Working together: One in heart and mind
John 17: 1-11
This is a collection of games and activities looking at teamwork and the benefits of working together. It is based on the John 17:1-11 reading and would be ideal for church based children’s groups.
Game: Atomic Waste
Everyone has to work together to get the balls from one bucket into the other without spilling. Tie enough rope to one bucket for each person in the team/group. Add 4 or 5 balls to that bucket. Set it next or across the room from the empty bucket. On ‘GO’ everyone grabs a string and works together to get the balls from one bucket to the other without touching anything but their own string.
What were the challenges?
What roles did each person take?
If you were to do the challenge again is there anything you would do differently?
Scatter cones, hula hoops, foam blocks, balls and other soft items on the ground. Divide the players into even teams and give each team a blindfold. When you say, “Race,” each team will put the blindfold on one player and his team must guide him through the minefield by verbal communication only. If he touches an object, he must go back to the start line. The participants will learn it is best to have one player help guide him to the other side. After he makes it to the other side, he must take off the blindfold and run it back to another player on his team. The first team to get all of its players across the minefield wins the race.
What were the biggest challenges in the task?
How did it feel relying completely on someone else?
Game: Helium Stick
This teamwork game is considered to be a classic among team skill experts. The team is asked to line up in a straight line and balance a long stick on their index fingers. The goal is to lower the stick from a standing position down to the ground without dropping the stick. What tends to happen is that the stick ends up at a higher level than it was originally until the team can effectively communicate with each other. This addresses leadership issues in the team as members are forced to actively listen to individuals who try to lead the team to its goal.
How did you decide who you listened to?
Object Lesson: Working Together
Choose two volunteers who are about the same weight and similar strength. (For the purpose of explaining the illustration, we’ll call them Jack and Gill.)
Jack and Jill stand facing each other, with a rubber ring between them – they each hold on to the ring with one hand, leaving their other hand free to reach out behind them.
Ask an adult leader/volunteer to stand about two metres behind Jack, holding a bowl containing three sweets for him. Ask a second leader to stand about two metres behind Jill, again holding a bowling containing the same number of sweets.
Tel Jack and Jill that they have 30 seconds to get as many sweets as possible out of their own bowl. They are only allowed to collect one sweet at a time, so each time they get one, they have to return to the centre point.
Jack and Jill will automatically think that this means tug of war and will pull against each other. The 30 seconds will probably pass very quickly with Jack and Jill struggling to get even one of their sweets, let alone all three!
When they have failed, tell them that it is possible for them both to managed to get all three of their sweets. How is this possible? The clue is that Jack and Jill moved together in the same direction, taking turns to travel together to each other’s bowl, the goal can be achieved. Let them try again, this time working together and travelling in the same direction.
Is it easier competing against each other or working together? Why?
Video – Working together
In what ways might we be stronger by working together?
DIY Marble Run
Split the children/young people into small groups and present them with the challenge of making their own marble run using recycled materials (e.g. toilet roll tubes, cardboard boxes etc). Encourage the participants to discuss the design and get them to draw up a plan. Give each group a number of marbles or table tennis balls. Get them to do some test runs – do they need to make any alternations or changes to their run?
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