Object Retrieval and Toxic Waist activities have been around since Karl Rohnke's "The Bottomless Bag" newsletter in the 80's. (The current description of OR is in Karl's The Bottomless Bag Revival, 2nd ed, and Toxic Waist is written up in Quicksilver.) With some of the props I carry around in my POSSIBLESbag, here is a quick, and effective, variation of Object Retrieval.
Needs & Numbers: You want a 50-foot (or a little longer is fine) activity rope, 25 lengths of 5-foot rope (I use parachute cord), 1 beach ball, and two 15-foot lengths of webbing (in the picture we used a hula hoop and a bucket since I had them in the gym). This plays well with 10 to 14 players.
Set Up: Tie the ends of the activity rope together and then lay the rope down in a rectangle formation. Tie the ends of the webbing together and lay down a webbing circle inside the rectangle near one of the short sides - keep it far enough away from the side so that participants cannot reach into the space and touch the beach ball. (In the picture there is a hula hoop inside the rectangle.) Tie the ends of the other webbing length together and place the circle down outside of the other short side of the rectangle. (In the picture we have a bucket at this spot.) Finally, place an inflated beach ball inside the webbing circle that is inside the rectangle. (If you are outside in windier conditions, take some of the air out of the beach ball to prevent it from blowing away - note, this will limit some of the solutions to the challenge.)
Challenge: Have the group stand around the outside of the rectangle. Give someone in the group the 25 lengths of rope (I call these the "working ropes") and present the challenge: Get the beach ball into the webbing circle that is outside of the rectangle.
Here are the rules I provide:
Any violation of rules results in a reset and restart.
To date I have seen four different ways to solve the challenge with a fully inflated beach ball, and three ways for a partially deflated beach ball. The picture shows my students using a "track" to roll the beach ball down on to the bucket - it took them three tries.
Let us know how this one goes for you. Share your experiences in the comments.
Have fun out there.
Chris Cavert (and his AdvEd students)
Years ago I was working with a training company that used an activity called "Colourblind" (see activity details here) with their corporate programs. After leading the activity I wanted to have one for myself (very clever, well designed activity) - however, it was a bit out of my price range (actually still is - but some day!!).
When I ran into the table-top game Qwirkle I found a tool that could be used to work on a few of the behaviors emphasized in Colourblind (still, Colourblind is a powerful tool for working through communication skills and assumptions - get it if you can).
The game of Qwirkle (a great game, in and of itself, by the way! - comes in family size and travel size) is made up of small black squares with three sets of six different shapes and six different colors of each shape.
Needs & Numbers: You will need one set of colored shapes from a Qwirkle game (the picture to the left is a set). Plays well with 12-34.
Directions: Place all 36 pieces of one set shape-down on top of a table (or setting them out on the floor works out as well). You (the facilitator) pick up two pieces off the table - be sure the group sees you pick up the pieces, but make sure they don't see the colors of shapes. Than ask each person to pick up one piece without letting anyone else see what they picked up. If there are extra pieces, ask for volunteers to pick up one more piece. (I have yet to play this with more than two pieces per player.)
Challenge: Once everyone has at least one game piece and understands they are not to show their shape and color to anyone else, their challenge is to tell you the color and shape of each of the two pieces you picked up. They are allowed to say anything they want about their pieces, but, again, they can't show anyone what they have. Okay, you are ready to go.
What's Missing? is a great lead into ZOOM, if you know the activity. (My official write-up of ZOOM will be in my upcoming book, Portable Teambuilding Activities, out this Spring - 2105. Keep an eye on the Books page here at FUNdoing).
Let us know how What's Missing? works for you. And, if you find a fun way to present the challenge please let us know in the comments below.
All the best,
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.