You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
- A4 paper
Before you begin
- The person leading the activity should print out copies of the ‘Sleep mazes’ sheet so that there is one per person.
- Set up tables and chairs so that everyone can sit and work on their mazes comfortably
Time to a-maze
- The person leading the activity should ask the groups what things could make it hard for them to have a good night’s sleep (e.g. watching screens, eating too much, too much caffeine/sugar, stress, heat/humidity, light, and noise).
- Find out which of these the group find the most distracting when they are trying to sleep. See if anyone has a habit that’s different to everyone else, which prevents them from sleeping well.
- Everyone should talk about why these distractions hold us back when we are trying to sleep.
- Everyone should come up with their perfect conditions for sleep. This can be in a different place and time, if they like (e.g. in a hammock on a beach in the Caribbean).
- The person leading the activity should give out the ‘Sleep mazes’ sheets and pens or pencils. Everyone should sit at the table and try to solve the two mazes on the sheets, without looking at the answers. Using a pen or pencil, they should draw a single line from the red arrow to the bed. They should avoid the bedtime distraction symbols inside the maze.
- When all of the mazes have been solved, the group should try to make their own. The person leading the activity should give out the squared paper, rulers and erasers. Each person should use a pencil and a ruler to create a maze with a start and a finish, like those they have just solved. They can make them difficult and leave just one possible path to the finish, or make them easier and leave two or three possible paths. Give everyone fifteen minutes.
- When all of the mazes are ready, everyone should swap with the person next to them. If there are an odd number of people, the person leading the activity should take part. Once everyone has a new maze, they should try to solve it. As a group, see who has the toughest maze.
The group has looked at the habits and other factors that distract us from sleep. Was anyone surprised how many things affect the quality of our sleep? How can we change our behaviour to avoid these distractions? Did anyone find out something new that might have been affecting their sleep?
Everyone then solved a bedtime-themed maze, before making one of their own. Which was harder to solve; the ones on the sheet or the one drawn by the person next to you? What did you do to work out a route to the finish without hitting a dead end or a distraction?