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Is It Possible to Solve The Impossible Quiz Game?
Do you enjoy playing games that challenge you and require you to think creatively? If so, you’ll probably love The Impossible Quiz , which blends trivia, logic and brain-teasing fun into a game that has some pretty unique solutions. This popular classic has been making the rounds online for years now, and it’s gained a reputation for living up to its name. But despite what the title may have you think, it is possible to solve The Impossible Quiz. Before you try your hand at it, read up on everything you need to know for maximum success.
What Is The Impossible Quiz?
Some call it the hardest quiz in the world, and others confidently stare down the questions with glee. In either case, The Impossible Quiz is a challenging brain game that tests users about a variety of subject areas. It’s a single-player game that groups and families can also collaborate on to answer the questions — although there’s some mature language throughout the game. Parental discretion is recommended if there are any younger players thinking about taking on the challenge.
The Impossible Quiz was developed by English game designer “Splapp-me-do” and initially released as a 30-question demo in 2004. The designer continued working on the quiz over the years and released the 110-question version in 2007, with an iOS version released in 2009.
How to Play The Impossible Quiz
There are multiple web sites that host The Impossible Quiz, and you can find it in Apple’s App Store or Google Play if you want to attempt this feat on your mobile device. At face value, it’s just a game with questions and answers. But to win, you’ll need to use some serious brainpower. Questions are peppered with tricks, puns and double meanings, proving that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to solving this quiz. You’ll also find mazes and games within the game as you go.
The rules? You get three lives, one of which you lose every time you make a mistake. Once you lose all your lives, the game is over and you’ll need to restart it. To win you need to complete the 110 questions in a single session, although you might get some assistance along the way in the form of skips, which you earn as you go. But if you encounter a question with a bomb, beware. You only have up to 11 seconds to answer, and if the bomb goes off, your game is over.
Ready to Solve The Impossible Quiz? Here’s How
The number-one thing to understand before you start playing is this: You’re going to come across some seemingly impossible questions. You’ll need to use serious logic, sometimes twisting the questions around a bit to find the right answers. Take your time when you can (the bombs require fast thinking) to work through your answers. If you rush through, you’ll likely use up your three lives faster than you think.
Consider possible puns and jokes that could be associated with the question or answer. You’ll find them throughout the quiz, along with pop culture references and intentionally misspelled words intended to create bad jokes out of the questions.
Don’t be afraid to be very literal. Sometimes the right answer is so obvious that you might not think of it at first. For example, if a question tells you to “click the answer,” you’ll likely pore over the four answers to figure out which one could be right — when what the quiz is asking you to do is click “the answer.”
Keep track of your wrong answers and guesses. If you end up having to start over because you’ve lost all your lives, you’ll appreciate having a head start on the questions that tripped you up before. Likewise, consider asking friends or family for help.
If all else fails and you decide you no longer want to solve the game on your own, there are multiple websites that offer walkthroughs and answers. Solving The Impossible Quiz is a challenge for sure, but you can complete it with time and creative thinking.
MORE FROM QUESTIONSANSWERED.NET
Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master
Some people see problems as roadblocks, others see them as opportunities! Problem-solving activities are a great way to get to know how members of your team work, both individually and together. It’s important to teach your team strategies to help them quickly overcome obstacles in the way of achieving project goals.
The importance of problem-solving skills in today’s workplace
According to a 2019 report by McKinsey , soft skills are increasingly important in today's world — and problem-solving is the top area in which skills are lacking. A company or team’s success weighs heavily on the willingness of managers to help employees improve their problem-solving abilities. Team building activities targeting focus areas like communication and collaboration, adaptability, or strengthening decision-making techniques help.
All problem-solving processes start with identifying the problem. Next, the team must assess potential courses of action and choose the best way to tackle the problem. This requires a deep understanding of your team and its core strengths. A problem-solving exercise or game helps identify those strengths and builds problem-solving skills and strategies while having fun with your team.
Problem-solving games aren't for just any team. Participants must have an open mind and accept all ideas and solutions . They must also have an Agile mindset and embrace different structures, planning , and processes. Problems usually arise when we least expect them, so there's no better way to prepare than to encourage agility and flexibility.
Another aspect to keep in mind when engaging in problem-solving games and activities: There are no winners or losers. Sure, some games might end with a single winner, but the true goal of these exercises is to learn how to work together as a team to develop an Agile mindset . The winning team of each game should share their strategies and thought processes at the end of the exercise to help everyone learn.
Here’s a list of fun problem-solving activity examples to try with your team. From blindfolds to raw eggs, these problem-solving, team-building activities will have your team solving problems faster than Scooby and the gang.
Classic team-building, problem-solving activities
1. a shrinking vessel.
Helps with: Adaptability
Why adaptability is important for problem-solving: Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster , according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before . People, teams, and organizations that can adapt will come out on top.
What you’ll need:
- A rope or string
1. Using the rope, make a shape on the floor everyone can fit into.
2. Slowly shrink the space over 10-15 minutes.
3. Work together to figure out how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.
2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
Helps with: Collaboration
Why collaboration is important for problem-solving: “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individually,” writes Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline . We can solve problems better as a team than we can alone, which means developing your team’s collaboration skills will lead to better problem-solving outcomes.
What you’ll need (per team):
- 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
- 1 roll of masking tape
- 1 yard of string
- 1 marshmallow
1. The goal of this exercise is to see which team can use the materials provided to build the tallest tower within an allotted time period. The tower must be able to stand on its own.
2. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower. This team problem-solving exercise helps people think on their toes while building camaraderie and leadership.
3. Egg Drop
Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making
Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn’t easy , but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices. Train your team’s decision-making muscles and they will become more adept at problem-solving.
- A carton of eggs
- Basic construction materials such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, etc., tarp, or drop cloth
- A parking lot, or some other place you don’t mind getting messy!
1. Each team gets an egg and must select from the construction materials.
2. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg and protect it from breaking.
3. Drop each egg carrier off a ledge (i.e. over a balcony) and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.
4. If multiple eggs survive, keep increasing the height until only one egg is left.
Helps with: Communication, decision-making
Why communication is important for problem-solving: More employees work remotely than ever before. Good communication skills are vital to solving problems across virtual teams . Working on communication skills while your team is together will help them solve problems more effectively when they’re apart.
Here's the setting: Your team has been stranded in the office. The doors are locked, and knocking down the doors or breaking the windows is not an option. Give your team 30 minutes to decide on ten items in the office they need for survival and rank them in order of importance. The goal of the game is to have everyone agree on the ten items and their rankings in 30 minutes.
Creative problem-solving activities
Helps with: Communication
What you'll need:
1. Divide everyone into small teams of two or more.
2. Select an overseer who isn't on a team to build a random structure using Lego building blocks within ten minutes.
3. The other teams must replicate the structure exactly (including size and color) within 15 minutes. However, only one member from each group may look at the original structure. They must figure out how to communicate the size, color, and shape of the original structure to their team.
4. If this is too easy, add a rule that the member who can see the original structure can't touch the new structure.
- A lockable room
- 5-10 puzzles or clues (depending on how much time you want to spend on the game)
1. The goal of this exercise is to solve the clues, find the key, and escape a locked room within the time allotted.
2. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room.
3. Gather the team into the empty room and "lock" the door.
4. Give them 30 minutes to an hour to find the key using the clues hidden around the room.
Helps with: Decision-making, adaptability
- A blindfold
- 1 packet of construction materials (such as card stock, toothpicks, rubber bands, and sticky notes) for each team
- An electric fan
Instructions: Your employees are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Separate them into teams of four or five and have them select a leader to guide their exploration. Each team must build a shelter from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. However, both the team leader’s hands have frostbite, so they can’t physically help construct the shelter, and the rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.
- An empty room or hallway
- A collection of common office items
1. Place the items (boxes, chairs, water bottles, bags, etc.) around the room so there's no clear path from one end of the room to the other.
2. Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team.
3. The other must verbally guide that person from one end of the room to the other, avoiding the "mines."
4. The partner who is not blindfolded can't touch the other.
5. If you want to make the activity more challenging, have all the pairs go simultaneously so teams must find ways to strategically communicate with each other.
