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