The activity this week was building towers with straws and tape. It was posed to the kids as a challenge against each other to build the tallest tower. They initially started out with teams of 2-3 with their friends, but eventually merged into 2 big teams, one at each table set up.
They were incredibly engaged, and when it was time to end, they wanted to continue the activity. However, when the activity was over, the competitive spirit overcame the kids and they began to sabotage each other’s towers by shaking the table to try to knock it down.
A potential solution to this would be to physically separate the teams so they can’t see each other’s work. Another solution would be to have individual challenges. It would have them try to accomplish a task, but the only competition would be against the challenge, not against the peers. This would perhaps allow kids to help each other out, increasing cooperation, productivity, and learning.