9. Blind Formations
1. Have the group put on blindfolds and form a large circle.
2. Tie two ends of a rope together and lay it in a circle in the middle of the group, close enough so each person can reach down and touch it.
3. Instruct the group to communicate to create a shape with the rope — a square, triangle, rectangle, etc.
4. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.
Quick and easy problem-solving activities
10. line up blind.
1. Blindfold everyone and whisper a number to each person, beginning with one.
2. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking.
3. Instead of giving them a number, you could also have them line up numerically by height, age, birthday, etc.
11. Reverse Pyramid
Helps with: Adaptability, collaboration
1. Have everyone stand in a pyramid shape, horizontally.
2. Ask them to flip the base and the apex of the pyramid moving only three people.
3. This quick exercise works best when smaller groups compete to see who can reverse the pyramid the fastest.
12. Move It!
- Chalk, rope, tape, or paper (something to mark a space)
1. Divide your group into two teams and line them up front to back, facing each other.
2. Using the chalk, tape, rope, or paper (depending on the playing surface), mark a square space for each person to stand on. Leave one extra empty space between the two facing rows.
3. The goal is for the two facing lines of players to switch places.
4. Place these restrictions on movement:
- Only one person may move at a time.
- A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
- No one may not move backward.
- A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.
13. Human Knot
1. Have everyone stand in a circle, and ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly next to them.
2. When everyone is tangled together, ask them to untangle the knot and form a perfect circle — without letting go of anyone's hand.
Our last two problem-solving activities work best when dealing with an actual problem:
14. Dumbest Idea First
Helps with: Instant problem-solving
1. "Dumb" ideas are sometimes the best ideas. Ask everyone to think of the absolute dumbest possible solution to the problem at hand.
2. After you have a long list, look through it and see which ones might not be as dumb as you think.
3. Brainstorm your solutions in Wrike. It's free and everyone can start collaborating instantly!
15. What Would X Do
1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.
2. Each person must approach the problem as if they were their chosen famous person. What options would they consider? How would they handle it?
3. This allows everyone to consider solutions they might not have thought of originally.
Looking for more team-building and virtual meeting games ? Check out these virtual icebreaker games or our Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities that Don't Suck.
Additional resources on problem-solving activities
- Problem-Solving Model : Looking for a model to provide a problem-solving structure? This detailed guide gives you the tools to quickly solve any problem.
- The Simplex Process: Popularized by Min Basadur's book, The Power of Innovation , the Simplex Process provides training and techniques for each problem-solving stage. It helps frame problem-solving as a continuous cycle, rather than a “one and done” process.
- Fun Problem-Solving Activities and Games : Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of interesting and creative problem-solving activities for adults and kids!
- The Secret to Better Problem-Solving: This article provides tips, use cases, and fresh examples to help you become a whiz at solving the toughest problems.
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Problem Solving Games for Students
Problem-solving is an important skill to learn and work at. Every problem has a solution and there are skills you can practice in order to come to those solutions easily and quickly. Through critical thinking, logic, and consideration, you’ll be able to solve many problems every day. Use this collection of problem-solving links to help you practice your problem-solving skills specific to reading, math, puzzles, and more.
General Problem Solving
- Knowledge Adventure – Pick an exciting game that builds science, math, or word skills for students in preschool through sixth grade.
- Kaeru Jump – Can you make all the stones disappear by helping the frog hop on each one?
- FunBrain Junior – Build your brainpower while you play Beach Ball Balance, Beaker Bonanza, Deep Letter Dive, and lots of other fun games.
- Smarty Games – Choose from a variety of fun, educational games that challenge kids’ math, logic, and reading skills.
- Brain Den – Kids can challenge themselves to solve logic riddles, matchstick puzzles, and more.
- Topmarks Reading and Math Games – Kids ages 3-14 can choose from a variety of reading and math games that build their problem solving skills as they count sea creatures, spice up a scary story with adjectives, match animals to their sounds, and more.
Puzzles and Patterns
- Pattern Quest – Are you ready for a challenge? Put on your thinking cap and find the secret car pattern, one tricky clue at a time!
- Shape Sequences – Figure out which shape completes the pattern in this interactive, colorful game with fun sounds and animations.
- Pattern Matcher – Look at the silly pictures to discover their repeating patterns!
- Memorize Patterns – Memorize each pattern, but be quick! It’s your job to repeat it when it disappears.
- Pattern Games – Kids can learn to recognize patterns as they play a number sequence game or help a dog cross the pattern bridge.
Math Problems and Games
- Fast Math in Outer Space – You can solve math problems to shoot down enemy ships and win the space battle.
- Math Playground – Choose your math skill level from first through sixth grade and then race your pony in the Division Derby, compete in the Math Millionaire game show, play with the animals of Fraction Forest, and more!
- Math Zone – Want to learn about number lines with Cake Monster or win in MathCar Racing? Check out the Math Zone!
- Interactive Math Games – Improve your math skills with Monkey Drive, practice multiplication in Fruit Splat, or try the Animal Rescue Number Line.
- The Kidz Page – Try the Math Race or solve the Pirate Picture Math Puzzle!
- Alphabetter – Can you match each letter to the word it begins in this colorful, animated game?
- English Language Arts Games – Young readers with a range of ability levels can try the School Bus Spelling Game or play Sentence Spinner to add goofy adjectives to sentences.
- Greek Word Roots – Play the It’s Greek to Me game to strengthen your knowledge of Greek word roots as you represent your country in the Olympic Games.
- Starfall – Would you like to practice forming words and sentences while hearing them spoken aloud? Check out the cute, animated reading games at Starfall!
- Teach Your Monster to Read – Kids preschool age and beyond will love this engaging series of games that build reading skills. Whether children are learning letters and sounds or reading sentences, Teach Your Monster to Read can help them grow and thrive.
- ABC Countdown – Can you help the monkey practice his alphabet by picking coconuts in the right order?
- Room Recess – Use context clues to help Sir Readalot make his way through the castle or practice letter sounds with fun, animated characters.
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17 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities
Problem-solving is a critical skill for professionals and with team building problem-solving activities, you can sharpen your skills while having fun at the same time.
Updated on August 31, 2021
In the professional world, one thing is for sure: problem-solving is a vital skill if you want to survive and thrive. It’s a universal job skill that organizations seek in new potential employees and that managers look for when considering candidates for promotions.
But there’s a problem. According to Payscale , 60% of managers feel that new grads entering the workforce lack problem-solving abilities – making it the most commonly lacked soft skill.
Problem-solving skill needs to be practiced and perfected on an ongoing basis in order to be applied effectively when the time comes. And while there are tons of traditional approaches to becoming a better problem-solver, there’s another (much more interesting) option: team building problem solving activities.
The good news? This means learning and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And you can create a stronger team at the same time.
11 In-Person Team Building Problem Solving Activities for Your Work Group
1. cardboard boat building challenge, 2. egg drop , 3. clue murder mystery, 4. marshmallow spaghetti tower , 5. corporate escape room, 6. wild goose chase, 7. lost at sea , 8. domino effect challenge, 9. reverse pyramid , 10. ci: the crime investigators, 11. team pursuit, 5 virtual team building problem solving activities for your work group , 1. virtual escape room: mummy’s curse, 2. virtual clue murder mystery, 3. virtual escape room: jewel heist, 4. virtual code break , 5. virtual trivia time machine.
- 6. Virtual Jeoparty Social
There are a ton of incredible team building problem solving activities available. We’ve hand-picked 11 of our favorites that we think your corporate group will love too.
Split into teams and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided: cardboard and tape. Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats to test their durability! Nothing says problem-solving like having to make sure you don’t sink into the water!
Every day at work, you’re forced to make countless decisions – whether they’re massively important or so small you barely think about them.
But your ability to effectively make decisions is critical in solving problems quickly and effectively.
With a classic team building problem solving activity like the Egg Drop, that’s exactly what your team will learn to do.
For this activity, you’ll need some eggs, construction materials, and a place you wouldn’t mind smashing getting dirty with eggshells and yolks.
