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The Magic Rope

The Magic Rope is one of my favorite icebreakers.
There is so much in it and a lot can happen.
The intention of the exercise is that the group gets a short assignment and that the assignment is only successful when everyone has done it.

After that, I let the group choose a challenge.
With this I stimulate the team to be self-steering.

This activity promotes:


Time: 20 – 30 min
Participants: 8 or more
Inside and outside

Required materials
1 large rope and 1 or 2 people to turn the rope(2 turners if the rope can not be attached anywhere).

Set all participants on one side of the rope (keep the sun in mind)

Tell the participants that they get assignments and that these are only successful when it has been successfully completed by the whole group. The assignments start very easily and slowly become increasingly more difficult.

How it works:
The assignment is as follows:

  • Try to get to the other side of the rope without touching the rope.
  • First keep the rope still right above the ground ,so they can step over it. Repeat this with the rope twice. The second timeYou hold it up high enough, as a result they will have to walk underneath. But if they are smart, they run around it. This is allowed.
  • Keep turning the rope from now on and adjust the assignment;
  • First every time the rope turns around one person has to go under the rope.
  • Second go to the other side with 2 people at a time.
  • Now every time the rope turns around, there must be 4 people underneath.
  • After that go with 8 people and then with everybody.
  • Let the participants to make a plan to go underneath the rope at the same time. After they made it and told you, the instructor, they aren’t allowed to talk anymore.


Vary with the rules: Every time the rope turns, 1, 2, or more must pass under the rope.
You can have some participants blindfolded. So that it becomes more exciting.
Make duo’s and let them invent there own assignment.
What happened? (this is asking for actual behavior)
How do you feel about it?
What have you learned?

Security check
Try to avoid wet undergrounds. Also if someone touches the rope, then let loose of the rope.

Everyone is Em

This crazy tap game can give many insights into patterns and it can go all sorts of ways. With children it can often be about ‘honesty’, with adults I use this exercise to look at ‘setting goals’.

This activity promotes:

Time: 5 – 10 min
Participants: 6 – 40
Very Active

Required materials
nothing, at most markings to line out the playing field.

Call the participants together and then give the instruction.

This game can be used as an energizer, but I usually use it functionally.

How it works

  • The participants have just heard that we are going to play a tap game called ‘Everyone is em’. As a trainer I often say directly afterwards; the game starts now!
    Half of them will immediately tap and the other half will looks a bit dazed because they are looking for the rules of the game.
  • This first variant does not last longer than 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    Then you call everyone together and you can ask questions like ‘Who is not tagged, etc.’
  • You give instruction that when you are tapped you will have to squat down because you are finished. After at most a minute you put it quiet. Now you can ask questions like “Who was tapping others in particular / who was mostly fleeing? What do you do if you both tapped at once? etc.
  • Then you give the instruction that if you are tapped, you squat down and others can give a ‘high ten’ to free you (hands against each other like a high five).
    This also takes a short time, one minute at the most. Afterwards you can ask if there is fair play and who was freeing others.
  • This too only takes a short time; at most a minute.
  • You call everyone together and say something like ‘What you show here, you show everywhere’. When people nod, you can share them about the behavior they showed and what they recognized from outside the game.
  • Then the variant follows that you will set a goal for yourself; how many people are you going to tap?
  • After 1 minute the evaluation on setting targets follows.


  • Concrete behavior; who has achieved his goal / who didn’t?
  • What was your goal?
  • Did you make it easy? – How do you normally set goals?
  • Was your goal too high? – find the connecting with practice…

Safety check
Don’t play on wet grass. Give instruction about ’tapping’ (soft, don’t hit).

Points of attention
This activity works well to keep people in parallel with the world at work or at home.