Kit Logan 2001
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An ice breaker created in 2001 for a women’s Christian retreat to meet the needs of 80+ ladies with theme of “Weaving new patterns”.
Tip: This best played once everybody has arrived… doesn’t work so well if you start playing but still waiting for most people to turn up!
This game is an adaptation of the ‘Lap Game‘ and helping people to mix and find out information about people in a fun way which is what an ice breaker should be. The maypole idea it purely to incorporate the weaving theme. If you are familiar with Maypoles and Maypole Dancing then this game will make more sense. But if you are unsure a Maypole is a tall thin pole, and in the UK often decorated with a number of coloured ribbons hanging down from the top of it, during festivities various dances take part around the maypole using the ribbons which are woven into an intricate design around the pole.
If you are recreating a proper maypole effect, you need a pole that is fairly high and set firmly vertically to the ground. Tethers or guides are perhaps not the best things to use unless there is a way for them to be kept out of the way of the ribbons. A good height is probably around 12 foot (3.5m), with enough ribbons on it for everybody playing or at least half of those playing. If you are playing this indoors, you may find it easier to simply just attach one end of the ribbons to a large ring suspended from the ceiling in the middle of the hall so the ribbons hang down freely.
Each person takes a ribbon and stands with everybody else in a circle facing the pole/centre of the circle. If there are not enough ribbons to go round everybody just joins in standing in the circle, but try to get the ribbons evenly spaced around the circle.
Have a number of questions at the start you can ask the group or let everybody take turns to invent and ask questions which answers can be only ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In the children’s version of the game (Lap Game) we say things like “if you brushed your teeth this morning” or “if you are wearing anything blue” etc..
If the answer to a positive/good question is ‘yes’, move clockwise around the circle by walking in front of the person to the left of you and then taking the place on their right. If they move as well just take their place. If the answer to a negative question is ‘no’ then do the opposite, move one space anti-clockwise by stepping around behind the person to your right and standing to the right of them again just taking their space if they move. (you can leave the no’s out if you want).
What will happen is as everybody moves around the ribbons get woven into a single strand or around the pole… adding to the theme ‘weaving new patterns’. And of course as you weave around you get closer so you have another analogy to use there as well as final results being a single strand made up from everybody’s efforts.
You could just play it so you get back to the position you started in, ie make a full circuit of the circle in a clockwise direction, but otherwise, just carry on until time or enough weaving has been done.