19 Trust Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

19 Trust Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

Trust means relying on someone’s character or strength, or on the truth supported by someone or something.

Numerous institutions and societal customs teach young people and adults not to trust each other: “that one is dangerous”, or “you’re not allowed to play with him”, and so on. Extremes are harmful: it’s not good to blindly trust someone, as you can easily become a victim of a scammer, nor is it good to be permanently suspicious, as this is also a sign of illness.

Trust games encourage participants to associate and interact, highlighting the achievement of success through cooperation. They represent the pinnacle of collaborative games, requiring more care and attention from the instructor in terms of execution, as well as better preparation for discussing them.

To be safe during collaborative games, students will depend on each other. To succeed, participants will need to trust each other. For many players, this condition can be difficult to accept. When we trust someone else, we expose ourselves to the danger of disappointments, physical or emotional harm. After our trust has been betrayed once, it’s hard to trust others again. And yet, there are situations where trust in others is mandatory, or very important for the success of the group (survival, etc.).

Some games require players to become the saviours of their peers.

IMPORTANT:

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

19 Trust Games for Team Building

14.1. Learning to Secure a Colleague

Trust games

Materials needed: None.

Activity rules: The idea of securing is presented to the group, and the correct posture for securing is demonstrated (see #5.4.). All participants will mimic each movement of the instructor, in turn.

The correct posture for securing is as follows:

  • First, widen your legs to shoulder width (for stability).
  • Then take a small step forward with one foot (this increases stability even more). Palms should be outward at shoulder level, vertical, with fingers up, spaced shoulder width apart. Elbows and knees are bent.

After practising the correct posture individually several times, participants will move on to partner applications. Players will be divided into groups of three with similar weights and heights. Two group members (the rescuers) sit facing each other about a metre apart and assume the correct securing posture. The third member stands in the middle, between the two, rigid and straight as a board, with arms crossed over the chest and feet firmly planted, facing one of the colleagues. Then the person in the middle leans forward, allowing themselves to fall towards the colleague in front. In turn, each rescuer catches and stops the fall of the person in the middle, then pushes them towards the colleague in front, and so on.

If things go well, the two rescuers step back ½ a pace and the game continues.

After a while, the roles are reversed.

The instructor will emphasise the importance and responsibility of securing a colleague, as the game can become dangerous if done carelessly. Emphasise the importance of listening to and following instructions. Participation of players who do not follow the rules of the game or are not attentive is prohibited.

Players will learn to act only if securing commands are communicated correctly. These are:

  1. Rescuer/s say: rescuers are ready!
  2. The one falling responds: I’m ready too, but can I fall?
  3. Rescuer/s say: fall!

14.2. The Willow in the Wind

Trust games

Materials needed: None; optionally, a blindfold.

Game rules: Participants stand shoulder to shoulder and form a circle with a diameter of up to 1.5 metres. If there are many players, several circles of 6-8 players are organised. A volunteer sits in the centre of the circle with arms outstretched to the sides and pressed against the body (or: crossed over the chest, or: arms extended forward with elbows crossed, palms rotated until they face each other, fingers interlocked and palms clasped, then forearms rotate downwards towards the chest and upwards to press against the chest), with the body straight and rigid like a board, and feet firmly planted on the ground. After the securing commands are given (see #14.1), the volunteer slowly falls backwards until caught by someone, who then passes them to the neighbour, and so on, until the volunteer completes the entire circumference.

If the volunteer does not keep their body straight and rigid, or their feet firmly planted on the ground, the game cannot proceed smoothly.

In turn, all players who wish to do so will be allowed to stand in the centre.

Variations:

  1. The volunteer in the centre can be blindfolded;
  2. The players in the circle sit down, hip to hip, resting their feet on the feet of the volunteer in the centre.

Instructions for the instructor: Attention, if players do not know how to secure and the person in the centre falls, there may be physical or emotional accidents! When deciphering the experience, among other things, answers to the questions: what do we learn about others through this game? What have we learned about ourselves?


14.3. The Salami Making Machine

Trust games

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: Two rows are formed with at least 6 participants each, standing face to face at an arm’s distance apart. The players:

  1. Assume the assurance posture, with their feet apart and staggered;
  2. Stand close, shoulder to shoulder;
  3. Extend their arms forward, palms up and fingers reaching the elbows of the person in front; the arms of the neighbours will be alternatively positioned, like a zipper, with all forearms and palms forming a continuous horizontal plane;
  4. Lean slightly back, pulling their heads and chests away from the center of the formation. (Variant: if the participants are more solid, the two rows stand further apart and each player will grab the hands of the person in front. In this case, there may be a danger that the players’ forces are insufficient: the arms loaded with the weight of the teammate may force the partners to clash heads!).

After the organization is complete and everyone understands what to do, a volunteer becomes the “salami” and sits at the entrance end of the “machine”. He announces what kind of salami it is: from Sibiu, Thuringian, Parizer etc. After the assurance commands are given, the volunteer jumps headfirst and face up, with arms extended along the head and body as straight and rigid as possible, on the arms of the “machine”. Then, the players pass the “salami” towards the exit end, moving their arms together slowly upwards and laterally towards the “exit”, then downwards and backwards, all the while singing “salami ……”, as requested by the volunteer. The “salami” will be transported at a constant height, without being thrown upwards, as this action can become dangerous (head collisions, dropping the “salami”).

At the exit end of the “machine” there will be a rescuer who helps the “salami” to fall and stand back up.

The players will stand as close as possible, to avoid letting the “salami” slip through their arms. The first four participants at the entrance end of the “machine” will lean further back to avoid being hit by the “salami” when it jumps into the “machine”. Before entering the machine, the “salami” will remove sharp, heavy, blunt objects from him, or in his pockets (belts, buckles, jewellery, pens, brooches, keys etc.), which could injure the participants. Pay attention also to the elbows sticking out.

Instructions will be clear and concise.

No one jumps into the “machine” until the instructor says “ready, jump”, followed by assurance commands among players (see #14.1).

Variants:

  1. After one round, the group that has shown responsibility in assurance may be allowed for the “salami” to jump into the “machine” taking a run-up of 3-5 m.
  2. In the middle of the “machine”, the “salami” will be turned face down, or lifted slightly upwards etc.
  3. The jump is made from a platform at a height of 1-2 m. (stairs, fence etc.), in which case the members of the “machine” will stand with their bodies turned 45º towards the jumper and one foot forward.
  4. The player falls backwards from a small height: chair, table, log, fence, wall etc., with the body as straight as possible (other conditions as above). Teammates organized as above, catch him and then lower him down, or transport him “out of the machine” (see figure 14.1).
Figure 14.1 Falling with Confidence

Instructions for the instructor: Whenever possible, the game should take place outdoors. The “machine” will be checked, and the formation reconstructed before each “salami” (the fall of each player). At the same time, it will be verified if the participants are attentive.

In deciphering the experience, the importance of trust in teammates for the group’s success will be analyzed, which behaviors increase and which decrease trust, which attitude is more productive: trust or mistrust, etc.


14.4. The Circle of Poplars

Trust games

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: Players sit in a circle facing inward, holding hands. Then, they step back, enlarging the circle until everyone has their arms stretched out, firmly holding onto their neighbors’ hands. The players count aloud: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, and so on. Then the instructor commands: “Number 1s lean forward (or backward)!” The respective players lean forward, keeping their bodies rigid and straight like planks, supported by their neighbors’ arms.

After a while, the number 1s return to the vertical position, and the command is given: “Number 2s lean forward (or backward)!” After several such maneuvers, executed by half of the participants, the simultaneous leaning of number 1s forward and number 2s backward (or vice versa) is commanded.

Variant: Players hold onto each other’s elbows (they cross them).

Instructions for the instructor: Be careful, there’s a high chance some might fall.


14.5. Line Up by…

Trust games

Materials needed: Scarves (headscarves) for blindfolding.

Rules of the game: Essentially, the theme is for all participants to line up following a specific criterion while their actions are restricted in some way, such as being blindfolded. Players will be instructed to adhere to a series of safety rules: to move slowly with hands stretched out in front, not to push, to stop immediately when the instructor shouts “stop” or claps twice, etc.

After being blindfolded, they are instructed not to make any noise or speak during the game, then the rule of lining up is explained to them. From numerous possible variations, here are a few suggestions easily adaptable to the specifics of any group:

  1. In ascending order of height, with the shortest person in front and the tallest person at the back.
  2. In chronological order of birth dates, with the person born closest to January 1st at the front.

Variations: The lining up can be based on the alphabetical order of the mother’s or father’s name initials, in order of weight, shoe length, etc.


14.6. Snake Stripping

Trust games

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: The group is divided into teams of maximum 15 participants each. Each team forms a line. Players sit at an arm’s length from their teammate in front. Then, each player spreads their legs, leans forward, inserts their right hand between their legs, and grabs the left hand of the person behind them. This forms a human chain, with a free left hand at the front end of the line and a free right hand at the back end. The objective is to unravel the chain to form a straight line without letting go of hands, except by simply passing one leg over the two hands being held. A penalty is set for the team that releases hands during the game, for example, starting over from the beginning. Participants are allowed to find the solution on their own.

The team that manages to stand up, holding hands, in a straight line first wins.

Variations: After the snake has been stripped, it can be “dressed” again.

Instructions for the instructor: Attention, some overweight individuals may need assistance.

There are multiple solutions (which should not be revealed to the players. They must figure them out on their own!):

  1. The last person in the line lies on their back on the ground. The next person, standing in front of them, steps back over their body, then lies down with their legs towards the shoulders of the first person on the ground. The other players do the same without letting go of hands. After the last person lies down, they stand up, becoming the first in the final line, then pull the next person up from the ground, helping them stand, and so on.
  2. The last person in the line goes between the legs of the person in front of them, always pulling the next person by the hand, and begins to crawl slowly through the tunnel formed by their teammates’ legs until reaching the front. There, they stand up. The person being pulled by the first player also enters the tunnel, crawling after the person in front, pulling the next one. This continues until the second person from the front end of the line, after which the entire chain becomes a line, standing up, holding hands.
  3. The first player at the front of the line lifts their right leg high and steps over the head of the next person, rotating 180º to face the back of the line. The next player does the same, and so on until the last person.
  4. The last person in the line falls forward and remains lying on the ground, always holding the hand of their neighbour. The next person also falls forward, and so on until the end of the line, after which everyone stands up, rotates, etc.

14.7. Walking on Trust

Materials needed: blindfolds.

Game rules: Players are divided into pairs. One member of each pair is blindfolded. The theme of the game is for the blindfolded person to be guided by their partner on a short journey, which can take place indoors or outdoors. Guidance can be verbal or non-verbal: the blindfolded person holds onto their partner’s shoulders with their hands, or the partner places their hands on the blindfolded person’s shoulders, or the two establish a gesture code: when the partner touches the blindfolded person’s right shoulder, they turn 90 degrees to the right and walk forward, and so on.

Variations: The journey can be organized as an obstacle course (see also #14.9).


14.8. Line of the Injured

Materials needed: Scarves (bandanas) for blindfolding.

Game rules: Players line up holding hands. Everyone blindfolds themselves (they are the injured), except for the first and last in line. The “sighted” individuals lead the line of the “blind” on a journey along a path strewn with pre-prepared obstacles: chairs, benches, tables, doors, trees, pits, bushes, fences, etc. Throughout the journey, all players’ hands remain firmly held. The “sighted” individuals at the ends of the line constantly announce obstacles and guide teammates on how and when to pass them, while the “blind” announce any problems they encounter (“stop!”; “where should I put my foot?” etc.).

The “injured” do not move passively and docilely, but actively participate in solving problems along the way, informing their neighbor of the difficulties they have just overcome (“watch out for a stump”, “I’ve run into a tree”, etc.), or assisting them when needed, etc. Roles change periodically: the players at the ends become “blind”, and two players in the line become “sighted” and will lead the group on the journey.

Variant: the game can also be played: without hands; without feet; WITHOUT SPEECH.

Instructions for the instructor: Clearly announce that anyone who does not wish to participate in the game is free not to do so. However, those who do not participate in the game will be assigned tasks: to ensure safety, to observe, etc.


14.9. The Mined Field

Materials needed: a 25-meter long rope or cord, preferably brightly coloured; 50-100 soft objects, the size of a clenched fist (pieces of polystyrene, foam from plastic packaging, skittles, medicine boxes, etc.); 5-10 pieces of A4-sized white cardboard (at least one piece per two players); a marker pen.

Game rules: Using the rope, mark out a rectangle on the ground with sides approximately 7 x 5 m, which constitutes the mined area (the long sides will not be straight but winding and irregular). One short side and the area in front of it represent the “starting base”, while the other short line and its area in front represent the “arrival”, or “enemy base”. Spread the “mines” across the field so that there are no easily traversable “paths” between “start” and “arrival” without hitting a mine.

Players will establish several objectives (goals) for the group and write them in large letters, one on an A4 cardboard each. All cardboard pieces will be placed on the ground in the enemy base, beyond the “arrival” line.

The group is divided into pairs, with one partner blindfolded as the “soldier” who traverses the mined field, guided by the sighted partner – the “controller”, using only verbal instructions (any touching between the two is prohibited), only from outside the field. After crossing the arrival line, roles switch within the pair: the controller becomes the soldier and blindfolds themselves, while the soldier becomes the controller. The “soldier” takes a cardboard and returns with it to the starting base, crossing the mined field.

The game’s task is for the group (team) consisting of all pairs to bring the cardboard pieces to the starting base (to fulfil the group’s objectives) within a set time. All pairs start simultaneously, at the instructor’s signal, who supervises the game’s progress, ensures rule compliance, and times the action. Each soldier (pair) can carry only one cardboard per crossing. The cardboard can be taken from the enemy base only by the soldier who has crossed the mined field. The cardboard must be carried from one base to another, not thrown.

If the soldier touches a “mine” on the way there, they return to the starting base, roles switch, and the pair starts again. If a soldier returning to base with a cardboard in hand touches a “mine”, the pair returns to the enemy base, roles switch, and the pair starts again.

Variants:

  1. Instead of cardboard (objectives), various objects can be used: coins, cards, etc. (a “treasure”), which players will save by bringing them to the starting base.
  2. Roles within the pair can be retained upon returning.
  3. Various “accidents” may occur: a “communication breakdown”, i.e., prohibition of speaking for a few minutes (maximum two), at the instructor’s signal. The group will know from the beginning that this possibility exists and must prepare accordingly.
  4. The “mines” can be supplemented with larger objects: chairs, books, coat hooks, etc.
  5. Pair members will face each other or back to back, with hands in contact, or possibly embracing (Attention to mixed pairs!) and will go through the route together – but WITHOUT SPEECH.
  6. To increase players’ concentration and involvement, an “extreme game” has been proposed: replacing soft “mines” with ordinary traps (with springs) for mice, armies.
  7. Or, further steps towards a kind of extreme teambuilding:
  8. Crossing the mined field with bare feet! (Beware of accidents!).
  9. Beside each armed trap, a piece of a puzzle is placed. The blindfolded “soldiers” will collect and bring the pieces to the starting base to reconstruct the entire image there.
  10. An acting teacher used the modified “mined field” game as follows: two students were chosen to form the pair that would traverse the mined field with 10-15 mouse traps (“soldier” wearing shoes). The rest of the group watches the crossing; the spectators’ interest is usually very high (similar to gladiator shows). Then the traps are removed, and the pair is asked to traverse the empty field again, mimicking that they still deal with armed traps. Crossing this empty field, talented acting students can keep their fellow spectators on the edge of their seats!

Instructions for the instructor: if resourceful players find “paths” in the mined field that are too easy to traverse, the positions of the “mines” can be changed at any time to make the crossing more difficult. Similarly, when deemed appropriate, the instructor can modify the perimeter of the mined field during the game. (Justification: these changes only replicate real-life situations, where any situation always evolves for the “worse”).

After players are informed about the rules, tasks, etc., the group will have 5 minutes to organize, after which the instructor can give the starting signal.

When deciphering the experience, questions may include:

  • The “mines” represent the obstacles we encounter in our lives that prevent us from achieving what we want; what are these real obstacles for you?
  • We can more easily overcome obstacles when we receive help. How can you get help? How do you ask for help? Are you good at receiving someone else’s help? How do you know? Are you good at helping someone else? How do you know?
  • What can changing the “mines” or the perimeter of the field represent?

14.10. Rolling Game

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: Players lie on the ground face down, pressed against each other, with their heads facing the same direction. Their arms will be stretched out in front on the ground. The player at one end starts rolling over the backs of their neighbors until they reach the other end, where they lie down as an extension of the “carpet”. The next player does the same and so on.

Variations: The group is divided into two teams, which compete to cover a given distance faster, either simultaneously or in turns (against the clock).


14.11. Sit on Lap

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: The participants form a circle, standing shoulder to shoulder with their faces towards the center. On command, all players turn to the right and take three steps towards the center. This way, everyone should have their left toe touching the left heel of the person in front of them. Everyone puts their hands on the hips of the person in front, holding onto their waist. The command is given: 1,2,3. At the time of “3”, everyone sits in the lap of the person behind them, guided carefully by the person behind. The players’ positions are adjusted, and then the process is repeated several times.

Variations: After sitting on laps, everyone applauds (all at once!); or, the circle rotates (everyone moves).

Instructions for the instructor: For the success of the game, it is necessary to have correct alignment of the players in the circle, with the left toe touching the left heel of the person in front.

Ask the participants to sit for 5, 10, or 30 seconds.

For learning the game, divide the group into two teams. Set “records” that the entire class must beat.

This game requires quite a bit of trust between participants, so it should be saved for the end of the lesson.

Players are often greatly impressed by their own success.


14.12. Walking on the Suspended Circle

Materials needed: Two or three knotted ropes (see #18.1).

Game rules: The group is divided into groups of 10-15 players. Each group receives a rope, and then its members form a circle, standing with their faces towards the center, with their arms outstretched, each holding onto the rope which will form a circle. In turn, each player climbs onto the circle. The rope is supported by teammates at hip height, with arms outstretched, knees slightly bent, and the back kept vertical. The player will move along the circle until they return to the starting point, after which they resume their place (and task) in formation. During the movement, the player can lean on teammates.

Variant: The groups approach until their circles almost touch, and the players climb and move from one circle to another.

Instructions for the instructor: In each group, a volunteer will act as a rescuer from inside the circle.


14.13. Spider Web

Materials needed: A ball of thick rope; a roll of adhesive tape; optionally, a few nails.

Game rules: Between two vertical poles placed 6-10 m apart (trees, etc.), a “spider web” is constructed from rope. A horizontal line is stretched at a height of 10-80 cm and another at 2-2.5 m above the ground. Between these lines, a net is arranged (with knots), with mesh openings of 60-80 cm (enough for a person to pass through) – see figure 14.2. The number of mesh openings required is equal to the number of players (if it’s smaller, additional rules will need to be invented – see below).

Figure 14.2 Spider Web

View image source

The group’s task is for all members to cross from one side to the other of the web without touching any threads (as the dragon-spider will catch them!). It’s not allowed to pass outside the web: underneath, on top, etc., nor by jumping. The player who touches the web returns to the starting point and must cross again. Each opening in the web can be used by only one player: after their passage, the opening will be blocked by the instructor with adhesive tape. Players who have crossed the web can help teammates cross, but they must remain only on their side.

After presenting the game, the group has 10 minutes to establish an action plan, then the instructor gives the starting signal (and starts timing).

Variant: the theme can be for the team to thread and pass a long rope/cord through all the openings in the web, then hold it for a few moments without ever letting the rope touch the web, but in the end, all players must be in contact with the rope. The length of the rope/cord must be sufficient to satisfy the theme – that is, passing and standing through all the openings while still leaving the ends long enough. Touching the web with the rope will be penalized by the instructor-referee; the penalty will be established before the start of the game.

Instructions for the instructor: this game is among the most appreciated by students, perhaps even the most attractive. It has a strong visual and emotional impact. Its rules can be adapted to the specific characteristics of any group or session: if there are more participants than openings in the web, passing 2-3 players through the same opening may be allowed (but not all through the easiest opening); touching the web by a player can be penalized by that player returning to the start, or all players who were in contact with them, or the entire team; the opening used by a player can be determined either by them or specified by the group; a time limit can be set; each player must always be in contact with at least one other teammate, etc. These adaptations, or pedagogical “adjustments,” depend on the lesson’s objective, the participants’ level of preparation, their number, etc.

Before starting to cross the web, participants feel the need to organize themselves, perhaps to make one or two attempts, a task that almost everyone does (with more or less efficiency). The problem arises when the partial fulfillment of the initial plan leads to a situation that requires its modification. Usually, the group doesn’t realize the need to stop the action (each staying in place where they’ve reached) to have a new consultation to adapt the initial plan to realities. Other conflicts may arise due to the group’s insistence on solving the task without considering the individual (personal) problems of some players.

The game offers splendid opportunities for discussion during the “experience deciphering”: what’s more important – the individual (team member) or the goal (team task)?; who led the team and why him?; why weren’t measures taken in time to correct the initial plan? what can the web represent? etc.

A group can repeat the game during the same session or another time with new, more difficult rules, such as: stricter penalties for touching the web or imposing some form of disability on one, several teammates, or all members (tying one hand, blindfolding, etc.).

Regarding the game variant – a good way to manage/control the rope is for players to face the web, passing the rope over their back, holding it with their hands and rubbing it against their back when they thread it, just as is done in climbing.


14.14. The Flying Stick

Materials needed: a long stick of 3-5 m (e.g., a plastic tube, a telescopic pole from a tent, etc.).

Game rules: The group is divided into two equal groups, lining up in two rows, with players from one row standing shoulder to shoulder. The players from the two rows face each other but are staggered, at a slightly shorter distance than an arm’s length. Everyone holds their arms raised in front, with index fingers stretched horizontally at the same level (at waist height). The instructor, standing roughly in the middle and behind one of the rows, places the stick on their fingers, keeping it horizontal at waist level. Attention: instinctively, the group will try to lift the stick; the instructor must correct this impulse.

The players’ task is to lay the stick on the ground between the rows without anyone breaking contact with the stick! Each will use both index fingers, held under the stick. No one is allowed to touch the stick with anything else.

The instructor explains the game, then gives the group about 5 minutes to establish a working method, after which the starting signal is given. The instructor supervises the observance of the rules, and if anyone releases their fingers from the stick, the game restarts from the beginning (with the stick at waist level).

Attention: if the stick starts moving rapidly, its end can hit an eye, etc., causing accidents!

Variant: solving can be made easier by starting with the group divided into pairs, each pair receiving a short stick (approx. 0.5 m) to lay on the ground. After succeeding, the pairs group together in pairs (4 players each) with the same task but with a stick of approx. 1 m. Then groups of 8 players are formed, and finally, the whole group gathers together as described above.

Instructions for the instructor: the task is very difficult to accomplish. Solving requires total attention and participation from the players, plus excellent communication. The solution lies in choosing a leader to coordinate the group and give appropriate commands. But the players, who usually all talk at once, find it difficult. Even simply keeping the stick at a fixed height will be difficult to achieve. Due to the group’s failure, the instructor will probably have to interrupt the activity several times along the way to give the players the opportunity to reconsider and modify their chosen working method.

American teambuilding games specialist Tom Heck recounts using the game in a teambuilding session for a company’s employees interested in fostering team cohesion around the company’s operating principles to increase productivity. It was found that although the theme of the game was to lower the stick to the ground, the collective involuntarily raised it! Translating the situation into management language, it emerged that although the company’s principles were appropriate and clear, without certain special measures, the collective would instinctively and chaotically act against them, with all the negative consequences. The measures needed in the company are the same as those needed for success in solving the game: better communication, more sincere and attentive participation from everyone, not blaming others for failure, etc.


14.15. Lifeboat Exercise

Materials needed: two ropes, 6 rings with a diameter of approximately 1 m each, a scarf for each player.

Game rules: the two ropes are laid on the ground, parallel to each other, at a distance of approximately 7 m (or drawn with chalk as two lines). Between them, the rings are placed on the ground in a zigzag pattern, spaced about two hand-widths (approximately 15-20 cm) apart. The scenario is as follows: the group is on a ship that is taking on water and sinking because it has hit an underwater rock. At some distance from the damaged ship is a lifeboat that can be reached. To save themselves, the group is forced to move from the ship to the lifeboat, stepping on the rocks protruding from the water filled with ferocious sharks. The area behind one of the ropes represents the damaged ship, while the area beyond the other rope represents the lifeboat, and the rings represent the rocks to step on. The players gathered on the “ship” stand shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot, then their neighbors tie their ankles with a fairly wide loop. Task: at the instructor’s signal, the group starts to move towards the “lifeboat,” stepping only within the circles. Using other means or objects for assistance is not allowed. If someone steps on the ground outside the circles, the entire group returns to the “ship” and starts again.

Variants:

  1. The crossing can be done within a time limit (10 minutes, etc.), otherwise the tide covers the path of rocks, and the sharks can attack;
  2. Two to three players will be blindfolded;
  3. The group is divided into two equal groups, which start from the two ends and travel the path against time but in opposite directions (how will the groups interact: will they collaborate, or will they act against each other?);
  4. The game takes place in a room where total darkness can be achieved. The group will be warned from the beginning that the light may go out. The duration of darkness will be short: 5-15 seconds.

Instructions for the instructor: the game will be proposed to participants who are calmer, not super energetic. People with ankle, knee, or back problems will not participate. Movement should be slow to avoid accidents.

Regarding deciphering the experience, players will be prompted to say what the “damaged ship” suggests to them (for example: a situation, or an outdated technology, a method hindering development), or the “lifeboat” (for example: an accreditation exam, a new production building, modern technology, or another residence, etc.), or the “path of rocks” (for example: a qualification course, temporary assistance provided by a neighboring production department, etc.).


14.16. The Trust Walk

Materials Needed: A sturdy rope or a long cord of 50-100 meters; blindfolds, one for each player.

Rules of the Game: Choose a terrain with numerous obstacles and uneven ground, along which the rope is securely tied to trees, etc. Participants, blindfolded, take turns walking the route from one tree to another, holding onto the rope with one hand. The instructor commands each player’s departure at intervals to ensure that participants do not collide along the way.

Variations: Players can either be allowed to talk as they walk (thus helping the next player) or remain silent. Another challenge can be introduced if the players are unaware of the route and are brought blindfolded from another location to the starting point, guided by the instructor.

Instructions for the Instructor: Along the rope, warning signals can be set up (knots, pieces of rope, clothespins, clips) which will be specified to the players, for example: 1 knot = attention!; 2 knots = an easy-to-pass obstacle, hole, etc.; 3 knots = a difficult-to-pass obstacle, hole, etc., and so on.


14.17. Balancing on a Wire

Materials needed: A rope or coloured cord, 6-10 meters long.

Game Rules: Players are divided into two equal groups, then each group organises into a line. The two lines are placed parallel to each other, about 3 steps apart, and all players face towards the opposite line, forming a sort of corridor. There should be no more than a palm’s width of space between the shoulders of neighboring players in the same line. In the middle of the space between the lines, the rope (“wire”) is placed on the ground. The last player in each line becomes the “tightrope walker,” who will start from one end of the corridor, walking on the “wire,” with the intention of reaching the other end. The “tightrope walker” will stagger and lean from side to side, being supported and rebalanced by the players on the edges (“props”). The tightrope walker may choose to traverse the corridor with more or fewer imbalances as they wish.

When the tightrope walker reaches the end of the corridor, they become a “prop” again and rejoin the line they started from, and the last player in both lines becomes the new “tightrope walker” and begins to traverse the corridor.

The game continues until all players have crossed the corridor.

Variations: The tightrope walker can have their eyes blindfolded or closed.

Instructions for the Instructor: The game allows for a good assessment of the level of trust between participants. Similar games – see #14.2, #14.4.


14.18. The Caterpillar with Eyes at the Tail

Materials needed: a sturdy rope or a long coloured cord of 50-100 m; blindfolds for each player; optionally, large cardboard boxes, chairs, tables.

Rules of the game: a longer route is set, with obstacles, possibly marked with a coloured rope laid on the ground. The group’s task is to go through the route in detail, respecting the following conditions: all players are lined up, each maintaining contact with the one in front (usually holding hands on the shoulders of the one in front), all are blindfolded except the last in line. The last one can see, observes the route, and guides the head of the column, shouting instructions about what to do, for example: right, left, watch out, there’s a table ahead and you’ll pass under it, etc. The members of the line move, guided both by what they feel their partner in front is doing and by receiving (from the partner in front) or giving (to the partner behind) verbal instructions. From time to time, the instructor signals to stop the advance of the line and to switch the last team member (the one who can see) to the head of the line. For this purpose, the new head of the column is blindfolded, and the new last one removes their blindfold, becoming the one who can see and guide the head of the column.

Variants:

  1. Slalom route: obstacles are set up or provided, which must be avoided without touching.
  2. Route with hindrances: certain portions of the route – not too long and visibly marked – are traversed by squatting, crawling, climbing, balancing on a ridge, etc.
  3. Silent passage: no one speaks, not even the guiding sighted person at the tail. In this case, the group must be allowed at the beginning to establish a non-verbal communication mode between the guide at the tail and the blind leader.
  4. Changing the guide at the tail (and the head of the column) every 30 seconds.

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

Similar games – see #14.7, #14.8.


14.19. The Bouncing Blanket

Materials needed: a circle with a diameter of 2.5-3 m made of textile fabric, with approximately 20-22 gripping devices (handles) attached around the circumference. All materials should be very sturdy: fabric for awning, handles securely sewn onto the hem, etc.

Rules of the game: the group can be composed of a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 22 people. Each member of the group/team – the “flyer” – will take turns standing in the middle of the “blanket” while the others – the “throwers” – grab the handles and stretch the blanket, throwing it up and catching/cushioning the flyer’s fall. After a few jumps, the flyer becomes a thrower again, and the next thrower takes their place on the “blanket”. The throwers will synchronize to stretch the blanket all at once, which will be held at a convenient height to avoid the flyer hitting the ground.


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