51 Cooperation Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

51 Cooperation Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

To solve the theme of a game, participants are obliged to collaborate. This entails understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the abilities and limitations of each participant. Any plan to solve the problem presented by the game must be adapted to the specific nature and capacity of the team. For this purpose, participants are required to communicate with each other, to engage in what is happening, and to work together as a team.

Compared to ordinary life in society, where there is so much division, misunderstanding, conflict, and competition, these games attract participants to establish connections, start discussions, and interact.

During the discussion of the activity and the deciphering of the experience, players will be guided to find similarities with situations from their ordinary life.

IMPORTANT:

Strictly adhere and be mindful of cultural norms regarding physical contact. (refer #4.19)

 

51 Cooperation Games for Team Building

12.1. Geometry in Silence

Materials needed: a circle made of rope, or strap (see #18.1), 15-30 m long.

Game rules: All participants hold onto the rope, at equal intervals along its entire length. The theme of the game is for the group to create a shape with the rope, without using any words. The instructor will indicate in turn which shape is required.

Variants: gradually, the requested shapes will become more and more complicated. Examples: circle, rectangle, square, parallelogram, pentagon, star, cross, etc.

Instructions for the instructor: various aspects and conditions necessary for successful teamwork can be highlighted, for example, by appointing one of the participants as a leader to direct the rest of the group members, or by allowing the whole group to communicate verbally – which will necessitate organization, the choice of a leader, etc.

During debriefing, the difference in behaviour and performance of the group in the presence or absence of a leader, total or partial communication (verbal or non-verbal), etc., will be discussed.

 


 

12.2. Untangling the Tangle

Materials needed: none; optionally a ball of thick rope, or several straps joined by knotting (see #18.1); optionally blindfolds.

Game rules: Players (mandatory even number) gather in a circle, then each extends their right hand and grasps the hand of the person in front. Then, each extends their left hand and grasps the left hand of another player (not the neighbour, nor the owner of the other hand already grasped). All players form a kind of thread, through which an electric current could flow. The pairs (two players who have each other’s hands) must be “broken”.

The theme is for players to untangle the knot to form a circle, without ever releasing their hands and without speaking. However, changing the way hands are held is allowed without breaking contact. Respect your neighbours, don’t torture them. A too large group is divided into groups of 6-12 participants.

Variants:

  1. Blindfolded (in this case, speaking might be allowed);
  2. With a rope: the instructor puts one end of the rope in a player’s hand, who holds it firmly, then unfolds the ball in a zigzag, from one player to another. After everyone has grabbed the rope, the instructor ties the ends of the rope. Then, players must untangle to form a rope circle, without ever letting go of the rope; however, the hand can slide along the rope. In this variant, the number of players can be odd. Then, blindfolded;
  3. With a rope: similar to B, but without the instructor’s involvement; each throws the ball towards a player approximately in front;
  4. After untangling, players’ chain forms a: circle, square, triangle;
  5. First, the group with blindfolded members finds the rope or cord, then everyone grabs it, then performs one of the variants presented above.

Instructions for the instructor: for variant E, after players are blindfolded, the rope or ball is thrown about 5-10 m away from the group, then the start signal is given.

During debriefing, the collaborative arrangements among the participants are analysed, what commitments or obligations they have towards each other, how important it is to respect them, how an individual is appreciated based on adherence to commitments, and what is the importance of the team in today’s society.


 

12.3. Pass the Bottle

Materials needed: a large plastic bottle (2-2.5 litres), empty.

Game rules: Players form a circle, with approximately an arm’s length distance between them. The instructor presents the “acid box (bottle)”. The theme is to pass the bottle from one player to another around the circle, without using hands or dropping the bottle on the ground.

Variants:

  1. Players’ hands are tied with a bandana or rope.
  2. Players can stand in a straight line.

Instructions for the instructor: Interest can be aroused if the bottle (without a cap) “contains” something dangerous (practically, however – water), which can spill (when dropped on the ground) and attack the players: toxic gases, wasps, man-eating rats, etc.

 


 

12.4. Sitting Together

collaboration games

Materials required: none.

Game rules: At the beginning, players form pairs, standing back to back with hooked elbows. The pairs will attempt to sit on the ground and then stand up without separating their arms. After 2-3 successful sit-downs and stand-ups, the pairs group into twos and attempt the exercise with four players leaning back to back and arms hooked. Then, move on to 4 pairs, and finally, the entire group gathered back to back tries to sit and stand up together at once.


 

12.5. Toxic Waste

collaboration games

Materials required: 1-4 sets, each set consisting of: a container with toxic substances (a ½ litre plastic bottle filled with water and sealed with a cap), a transport container (an empty 2-litre plastic bottle with the top cut off), 3-6 pieces of long rope or string approximately 5 metres long.

Game rules: The group is divided into teams of 6-12 players. Each team receives a set and is tasked with transporting the container using the transport container over a distance of several metres, using the ropes without touching either of the two objects with their hands.

If there is enough space and you have enough sets, all players act at once. If not, each team transports the objects one by one, while the others watch.

At the beginning, the container and the transport container are placed on the ground, with a distance of 5-6 metres between them.

Variants: The difficulty of the game can be increased by: increasing the distance between objects; placing obstacles (chairs, tables, etc.) between objects; placing the transport container on the ground initially with the opening facing upwards. If the game is played outdoors, the container can be left without a cap, increasing the risk of spilling toxins and enhancing the players’ interest.

Instructions for the instructor: The solution, which must be discovered, is for the team to “grasp” the transport container, bring it over the container, insert it over the container, lift both objects, and bring them back to where the transport container was. The “grasping” of the transport container is done by gripping it between the well-stretched ropes, each pulled by at least two players. The “grasping” of the container is done by ovalizing the container with the ropes until both objects are securely attached (through friction).


 

12.6. Knotted Rope

collaboration games

Materials required: a rope approximately 15 metres long.

Game rules: The instructor makes 4-6 very large simple knots, distributed at equal intervals along the rope and lays it on the ground. Players line up in a row in front of the rope. Each player grabs the rope with their left hand, somewhere between the knots. After grabbing, the hand “sticks” to the rope: neither detachment nor sliding of the palm is allowed.

The aim of the game is to untie all the knots (without removing hands from the rope!).


 

12.7. Please Pass the Key

collaboration games

Materials needed: two “keys” (keys, coins, plastic bottles, etc.).

Game rules: the group is divided into two equal groups, which sit in two rows facing each other. Members of each row hold hands with their neighbours, so that each group has two free hands at the ends of the row. In the free hands at the same end of the two rows, the instructor gives out one “key” each. The theme of the game is which team manages first to pass the “key” to the other end without letting go of their teammates’ hands. It is not allowed to place the key on the ground and kick it to the other end. If the key falls on the ground, it must be retrieved without letting go of hands.

Variants:

  1. Teammates do not hold hands, but pass the key to each other only on the back of the palm – right hand or left hand;
  2. The same variant, with hands behind their backs.

 

12.8. Tossing the Pizza in the Air

collaboration games

Materials needed: A loop of rope approximately 5 meters long, knotted (see #18.1).

Game rules: The players form a circle, standing with their faces towards the center, with their arms semi-extended, each holding onto the rope which forms a circle. The theme is tossing the loop (like a pancake, pizza, etc.) into the air and catching it on its way down in a circular shape. Repeat the process.

An attempt will be made to establish a “record”: how many times can the group toss and catch the loop before it falls apart?

Variations:

  1. Tossing the loop and catching it with the knot rotating in one direction until the knot reaches, for example, the player diametrically opposite to where it started. Or:
  2. Players kneel or lie down facing downwards, or face upwards, etc. Or:
  3. The instructor can set a challenge to beat a “record” (imaginary) of another group or a “world record,” etc.: 5 times in a row, etc., within a time interval of 3 minutes, etc.

