Cups of Cooperation
This activity requires some setup ahead of time. You will need 6 same-sized cups (like the infamous Red Solo Cup), a rubber band, and some pieces of string, ribbon, or yarn, 1 for each family member. The diameter of the cup determines the size of the rubber band. The rubber band must fit snugly on the cup but still have enough flex left to be stretched a little more. The length of the strings is determined by how many people you have. Larger groups will need larger strings as the circle formed around the cups will be larger. Tie the ends of the strings evenly spaced around the rubber band. Sit in a circle with the cups, upside down individually in the circle but not in the direct middle. The object of the game is for the family to work together to stack the cups in a pyramid in the middle of the circle using the rubber band to pick up and place each cup. To do this, each pulls on their string to maneuver the rubber band over the cup they will place first. Obviously, the group needs to agree on which cup they are going to place. Everyone will pull on their strings to open the rubber band and guide it around a cup. To pick it up, they carefully release their strings (but still hold on) so that the rubber band relaxes tightly against the cup. As a group, they then guide the cup to where it is to be placed. Once there, everyone needs to coordinate pulling on their strings together so that the rubber band can be opened and removed. They continue this until all six cups are stacked in a pyramid.
To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Was that fun to build a pyramid that way?
- How did you use cooperation to make it work?
- What would have happened if one person refused to do their part?
- What would have happened if one person actively antagonized the activity?
- Did it feel good to be part of a team?
- Will you remember this activity the next time you need to cooperate?