Rope Knots Game


This is a fun variation to the popular game human knot, where people grab each other’s hands and try to get untangled – in this game there is less human contact, so it is less threatening but still a real challenge for all involved.

Equipment Required: Long rope
Space Required: Medium. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 8 to 20 ideally.

Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief and set up
  • 10 minutes to achieve outcome
  • 5 minutes to review

Rope Knots Game Challenge Instructions

  • Tie an overhand knot in the rope for each person that is in the group (12 participants = 12 knots). Space the knots about two feet apart.
  • Tell the each person to select a knot on the rope and stand by it on either side of the rope.
  • Next up, tell them to grab the rope on either side of the knot with one hand. Some people will grab further out from their knot than others, but that is okay.
  • Now challenge the group to untie all of the knots without anyone letting go of the rope or without moving the hand that is placed on the rope (participants may use only their free hand to untie knots).
  • You may set this activity up by having the group think of things that are “knots” for the group that need to be “untied,” or have the knots represent problems for the group that need to be straightened out.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem Solving
  • Support
  • Planning

Suggested questions to ask in the review:

  • How many sub-groups were working on the challenge at once?
  • Did anyone step up and lead the task?
  • How did the group plan for the challenge?
  • When your side of the rope was untied, did you help the others on your team in any way, or did you just wait for others?
  • Are there any “knots” on your team that need to be untangled?


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