Indoor challenge course

Indoor or versatile challenges

Spotting Practice

Set up: Have the team split up in to groups of three, it is best if the groups contain people who are roughly the same size.

Description: Have two group members stand next to each other while having a third stand in front of them. Have the two spotters assume the spotting position. Spotting position is: one foot back and hands up, actively waiting and ready to catch someone should they fall. The person in the front will fall back; the proper falling position is: feet together, body straight, and arms crossed over the chest. Before they fall, the person says “Falling” then the outside people say, “Fall On.” The spotters should catch the person and the person in the middle should be able to fall back with no issues.

Purpose: To practice spotting and to work on trust.

Safety Point: It should not be a game to see how far you can let some one fall before they get scared.  Everyone needs to be paying attention.

Debrief: Was it difficult to trust? Why was it hard for some and not others?

trust fall

Set Up: Find a location for people to fall from that is about chest level for most people in the group, the ground around the fall point needs to be level and clear. (A picnic table in the pavilion or a stage work well.) Have the group form two lines facing each other, arms out palms up so that their finger tips are almost touching the person across from them. To form the strongest net-of-arms each person should have two arms in-between their own; one arm from the person across and to their left and one arm from the person across and to their right.

Description: Have one person at a time climb up on to the fall point. Have them stand with their body straight, their arms crossed over their chest, and their back to the spotters (the people catching). When they are ready to fall they will call, “Falling” and the spotters will call, “Fall on”, when they are ready. Now the person falls.

Safety Points: Not all groups should be trusted to be able to do this. The commands are very important and need to be stressed. Also the faller needs to know that it is very important for them to stay straight and arms crossed, if they fall seat first instead of straight all of their weight falls on a few people and they may be dropped. If they do not keep their arms crossed they will hit someone.

Debrief: Why was this hard for some? What helped people get over their fear? Relate this to life

hot chocolate river

Set Up: Carpet Squares, pink markers upstairs in the gym or start/stop markers for outside

Description: There is a hot chocolate river that the group needs to get across. Start with every group member on one side, the goal is for them to make it across to the finish. The group must use the carpet square "marshmallows" to safely transport members to other the end. The squares cannot be scooted, slid, or jumped to. If you are not in contact with a "marshmallow" you lose it. Give the participants disadvantages as needed, ex no talking if they've done this before.

Purpose: Team work, communication, leading. How do you get everyone across in one trip?

Debrief: Was that hard? How were you able to get everyone across? What did you learn about communication? How would this help you to work as a team?

traffic JAM

Set Up: Set out a line of carpet squares: one per participant plus one extra, so for a group of 10 you will put out 11 squares. Have everyone stand on a carpet square leaving the empty one in the middle. Note: The longer the line the harder the challenge, so some groups should be split into a few smaller groups instead of attempting one line.

Description: Everyone on the right end of the line needs to get to the left end and everyone on the left end need to get to the right end. There can only be one person on a carpet at a time. No one can ever go backward, if you are trying to go the right you can NOT move left. A person can only pass up to two people at a time.

Purpose: Problem solving, good for brainy groups, how to deal with frustration, patience, and listening.

Debrief: Was this hard? Why? What did it take to make it happen? How can we relate this to life?


Set Up: Grab a hoop + your group

Description: Have the group stand in a circle and put the hula hoop in the middle. Have everyone put their index fingers on the hoop and have their hands start at about chest height. Emphasize that they must have their fingers on the hoop at all times, that they should have their fingers upright in “finger gun” positions, and that they can’t grab the hoop. The goal is to get the group to lower the hoop to the ground. Watch as the hoop goes up over and over until they can figure it out.

Purpose: To show them that they have to work as a team. Even if they appear super easy on the surface, things might be difficult.

Debrief: What made this hard? Did this go as you expected it to? How does this relate to your life? Blaming others or accusing people is never helpful to the situation.


Set up: Have the group stand in a circle, then have everyone turn to their right, (they should see the back of the person in front of them.)

Description: Have everyone raise their right hand, then lean down and put their right hand between their legs. Now, extend their left hand to grab the right hand of the person in front of them. Place the hoop over one person’s arm to start, then the group must pass it along the circle. The trick is that they need to maintain the connection, if they let go the hoop restarts.

