Blindfold Obstacles Activity
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- Stepping out of your comfort zone
- Team building
- Problem solving
- Building Awareness
- Organisation and strategy
- Risk assessment
- Building trust
Divide the group into teams and blindfold them. Teams must then follow a route holding onto a rope. They will be passing around a number of obstructions in the way. Confidence, encouragement, teambuilding and clear communication are the keys to successful completion of this exercise.
temporary fencing stakes,
course obstacles (tires, cargo netting, soft floor mats, etc)
Medium size preferably Outdoors.
Maximum of 15 participants (per facilitator)
Total Time: 65 minutes
- 10 minutes to brief and set up
- 20 minutes Introductory Game and task review
- 25 minutes on main challenge
- 10 minutes to review and debrief
Hand out the blindfolds. Brief participants to take care when moving about and to use their hands (touch) to ensure they don’t bump into other participants
Running the Blindfold Obstacles Activity
Ensure you have adequate space for this activity and the area is free from any type of hazards (empty field is ideal).
Blindfold Introductory Game (Optional)
- Get the group to stand in a straight line (side-by-side) facing you.
- You will give the group a series of commands and all they have to do is follow them. Commands include: forwards, backwards, right, left, turn 180 degrees, etc.
Example command instructions: everyone take 5 steps forwards, everyone take 3 steps to your right, turn 180 degrees, 2 steps to your left, 5 steps back, etc.
- Do this without using any blindfolds to start with, so they can see where they’re going they should all end up in a straight line.
- Give this a try again but this time wearing blindfolds. Give out 15-20 commands and then get participants to remove their blindfolds.
- Hopefully they should be spread all over the place and nowhere near a straight line as before.
- Bring everybody back for a quick review and discuss:
- How they felt during the challenge?
- How difficult was it without their sight?
- What did they have to rely upon for guidance? o Why didn’t they end up in a straight line?
Blindfold Obstacles Activity Instructions
- Introduce the activity: Your team will be taking part in a blindfold challenge course. The key to the activity is for the group to communicate effectively and work together as a team.
- Organise the group into a straight line (standing behind each other). Explain safety points to the group (see below) and then hand out the blindfolds.
- Ask participants to place their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. You will then guide the leader at the front of the line towards the challenge course using a bag or something they can hold on to (you can use the blindfold bag).
- Once they are at the course, ask participants to let go of their teammates’ shoulders and hold the rope either to left or right of them (depending on how you set up the course).
- The group can now begin the course; just ensure they follow the rope at all times.
- Keep an eye on the group and monitor for safety and anyone who strays off track. If they are struggling then you can help them. However, try not to interfere and allow the group to explore the course working as a team. This activity is about self-discovery or rather team-discovery.
- Once they have completed the course, move them to an area away from the course, so they can’t see what it looks like. Get them to create a team chain (hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them) and follow your guidance.
- After you have reviewed the activity, go back to the course and allow them to see what it looks like. They’ll be pleasantly surprised that it is pretty basic and a lot smaller than they imagined.
Rules of Blindfold Obstacles Team Building Activity
- Teams need to hold onto the rope at all times.
- You may not overtake. You need to remain in the same position, if not told to do otherwise.
- You need to follow the rope, so if the rope goes high or low then you must go high or low.
- At any point in the game, if you receive instruction to stop, you need to obey and stop and wait until you are told to continue.
- Your blindfolds need to remain on at all times unless you are told otherwise.
Course Setup of Blindfold Obstacles
You need to choose a suitable area for your course trail. You can then erect some wooden poles, placed in the ground, or just make use of trees in the area. Tie the rope between the poles or the trees. If you are going to make use of trees, you need to examine the area to ensure there is no possibility of any danger. Hazards could include things such as, fallen branches or thorn bushes.
In the case of bad weather or if there is no other alternative, this challenge can be conducted indoors. All you need to do is connect the rope between various objects. However, it is advised to take the game outside, as it makes it so much more interesting and challenging.
Map out your course trail by making use of ropes. Allow the trail to run over different areas e.g.:
- over grass or lawn
- let teams crawl under a fishing net
- make them pass over something soft such as floor mats or pillows
- let them step between some motor car tyres
Try to be original and make use of whatever resources you may have at hand.
Blindfold Obstacles Activity Guidance and Notes
The supervision and safety of the team is vital. If they should come upon something on the trail that could pose a safety threat, you need to be there and warn them, or help them to pass safely over.
In many cases, the person that leads the team, just rushes off at a speed and leaves huge gaps. If this does happen, allow the behaviour to continue for a time, and then stop the exercise until the whole team has caught up. Let this be a learning curve for the team and stress that they need to work together as a team.
Try to make the activity more interesting by including some sound effects. You can try making some animals sounds or maybe something like crushing dry leaves. Some facilitators make use of water, but this is not suggested, as it could pose a safety issue. If you are determined to use water, then just splash them with it and don’t throw it over them.
Finding yourself running out of time during your programme and not able to complete the whole challenge? You could then lead the team straight into the night trail course and bypass the preliminary activity.
Debrief and Review of Blindfold Obstacles
Here are some questions you can ask the team to help them process the game of Night Trail:
- When you were blindfolded, how did it make you feel?
- Was there a section of the activity that made you feel frustrated?
- Did your team convey information correctly while doing the activity?
- Did you assist in backing up the other members of the team?
- Did you have confidence in your team? Did you ever step out of your comfort zone during the activity?
- Did leadership play a vital part during the activity?
- Was feeling and hearing vital while busy with the activity?
- If you could use only one word to explain your experience, what would that word be and why?