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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

Je donne


PhiloQuests: the day of help

10. Meal Mutiny

Bonding time


ObjectiveTo string your ideas about collaboration together by tying your hands!

Duration: 30 to 75 minutes


  • Strings, ropes, scarves
  • A flexible family


  1. Prepare the revolution. To revolutionize your meal tonight, suggest that your family eat dinner... with their hands tied together! Using strings, rope or scarves, tie each person's hands to the wrists of the two people sitting on either side of them (for example: tie your right hand to the left hand of the person sitting on your right). Make sure the knots are strong but not too tight—to avoid cutting off blood circulation! You need at least one member of your family to do this activity. If only two of you are playing, sit side by side and each tie one of your hands together. If you are at the end of the table, you can also tie your free hand to a chair to make the game even more complicated! As a family, you can also choose to prepare some extra challenging dishes to make the game even more hilarious—like having soup, an Asian dish to eat with chopsticks or a bowl full of peas that you have to eat one at a time!

  2. Lead the revolution. Enjoy having your meal with your hands tied and take the time to observe how it feels.

  3. Think about the revolution. So, what changes when you eat with your hands tied? You and your family probably had to work together to get the food into your mouths and not spill it everywhere. What exactly does it mean to collaborate? Is collaboration sometimes necessary? Does collaboration guarantee equality? Why or why not? Unless, on the contrary, collaboration makes it harder to do things...


Bonus: If you and your family are still thirsty for philosophical thinking, drink up these refreshing questions: What does it mean to be attached to someone? Can you be too attached to someone? Is one necessarily less free when one is attached to others? Why or why not?

Can collaboration sometimes complicate matters?

Tricks for tots: To make the most out of this game, try to do the following five things, keeping your hands tied:
  • Add salt to your plate
  • Tie your shoelaces
  • Hold a spoon balanced on the back of your hand for as long as possible (while others continue to eat normally)
  • Do a Mexican wave by raising your arms all together
  • Stand up and move one spot to the left all at the same time.
Tips for teens: If you have studied history, you probably know some examples of collaboration within a group, a culture or a country. Do you think a group can collaborate with another group? Can collaboration be dangerous? Are we as responsible when we act as members of a group as when we act as individuals? Why?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!

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