A Simple Children’s Game You Can Use For Training Adults

4 plain white cards on table

by Alan Matthews

Many years ago, in what seems like a different life, I used to teach English to 5 year olds.

In doing this, I often used board games and card games which I generally made up myself, although they were often based on traditional or commercial games (this was back in the early 1970’s, when such games were still common, before computers and PlayStations came along).

Since I moved into adult learning and development, I have found that a lot of these games are still really useful for teaching and reviewing information and concepts.

One such game is what’s called Pelmanism. It’s very simple but you can use it in lots of ways.

The basic idea is this – you take some cards with pictures or words on and you have two of each card. You shuffle the cards and place them face down on a table in rows. So, let’s say you have 20 cards, you might place them in 5 rows of 4.

The first person to play picks up a card and turns it over, then picks up a second card and turns it over. If the cards are the same, the person keeps them and has another go. If they are not the same, the person turns them back over and someone else has a go. This continues until all the cards have been picked up and the person with the most cards wins.

Of course, the key to winning is to watch other people carefully and try to remember where certain cards were.

You can use this game in so many ways with adults.

    1. Write (or get the learners to write) key learning points or concepts from the training on cards and use these for the game. It will help them to review and repeat the points.
    2. Draw images you have used through the course and ask people to explain them as they pick each one up. Or, again, ask the learners to draw images which mean something to them and make their own cards to play with.
    3. Have a mixture of images and words and ask people to match the image with the correct description.
    4. For technical information, you could have some cards with words on and others with definitions which have to be matched.
    5. Or have a question on one card and the answer on another.
    6. Or you could even have a calculation on one card and the answer on another so people have to work out the calculation to find the matching card.

The great thing is, the game itself is so simple and easy to set up but you can make it quite complicated, if you want, by the way you pair the cards.

Where possible, get the learners to make their own cards, which makes it more interactive, gets them more engaged in the review process and help them to memorise the information even more.

It’s a great, quick way to recap key points you have covered in the training.

About the author

Alan Matthews is the author of How To Design And Deliver Great Training and The Successful Presenter’s Handbook, available from Amazon. You can get his free report, “8 Steps To Excellence – the 8 key habits that make top trainers and presenters stand out” from the website at [http://www.alanmatthewstraining.com] You will also find lots of articles and videos to help you become an outstanding trainer or presenter.