Instructions for the instructor: After explaining the rules, the instructor steps back and does not intervene in any way to solve the task, but acts as an arbitrator: counting how many times the loop is caught correctly, measuring and announcing the duration, etc. The group will be left to study and attempt various methods of tossing, catching, etc.

Then, in deciphering the experience, the discussion will be directed to extract what the players did to succeed, to explain how they organized themselves to signal the toss, who gave the signal, how they discovered what needed to be done, etc. Furthermore, the discussion will focus on how these rules could be applied to achieve success in other activities in life, specific to the participants’ interests.


 

12.9. The lift

collaboration games

Materials needed: a loop of rope approximately 5 m long, knotted (see #18.1).

Game rules: The loop is placed on the ground as a circle. The players enter and crowd into the circle (the rope will be knotted so that the diameter of the resulting circle is suitable for the size of the group). The players’ task is to exit the circle without touching each other. A time limit will be set.

Penalty: If two players touch each other, all players restart the game from the beginning.

Variants:

  1. To exit the circle without using their hands and shoulders. Or:
  2. The players gather outside the circle (around it); the task is to enter the circle without touching each other, or without using their hands and shoulders.

Instructions for the instructor: See #12.8.


 

12.10. Let’s Rotate

collaboration games

Materials needed: a loop of rope approximately 5 meters long, knotted (see #18.1).

Game rules: The loop is placed on the ground as a circle. Players gather standing outside the circle (around it), facing the circle, with something stuck to their neighbours: feet, hips, shoulders, etc. The task is to rotate around the circle – without ever breaking contact with neighbours during movement. A time limit will be set until each player completes ½ or the entire circle.

Penalty: If contact is broken, all players restart the game from the beginning.

Variations:

A. Players sit on the ground. Or:

B. Players stand facing outward; or, facing the back of the neighbour, etc.

Instructions for the instructor: see #12.8.

See #12.8.

 


 

12.11. Crossing the River

collaboration games

Materials needed: two straps (see #18.1).

Game rules: The two straps are joined together to form a long rope. Two volunteers stand a few meters apart, grasp the ends of the rope, and simultaneously shake them at a height of 10-20 cm from the ground. The rope will create horizontal “waves” on the ground – this is the “river.” The group will collectively cross from one side to the other of the “river” and back. Players will walk or jump together. No one is allowed to hold back. Anyone touching the rope will be out of the game. The last two remaining players win.

Variations:

  1. The rope is shaken faster; or the two volunteers move closer to increase the amplitude of the “waves.” Or:
  2. The two volunteers swing the rope in the air like a giant cord, and all players jump over it simultaneously. Or:
  3. All players hold hands, shoulders, or waist.

 

12.12. Crossing the Dam

collaboration games

Materials needed: a rope of 20-25 m. or two to three straps (see #18.1), 4-5 clothespins.

Game rules: The rope is securely fastened, inclined vertically, with one end approximately 3 m high (from a tree, nail, etc.), and the other end approximately 1 m high (from a bush, radiator, fence, etc.).

The rope represents an “electrified dam” that “kills” anyone who touches it. The task of the players – “prisoners” – is to escape from “captivity” by all passing from one side to the other of the “dam” over the rope without touching it, only using the bodies/support of teammates. Jumping with momentum and using assisting objects (chairs, planks, etc.) are prohibited.

Two hooks mark the edges of the area/piece of rope available for crossing/game. Its length will be equal to the number of players multiplied by approximately 0.8 m/player. The referee (instructor) will attach clothespins to the rope to mark the available zone. Depending on the situation, one hook can even be at the bottom end of the rope.

The group has 15-30 minutes to establish a plan of action, then the start signal is given.

The instructor marks on the rope with marker clothespins both the place where the group starts crossing (at the bottom or top of the dam) and the length “consumed” by each player who has crossed over, which can no longer be used by another teammate. Anyone touching the rope is allowed to try again, but the clothespin moves after each attempt! A time limit is set.

Instructions for the instructor: if only unsuccessful attempts occur, the group can be recommended to make (at least two) action plans to try. A good strategy is for those members of the group who need assistance to start crossing at some distance from the bottom edge, so that teammates who lift and pass colleagues (smaller/lighter) over the rope have a passage without assistance.

Variations:

  1. All available crossing points on the rope are specified in advance by delineating them with pieces of knotted coloured rope.
  2. The dam crossing can start at the bottom – in the middle – etc.

 

12.13. Guide Your Partner

Materials needed: two straps (see #18.1), two blindfolds, a padlock and its key.

Game rules: The group is divided into two equal teams. From each group, one volunteer is chosen to be blindfolded. Throughout the game, these players are not allowed to speak or touch each other.

Then the two straps are stretched out on the ground, parallel to each other, at a distance of 4-10 meters apart. The two groups sit facing each other, beyond the straps, where they will remain for the rest of the game.

The instructor enters the open space between the two groups and takes out the padlock and key from their pocket, showing them to the players, then places the padlock in one spot and the key in another.

The task is for each group to verbally guide their blindfolded member, who is allowed to enter the central space, to find and retrieve – one the padlock and the other the key, then to approach each other and (without touching, without speaking!) insert the key into the padlock.

Instructions for the instructor: the following organisation is recommended:

1st round: the game unfolds as indicated above, each group does as they please;

2nd round: for 3 minutes each group discusses the optimal way to solve the task, then another volunteer is chosen, and the game is repeated as above;

3rd round: a different type of padlock is used, without a key, with a code.


 

12.14. Let’s Carry the Ball

Materials needed: a ball of thick string, or several straps joined by knotting (see #18.1), a large ball (or balloon).

Game rules: If the group is too large, it is divided into groups of 10-14 members. Players from each group gather in a circle, then each throws the ball of string to a player roughly in front. The string unfolds in a zigzag, from one player to another. After everyone has grabbed the string, the ends of the string are tied together, forming a network of connections between all team members. The instructor places the ball in the middle of the circle, on the string network.

The objective is to transport the ball, supported by the stretched strings, without dropping it to the ground, to another indicated location.

Penalty: If the ball falls, the game restarts from the beginning.

Variations: The path to be followed with the ball can be complicated with obstacles: a bench (a row of chairs etc.) to be crossed, and so on.

Instructions for the instructor: when deciphering the experience, it will be suggested to liken the game to life: we are all connected to each other, whether we want to or not. Parallels will be sought between the way to solve the game’s theme and what could be done in specific cases in life (indicated by players), to achieve a common goal or interest.


 

12.15. Against or Together?

Materials needed: several straps (see #18.1).

Game rules: The large group is divided into teams with an even number of members, but maximum of 14. The game continues separately in teams, each with a strap, in two phases:

Phase 1: The team is divided into two equal teams. Each team grabs one end of the strap, and at the instructor’s signal, tries to pull the opposing team beyond a mark placed on the ground. The winning team celebrates, jumps, cheers.

Phase 2: The strap is knotted and laid on the ground in a circle. All group members sit on the ground, with their feet next to the strap, and grab the strap with their hands. At the instructor’s signal, everyone stands up simultaneously, holding onto the strap. Then they sit back down on the ground and stand up again, several times. In the end, the whole group celebrates success, jumps, cheers.

Instructions for the instructor: a comparative discussion will be held about which type of behaviour is better: conflictual (competitive) or cooperative? The game shows us how the same occasion or situation (the strap) can be used in two completely different ways, with contradictory emotional and functional results, each with a different impact on team performance.


 

12.16. Let’s Reach the Target!

Game rules: A large group is divided into teams of 8-12 members each. The task for each team is to, starting from a starting point, navigate a route with their eyes blindfolded until reaching another designated point. The speed of traversal doesn’t matter, but the game can be more enjoyable if conducted as a competition between teams or against the clock, aiming to beat the “world track record” (imaginary).

