Pass the Circle

Type of strategy: CollaborationEnergizers and State ChangersGroup ManagementMovementOpeners & Get to Know You

Activity Source:  International Association of Teamwork Facilitators

Challenge: Pass the shoestring circle around the circle.


Group Size: 6 - 15
Age Range: elementary – adult
Intensity: Mental=2, Physical=1
Time: 5 – 10 minutes (without debrief)
Space: Minimal – Medium -- Lots
Set Up Time: 60 seconds
Props: Two shoestrings

Setup / Preparation

  1. Tie two shoestrings together to form a circle.
  2. Have the group stand in a circle and hold hands. Then have one pair of people release hands reach through the shoestring circle and then reconnect hands.


  1. The shoestring circle must travel in a clockwise direction and return to the initial starting position.
  2. No letting go of hands.
  3. Team members must stay in one location while the shoestring circle moves
    around the circle.


  1. Remove glasses prior to playing (they might fall off and break).
  2. Remove high heals.


  1. This activity will often times get a group laughing as they watch each person pass through the shoestring circle (loop).
  2. This is not a good activity for people who are obese or who have difficulty balancing.

Debriefing Suggestions
The shoestring loop in this activity could metaphorically represent a hoop or hoops people jump through on a regular basis (for one reason or another). What are actual hoops in your life that you have jumped through? Are hoops good or bad? Do some people have more to deal with than others? If so, why? What hoops would you add/remove to your life if you could?

Time the group as they pass the shoestring circle to see how long it takes them to get it all the way around. Allow another attempt to break that record.

A Leadership Note
Lead all of the activities found in this activity guide in such a manner that the participants understand they have choice as to whether they participate or not. Encourage each person to communicate their comfort level with the activity and to join in at the level they choose (full, partial, none) rather than be coerced into participation.

Copyright Permission

The above teambuilding game description was provided by the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators.

The IATF has members in 34 countries and represents a dynamic community of supervisors, managers, coaches, trainers, facilitators, and educators who are actively working to grow and leverage the most important energy source of our time - -  the power of inspired teamwork.

The IATF provides free teambuilding games, free and engaging leadership development TeleSeminars, free and interactive interviews with team development thought leaders (authors, speakers, etc.), webinars, group and one-on-one coaching, workshops, presentations, books, and multimedia training materials.

We love what the IATF is doing and we urge you to visit the site and access all their great resources.  Just click on the following link:


Submitted by: Jennifer Arns