In the Blind Shapes Activity, the participants are blind folded, and each team is given a piece of rope. The team members then need to form a shape using the rope they have been given.
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- The activity focuses on clear communication
- Encourages cooperation and trust
- Enhances problem solving skills
How to facilitate the Blind Shapes Activity
Divide groups into teams and have them stand in a line. Place a rope in their hands, they must now form a shape with their rope, which is identified by the facilitator.
Resources: Blindfolds (for each person), 6 – 8m of rope
Space Required: Medium. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 8 to 15 ideally.
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
- 5 minutes to brief and set up
- 10-20 minutes to complete activity
- 5 minutes to review and debrief
Step by Step instructions to facilitate the Blind Rope Activity
- Ask the group to line up in a straight line and give everyone a blindfold to put on.
- Get participants to put their hands in front of them and then place the length of rope in their hands.
- Now give them a shape to create with the rope. Start with something simple such as a square. When the team feel they have completed the task, they can take off the blindfolds on your command to check the results.
- Allow time to reflect on the task and review with the group. If time permits, give them another shape to form (triangle, hexagon, or octagon).
Rules of the Blind Rope Activity
- Those holding the ropes must use both hands for the challenge, it is not permitted to let go for the duration of the activity.
- Blindfolds must remain in place and cannot be removed until instructed to do so.
- If anybody fails to follow the rules, all participants must begin the challenge from the beginning.
Facilitators and Leaders Guidance
The activity is fairly simple to begin with, but you can make it more challenging by informing the group they are not allowed to speak to each other while completing the challenge. Other ways to make the Blind Shapes more challenging include:
- Set a time limit for participants
- Have members form two shapes from the same length of rope.
This activity can be quite challenging, so if there are children participating, only blindfold a few of them that feel comfortable doing it with a blindfold. Larger groups can easily be divided into smaller teams of 8 up to 15. Teams can then compete against each other or you can easily provide different shapes for each team.
Debrief and Review
Here are a few questions which can help the group process their experience of Blind Shapes:
- Did you feel nervous about being blindfolded?
- Was the experience frustrating in any way?
- Did the team communicate well?
- What was your plan for creating the different shapes?
- Did you discuss your strategy with the group?
- Was there anybody in the group who took up a leadership role? Was this person selected by the group?
- Do you think leadership was important for this challenge?
- Can you tell me what you think the difference is between communication and clear or successful communication?
- Thinking about your experience, was there anything you learnt from it?
Variations of Blind Shapes Activity
Select a volunteer from the group and either show them of tell them a specific shape. Others in the group are not allowed to know what the shape is. The selected volunteer then stands in front of the group with a blindfold on. They must then try and communicate to the group what shape you were shown, without actually saying the name of the shape.