Spiders Web

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Spiders Web
Topic Teamwork, Trust, Problem Solving
Group Size 1-10
Prep Time 20-60 min
Setting Outdoors
Age Group Any
The Point How to work as a team to overcome obstacles

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed

  • One 100 foot rope
  • 2 Trees spaced approximately 8-15 feet apart

How to Set Up

Take the rope and tie it level with the ground from 1 tree to the other about 7 feet off the ground. If you are working with kids, 5 feet is probably enough. Then begin to use the rest of the rope to make a web to the ground with gaps big enough for your participants to be passed through (at least 1 foot by 2 foot).

The end result will look like a giant spider's web. You may have to experiment with this a little bit until you figure out a workable pattern for your spiders web. I like to set this up half a day in advance so I can have enough time to get it right.

What Happens Then

You bring your team out to the spiders web and explain that your team is stuck on one side of the web and must cross over to the other side. However if they touch the web in any way the spider will sense the vibration and come climbing down and eat that person. They also cannot go over the top or around the web, or use any props or tools other than each other. They must go though the web.

You can decide how tough you want this activity to be. Some different options for rules starting with very difficult to easy:

  • if any one touches the rope once they are dead and taken out of the activity
  • if anyone touches X number of times then they are dead.
  • if the team touches X number of times then the team has to start over again
  • if anyone touches then 1 person has to come back from the opposite side
  • Simply count the number of touches and try to keep it as few as possible. Maybe do it twice and see if they can improve

When the entire team is on the opposite side then the task is accomplished

Possible Problems

This is an advanced game that incorporates trust, teamwork and communication. I would suggest only doing this activity if you feel confident in your group's cohesion and maturity. If you are unsure about this, then perhaps it would be better to do another experiential learning activity and then if they are competent lead into the spider's web.

Some physical risk are also associated with this activity much like the Trustfall Game or Electric Fence. I have rules to keep safety first.

  • don't let anyone do the run and jump routine unless they have won at least 2 olympic gold metals in gymnastics
  • Don't allow the team to use any methods your are unsure of or feel they are unsafe. It's better to have them fail this task then make a hospital run. Let them problem solve themselves, but if they come up with a stupid or dangerous plan it's okay to "guide" them away from that. Remember it's meant to be tough not dangerous.
  • Establish safe lifting practices. They will have to pick people up off the ground and pass them through the upper gaps to the other side.
    • Don't allow them to pass somebody through the top without at least 2-3 strong people on the opposite side to receive them.
    • Always pass them face up and head first through the gap.
    • Have 4-6 people when lifting someone off the ground. 2 for the mid-back, 2 for the calf/thigh section, and 1-2 for the shoulders/head.
    • Be mindful of weight. You will have to be tactful, but make sure that they don't try to pass the heaviest guy onto the smallest girls, it just doesn't end well.
    • I will step in and help with the lifting if i feel that someone is in trouble. So be there and prepared to step in immediately.

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