Trust Building Games

Written by matthew schieltz
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Trust-building games impart principles such as motivation, trust, and leadership. Kids and teenagers participate in trust-building games and activities at youth retreats and camps, but many corporate organisations and groups also use these games to promote team building, improve communication and bonding among members.

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Trust Lean

There are several versions to this leaning game that helps facilitate trust between team members. The basic concept is that an individual leans or falls backwards, trusting that the person standing behind will catch him. Play the trust lean game in pairs or in groups of up to eight people. When played in pairs, one person falls while the other catches. The person falling stands upright with his arms across his chest and leans back into the waiting arms of the catcher.

In the group version, use seven or eight catchers standing around a circle and one faller. The faller leans back and falls against the catchers from an upright position. The catchers pass the faller around the circle with their hands. Swap the catchers and fallers after five to 10 minutes so everyone has a chance to be both a catcher and a faller. Following the game, allow members discuss the factors that made them feel trusting and how easy or difficult it was to allow others to catch them.

Mine Field

In Mine Field, blindfold one person while having another person serve as a guide. To play this game, scatter objects such as balls or sponges around a large room or outdoor space. Using verbal commands, the guide will guide the blindfolded player across the field without touching any of the "mines." Reverse roles. Pairs of individuals can compete against each other for a prize in this trust-building activity that also improves communication skills.

Trust Wave

Trust Wave is suitable for large groups of people, ideally around 15 to 25, but can include more. Form two straight rows comprising an equal number of people. With the two rows facing each other, ask the participants to extend their hands in front of them at shoulder height. Space the two lines such their hands will meet approximately the wrist of the person opposite. A separate player acts as the "runner." The "runner" begins about 10 yards away and starts slowly jogging or walking to the rows of participants who are acting as a barrier with their arms outstretched. Instruct the participants in the barrier rows to raise their arms to allow the runner to pass. This trust-building game facilitates group interaction, as the "runner" needs to trust that the others will raise their hands when it is time to run through the barrier.

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