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)
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.