The Sandbox Blog

This is where I share studio notes and thoughts from behind the scenes here at Creative Sandbox Solutions™ HQ. I’m all about process here, and I’m transparent about mine, so you can learn from both my wins and my mistakes.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy — drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.

Magical Gifts: A Winning Closer

Magical Gifts: A Winning Closer

I’m always afraid of how people will react when I run this activity… but every time the response has been phenomenal.

It’s called “Magical Gifts,” and I learned it from my colleague Erica Marx.

I love doing it at the end of a session, as a closer.

Pair people up to send to breakout rooms.

(Tip: To prevent awkward silences, establish a speaking order by having the person with the shortest hair go first. Or the brightest shirt. Or the oldest chair. Or make up your own!) read more…

Don’t EVER Make this Zoom Mistake!

Don’t EVER Make this Zoom Mistake!

If you lead Zoom meetings, DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE!

I hosted a creativity retreat—my Virtual Creative Sandbox Retreat—on Saturday, and when I set up the Zoom meeting, I checked the box to require registration. ​

All good so far. Requiring registration keeps Zoombombers out.​

Then, to be extra secure, under Registration Options, I set Approval to “Manually Approve.” read more…

“What’s the difference between Spotlight and Pin Video on Zoom?”

“What’s the difference between Spotlight and Pin Video on Zoom?”

If you’ve been wondering about the difference between Spotlight and Pin Video on Zoom, you’re not alone.

Those two features used to have me stumped, too, until I did some poking and prodding to figure out exactly what those differences are.

Although both features will bring a speaker to the forefront, the differences in how that happens are significant. Hopefully this brief article will help you in your next meeting! ​ read more…

My Favorite Meeting Opener (and Closer)

My Favorite Meeting Opener (and Closer)

I led my first virtual creativity retreat on Saturday, and just like with my in-person retreats, I started the creative catalyzing session with my favorite opener.

“Make a sound and movement combination that expresses how you feel right now,” I say, “I’ll start.”​

Then without thinking, I move my body around to express how I’m feeling in that moment, and make some sound to go along with it. read more…

A Zoom quick tip for next time you want to split a big group into pairs

A Zoom quick tip for next time you want to split a big group into pairs

Here’s a quick Zoom tip for when you want to randomly split a big group into pairs:​

Send them into breakout rooms!

​Let Zoom do the math for you.​

​If you’ve got a lot of people, making breakout rooms is faster than telling people, “Mary and Sam, you two are a pair, Ernie and Jolene, you two are a pair,” and so on, down the list.​ read more…

How to Spruce Up Your Zoom Chat Game

How to Spruce Up Your Zoom Chat Game

Most Zoom hosts ask a question, let everyone respond in chat and call that “interactive.”

Ho-hum. And old school.

“What’s wrong with that?” you ask.

Your participants are trying to do too many things at once:


Guess what?​


No wonder Zoom meetings are exhausting! read more…

Erupting In Fizzy Orange Laughter

The two toddlers in the video at right have just discovered Lucozade—orange soda—and are erupting in laughter.

Click the image for 53 seconds of pure delight. (I dare you not to laugh.)

Hat tip to master facilitator Viv McWaters, who sent this video in her newsletter, and wrote:

“If the atmosphere in the group is accepting and playful, the capacity to learn from the unexpected is enhanced.” -Viv McWaters

We’re living through the unexpected on a global level right now, with read more…

Zoom Whack-a-Mole

Anytime you do something hard or intense, it’s always important to take time to recharge, refresh, and rejuvenate.

My favorite way to do that is to play!

I learned a new game for Zoom the other day from Mallory Penney of Better Together Labs that I thought you might enjoy.​

This one is great for a brain break, and to get people up and moving after sitting and working intensely. read more…

Ready to Transform Your Virtual Meetings & Events?