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Knots – Free Team Building Game

Duration: 10 - 20 minutes

Intended for:

This free team building game works best with teams of 8 or more and is great for getting the blood flowing and people engaged in working together.

Training course contents:

A two sheet team building game can be downloaded in Word format from the link at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, yo ucan follow the instructions below.

The game itself demonstrates that by working together teams can overcome even the most frustrating of tasks.

Participants – 8 – 20

Purpose – manage, observe, and experience individual preferences toward accomplishing a task. This task demonstrates that by working together a team can achieve even the most frustrating of tasks.

Learning Points – supporting, coaching, influencing and encouraging positive behaviours are all part of good team work.


  • Have the group stand in a tight circle with shoulders touching.
  • Everyone puts one hand in the centre and takes one hand from someone across the circle.
  • Everyone puts their second hand in the centre and takes someone else’s hand across the circle.
  • No one should be holding the hands of anyone next to them, or both hands of anyone else.
  • Explain task; “Untie the knots as fast as you can.”
  • Emphasise rule, “The hands may not break contact, though you may rotate your grip.”

Managing the activity – occasionally two circles are formed. Sometimes the circle will break out separately and sometimes they will be interlocked.

If you wish to avoid this, at the very beginning, ask the one person to start by squeezing the hand of the person in their right hand. The receiver passes the squeeze to the next person, and so on. If the squeeze returns to the original person without touching everyone, there is more than one circle.

Occasionally you will have an overhand knot, which cannot be undone without breaking a pair of hands. It’s often fruitful for a team to struggle with trying to undo an overhand knot.

When there is only 7 or 8 participants remaining, the leader should join the knot to provide adequate challenge. If the group is too small it won’t work. You need at least 8 people for this activity to be effective.


Use this free team building game to show that supporting, coaching, influencing and encouraging are all part of good teamwork.

The team building game would work particularly well with the following Trainer Bubble training course materials…

Coaching Skills for Managers – Training Course Materials

Team Building – Training Course Materials

Great Leadership – Training Course Materials

You can download this free training game by clicking on the download now link on the bottom right of this page.

Knots – Free Team Building Game


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