An energizer imparts energy, vitality, or spirit to other people. Energizer activities are important in classroom training environments – especially right after a large lunch. Here is a good list of energizers recently compiled by Jesper Fernström (a fellow trainer from Sweden) …

  • Happy Salmon – You can also try playing in groups of 3, 6, and 10+ to experience locking, normal, and chaos respectively
  • Longest caterpillar – Everyone moves around in the room. When you meet someone do a quick Rock-Paper-Scissors. The loser stands behind the winner, hands on the winner’s shoulders, and loudly chants the winner’s name while the winner finds another caterpillar for a new round of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Losing caterpillars attach to the winner and help chant the winner’s name. Repeat until there is only one caterpillar. Feel free to keep chanting for a while for good measure.
  • Chairs – Split into three groups. Give each group a secret mission (turn chairs upside down, stack chairs, and put chairs in a circle). Without talking, teams start fulfilling their mission. See if they can find a way to fulfill all 3 goals.
  • Non Musical chairs
  • Connecting people – One person starts telling facts about himself, like “I have a dog”, “I play tennis”, and so on. As soon as someone else hears something that connects them they physically connect with hooked arms. The newly connected person starts calling out facts until the next person connects. Repeat until all are connected.
  • Introduction circle – Stand in a circle facing each other. One person takes a step forward and tells everyone one thing about herself, like “I have a dog”. Everyone who fits that statement takes a step forward. Reset and repeat as many times as you like.
  • Stop them – 5 people facing a single person from a few feet away. The 5 starts moving towards the single person who is not allowed to leave his spot and must now stop them from walking into him using voice, body language, and facial expressions only. They will only stop when they feel there is a genuine command to stop. Prepare to have your personal space invaded!
  • Making rain
  • Silly walk – As in Monty Python. One person leads, and others mimic. Switch leader between every walk.
  • Human knot – Even number of people. Every person raises their right hand and takes hold of someone else’s raised hand. Then take hold of another person’s left hand using the left hand. The human knot has formed. Now try to untangle it without letting go of holding hands. The grip can be loose and flexible, but you cannot let go entirely.
  • Helium stick – Give a yardstick/rod (~3 feet long) to a group of 4-6 people. Ask them to estimate how long it will take them as a group to lower the stick to the ground. Have them standing on both sides of the stick balancing it horizontally at chest height using only one extended finger each under the stick. Their goal is to gently lower it to the flow, as a group. Feel free to question their ability to follow instructions when the stick starts to rise … which it will.


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