Activity 1: All Aboard


  • Brainstorm with your team ways to fit inside the square
  • Implement problem solving strategies as a team to fit inside the square
  • Work cooperatively and ensure safe physical contact
  • Rely on each other for balance
  • Discuss their experience and feelings

Character Focus



Time: 1 minute
1 Toobeez Kit
1 envelope
chart paper (optional)

  1. Place the Risk Taking Note in an envelope.
  2. Create a large square using four of the longest tubes.

The Challenge

The entire group must fit inside the Toobeez square.

Safety Reminders!

Appropriate caution is important to conduct these activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and if necessary, share reminders with the group during the activity.

  • Closed toed shoes must be worn. No bare feet, sandals, etc.
  • Do not allow participants to pile up or climb on anyone’s backs or shoulders
  • Remember to council the group to not fall on top of anyone
  • Spot the group, making sure to prevent head and back injuries
  • Do not allow participants to lock elbows
  • Do not allow participants to stand on other people’s feet

Helpful hints

  • Four of the largest Toobeez creates a square that hold 15 adults who are working well as a team

Activity Instructions

  1. Circle up the group. Distribute or display the appropriate “Risk Taking Note” for the activity. Have one participant read it aloud twice. Provide a few moments for the participants to think about the message:
    “Remember we are only limited by our own beliefs. If a person believes something is possible, they will take different action than those who believe it is impossible.”
  2. Share the following storyline with group.
    Your team has been caught on a sinking ship in shark-infested waters. The Coast Guard has been notified of your situation and they have sent a rescue ship. By staying out of the water, the sharks will stay away. Hang on until you are rescued!!
  3. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
    Challenge: The entire group must fit inside the Toobeez square. Follow the guidelines below:
    • Everyone must be touching the inside of the square
    • The group must remain touching inside the square for a certain length of time. For example, the time it takes them to sing one round of “Row, Row, Row your boat”
    • During the song, no one can touch the ground outside the square
    • No one may stand on the Toobeez
    • The Toobeez square may not be altered in any way
    • If any guidelines not followed, the group must begin again
  4. Before the participants attempt an activity challenge, have the group work through the following six steps:
  5. Problem Solving Sequence:

    1. Circle up
    2. Know and understand the challenge and the guidelines
    3. Brainstorm
    4. Make a plan
    5. Do the plan
    6. Evaluate results and adjust as necessary
  6. Be sure to monitor the group for safety as they attempt the activity.
  7. If participants get stuck, have the students circle up again. Here are some suggested questions to help guide the group back on track*:
    • What is working?
    • What ideas have you not tried yet that someone suggested?
  8. If your group is still struggling OR if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present a variation provided on the next page.
  9. After the activity, move to the debriefing questions for discussion.

Activity Variations

  1. Start with a large square.
    After the group experiences success, create a square that is slightly smaller. Reduce the size of the square with each success.
  2. Create an imaginary river.
    Have the group use the square as “stepping stones” to cross the river. Do not allow anyone to cross to the other side of the river bank until there is no one left on the side where they started.

Debriefing the Activity

Use these debriefing questions as a guide for your discussion. Select the questions you feel will best benefit your group. It is not mandatory to cover every question. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s opinions and feelings are important!

Base questions for debriefing:

  • How did you feel when you first saw the square?
  • How did you feel while you attempted the activity?
  • What was challenging about this activity?
  • What did the group have to do or believe to be successful?
  • How can you apply what you just learned in this activity to other challenges you face in your life?

If the group was unable to complete the task in the given time:

  • Since you were not able to solve the problem, does it mean your group is a failure? (Push the group to respond with more than a “yes” or “no” and to instead point out and discuss what they learned.)

Additional questions: Choose which ones are the most appropriate:

  • What was one positive thing that happened during the challenge?
  • What advice would you give to another group working on this activity?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • What did a fellow team member do that was really helpful?
  • Did you try different ideas? If so, why did you change your approach?

Close on a Positive Note

Sum up the different ideas and feelings that you heard expressed, and restate ideas and learning moments the participants shared. Then, read the Risk Taking Note out loud again, and ask people to discuss what they think this note means. Discuss what they thought it meant at the beginning and what they think it means now.

* (ˆ) Do not provide the participants with answers. Allow them to work together.