way to start working together.
Can be used to learn names and
develop a sense of interconnectedness.
Stand in a circle, toss a ball to someone, using his/her name, and they in
turn toss it to someone else, using the next person's name.
Keep it going, then more balls are introduced
and it starts gets crazy.
How to Run a Group Juggle Session
Set up & instructions for 1st round of group
Arrange participants in a circle, not too close, not too far from one
Include yourself in the circle
Explain that you are going to throw a ball to someone - pick someone out &
ask their name, then say
"Hi Freddy, my name is James...here you go!"
[underarm throw a ball to Freddy]
Freddy then says
"Thankyou James", picks someone and says
"Hi X, my name is Freddy...here you go!" [throw]....they say
"Thankyou, Freddy] and on we go.
If you're not trying to learn names, skip the naming part & just throw!
The challenge from here is simply to get the ball thrown around to
everyone in the circle, and finally back to the trainer.
2nd round of group juggling
I then say, "Right, well done, now let's see if we can that again - making
sure we use the same order, and using each other's names. Remember
to say the name of the person you are throwing to, and thank the person,
by name, for throwing it to you, OK?"
On the second round, most people will be challenged to remember who to
throw it to, and the two names! Take it slow, help the group out, so
that each person has a successful second round.
3rd round of group juggling
I then say, "Good, so how about we do it again, but this time, let's let's
see how fast we can do it, OK? Here we go...Hi Freddy, my name is
It will go pretty fast this time, and the group will probably feel quite
pleased with themselves.
4th round of group juggling - introducing more balls
I then say, "That's great, but I think you can do faster than that.
Come on, let's see how we can really go..." [I then throw and say the name
with super fast enthusiasm to set the tone!
After the first ball has passed through a few hands, I take a 2nd ball out
of my pocket (surprise!), and casually, but earnestly say "Hi Freddy...."
By now everyone is so well trained, the 2nd ball will automatically keep
going, and there will be a detectable sense of challenge/excitement.
After a bit, I introduce a 3rd and 4th ball, up to about 6 balls.
Usually I let 4 to 6 balls be juggled for a while (note the balls will be
coming back again to the trainer - just keep them going). A group of
12 adults can usually handle 4 to 6 quite well.
If I'm feeling conservative, I just let the group have the success of
doing this number of balls, and collect them in when that seems to have
But usually, once the group seems competent at 4 to 6 balls I gradually
then introduce an unmanageable number of balls into the juggle & maybe
also weird objects (e.g., kids soft toys) which all gets crazy, fun, out
of control, etc. and ends in a hilarious shambles.
Generally doesn't require debriefing.
Links to other descriptions of Group Juggle
15 tossable items in mesh stuff sack
Several soft balls or throwable objects. The more, the merrier!
Throw balls to others
in a sequence, using each person's name. Works every time. Can be
extended to "Warp Speed"
(to see how fast the group can throw balls
through a set order to each group member).