Each team is given the route and has 15 minutes to study the problem and plan their approach. The route can be the same for all teams, in which case it will be traversed successively and timed, or each team has its own route (of equal difficulty), and the game or competition takes place simultaneously.

The route can be indoors (arranged with obstacles: chairs, tables, shoes, baskets, etc., in a sports hall, etc.) or outdoors (with natural obstacles: boulders, trees, bushes, etc.). The length of the route will be approximately 5-10 m for each team member.

After the 15 minutes, the teams gather at the starting point, everyone blindfolds themselves (the instructor checks the seriousness of the operation), then at the instructor’s signal, the teams set off on the route.

Variations:

  1. NO TALKING during the course; or:
  2. All teams start from a single location, situated at some distance from the routes, and after the starting signal, the blindfolded teams are led by their respective rescuers to the starting points, from where they proceed on their own.

Instructions for the instructor: each team will have a rescuer who will assist in the action (without “whispering” advice along the way!). Be aware that some teams may head in unexpected directions. Apart from avoiding accidents, teams will not receive any help; players must be allowed to seek solutions independently, otherwise, they will not learn anything. The team that fails to reach the final target within a reasonable time (30 minutes) will restart the game from the beginning or be “disqualified”.

The optimal solution (not to be revealed to the players!): the action must be well prepared in advance, when conditions are optimal, not after the “disaster” (loss of sight) has occurred! The route is divided into successive sections (equal to the number of players), each with clear starting and ending points (if not on the ground, improvised markers will be used: stones, broken branches, shoes, pens, etc.). The ending marker of one section is also the starting marker of the next section! Each team member will memorise both their section well, to be able to find and traverse it blindfolded, by feeling, from one marker to another, as well as the position (number) of their section within the overall route.

The route is traversed with all team members blindfolded and holding hands in a line. At the start, the person who has “learned” section no. 1 of the route will be at the front of the line. They will lead the team by feeling to the start of section no. 2 of the route, where they will pass the leadership of the line to the “specialist in section no. 2”, indicating the respective starting marker by feeling. The leadership of the line changes in turn until reaching the final marker of the route.

When deciphering the experience, among other things, the merits of the organisation of the group that succeeded in traversing the route will be discussed; the mistakes of the group that did not succeed; the good and bad attitudes of the team members; what improvements could be made to the overall team activity and the performance of each member; how these conclusions can be transferred to activities in everyday life (at work, etc.).


 

12.17. Escape – A

Materials needed (approximate): 4-5 pieces of thick boards with dimensions around 2.5 m x (12×10) cm; 8-9 solid boxes with approximate dimensions of 50x25x25 cm. (or lightweight and sturdy prefabricated blocks); a rope with a diameter of approximately 9 mm and a length of approximately 12 m. Or equivalent (solid!) objects: chairs, boards, sticks, pieces of wood, benches, mattresses, etc.

Game rules: the entire group stands in one corner of the field (room) or behind a starting line, from where they must reach the opposite corner or beyond the finish line, without stepping on the ground (floor), but only walking on some objects available at the start. The two lines are clearly marked on the ground. The objects available behind the starting line (see indicated materials) are NOT sufficient in number to build a continuous bridge over the river with them, NOR are they large enough for the whole group to stand on any of them. The group has 15-30 minutes to establish an action plan, then the departure is given.

It is recommended to present the game in the form of a story (scenario): the group has been captured by cannibals (terrorists) and can only escape by crossing the river of molten lava, which flows between the place of detention and the shore of freedom, where the “rescue plane” is. Anyone who touches the lava gets burned (returns to the starting point).

Variations:

  1. A time limit is set, after which the “rescue plane” on the opposite shore departs, and whoever fails to catch it will be eaten by cannibals!
  2. The perverted cannibals have set up 2-3 “barriers” on the crossing path, which can be “opened” with the help of “keys”, placed in a lateral location, at some distance from the straight path between start and finish. The “keys” can be 1-3 balls or plastic bottles, which are reached by walking on objects. The “keys” must be taken and thrown into a trash can, or a basketball hoop, etc., placed elsewhere. Each success means “opening a barrier”.
  3. On the crossing path, there is a “monster” (resistant to lava!), which “steals” unattended or unused objects.
  4. One participant is blindfolded and requires the help of others to move.
  5. The “rescue plane (or boat)” at the finish is a small platform (table, chair, etc.) on which the entire team must gather crowded and stand like that for 20 seconds; anyone who falls is “lost,” etc.
  6. The scenario is different: the team has to transport life-saving medicine to a group of isolated scientists on the “desert island” threatened by a deadly disease. If a player touches the ground (contaminated with microbes) during the crossing, the whole team returns to the starting point, and part of the transported medicine stock is consumed to treat the player – meaning there will be fewer medicines left for the group of scientists (will there be enough left?).
  7. Materials available: three solid crates with dimensions approximately 60x60x15 cm and a solid stick about 2 m long. All materials are available before the starting line. The team’s task is to reach beyond the finish line drawn on the ground about 10 m from the first line, using the available materials.
  8. If the group is large, it can be divided into two equal teams in terms of the number of members, which will start simultaneously, in opposite directions, each from behind one of the two lines marked on the ground. Each team has 3 crates and a stick (as in option H) and must reach alone beyond the other line, without collaborating with the other team.
  9. The same situation as in option I, with the difference that now the two teams on opposite shores can collaborate during the crossing, using the help and crates of the other team to reach beyond the “river of molten lava”.

Instructions for the instructor: the group will be forced to split into small groups. Each group will cross the “river” by successively moving the objects (standing on some and pushing others with their hands, feet, stick, etc.), until they reach the other side, after which one or two volunteers will return with the objects to the place of detention, to allow another group to pass, and so on, until everyone crosses. See figure 12.1 – with the materials indicated approximately.

The game (story) can be complicated as much as imagination allows. In the case of option F, when discussing the game, emphasis will be placed on the individual’s ability to help others. There will be talk about the ability to discover the needs of others and the human duty to give help, even if not asked for (but not unwanted either!). Examples will be given of the needs of our fellow human beings, to which the participants could provide assistance (depending on age, etc.).

Figure 12.1 Escape A – one of the possible auxiliary material arrangements

 

12.18. Escape – B

Materials required: empty plastic bottles of 2-2.5 liters – 5 pieces, thick long sticks of 2 m – 2 pieces, wooden planks 5x15x250 cm – 2 pieces.

Game rules: on the field (soft, with grass), two parallel lines are drawn, 25 m apart from each other. The task is to move the group from one line to the other without touching the poisonous (dangerous) ground with any part of the body, using the aforementioned objects (resistant to the action of the ground), which they receive at the starting line. A player who touches the ground is penalized by returning to the starting line.

Instructions for the instructor: for movement, one solution is to flatten the bottles, which can then be used as “stones” to step on. The “stones” will be moved around as needed, by pushing, etc. Another solution is to cut the bottles and use them as protective footwear. However, overall, the group’s passage is done in small groups, which use the objects to reach the other side, after which one of the teammates returns to the starting base with the objects in their arms, to allow other teammates to pass. Note: solutions will not be revealed to the players! See also for inspiration #12.17.


 

12.19. Escape – C

Materials required: used tennis balls – 4 per player, thick long sticks of 2 m – 1 per player.

Game rules: on the field (hard, smooth), two parallel lines are drawn, 8 m apart from each other. The task is to move the group from one line to the other without touching the poisonous (dangerous) ground with any part of the body, each person walking on the 4 tennis balls (resistant to the action of the ground) received at the start, which they move as they wish and can on the ground. A player who touches the ground is penalized by returning to the starting line.

Variations: crossing without a stick; pairs or groups of three players support each other and cross together.

