Rope Play – practicing trust & surrender
Today we took a set of ropes to the learning space. You should have seen the kids’ faces when we took them out of the bag! Boys and girls were equally excited.
But before the rope play we introduced a simple game to practise trust and surrender.
2 kids. One in the front with eyes closed, one in the bag steering the way of the kid in the front. The kid in the bag has a big responsibility – to make sure that his or her partner doesn’t crash with any other kid or into anything on the way.
Task for the one who steers: How can you make your partner feel safe within this exercise? How can you build trust?
Question for the one being steered with closed eyes: do you trust your partner and can you surrender to the practice?
You can’t? Why not? Share with your partner what makes you feel unsafe within the connection and what you need to be able to trust. For example: going slowly, giving clear non verbal instructions like squeezing an arm, stopping in the right moment, being gentle and yet assertive in the guidance. Try again. They were asked to change partners several times so they could work with a variety of kids. We had a brief sharing after the game to discuss the different experiences and insights they gained.
And then – the highlight of the day – ROPE PLAY!
Mattie showed a simple knot technique and an easy way to tie both hands together (to start off with – eventually they wanted to be tied up completely)
All of the kids wanted to experience how it feels to be tight up. Only some of them wanted to actively try out the knot technique themselves. The one that was tight up sat in the middle with eyes closed. The other kids were sitting around in silence. One person was gently guiding the tight hands to explore the faces/ bodies of the other kids. The blind and tight up person had to guess who is who. Then the next kid was invited into the middle.
This is a very intense exercise we would only do with children we are familiar with.
The fact that they all wanted to participate and that they were all open to work together shows us that besides some struggles and conflicts, at the end there is mutual respect and trust within the group.