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Activity time: 7 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Make sure you have an open space large enough for all participants to stand in a circle with their arms outstretched.
  • Optional: Review this YouTube video showing how the human knot game works.

Description of Activity

Have children stand in a very close circle, shoulder to shoulder. Then invite them to take the hands of two others in the circle. Participants may take hands across the circle or near their position, but may not hold both hands of the same person. When everyone is holding the hands of different people, ask the participants to continue holding hands while they untangle the knot, so that everyone ends up standing in a simple circle again. Participants may end up facing into or out of the circle, but should not drop hands at any point. Some knots, however, may not be possible to resolve completely. You may wish to play the game more than once, as time allows.

After finishing the game explain in the course of this curriculum the group will do many different activities which involve knots, as a way of exploring how we are all tied together. In the game, did it feel uncomfortable to have to stay connected to two other people? Does staying connected make things more complicated? How? What would the game be like if players simply dropped hands?

Including All Participants

A child who has mobility or balance issues can participate by sitting in a chair or wheelchair and having other children maneuver around them. This ritual does involve close physical contact, and children who are uncomfortable being touched may wish to opt out.

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