Blindfold Building

By Meg Duff, Marketing Manager, Playworks

playworksforeverykid_logoBlindfold Building is one of my favorite games from the Playworks Games Guide, both because it gives kids an opportunity to work together and problem solve, and because it is super flexible: It works just as well for two bored kids and one adult as it does for a whole gaggle of cousins over the holidays. It is also a great way to get kids moving when they are cooped up inside.

The goal of the game is for the group to successfully “build” a shape out of rope — blindfolded. Participants can discuss solutions among themselves, but must nominate just one person to ask the leader for feedback. The representative can ask up to three questions before the group reveals the final shape.

Category: Active Play

Target age: 8 and up

Skill level: N/A

Materials: Stuff you probably have at home

Prep time: 1 to 30 minutes

What You’ll Need

  • You’ll need blindfolds for each participant and a rope. The rope should be long enough for each participant to hold on with both hands. In a pinch, I’ve used a long piece of yarn for rope, and pillowcases with safety pins make great blindfolds.

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The Activity

Before you start:

  • Before each round, help the group pick a representative: the only person who can ask the three questions allowed during the game.

  • Have your group begin in a straight line, blindfold them, and lay a rope out by their feet.

  • Make sure everyone understands the game and rules.

How to play:

  • On your signal everyone picks up the rope at their feet

    Hands must remain on the rope; they may not let go of the rope for more than two seconds.

  •  Instruct the group to form a shape (square, triangle, circle, etc)

  • Through their representative, players may ask the leader three questions during the game

    The leader will repeat the question so that everyone can hear and then give the answer.

  • When the group feels they have completed the task, have them drop the rope at their feet and take a step back

  • Ask the group if they think they have successfully made their shape

  • After you get all of their answers, have them remove their blindfolds

Variations:

  • Challenge the group with complicated shapes 

    Around the holidays, try a star, a tree, a dreidel, or even a turkey; failure can be just as fun a success as the group laughs over the resulting blobs.

  • Consider facilitating a role reversal, with the grownups blindfolded and the kids calling the shots

    At a family gathering, this can be a great way for kids to engage with adults who may not consider themselves “kid people.”

Good to know:

  • Tailor instructions as needed

    Some groups will collaborate well from the get go, but for some kids, communicating through or as a representative will be a learning opportunity. Think about where kids need to grow, and tailor your instructions accordingly.

    For example, I knew my friend’s son might not naturally ask other kids for input, so when describing the roles, I told him, “As the representative, you are the ears of the group; your job is to ask questions and listen so you understand where your group needs help.”

More fun:

  • Check out the Playworks Game Library

    The Playworks Games Library has hundreds of games for kids of all ages. Here are a few others that are great to play at home:

    TomatoA fun indoor game that requires quick thinking; no materials required.

    Indoor HopscotchIf the weather outside is frightful, bring hopscotch indoors — delightful!

    Wright Family VacationKids listen carefully to the story of the Wright Family Vacation, and act when they hear the key words.

    Shadow ShadowKids become real-life shadows as they continuously follow a partner without running into him or her.

    Snake: This is a very simple and fun way for kids to learn the eye-foot coordination needed to jump rope.

    Mystery CreatureKids ask yes-or-no questions to discover the mystery animal.

    Trust Falls: You’ll need a faller, a catcher, and lots of trust.

Trust-Falls

Share a photo and win!

Share a photo of your family doing this activity in the comments on our Facebook post or on Twitter with #31DaysofPlay! Every Friday we’ll choose one photo from the week to win a Toca Boca Play Kit full of swag, stickers, and a $15 iTunes Gift Card.

About the Author

Meg Duff, Marketing Manager, Playworks

Meg is passionate about growth, groups and play.