Caboodle Cards Series: A Tool for Effective Team Building, Debriefing & Reflection, Round 1

Over the next few months, we want to highlight a tool that we use in all of our trainings, Caboodle Cards! These cards are fantastic when it comes to breaking the ice, team building, debriefing, reflection and so much more! GUIDE staff saw a need for this type of tool, and thus created the multi-faceted, dynamic deck of Caboodle Cards.

In this first round of the Caboodle Card Series, we want to introduce you to some really fun, engaging ways to help the group break the ice a bit. It can be difficult to get a group of strangers (sometimes even people who are familiar with each other) to start talking and networking. Below you’ll find three activities to have your group laughing and sharing in no time!

Back to Back

Group Size: Any, work in pairs

Time: 15-30 minutes

Distribute one Caboodle Card to each participant. Give them a few moments to consider the question on the top left corner of their cards. Ask participants to find a partner, someone they don’t know very well, and stand somewhere in the room back to back with that partner.

Once participants have found a partner and are standing back to back, have them turn around and share their responses to the question on the top of their card with their partners. After both partners have shared, ask them to switch cards with one another, and find a new partner with whom to stand back to back. Repeat the process with participants responding to the question on their new cards. Repeat the process three times. Afterward, ask for volunteers to introduce their partner and something interested they learned.


Life Lesson Scavenger Hunt

Group Size: Any

Time: 15-20 minutes

Spread the Caboodle Cards on the table, photo side down. Point out the quotes on the bottom of the card, and ask participants to select a quote that reflects an important quality, lesson or message in their lives. Afterward, tell participants that they are to go on a brief (five to 10 minute) scavenger hunt to collect at least two items from the surrounding area that symbolizes that quality, lesson or message. After five to 10 minutes, have participants share their objects, the quote and the lesson or message as a large or small group.

As a variation, ask participants to select a quote that speaks to one of the main points or topics from the day’s session/meeting and to hunt for at least two items that reflect that main point or topic. Proceed as described above.



Group Size: Any, small groups of 2-3

Time: 15-30 minutes

Distribute two to three Caboodle Cards per participant. Afterward, put participants in groups of two to three people. Instruct them to note the adjectives that are listed in the center of the colored shape on their cards and to select the one that most resonates with them. Tell them to place the other cards off to the side.

Inform participants that they will share a story regarding some experience is their lives in which they demonstrated the quality identified on the card. Each participant will be challenged to speak for a full two minutes when telling their stories. If the storyteller struggles to speak for the full duration, the listeners may ask follow-up questions. Be sure to keep time, and give participants a 15-20 second warning before the full two minutes has passed.

Tell participants when it’s time to switch storytellers. At the end of the exercise, ask participants if they heard anything that stood out to them from the stories they heard. Allow for a few minutes of sharing among the full group.

Want more Caboodle Card goodness but don’t have the cards? You can buy them here! Not only will you receive a deck of Caboodle Cards, you’ll also obtain access to a guide that has 50 different ways to use them.


Above are just a handful of ways to use this amazing tool. Want more? You can now view Round 2 of our series here!

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