A list of games that will get your challenge course going.

all up

Set Up: Have the group sit in a circle facing each other, holding hands, and touching feet with their neighbors.


Description: The group has to stand up without breaking feet or hand contact.


Purpose: To show that everyone must do their part if a team is going to work. Ice breaker.


Safety point: NA


Debrief: What had to happen to make this work?

animal names

Set Up: Paper, markers, and pens.


Description: Have all members answer this: If you were an animal, what would you be and why? Write each person’s animal on paper and attach it to them.


Purpose: Ice breaker, all of us are unique and valuable individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.


Debrief: Discuss everyone’s choice and the strengths and weaknesses of the animals chosen. Do some weaknesses also serve as strengths? Is one animal more important than others or are all important?

hog call

Set Up: Give blindfolds to everyone. Have everyone pick a partner and pick an animal noise they both can make. Send one partner to each side of the basketball court.

Description: Have everyone put on their blindfolds and then mix up the group on one side, then go across to the other group and mix them up. When you say go, everyone needs to start making their animal sound in order to find their partner. As soon as they find their partner they can wait off to the side until everyone has finished. Do it again but instead let them pick a celebrity as their code word.

Purpose: Communication, getting closer to a partner, letting people get comfortable with each other.

Debrief: How hard was this? What made it fun? How does this relate to our lives?

human knot

Set Up: Have everyone stand in a circle.


Description: Everyone sticks in their right hand and takes hold of someone’s hand. Now everyone sticks in their left hand and takes hold of the hand of someone different. Now try to untangle the knot without breaking hold of hands, twisting is okay. If successful, one circle, multiple circles, or a circle with a knot will result.


Purpose: Discovering that some problems are more difficult than others and that it takes determination to solve harder ones. Teamwork.


Safety Point: Be sure that the group is being careful not to hurt anyone.


Debrief: Are some problems harder to solve than others? Are some problems really two or more different interrelated problems? How are hard problems solved?                                                           

human machines

Set up: Spilt team into groups of five or six.


Description: Using their bodies, each group is to create a functioning machine.


Purpose: Use imagination, bring imagination to reality. How to do this as a team. Fun to do.


Safety point: Watch the groups and make sure they are not planning to do anything dangerous, like throwing someone or making a sky scrapers.


Debrief: What happened? What did you learn?

rock, bridge, tree

Set up: Split the team into two or more lines facing forward.


Description: The first person in each line is a rock. The second person is a bridge, the third is a tree and so on. The first person runs out and becomes a rock, the second person runs out jumps the rock and becomes a bridge, the third person runs out jumps the rock, goes under the bridge, and becomes a tree. The fourth person runs out jumps the rock, goes under the bridge, around the tree, and becomes a rock, and so on.


Purpose: Ice breaker, loosens up the group.

rock paper scissors splits

Set Up: Have everyone pick a partner, then gather round to hear/view instructions.

Description: It's just like regular rock paper scissors (RPS), but with a twist. Have the pair face each other and line up their feet heel-to-toe. Then they should line up their toes with their opponent. Now they will play RPS and the person that wins will take their FRONT foot and put it behind their back foot. The loser will slide their FRONT foot to touch the other person's toe. This will keep going back and forth until someone is unable to reach without touching the floor or not being able to get back up. The winner will then put up their hands and the loser will become their biggest fan, cheering them on. Winners will find other people with their hands up facing off until their is a final round, and then the last person wins it all.

  Purpose: Having fun and getting everyone to cheer people on.

Debrief: How did it feel to have everyone cheer you on? Should we all support each other even when we didn't get our way?

skin the snake

Set up: Have the group form a line.


Description: Each player reaches between her legs with her left hand and grabs the right hand of the person behind her. Now the last person in line lies down on her back. The person in front of her backs up, straddling her body, and lies down on his back right behind her. This continues as the whole team waddles backwards down the growing line. When the last person to lie down has touched his head to the ground, he gets up and starts forward again, pulling everyone else up and along. Hands must remain connected at all times.


Purpose: Ice breaker, OK to get close, team work, and cooperation.


Safety point: Be careful not to step on each other.


Debrief: What was hard about this? Were all players equally important?

tin can pass

Set Up: Team sits in a circle.


Description: Using only their feet, the team must pass a can around the circle with out letting it touch the ground.


Purpose: Find a successful way to overcome difficulty. To work together. To have fun.


Debrief: How many ways did you try? Was everybody able to do it the same way? Was there leadership?