Instructions for the instructor: It is recommended to step on the balls with the tip of the foot, not with the arch. See also #12.17 for inspiration.


 

12.20. As High as Possible

Materials needed: some cloths (scarves, handkerchiefs, etc.).

Game rules: the group is divided into teams of 4-6 members. Each team receives a cloth and the task of hanging it at the highest possible height to win the competition. To reach higher, players can only use the resources available to them (mainly their bodies, but this is not explicitly stated, allowing them to discover on their own), with the use of holes, cracks, ledges, etc., being prohibited.

Instructions for the instructor: each team will have one or two rescuers. The game can be presented as a story: the group has been captured by cannibals, who keep the prisoners on a deserted island, guarded until they return from another battle to eat them. A passing ship on the horizon could save them, but it doesn’t see them. The prisoners could be seen if they manage to display a signal (flag) at the highest possible height.


 

12.21. Let’s Save Ourselves Together!

Materials needed: some ropes (see #18.1).

Game rules: the players form a group of jungle travelers, captured by cannibals. All travelers, standing up and closely pressed together, have been tied with a rope to prevent escape. However, there are no guards, and if the group manages to move as a pack, tied as they are, to another location, some distance away (about 15-30 m), they will find help there and the travelers will escape from the cannibals’ cauldron. The rope for tying is obtained by joining 2-3 ropes.

Variations: there may be obstacles along the route (a chair, a table, etc.) that the group must navigate around.

Instructions for the instructor: the group will be tied tightly enough so that the players cannot twist around, but not so tightly as to pose dangers of injury (one participant tripping and others falling over him, etc.).


 

12.22. Let’s Jump the Fence!

Materials needed: a rope or several ropes joined with knots (see #18.1).

Game rules: the group has been abducted by aliens and deposited in an enclosure surrounded by an electrified fence. The rescue involves crossing the fence made of a rope stretched horizontally at a height from the ground equal to the average waist (abdomen) height of the participants, by hanging from trees, bars, radiators, etc. If there are many players, the fence will not be a single line, but a triangular or square enclosure. Anyone who touches the fence – dies (is out of the game). Each player is required to be in permanent contact with another player. It is not allowed to pass under or around the rope, or to jump over it. The group will have 10-15 minutes to prepare an action plan.

Variations: the body part (hand, foot) that accidentally touches the “electrified fence” becomes unusable (“dies”) further on (the instructor tapes it with adhesive tape). Touching the fence with the body brings back the respective player (or the entire team) to the starting point!

Instructions for the instructor: the instructor is also the referee.


 

12.23. The Lifeboat

Materials needed: a platform of approximately 0.5 x 0.5 m raised to a maximum of 20 cm (a chair, a bench, etc.), optionally a surface marked directly on the ground with a tarpaulin or a rope.

Game rules: the group of castaways has a small lifeboat, in which all members barely fit, so usually the castaways are in the water. At the instructor’s signal, the “great white shark with jaws as big as an excavator” appears, and all players have one minute to cram into the lifeboat, where they stay for 10 seconds. Any player caught by the shark in the water (with one foot on the ground) is caught and taken away (out of the game, becomes an observer). After the 10 seconds, the shark leaves, and the players can descend from the “boat” to stay in the water. The game ends when the “shark” doesn’t catch anyone in two successive visits (separated by one minute).

Variations: In the first stage, the surface is marked by a tarpaulin or with a loop of rope. In the second stage, the tarpaulin is folded twice, or the loop of rope is twisted once and overlapped (in both cases resulting in an area about a quarter of that in the first stage).

Instructions for the instructor: the grouping surface can represent the participants’ ability to collaborate with each other. Comparative discussions will focus on each individual’s tendency to ensure their personal interest without caring about others’ well-being, compared to the group’s needs and resulting obligations for each. Learning in a collective or the functioning of small groups can also be analyzed.


 

12.24. Let’s Change Places! – A

Materials required: a gymnastics bench (or a fallen tree trunk, etc.).

Game rules: the group lines up standing on the gymnastics bench, then the players count aloud, from 1 to 10. The task is to change places, to end up in the same formation (order) but seated in reverse on the bench, meaning player number 1 at the opposite end of the bench. The duration of the activity is timed. It’s not allowed to step on the ground. If a player touches the ground, the game restarts from the beginning, or the team incurs a time penalty (for example, 15 seconds) added to the total time taken.

Variations:

  1. The gymnastics bench is flipped, with the legs (bar) up; or:
  2. The group is divided into two equal groups, each lining up on half of the bench, facing towards the centre, and the task is for the two groups to swap places (without changing the order of players in the line) and end up on the other half of the bench.

Instructions for the instructor: if the group doesn’t fit, no matter how crowded, on a single bench, then it will be divided into two groups, which will work either alternately or simultaneously on two benches (see #12.25).

If the game is played outdoors on a tree trunk, when the height conditions from the ground (the thickness of the tree, the shape of the adjacent terrain – with inclines, holes, etc.) present a risk of injury, 2-4 rescuers will be organized.

The group will be encouraged to repeat the game to improve their previous “record time” or to surpass an imaginary record, etc.

When deciphering the experience, emphasis will be placed on the causes that could lead to reducing the time required for resolution, such as: increasing experience and confidence, better organization, etc. (after all, the game is not just for fun…).


 

12.25. Let’s change places! – B

Materials needed: two gym benches, or two fallen tree trunks, etc.

Game rules: the group is divided into two equal groups. The two benches are placed parallel on the ground, at a distance of 1-1.5 meters from each other. Each group lines up standing on a gym bench, then the players count aloud, from 1 to 10. The task is to exchange places between the two groups, in order to end up in the same formation (order) but seated on the other bench. Stepping on the ground is not allowed. If a player touches the ground, both groups restart the game from the beginning.

Variants:

  1. The gym benches are turned upside down (the students stand on the narrow edge); or:
  2. The benches will be arranged in a non-parallel manner (in a V shape), with the heads close together at a distance of 1-1.5 meters, and the distant ends 4-6 meters apart.

Instructions for the instructor: the distance between the benches will be such that most players cannot jump from one to the other without assistance. 2-3 rescuers will be assigned.

If the group doesn’t fit, no matter how crowded, on the two benches, then it will be divided into 4 groups, each working in pairs – either one after the other or simultaneously (on 4 benches).


 

12.26. Let’s rise together!

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: First, the group divides into pairs. The two partners stand facing each other with the tips of their toes touching and hold hands. At the instructor’s signal, both partners (all pairs!) simultaneously squat down (perform a squat) until their bottoms touch the ground. At the second signal, everyone stands up. This is repeated 4-6 times.

Next, the pairs group together in pairs of two. The four partners stand facing each other with the tips of their toes touching and hold hands. At the instructor’s signal, both partners (all groups!) simultaneously squat down (perform a squat) until their bottoms touch the ground. At the second signal, everyone stands up. This is repeated 4-6 times.

Then, groups of 6 or 8 partners are formed, and all players (mandatory in even numbers) gather in a circle, holding hands, with their shoulders and toes touching. This time, the groups (group) will squat and stand up as they wish, without the instructor’s commands. For this purpose, each group (group) will need some initiative to organize themselves.

Variant: Partners stand back to back, with their toes forward, and do not hold hands or elbows. The toes are far enough forward so that when squatting, the partners reach their bottoms on the ground. When groups of 4 players or more are reached, neighboring partners will no longer lean back to back but shoulder to shoulder.

Instructions for the instructor: In the case of groups with more than 6 members, players cannot reach to hold hands with the one in front.

One solution (which will not be revealed by the instructor!) is for each player to hold hands with the second (or third) neighbor on the right and left. This way, the players form 2-3 distinct circles (chains), intertwined.

The second solution is for each player to hold hands with others, but in such a way that the entire group forms a single chain (able to pass the electric current through all members!)


