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Communication, Coordination and Cooperation Games

What kind of communication occurs in a group? How do the group members coordinate and cooperate with each other? Who coordinates and who lets themselves be coordinated? How can good communication lead to a quicker goal? These games encourage working together, teach social skills and strengthen team spirit.

  1. Always in a Rectangle

    All players are blindfolded. All hold a rope and must try to make a rectangle. Then they can make a circle. Which team can make the best rectangle or circle? The rectangle or circle can be drawn on the ground and a corner/starting point/endpoint can be shown.

  2. Spider Web

    Between two trees or posts, make a web with a rope. The goal is for all players to go from one side of the web to the other. Of course, the web must not be disturbed and each opening in the web can only be used once. Be careful that no one falls as they cross through the web.

    Purpose: A strategy is developed together, the solution to the problem is worked on together and that no one can solve the problem alone.

  3. Stand Up

    Two players sit back to back with legs stretched out in front of them. They must try to stand up without using their arms. Purpose: working together to reach the goal.

  4. Sit on Laps

    Everyone stands facing in the same direction in a circle. Everyone then tries to sit on the lap of the person behind him. Everyone stands facing in the same direction in a circle. Everyone then tries to sit on the lap of the person behind him. This is not too easy and the circle can fall apart anywhere.

  5. Skiing

    Two long wood boards with loops with enough room for 3 to 4 people are used as skis. The skiers must work together to ski a distance of 5 to 15 meters and then ski back to the starting point. Use a stop watch to time each team. Purpose: Players must plan and move together to reach the goal.

  6. Tightly Tied

    A rope is tightly wound around the players in the group. The group must stay together and walk through and free themselves from the rope. Purpose: Coordination of the players movements. Attention: It is possible that minor injury can occur as players may fall over each other. This might happen with groups that are not well coordinated in their movements.

  7. Stretcher Carry

    The group makes a stretcher out of two round pieces (branches) of wood. They can only use the available pieces of clothing to complete the stretcher. One of the group members must be carried about 10 meters on the stretcher. How long will it take the group to do this?

  8. Attention! Carton

    The group is given a carton (banana carton or moving carton). On this carton, everyone must find a place. It doesn’t matter how. What possibilities the group might use are not told to them.

    Purpose: The group must work together to find a answer to this problem. A game for thinkers and people with ideas.

  9. All Together Now

    The group stands in a row with a balloon wedged between each players belly and the next players back. The group must no move all together and not lose any balloons. Purpose: Movement coordination and group feeling.

  10. Water Cup and Bottle

    This game is difficult and requires concentration and coordination. There are a few easier variations for younger children. A circle is drawn on the ground measuring 2-3 Meters. In the middle of the circle place a bottle with water in it and next to it, an empty cup (with a rim). No one is allowed to enter the circle. Two players stand across from each other and receive a string. Now, with the help of the string, the group tries to get the water out of the bottle and into the cup. If the cup is filled half-way, then it must be transported to another circle or a nearby Table.

    Purpose: Timing, coordination and concentration.

    Easy variation: The bottle is tied at the top and the bottom with 4 strings. The cup is also tied at the top and bottom using 2 strings. The idea now is the coordination of movements: tip, pour, hold, lift transport, and move.

  11. Balancing Act

    One person must go from one place to another without touched the ground. Two people hold a sturdy pole (about 2 Meters long and 10 cm around), or a Fest table bench about 50-60 cm above the ground, balancing the player on it as he goes to the next place.

    Variation: If the player gets to the next point, the next player tries to do it too. How far can the group go? Purpose: Balance, concentration.

  12. Marble Race

    The group builds a marble track so that two marbles can start together but take different routes to the finish point. The track can be made of wood, with sand, or in winter, with snow. Glass marbles or small/big plastic golf or tennis balls can be used.

    Purpose: Joint solving of technical problems, creativity and ideas.

  13. Rescue Island

    Two tables are placed apart in a room. Every player gets a carpet square (a chair can also be used). The players spread out in the room. Players pretend they are on icebergs and must get to the safety of the island (the tables) without touching the floor. Variation: Only one player can be on an iceberg at one time. An iceberg can only be moved if not occupied by a player.

    Purpose: coordination, working together and solving the problem together.

  14. Screaming – Blaring - Screeching

    Team A stands in two groups about 20 Meters apart. Team B stands in the middle of the two groups. Group A is told a word and all must call out this word to Group B. Team B tries to prevent Group B from hearing the words by screaming, shouting and screeching. How many words can get through in a defined time? Teams then switch positions.

  1. Musical Chairs – a little different

    Chairs are set up in a row back to back. Players walk around the chairs in a circle. When the music stops, players must jump up on a chair. More than one player can be on a chair. After every round, a chair is taken away. The goal is the group can find room on the leftover chairs and the group reaches it’s goal together. The game is over as soon as a player can not find a spot on a chair.

