SES Volunteers Association of WA

One Association - Many Values

Team Building

Blindfold Rope Square

Outline:

A short exercise that forces small teams to communicate when they can’t see one another or their progress.

The challenge is to take a length of rope and lay it out on the ground to make a perfect square.

Throughout the task, all team members must wear blindfolds.

This training resource is also available as a PDF.

View PDF

Resources:

People Required:
Participants: min=12 max=50

Timings:

Set-up: Up to 15 min
Running/De-brief: 30 min – 60 min
Pack-up: Up to 15 min

Pre-work

None

Hazards and Risks:

Specific Safety Notes: In addition to standard safety practices:

Specific Safety Notes: In addition to standard safety practices:
  • Check that the space you intend to use is safe i.e flat, free of furniture and glass etc.
  • If the group size exceeds 12 consider running the activity with several teams at the same time.

Key Learning Points:

Equipment and Layout:

  • Provide a suitable length of rope 10 meters is ideal
  • Provide sufficient blindfolds for all team members

Instructions:

  • Give each participant a blindfold
  • Explain that this is a task that requires effective verbal communication
  • Position the participants in the area where the activity will take place
  • Ask them to lower their blind folds over their eyes and turn around until you say stop (allow them to rotate a sufficient amount so that they become a little disorientated)
  • Silently lay the coiled rope within reach of one of the participants
  • Explain that you have positioned the rope on the floor and that on your command they must locate the rope and work together to position the rope in the shape of a perfect square on the floor
  • During the exercise be prepared to intervene if a participant could hurt themselves.
  • Allow the group to say when they have finished, if everyone is in agreement ask them to remove their blindfolds
  • Congratulate success or ask them what they might do differently if there is still room for improvement
  • If required give the group a second opportunity to complete the challenge

Additional Notes:

  • The most effective way to measure the rope for this task is to fold the rope in half twice, creating four equal lengths.

Review and Conclusion:

  •  Ask how it felt to be asked to carry out the task blind
  • Ask who were the leaders
  • Ask how each participant’s confidence felt at the beginning of the task
  • Expand on the above to identify what led to rises and dips in confidence.