 

12.27. Let’s Stand on Our Palms!

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: The group finds themselves on “poisoned” ground, which “kills” anyone who touches it. The only salvation for the players (which is also the theme of the game) is to stand on their palms (for at least 10 seconds) after these have been “enchanted” (immunised) by the instructor’s touch or breath.

It starts with groups of 3 or 4 players each trying to solve the problem. Then, all groups come together and tackle the task as a whole.

Variations: Moving the formation a few steps forward, backward, or sideways.

Instructions for the instructor: One solution is to arrange the players in a circle, so that each one lies horizontally, with palms on the ground and feet on the shoulders of the neighbour.

Another solution is to form a circle of players standing vertically, alternately one with their head up and the neighbour with their head down. Those with their head down have palms on the ground and feet up, vertically supported by their neighbours, who stand with their (bare!) feet on the palms of the others. Then, the roles are reversed.


 

12.28. Let’s carry the bottles!

Materials needed: empty plastic bottles (clean, dry!).

Game rules: Two parallel lines are drawn on the ground, at a distance of 8-15 m.

Players group themselves in pairs behind one of the lines. Each pair has a bottle held between their shoulders, hips, backs, or knees (the instructor will indicate which part of the body should hold the bottle).

At the instructor’s signal, the pairs move beyond the other line. The pair that drops the bottle repeats. This is repeated several times, with the bottle held by different parts of the body.

Then the pairs group into pairs of two. The four partners have to hold three bottles between them (with the body parts indicated by the instructor). At the instructor’s signal, the groups move beyond the other line. The group that drops the bottle repeats.

Then it’s repeated, with the bottle held by other parts of the body.

Then the whole group gathers, which will hold N-1 bottles (N being the total number of players). At the instructor’s signal, the group moves beyond the other line. If any bottle drops, it repeats. Eventually, it’s repeated, with the bottle held by other parts of the body.


 

12.29. Lifeboats

Materials needed: none.

Game rules: The story is that the ship with players is sinking, and the lifeboats must take a certain number of passengers each, otherwise either they sink (if there are too many), or they capsize (if there are too few).

The instructor calls out a number, for example “5”. Immediately, the players will group themselves in groups of 5, holding onto each other as tightly as possible. Those who remain isolated or groups with a different number of people “sink”, exit the game and will continue to sit on the sidelines. Then the instructor calls out another number, and so on.


 

12.30. The Longest Line

Materials needed: none.

Game rules: The group is divided into 2-3 groups with the same number of members. The group that creates the longest line on the ground using only what they have at hand (on them) wins: clothes, belts, etc. (including their own bodies – but this “detail” is not revealed, it must be discovered by the players).


 

12.31. The Curtain

Materials needed: a blanket (tablecloth, sleeping bag, etc.).

Game rules: The blanket will be held vertically by two volunteers, like a curtain. The group is divided into two equal groups, which sit on either side of the curtain, 2-3 meters apart. Each group (which cannot see the other) selects a representative, who will sit right next to the blanket. At the instructor’s signal, the curtain is lowered. The representative who says the other player’s name faster wins and takes the loser into their group. The team that “finishes off” their opponents wins.

Variations: At the signal, the curtain lowers, and the two representatives mime a movie actor or an animal, bird, etc. The group will pre-determine the themes to mime, and each group will precisely determine what their representative does. The representative who  says the name of the actor, animal, etc. interpreted by the other player faster, wins and takes the loser into their group.

 


 

 12.32. Change Places!

Materials needed: blindfolds.

Game rules: Players form a circle, and each chooses a partner opposite them. If a player is left without a partner, they become the rescuer. After pairs are established, all players blindfold themselves. At the instructor’s signal, everyone starts simultaneously to change places with their partner and reform the circle.

Instructions for the instructor: To reform the circle (so it doesn’t become a polygon), students must hold onto their neighbors as well – but this “detail” is not revealed to them.


 

12.33. The Space Capsule Landing

Materials needed: for each group: a fresh egg, 75 cm of 2 cm wide adhesive tape, 20 drinking straws; (plus reserves: eggs, straws, adhesive tape); a large plastic bag (for 30 liters of household waste).

Game rules:

Story: NASA has launched a competition to choose the best protection system for the module that will descend on Mars, by cushioning the shock resulting from the capsule’s contact with the planet’s surface.

The group is divided into teams of 4-6 members, who receive the aforementioned objects and the task of designing, building, and testing a device for the NASA competition. Each device will have a commercial name.

Each group participates in the competition with a protection device, designed to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 2.5 m onto a hard surface (ground). The main condition is to protect the egg, but in case of equal results, the group that built the device using fewer materials, or more quickly, wins.

Groups have 20 minutes for design and construction. After this time, a spokesperson for each group will give a brief presentation praising the qualities of their device. Finally, a representative from each group will climb onto a chair, etc., and launch the device with the egg (above the rubbish bag!).

The NASA jury (instructor) will judge and determine the verdict and ranking.


 

12.34. The Great Screw-In

Materials needed: for each group: a threaded rod with an approximate diameter of M 14 and a length of approximately 2 m, plus one nut for each player.

Game rules: The group is divided into teams of 4-6 members, who receive the aforementioned items. The task is to screw the nuts onto the entire length of the rod as quickly as possible. 5 minutes are allotted for each team to establish a working method. Before starting, all players hold the nuts in their hands and wait for the instructor’s signal. At the signal, the nuts are engaged, then twisted until they come off the rod, and when all team members have their nuts back in their hands, they announce that their team is ready, and the instructor notes the duration. The use of lubricant (grease, oil, etc.) is not permitted.

Instructions for the instructor: Materials will be checked beforehand to prevent accidents: nuts and rods should not have burrs, chips (which can cut hands), or threading errors (which can block the nut).

The game can be repeated to give teams the opportunity to improve their record or beat the “American record.” For reference, this is 2 minutes 15 seconds for passing 4 nuts along a threaded rod of 1.8 m.


 

12.35. The Little Threading

Materials needed: for each group: 4 canvas needles and a piece of thick thread measuring 1.2 m.

Game rules: The group is divided into teams of 4-6 members, who receive the aforementioned items. The task is to thread the needle through all 4 needles as quickly as possible and tie the ends of the thread.

Instructions for the instructor: The game is played following The Great Screw-In #12.34.


 

12.36. Hop to Target

Materials needed: for each group of 6-8 people, a loop (circle) made from approximately 2 m of cord or elastic band, knotted at the ends; one piece of rope (see #18.1).

Game rules: The group is divided into teams of 6-8 members, who receive the aforementioned items. The rope is laid on the ground in the shape of a circle with a diameter of approximately 1 m (can be replaced with a circle drawn with chalk), and the group (team) gathers in a circle around the rope, with approximately arm’s length intervals between players. Each player holds the elastic with two fingers and stretches the elastic loop to a height of approximately 1 m above the ground, forming a horizontal circle concentric with the one laid (drawn) on the ground. The task of the group is to release the elastic so that it jumps and contracts, landing inside the circle on the ground. After each successful throw, the diameter of the rope circle on the ground will be reduced.

Variations: Instead of the rope circle, the target can be a bucket or barrel, etc., placed on the ground.

Instructions for the instructor: The task is almost impossible to achieve because everyone must release the elastic precisely at the same moment, a very difficult task to accomplish. To succeed, the team will be forced to discuss, organize, experiment with various solutions, choose a leader to give the command alone, etc. Usually, the group will seek to find one or more culprits for the failure, although in reality, the entire team is “guilty” of both failure and success.

This game can be given to a group that has quickly solved previous games and feels “smart” and unbeatable, no longer paying attention and being prepared to face the possibility of unpleasant surprises.


 

12.37. Stretch Out and Grab Your Treasures

Materials needed: 8 visible objects, a rope.

