My wife and I are first time managers of my son’s Destination Imagination (DI) team. DI is a creative, problem-solving team competition for kids. In our case, kids in grades 3-5.For the first meeting our goal was to introduce the kids to each other and stress the teamwork necessary for a successful team. Destination Imagination supplies many ‘instant challenges.’ Instant challenges present the kids with a problem that can only be solved using teamwork.
Rather than use a DI challenge I decided to use the cooperative board game Castle Panic. In Castle Panic players must work together to prevent goblins, orcs and trolls from destroying their castle. This is accomplished by playing cards that damage the monsters as they move down the board.
Each player takes turns playing as many cards as they can to rid the land of the monsters. Unfortunately not all cards can injure all creatures in all areas. The castle has four zones circling it. Swordsman is the closest, followed by knight, then archers and finally the forest.
At the end of each player’s turn the monsters move one area closer to the castle, after which they break down the walls surrounding the castle and finally the castle itself.
Each player may trade one card to another player during their turn. This is where the teamwork comes in. Players must think ahead, work together, and trade the appropriate cards to insure others players have what they need to damage monsters on their turn.
It was amazing to watch a group of kids that just met break the ice and begin working together, strategizing, and trading cards. As the the monsters began breaking down the walls and threatening the castle, “We’ re gonna die! ” and “Trade me this card, trade me this card! ” could be heard throughout the house.
Give it a try at your next group meeting when you need to break the ice and let me know how it goes.