When I deliver day-long training such as today, I like to break the day up with what we call, 'energisers.' They are brief activities I facilitate with the sole purpose of waking everyone up a bit - which is especially important in the after lunch 'graveyard slot' when you have a group of zombies filled up with more food than they are used to at lunchtime. The energisers often have the bonus of making people laugh.
I always have a few energisers up my sleeve - some are based on brain gym. For example:
You ask pairs of people to stand facing each other and:
* take it in turns to count to three alternately, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3....etc
* alternate counting to three but clap on '1'
* alternate counting to three but clap on '1', and stamp in '2'
* alternate counting to three but clap on '1', and stamp in '2' and raise the arm (opposite the foot your stamped) on three.
Others involve a little concentration - like the 'Pencil Olympics'. (You have to ensure clarity about what you have to do on this one before anyone embarks upon it or fights break out!) This was an idea I just woke up with in my head - a clue to what my subconscious gets up to.
Or the 'equidistant' energiser where you ask people to 'clock' two random people in the room without telling them who they are. Then you all stand up and try to position yourself so that you are equidistant from both the people you arbitrarily earmarked. Eventually everyone stands still. It always works - even with large numbers of people (e.g. 60).
And some are out and out silly like the one I just woke up with in my head last Tuesday - that I carried out today:
I placed two chairs at the front of the room several feet apart. One chair represented 5 a.m., the other 8 a.m.. I asked participants to have in their head the time they usually got up on a work day. I then walked between the 5 a.m. chair towards the 8 a.m. chair and said that when I arrived at the point you estimated represented the time you get up, you were to stand up and make a noise. The noise you make could be a 'yeah', a squeak, an alarm clock, and animal noise, anything - but once you have made it you keep that noise. So I walked the time line. Then I walked backwards up the time line, then I walked quickly and then we did it all in slow motion. And yes, we did laugh. I tend to find most adults do not need much silliness and abandonment from the ordinary to get them giggling.