The activity Pipeline (a.k.a., Gutter Ball and other names), has been a personal favorite of mine for over 20 years - it's one of the first activities I learned. Here is a nice description on WIlderdom (keeping in mind it's Karl Rohnke/Project Adventure origins).
Here are some of the Pipelines and Gutters I've used over the years: Round PVC piping of various sizes; Round PVC cut in half to make "Gutters" - this variation seems to be the most popular; Paper towel and toilet paper rolls - kept round or cut in half or cut a paper towel roll into a spiral!; Bubble tea straws (these are the big ones) or even the smaller straws; A single piece of 8 1/2 by 11 paper - participants can be creative with this resources; a short/small piece of wood; Clear flexible tubing; Hot wheels track (brings back memories); Tennis ball tubes cut up to form a round tube or cut in half for gutters; Foam pool noodles - two players work together, each with a noodle, pressing them together length-wise so something (e.g., tennis ball) can roll down the the track; the resources here are endless.
Here are some of my favorite resources to move through the Pipeline or Gutters: GLASS MARBLES of various sizes (seems to be the main standard); WOODEN MARBLES - you can write things on these: each player has a marble with his or her name on it - how will the players move "each other" through the pipeline? Write concepts on the wooden marbles like, trust, support, peace, kindness, friendship, listening - how will the players treat these concepts? How do they perceive these concepts? MAGNETIC MARBLES of various sizes - these tend to slow the process down a bit (I don't let these marbles "slide" through the pipeline) - they have a wonderful dynamic; TENNIS BALLS used with foam pool noodle gutters - you can write on tennis balls too! I tend to stay away from the real small objects like BBs (used with air guns) - too easy to lose them and you don't get the best sound out of them when they drop into the container at the end.
What sorts of pipelines/gutters and round spherical objects do you use? Leave a comment below.
All the best,
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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.