Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Alternate Activity 3: Knots Game

Activity time: 7 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Clear an open space that will be safe for an active game.

Description of Activity

River water finds its way by flowing and giving way, all the while moving on its downward course toward the sea. Participants experience the water power of flexibility, moving forward and giving way as they work together creatively to untangle a human knot.

This game works best with five to ten people. If you have a very large group you might wish to break into smaller groups. However, if you have a very small group you may wish to spend more time on other activities and bypass this game.

Have participants stand in a circle. Everyone puts their hands into the center of the circle and grabs hold of two different people's hands. Once everyone is holding hands with two other people, the group must work together to untie the knot without ever letting go of hands, so that the group is in a simple circle. For an additional challenge, you might want to try playing the game again, but this time in silence, so that participants have to use eye contact and gestures of the head and linked hands to work together to untie the knot.

After the knot has been untied, invite participants to reflect on what worked and what didn't work. Was it possible to untie the knot if you just focused on yourself and decided what you needed to do without regard for what other people were doing?

Including All Participants

Knots can be resolved with some participants remaining seated, as needed to accommodate mobility or balance issues. Children who are uncomfortable being touched or in close physical proximity can participate by making suggestions from outside the circle as to possibilities for untying the knot.