Cookie Machine

Type of Activity: Trust

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Need a mid-size open area for this one. Divide your group in half and have the two groups face each other about three feet apart. Plays well with 20 to 25 (or more) for 25 to 35 minutes.

Process: Keeping in mind proper “spotting and safety” techniques.  Have the group form a “zipper” by position their arms waist high, hands opened, palms up (notice in the picture). Slowly walking forward, have the participants slide their arms down the side of the arms of the person across from them until their finger tips line up with that person’s elbows - maintaining the waist high, hands open, palms up position. Make sure participants on both sides of the “cookie machine” remain shoulder to shoulder with the persons next to them. Now for the fun part.

Have a volunteer, standing on one end of the cookie machine, announce her favorite “cookie” to the group.  Assuming the “trusting” position with her back to the cookie machine conveyer belt, similar to the Trio Trust Lean position, have the volunteer complete their commands, “Spotters ready?” “Falling?” then lean back onto the cookie machine conveyor belt – you will want to have the first few participants at the end of the cookie machine safely help the volunteer onto the belt. Once the person is fully supported from head to feet, have the cookie  machine gently toss, and at the same time pass, the raw cookie dough down the conveyor belt shouting out what type of cookie she is as they move her along (“Oat-meal-cook-ie, Oat-meal-cook-ie...). At the other end of the cookie machine a freshly baked cookie appears. Once the volunteers head reaches the end of the conveyer belt her shoulders are supported while her feet are set down to the ground. The participants supporting their shoulders set her up to standing. Keep’m safe!! After the cheers, set up the lines again for another cookie pass.

Warning: Be present at the end of the line to supervise (and remind if needed) how the participant is being set down. The participants supporting the shoulders are the last to let go.

Variations: In the original New Games variation the volunteer is passed overhead – still a viable alternative if the group is ready. We would do this after the Levitation activity if we have a large group – enough participants to form a nice long conveyer belt.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What did it feel like to be supported by the group?
  • What feelings did you experience?
  • How did it feel to be responsible for someone else’s safety?

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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