The goal of this activity is to create a contraption that will encase an egg and protect it from a fall – whether it’s from standing height or the top of a building. But the challenge is that you and your team will only have a short amount of time to build it before it’s time to test it out, so you’ll have to think quickly!
To make it even more challenging, you’ll have to build the casing using only simple materials like:
- Plastic wrap
- Rubber bands
- Popsicle sticks
- Cotton balls
Feel free to have some fun in picking the materials. Use whatever you think would be helpful without making things too easy!
Give your group 15 minutes to construct their egg casing before each team drops their eggs. If multiple eggs survive, increase the height gradually to see whose created the sturdiest contraption.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of using eggs for this activity, consider using another breakable alternative, such as lightbulbs for a vegan Egg Drop experience.
With Clue Murder Mystery, your team will need to solve the murder of a man named Neil Davidson by figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime.
But it won’t be easy! You’ll need to exercise your best problem-solving skills and channel your inner detectives if you want to keep this case from going cold and to get justice for the victim.
Collaboration is critical to problem solving.
Why? Because, as the old saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This expression reflects the fact that people are capable of achieving greater things when they work together to do so.
If you’re looking for a team building problem solving activity that helps boost collaboration, you’ll love Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower.
This game involves working in teams to build the tallest possible freestanding tower using only marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti, tape, and string.
The kicker? This all has to be done within an allotted timeframe. We recommend about thirty minutes.
For an added dimension of challenge, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower to make it a little more top heavy.
Whichever team has the highest tower when time runs out is the winner!
If you’ve never participated in an escape room, your team is missing out! It’s one of the most effective team building problem solving activities out there because it puts you and your colleagues in a scenario where the only way out is collaboratively solving puzzles and deciphering clues.
The principle is simple: lock your group in a room, hide the key somewhere in that room, and have them work through challenges within a set time frame. Each challenge will lead them one step closer to finding the key and, ultimately, their escape.
At Outback, we offer “done-for-you” escape rooms where we’ll transform your office or meeting room so you don’t have to worry about:
- Seeking transportation for your team
- Capacity of the escape rooms
- High costs
- Excessive planning
That way, you and your team can simply step inside and get to work collaborating, using creative problem solving, and thinking outside the box.
In this smartphone-based scavenger hunt team building activity , your group will split into teams and complete fun challenges by taking photos and videos around the city. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity are:
- Parkour: Take a picture of three team members jumping over an object that’s at least waist-high.
- Beautiful Mind: Snap a photo of a team member proving a well-known mathematical theorem on a chalkboard.
- Puppy Love: Take a photo of all of your team members petting a stranger’s dog at the same time.
It takes a ton of critical thinking and problem-solving to be crowned the Wild Goose Chase Champions!
Can you imagine a higher-pressure situation than being stranded at sea in a lifeboat with your colleagues?
With this team building problem solving activity, that’s exactly the situation you and your group will put yourselves. But by the time the activity is over, you’ll have gained more experience with the idea of having to solve problems under pressure – a common but difficult thing to do.
Here’s how it works.
Each team member will get a six-columned chart where:
- The first column lists the survival items each team has on hand (see the list below)
- The second column is empty so that each team member can rank the items in order of importance for survival
- The third column is for group rankings
- The fourth column is for the “correct” rankings, which are revealed at the end of the activity
- The fifth and sixth columns are for the team to enter thee difference between their individual and correct scores and the team and correct rankings
Within this activity, each team will be equipped with the following “survival items,” listed below in order of importance, as well as a pack of matches:
- A shaving mirror (this can be used to signal passing ships using the sun)
- A can of gas (could be used for signaling as it could be put in the water and lit with the pack of matches)
- A water container (for collecting water to re-hydrate)
- Emergency food rations (critical survival food)
- One plastic sheet (can be helpful for shelter or to collect rainwater)
- Chocolate bars (another food supply)
- Fishing rods (helpful, but no guarantee of catching food)
- Rope (can be handy, but not necessarily essential for survival)
- A floating seat cushion (usable as a life preserver)
- Shark repellant (could be important when in the water)
- A bottle of rum (could be useful for cleaning wounds)
- A radio (could be very helpful but there’s a good chance you’re out of range)
- A sea chart (this is worthless without navigation equipment)
- A mosquito net (unless you’ve been shipwrecked somewhere with a ton of mosquitos, this isn’t very useful)
To get the activity underway, divide your group into teams of five and ask each team member to take ten minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance in the respective column. Then, give the full team ten minutes as a group to discuss their individual rankings together and take group rankings, listed in that respective column. Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with those of the group as a whole.
Finally, read out the correct order according to the US Coast Guard, listed above.
The goal of this activity is for everyone to be heard and to come to a decision together about what they need most to survive.
If your team works remotely, you can also do this activity online. Using a video conferencing tool like Zoom , you can bring your group together and separate teams into “break-out rooms” where they’ll take their time individually and then regroup together. At the end, you can bring them back to the full video conference to go through the answers together.
Many problems are intricately complex and involve a ton of moving parts. And in order to solve this type of problem, you need to be able to examine it systematically, one piece at a time.
Especially in the business world, many problems or challenges involve multiple different teams or departments working through their respective portions of a problem before coming together in the end to create a holistic solution.
As you can imagine, this is often easier said than done. And that’s why it’s so important to practice this ability.
With a collaborative team building problem solving activity like Domino Effect Challenge, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do as you and your group work to create a massive, fully functional chain reaction machine.
Here’s how it goes.
Your group will break up into teams, with each team working to complete their own section of a massive “Rube Goldberg” machine. Then, all teams will regroup and assemble the entire machine together. You’ll need to exercise communication, collaboration, and on-the-fly problem solving in order to make your chain reaction machine go off without a hitch from start to finish.
Being a great problem-solver means being adaptable and creative. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy team building problem solving activity, you’ll love the reverse pyramid.
The idea here is simple: break your group out into small teams and then stand in the form of a pyramid.
Your challenge is to flip the base and the peak of the pyramid – but you can only move three people in order to do so.
Alternatively, rather than doing this activity with people as the pyramid, you can do another version – the Pyramid Build – using plastic cups instead.
This version is a little bit different. Rather than flipping the base of a pyramid to the top, you’ll need to build the pyramid instead–but in reverse, starting from the top cup and working down.
With this version, you’ll need 36 cups and one table per group. We recommend groups of five to seven people. Give your group 20 to 30 minutes to complete the activity.
To get started, place one cup face down. Then, lift that cup and place the subsequent two cups underneath it.
The real challenge here? You can only lift your pyramid by the bottom row in order to put a new row underneath – and only one person at a time can do the lifting. The remaining group members will need to act quickly and work together in order to add the next row so that it will balance the rest of the pyramid.
If any part of your pyramid falls, you’ll need to start over. Whichever team has the most complete pyramid when time runs out will be the winner!
The value of being able to approach problems analytically can’t be overstated. Because when problems arise, the best way to solve them is by examining the facts and making a decision based on what you know.
With CI: The Crime Investigators, this is exactly what your team will be called upon to do as you put your detective’s hats on and work to solve a deadly crime.
You’ll be presented with evidence and need to uncover and decipher clues. And using only the information at your disposal, you’ll need to examine the facts in order to crack the case.
Like many of our team building problem solving activities, CI: The Crime Investigators is available in a hosted format, which can take place at your office or an outside venue, as well as a virtually-hosted format that uses video conferencing tools, or a self-hosted version that you can run entirely on your own.
Each member of your team has their own unique strengths and skills. And by learning to combine those skills, you can overcome any challenge and solve any problem. With Team Pursuit, you and your team together to tackle challenges as you learn new things about one another, discover your hidden talents, and learn to rely on each other.
This team building problem solving activity is perfect for high-energy groups that love to put their heads together and work strategically to solve problems as a group.
If you and your team are working remotely, don’t worry. You still have a ton of great virtual team building problem solving options at your disposal.
In this virtual escape room experience, your team will be transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. You’ll have to work together to uncover clues and solve complex challenges to lift the ancient curse.
You’ve probably never heard of a man named Neil Davidson. But your group will need to come together to solve the mystery of his murder by analyzing clues, resolving challenges, and figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime.
