Back-to-back skills

Back-to-back skills

Creating and facilitating an outdoor activity usually requires a lot of space. Still, what can be a good alternative when the space you have is limited? The next activity can be a solution in this case.

Name of the activity: Back-to-back skills
Duration
: 1 hour
Preferred location
: the participants can have this activity both outside and inside.
Working method
: learning by doing and teamwork, focusing on communication (groups of maximum 4 people).
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): improving communication in small groups, improving teamwork, learning how to understand the needs of the other team members.
Materials:
LEGO, game cards, papers, blindfolds.
Instructions:
– divide the participants in groups of 3-4 people, each group will receive the same amount of materials;
– all group members will research (figure out) something they want to build with the material that the group received and show it to the other members;
– there will be 3-4 rounds (depending on the number of participants in the group) of 10 minutes each, during each round one of the participants will be blindfolded and the other will have to give him instructions in order to build what he/she did show them at the beginning of the activity;
– only the blindfolded participant is allowed to touch the material;
– when one round is over, you check how similar the two creations are (the one that was just created and the original one), then each group has 30 seconds to demolish the construction before the next round.
Debriefing
: After all the rounds are completed and each of the group members did both build and give instructions, there can be a short closing to reflect on the activity together with all the participants:
– what did work when you were building?
– did you have clear instructions?
– what did work when you were giving instructions?
– did you manage to make the other person build what was supposed to be built? If not, how come?
– how was the communication in the group?
– what could you do differently?
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances
: if you have more space you can have the same activity with bigger groups using ropes/woods to create something bigger. To make it more challenging you can also make some variations in the rules (A can be blindfolded while building, B is the only one who can talk but he can’t give instructions, C can’t talk but he is the only one who can give instructions). Also, the activity can be done in such a way that the groups have to build something of your choice which can be more or less complex depending on the group and on your goal.