    Purpose: only together can the goal be reached through togetherness and holding on to one another.

  2. Blind Water Bomb

    One player is blindfolded and puts on a helmet with a pointy thorn on it. Player #2 directs player #1 to a hanging water balloon where he tries to break the balloon. This is a communication game with water effects.

  3. Market Barkers

    Two players pretend they are market barkers and must ‘scold’ each other for at least 60 seconds, or out boast each other about a product they both want to sell.

    Purpose: Think about what was said and how and why it was so.

  4. Better than Eddie Murphy

    Two players sit across from each other. They must tell each other stories, but there can be no break in the talking. (Breathing pauses are allowed.) The loser is the player who ‘breaks’ from telling his story.

    Purpose: Some people like to talk and don’t give others a chance.

  5. Group and Outsider

    One player is chosen who has good self confidence. This player takes the role of “outsider”. The rest of the group plays: “Meet, greet and hug”. All players walk about the room, shaking hands, greeting one another, and hugging each other. The “outsider” tries to do the same, but the others ignore him or move away from him to avoid contact with him.

    Special Tip: There should already be a high level of trust in the group. Players can switch to play the “outsider” role. No player should be chosen for this role who is not fully part of the group. At the end of the game, discuss how the “outsider” felt and how the other players treated him and how they felt about it.

    Purpose: The group learns that even outsiders” belong in the group and contact shouldn’t be avoided.

  6. Balloon Trip

    A few players find themselves in a balloon that begins to sink. Everything that could be thrown overboard has been thrown overboard. Now it must be decided which player will jump overboard. This games purpose is discussion and the art of discussion. Who is more important and how and against whom will the majority vote. As soon as a majority is reached, the chosen player must jump out. Then the next round begins. At the end of the game, everyone discusses what happened. How did the individual players behave, and how did they argue for and against each other?

    Group relationships and the role of the individuals in the group can be clearly noted. Care should be taken that no one is insulted or hurt by any comments that could be made.

  7. Blind Grabs

    One player from each of three teams (Apple, Lemon, Orange) is blindfolded and walks up to a table where apples, lemons, and oranges have been placed. The players can only take the fruit of their team and place it in their basket. The other players in their teams can call out and direct the player to the right fruit.

  8. Solidarity

    Groups of two players each are made. Either between the backs of the hands, or index fingers, or knees, a beer coaster (or a piece of paper, or a pen, or a block of wood) is held between the two players. Both players must move through the room without the object falling. The better the players can coordinate and react to their moves, the bolder the tasks can become. The game can also be played blindfolded.

  9. Turn the Blanket

    The group sits on a blanket. The blanket can be folded so that there is only enough room for all players (increases difficulty of game). Now the group must turn the blanket without getting off of it.

    Purpose: Helping and supporting, agreeing and coordination.

  10. Caterpillar Walk

    The players form a line like a long snake. Everyone takes a leg of the player in front of him and holds it in his hand. Then everyone hops at the same time after the first player (who is a leader) hops.

    Purpose: Group feeling, coordination and group decided movements lead to the goal.

  11. Lower the Pole

    A pole (broomstick handle) lays on the fingers of the players and must be lowered without any player letting go of the pole.

    Purpose: coordination and joint decisions of movement lead to the goal.

  12. Dumpling Grandma

    All players stand in a circle. Then they all walk to the middle until there is no more room. They close their eyes and hold the hand of another player. The knot must now be undone, making one or more circles, without letting go of the hands.

    Purpose: coordination and communication lead to solving the Gordian Knot.

  13. Building

    the group is provided with building or crafts materials. The group can build something using the materials, but speaking is not allowed.

  14. Pullover or t-Shirt rally

    You will need a large pullover for this game. The first person pulls the pullover on, on the signal and grabs the hands of the next member of the group. The rest of the group members then help the first person to remove the jumper and pull it onto the next player without them releasing their hands. How long will the group need for the pullover to be passed on to all of the players?

  15. Meter stick

    In this co-operation game, the whole group is only allowed to touch a meter stick with one stretched out finger. The meter stick can be lifted and lowered while the group tries to make it through an obstacle course. A referee watches over the proceedings to check that all group members remain in contact wither the stick.

  16. The group feeding

    Each member of the team receives a spoon and a bowl of muesli. Everyone sits at a (round) table. One arm is held behind the back and the other can only be moved in a 90 degree angle. In this position, it is impossible for someone to feed themselves. The emptying of the bowls only works if the neighbours feed each other. A referee makes sure that everyone keeps their arms at a 90 degree angle.

  17. Mine field with mouse traps

    Approx. 10-20 mousetraps are placed in a playing field. A blindfolded player must now to make it through the playing field without being caught in one of the mousetraps. The other team members guide him through the field by shouting instructions from the edge of the area. The players should wear stable shoes for this game.

