About the Corporate Playbook

Fun Office Games for Any Occasion: Icebreakers, Energizers, and More


          Playworks believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid, but our Playworks’ Playbook isn’t just for kids! Many of our games are fun for all ages, so we compiled them into the Playworks Corporate Playbook with some grown-up modifications to suit any office.

          Why are office games important? It is hard for kids to focus at school, and adults struggle with this same problem at work. Over 90% of educators at our schools agree that Playworks increases cooperation between students, the ability to focus in class, the use of conflict resolution strategies, and feelings of inclusion. The same concepts are applicable at the corporate level, as employees are more likely to be fully engaged at work if they are having fun. Investing a little time on fun activities can significantly improve office morale and contribute to future company success.

          Our Corporate Playbook offers games for every occasion: icebreakers for getting to know your coworkers, Minute Moves & Energizers to liven up meetings, indoor cooperative games for your next office break, and outdoor cooperative games for the next time your team needs some fresh air. Whether these games are used as 10 minute breaks in the day, or are organized into an office game-day a few times per year, it is a fun and easy way to excite the office. Simple rewards like competing for food incentives are always good motivators. Who wouldn’t want to have fun or earn free food at the office?

This blog highlights one game per week and offers insightful suggestions on how to best incorporate these games into an office setting. Have fun with these games and make sure to share with your friends!

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Playground Story of the Week

A positive playground story from Coach Michael

Playworks’ Junior Coach program allows students to help our coaches facilitate recess, and more importantly has the power to teach these students valuable, wide-ranging skills along the way. Giving the following student added responsibilities helped him channel his focus towards his strengths rather than his weaknesses.


          A student who I will call Timothy has had a bad rep at school. Many school staff members were telling me how defiant he could be, so I made him a Junior Coach hoping this could positively change his behavior. I worked closely with him, teaching and inspiring him to make better decisions with his actions and words. After some time, I saw that he was really taking his Junior Coaching job very seriously. This was just what I wanted to see from him. I knew he would excel as a leader as long as he was given the chance to make a positive impact and do good for the school.

          I have noticed many students are labeled as the “troublemaker” or the “bad kid,” but it is important to ignore those labels and instead focus on their strengths. If someone is always hearing about how “bad” they are, then they will never think they can do good. My goal is to teach these students that they can do good as long as they set their mind to something and block out the negativity. Everyone feeds off of others’ energy and personalities. Complementing, acknowledging, and role modeling is huge. To me, these actions make the biggest impacts on even some of the hardest kids to work with.

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Tuesday’s Taste of the Corporate Playbook: Ball Toss Race

Ball Toss Race

Icebreaker

Length of Activity: 10 minutes

Required materials: 1 ball or any throwable object

How to Play:

  • Start by gathering in a spacious room and taking turns loudly presenting your name to the group.
  • Quickly say another person’s name and pass them the ball.
  • Continue to toss the ball around the room, sitting/kneeling down after passing the ball so that everyone receives the ball just once.
  • After the ball reaches the last person, immediately pass the ball back around in the opposite direction and continue to say the names of those you pass the ball to.

Learn everyone’s names with some added competition. This game is a great way to make learning names more enjoyable. Time yourselves and try to be as fast as possible. Or raise the stakes by racing against another team!

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Partner Spotlight: Hoops4Kids – Warriors Community Foundation

At Playworks, we live by our core values: respect, inclusion, healthy play and healthy community.  Every day our coaches, like Akil, are out on the playground embodying these values, and showing our kids who they can be like as adults.  We include everyone in our games.  We use teamwork to get active and have fun.  And we show our kids that together, we can be champions.

We’re lucky enough to have some partners in our community that share and help us stand up for these values.  I love watching the Golden State Warriors demonstrate these core values every day in their game.  These players are huge role models for our kids, and we’re seeing them move closer to their own championship with every game – but the best part is that they are doing it in a healthy and respectful way.  

We’ve got some superstars on the team, four starters that could each easily hog the spotlight.  But do they? No, they lead the NBA in the highest number of assists.  Their bench is strong.  Their motto is Strength in Numbers.  This is exactly what our kids need to learn – that we are more powerful sharing leadership and getting out on the court together.  Playing hard, respecting the game, and most of all having fun.

Double high fives to our partners at the Warriors Community Foundation for being such valued partners and go Dubs!

-Michelle Collier, Development Director

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Welcome Letter: Paul Collins, San Francisco Executive Director

Hello! I am Paul Collins and I am thrilled to be the newest Executive Director for Playworks in San Francisco.

I still remember my first encounter with Playworks – then Sports4Kids – when as a parent I was deeply satisfied to see how a Coach with positive energy and terrific facilitation skills could so positively impact the recess (and lunch transition!) culture at my children’s school, Buena Vista Alternative Elementary. We even have a proud Junior Coach alum in the family, headed to college later this year.

As I pay even more attention, I am amazed at the power that play can have in our lives and the ways it can very positively impact a child’s sense of self, a team’s morale, an organization’s sense of purpose, and our overall capacity to influence the kinds of change we want to see in the world. At Playworks we offer you, our community, several ways to incorporate play into your work, your capacity for service, even your own sense of self-care and joy. Seriously! 🙂

I encourage you to consider joining us for our annual celebration of play, and Get in the Game! Take advantage of the riotous fun and amazing team building opportunity of our early summer Corporate Kickball event. Volunteer to support play literacy at an elementary school in your community! And please reach out to our team to explore how you want to expand – or join – our growing posse driving the movement for safe and healthy play in the Bay Area, and beyond. I greatly appreciate this opportunity, and your ongoing partnership and support.

Paul Collins
Executive Director
Playworks San Francisco

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