Feedback games

If your group play a lot of games in the woods, this can be a natural and non-intrusive way to gather information about people’s experiences.

Research method Preparation time Time to gather data Time to analyse data Not suitable for ... Does data indicate wellbeing? Who, what, where people experience wellbeing? Is it an activity in itself?
Feedback games None but could prepare examples Approx. 10 mins Quick Adults/young people (who might feel patronised) Yes but data can be limited No Yes
 Suitable for:

  • engaging younger children in particular in the research process
  • people with limited verbal communication
  • people who can’t read or write
  • quick and easy to set up and requires little or no preparation.

What information is collected?

  • an indication of what people remember
  • an indication of what is significant to people and therefore what to explore further in research
  • generally does not offer great insights into how people experience wellbeing.

How is information collected?

  • you can also use games as a way of observing the whole group together in one place and writing notes
  • you could simply note what people did/said (though this will be of limited use in terms of analysis as it lacks information about ‘why’)
  • you could video games and then analyse the videos
  • many of the games below can be led by you to focus on particular questions/themes (e.g. put your hand up ‘if’).

Watch out for:

  • some people see games as babyish or simply don’t like the activities introduced as a ‘game’ but are still comfortable doing them – it’s all about how you present it
  • it can be hard to instigate a game and gather information – this works best if there are a pair of leaders
  • as they are games, people may not give their real opinion (e.g. they may say things for comic effect) and can be influenced by each other.

Examples of feedback games

Put your hand up if…

Materials needed: none, though you could prepare some examples.

Method: someone starts with ‘Put your hands up if…’ and then finishes the sentence with something such as ‘you’d sleep in the woods tonight’ or ‘you’d like to make a fire’, or ‘you’d roll in the mud’. People who agree put their hand up and those that disagree keep their hands down.

Adaptations: the leader can start all the sentences and prepare statements that focus on the research e.g. ‘put your hands up if… you feel relaxed, ‘put your hands up if… you feel comfortable’.

Woodland charades

Method: one person mimes an activity, feeling or place and everyone else has to guess what it is.

Adaptations: you could lead this activity by giving people a card with a feeling and they would mime the thing that made them feel like that. These could relate to your research focus e.g. the card may say ‘confident’ and the person would mime what made them feel confident. This can be a good way of finding out what people don’t like about being in the woods but which they might not tell you unprompted.

Let’s all…

Method: participants stand in a circle and everyone says ‘let’s all…’ and someone shouts out an action e.g. ‘saw a log’ while miming that action, the whole group then mimes ‘sawing a log’. This is repeated until most people in the group have contributed. This came can give you an indication of which activities are significant or remembered by participants.