Team Craft Team Building

Strings & Strands

“STRING” Figures with “STRANDS” of Thought... What’s this all about?

Team Building Strings 1

A starting activity "Breaking Free" is accompanied by stories participants tell while working through the string figure.

With “STRINGS” participants form geometric designs by intertwining their fingers through a circular string.Cats cradle is an example. String figures, in fact, originated among tribal cultures across the world. We focus on figures that originated among native North Americans over many generations.

Native tribes originated dozens of figures to relay the cultural values from one generation to the next. Elders use them in storytelling to pass along “STRANDS” of meaning: the lessons of their culture.

Team Craft’s STRINGS & STRANDS activity builds on this Elder’s teaching tradition with a program that is captivating and memorable.

What Happens?

Team Building Strings 2

As the activity progresses the participants form pairs and make a figure that requires teamwork.

Colorful circular strings are given to all participants to use in forming the string figures. As the string figure is formed, the facilitator accompanies the directions with a metaphoric story.Each story links forming the string and the resulting figure to a message about a positive way to approach a life challenge or a way to add to a healthy relationship.

Our string figures focus on themes of problem solving, trust, overcoming frustration, stress management, and “failing forward” or learning from experience.

Participants also develop their own stories and messages to accompany forming the string figures, and then share them among the group.

What are the benefits?

More intricate figures are possible with added team members. The experience gains its own excitement as more team members are added.

This experience is highly interactive and enjoyable. The messages cleverly relate to relevant applications to teamwork and other areas of life.The program starts with individual figures followed by figures formed by a small team. The final figure incorporates the effort of several teams to form a large intricate design that suggests a major collaborative effort. People are encouraged to teach each other to make sure no one is left behind in the process.

Participants can keep the string as a reminder of the activity and to share the STRING Figures and their related STRANDS of Meaning with other co-workers, family, and friends.

Program Characteristics

  • Groups of 20 to 200 people – or more.
  • Format: Can be combined with a series of other short large group activities that build on themes of teamwork, embracing change, and creating a positive workplace.
  • Location: Indoor or outdoor space with flat open area for activities.
  • Length: Program can range from 1 to 4 hours.

Download the Strings & Strands Team Building Program Overview "PDF" Acrobat file for printing this information and sharing with others offline.

A basket of interwoven experience - a metaphor to build upon in a short wrap up discussion on fundamentals of teamwork.

Forming stars with strings.

Making this figure is easier than it looks - if you know what to do. Hmm. Like other challenges in life? Facilitators share the knowledge in fun ways and get team members to show and help each other.

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