Leadership Inspirations Activities

Stepping Stones

Use ‘stepping stones’ to get everyone safely to the ‘island’

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Ropes, Plates Or Polyspots, Blindfolds

 

SUMMARY

In this team building activity the group must find a way to get their entire team to an ‘island’ using only the stepping stones given to them as resources. This activity is meant to be challenging and asks groups to navigate conflict, communicate effectively, and solve problems creatively in order to overcome obstacles together.

 

SET UP

  • Find a clear, open space to play.
  • You will need gym spots or paper plates to serve as stepping stones. Provide one ‘stepping stone’ for every two to three people.
  • Determine a starting point and mark it with cones or rope.
  • Create an ‘island’ with a circle of rope 10-15 meters away from the starting point.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Gather the group(s) behind the starting point and give them their stepping stones.
  • Tell them that they will need to use the stepping stones to get their entire group to the “island.”
  • If a stepping stone is not in physical contact with someone during any point between the start line and island that stepping stone will be removed and will no longer be available to use.
    • Facilitator Note: This means that people cannot throw the polyspots or leave them on the ground unattended.
  • If someone steps on/in the ‘river’ (the ground), the entire team will be sent back to the start.
  • The team can elect to “buy back” a lost stepping stone in exchange for somebody becoming blindfolded.
  • Give them a time limit of 15-20 minutes.

VARIATIONS

  • This activity is meant to be very challenging, but if group’s are getting really frustrated, take a break and give them time to strategize and regroup before adjusting any rules.
  • For larger groups, consider breaking them into smaller groups or ‘committees’ of 10-12 people. You can spread them out and have all groups move towards the island in the center. It may be helpful to have more than one facilitator for this variation to monitor many groups.
  • Before starting this activity, brainstorm with your whole team “assets” that your group possesses and “obstacles” that they may face. Write these down on pieces of paper. Attach 1-2 assets to each stepping stone and 1-2 obstacles to physical obstacles that you can place between the start and island that they will have to navigate (rope, chairs, cones, etc.).

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Accountability

  • Who are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What does your group do well as a team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?