The ColourBlind Activity

Here’s a great team challenge for illustrating the need for effective leadership, good planning, and a little patience.


  • Have the group sit down and put on blindfolds.
  • Explain the objective and rules of the activity – answer any questions.
  • pass out items – I use 5 sets of 5 wooden toys, with 3 or 4 of them missing.ColourBlind - a Teamwork Exercise
  • Ask the group to pass each toy around the circle until every toy is handed out, and everyone has at least one toy.
  • Remind the team that their goal is to identify each set of toys, how many toys are in each set, and which toys are missing from the sets.
  • Chaos!
  • Let the team go on without making a plan for a few minutes – experience the frustration and the confusion of not having a leader or a plan.
  • If the team does not redirect their efforts towards selecting a leader and a plan, then give them a little prompt.
  • Watch as things begin to fall into place, and the team begins to work together.
  • Debrief – “What happened?” “Describe the process” “How is this like life?” etc.

For many groups, this activity erupts into a lengthy discussion about the challenges of working together, the need for strong leadership, and more.

Very powerful tool!

Here’s a picture from a recent ropes course program


One Comment

  1. hi, I would really appreciate your advice and help about using the colorblind game for teambuilding. I am a leadership coach in Seattle and have been asked by my client to do a teambuilding exercise next week for the offsite strategic planning retreat. Colleagues of mine have talked about colorblind, and it sounds really good. Yours was the only site I found that modified the original idea and is very expensive to what appears in your site to be achieving the same outcome but with little cost associated with it.

    So my question is can you give me some specific recommendations about the setup and the debrief. You mentioned specific learning goals on this site and I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sharing a little more specifically about the debrief and what you have experienced with other teams doing this. It is a small group, 6 people. Also any recommendations of particular toys that work well?

    I have a fast turnaround timeline, I’m writing this early next week.

    Thank you for any suggestions that you might have. Much appreciated. Debbie Daniels