Banish Meeting Rigor Mortis with Toys

by Jennifer Miller on July 30, 2012

in Learning

There are a lot of corporate stiffs out there.

They scoff at attending training programs, and show up daring the workshop facilitator to teach them something.

So, when I facilitate workshops, I show up with toys.

The stiffs don’t like it. At first.

But usually somewhere around 45 minutes into the session, they get hooked. Then, they can’t be stopped. They’re on a creative mission to bring artistic life to that Silly Putty, or bendy-guy figure.

For which I say, “Halleluiah!”


Workshop participants creativity with toys


Toys + Space to Create = Potential Learning


We’ve broken through the meeting rigor mortis.

And their brains are being opened up to learning.


Which is the whole point of bringing toys to an adult learning session.


Do you ever lead workshops – or even lengthy meetings? Bring toys! Here’s why you should have toys at your next meeting and tips for what to bring.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Hunter August 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

I’m not exactly sure what you have in mind with the toys but it could be that it helps in the same way doodling does. Some people think doodling is a sign someone isn’t paying attention but there are psychological reasons why it actually helps you stay focused. I forget what the reasons are, something about allowing part of your mind to concentrate on the doodling which lets you focus. If not they your whole mind is likely to wander. I think it is that it helps some people, not that anyone should doodle if it doesn’t seem to help them.

Jennifer Miller August 1, 2012 at 7:20 am


Yes, the toys serve a similar function to doodling as you describe it. Some people are kinesthetic learners and the movement of manipulating a small “fiddle” toy in their hands can help them focus. I also have found that people use the toys to “create” something (as in the photo) which helps open up their creativity.

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