Group members make choices (express their opinions) in front of other people by getting on and off an imaginary bus. What follows is a number of word pairs, where individuals have to make the decision which one they agree with and why. This can be used as both a team building exercise and a fun icebreaker.
Equipment Required: Two ropes
Space Required: Small. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 6 to 30 (maximum of 50)
Total Time: 20-25 minutes
- 3 minutes to brief and set up
- 10-15 minutes to achieve outcome
- 7 minutes to review
Bus Stop Exercise Instructions
- Create an imaginary bus by laying the two ropes on the ground and in a parallel formation. The ropes should be about 10 –
15 feet apart.
- Ask the group to stand between the ropes and face you.
- As the facilitator, you will be the bus driver for this task and standing at the front of the bus facing the group (your passengers).
- Word pairs are read out by the bus driver (refer to the list below) and as the driver reads them, points to one side and the other. The passengers get off the bus on the side they most associate with at that time. For example; the bus driver says, “talk” (pointing to the left side) and “listen” (points to the right side).
- Group members walk to the side of the bus (rope) they associate with or even a statement they agree on.
- Pause and allow the two groups to see who chose what. This is a perfect time to discuss the choices with the team.
- Then the bus driver says “Back on the bus!” and everyone steps back on – standing in between the ropes again.
- The next word pair is given and the passengers make their selections. The process is repeated several times.
Example Word Pairings
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- Decision making
- Listening skills
When working with young people, try to make it fun to begin, use word pairs such as, ‘milk chocolate’ or ‘white chocolate’
For older groups, use it as an engagement exercise that links to teamwork or team development in general. This is a great get-to-know-you exercise, which is brilliant as an ice breaker – don’t be afraid to discuss choices with the group.