Beach balls, giant dice, and Twister tips: talk-starter tools

Starting meaningful conversations with middle schoolers can be a challenge (see more here).

Whether in Campaigners or Cabin Time, here are a few ideas for using favorite x categories (perfect for getting to know kids), something x topics (great for breaking the ice into more meaningful conversations), or one thing x questions (helpful for leading to deeper club talk discussions).

These tools won’t facilitate full-blown leader-led meaningful conversations, but they will help get things rolling.

1.  Make some BBCs – aka “beach ball chatter” – using Sharpie and various sized beach balls. Toss the ball from person to person, making sure everyone has a chance to catch and converse about whatever question or category is under their right hand/left hand/right thumb/left thumb/whatever.

(Larger beach ball with conversation-starting something x topics. Small beach ball with favorite x categories.)

2. Make some giant dice cubes with different questions or topics on each side. Give everyone a chance to roll and respond.


(Giant die, made from a coffee-mug gift box, with generic cabin-time questions related to that night’s club talk.)

3. Personalize a Twister spinner with different questions or categories. Give everyone a chance to spin and speak. Name your favorite (spin):


(A Twister spinner with favorite x categories.)

All 3 of these are fun to use and easy to pack – deflate the beach balls and flatten the gift box.

Do you have other quirky and creative ways to start conversations? We’d love to hear about them in a comment or by email:

Happy chatting.

(posted by Crystal Kirgiss)

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