This is one of the first activities I did for a family RT session, which I learned from Karl Jensen, a rec therapist at a residential treatment center for teenage boys.
Purpose: To help patients learn to work together to accomplish a common goal, to communicate effectively, and to learn to trust each other. Also to help patients develop creative problem solving skills and gain a deeper understanding of perseverance.
Hang the hula hoop (from a tree, from a post, etc.) so that it is high enough that patients will have some difficulty getting through it, but not high enough that is impossible. Attach some bells to the hula hoop so that it is obviously if someone hits it.
Have everyone stand on one side of the ring. Instruct them that their task is to get everyone on the other side of the ring, but the following conditions are in place.
1. Everyone has to go through the ring (not under it, over it, or around it)
2. If anyone hits the hula hoop and the bells jingle, everyone has to start over
3. If someone goes over to the other side (through the ring), the only way they can get back to the first side is to go through the ring again.
The task is complete once everyone is on the other side of the ring.
Talk about how the activity went. Consider the following questions:
-What worked and what didn't?
-Did the group have to start over? How many times?
-What was the most frustrating part of the task?
-Who took on what roles during the activity?
-Did you make a plan to succeed? What was that plan?
-Is there a "right" way to complete this activity?
-Is it possible to complete this activity by yourself? Why or why not?
-How do our relationships impact our interactions with others?
-Did you feel that your boundaries or personal space was invaded during this activity? How?