This activity will challenge you and your group to approach problems analytically, read between the lines, and use critical thinking in order to identify a suspect and deliver justice.
If you and your team like brainteasers, then Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist will be a big hit.
Here’s the backstory.
There’s been a robbery. Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.
Together, you’ll need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.
With Virtual Code Break, you and your team can learn to be adaptive and dynamic in your thinking in order to tackle any new challenges that come your way. In this activity, your group will connect on a video conferencing platform where your event host will split you out into teams. Together, you’ll have to adapt your problem-solving skills as you race against the clock to tackle a variety of mixed brainteaser challenges ranging from Sudoku to puzzles, a game of Cranium, riddles, and even trivia.
Curious to see how a virtual team building activity works? Check out this video on a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery in action.
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60’s.
This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
And if your team loves trivia, check out our list of the most incredible virtual trivia games for work teams for even more ideas.
6. Virtual Jeoparty Social
If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round.
With the right team building problem solving activities, you can help your team sharpen their core skills to ensure they’re prepared when they inevitably face a challenge at work. And best of all, you can have fun in the process.
Do you have any favorite team building activities for building problem-solving skills? If so, tell us about them in the comments section below!
Learn More About Team Building Problem Solving Activities
For more information about how your group can take part in a virtual team building, training, or coaching solution, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.
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Category: Games for problem-solving
Choose your words wisely.
Humans live in language. It defines what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Language is the bedrock of our cultures and societies. As with fish in water, we go about our daily business without paying much attention to the language around us and how it influences us. Information architect and author, Jorge Arango developed Semantic Environment Mapping years ago to make visible the everyday language through which we so naively swim.
Object of Play The Semantic Environment Canvas will help you understand the language, rules, and power dynamics that make it possible for people to accomplish their purposes in particular situations—or hinder them from doing so.
Number of Players 1-6 players.
If you have more than six people, consider breaking them into groups and assigning separate environments to each group.
Duration of Play 20 minutes – 40 minutes
Materials Required To run a good session, you will need:
- A large print of the Semantic Environment canvas. Preferably on A0 size. A1 – A3 will do the job. Downloadable here
- Flip chart paper with adhesive backing
- Sticky notes of different colors
- Markers and pens
- Camera to capture the results
- It may be helpful to read more about Semantic Environments in Jorge’s blog posts here and here
How to Play
- Print out the Semantic Environment canvas on a large sheet of paper and hang on a wall with the duck tape. (It’s easiest if you do this exercise using sticky notes — especially if you’re collaborating with others.)
- Inform the players we’ll be filling out canvas sections one-at-a-time. For each section we will individually brainstorm and then conduct a group conversation.
- Facilitation tip – if an insight or thought aligns better to another section of a canvas simply place it in the appropriate section and return to it at a later time, i.e. do not discard it because it was in the “wrong” section
- What is the general area of discourse we are designing for?
- Does it employ the language of law? commerce? religion? Etc.
- What are the intended purposes of this environment?
- What are the environment’s key terms, including its basic metaphors?
- Discuss as a group and agree on a name for the environment. The name should be clear, but also compelling; you want the language to come alive!
- Write the name on the canvas.
- Now let’s think about the actors in the environment. Inform the group these could be individuals, but they can also be roles or groups within an organization. (More than two actors can participate in a semantic environment. For the sake of simplicity this canvas focuses only on two. You can print out additional canvases to map other relationships.)
- Who are the people performing within the semantic environment?
- How well do they know the environment’s rules?
- How well do they know the environment’s language?
- After 2-3 minutes, ask the group to discuss their thoughts. From the discussion, have the group choose and name Actor A and Actor B; fill in the canvas.
- Ask the group to discuss the relative power of each actor in the situation. Are they peers, or is one actor more powerful than another? How do the actors experience their power differentials?
- Fill in the Power Relationship section of the canvas.
- Why are they having this interaction?
- What do they expect to get out of it?
- How will they know when they’ve accomplished it?
- After the brainstorm, ask each player to present their ideas by placing their sticky notes on the canvas. After all players have presented their ideas, let the group discuss.
- Now let’s consider the rules that govern the situation. Explain to the players that these rules can be spoken or unspoken.
- Are the actors expected to behave in some ways?
- Are there behaviors the actors are expected to avoid?
- What happens when they don’t follow the rules? (Does the communication break down entirely? Or do they shift to another semantic environment?)
The Key Words
- Move on to the Key Word section of the canvas. Ask the players to consider the key words the actors use in the situation. Explain: All semantic environments have what Neil Postman called a technical vocabulary: words that have special meaning within this environment.
- What are the environment’s basic terms?
- What metaphors could apply to this environment?
- Who controls the environmental metaphors?
- Do both actors share an understanding of what these words mean?
- Who or what is in charge of maintaining the definitions?
- Move on to the Touchpoints section of the canvas. As the players to consider the key touchpoints that allow the communication to happen.
- Do the actors meet in person?
- If so, do they have to be in a special physical environment?
- If they meet remotely, are there particular technologies involved?
- What is the mood surrounding the touchpoint?
Now that the canvas is complete, you can analyze relationships between different sections and discuss their implications. Questions to help make sense of it all:
- Is there potential for ambiguity over what sort of environment this is? What can create such confusion?
- What are the purposes that are actually being achieved by the way this environment is currently organized?
- Is there a difference between what is intended and what is being achieved?
- Are there contradictions in purpose between the environment and its sub-environments?
Tips for visualizing the analysis:
- Draw arrows between sticky notes to clarify relationships around words, rules, goals, and so on.
- Use colored stickies to represent whether certain words, goals, rules, etc. help (green) or hinder (red) the actor’s goals.
- Identify and explore related semantic environments. In a single process (for example, a sales pipeline) one actor may transverse various environments as he or she interacts with other actors. Also, semantic environments can be nested: some environments contain sub-environments where language and rules become ever more specialized.
- Pin up multiple semantic environment maps next to each other; this can help you spot situations in which the same words appear under different guises or with different meanings.
Strategy When collaborating, people must be clear they’re using language in the same ways. However, they often take the words they use for granted; they don’t question their meaning. Other collaborators may understand them differently. Mapping the semantic environment clarifies the language people use and the expectations they bring to an interaction. (In other words: always and everywhere!)
- Your team may be struggling to communicate effectively with other teams in your organization; mapping the semantic environment may lead you to discover you’re unwittingly using similar words in both teams to mean different things.
- You may be facing a difficult political environment. Mapping out the semantics of the situation can help you understand other people’s goals and trigger phrases so you can manage tensions more effectively.
- You may be designing a complex software system and need to understand how the various parties involved — including the system’s users and stakeholders — use language to accomplish their goals. This understanding can then inform the system’s conceptual models and information architecture.
Credits The canvas is adapted from Neil Postman’s semantic environment framework, and inspired by the canvases of Dave Gray and Alex Osterwalder.
The canvas was originally published on jarango.com
Object of play You can use the Draw Toast exercise to introduce people to the concepts of visual thinking, working memory, mental models and/or systems thinking. This also works as a nice warm-up exercise to get people engaged with each other and thinking visually. Plus, it’s fun!
Number of players Any number of people can play this game.
Duration : 10-15 minutes.
How to play On paper or index cards, ask people to draw “How to make toast.”
After a couple of minutes, ask people to share their diagrams with each other and discuss the similarities and differences. Ask people to share any observations or insights they have about the various drawings. You are likely to hear comments about the relative simplicity or complexity of the drawings, whether they have people in them, how technical they are, how similar or different they are, and so on.
Depending on why you are doing the exercise you may want to point out the following:
- Note that althought the drawings are all different, they are all fundamentally correct. There are many ways to visualize information and they all enrich understanding rather than being “right” or “wrong.”
Visualizations of this kind tend to be easily understandable, although they are visually as rich and diverse as people. Pictures can be fundamentally correct even though they are quite different. There is no “one right type” of visualization.
When people visualize a mental model, they usually will include 5-7 elements, linked together by lines or arrows. The number of elements tends to correspond to the number of things people can hold in their working memory, also known as short-term memory (See The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two for more information).
