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close this bookCreative Training - A User's Guide (IIRR, 1998, 226 pages)
close this folderPhysical activities as educational tools
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIllustrating facts or theories
View the documentPromoting attitude change


Learners actively participate in practical tasks or games.



1. To provide an opportunity to learn and practise new skills in a safe and supportive environment

2. To illustrate facts or theories in a practical way to make them easier to understand and remember.

3. To provide experiences to help participants explore and change their attitudes.

4. To evaluate participants' skills or the outcome of training activities.


The purpose will vary with the specific activity - see examples 1-4.


· Makes use of the fact that most people learn more through "doing" than through seeing or listening.

· Participants usually enjoy these practical activities so their interest and attention can be held for longer periods than when pure mental concentration is required. (The facilitator usually enjoys them too.)


· Outcomes may be unpredictable because of the high level of participant involvement.
· Sometimes "expensive" in terms of time and materials.


Materials, duration and skills needed and numbers of people depend on the particular activity chosen.

Practising a new skill

Have one facilitator for every 5-10 participants (more if the activity is dangerous, e.g., welding, giving intravenous drugs).

· Make sure materials and equipment are available to avoid participants getting frustrated.

· Allow time for tidying up, changing clothes, etc., and for participants to share what they have learned.

Example 1


This has been used as part of the Community Based Rehabilitation Program of ALAYKA offered to local health workers in Palawan, Philippines. It is done with three or four facilitators for 15 to 20 participants. Following a training on ways of helping some disabled children by using toys and play activities, the participants are given the chance to invent or choose toys to help specific children. They make these (or sometimes a model of a bigger toy) using a variety of easily obtainable materials and waste items (e.g., card, plastic bottles, boxes, wood, string, cloth, needles and thread, paper, crayons or pens, tins, nails, wire, etc.)

Plastic bottles filled with sand to stop them from falling over. Rings cut from a bigger bottle and covered with tape. These can help develop coordination skills and basic number skills.

A box with different-shaped holes, and blocks to post in the holes. These can help develop hand control, coordination and shape-matching skills.