Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Learning the Ropes of Knot Teaching

I was asked to teach knots to kids last night. I thought I was ready. I went to Home Depot and bought 50 feet of yellow poly rope. I bought 20 feet of brown/orange poly rope. I cut 2 foot pieces of each for each kid (20 ropes total). I came up with this cool idea that the kids would tie their ropes together using square knots (the knot I was supposed to teach) and then throw an inner tube to a teammate 20 feet away.

I thought the game would be fun. Well, the kids had fun but it was chaotic and confusing. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. First, spend the money on softer rope. I spent extra money for fatter rope but clothesline would have worked great with their little hands. The large diameter poly rope was difficult for them to tie and the knots came out easily. The kids were frustrated. I was frustrated. Fortunately the kids like to throw things so I was covered there.

I used a 20' piece of rope, tied it to the inner tube, and we played the game. I learned a lesson. The two colors of rope was a good idea. The poly plastic rope was a bad idea. The fat rope would be good for teaching splicing but not for teaching elementary school aged kids knots. I'll post about this again- if I try this again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wondered how throwing the inner tube fitted in with this. Took you idea of using softer rope of different colors.