This is also a nice warm-up exercise that is fun and gets people talking to each other.
There is an excellent TED talk by Tom Wujec which you may want to watch in preparation. It may also be useful to show to the group in sessions as a way to share insights after the exercise. Tom also has a page with ideas for extending this exercise into group problem-solving which you can find at DrawToast.com .
Object of Play
This game has been designed to gather facts and opinions from the participants on different aspects of the issue at stake. It will help gain and share insight from all points of view, since everyone will have had the chance to contribute.
Number of Players: Up to 50
Duration of Play: 15min to an hour depending on the amount of participants
- Prepare 5 up to 10 flip-charts where you address different aspects of the topic at hand. On each flip-chart you address a certain aspect of the issue by posing a powerful question about it, these questions should be impersonal and ask for facts and opinions. Focus on “what”, “when” and “how” questions.
- Spread the flip-charts through the entire room, making sure there is enough distance in between to allow group discussions between participants without disturbing the others too much.
- Quickly introduce the topic at hand and go through the questions of each flip-chart, making sure everybody understands the questions correctly.
- Aks participants to split into pairs, or groups up to 5 people if you have a bigger group. You should have one group per flip-chart/question.
- Ask each group to answer the question by adding their ideas, facts and opinions on the flip-chart either with images, writing or post-it artifacts in a way that it is possible for others to interprete the data presented.
- Give each group 2-3min time to add their information and rotate to the next flip-chart (clock-wise or counter clock-wise)
- Repeat until each group has answered all the questions.
- Give the entire group another 5-10min to review all generated content and move to the next step: prioritization and/or deeper research into some of the ideas generated.
By limiting the time a group has to answer a question you will make them focus on the most important things. The idea is not to gather all information per participant but to gather meaningful information as a group. This gathered information will form the basis for a prioritization and/or deeper research into some of the ideas and opinions.
Rarely are ideas born overnight. And for an idea to become a great idea, it takes considerable work and effort to develop. Part of the reason we end up with under-developed ideas is that we stick with the first good idea we have — rather than taking the time to explore complementary approaches. 6-8-5 is designed to combat this pattern by forcing us to generate lots of ideas in a short period of time. The activity can then be repeated to hone & flesh out a few of the best ideas.
Number of Players 2+
Duration of Play 5 minutes to play each round 15-20 minutes for discussion
How to Play 1. Before the meeting, prepare several sheets of paper with a 2×2 or 2×3 grid. You want to create boxes big enough for players to sketch their ideas in, but small enough to constrain them to one idea per box. Prepare enough paper for everyone to have about 10 boxes per round.
2. As the group is gathering, distribute sheets of paper to each player. Or instruct the group on how to make their own 2×2 grid by drawing lines in their notebook.
3. Introduce the game and remind players of the objective for the meeting. Tell players that the goal with 6-8-5 is to generate between 6-8 ideas (related to the meeting objective) in 5 minutes.
4. Next, set a timer for 5 minutes.
5. Tell the players to sit silently and sketch out as many ideas as they can until the timer ends — with the goal of reaching 6-8 ideas. The sketches can and should be very rough — nothing polished in this stage.
6. When the time runs out, the players should share their sketches with the rest of the group. The group can ask questions of each player, but this is not a time for a larger brainstorming session. Make sure every player presents his/her sketches.
7. With time permitting, repeat another few rounds of 6-8-5. Players can further develop any ideas that were presented by the group as a whole or can sketch new ideas that emerged since the last round. They can continue to work on separate ideas, or begin working on the same idea. But the 5-minute sketching sprint should always be done silently and independently.
Strategy 6-8-5 is intended to help players generate many ideas in succession, without worrying about the details or implementation of any particular idea. It’s designed to keep players on task by limiting them to sketch in small boxes and work fast in a limited amount of time. 6-8-5 can be used on any product or concept that you want to brainstorm, and have the best results with a heterogenous group (people from product, marketing, engineering, design…).
6-8-5 works great in the early stages of the ideation process, and are often followed by a debrief and synthesis session or by another gamestorming exercise to identify the most fruitful ideas given the team’s business, product, or end-user goals.
6-8-5 has been used in design studio workshops for rapid ideation. This game is credited to Todd Zaki Warfel .
Staple Yourself To Something
The goal of this game is to explore or clarify a process by following an object through its flow. Through this exercise, a group will create a memorable, visual story of their core process. After it is completed, this artifact can be used to identify opportunities to improve or educate others involved in the process. The notion of “stapling yourself to an order” comes from process improvement, but can be useful in a variety of scenarios. A group with no documented process, or an overly complex one, will benefit from the exercise. If the process is taking too long, or if no one seems to know how the work gets done, it’s time to staple yourself to something and see where it goes.
Number of Players
Duration of Play
- The group must have an idea of what their object is, the “bouncing ball” that they will follow through the process. It’s best to decide on this in advance. Some example objects could be a product, a trouble ticket, or an idea. A familiar example of this type of flow is “How a bill becomes a law.”
- Introduce the exercise by drawing the object. The goal is to focus on telling the story of this one object from point A to point B. Write these commonly understood starting and ending points on the wall.
- Ask participants to brainstorm a list of the big steps in the process and record them on the wall. If needed, ask them to prioritize them into a desired and workable number of steps. For a high-level story, look to capture seven steps.
- Before you start to follow the object, work out with the group the vital information you are looking to capture in the story. Ask: in each step of the process, what do we need to know? This may be the people involved, the action they’re taking, or the amount of time a step takes.
- Now it’s time to draw. The group will tell the story of the object as it moves from step to step. As much as possible, capture the information visually, as though you were taking a picture of what they are describing. Some useful tools here include stick figures, arrows, and quality questions. Questions that produce an active voice in the answer, as in “Who does what here?” will be more concrete and visual. Other good questions include “What’s next?” and “What’s important?”
- Be aware that the story will want to branch, loop, and link to other processes, like a river trying to break its banks. Your job is to navigate the flow with the group and keep things moving toward the end.
Use the object as a focusing device. Any activity that is not directly related to the forward motion of the object can be noted and then tied off.
If possible, add a ticking clock to the story to help pace the flow. If the object needs to get to the end by a certain time, use this to your advantage by introducing it up front and referencing it as needed to keep up the momentum and interest of the story.
One trap to be aware of is that participants may move between the way things are and the way they want them to be. Be clear with the group about what state in time—today or the desired future—you are capturing.
Does the process have an owner? If someone is responsible for the process, you can use this person’s expertise, but be cautious not to let her tell the entire story. This can be a learning experience for her as well, if she listens to the participants describe “their version” of the story.
There are many ways of conducting a “day in the life” type of visualization. This version of the game is credited to James Macanufo.
When exploring an information space, it’s important for a group to know where they are at any given time. What have we covered, and what did we leave behind? By using SQUID , a group charts out the territory as they go and can navigate accordingly. SQUID stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram. It is created progressively over the course of a meeting with sticky notes, capturing questions and answers as the group moves through the space. It is flexible and will move and grow with the discussion, but it also needs to “breathe” by moving between its critical modes of questions and answers.
30 minutes provides optimum productivity
1. Reserve a large area of a whiteboard or several flip charts to create the SQUID. Participants are given two colors of sticky notes to work with, one for questions and one for answers.
2. Start to build the diagram by writing the group’s core topic on a sticky note. Put this in the center of the space.
- Question mode: To open the exercise, ask individuals to generate a question that is their “best guess” on how to approach the topic. They capture this on a color-coded sticky note, and share it with the group by posting it adjacent to the center of the SQUID. The questions should immediately offer a few different routes of inquiry, and participants will likely start offering thoughts on answers.
After a discussion, the group then moves back into question mode, generating questions based on the last round of answers. Participants may focus on earlier parts of the SQUID as well. The process repeats over the course of the discussion.
Keeping with the current mode and not crossing questions with answers requires discipline that can only be acquired by a group through time. By working in this way, a group will train itself on the value of a systematic, rhythmic movement through unknown information, in contrast with a meandering group discussion. The SQUID itself is, of course, utterly flexible and will grow as the group directs it.
The SQUID game is credited to James Macanufo .