  18. Defusing bombs

    The group is not allowed to come within 3-4 meters of the object (=bomb). A safety ribbon is used to cordon off the area which is not allowed to be entered. You can use a pot, bottle or box (as a platform) as the bomb. This is then lifted up on 4 strings, is transported 20 meters without touching the ground and is laid down in a target area.

  19. Operation Baywatch

    Several swimmers must be saved. The lifeguard throws a rope to a member of the group who ties the rope around himself and lets himself be pulled in by the lifeguard. Then the rope is thrown to the next person who is also hauled in. How quickly will the group manage to all be safely back on land?

  1. Co-ordination

    In this co-ordination game, one player stands with each foot on a board. A rope is tied to both boards. The player lifts on leg, the group pulls the board along a little and the player puts his leg down again. Then it is the other leg’s turn. How long will the group need to transport their player over a marked out distance? A referee makes note of any contact with the ground and deducts points.

  2. Double roll

    2 players lie stretched out on the ground with their feet touching. Both players must now roll a certain distance over the ground with their feet in permanent contact. The aim of this game is for both partners to stay in contact and to communicate with each other they will make to the end of the course.

  3. The transport solution

    A stone or a large ball must be moved from A to B. The group is only allowed to use 5-6 strings. No one is allowed to touch a string with both hands, but more than one player is allowed to touch the same string each with one hand

  4. Secret calls

    Groups are made up of 2-3 players. Each group agrees on a special signal (grunting, meowing - or even better, something totally unusual). All members of all teams are now blindfolded and mixed up throughout the room. The members of the groups must now try to find each other. Touching is not allowed and no other signals or words are allowed other than the agreed call.

  5. Blindly sorted

    All members of the group are blindfolded. They now have the challenge of standing in a row according to size, age or their initial in alphabetical order. Talking is not allowed. How quickly can the groups solve the different tasks?

  6. Eating in a tree

    What would it be like to eat your morning muesli in a tree? The group looks for a tree which is easy to climb. Muesli, milk, a bowl and a spoon are passed up into the tree and they all start eating together. It becomes even more difficult with bread, butter and jam which all have passed along from person to person. Sense: Group feeling, community

  7. A variation of the Journey to Jerusalem

    Instead of running around the chairs, the children have walk on the chairs (take shoes off!(. How many chairs can be removed before the children are unable to move? ( Ideally you should have several helpers, who particularly at the end help to secure the row of chairs so that no one falls over).

  8. Cardboard roll race

    There are two teams each with two members. Each team (2 players) receives a cardboard roll approx. 1 meter long. The 2 people who belong to a team stand behind each other and hold the cardboard roll between the thighs, a little above the knee. The person at the back is blindfolded. Obviously the other teams/pairs should all take the same position.
    On the start signal, a certain course is to be ran (with a turning point) as quickly as possible. No use of hands is allowed. The cardboard should only be held in position through pressing the knees together. In the second round, the roles are swapped over. Depending on the time available, the game can be played with several rounds and with different partners/pairings.
    Instead of a cardboard roll, you can also use a sweeping brush handle.
    Sense: The aim of this game is to build up trust, co-ordination and responsibility with each other.
    A game idea from Jens Deiters

  9. Break in

    It is our task to steal a box of gold coins from a museum. We must make it through the museum’s security controls and mechanisms. We only have an hour to complete the task. The security man does his rounds and checks everything after every hour on the hour.

    This is a cooperation game for a small group with max. 8-10 players. Sent and given to youthwork-practice.com by Daniel S.

    More infos: Break in

  10. Stories with variations

    1. A helper is asked to tell impromptu stories. For a ‘series’ of stories a main character can be created that is used every time

    2. The children are allowed to e.g. name 5 terms/expressions that have to appear in one story. .

    3. Each person in the group continues to tell a small amount of the story. If someone is really reluctant to speak then they can assign someone to tell their part for them.

    You can’t do this very often but when we do play this then it is always fantastic!
    Author: Elsbeth Langer

  11. Tic Tac Toe

    9 chairs are set up: 3 rows of 3 chairs. There are 2 teams each with 3 players. Here are the Tic Tac Toe rules: One players out of team one sits on a chair of his choice, then someone from team 2 does the same. Then team one goes again etc. When both teams have ‘placed’ their 3 players, they can swap amongst themselves – but always alternating between teams 1 and 2!

    The winner is he who is first manages to place his players into a row (diagonally, horizontally) or diagonally.

    The important thing! No one is allowed to say a word – not even the bystanders. If a participant says something, the team loses! The players also have to communicate using sign language.

    This is also a brilliant game to create silence in the class.

    Goal: Communicating without speaking!

  12. Don’t talk with a full mouth!

    Each child has a partner. Both stand in front of one another and look at each other. Each child receives a beaker with water. Each child takes a sip of water – taking in as much water as possible. Now the game leader has to ask various things e.g. what is your favourite? Then the children have to try and explain their answers using hand gestures. A very funny game that always gives you something to laugh about.


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