Exploring Attentions, Habits, Mindfulness Icebreaker or Energizer

Brief Description/Purpose

This simple exercise can be used to demonstrate points about attention, habits, multi-tasking and habits, with some small changes.


Physical activity

Age Appropriate

Children, Teens, Adults

Ideal Group Size

Any size since it's individually done. Good for very large groups.

Time For Exercise

5 minutes on up depending on whether you want discussion about content.


Anything that ties in with how we pay attention, habits, mindfulness, and stress.

Detailed Instructions If Needed

Variation #1: Signatures one at a time

I use this to illustrate a point that in arguments, one has to disrupt or interrupt abusive behavior and that one way to do that is to push the other person to THINK.

Ask each person to pick up a pen or pencil and on the count of three sign their regular signature.

Then ask each person to pick a a pen or pencil and on the count of three sign their signature with their NON-DOMINANT hand.

Giggles ensue. Also frustration.

Debrief by asking why one was so much easier than the other. Use questions that tie into the points you want to make in your content.

Variation #2: Both at the same time

People will need two writing implements for this one. Pass them out if needed.

Ask participants to write out their names with both hands at the same time.

Giggles ensue.

You can explore issues like multi-tasking (how it's a myth), habits, mindfulness and even stress. Talk about the later by asking about whether they felt stressed by the task.