Speedboat is a short and sweet way to identify what your employees or clients don’t like about your product/service or what’s standing in the way of a desired goal. As individuals trying to build forward momentum on products or projects, we sometimes have blind spots regarding what’s stopping us. This game lets you get insight from stakeholders about what they think may be an obstacle to progress.
- In a white space visible to the players, draw a boat with anchors attached and name the boat after the product/service or goal under discussion. This picture is the metaphor for the activity—the boat represents the product/service or goal and the anchors represent the obstacles slowing the movement toward a desired state.
- Write the question under discussion next to the boat. For example, “What are the features you don’t like about our product?” or “What’s standing in the way of progress toward this goal?”
- Introduce Speedboat as a game designed to show what might be holding a product/service or goal back. Ask the players to review the question and then take a few minutes to think about the current features of the product/service or the current environment surrounding the goal.
- Next, ask them to take 5–10 minutes and write the features of the product/service they don’t like or any variables that are in the way on sticky notes. If you’d like, you can also ask the players to estimate how much faster the boat would go (in miles or kilometers per hour) without those “anchors” and add that to their sticky notes.
This game is not about kicking off a complaint parade. It’s designed to gather information about improvements or ambitions, so be careful to frame it as such. Tell the players that the intention is to reveal less-than-desirable conditions so that you can be empowered to move the product/service or goal toward an improved state.
That being said, be aware of the fact that many groups have a tendency to move immediately toward analysis of an improved state. They shift into problem-solving mode. However,doing so disrupts the nature of this game play. After the activity, it’s probable that you won’t have all the information or the right stakeholders to respond to the challenges comprehensively. So, if you hear the players critiquing or analyzing the content, gently tell them that problem solving is for another game—try to keep their attention focused solely on description, not solution.
Speedboat is based on the same-named activity in Luke Hohmann’s book, Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play.
Online Speed Boat Game
Here is another image of the Speed Boat Game. But this one is special – clicking on the image to the right, will start an “instant play” game at www.innovationgames.com. In this game, there will be icons that you can drag on your online Speed Boat Board:
- Anchors represent what is preventing your product or service from being as successful as it could be.
This metaphorical game can be altered to suit your needs. For example, Jonathan Clark’s Speed Plane uses an airplane instead of a boat and replaces anchors with luggage. Customizing the game will make it more relatable to your business and can result in more valuable feedback.
Keep in mind that that this is a collaborative game. This means that you can invite other players to play. And when they drag something around – you’ll see it in real time!
The goal of this game is to discover opportunities to transform an existing, linear process into a more valuable and growing process by taking a different viewpoint. This is useful in examining processes that are deemed “worth repeating,” such as the customer experience.
It might be a good time to play through this exercise if the current process is transactional,compartmentalized, or wasteful. Other indications are a group that is “navel gazing” and focused primarily on its internal process, or when there is a sense that after the process is complete, no one knows what happens next.
Possible outcomes include that the group may uncover new growth and improvement opportunities in an existing process by “bending it back into itself.”
You will need a high-level understanding or documentation of the current state of things. Any existing, linear process will work.
- Introduce the exercise by “black boxing” the current process. This means that during the course of the exercise the group’s focus will be on what’s outside the process,not the fine detail of what’s going on inside the box.
- To make this visual, give each step in the process a box on the wall (medium-sized sticky notes work well) and connect them with arrows in a linear fashion.
- To start the exercise, ask the group to think about, to the best of their knowledge, what happens before the process: Who or what is involved? What is going on? Repeat this for the end of the process: What comes after the process? What are the possible outcomes?
- You may ask them to capture their thoughts on sticky notes and post them before and after the process.
- Next, draw a loop from the end of the linear process back to its starting point. By doing this you are turning a linear process into a life cycle. Ask: “To get from here,and back again, what needs to happen? What’s missing from the picture? ”
- The group is ready to explore possibilities and opportunities. Again, sticky notes work well for capturing ideas. Have the players capture their thoughts along the line and discuss.
Pick the right process to do this with. A process that warrants repeating, such as the customer experience, works well. Knowledge creation and capture, as well as strategic planning, are also candidates.
Get the right people in the room. Some awareness of what happens outside the process is needed, but can also hamper the experience. One of the biggest potential outcomes is a visceral change in perspective on the participants’ part: from internal focus to external focus.
This game is credited to James Macanufo.
Often, a change in a problem or situation comes simply from a change in our perspectives. Flip It! is a quick game designed to show players that perspectives are made, not born. We can choose to see the glass as either half full or half empty, but often when we perceive it as half full, we get better results. This game is at its best when players begin to see challenges as opportunities and to make doable suggestions around solving problems rather than just rehashing them.
30 minutes to 1 hour
- Before the meeting, hang four to eight sheets of flip-chart paper on a wall (as shown in the following figure), and on any sheet in the top row, write the name of the game.
- On the bottom-left sheet write the word “FEAR”. If you’d like, spend time drawing a representation of fear on the sheets beforehand or cut out an image from a magazine that embodies it. Tell the group that Flip It is about the future—of their department, their organization, their product/service, whatever topic you have agreed on beforehand.
- Ask the players to quietly spend 5–10 minutes writing concerns, issues, and fears about the topic on sticky notes. Remind them to be honest about their fears because this game gives them an opportunity to reframe their fears. Collect and post the sticky notes on the FEAR sheets, which are all the sheets along the bottom row. Discuss the content with the group and ask for volunteers to elaborate on their contributions.
- On the top-left sheet write the word “HOPE”. Ask the players to survey the content in the FEAR row and try to “flip” the perspectives by reframing in terms of hope.Give them 10–15 minutes to generate sticky notes that respond to the fears.
- With the group, collect and post the second set of sticky notes on the HOPE sheets along the top row.
Because Flip It starts with FEARS, as the meeting leader you’ll need to reassure folks early on that they’re not going to wallow in their fears. They just need to spend sometime generating fears in order to gather information and get the game moving. You can model the flip-it behavior by opening the game with an example of a situation you chose to perceive one way or the other. Once the group writes down their fears and posts them on the wall, let them air any related thoughts and then spend the majority of the time flipping the fears into positive outcomes. You want the group to see concerns (even if it’s a momentary view) as a chance to be hopeful and get motivated around action.
If you’re working with a larger group or if the group generates an abundant amount of sticky notes, use the sorting and clustering technique and generate representative categories for each cluster. Then ask the group to vote on those categories and use them during the TRACTION activity. Unless directed otherwise, the issues provided by the group will likely focus on both internal and external factors. If you don’t want the play to be that all-encompassing, establish a boundary going in.
- Optional activity: Ask for volunteers to write their initials next to the practical actions they could support. Tell them it’s not an intractable commitment, just an indication of where their interest lies.
The source of the Flip It game is unknown.
Wizard Of Oz
In this role-play exercise, two people prototype a machine–human interaction. The user talks to another who is “behind the curtain,” playing the role of the machine. They may use a script to uncover breaking points in an existing design, or improvise to work out a completely new idea.
2, plus observers
30 minutes or more
If a group is testing an existing design, they should prepare a script that outlines the responses and actions that the machine can take. The “wizard” will use this—and only this—to react to the user. For example, a group that is designing an ATM interface would write a script of information presented to the user and the responses that it understands in return.
If a group is improvising, they can just get started. To open the exercise, the two players should be visually separated from each other. This is the “curtain” that keeps them from inadvertently passing cues or other information to each other. They may be separated by a piece of cardboard, or they may simply turn their backs to each other.
The easiest way to play through the exercise is for the user to initiate some task that she wants to accomplish. As the two players play through the experience, they should look for problems, frustration points, or opportunities to do the unexpected. Essentially, the user should challenge the machine, and the machine should stick to what it knows.
This technique’s application has grown beyond voice control, as the “curtain” simultaneously eliminates assumptions about the machine and surfaces what the user wants to do and how she wants to do it.
The technique was pioneered in the 1970s, in the early design and testing of the now-common airport kiosk, and in IBM’s development of the “listening typewriter.” In these cases, the technique is taken even further: the person playing the machine would interpret voice commands from a user and manipulate a prototype of the system accordingly, like the invisible “wizard” in The Wizard of Oz.