Purpose: Everyone is important, team work, breaking the personal space bubble.

Debrief: Why did we have you do this? What things were you uncomfortable with? How does this relate to your life?


Set Up: Tie a rope into a circle, have the group hold the rope, and blindfold all of the group members.

Description: Tell the group to make a triangle, when all of them unanimously think that they have it let them look. Have them put their blindfolds back on and have them make a a perfect square, a five pointed star, etc. letting them look after they think they are finished with each.

Purpose: Problem solving, team work, communication skills, a natural leader emerges.

Debrief: What made this hard? What were important skills useful in solving this problem? How are these skills important in life?


Set Up: Set out two ropes tied together in middle making an X. Set a hula hoop under the middle. Divide the team in to four groups.


Description: Have each of the groups grab on to one of the four sections of the rope. They get one point every time the middle passes outside of the hula hoop.


Purpose: To see how long it takes for them to figure out that they are one team, not four, and start working together.


Debrief: What did you learn? Do team members sometimes work against each other? What situations have you been in that relate to this?


Set up: Have everyone hold on to a rope and put a non-leader at the front of the line. Give everyone but the first person in line a blindfold.

Description: The facilitator silently leads the person without a blindfold and that person leads everyone else. They go under, over, around, and through obstacles.

Purpose: Leadership, communication, and trust.

Safety point: Leaders or facilitators should be posted at dangerous places along the way to ensure the guest’s safety.


Debrief: Was this difficult for everyone? (Usually it is easiest for those right behind the leader or right behind someone who will speak up and give instructions.) How is this like life?


Set up: Tie a rope between two railings or poles just high enough so that no one in the group can step over it without almost touching. Have everyone stand on one side of the rope.

Description: The group has to get over the fence, the rope, without touching it or the poles it is tied to. Also, everyone needs to be holding hands the whole time. If they touch the rope, poles, or break hand contact they have to start over.

Purpose: Teamwork & trust building.

Safety Point: Do not let them run and jump. Everyone needs to help with spotting. Stop them from trying dangerous ideas.

Debrief: What did you learn? How can it be applied to life? Are there ppiritual parallels?


Set up: Everyone needs a partner and a blindfold to make into handcuffs.

Description: One person ties the blindfold on both wrists, while their partner ties it only on their right wrist. Then they should put the blindfold through their partner’s and tie the free side to their left wrist. The “handcuff” should now be connected for both partners, with them crossing in the middle. The object of the challenge is for the two people to find a way to disconnect without taking the blindfold handcuffs off or breaking them. It is possible!

Purpose: Problem solving, understand it is okay to ask for help, closeness, good for couples.

Debrief: What did you learn? How does this help in your life/relationship?


Set up: Have the group split into pairs. Pick a designated space that they will have to cross for this activity, it should be clear and open.

Description: Have each pair face each other, then carefully sit down on each others feet and interlock their arms. The object is to move from point A to B inch worming. If they become disconnected they must try again. Tell them to be careful so they do not hurt their partners feet or pull their arms hard. Also make sure they are watching out so they will not collide with another pair.

Purpose: To get the team out of their comfort zone, good for younger kids.

Debrief: What did you learn? How does this relate to your life?

line DANCE

Set up: Have the group stand in a line facing forward, feet to feet and holding hands with the person in front of and behind them. Mark a start and an end that the group must cross together.

Description: Have the group walk together as a team and attempt to the area without breaking connection of their hands and feet. See if they can make it across to the finish without disconnecting, and restart them when they break apart. Make sure no running or recklessness happens so they don’t fall or get hurt.

Purpose: Team work, Communication.

Debrief: What made that difficult? How does this have anything to do with your life? How did you feel when other people broke the connection? What do you think God feels when you break the connection you have with him?

life raft

Set Up: Lay out a tarp or a sheet/blanket.

Description: Have the group attempt to get every member onto the tarp at once. Everyone must have their whole bodies on the tarp, without touching the ground surrounding the tarp or falling over. After they have proven they can fit and are stable enough (about 5-10 seconds,) have everyone get off. Fold the tarp in half and have them try again. Keep going until it is impossible for the group to fit. Make sure you are watching and spotting wherever needed. There should be no sitting on shoulders or anything dangerous to make the group fit on the tarp.

