Human Maze

Type of Activity: Trust                         

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Large open space. Plays well with 16 to 25 for 30 to 40 minutes. Pair up your participants (if you need to make a group of 3 make sure this group is the first to negotiate the maze – in this way they will be the first and the last group to negotiate).

Process: Initially, designate half the group (half the pairs) to be the maze and the other half to be the negotiators of the maze. Each maze pair will create a certain obstacle negotiators have to get through - forming tunnels, turns, step-overs, etc. Maze pairs should be far enough apart from each other so as not to create a “clog” in the maze. The negotiator pairs include one participant with his eyes closed and the other participant (eyes open) being the guide – who guides the blinded participant through the maze obstacles. The sighted guide is only allowed to give verbal directions to her unsighted partner. When the maze is ready to go the first pair of negotiators begins the maze. After they are through the first obstacle the second pair begins the maze as the first pair proceeds to the next obstacle and so on. When the first pair negotiates all the obstacles in the maze the unsighted participant can open his eyes. This pair then becomes an obstacle in the maze for the following negotiators. Back at the beginning of the maze, when the last pair of negotiators from the first group of negotiators completes the first obstacle, made by a pair from the first group of “mazers,” this pair of mazers (who were the first obstacle) become negotiators – they start to negotiate the maze with one unsighted participant and a guide (you may want to go back and diagram that if it would help!?). So, the idea is sort of a leap-frog action. If you have the room the maze may turn out to proceed in a line of obstacles or if you are in a closed area the maze would take on a circle form. To review, after negotiating the maze, and there are no more obstacles ahead of you, you become a part of the maze. When there are no more participants waiting to negotiate your obstacle your pair becomes negotiators. This cycle happens twice so both participants get the chance to go through the maze unsighted.

Note: As the facilitator you might need to help the group keep track of where the maze begins (if the maze forms a circle) so participants know when to transition – the line maze is self-evident.

Variations: Partner Walk is where a sighted participant leads her unsighted partner through a natural obstacle walk like through a wooded path or configuration of furniture in a room or physical education equipment in a gym.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What did you like about this activity?
  • What feelings did you experience?
  • Why is it important to build trust in the group?

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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