- Facilitator resources
- Games for any meeting
- Games for closing
- Games for decision-making
- Games for design
- Games for fresh thinking and ideas
- Games for innovating
- Games for opening
- Games for planning
- Games for presenting
- Games for problem-solving
- Games for team-building and alignment
- Games for update or review meetings
- Games for vision and strategy meetings
- Gamestorming experiences
- Local and regional Gamestorming groups
- Research and evidence
- The Knowledge Economy
14 Best Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities For 2023
The best teams see solutions where others see problems. A great company culture is built around a collaborative spirit and the type of unity it takes to find answers to the big business questions.
So how can you get team members working together?
How can you develop a mentality that will help them overcome obstacles they have yet to encounter?
One of the best ways to improve your teams’ problem solving skills is through team building problem solving activities .
“86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.” — Bit.AI
These activities can simulate true-to-life scenarios they’ll find themselves in, or the scenarios can call on your employees or coworkers to dig deep and get creative in a more general sense.
The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, you have to prepare for the unexpected. It just happens that team building activities help with that, but are so fun that they don’t have to feel like work ( consider how you don’t even feel like you’re working out when you’re playing your favorite sport or doing an exercise you actually enjoy! )
What are the benefits of group problem-solving activities?
The benefits of group problem-solving activities for team building include:
- Better communication
- Improved collaboration and teamwork
- More flexible thinking
- Faster problem-solving
- Better proactivity and decision making
Without further ado, check out this list of the 14 best team-building problem-solving group activities for 2023!
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Popular Problem Solving Activities
1. virtual team challenge.
Virtual Team Challenges are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team brainstorming, discussing, and creating solutions for a given problem.
Participants work both individually and collaboratively to come up with ideas and strategies that will help them reach their goals.
Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Participants can interact and communicate with each other in a virtual environment while simultaneously engaging with the problem-solving activities. This makes it an enjoyable experience that allows people to use their creative thinking skills, build team spirit, and gain valuable insights into the issue at hand.
Problem-solving activities such as Virtual Team Challenges offer a great way for teams to come together, collaborate, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.
2. Problem-Solving Templates
Problem-Solving Templates are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team utilizing pre-made templates and creating solutions for a given problem with the help of visual aids.
This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey.
Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Problem-Solving Templates offer teams an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing. The visual aids that come with the templates help team members better understand the issue at hand and easily come up with solutions together.
This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey, as it provides an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing.
Problem Solving Group Activities & Games For Team Building
3. coworker feud, “it’s all fun and games”.
Coworker Feud is a twist on the classic Family Feud game show! This multiple rapid round game keeps the action flowing and the questions going. You can choose from a variety of customizations, including picking the teams yourself, randomized teams, custom themes, and custom rounds.
Best for: Hybrid teams
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Coworker Feud comes with digital game materials, a digital buzzer, an expert host, and a zoom link to get the participants ready for action! Teams compete with each other to correctly answer the survey questions. At the end of the game, the team with the most competitive answers is declared the winner of the Feud.
How to get started:
- Sign up for Coworker Feud
- Break into teams of 4 to 10 people
- Get the competitive juices flowing and let the games begin!
Learn more here: Coworker Feud
4. Crack The Case
“who’s a bad mamma jamma”.
Crack The Case is a classic WhoDoneIt game that forces employees to depend on their collective wit to stop a deadly murderer dead in his tracks! Remote employees and office commuters can join forces to end this crime spree.
Best for: Remote teams
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: The Virtual Clue Murder Mystery is an online problem solving activity that uses a proprietary videoconferencing platform to offer the chance for employees and coworkers to study case files, analyze clues, and race to find the motive, the method, and the individual behind the murder of Neil Davidson.
- Get a custom quote here
- Download the app
- Let the mystery-solving collaboration begin!
Learn more here: Crack The Case
5. Catch Meme If You Can
“can’t touch this”.
Purposefully created to enhance leadership skills and team bonding , Catch Meme If You Can is a hybrid between a scavenger hunt and an escape room . Teammates join together to search for clues, solve riddles, and get out — just in time!
Best for: Small teams
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Catch Meme If You Can is an adventure with a backstory. Each team has to submit their answer to the puzzle in order to continue to the next part of the sequence. May the best team escape!
- The teams will be given instructions and the full storyline
- Teams will be split into a handful of people each
- The moderator will kick off the action!
Learn more here: Catch Meme If You Can
6. Puzzle Games
“just something to puzzle over”.
Puzzle Games is the fresh trivia game to test your employees and blow their minds with puzzles, jokes , and fun facts!
Best for: In-person teams
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Eight mini brain teaser and trivia style games include word puzzles, name that nonsense, name that tune, and much more. Plus, the points each team earns will go towards planting trees in the precious ecosystems and forests of Uganda
- Get a free consultation for your team
- Get a custom designed invitation for your members
- Use the game link
- Dedicated support will help your team enjoy Puzzle Games to the fullest!
Learn more here: Puzzle Games
7. Virtual Code Break
“for virtual teams”.
Virtual Code Break is a virtual team building activity designed for remote participants around the globe. Using a smart video conferencing solution, virtual teams compete against each other to complete challenges, answer trivia questions, and solve brain-busters!
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Virtual Code Break can be played by groups as small as 4 people all the way up to more than 1,000 people at once. However, every team will improve their communication and problem-solving skills as they race against the clock and depend on each other’s strengths to win!
- Reach out for a free consultation to align the needs of your team
- An event facilitator will be assigned to handle all of the set-up and logistics
- They will also provide you with logins and a play-by-play of what to expect
- Sign into the Outback video conferencing platform and join your pre-assigned team
- Lastly, let the games begin!
Learn more here: Virtual Code Break
“survivor: office edition”.
Stranded is the perfect scenario-based problem solving group activity. The doors of the office are locked and obviously your team can’t just knock them down or break the windows.
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Your team has less than half an hour to choose 10 items around the office that will help them survive. They then rank the items in order of importance. It’s a bit like the classic game of being lost at sea without a lifeboat.
- Get everyone together in the office
- Lock the doors
- Let them start working together to plan their survival
Learn more here: Stranded
9. Letting Go Game
“for conscious healing”.
The Letting Go Game is a game of meditation and mindfulness training for helping teammates thrive under pressure and reduce stress in the process. The tasks of the Letting Go Game boost resiliency, attentiveness, and collaboration.
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Expert-guided activities and awareness exercises encourage team members to think altruistically and demonstrate acts of kindness. Between yoga, face painting, and fun photography, your employees or coworkers will have more than enough to keep them laughing and growing together with this mindfulness activity!
- Reach out for a free consultation
- A guide will then help lead the exercises
- Let the funny videos, pictures, and playing begin!
Learn more here: Letting Go Game
10. Wild Goose Chase
Wild Goose Chase is the creative problem solving activity that will take teams all around your city and bring them together as a group! This scavenger hunt works for teams as small as 10 up to groups of over 5000 people.
Best for: Large teams
Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: As employees and group members are coming back to the office, there are going to be times that they’re itching to get outside. Wild Goose Chase is the perfect excuse to satisfy the desire to go out-of-office every now and then. Plus, having things to look at and see around the city will get employees talking in ways they never have before.
- Download the Outback app to access the Wild Goose Chase
- Take photos and videos from around the city
- The most successful team at completing challenges on time is the champ!
Learn more here: Wild Goose Chase
11. Human Knot
“for a knotty good time”.
The Human Knot is one of the best icebreaker team building activities! In fact, there’s a decent chance you played it in grade school. It’s fun, silly, and best of all — free!
Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: Participants start in a circle and connect hands with two other people in the group to form a human knot. The team then has to work together and focus on clear communication to unravel the human knot by maneuvering their way out of this hands-on conundrum. But there’s a catch — they can’t let go of each other’s hands in this team building exercise.
- Form a circle
- Tell each person to grab a random hand until all hands are holding another
- They can’t hold anyone’s hand who is directly next to them
- Now they have to get to untangling
- If the chain breaks before everyone is untangled, they have to start over again
Learn more here: Human Knot
12. What Would You Do?
“because it’s fun to imagine”.
