ID Cards

Arrange a deck of playing cards with the four aces on top, followed by the four 2's, then the four 3's, and so on. At the start of the workshop, count the number of participants and remove that many cards from the top of the deck. Shuffle this packet and give a card to each participant. (If late-comers straggle in, give each of them a card from the top of the left-over cards in the deck.)

Ask the participants to show their cards to each other and explain that these cards are their ID cards.

  • When you want participants to pair up, ask them to find another participant with the card of the same value and the same color (example: 3D and 3H).
  • To assemble 4-person teams, ask the participants to find others with cards of the same value (example: 5C, 5S, 5D,and 5H).
  • To divide the participants into four teams, ask them to find others with cards of the same suit. You will end up with a team of hearts, a team of spades, a team of diamonds, and a team of clubs.
  • Instead of asking for volunteers, randomly call out the name of a card (example: "Seven of Diamonds!") and ask this person to do whatever you would have asked the volunteer to do.

Playing cards make a versatile randomizing device.