4X4 Trolley

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4X4 Trolley
Topic Teamwork
Group Size 1-10
Prep Time 20-60 min
Setting Outdoors
Age Group
The Point That a team is many individuals working together

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed

  • access to a saw and a drill
  • 2 10ft 4X4's per group of 10
  • 20 5ft long, .5in sections of rope

How to Set Up

Take the 2 10ft lengths of 4X4's and drill holes big enough for your rope to fit through. Space the holes 1 foot or more from each other. On the bottom of the 4X4 start a larger hole that goes about 2 inches into the 4X4. This is so that when you tie a knot in the rope the knot will be flush inside the 4X4 and not stick out on the bottom, but also so the rope will not slide all the way through the board. Depending on the length of your rope you can tie a knot at the top end of the rope or leave it normal if it won't fray.

What Happens Then

The task is deceptively simple. The Team will stand on the 2 boards and each person will put their left foot on the left 4X4 and the right foot on the Right 4X4. Then they will grab a left rope and a right rope in their hands. When everybody is standing on the board and has a rope in each hand they will need to walk somewhere. Be creative and give them clear goals. Have the task become more challenging as they progress. Do not go up stairs of any kind. Ramps, turns, going in buildings, going through the woods are all okay if you've cleared obstacles out of the way and you're actively with the team and protecting them.

This is difficult because everybody must step with the same foot at the same time and also pull with the same rope at the same time. Let them struggle with this as some immediate problems will surface.

  • whose in charge?
  • how should we indicate which board and when?
  • is there an easier way to accomplish this task?

If your group is proficient, you may consider increasing the difficulty by using blindfolds or making some or all of the team members mute.

Possible Problems

One safety issue is obstacles. Make sure you clear them or protect the team from them in some way.

Another issue is if they get tangled up and fall over. This typically only happens with adults, so be aware of how they are doing individually.

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