Standing in a circle, participants hold onto a looped rope with both hands at waist-level. The trainer will then call out different shapes, and the team has to form those shapes without letting go of the rope.
Resources: A length of rope. When tied into a circle, it should be long enough for all members of the team to hold on to with both hands while standing in a circle.
Space Required: Small, indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 6 – 12 is ideal.
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 5 minutes to brief and setup
- 10 minutes for the activity
- 5 minutes to review and debrief
Running the Activity
- Explain the activity: Instruct participants to arrange themselves in a circle, then introduce the circular length of rope. Participants have to hold on to the rope with both hands at waist-level and cannot let go at any time during the activity. The trainer will call out different shapes which the team has to form.
- Once they are ready, start the activity. You can use different variations, depending on how well the team completes each shape/round.
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- Listening skills
- If the team has no/little difficulty forming the shapes, make the shapes progressively more difficult, or try the activity without talking.
- You can conduct a few rounds with a time limit (e.g. the team has 2 minutes to form a star)
- After a few successful rounds, you can also conduct the game with the participants being blindfolded. This will challenge the participants to communicate in more detail and listen more closely whenever someone speaks.
- When conducting the blindfolded version, another variation is to appoint a leader to direct the team to form the required shape. This helps develop leadership and communication skills.
Suggested questions to ask:
- How important was communication? What’s effective communication?
- Did you identify a leader? If yes, how did having a leader help?
- How well do you feel you worked as a team? What did you do well? What could you improve?
- What did you learn from the challenge?