Wooden spring-loaded, snap-type mouse traps - I use 'Victory' brand. Try to have one for each pair of participants in your group.
It is probably best if you load the traps yourself, rather than having your participants load the traps.
Participants will pair up, and select one person to be the coach, and the other person to wear a blindfold (or have their eyes closed). The sighted partner will tell their blindfolded partner how to slowly lower their hand down to one inch above the loaded mouse trap. The 'coach' will make sure that their blindfolded partners hand is fully extended, and is positioned directly over the mousetrap, hovering an inch above it. When the coach decides the hand is in position, they will count down "three...two...one..." and the blindfolded partner will slam their hand down onto the trap. The trap will not snap, because the fully extended hand is keeping it open. Then, (after breathing a sigh of relief) the blindfolded partner will quickly pull their hand away, and the trap will snap harmlessly, with the hand far away from danger.
This is a trust-building activity that can be very rewarding for participants, and can open up a great dialogue between participants. Naturally there is an element of risk, and the activity should be practiced on yourself, before you practice it on others... Before you do any trust activity, you must decide whether or not the group is ready, and whether or not this is an appropriate activity for the group, the individual, and the sequence of your teambuilding activities.
- What was hard about this activity?
- What would have made it easier for you to trust your partner?
Facilitator Notes about Trust Activities
- Safety Check: All Trust Activities require the facilitator to pay extra close attention to physical and emotional safety. Introduce safety before starting any activities in this series.