Helium Stick & Mindfulness

Many of you will be familiar with the classic group initiative Helium Stick. It’s one of those deceptively simple tasks that it actually very difficult to complete.

For the uninitiated, this is how Helium Stick is played. A long, thin stick or perhaps a hula hoop is given to a group and each person is instructed to place one finger from each of their hands directly under the stick as it lays horizontally.

Helium Hoop illustration from The Full Value School bookThe stick starts at shoulder height and the task is for the group to lower the stick to the ground while – and this is important – every single finger remains in physical contact with the stick at all times. Typically, as soon as the stick is released by the leader, the stick goes up (which is why helium is embedded in the name.)

It is rare for a group to complete this task on their first attempt. It requires focus and extreme commitment to team values to be successful, which as you can imagine, is a wonderful living metaphor to guide a group’s well-being and healthy functioning.

Authors Richard Maizell and John Grund discuss the perfect union of Helium Stick (or Hoop as they call it) and mindfulness in their latest book The Full Value School.

You can read more about how they weave the lesson and benefits of mindfulness and this terrific team-building activity in their recent blog post. This activity is just one of many hundreds of group experiences that you can use to heighten or reinforce particular lessons in your curriculum.

If you’d like help to plan and design a unique experiential program that embeds powerful lessons in it, get in contact with playmeo today.


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