Human Knot

3.5 stars

Everyone stands in a close circle - puts both hands out - and randomly grabs hold of someone else's hand, creating a massive knot! 

Without letting go of hands, the group should try to untangle itself...


  • Free / Low Cost
  • No equipment needed
  • Night
  • Ice breaker
  • Team Building Teamwork
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Outdoor
  • Small area
  • Primary or Elementary School
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

Group Size
  • Small Groups (1-9 people)
  • Medium (10-29 people)
  • Large groups (30+)

  • Medium (11-29 mins)
  • Short (1-10 minutes)
Submit your vote:



like the idea i am going to use it for my youth service!
- john (26 Oct 2007)

Good games keep it up!!!!!
- ana (8 Mar 2008)

GREAT game, but can become boring to some if it takes too long
- Brent (18 Mar 2008)

Great! Had fun doing it. Got boring by the end though. More people makes it more fun!!
- Lizzie (27 Aug 2008)

a classic.. When we have a large group we split them into two teams and see who can get the know undone the fastest.
- Lilia (19 Nov 2008)

This game sounds fun, I'm going to use it tonight in my cell group!!!!
- Natasha (9 Dec 2008)

This would be awesome for a huge girls lock in, or splitting up your youth group into two separate teems (boys v. girls)...but older teenagers of opposite sex is not that
- Samantha (11 May 2009)

gonna try its tonight...sounds fun...
- gore (23 Jan 2010)

When we played, we didn't do it randomly; randomly creates a problem where you don't necessarily get a single chain, or you get insoluble knots. Instead, first stand everyone in a circle, and have them remember who is to their left and right. Then, scramble the circles. Then each person holds out their right hand. Then the each person uses their left hand to take the right hand of the person who was on their left before. IN effect, this creates the same "order" of people as before, and ensures that there is still exactly 1 loop, and the knot is always (mathematically speaking) undoable (although one or two people may end up facing the "wrong direction."
- Aaron (14 May 2010)

Played this just last week. We put everyones right hand in and grab someone else's right hand (not the person next to you). Then you put your left hand in and grab someone elses left hand. Just gotta make sure its someone elses hand and not the person you've already got hold of. My Cubs loved it and got untangled third time lucky ;-)
- Karly (15 Jun 2010)

As a youthworker i have found that adding a few facts in creates a competitive and complying feel to the game, tell them of a local or competitive school, church etc and the record they hold (be creative) say they did it in 3:17 minutes and your group will want to beat it. Its even more awesome with boys, they cant help but want to win.
- Marina (20 Jun 2010)

We split into teams of 10 or so kids to make it faster, with 13-14yrs the girls didn't want to touch the guys hands and vise didn't work so well, maybe next we'll split into guys/girls groups. Also the game gets old quickly
- Andrew (29 Jul 2010)

lekker game. turned out better than expected...
- dee (19 Aug 2010)

We have played this in my old youth group, and I know my new one will love it, I may suggest it to our game leader.. hm yay!
- Bri (7 Oct 2010)

This is a brilliant idea. I am going to use this for my volleyball team. :) ;)
- Jake (21 Mar 2011)

If you randomly grab someone else's hand, you may end up with multiple circles once untangled. What makes it more intense is to have each person cross their arms before linking hands. They cannot link hands with either person standing next to them. Play fun, energetic music. Put a time to it as every one else is suggesting and it won't get old. The bigger the group, the more fun it is. You also get to see who the leader of the group is through this. You'll start to see true colors shine if you break them into groups competing against each other.
- Miss D (27 Apr 2011)

I (a teenager) personally enjoyed this! I did it with the girls in my youth group. When we first started out I thought it was impossible to untangle everyone! But that's the fun of the game! At the end you finally accomplish that! It taught me to never give up, no matter how tied up you are or how knoted the situation is.. if I keep endureing until the end and never give up I can do anything I set myself to do!
- Leanna (18 Jun 2011)

I found that this is best with 6-8 people, any more or less would not be as fun. What i tell them is to reach out their left hand and grab the person directly on the opposite of you, then with your right hand, grab someone who is not directly across from you nor is next to you. I found this as more "organized randomness" and works out pretty well.
- zbb42 (19 Dec 2011)

This is a great game that was always a hit with our teen group. With a large group you can split into two teams and make it a race. It made it so much more fun and competitive. Some have said ways to prevent it from making two or more loops. So what if it does? It makes it more interesting.
- Sherry (19 Jan 2012)

Am I young at heart? I was thinking many these would be great for our women's meetings. We have all ages
- Paula (6 Mar 2014)

This is a great game I did it in High School and our team the girls untangled to a whole circle. I will try it with my hiking team next weekend. Hope to enjoy

- Dee (12 Jun 2015)

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