Exercises that illustrate

My Cup is Full

-clear plastic cup(s), pref 6 oz.

-permanent markers (b,g,y,o,r)


Mark the cups with 5 lines, into 5 sections, starting with blue at the bottom, followed by green, yellow, orange, then red at the very top. 

Try to make each section the same volume of water, using a measuring device. (May be good opportunity to demonstrate how the changing shape of the cup makes the sections appear to be "smaller" as the cup broadens, depending on the age of your spaceships.)

The water represents pressure. 

Fill the cup to the blue line.  See how easy it is to move around without spilling out any water; how much shaking the cup can handle without spilling a drop. 

Continue adding water and observe the changes at each level. 

By the time the cup is at the orange level, we have to move more carefully to avoid spilling; in the red, even more so.

This demonstrates how our spaceships/bodies respond to increasing levels of pressure--how much more easily we can move through space while navigating in the blue & green zones, and how much more carefully we need to move when in the orange and red zones.

We clearly see how individuals who are operating in the orange zone in their daily lives may have a harder time coping with increasing stress, and may even be experiencing some sort of "spaceship malfunction," such as a communication breakdown.

((This may be best as an outdoor activity, depending on the age/rambunctiousness of the participants))

When working with a group, vary the amounts of water in each cup. 

The person with the most full cup exclaims, "My cup is full! Who can help me?"

You may encourage those with fuller cups to go around and ask each individual for help, as well as those with emptier cups to volunteer to assist.  

Then see how many friends are needed to help reduce the pressure. 

By the end of the exercise, everyone's water levels should be no higher than the green zone. 

A variation would be to divide the cup into 6 sections, and add the GOLD section between green and yellow.  

With the gold section in place, encourage the participants to aim for the gold zone.

Depending on the time you have available to dedicate to this exercise, you may want to change the water levels a few times, to give all participants the opportunity to both ask for help and volunteer to help. 

We all need help sometime.  For some of us, it's easier to volunteer to help someone else than it is to ask for help, and then for others it's the other way around. 

It's good for us to practice both asking for help, as well as volunteering it.  We also practice being observant enough to know who to ask: who can help us when we need a hand, and who needs the support when we can give it. 

Do you have an exercise that helps demonstrate the Pressure Rainbow?  If so, share it. Your ideamay get posted. 

Copyright 2015-2023