You may begin is a fun pairs fun activity which builds confidence and communication skills.
- Sharpens listening skills
- Encourages trust
- Great for outdoors
- No props
Have the group form into pairs. One way to divide members is to is to get people with the same number of letters in their name to form a pair. Tell everyone to spread out evenly but ensure that each pair stays about 10 metres from their partner.
Then taking turns, have one of the players close their eyes or blindfolded them. They must then call out to their partner “You may begin”. The partner who can see, must move as quietly as possible and approach their blindfolded partner.
The player who can see has 60 seconds, within this time they must get as close as possible to their blindfolded partner and touch them on their shoulder. They must try and accomplish this before their blindfolded partner senses where they are. The blindfolded player is usually surprised when their partner successfully touches their shoulder. The partner must do this without being detected, and when successful may cause a few shouts and yells, expressed by their surprised teammate.
If at any time the blindfolded player thinks they can hear exactly where their partner is, they can point in that direction. However, they are only allowed a maximum of five attempts to detect their correct location.
As soon as the blindfolded player has successfully detected their partner, or when the player who can see successfully touches their partner’s shoulder, that round is finished. The pair now needs to exchange positions.
Contextual Framing Ideas
Do you find it strange that some people can appreciate a horror movie? Even though they are frightened at times, and most probably have a good idea what will happen next. This exact same feeling will surface in this activity, as the blindfolded partner will be startled when their partner actually touches them on the shoulder, even although they are fully expecting it to happen.
It is common knowledge that a dogs hearing is far more sensitive than ours; in fact, they can pick up sounds 4 times further away than us. Although very loud noises can be uncomfortable for them, softer noises that escape our hearing can easily be sensed by our canine friends. How sensitive is your hearing? Although this is not a hearing test, this activity will definitely show how sensitive your ears are. See what different kinds of sounds you can pick up?
Step-by-Step Instructions for You May Begin Activity
- Get your group to break up into pairs.
- Let one of the partners move about 10 metres away from the other but remain in full view.
- Have one of the pair close their eyes or wear a blindfold. They must then call out “You may begin”.
- It is then up to the person who can see, to approach their blindfolded partner as quietly as possible and touch them on the shoulder. They are only allowed 60 seconds to do this, without their partner detecting where they are.
- The blindfolded partner is also limited to 5 attempts, they must try and detect where they think their partner is.
- The game is over as soon as the seeing partner touches the blindfolded partner without being detected, or if the blindfolded partner is able to successfully detect where their partner is.
- You can play the game for as long as you like, allowing the partners to change roles after each successful round.
Facilitators and Leaders Tips
Playing this game outside is best, as it makes it more difficult for the blindfolded partner to detect their partner’s movements. Playing the game inside on a solid wooden floor is not such a good idea, as it makes too much noise.
For larger groups, you will need a much bigger area for the game, as it becomes very difficult for the blindfolded partner to distinguish all the sounds, especially those of their own partner.
You can make use of blindfolds, but just getting the partner to close their eyes will work just as well. Should they cheat and want to take a quick peek, then exercise the participate by choice option. Participants can choose if they wish to continue playing or not.
Due to the fact that half of your group will be blind during the course of the game, it is advisable to first get the group to participate in any activity that focuses on this fact. This game is very good in building trust between partners in the group, but one little silly episode could destroy that trust in a moment.
Make it clear that as soon as the blindfolded partner thinks that they know where their seeing partner is, they must point in that direction with a straight arm and not bent.
Debriefing and Refection Strategies
Here are a few questions to ask the group, which will help them to process their experience of ‘You may begin’
- What did it feel like sneaking up on someone who was unable to see you? Why?
- How did it make you feel when you were aware that there was someone out there creeping up on you, and you were unable to see them? Why?
- What was the main challenge in this activity for you?
- Was it difficult to sort out all the noises around you and to focus only on your goal?
- What will this mean to your group as a whole?
Popular Variations of You may Begin
- Limited Guesses: Limit the blindfolded partner to only two or three guesses.
- Time Trial: The seeing partner must try to touch their blindfolded partner as quickly as they can without being detected.
- Aquatic Challenge: Try this activity in the water, like a swimming pool.
- Detection Minefield: Put a blindfold on a number of people and then let them spread out over a fairly large area. Get a seeing person to try and cross from one end of the area to the other, without being detected by any of the blindfolded participants. Limit the blindfolded players to a maximum of two or three guesses.
- For a similar guessing game try the game “Ghost” which is suitable for smaller groups?
- For more blindfolded challenges that can build trust between its group members try “Human Camera” or “Hug a Tree”.