Human Web

Type of Activity: Trust, Consensus - MEDIUM RISK

Props Needed: None

Set Up: You’ll need a mid-size open area for this one. Plays well with groups of 12 to 14 (multiple groups can play if there is a facilitator with each group) for 30 to 40 minutes.

Process: The Human Web is a no-prop variation of the traditional Spiders Web activity - the same rules/safety issues apply. For this no-prop variation group members will be creating the holes the participants will go through. Before you begin this activity, sufficient practice with lifting and spotting should be done. More often than not we progress through Trio Trust Lean, the Cookie Machine, and Touching the Sky before we go into a Web activity. This gives our groups the skills they need to lift and pass along a participant safely if needed. If you are satisfied with the spotting safety skills of the group you can move into the Human Web.

Ask your group to first decide how many low, middle and high holes their web will have – there should be one hole for every participant who decides to go through the web. This is a great opportunity to use consensus building skills and also allows participants to ask for what they want - exercising choice. When the number and levels of holes are chosen the group can begin. Each hole used will be created by two participants joining hands to form a “vertical” circle. So, for example: low holes will be about knee high, middle holes will be waist high, and high holes will be head high. The participants not forming the hole will be spotters for the participant going through the hole, using all the safe spotting skills they have put into practice during other activities. The activity continues as participants progressively move through the holes they agreed to use. During this variation of the Web, we do not penalize participants for touching any part of the Web (in this case the participants forming the web). We use the Human Web to build trust and support with our groups – no penalties or consequences, just safe practices and helping behaviors. (Later on in the program we might progress to the traditional variation of the spiders web to add more challenge – they would then have to add the mental awareness to the physical skills they have already used and practiced.)

Variations: You might require that no two people can form more than one hole together and/or that everyone must help in the forming a hole at some point, thus different size & heights make for an almost endless variation of openings. Also, you might not require that the holes be “vertical” – you could just say they need to have enough holes for everyone in the group to go through. You might also limit the number of holes at each level.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did the group support each other?
  • 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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