Trust Building Activities

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Trust Building Activities

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Trust Building Activities

Trust building activities help people to develop mutual respect, openness, understanding, and empathy, as well as helping to develop communication and teamwork skills.


Descriptions of Trust Building Activities

Mine Field

Objects are scattered in an indoor or outdoor place.  In pairs, one person verbally guides his/her partner, a blindfolded person, through the minefield.

Willow in the Wind

In groups of ~8, a person in the middle closes his/her eyes, does a "trust lean" and is "passed around" the group.  Requires good facilitation and fairly mature group.

Trust Lean

In pairs of similar size, one becomes a Faller and one the Catcher.  Teach methods for spotting, falling and catching.  Start small and build to bigger falls, then swap.  Debrief - what made you feel more or less trusting?

Running Free

In pairs, one person is blindfolded.  Holding hands, the blindfolded person is lead gradually from a slow walk up to fast running.  Swap.

Slice 'N Dice

A dramatic trust activity for a large group.  Group forms a gauntlet, arms out in front.  As a person walks down the gauntlet, people raise their arms.  Build up to people down running the gauntlet through a sea of chopping arms!


In a forested area, pairs take turns being blindfolded, lead to a tree (for touch and feel) and then lead away.  After removing the blindfold, the tree hugger tries to locate his/her tree.

Eye Contact Illustrate the importance of eye contact by having people in pairs stand facing each other and staring into each other's eyes for ~60 secs.  Remove sunglasses.
Eye Contact with Touch Illustrate the importance of both eye contact and physical touch by having people in pairs stand facing each other, holding hands, and staring into each other's eyes for ~60 secs.
Proximity Illustrate the importance of physical proximity by having people in pairs stand facing each a comfortable distance apart.  Then ask people to move a little closer and feel what its like.  Then ask people to increase the distance apart and notice how it changes one's feelings.

Trust Fall

Involves a person falling backwards from table height into the arms and hands of the group.  Each group member can opt to take a turn as faller.  Although commonly used, some believe it should be avoided due to the risk of physical and psychological injury.  See photos.

Rappelling / Abseiling

Controlled vertical descent from height (~5m-100m), using ropes, harnesses and friction devices.

Pamper Pole / Leap of Faith

At moderate height (~10-30m), a person is on belay, standing on a small platform.  The challenge is to jump for a rope or rope swing.

Bungee Jumping

From considerable height (~100m) a person leaps into space, relying on dynamic rope to lower the person to safety.

Parachuting / Parapunting / Basejumping

At major height (e.g., 300m+) a person leaps into space, using specially designed equipment and skill to land safely.

Ways to Improve Social Support in a Group

10 ways to improve social support within groups, including group contract, supportive physical contact, group discussions, modeling and feedback, etc.

Trust Building Activities

Expand your program's repertoire with a variety of well-known and novel trust building exercise gear, including  Co-operband, Co-operblanket, Lycra Loop, Mine Field, Partner Straps, Flexible Trolleys, Geo Crossing and Raccoon Circle Activity Webbing and My Family, Your Family.


Descriptions of Trust Building Activities (on other websites)

Blind Crossing

Blindfolded people walk towards and find a seeing partner, guided by verbal directions from the seeing partner.  Can progress to Blind Pinball, Mine Field & Blind Walk. []

Blind Walk

A group is blindfolded and linked together - holding hand of someone next to them and shoulder of person in front.  The group is then lead on a walk - anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on level of challenge desired.

Trust Activities [more]

Sherpa Walk, Mine Field, Trust Falls & Dives, Count Off 2, Running Free, Human Ladder, People Passing, Boundary Breaking, Height Lineup, Falling Now by Chris Clark

Last updated:
28 April 2013