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Marshmallow Towers

Marshmallow Towers: Working Together Requires Sharing Power is a 30-45-minute activity where teams work together to construct a tower of marshmallows and spaghetti. It prompts participants to share power by negotiating how to construct their towers and collaborate to make them in a way that includes all team members. After the building, participants will discuss questions in a handout about their techniques, roles, plans, and power sharing agreements.

Planning and Preparation: This is a 30-45-minute activity that can be done with up to 40 participants, divided into teams of 4-5. You’ll need bags of marshmallow (about 20 per team), a box of uncooked spaghetti (20 per team), large paper plates (one for each team), measuring tape, yardstick, or string to measure the towers, and the handout with questions for the small groups (or you can write them on poster paper or a PowerPoint slide). You’ll divide participants into even teams of 4-5, give them an equal amount of building materials, and give them 5 minutes to make a plan for building before they touch the supplies. Participants will have 7 minutes to try to create the tallest tower. Each person needs to contribute, and the tower needs to stand on its own. If supplies break (or are consumed before measuring) they won’t be replaced. Feel free to let them eat any unused marshmallows.

Developmental Relationship Element: Share Power.

CASEL Competencies: communication, negotiating, collaborating, relationship skills, responsible decision-making.

Objective: Build and strengthen relationships among participants. Deepen understanding of Share Power in Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework.