Infinite Loops Solution – Rope Handcuffs

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Pairs are connected using the infinite loops, their challenge is to become disconnected from their partner, without removing their hands from the loops or untying the knots. This will get people working closely together and you’ll usually hear lots of laughter as people try to solve this fun and challenging puzzle.




Equipment Required: 2 x single length short ropes with knots tied to each end of rope per pair
Space Required: Small. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 4 to 120. Practice in pairs.

Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 2 minutes to brief and set up
  • 10 minutes to achieve outcome
  • 3 minutes to review

Infinite Loops Challenge Instructions

  1. Tie a loop at both ends of the length of rope. Ensure you have enough ropes for one per person and have a few spare (just in case the knots become loose during task). Note, that the loop needs to be just large enough for someone to stick their hand through.
  2. Participants will be working in pairs during this challenge (if you have an odd number put them into a group of three). One participant places their wrists in the loops,the other then places one of their hands in one loop, takes the other end of the rope and intertwines once with the partner’s rope before placing the other wrist in their loop. You will want to physically show people how to do this to make the process easier for all.
  3. Once the partners are connected, the ropes must remain, at all times, on the wrists they started on. The objective is to get everyone free from their partner.

Rules

  • Your wrist loops must stay on your wrists throughout the entire activity.
  • The shoestring may not be cut (in any manner).
  • The knots must remain tied as they are and you cannot physically alter the ropes or knots or partners.
  • If partners get tangled up it’s allowable to take hands out of the wrist loops and start all over again.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Reviewing performance
  • Persistence

Useful Tips

Completing the challenge involves one person looping the middle of the rope and passing it through one of their partners handcuff or loop. Potentially when separating, the ropes will wrap twice around each other – this happened because you sent the rope to the wrong wrist. Remember to practice and become a master of this challenge.

A variation of this challenge is to put the group together in one large circle (so participants arms are interlocked with those standing next to them). This makes the task more challenging and allows you to facilitate the task so everyone is involved and a greater team bond can be promoted.

This is a great activity for mobile delivery as it’s so small and easy to pack away in a facilitation bag. The task can also be completed whilst sitting on the bus or even the train! Endless possibilities for engaging learners in all environments.




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