Purpose: Create closeness, problem solving.

Debrief: How did everyone factor into the situation? Did people get sacrificed? Was this frustrating? Why does this relate to your life?


Set Up: Have the group get in a circle and stand with them holding a tennis ball.

Description: There will be a name game. To start say, “My name is ____,” and throw the ball. Whoever catches it says, “Thank you ___, my name is _____.” Then they throw the ball to someone else. This continues until everyone has caught the ball. The last person returns it to where it started. Then the ball gets passed around the circle again; however; the ball must go in the exact order of the first attempt. Therefore, it is very important that everyone remembers two things, who they received the ball from and to whom it was passed. The facilitator times each attempt and asks, “Can we do it faster?”

Purpose: Teamwork, value all ideas, trial and error, and impossible is possible.

Debrief: What did you learn? Are all ideas important? What about the ones that did not work? Importance of step by step improvement

t.p. shuffle

Set up: Have the group stand on a log/bench/edge facing you.

Description: Split the group in half. Have one group stand on the left of the log and the other on the right. The groups must cross over to the opposite side of the log, crossing over each other, without falling off or touching the ground. If someone falls, they must return to the start of their side, and no progress can be made while someone is off the log, (everyone is paused until the fallen person is back on the log.) An extra challenge to the task is that no one can talk.

Purpose: Show how important verbal and nonverbal communication is.

Debrief: What made this difficult and why? How does this relate to life?

pot o' gold

Set up: Grab multiple ropes, and fill a bucket with items of various sizes and weights, (Try to make the bucket as unbalanced as possible.) Disable different members of the group by taking away the use of some legs, arms, eyes, and speech, etc.

Description: As a group, with disabilities in place, walk to the element. Once you get there, place the bucket in the middle of the area with a rope circle around it. Without entering the circle, they must retrieve the bucket using the ropes provided.

Purpose: Can force non-leaders to lead, and leaders to follow. Everyone is important and equally useful. Good body of Christ examples can be pulled.

Safety points: Watch the group carefully to be sure everyone makes it to the element from where they were given disabilities safely.

Debrief: Was it hard? Why? Body of Christ examples, we all have different gifts. Point out how those who were not used to their potential could have been.  


Set Up: Find the black crate full of random items + instruction cards. Spread out the items across the basketball court. Have the group stand behind the end line of the court. Choose two people, one to be the communicator and one to be blindfolded and complete actions.

Description: Have the group minus those two volunteers stand behind the line of the basketball court. Next, have the communicator face the group, with their back to the rest of the court. Put the volunteer who you blindfolded in the middle of the court with items all around them. Inform everyone that the Communicator can talk, but no one else from the group can. Instruct the group to get the communicator to tell the blindfolded person what they need to do, but stress the fact that they cannot use any words and they must stay behind the court’s line. Pick random instruction cards and give them to the group one at a time. Give the group an opportunity to switch out the volunteers if they would like. Feel free to mix up the items on the court between cards to make it harder.

Purpose: To show how hard it can be to communicate, and that not everyone communicates the same way.

Debrief: What made that difficult? Communicator: how did you figure out what you needed to tell the blindfolded person? Group: how frustrating was it when the communicator didn't understand what you tried to tell them? How did it feel to be blindfolded?


Set up: Move the checker pieces out of the way if necessary and have the group stand all together on one side of the grid


Description: Use one of the grids to determine the "safe" path across the minefield, do NOT show the grid to the group. The group must get every one to the other side. Mines are hidden throughout the grid and it is not possible to jump over squares or skip any rows. When someone touches a mine they lose the use of that limb for the remainder of the game. Each member can lose both arms and both legs before they are "dead" and must be carried to the end by one of the group members when everyone "alive" is safely across. Only the person in the front of the line can test squares to see if they are safe or not. People from the back of the line may move forward but only as long as they do not touch any unsafe squares. It is possible to blow up on the same mine twice, so make sure the group knows to pay attention because you won’t tell them if they already tested one.

Purpose: Build team work, problem solving, memory.

Debrief: How does this relate to your life? What did you need from your teammates to succeed? What did you have to be willing to give? How did teamwork help?

Minefield grids

Example paths for the minefield grid.