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Knot a race

Think quickly as you race to the finish line by tying knots and hitches.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Masking tape
  • Rope
  • Cones

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • Mark out a start and a finish line.
  • Use markers to create points in between. The number of markers determines how long the game lasts for.
  • Make a list of knots and hitches to try out, depending on the level of the group.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Remind everyone to stay at least two metres apart in the line.
  • Avoid sharing equipment and make sure you’ve got enough rope to give everyone their own length.
  • Make sure people wash their hands before using any equipment and again straight afterward.

Get ready to tie knots

  1. Give everyone a length of rope.
  2. Everyone should line up at the start line with their rope, making sure they stay a safe distance from each other.
  3. The person leading the game should call out the name of a knot or a hitch, and each player should try to tie it.
  4. The person leading the game check each player’s knot or hitch. Anyone who ties it correctly can step forward to the next marker.
  5. Repeat until someone crosses the finish line.


This activity is all about practicing skills, using knots and hitches that the group already knows. If some members are confident with the knots and hitches, they could teach others. Which knots and hitches were easy, and which were difficult? How do you get better at tying knots and hitches? When is it useful to know knots and hitches?

This activity was also about problem solving, because you had to think on your feet about which knot or hitch you were being asked to tie. You also had to think about what you could do if you didn’t know how to tie it. What did you do when you needed help to tie a knot or hitch? Which was the most useful knot or hitch you tied today? Do you know what any of the knots or hitches are used for?


All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.