Guest blog and photos by Lisa Castagnola, former Pop Wuj Social Work Spanish Student
In every culture and in every country, it's important that children develop the skills that will serve them and equip them for success well into adulthood. Two examples of such skills are the ability to communicate effectively and work collaboratively. The group activity pictured here, which was facilitated by one of our social work volunteers at our Family Support Center, may look simple (and it is) but the skills required are much more complicated than what meets the eye.
Each child was given a string and all strings are attached to the same rubber band. Being allowed to only use one hand to pull the string the children worked together to pull and contract the rubber band in order to capture and release the bottom end of the red cups, with the goal being to stack them in the shape of a pyramid. To successfully achieve the pyramid, this activity requires verbal communication, cooperation, and collaborative problem solving by all children involved. Additionally, as cups inevitably fall (sometimes over and over again) causing frustrations to rise, the opportunity arises to coach children through and build frustration tolerance and grit.
In spite of passing frustrations as cups came tumbling down, all the children who participated persevered and worked together to achieve success. In fact, the children asked to repeat the activity several days in a row. Just look at the smiles of these determined children when they successfully built a pyramid of cups as a team.