The String Challenge…

When we started hosting financial education camps back in 2002, one of the first thing I noticed was how uncomfortable the kids were when they first came into the room on the first day, as well as subsequent days during the week. I realized early on that if we wanted to keep them comfortable and wanting to come back each day, it was critical to engage them from the moment they get into the door.

We started by having our participants (any age) create their own name tags after they registered for the camp or workshop. Regardless of age, the participants started talking and getting to know each other right off the bat. And it gave them the opportunity to be creative because there are always lots of markers and stickers to decorate the name tags with.

We take it one step further in many programs by showing the first one there how to make the name tag and then letting him or her teach the next person and so on. The best way to learn really is to teach, so even though the activity is easy, it’s great practice for the participants to be learn how to teach the next person the ‘name tag’ ropes.

Over the years we’ve added a few activities, like the one you’re going to see and learn here…we just call it the String Activity for lack of anything more creative. The kids always say, “Are you sure this is possible?” We assure them it is.

What you’re seeing in the video is the following:

1) How to tie a slip know because you need one in each end of the string.

2) How to set up the activity with two people (the rules).

3) How to untangle yourself.

4) Adults participating in the activity.

5) Kids participating in the activity.

The thing to remember about any activity, is that there is always metaphorical lessons inherent in the activity. With a little creativity, you can find a way to tie this fun, active game into a lesson for your particular topic. Have fun.