Wall and Floor Coverings

If you are given any choice of floor coverings, opt for carpeting on all floors because this helps absorb excess sound and cuts down on noise reverberation. Also, avoid bright, floral, or striped patterns, as these can distract participants.

For walls, you have many color and material options. The key is to use colors that are mentally enhancing (light, primary colors). Light blue is one of the most used colors, although it can have a relaxing, soothing effect. This could be a learning challenge, however; if you use many of the ideas in this book related to color, visuals, movement and so on, any soothing effect can be minimized. Whatever colors you select, ensure that they do no contrast with or distract from items you intend to display.

When looking for a surface material, either in construction or selection of a training site, keep in mind that you need one that is functional and facilitates the display of materials. You will need to be able either to tape or pin items to the wall, so check to ensure that this is not a problem. Otherwise, you may find your options during the session limited. In many training facilities cork strips are mounted around the room at a height at which flip chart pages and posters can be pinned during a session.

If your walls will have dry erase boards, ensure that the lighting of the room does not glare off the surface and distract learners.

Use Functional Carpeting

Some companies actually make carpeting that has a single large square grid or a board game pattern on it. These are perfect for nonverbal communication team activities in which members of teams must work their way through a secret pathway of boxes without communicating verbally or in writing. Only the facilitator knows the path that they must take and whenever and incorrect box is stepped on, a whistle or other creative noisemaker sounds to let them know to go back and start over. Incentives such as candy and play money make it more fun and can prompt a bit of competition between teams.

Other options include purchasing small rugs that are designed for children's rooms that have designs, such as checkerboards or hopscotch grids, on them. You can incorporate these into your sessions as icebreakers, energizers, review activities, or in whatever creative manner you come up with.

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