This activity is an oldie but a goodie. It probably originated with Karl Rohnke. This was one of the first activities I learned when I took my first job as a teambuilding facilitator. Although I haven't used it in a little while, it's still a favorite. You can use it with both adult groups or kid groups alike.
Type of Activity: Problem-Solving, Cooperation, Opener/Closer
Props Needed: Hula Hoop/Webbing circle, Stopwatch
Process: This event is both a typical warm-up activity, and an opportunity for cooperation. With the entire group holding hands in a circle, ask them to pass a hula hoop completely around the circle.
Have the group form a circle and join hands. Insert a hula hoop or webbing circle between two people so it rests on their conjoined hands. Instruct the group that the hoop must pass through the entire group, starting and ending at the same spot, without letting go of the person next to them. Use the stopwatch to time them. After their first time, ask the group if they feel they can do better than that time. Do it about 3 times and see if they decrease their time each time. Encourage participants that this is not a race (unless that is what you would like). After completing one full circle, the facilitator can add a second hula hoop, (at least one section smaller than the other hoop), and ask that one hula hoop move to the left (clockwise), while the second hula hoop moves to the right (counterclockwise). This works well if you have segmented hula hoops, so you can adjust the size of the hoops.
Debriefing Topics: If you start your program with this activity, come back to it at the end of the day to see if they can apply some of the skills they learned throughout the program and decrease their time even more.
* How did the group cooperate during the activity?
* Were you worried about slowing the group down when the hoop came to you?
* What were some strategies you used to ensure a smooth transition?
* How were you able to decrease your time?
* How can you relate this experience to the real world?
* What elements of project management would relate to this activity?
* Why is it important to strive for continuous improvement?
Have fun out there,