Type of Activity: Trust

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Need an area large enough for your group to line up in. Ask the group to get into a Chicken Dumplings formation (see The Chicken Game in Get To Know You’s) and then close their eyes.  Works best with 12 to 25 participants for 15 to 20 minutes.

Process: Explain to the group they are to remain where they are with their eyes closed until you take them by the shoulders and gently lead them to a new location. As you move each participant whisper a number in their ear that they are not to share verbally with anyone else in the group. Once all the participants have been placed (not close, but not to far away from each other), then explain that they must keep their eyes closed until you indicate it’s time to open them and they can not share their assigned number using the “spoken” word. The challenge for them is to line up numerically and then “prove” to you that they have indeed accomplished the task before they can open their eyes or talk again. So, in short, you will be assigning a number (1 to however many) to each participant while they have their eyes closed. When each participant has a number they can begin to get themselves in number order without using any sort of language. Then, in some way, they must prove they are in order before the facilitator gives them instructions to open their eyes.

Warning: Since participants have their eyes closed make sure they are using the “bumpers up” hand position and watch for strays as they play – always keeping things safe. We like to use a “FREEZE” command for emergencies that requires all participants to stop. When the safety issue is corrected the game can continue.

Variations: Another classic blind line-up activity is giving every participant the name of an animal (one that makes a sound is best) and have the group line up smallest to largest animal by noise – more than one participant can have the same animal noise.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did you communicate your number to the group?
  • What feelings did you experience?
  • What was frustrating about this activity?
  • What would you do differently if you were to do this again?

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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