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Keep Your Balance on a Tight Sheet!

Keep Your Balance on a Tight Sheet!


Purpose

This is a physical activity that you can use as a warm-up or  as a mental challenge. It encourages teamwork and group problem solving where everyone has to cooperate for the solution to work.

Objective

Get the delegates to stand on a small sheet (plastic or canvas). The objective is to turn the sheet over without anyone stepping off the sheet.

Setup

  • You need a square sheet which is appropriate for the size of the group. A group of 6 can stand on a 1m by 1m sheet. Another way to estimate the correct size is to get people to stand on it shoulder-to-shoulder very close to each other and they should all fit in. This should leave enough room for them to move around and carry out the exercise.
  • The activity is fairly physical so you need to make sure the delegates are fit to do it and will be comfortable to keep their balance in an awkward position for a few minutes.
  • You can adjust the difficulty of the exercise by increasing or decreasing the number of delegates on a given sheet.
  • Remember, the purpose of the exercise is to get the team to think about the problem and come up with a cooperative solution.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 10 minutes

Group feedback: 5 minutes.

Discussion

The solution is usually to turn over one corner of the sheet until one person can go on it, then repeat the process for others as more of the sheet is turned.

Give the delegates a fixed amount of time and let them explore solutions. If they couldn’t come up with a solution after the specified time, just follow with a discussion and ask what they need to do as a group to solve the problem. Do not provide the solution! This is more of a group challenge than a mental exercise. Leave the group to think about the problem as you move to other areas and they may come back over break time/lunch time to solve it on their own.

This way you get the delegates to bond more strongly and encourage curiosity so that they can find solutions on their own.