This is a great way for a group to experience working together as a team to solve a problem. It facilitates touch, communication and cooperation.
Divide into groups of six to ten people, and stand in a circle. Now everyone stretches their arms out in front of them at shoulder height until everyone’s arms are overlapping. On the count of three, everyone must gently take the hands of two different people in the circle (not people directly next to them). Now, their hands are all stuck like glue and they cannot let go until the end of the exercise!
“You have formed a ‘Human Knot’! The aim now is to untangle yourselves without letting go of the hands you are holding.” If they succeed quickly, try it again.
As the facilitator it may be tempting to intervene and direct the group. Resist this temptation and allow them to find their own way out, even if it takes a but longer. Once all the groups have untangled themselves invite them to talk about their experience and the different group dynamics that took place.
SITTING ON LAPS
Type: Team building & trust
Age: from 10yrs up
Time: 5–10 minutes
Group Size: Limitless
Stand in a circle holding hands, then drop hands and turn to the right. Shuffle close till the circle is small and you are closely facing each others’ backs. Ensure as perfect a circle as possible. Put your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you.
Sit down on the knees of the person behind you, keeping your knees together. This is not easy – move slowly or the circle can fall apart.
Let’s walk together! On the count of three raise your right foot and move it forward. One, two, three. (Repeat on left). Finally, on the count of three we will all stand up together. One, two, three.
It’s a great trust game relying on support from behind and a great for team building because if one person falls over, invariably the whole circle collapses. (Invite the group to discuss their experiences.)
Type: Team building & trust
Age: 12yrs up
Time: 10-20 mins
Group Size: 8-10 people
In groups of 8-10 people, stand closely together, forming a tight circle.
One person volunteers to stand in the middle of the circle with their arms crossed across their chest and eyes closed. This person must make their body stiff like a pole and then start to ‘fall’ backwards into the circle. The circle’s role is to catch the person and gently ‘push’ them around the circle – forward, right, left, back etc. The circle needs to work together with two to three people helping to catch the centre person. Let each person take a minute or so in the centre and be patient and gentle. (It definitely helps to do this in silence).
Everyone takes a turn in the circle. Once everyone has had a turn invite the group to talk about their experiences with the exercise.
This is part of the “Seed Pack – Resources for facilitating holistic education and working” – a free guide offered by Earthchild, to support others in their journey connecting children to themselves, others and the environment. Support our work with Earth Children from under-resourced communities by donating.