Enjoyment Factor: 7/10
Teamwork Rating: 7/10
Leadership Opportunity: 7/10
Age Range: 9+
Activity Time: 30 Minutes
Set Up Time: 30 Minutes
Equipment Requirements: Medium
Getting through the Laser Path is a great activity for encouraging communication.Typically what you will find is that individuals within the team will want to bash straight into it and prove their prowess and they will normally make it no more than half way before they have hit one of the lasers and have to start again. The key is to have the team providing constant clear communication about the position of the person going through the Lasers so that they know in which direction to move. The idea for the the activity is simple: using a large amount of a sturdy string such as bailor twine create a criss-crossing extravaganza of string that participants have to work their way through without any part of their body touching the string.
what you need
- String: something that is sturdy and can stand having tension put in it. I always used twine.
- Ideally a section of pathway that has trees on either side. If you don't have paths through the woods then look for a section of trees that run roughly parallel and can be used as your side supports. If you don't have access to trees this activity will be tricky to run as you need to be able to wrap the string at different heights and angles over a course of about ten metres.
what you need to know
- A good length for the course is about ten metres long and ideally only about two metres wide. Wider than this and it takes a huge amount of string to stop it from being to easy to get through.
- Use lots of different heights and angles to ensure there is not an easy path through.
- Try out the maze lots of times yourself - if you find easy sections then add more string!
- Don't be surprised when it takes up a lot of string. I would recommend having at least 100m available but ideally more. The good thing is though as long as it is taken apart carefully then it can all be re-used again.
- I like to make a rule that no more than two feet and one hand can be on the ground at once. Crafty participants usually suggest just belly crawling underneath it.
- There are plenty of ways to customise the activity to make it more difficult or to demonstrate different teaching points.
- Let each participant try it once without watching others go through and without any communication and then let them try it with their team giving them advice as they go.
- Have team members go through in pairs.
- For a real test have someone go through it blindfolded so they must only rely on communication from their team-mates.
- Using a blindfolded subject is a good way of demonstrating how important clear communication is. Participants are often tempted to give a mass of information which can be very confusing.