Whiteboards - also called dry-erase boards - became very popular in the 1990s when they were widely adopted by the education sector. They were seen as a cleaner and more convenient alternative to blackboards following concerns that chalk dust may cause allergies and damage computers.
Whiteboards are effective in settings that require quick and spontaneous feedback. They are an indispensable tool for Activity Coordinators and can be used for group activities, communication and learning.
Beware of permanent markers! It is wise to place a note nearby saying
"Please Do Not Use Permanent Markers".
Melamine - Usually the preferred whiteboard in care facilities for their affordability. They have a laminated coating that eventually wears down, leading to ghosting and difficulty wiping away all marks. This, however can be delayed by cleaning the board regularly. Many melamine whiteboards come with magnetic surfaces to serve other purposes.
Porcelain - Made of white ceramic and steel and offering a magnetic surface. Porcelain whiteboards are durable and more resistant to wearing down. They suitable for heavy use but cost more than melamine boards.
Glass - Made of tempered glass for durability. These are the most expensive of all boards but will not streak or ghost.
Activity Coordinators use Whiteboards to:
Whiteboards are sometimes on wheels and if that is the case keep the wheels locked at all times and avoid moving it about, for safety reasons.
Whiteboards are robust but at the same time, lightweight, and come in a variety of sizes. They don't require any special products - any office supply store will stock coloured whiteboard markers and cleaning products.
Here are a few ideas, adapt them to your needs, make them as easy or difficult as you need!
Based on the TV game show, this quiz style game is fun and requires some focus and general knowledge. Divide whiteboard into columns and write down the categories and points as per image. Print questions supplied. Divide participants into two teams; each team takes turns choosing the category and points they want to play. Answers should be given in the trademark Jeopardy style: "What is ....?". Cross-off the points if they answer correctly and add them to the team's tally. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
2. Suction Cup Ball
Fun and inexpensive, suction balls are versatile, light, and easy to use.
They can be played by two teams and it is non-competitive.
Write large syllables and letters on the whiteboard and participants (one at a time) throw the ball. Wherever the ball lands (syllable or letter) they have to come up with a word using that syllable or the letter.
3. Hot Seat
One participant sits with his/her back to the board. The Activity Coordinator writes a well known movie title on the board and asks another participant to describe the movie's plot to the 'Hot Seat' participant. Words and gestures only can used to describe the movie.
A popular game for any age.
Ask one participant to think of a secret word and write blank spaces on the board to represent each letter. Participants take turns guessing a letter. Fill in the blanks as the letters are guessed. Each time a letter is guessed that does not belong to the word, draw one line of your hangman. The object of the game is to complete the word before the full hangman is drawn.
5. Blindfold Game
Draw a large flower on the board with a bee in the centre. Challenge participants to find the bee whilst blindfolded. Vary the game by writing in huge letters the brand of a car or the name of a city or country or a surname with one letter missing e.g. Toy--ta or Parag--ay, then give the participant a marker for him to write the missing letter while blindfolded.
6. Word Games