My favorite way to run the "Knot" involves noodles (go figure). I can comfortably get 14 players in the mix and the colorful props seem to invite engagement (and the players are not in anyone's pits - if you know what I mean). Recently, I also learned how to set up the Knot so my group(s) will always end up in ONE circle (random connections with players can result in a few different solutions). Here's how I set it up:
- Circle up your group of eight to 14 players - this is Circle 1 (remember this). If you have more than 14 players form more groups.
- Each player will needed one 30 inch noodle (this is half of one of those long pool noodles) - ask each player to hold this noodle in their right hand (and never let go!).
- Ask each player to say hello to the person on their right. They might have to wait for this person's attention, but it's very important that everyone says hello to the "right" person - say their name, find out their favorite color, say their name again, sing their name, whatever it takes. Just don't forget this person!
- Now (every player still has the noodle in their right hand!), tell the group to form a new circle so everyone is standing next to two different players. This is Circle 2.
- When everyone is standing next to two different players (this is Circle 2), ask them to look around (not move) and locate their "right" person from Circle 1. Say their name. Call out their favorite color. Sing their name! Make sure everyone can see their "right" person from Circle 1 (remember, no moving).
- Now, players will lift up their noodle (the one that's in their right hand) into the center of the circle and extend/offer it to their "right" person from Circle 1. This "right" person will grab the end of the noodle offered to them with his/her left hand. (You might need to read that again....if they connect with someone other than their "right" person, all bets are off.)
- When every player is connected to their "right" person, from Circle 1, the group can then untangle themselves, without letting go of the noodles, back into one circle. TaDa! (If this doesn't happen there was some switch-a-rooing going on behind your back.)
- Instead of noodles, use small segments of ropes - I use five-foot lengths of parachute cord (since I use these ropes for a bunch of other activities).
- Each player has a tennis ball in his/her right hand. Press the tennis ball against the left palm of the "right" person (from Circle 1). Untangle the knot without any tennis balls falling to the ground/floor (and, of course, without folding fingers down around the tennis ball - holding on to it). Since players will be closer together on this one, I set up groups with no more than 10 players.
Have FUN out there.
P.S. Did you know about the books 50 Ways to Use Your Noodle: Loads of Land Games with Foam Noodle Toys, and 50 More Ways to Use Your Noodle: Loads of Land and Water Games with Foam Noodle Toys? From yours truly (Chris Cavert) and the one and only Sam Sikes. Get your copies from DoingWorks.