Game rules: On the floor, a basic circle is marked with a diameter of 2-3 m, for example using the rope. The 8 “treasures” (objects) are placed at distances of at least 10 m from this circle, towards the edges of the playing area, either on the ground or on a support at a height of maximum 2 m.

The team’s task is to retrieve the treasures, forming a human chain, with one team member (the end of the chain) always staying within the circle, while the head of the chain grabs the object and brings it into the circle. The team must maintain continuous bodily contact between all members. To reach the treasures, the chain will need to extend as far as possible. The distance between the basic circle and the treasures should be sufficient so that the team cannot easily reach them. Other game rules include:

  • The duration of the team’s exit from the basic circle is limited to 60 seconds. The instructor will give the necessary signals to start (exit from the circle) and to end the time (mandatory return to the basic circle).
  • If the permitted duration of the team’s exit from the circle is exceeded, or if the chain breaks, the entire team must immediately return inside the basic circle and the treasures already retrieved are placed back to their initial positions (the game restarts from the beginning!).
  • Only one treasure is allowed to be retrieved with each exit from the basic circle.

The maximum game duration is 30 minutes, and the team is allowed a maximum of 15 attempts.

Variations:

  1. The number of attempts is unlimited, but if the team exceeds the 60 seconds or breaks the chain, all players will be blindfolded for the next 3 minutes.
  2. Some objects will be small and may not be well visible from the basic circle, possibly not visible at all. The team will not know the total number of treasures to be retrieved. The game becomes even more challenging if it takes place in a forest, with some treasures hidden behind trees.
  3. Contact between teammates is allowed through available objects – which are not treasures. Such objects can be: their own handkerchiefs, belts, etc., or sticks existing on the field that can be picked up on the go, without interrupting the contact between teammates! Long ropes, etc., will not be used or available!

The remaining rules are the same as in the basic version.

Instructions for the instructor: To lengthen the chain, players can stretch out on the ground, etc. (without interrupting bodily contact with neighbors – for example, holding the neighbor’s foot with their hand), but this solution must be discovered by the team and not revealed by the instructor.

The success of the game depends greatly on the creativity of the instructor in placing the treasures on the field.

Questions for deciphering the experience: How did you collaborate to reach the treasure? What is our goal (of the class, company, etc.)? How can we collaborate to achieve this goal?

The game can be played indoors or outdoors.


 

12.38. Who is the singer?

Materials needed: blindfolds.

Game rules: after the participants form a circle, facing towards the centre and touching shoulders with their neighbours, they will blindfold themselves. They count 1, 2, 1, 2, and so on – until the end of the line (circle), and the number 2s will raise one hand up. Afterwards, except for the instructor, no one will speak. The instructor will randomly switch players with the number 2, taking them by the hand and leading them, so that no one in the circle will know who their neighbours are anymore. After the switching of places of the number 2 participants is finished, the instructor will signal: “number 1s will softly sing a song in the ear of their left neighbour!”. After approximately 1 minute, the instructor will command: “Stop – finish singing!”. Then those who listened will try to guess who sang to them and will tell their neighbour the chosen name. The singing neighbour remembers the name but says nothing. After everyone is done, the entire procedure is repeated with the other half of the participants: the instructor will signal: “number 2s will softly sing a song in the ear of their left neighbour!”. After approximately 1 minute, the instructor will command: “Stop – finish singing!”. Then those who listened will try to guess who sang to them and will tell their neighbour the chosen name. The singing neighbour remembers the name but says nothing.

The instructor will command: “Take off the blindfolds!”, after which, in turn, each player will loudly say the name of the person they believed sang to them from the right (this will reveal if the neighbour is telling the truth). The game can take place indoors or outdoors.


 

12.39. Treasure Recovery

Materials needed: for each participant: one object without sharp edges or cutting edges, larger than a ping-pong ball but smaller than a football (e.g., empty plastic bottles, filled bottles, etc.), and a blindfold.

Game rules:

Stage 1: The instructor shows the players the playing field and its boundaries. Then each player chooses an object (“treasure”) from the pile prepared by the instructor and places it somewhere on the ground, within the playing area, following the following rules: the distance from an object to the edge of the playing surface will be at least 1.5 m, and between objects at least 2-3 m. The instructor will rearrange the objects if they are too crowded. After placing the objects, all participants gather in one place at the edge of the playing field.

Stage 2: The instructor informs the players that they are to blindfold themselves and then collect all the treasures in the team’s current location. The group will have 5-10 minutes to establish a working method for completing the task (action strategy).

Stage 3: The players blindfold themselves and start collecting the treasures. The game ends when the team determines that they have collected all the treasures, or when one of the players removes their blindfold.

Variations:

  1. After the players blindfold themselves, the entire team can be led by the instructor to another location on the field, from where the treasure hunt will begin.
  2. During the search, players are not allowed to speak; or they are only allowed to say certain agreed-upon words, for example: bark, meow, woof, etc. In this case, the team will agree on communication rules during the preparation of the action strategy, for example: bark = have you found it?; bark-bark = not found, and so on.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.

Instructions for the instructor: there are several action strategies possible. Treasure hunting can be done by the entire team together or by dividing the team into subgroups, etc. The gathering place for the treasures must be somehow marked (for example, a team member always stands there and shouts from time to time: here, etc.). Obviously, all aspects of how the team establishes its strategy, how it adheres to it, and copes to collect the treasures, the efficiency of the action (whether the team has collected all the treasures or not, etc.), can be interesting topics for discussing the decryption of the experience and transferring the findings to real-life situations (at the company where the participants work, in the class or school they belong to, etc.). The game can take place indoors or outdoors.


 

12.40. Transport the Bottle!

Materials needed: a glass bottle (preferably without a neck, making the problem even more challenging), a plastic drinking straw, 2 tables.

Game rules: the group’s task is to transport an empty bottle from one table to another, located about 5-6 meters away, without any player touching the bottle. The only available item for assistance is a plastic drinking straw placed next to the tricky bottle; the straw can touch the bottle. Other rules to follow:

  • The minimum distance between any player’s skin and the bottle shall be at least 1 cm.;
  • The straw must not touch itself (so knots or crossing the straw are not allowed);
  • The bottle must not touch the ground, the floor;
  • All players must participate in the transport;
  • During the bottle transport, any players who touch the straw are not allowed to move from their current position.

To find a solution, the group has 10 minutes for brainstorming; the first practical attempt is only allowed after this time.

The game can be played indoors or outdoors.


 

12.41. The Egg in the Nest

Materials required: a ball with a diameter of at least 50 cm partially filled with water, a piece of rope or cord 2-3 m long for each player.

Game rules: the group’s task (with a maximum of 12 players: if there are more participants, the group is divided into multiple teams) is to help a dinosaur mother retrieve her accidentally dropped “egg” from the nest on the ground: that is, to transport a large ball (“dinosaur egg”) from a starting point (a line marked on the ground) to another location about 20 m away, also on the ground (in the nest – visibly marked beforehand), without any player touching the “egg”. The only objects available for assistance are pieces of rope; the ropes can touch the ball. Other rules to follow:

  • During transportation, the dinosaur egg must not touch the ground, any part of a player’s body, or any other assisting objects – except for the ropes;
  • A player is only allowed to touch a rope with one hand;
  • Between any two players, there can only be one rope (meaning each rope will be held by two other players);
  • During transportation, a player is only allowed to hold/touch two ropes;
  • Knotting the ropes is not allowed, neither individually nor between them;
  • All players must participate in the transport.

To find a solution, the group has 10 minutes for brainstorming and practical attempts.

