Ropes Game

Description: A simple game where people pair up within a team to co-create a rope structure, in silence.

: To train participants in co-creation and fast, collaborative learning; and to show participatory leadership.

Time: Allocate 30 mins


  • 3-4 ropes per group, each one 1.2 metres long. Not too thin, so they won't form too tight a knot. Marine rope should be perfect for this.
  • Small coloured cards - 3 cards of different colours for each group
  • Marker pens - 1 per group


Work with no more than 5 groups per instructor/host.
Form groups of 6 minimum, 10 maximum.
Be clear on what you want to harvest.  This will determine the questions you ask.  Possible questions could be:

- What did you learn about leadership?
- What did you learn about co-creation?
- What did you learn about creating a space for learning?

The Game

  • Partner up with someone different from yourself.  Stand at each end of a rope.
  • Co-create a structure at the centre of your circle.
  • Hold on to your end of the rope, and don't switch hands.
  • You must be silent, but you are welcome to move.
  • Use as much rope as you can. Each person should only have about 10 centimetres of rope left.
  • When the group has made their structure, look at it, and quietly ask the group to unwind it.
  • Once a group has unwound their structure, invite them to sit down, and give them the 3 coloured cards and a pen while they are still in a circle.
  • "You can speak now! Discuss quietly with your group the questions, and write your group answer on the three cards."  (5-10 mins - sense when they are ready)
  • As a larger group, spend 5-10 minutes harvesting the learnings from each group.

Alternative: Try it with dance music!

Resources required: Games Resource List (PDF, 124 KB)