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October 5, 2017

Tangled is a fun activity that boosts communication and team work.

Material Required




Guidance for facilitator

Your role as a facilitator is to conduct the activity – put together the material, give instructions, ensure fairness and no cheating, keep score, ask reflection questions and summarise the learning. Any extra tasks will be mentioned in other sections.

The facilitator does not have to take on the role of a teacher. Be careful that you don’t start preaching to the players from your own life experiences.

Set up the activity like a game, to be fun. Do not make it stressful for the players such that they feel that they are being tested.

How to Play?

Play Steps

1To play this activity, you need minimum 5 players in a team. If you have a larger group, divide into teams of 5-10 players per team.

2Getting tangled:

  • In each team, the players first stand in a circle.
  • All players put out both their hands in the center of the circle.
  • First, each player takes their right hand and holds another player’s right hand. A player must NOT hold hands with the two persons standing on his / her either sides.
  • Next, each player takes their left hand and holds another player’s left hand. Again, this must NOT be with the two persons on the player’s either sides.
  • A player must NOT hold both hands of the same person.

3Now the team has been completely tangled. The goal is to un-tangle the team and form a big circle without letting go of each other’s hands.

4The players will start untangling themselves through a series of moves – by passing under or over the held hands, by bending, twisting, etc.

5The game ends when the team comes back in a circle with joined hands. Some players will end up facing the inside of the circle while some may face away from the circle. This is acceptable.

6Untangling usually takes 5 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the team.

7It is possible that sometimes the team will get stuck and no moves are able to solve the tangle. In such a case the team will have to break apart and start from the beginning.

8Also, if the chain of hands is broken at any point of time, the team will have to start again.

9If many teams are playing, have them compete with each other for which team finishes first.

10Other rules:

  • Players must not let go of each other’s hands. They can however readjust the grip to be comfortable when their bodies are twisted.
  • No pulling or yanking each other’s hands.



Discuss / Reflect (At the end of Game)

1Discuss with the team/s – what helped them to solve the tangle? OR what stopped them from solving the tangle in time?

2This discussion will involve the following points –

  • Did anyone take lead?
  • Did all team members actively help out? If no, how did that impact the outcome of the activity?
  • How was the communication between the team members? what were some communication methods that worked / did not work for your team?

3Summarize the key points of the discussion.

Tips & Variations

1A single team can compete against time. The timer can be set to 12 minutes after the group is tangled.

2To increase complexity with older kids and adults, you can blindfold every alternate player in the group.

3A second variations is to put an upper limit on the number of moves the team can make, say 12 moves. The facilitator will have to keep a count of every move. The team that completes the task within the shortest number of moves, wins.

4Another variation can be where the team members have to untangle without speaking to each other.

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