Activity 3: Baton Pass


  • Brainstorm strategies to pass the batons simultaneously
  • Build a sense of togetherness through rhythm and flow with the group
  • Be aware of others so the baton passing is successful
  • Discuss their experience and feelings

Character Focus



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

  1. Place the Risk Taking Note in an envelope.
  2. Provide one 36-inch Toobeez tube to each participant.

The Challenge

The entire group must pass the Toobeez batons simultaneously without dropping them.

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.

  • Follow general safety procedures
  • If the group attempts the third variation (Toobeez Toss), participants are not to use a lot of force when tossing the batons

Helpful hints

  • A rhythm helps participants to work together and at the same time. For example, electing a leader to guide the group with a rhythm such as “1, 2, 3, pass... 1, 2, 3, pass” is helpful

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:
    “Babe Ruth, the famous baseball home run hitter and hall-of-famer, also held a record for having the most strike outs in a season.”
  2. Share the following storyline with group.
    You are an engine of a very important train that is trying to get up a mountain pass. When the engine is running smoothly, the train will have the energy to make it over the mountain! Go team, go!
  3. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
    Challenge: The entire group must pass the Toobeez batons simultaneously without dropping them. Follow the guidelines below:
    • Participants must stay in one place
    • Toobeez batons may not fall on the ground
    • Everyone must switch batons simultaneously
    • If any guidelines are broken, 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. In a circle, start by holding batons in a vertical position, standing it upright on the floor (refer to the photo). Each person needs to simultaneously exchange batons with the person to their right without dropping them.
    Holding Batons in a Circle Exchanging Batons without Dropping Them
  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. Switch directions and hands.
    If you start the game by passing batons to the right using your dominant hand, try switching to pass the batons to the left. Another option is to skip a person when passing the batons. Instead of passing the baton directly next to you, skip a person and pass the baton two people away.
  2. Add some weight.
    Place Toobeez balls on the ends of the tubes to challenge participants.
  3. Try a Toobeez Toss.
    Try tossing the baton to the person to the right, to the left, or two people away. Make sure participants toss the batons rather than throw them with force.

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 while you first started passing the batons?
  • What was one of the challenges of doing this activity?
  • What did the group have to do or believe to be successful?

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?
  • When do you feel/not feel like you working well with others?
  • What did a fellow team member do that was really helpful?

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.