This activity helps to promote group cohesion, physical activity and communication (social & emotional learning)
It can be a useful activity to calm a group, or to identify and resolve group problems and tensions. Some children can find it very difficult to relax and trust everyone to support them. They may show this in different ways – by refusing to take part, or by fooling about. Don’t push anyone to take part if they are not comfortable, but encourage everyone to be supportive of each other.
Set the scene –
- you may want to hide the rope to be discovered in a treasure tree or similar spot. When it is found, discuss how it is important in Forest School to be able to rely on each other and trust one another.
- One large polypropylene rope with its ends tied.
- Children hold the rope in a circle
- Everyone leans back slowly to take the strain and balance the circle.
- When everyone is in balance and harmony, the feeling is of mutual group support.
- Counting can help provide a challenge – for example ‘can everyone hold each other up for a count of 50?’ and improve concentration.
- Note who finds this easy/ difficult, or who cannot lean back with confidence. Discuss this with the individual and look to the group to offer peer support.
- Repeating the activity over a number of sessions can help you to review how the group cohesion is improving, and how individual children’s confidence with their peers may be growing.