Variations:

  1. Instead of being lifted from the ground with the ropes, the egg can be picked up and deposited on the ropes by a team member;
  2. Instead of a ball, a water-filled balloon can be used (to increase durability, it is recommended to use two balloons, one inserted into the other).
  3. The ball is no longer an “egg”. A line approximately 10 m long is drawn on the ground – the starting-arrival line. About 3 m from the starting line, a throwing point is marked on the ground, and further away, 12-15 m from the line, a marker is placed on the ground (with a hat, pin, chair, etc.) – the turning point. The team gathers near the starting line on the opposite side of the marker, and a few steps away from it, on the same side of the line, the ball and ropes are placed on the ground. The team’s task (all members except for two, called catchers, who remain in place) is, at the signal given by the instructor, to pick up the ball from the ground with the ropes (optionally with the help of the catchers), pass it over the starting line, transport it to the marker – which they will bypass, then return towards the starting line to the throwing point, where the players will throw the ball through the air (manoeuvring it only with the ropes!) beyond the starting-arrival line, where it will be caught mid-air by the two catchers – who are not allowed to cross the line, in the area of the field towards the marker.
  4. The group is divided into 2 teams with equal numbers of members. Two eggs (large balls) are used. A wall (or curtain) over 1.90 m high and approximately 10 m long is needed. Each egg is placed on the ground on one side of the wall, behind a line perpendicular to the wall, drawn on the ground (the starting line). Next to each ball is a pile of ropes (equal to or greater in number than the respective team members). Each team receives the same task: to transport an egg beyond the wall – (approximately) to the place occupied by the opposing team’s egg. The team that first brings its egg to the arrival point wins. At the instructor’s signal, both teams start the action.

Because of the wall, neither team sees the other initially and cannot copy its solution (method of egg transportation) until it is too late – when the faster team turns the corner of the wall, egg and all.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.

Instructions for the instructor: if any rule is violated, the transport is restarted from the starting point. The game can be made more difficult by:

  • Increasing the weight of the ball or its diameter;
  • Stretching a rope on the ground over which the “egg” (and the team) will pass;
  • Installing a horizontally stretched rope at a height of approximately 1.3 m under which the “egg” will pass;
  • Moving the throwing point away from the starting-arrival line;
  • Timing the duration of the game and encouraging players to set records.

The game can be played indoors or outdoors.


 

12.42. Expensive Water

Materials required: a 2-5 litre plastic bottle filled with 2-3 litres of water; a bicycle inner tube (or a hoop, or a newspaper sheet) for each player.

Game rules: the group’s task is to transport the bottle placed on the ground behind the starting line marked on the ground, beyond the finish line (visibly marked beforehand on the ground). Each player takes a bicycle inner tube (hoop, newspaper sheet), then the entire group gathers around the bottle, behind the starting line. After a period of 10 minutes to establish an action plan, at the instructor’s signal, the team begins to transport the bottle.

Rules to follow:

  • All players must participate in the transport;
  • During transportation, players are not allowed to touch the bottle with their hands or arms;
  • The bottle can only be touched by a player who is inside their own circle (or newspaper sheet), placed on the ground;
  • In order to be allowed to participate effectively in the transport, each player must have their soles only inside their own circle (newspaper sheet), which they place on the ground;
  • During contact with the bottle, a player is not allowed to touch the ground outside their own circle area;
  • The circle of a player who does not touch the bottle can be moved;
  • If the bottle escapes and touches the ground, or any rule is violated, the entire group will restart the game from the beginning (from behind the starting line).

To find a solution, the group has 10 minutes for brainstorming and practical attempts.

The route on which the transport is carried out will have a greater length than that obtained from simply placing all the circles on the ground once, meaning each player will participate in the transport of the bottle at least twice. The route may also have various difficulties (e.g., uphill sections) and obstacles (e.g., tables to be crossed over or under, chairs to be circumvented, etc.).

Variations: if the route is short due to local conditions, the task may become to transport multiple bottles.

The game can be played indoors or outdoors.


 

12.43. The Steps of Courage

collaboration games

Materials needed: 1-2 thick ropes or cords, each 40-50 metres long, made from a single piece or joined shorter pieces.

Preparation of the playing area in advance:

In a flat forest area with fairly dense trees, a series of horizontally increasing obstacles are set up. Natural supports for the obstacles are selected from nearby trees, spaced 3-4 metres apart, equipped with branches, protrusions, etc. suitable for climbing. The first horizontal obstacle is created by securely tying the rope between two trees at a height of approximately 50 cm. The rope then wraps around one of the trees to a height of about 60 cm, from where it extends towards a third tree, to which it is securely tied again. This process continues to create a series of increasingly higher horizontal obstacles, with the last one reaching a maximum height of 1.50 metres.

Game rules: The instructor presents the game and the task to the group in a location where the playing area cannot be seen. The group’s task is to traverse a series of progressively more difficult obstacles, with the group deciding how many of them they will cross. Certain conditions must be followed:

  • The group has 30 minutes to complete the game, with 15 minutes allocated for planning and two 3-minute breaks.
  • Before the planning period, the group may briefly see the obstacles, but they are not allowed to have any practical experience. The group decides when to start the action and when to declare that it is finished.
  • The obstacles (ropes) must not be touched while crossing them.
  • From the beginning to the end of the crossing, all group members must maintain permanent bodily contact with each other, either directly or through an “intermediate station”.
  • Players are not allowed to speak at all in the obstacle area after the crossing has begun.
  • In case of violation of any of the three preceding rules, the group returns to the obstacle passed before the last one and restarts the game.
  • Any kind of jumping or leaping over obstacles is prohibited.
  • Climbing trees is the only permitted means of assistance for crossing an obstacle, not the obstacle itself; any other means are prohibited.

Variations: see similar games at #12.12 and #12.22.

Instructions for the instructor: A scoring system can be associated where the group accumulates points for each obstacle crossed, as well as penalty points for each obstacle the group attempted to cross within the allocated time but did not succeed.

 


 

12.44. The Flying Ring

collaboration games

Materials needed: for each team of up to 15 players a set consisting of: several tennis balls, a plastic ring with an inner diameter of 4-5 cm, a piece of rope 2 m long for each player, 2 buckets (or cardboard boxes).

Game rules: If the group is larger than 15 people, two or more teams of 8-15 people will be formed. Each team receives a set of materials.

Each player takes a rope and ties it to the ring of their group. The group’s task is to transport the tennis balls one by one from the starting box and deposit them in the finishing box, with approximately 15 m between the two boxes. The ball will be carried on the “flying ring” supported by the ropes held by the players.

Rules to follow:

  • The ring and balls can only be touched at the starting box;
  • Each team member will hold the rope only from the free end, with only one hand;
  • Balls that fall off the ring during transportation are considered lost;
  • The available time for completing the task is 10 minutes; the instructor can grant a maximum of 5 extensions of two minutes each upon request.

Variations:

  1. Multiple finishing buckets will be provided. The routes between the starting bucket and the finishing buckets can be provided with different difficulties (obstacles, etc.). Accordingly, the balls deposited in each bucket bring the team different scores. Each ball lost (dropped) along the way decreases the group’s score by one point.
  2. Every 60 seconds, the instructor signals, upon hearing which the players swap the ropes they hold.
  3. Half of the players hold the ropes but are blindfolded, while the other half can see and direct them; at the instructor’s signal, they switch roles.
  4. Instead of a ring, the ropes are tied to a marker. Each player receives a card with either letters or words (names of objects – for example, house, sun, car, etc.). The team’s task is to draw either the letters or the sketches of the objects from the cards received on a large card in a maximum of 15 minutes. After drawing a theme, the respective card will be laid down on the ground.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.


 

12.45. The Flying Glass

collaboration games

Materials required: a rope, a bottle, a glass, a plastic tray, a small amount of water, pieces of rope 4-5 m long – one piece for each pair of players.

