Ever Shrinking Blanket
Time: 10 min
Audience: Any (teams)
This team game is done best as a competition between two teams. If you use twin sheets – the teams should be 5-6 people. If you choose to use larger sheets, then you can add people to the team! The goal of the game is to cooperate in folding and staying on the sheet or blanket. See procedure directions below. (I find using sheets better than blankets as these are easier to wash).
Time Requirements: 10-15 minutes depending on how many times you repeat
Materials needed: 1 bed sheet per group (the bigger the sheet, the bigger the group)
Procedure: Get two teams up front. Give each team a sheet and tell them to spread it out on the floor and then ALL stand on it. Once each team is standing on their sheet, you explain the game. When you say ‘Go’, each team is going to race against the other team to accomplish the goal or folding the sheet into the smallest possible size while standing on it.
Game: You will tell participants that when you give the signal, each team must fold the sheet in half WHILE remaining on the sheet. No person can step off the sheet during the entire game. Once it is folded in half, they must fold it in half again WHILE staying on the sheet. They must continue folding the sheet in half WHILE remaining on the sheet until they have made the smallest size sheet possible that holds the entire team. The team that folds their sheet into the smallest size wins.
Note: You will find that some people will do just about anything physically, including stacking people in order to win this game, while others are very hesitant to touch their team-mates.
Function in Class: This is a great game to play to precede discussion about working with groups. Some discussion points you may pose to the groups once you have declared a winner may have to do with: what did they do to accomplish their goal, how did they go about it, what did it feel like, what did they do right, what could they have done differently, what did they notice about each other, etc…. One of the best debriefing comments may have to do around the fact that to be successful, many people had to make sacrifices – of personal space, of their comfort zone, of letting someone else take charge, etc… Sacrifice is actually one important aspect of working in groups and this activity makes that very clear.