pdf]
Collard, M. (2005). No props: Great games with no equipment. Beverly, MA: Project Adventure.
Executive Edge (2004). Team building guru [A do-it-yourself web resource with team building activities, games, articles, tools & tips]. Subscription: $299/year. Some sample material.
Fort, I. et al. 180 icebreakers to strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. (also see book description)
Heck, T. (2004). Team me teamwork. [100+ team building exercises & ideas, including instructional videos and personal coaching]. Subscription: free.
Priest, S., Sikes, S., & Evans, F. (2000). 99 of the best experiential corporate games we know. Tulsa, OK: Learning Unlimited.
Rohnke, K. see List of group game & activity books by Karl Rohnke.
Sikes, S. (1995). Feeding the Zircon Gorilla and other team building activities. Tulsa, OK: Learning Unlimited.
Sikes, S. (1998). Executive Marbles and other team building activities. Tulsa, OK: Learning Unlimited.
Sikes, S. (2003). Raptor and other team building activities. Tulsa, OK: Learning Unlimited.
Rohnke, K. (2004). Funn n' games. Dubuque, IO: Kendall-Hunt.
Rohnke, K. (2002). A small book about large group games. Dubuque, IO: Kendall-Hunt.
Priest, S., & Rohnke, K. (2000). 101 of the best corporate team building activities. Tarrak.com.
Rohnke, K., & Grout, J. (1998). Back pocket adventure. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure.
Rohnke, K. & Butler, S. (1995). Quicksilver: Adventure games, initiative problems, trust activities, and a guide to effective leadership. Dubuque, IO: Kendall-Hunt.
Rohnke, L. (1994). The bottomless bag again!? (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IO: Kendall-Hunt.
Rohnke, K. (1993). The bottomless bag revival. Dubuque, IO: Kendall-Hunt.
Rohnke, K. (1991). Bottomless baggie: More reprints from "Bag of tricks". Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt. [out of print]
Rohnke, K. (1989). Cowstails and cobras II: A guide to games, initiatives, ropes courses, & adventure curriculum. Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt.
Rohnke, K. (1984). Silver bullets: A guide to initiative problems, adventure games, stunts and trust activities. Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt.
Rohnke, K. (n.d.) Bag of tricks: Adventure notes from Karl Rohnke. A periodic newsletter with many creative and fun activities. Karl Rohnke, P. O. Box 77, Hamilton, MA 01936. [out of print]
Rohnke, K. (n.d.) Bottomless bag: Reprints from "Bag of tricks". Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt. [out of print]