When students start to learn practical skills, it is important to find fun and creative ways to help them build their skills. Working on a manikin head practicing fingerwaves over and over can become monotonous and boring. It’s important to create fun activities to incorporate into your practical skills training and if those activities also help them with their creativity, communication, and teamwork, that’s even better.
Here are a few fun ideas to make hairstyling a bit more fun and build teamwork.
Work in Pairs to Create. Each partner takes one side of the head and may only style their side. They must communicate with each other to make the two sides work together to create a fluid style.
Hand-Eye Coordination, in pairs. The student on the left may only use their left hand and the student on the right may only use their right hand. They work together, talking and coordinating hand movement to create the required style.
Blindfolded Communication. Have two partners work together, one to do the actual style and the second to give directions on what to do. The catch is, the partner doing the actual style is blindfolded.
This last one was shared to me by David Jones-Estrella the recent Nick Cimaglia Educator of the Year winner (add link to previous blog of Cimaglia award). Set up enough manikin heads for the number of students in the activity. Pick a theme for the activity. For example, you might have a wedding theme. Then assign each manikin head a specific style. One would be the bride, one would be the mother of the bride, one a bride’s maid, one a flower girl and so on.
Have students take their place at one of the manikin heads and begin to style. After approximately 5 minutes tell the students they must rotate heads. The student moves onto the next manikin and must determine what the assigned look is, along with what the previous student has done and then they continue with the style. After another 5 minutes have them rotate again. This activity will help the students not only develop their styling skill, but will also help them with their creativity and the analytical skills.
Create Friendly Competition: Put all the styles on display and let other students and clients vote on the best.
These types of activities work because it breaks up the monotony of working on manikin head, it adds a component of soft skills training with communication and team building and builds creativity. It is simply just fun!
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.