Weekend chairs is a modified version of musical chairs that requires participants to scramble for seats and to share information about themselves with the group. It’s fun, frantic and energizing, but not for everyone.Summary by The World of Work Project
Weekend chairs is an energizer activity that works as both an energizer and a team-building activity. It’s basically a variant of “musical chairs” which includes an element of people sharing things about themselves. The activity requires chairs and is good for any medium sized groups who are active.
Note that it can be hectic and might be a little dangerous!
How the activity works
This activity requires a facilitator to set up a room by arranging for there to be one less chair than there are participants. It’s helpful if the chairs are arranges in circle or rows without any tables.
At the start of the session, the facilitator introduces the game as “weekend musical chairs” and explaining the rules to everyone.
The game starts with the facilitator standing up without a chair, and everyone else standing up in front of a chair. The facilitator then tells the room an activity they themselves either undertook at the last weekend, or plan to undertake over the next weekend. For example, “last weekend I went for a run” or “next weekend I’m going to the theater”.
Once the facilitator has made there statement, anyone who has done (or will be doing) the same activity sits down on their chair.
Everyone else though, has to try and sit down in a new chair. The facilitator should try and sit down too. This usually results in a scramble for chairs. As there are fewer chairs than attendees, there will always be one person left standing.
Whoever is left standing at the end of that round becomes the facilitator for the next round, sharing an activity they either completed at the last weekend, or plan to complete at the next weekend. The game repeats for as long as the organizers wants, but a good stopping point may be once everyone has been facilitator at least once.
Team building and ice-breaking activities are very important. They help build trust in teams and help progress team maturity. They can also reduce the risks of social threat and improve interpersonal awareness.
Being able to deliver them is a helpful facilitation and meeting skill. A few specific activities we’ve written about include: Weekend Chairs, Birthday Ordering, Vegetable Introductions, Two Truths and a Lie, and the Questions Cocktail Party.
Laughter and play are also great ways to help build a team. You can learn more about how playfulness helps teams in our podcast on the subject:
The World of work Project View
This activity works well for the right group of people. It’s chaotic, messy and energetic. Obviously, it’s not for everyone, so think carefully before deciding to use it. Similarly, it creates risks of slips, trips and falls and you need to be comfortable with the safety of your participants if you are to proceed.
Sources and further reading
Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.
This post has been informed primarily by our experiences over our careers and does not reference any specific sources.
If you see any errors on this page or have any feedback, please contact us.
Your Favorite Podcast Player!
You can listen to any of our podcast episodes on your favorite podcast player via podlink.