Custom Built Team Building and Leadership Initiative Training

Snakes – A Trust Team-Building Activity That Focuses On Non-Verbal Communication

Number of Participants: 2-30
Time: 10-15 minutes
Activity Level: Low – Moderate
Props: Blindfolds, Throwables, Buckets, Rope/Tape for barrier

Objective: For every member of the team to place a throwable into the bucket.

Set Up: Create a large circle barrier with the tape or a rope. Place a bucket in the middle of the circle. Toss the throwables randomly inside the barrier.

Ryan Eller

Description:

*****It is very important to ensure and instill a sense of trust within the group before attempting this activity. Please do not try Snakes before building trust on a smaller/safer level. Sequence several build-up trust activities prior to Snakes.

Depending on the amount of people in the group, ask the participants to get into teams of 5-7 people. Ask the participants to stand in a single file line and place their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. All participants will be blindfolded except for the person standing in the very back of the line. This is a no-talking activity, but allow the group to take 1-2 minutes to pre-plan.

The person in the back of the line will guide the participants around the circle barrier by simply tapping the shoulders of the person in front of them, who will tap the shoulders of the person in front of them, and so on, until the person in the front of the line will move towards a throwable. When a throwable is approached, the person in the front will grab the throwable and then be guided to the bucket where they will drop the throwable.

When a participant drops the throwable into the bucket, they will then remove their blindfold and move to the back of the line and become the sighted team member. The person who was in the back of the line then puts on a blindfold.

Continue this process until all team members have placed a throwable into the bucket. If there is more than one team, the first team to finish is the winner and then should encourage the other teams until they are finished. If the teams are uneven, the team with the least amount of members will continue to rotate until they have dropped as many throwables into the bucket as the largest team would have to drop into the bucket.

Check out the video below to see the activity in action:

Have you attempted this activity? What are your thoughts on using trust activities as a team-building exercise?

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3 responses

  1. Nice. I love it. It’s new to me, and with permission, would love to add it to playmeo’s activity library. Already, I can think of several variations, such as (1) the group not starting as a connected line (they simply stand some distance away from the bucket, blindfolds on, and are then challenged to complete the task as a group). And (2) successive people joining the back of the line keep their blindfolds on. Question – can people talk during the exercise?

    May 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    • Mark! Of course you can add it to playmeo’s activity library. I also appreciate the variations, I have typically only facilitated the activity as it is written above. I usually do not allow verbal communication, but I think the activity would be just as effective with verbal communication, especially with your variation. I am excited to try it!

      May 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  2. Not going to lie, I was incredibly nervous and a bit hesitant to do this activity at first.
    I don’t like not knowing what is going on, but it was such a great way to deepen trust among our group.
    Definitely enjoyed participating.. Did not enjoy almost walking into the wall, and super grateful that you stopped us. 🙂

    May 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm

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