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Spider’s Web

‘Spider’s Web’ is an activity that encourages the members of a group to think carefully about the ‘links’ that bind them together. The resulting ‘spider’s web’ that threads the group together is a strong visual reminder that each individual is linked to all the others in the group and that the members form an intricate system through their connections. It also offers both children and adults the opportunity and a safe forum to acknowledge links and feelings that may not be made explicit in their day to day lives together. The game also encourages children and adults to think of ways that ‘include’ all members and can be very healing for individuals who are normally more marginalised from the group. This activity can be done with groups of children or adults, or a mixture of the two. Groups need to be no smaller than six. Children as young as four or five can take part, although their contributions may necessarily be less sensitive and thoughtful, concentrating on the more superficial links between people (e.g. the colour of people’s shoes). Even older children may well start with these more superficial links, but they can be encouraged to start thinking on a deeper level, especially if adults model more thoughtful ideas. What to do 1. Everybody sits in a circle. 2. Some discussion may need to take place, before starting, with regards to ‘ground rules’ of the activity: – Are we going to allow the thread to be passed back to people more than once?

– Are we going to try and include everyone in the group? – What would it feel like if we were not included? – What sort of things might link us together? We will value any statement. 3. Somebody starts with a ball of string or wool. This person holds onto the end and passes the ball to another member of the group saying ‘I’m linked to .........(Name) because .................................’ 4. The reasons for links can be very open ended, ranging from the superficial, obvious and visual to the more imaginative, thoughtful and emotional. Care needs to be taken that there is no judgement made about statements – any stated link is acceptable. 5. The person to whom the ball has just been passed says ‘Thank you’ to the person who passed it to them, holds onto the thread and then passes the ball on to another person, with their own statement. 6. The activity ends when everyone in the circle has been included and is holding onto the thread. Towards the end, members of the group should be encouraged to notice who has not been included and to try to think of links that bind them, however difficult this may sometimes be! Once the group has done the activity once or twice, they will include others naturally. Afterwards, a closing discussion is always useful. • What did we learn? • How did it feel when we received the thread? • Was anyone surprised/pleased/happy/anxious by anything that was said to them? • How did it feel not to receive the thread until towards the end? It is worth pointing out to children, that the same activity repeated the next hour, day or week would almost certainly result in a completely different web, with different people passing to each other in a different order. Children will quickly learn this as they repeat the activity and will not feel upset if they are sometimes last to get the thread.

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Š nowherefoundation 2006

spider's web