(A BIG Thanks to my creative friends at Group Dynamix for this engaging activity!)
If you happen to know the Quad Jam progression from my book, Affordable Portables, here's a great addition to the party. If you don't know about Quad Jam, no worries, Lost In Space stands alone just fine!! So, break out the Trolleys for some versatile fun.
Set Up: Set down four, 4-inch by 4-inch boards, 6 to 8 feet in length (Trolley’s with ropes work for this) into a large square configuration (see Photo 1). (If there are ropes on/in the boards be sure they are pulled out from underneath each board so the boards lay flat on the ground/floor – as long as the bottom of the Trolley boards are not facing up, it does not matter where the top of the boards are placed). Place a large number (50 to 75) small objects (golf balls, tennis balls, Beanie Babys, wads of paper, fleece balls) in the center area of the square – spread out the objects so that no object is any closer than two feet from any board. Place one or two large buckets near one of the corners of the square, on the outside of the square.
Objective: Move objects (for points) from within the square of boards into the bucket located outside the square without touching the floor/ground.
Time Limit: For a competitive activity with two or more teams, set a time limit of 8 to 12 minutes to collect objects with a few minutes up front for planning.
For a single group (16 to 24 people), play until all materials are collected – the group will need to reconfigure the square to retrieve objects (thinking “out of the box”). Variation: If you have an Expandable Cube, put all the parts into the center of the square - the group has to get all the parts in order to create the Cube element for the next challenge.
RULES of PLAY
Facilitation Notes: Spot players when you can and encourage them to help each other during dynamic movements. If the group discovers and decides to move the boards in order to make a smaller "square" (getting closer to the objects), be sure to remind them to be careful of board-to-body contact and pinch points. There is one square configuration (Photo 3) where boards might be placed on top of other boards resulting in players being higher off the ground. Let the group know about the elevated risk potential and be sure to spot movements from these boards where and when you can.
A way to explain handling the materials in the activity is to say that the center of the square is "outer space" and the materials are floating within – weight cannot be put on the floor in any way. Your boards are a space ship that can contain the objects if the ship is in a square formation (equally distributing its particle beams within the cargo bay - or something of this nature).
Heads Up: Based on Rule 4, players will end up walking around on top of the boards. Be mindful of any spotting needs during this movement.
Let me know how this goes for you!! Leave a comment below.
Have Fun Out There!
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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.
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.