Cooperative Games for a Cooperative World

Facilitating Trust, Communication, and Spiritual Connection

New Book!

By Dada Maheshvarananda

This book includes 102 amazing activities plus 41 variations for adults and adolescents. These innovative games bring fun and laughter to any event and create powerful, safe learning experiences. Teachers, trainers, community organizers, youth leaders, yoga instructors, and conference organizers will find the skills and resources needed to help participants interact and share, gain self-confidence, improve collaboration, and develop a genuine compassion for others.

Book Review
by Ed Glassman

I have been teaching cooperative game activities for the last 25 years while being a public school teacher for over 30 years. It was my pleasure to review “Cooperative Games for a Cooperative World.” Dada has captured the best of the best games for children as well as adults. They combine leadership skills, sharing, communication skills, and problem solving skills all in a single book. I have used these games with all ages and only have had success. They bring out the best human qualities while instilling genuine excitement. I highly recommend this book for educators who want to teach a variety of social/emotion skills for new leaders to succeed in this complicated world.


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Balloon Trolleys

Sample Game:

Instructions: Hand out a balloon to everyone and ask them to blow up their balloons to 80 percent capacity; then tie a knot in the end of it.

“Stand in a tight circle, shoulder-to-shoulder. Turn 90 degrees to your right. Place one hand on the shoulder of the person in front of you, and place the balloon between your stomach and the back of the person in front of you. Now put your other hand on the other shoulder of the person in front of you. “The challenge is for the entire group to move in this formation to the finish line I have designated [about 10-20 meters or 30-70 feet away]. You cannot touch the balloons with your hands. If a balloon falls, the group has to stop and figure out a way to pick up the balloon and re-insert it where it was without losing any other balloons. Remember, please, that you are standing in a circle, which means that instead of going around in circles in the same place, the entire circle has to move across the area to the finish line. So some of you will be walking sideways and some will be walking backwards to maintain your formation and to reach your goal. Any questions? Begin.”

Facilitation Tips: If you have many people, divide into groups of 10 or 15 each. You will need to assign a volunteer judge for each group to watch if any balloon falls.

This is an initiative test of the group’s ability to cooperate and move together; in the yoga tradition, it is called Samgacchadvam. Moving in a circle without losing the balloons is more difficult than it sounds.

Another variation is to form a single file line instead of a circle, so everyone is walking forwards. To make that more challenging, add the rule that you cannot touch the person in front of you, either.

Balloon Trolleys in lines, at the AMURT/AMURTEL Skywalker Project (Caminiante do Céu) in the Perialto Favela of Sao Paulo, Brazil