Game rules: a bottle filled with water and an empty glass are placed on a tray on the ground, in the center of a circle with a diameter of 3 m drawn on the ground (for example, with chalk, or by placing the rope on the ground, etc.). The group’s task is to fill the glass at least halfway with water and transport it from the tray to the destination point, located approximately 5 m away from the tray (possibly placing it on a table, stump, etc.). The bottle and glass cannot be touched with the hand but must be manipulated from a distance using ropes.

Other rules:

  • Each pair of players receives a rope, which each player holds from the other end with one hand, which they are not allowed to change during the game;
  • Players are not allowed to enter inside the circle;
  • The bottle must always remain on the tray, and the glass cannot be removed from the tray until it is filled to be transported to the destination;
  • Spilled water can be replenished.

The group has 10 minutes to think and make practical attempts to find a solution.

Variations:

  1. The bottle is sealed with a stopper equipped with a flip closure mechanism. So, players first have the task of opening the bottle.
  2. At the beginning of the game, after the group’s action plan is established, players position themselves on the field, some around the circle and others between the circle and the destination point. These positions cannot be changed during the game. For this purpose, the ends of the ropes can be passed from hand to hand.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.


 

12.46. Under the Table

collaboration games

Materials needed: 2 sturdy and stable tables, with a tabletop approximately 1×2 m, 8-10 camping mattresses.

Game rules: the two tables are placed on a stable surface (floor, concrete, etc.), with the long sides adjacent and parallel at a distance of approximately 30 cm. Four mattresses are laid on the ground between the legs of the tables, side by side, oriented transversely to the length of the tables, with the area covered by them extending at least 0.5 m beyond the projections of the tabletops on the ground. Then, the remaining mattresses are placed over them, so that over the entire surface occupied by the first mattresses (mainly under the tables) there will be at least 2 mattresses stacked. To increase the stability of the tables (to prevent them from tipping over), the edges of the tabletops can be supported on wooden boxes, etc.

The whole group climbs onto the tables, and the task is for each participant (participation being voluntary) to descend laterally under the table they are on, then to pass under the two tables without touching the ground and to climb back onto the other table, still on the lateral (outer) side. Other rules:

  • The player traversing under the tables will be assisted by teammates who are on top of the tables;
  • During the game, players are not allowed to touch the ground (or the mattresses);
  • The use of any assisting objects such as ropes, bandanas, or straps is not permitted;
  • A player who accidentally touches the ground (or mattress) is entitled to a second attempt.

Instructions for the instructor: the tables must be checked to withstand the weight of all participants, not wobble, sink, etc. Those traversing are allowed to hold onto the tabletops, the table legs, the side boxes supporting the tabletops, and the hands of teammates. A significant challenge is climbing back up onto the second table after traversing under the tabletops.


 

12.47. The Tricky Figure Eight

collaboration games

Materials required: a plastic mat (or towel, newspaper, etc.) for each player, plus an extra one.

Game rules: The team, organized in a line where members hold hands permanently, must navigate a course stepping only on mats and without speaking. The course is shaped approximately like a figure eight (actually the Greek letter alpha), marked on the ground by mats in equal number to the players – plus one. The distance between mats is at most one big step (approximately 60 cm), but it depends (directly proportional) on the dimensions and age of the players. One of the loops of the figure eight is not closed; it will consist of a line of several mats, with the first one being the entry point into the course, and another branch of mats, with the last one being the exit point from the course. At the instructor’s signal, the team starts, and the first person in line steps onto the entry mat. The game ends when the last member of the line steps off the exit mat.

Other rules:

  • There will be at most two feet on each mat simultaneously;
  • Prohibited actions: letting go of hands, speaking, stepping on the ground outside the mats. Any communication must occur in a way other than speaking;
  • If any rule is violated, the course is restarted from the entry point.

Variations:

  • Sitting on a designated mat gives the occupant the right to speak. This way, each player will have the opportunity to express their opinions;
  • Allowing more than two feet on a mat simultaneously;
  • Timing the game.

Instructions for the instructor: Players must assist each other to maintain balance. The problem arises when the head of the line reaches the crossing point of the course (the figure eight), and the line begins to cross itself. Now, non-verbal communication becomes necessary to organize the crossing. This can be done either by one branch of the line keeping their hands low so the other branch can step over them, or by one branch raising their hands while the others pass underneath.


 

12.48. Let’s Carry the Basket

collaboration games

Materials needed: a rubbish bin (for papers) / a bucket, an elastic ring to which 6-10 pieces of rope or string, 2-4 m long, are tied, blindfolds. The elastic ring, made from rubber band or elastic tape rolled into a coil, should have a smaller inner diameter than the mouth diameter of the basket / bucket.

Game rules: The group, consisting of a number of players equal to twice the number of ropes tied to the elastic ring, is divided into pairs, with one member blindfolded. The group’s task (if there are more than 20 participants, the group is divided into multiple teams) is to carry the basket (possibly weighted with a stone / a little water, etc.) from a starting point (a marked cross on the ground) to another location about 10-20 m away, at the destination point (a visibly marked cross on the ground), without any player touching it. The only objects available for assistance are the elastic ring with the attached ropes.

Other rules to follow:

  • During transportation, the basket must not touch the ground, any part of a player’s body, or any other assisting objects;
  • The free ends of the ropes can only be held by the blindfolded players;
  • All players must participate in the transportation.

To find a solution, the group has 10 minutes for thinking and practical attempts.

Instructions for the instructor: Same as #12.41.


 

12.49. The Caterpillar

collaboration games

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: The group lines up in a straight line, players stand shoulder to shoulder facing the same direction. Each player places their right hand on the left foot of their neighbour. The group’s task is to traverse a distance of 10-15 m without lifting their hands from their neighbours’ feet.

Variations:

  • Players hold hands, shoulders, etc.
  • Players do not hold onto neighbours; hands stay at the back of the neck or raised, etc.

Instructions for the instructor: The duration needed can be timed to establish the “record…” The game can be combined with, or continued by, game #7.8, etc.


 

12.50. The Enchanted Rug

collaboration games

Materials needed: a square or rectangular piece of textile or plastic fabric, durable, with dimensions approximately 1.2 x 1.5 m – for a group of 8-12 players.

Game rules: The rug is laid on the ground and the group climbs onto it. The group’s task is to flip the rug without touching the surrounding ground, but each player must always maintain contact with the rug.

Variations:

  1. Players can touch the surrounding ground with other parts of their body, apart from their feet.
  2. The rug has a different shape: triangular, etc.
  3. Repeat the activity by increasing the number of players on the rug.

Instructions for the instructor: The duration needed can be timed to establish the “record…”

Questions for deciphering the experience: Which of you contributed to finding the solution? Who worked effectively to solve the problem?

If the instructor knows that participants at their workplace support two alternatives for solving a particular work problem, etc., the game can be played as follows: each camp writes visibly, in large letters, the arguments they support on one side of the rug. During the game, each camp/group will read aloud the arguments of the others as they disappear/appear through flipping the rug.


 

12.51. Ring Crossing

collaboration games

Materials required: a ring with a diameter of approximately 1 m made from a rope/cord.

Game rules: The ring is placed on the ground and the group gathers around it. The group’s task is for everyone to pass through the ring as quickly as possible without touching it. The ring can be held by a maximum of two team members, who can switch.

For finding a solution, the group has 5 minutes for thinking and practical attempts.

Instructions for the instructor: The duration needed for the team to pass through should be timed to establish the “record…”

One solution to shorten the time can be grouping team members into small groups of two or three colleagues, standing closely together; the groups are arranged approximately in a line (straight or curved). Two volunteers take the ring and move it up and down over the first group, place it on the ground, and the players step outside the ring. The volunteers repeat the action with all the groups until the end – when the two are replaced by another two colleagues (who have already passed through the ring).


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