SPARKLERS / Resilience & growth

Intrepid Adventure

A simple and imaginative trust game (without too much risk!), this activity helps tamariki work together
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki take part in a cooperative trust-based activity, helping to build a safe and supportive learning environment.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Building trust inside a senior class helps break down stereotypical group dynamics and develop a safe classroom, while enhancing tamariki self confidence. All important skills for a successful transition to high school!

Sometimes we’re sceptical about trust games, but if they’re managed well, they really do work. The important thing is to keep it fun, AND set up clear boundaries so tamariki feel safe. The imaginative element of this activity helps with this, as it allows the rules to be laid out without any need for lots of “don'ts”.

Tikanga tips

Just in case, it might be wise to let your tamariki know to avoid touching another person’s upoko (head). The upoko is tapu.


You’ll need some blindfolds and ‘obstacles’… anything from chairs, desks, bean bags, hula hoops, etc.

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity – this one is easy to take onto the field or play area. Use shrubs and trees as obstacles!

The important part of this game is the set-up. You may want to encourage your students to develop a dramatic ‘character’ (and you can too by taking on the role of a flight commander!)

You may also want to incorporate this music in the background.

Here's your script:

I am your commander. Got that? As my officers and intrepid adventurers, you need to follow these instructions very carefully:

  • you will need to work in pairs to complete this mission
  • you are exploring a part of the Amazon rainforest which has never been explored before
  • there are snakes (point to snakes – scarves, hula hoops) that cannot be disturbed. I repeat; cannot be disturbed!
  • there are mountains to climb (point to bean bags or chairs). You will note, these are HUGE mountains!
  • there are ponds you must get through only by jumping because this technique will scare the crocodiles away (point to hula hoops or areas marked with chalk or rope).
  • to recap - snakes are not to be disturbed, mountains are to be climbed and ponds are to be jumped through.

Do you understand?

Now, the most important thing is: You need each other – in fact without one another, you won’t survive. Do you understand?

Good, but there’s a problem.

It’s pitch black in the rainforest and only one of you packed your super-duper night goggles. Which one of you remembered your night goggles?

Give out blindfolds; the one who forgot wears this!

And there's another problem. The person who remembered their night goggles, forgot their insect repellent and has been bitten by the infamous, rare, silent mosquito which causes… the loss of voice for precisely 72 hours. That means, you can see, but you cannot speak.

Hei mahi - What to do


  • One of you cannot see
  • The other cannot speak.

The person who can see can only communicates in 5 ways.

  • Touch the left shoulder to ask your comrade to move left
  • Touch their right shoulder to turn right
  • Tapping the middle of their back once means stop and twice means go.
  • 2 hands on both shoulders means jump!

Give them a chance to test this out. Ask those with blindfolds to sit down while the others help you set up the obstacle course (keep it short – you can always run it twice).Ask the tamariki to sit next to their blindfolded comrade, and ask those with blindfolds what they’d like their friend to do to help them feel safe. E.g.

  • stick with me
  • don’t put me at risk e.g. help me get around things
  • go slow… let’s not rush this!

Ask them all to stand up and line up to begin the journey through this part of the Amazon jungle, releasing each pair in stages. Once they’re complete, ask them to take their blindfolds off and look back over the course – they’ll have lots of intrepid adventure stories to relay!

  • Ask what helped along the way; and
  • What would they do differently?

If you have time, re-run this with tamariki swapping roles and changing up the obstacle course up.

What now

Extend on this activity by giving each pair something precious to travel with like a small plate holding a stone! It’s the secret jewel they’ve recovered and need to get back intact…

This is a great platform to begin other team building games. You'll find more here.

Trust and team building games are also a great platform to focus on kindness and friendships. Here's where you can find these activities.

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

Learn more