Blind Retriever Game
Blind Retriever is an entertaining but interesting blindfold game. Groups are divided into smaller teams and will be competing against each other. The object of the activity is to retrieve colour balls that represent their teams, the first team to do so wins. Teams will choose a member who will then be blindfolded, each team member must then direct their blindfolded team mate towards an object.
1 x blindfold per team, markers,
colour balls to retrieve (can also be anything else like a plastic, etc)
Medium/Large. Indoors or Outdoors (the bigger the space the better).
8-24 per instructor
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 5 minutes to brief and set up
- 20 minutes to achieve outcome
- 5 minutes to review and debrief
Running the Blind Retriever Activity
- Risk assess the activity area and remove any potential hazards. Lay out a start line on the ground using marker cones or a rope.
- Split your group into smaller sub-teams of between 4-6 participants, so if there are existing teams from other activities the team may have sub-teams.
- Explain the activity: One person in each team will be blindfolded and will be given instructions by a team member to try and find an object. The team that finds the object first scores a point. The team with the most points at the end of the activity wins the challenge.
- Get each team to line up in a straight line, one behind each other facing you. The participants at the front of the line will be blindfolded first and the person behind them will give them directions.
- After the game is complete, the blindfolded participant moves to the back of the line and everyone else moves up a space. The person giving the instructions now becomes the blindfolded participant.
Rules of Blind Retriever Activity
- When shouting out commands to the blindfolded participants, only one member of each team can do so at a time.
- The blindfolded member is the only one who can move forward past the start area.
- Blindfolded members are not allowed to run.
- Each team cannot distract or give false direction to other blindfolded participants not in their team.
During the Blind Retriever Activity
Have all teams go through a few rounds, after which, allow them to discuss their progress. Have them talk about what they think was the mot difficult part of the challenge and how they can go about improving their performance.
Most of the time, participants will discuss how difficult it is to understand their team members instructions. This is because everybody is shouting out different instructions at the same time, making it very confusing for the blindfolded participant to move forward.
What is the lesson objective: Understanding the difference between what we consider to be communication versus successful communication.
After each team reviews what difficulties they encountered, allow teams about three minutes to come up with more effective commands. To make it more challenging, teams are only allowed to make noises and cannot use words as direction.
Once everybody is ready, start the challenge over. Have them go a few rounds, after each round allow teams to discuss their strategy and see if they can come up with an improvement. The main objective here, is to teach participants how important it is to review and examine things, so they can do better. Reviewing is also a great reflective tool, while another great learning outcome for this activity is team work.
Safety aspects of Blind Retriever
- Make sure to clearly mark out boundary lines
- Those who are not blindfolded must support their blind team members and try to avoid any hazards.
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- Cooperation and team work are very important
- Clear communication
- Developing trust
- Encouraging members to review and discuss problems
- Developing leadership skills
Activity Guidance and Notes
Those facilitating the activity should place themselves strategically, so as to be in the best place, in order to ensure the safety of all participants. During the activity, if any of the blindfolded participants should move in an odd direction, you should stop them and give then a nudge back in the correct direction.
The challenge can be made even more difficult by moving the object everyone is after a few times. For instance, if a blindfolded team member is nearly at the object, grab it and place it somewhere in the opposite direction. This can make it a bit more fun but be sure to only do this once or twice, as members will become very frustrated and the game will lose what fun it had.
During the review process in-between rounds, teams had to come up with their own sounds which would direct their blindfolded team member. You will find that teams may come up with similar sounds and a lot of the time forget what sounds go with which command. Allow teams to change up their sounds and commands for each round. This is what makes the game entertaining and you can discuss these issues during the review time, after the challenge.
Debrief of Blind Retriever Activity
Here are few questions to help participants process their experience of Blind Retriever:
- Were you able to place your complete trust in your team mates to guide you successfully to the object?
- Did you find it difficult to understand your team members commands? Did you find a better way?
- Can you give the definition of communication versus effective or clear communication?
- What plan did you come up with? Who in the team came up with the ideas?
- Was there a leader who took charge of the challenge?
- When it came to discuss and review the challenge, did the entire team participate? Do you think this was important?