Snowball Fight Activitiy

Pictured is our Practicum for Experiential Peacebuilding Crew at the University of Peace in Costa Rica. Our crew used a Snowball Fight activity to help figure out their priorities for goal setting. Check out the Snowball Fight Activity by Steven Hawkins below and feel free to use it at your next peacebuilding event!

Snowball Fight

In order to evaluate the options for problems to work on, there needs to be a group decision making process. This exercise is a fun way to take a vote as a first step towards narrowing the group’s focus.

  • Each person takes three sheets of paper (preferably old, reusable paper with print on one side)
  • Each person writes one of the three items that they feel is the most important to work on in the group over the next few sessions. They write each one on each paper, three in total.
  • Each person crumples their three papers into balls, ready for a snowball fight.
  • Everyone throws their snowballs at each other and all around the room.
  • After a few minutes of this great fun (everyone will be running and laughing), stop the group and have everyone gather up three snowballs, not necessarily the ones that they wrote. In fact it is better for the process if everyone has everyone else’s papers.
  • One by one, the papers are opened and read. Place a tally mark next to the issue or conflict on the brainstorm list.
  • When all of the papers have been read, count the number of tally marks to make sure that everyone’s paper has been shared.
  • Review the results of the tallying. The ones with the most tally marks should be the issue or issue the group will then begin to work on in-depth.

Clarify with the group, making sure that this issue is the one and not one that suddenly occurs to them or one that received a few less votes. Perhaps the real issue is a grouping of two or three issues that received one or two votes each, but if put together, it is where the real energy of the group lies. This is still a consensus process, just using voting as a way of eliminating some ideas and providing more clarity as to which issues are of highest importance.

It is important to note that while not all issues a group has are going to be looked at during this particular process, it does not mean that those issues are not worth looking at. Perhaps another session can be scheduled for working specifically on the second or third highest vote getter. Or a smaller section of the group may want to focus on that problem in a separate session. It may also be that after some time working on the issue chosen, the group realizes that the real problem is X, Y, or Z, and that is what will be the focus. The important thing is to be flexible and also give respect and space to everyone’s ideas.

Hawkins, Steven. Dramatic Problem Solving: Drama-Based Group Exercises for Conflict Transformation.

For further information please refer to Dramatic Problem Solving.