What Would You Do? Is the hypothetical question game that gets your team talking and brainstorming about what they’d do in a variety of fun, intriguing, and sometimes, whacky scenarios.
Best for: Distributed teams
Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: After employees or coworkers start talking about their What Would You Do? responses, they won’t be able to stop. That’s what makes this such an incredible team building activity . For example, you could ask questions like “If you could live forever, what would you do with your time?” or “If you never had to sleep, what would you do?”
- In addition to hypothetical questions, you could also give teammates some optional answers to get them started
- After that, let them do the talking — then they’ll be laughing and thinking and dreaming, too!
13. Crossing The River
“quite the conundrum”.
Crossing The River is a river-crossing challenge with one correct answer. Your team gets five essential elements — a chicken, a fox, a rowboat, a woman, and a bag of corn. You see, the woman has a bit of a problem, you tell them. She has to get the fox, the bag of corn, and the chicken to the other side of the river as efficiently as possible.
Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: She has a rowboat, but it can only carry her and one other item at a time. She cannot leave the chicken and the fox alone — for obvious reasons. And she can’t leave the chicken with the corn because it will gobble it right up. So the question for your team is how does the woman get all five elements to the other side of the river safely in this fun activity?
- Form teams of 2 to 5 people
- Each team has to solve the imaginary riddle
- Just make sure that each group understands that the rowboat can only carry one animal and one item at a time; the fox and chicken can’t be alone; and the bag of corn and the chicken cannot be left alone
- Give the verbal instructions for getting everything over to the other side
14. End-Hunger Games
Does anything bond people quite like acts of kindness and compassion? The End-Hunger Games will get your team to rally around solving the serious problem of hunger.
Best for: Medium-sized teams
Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Teams join forces to complete challenges based around non-perishable food items in the End-Hunger Games. Groups can range in size from 25 to more than 2000 people, who will all work together to collect food for the local food bank.
- Split into teams and compete to earn boxes and cans of non-perishable food
- Each team attempts to build the most impressive food item construction
- Donate all of the non-perishable foods to a local food bank
Learn more here: End-Hunger Games
People Also Ask These Questions About Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities
Q: what are some problem solving group activities.
- A: Some problem solving group activities can include riddles, egg drop, reverse pyramid, tallest tower, trivia, and other moderator-led activities.
Q: What kind of skills do group problem solving activities & games improve?
- A: Group problem solving activities and games improve collaboration, leadership, and communication skills.
Q: What are problem solving based team building activities & games?
- A: Problem solving based team building activities and games are activities that challenge teams to work together in order to complete them.
Q: What are some fun free problem solving games for groups?
- A: Some fun free problem solving games for groups are kinesthetic puzzles like the human knot game, which you can read more about in this article. You can also use all sorts of random items like whiteboards, straws, building blocks, sticky notes, blindfolds, rubber bands, and legos to invent a game that will get the whole team involved.
Q: How do I choose the most effective problem solving exercise for my team?
- A: The most effective problem solving exercise for your team is one that will challenge them to be their best selves and expand their creative thinking.
Q: How do I know if my group problem solving activity was successful?
- A: In the short-term, you’ll know if your group problem solving activity was successful because your team will bond over it; however, that should also translate to more productivity in the mid to long-term.
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10 Problem Solving Games for Kids
Playing board games is one of the best ways to spend time with your children. Why? Board games offer ample ways for kids to build their brains. Not only does playing games with your children improve family relationships and give opportunities for caring adults to help nurture good sportsmanship but the best games build kids' critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Note: this post contains affiliate links that may earn commission.
We've composed a list of problem solving games for kids that help develop the following critical skills:
- Advance planning - what steps do you need to make in order to reach your goal?
- Decision making - evaluating the benefits of multiple choices
- Drawing conclusions and inference - how will your opponent respond to your choice?
- Reevaluation - how you respond when the result is unexpected
Games work on all these skills while also being fun. What could be better? Here are our favorite 10 problem solving games for kids and families!
A note regarding age recommendations. I've included the manufacturer's recommendation, but most games can be played with younger kids, provided an adult is at the ready to assist.
Every time you play Battle Sheep the playing space is different! That's because players start with 4 pasture boards that they take turns placing down to create the playing field. Kids are using advance planning and reevaluation right off the bat! Each player begins with 16 sheep and aims towards occupying as many pastures as they can. Players must chose between placing sheep or strategically blocking their opponents. We love this game that engages players' abstract thinking, strategic, and visual perception skills. Ages 7 and up. 2-4 players.
Find it: Amazon
The board changes every time you play, keeping players on their toes and constantly reassessing their strategy. Players use tiles to create paths along which they move their tokens. The objective is to create paths in such a way that keep you moving but force your opponents off the board. Players must anticipate other's moves and problem solve in order accomplish both goals. Tsuro is also surprisingly easy to learn! Ages 8 and up. 2-8 players.
Players make their way through an ever-shifting maze in pursuit of treasure. Each player begins with a set number of treasure cards and the player who collects all their treasure first, wins. The board consists of moving panels and on their turn, a player shifts the panels in an effort to further their own progress or hinder that of others. Ages 7 and up. 2-4 players
Kingdomino is a tile placing game in which players must make choices regarding how to build their kingdom. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible by matching tiles based on terrain. But some terrains score more than others. Players must decide if they want to build a lot of low scoring terrains, or fewer high-scoring terrains. Your tile choice also affects the order of play for the next round so it's important to be thoughtful. We've throughly enjoyed this game. An expansion pack is available. Ages 8 and up. 2-4 players
Find it: Kingdomino | Expansion pack | Queendomino
Photosynthesis from Blue Orange Games has an environmental theme. Players focus on growing trees through their life cycle from seed to maturity. Players strategize to "plant" their seeds where they will receive the most light, without being blocked in the future by other, maturing, trees. Successful game play requires planning and analysis. The artwork is beautiful and adds to the unique game play. We have enjoyed playing this game! Ages 8 and up. 2-4 players.
Azul's stunningly colorful game design was inspired by azulejos , a type of decorated ceramic tile introduced to Spain by the Moors and made popular in Portugal by King Manuel I. Players transform into tile laying artists, and must strategize over three phases of game play: choosing tiles, laying them and prepping for the next round. The object is to collect the most points by creating lines of 5 consecutive tiles. Each line of tiles must contain only one of each type of tile. The game ends when one player has completed a row, but that player is not necessarily the winner. Strategic problem solving and planning are required because players can lose points in the wall-tiling phase for any remaining, unused tiles. Ages 8 and up. 2-4 players.
Gobblet looks like Tic Tac Toe but players have large, medium and small pieces that nestle inside each other like Russian dolls. Players attempt to get four in a row by "gobbling" up smaller pieces. The game relies on advance planning, anticipating your opponent's moves and memory skills since you have to remember which Gobblets have been gobbled without peeking! Ages 7 and up. 2 players. A version for ages 5 and up is available as Gobblet Gobblers.
Find it: Gobblet | Gobblet Gobblers
Logic games are the ultimate problem solving entertainment! We love single player logic games and probably own an unhealthy number of these brain boosting puzzle games.
The following are some of our top favorites:
- Cat Crimes , ages 8 and up ( pictured above ) - see it as our game of the month feature
- Code Master , ages 8 and up - see it as our game of the month feature
- Castle Logix , ages 3 and up - see it as our game of the month feature
Mancala is a classic game every family should have. The board has two rows of depressions, plus end "home" bowls. The goal is to transfer the most stones from the rows into your home. A set of rules govern how you deposit and capture stones. You must use strategy to capture stones and ensure you do not leave them vulnerable to your opponent's greedy, greedy paws. Playing Mancala improves memory and observation skills. You must engage your strategic thinking skills to make sure you don't inadvertently give your opponent the opportunity to thwart you. Ages 8 and up. 2 players.
There's a reason the classic detective board game, Clue, remains so popular. I loved it when I was a kid and I bet you did, too. Players race to be the first person to solve the mystery of the who, what and where of a murder. Clue requires deductive reasoning and logic skills to narrow down the possibilities. Players must also vigilantly observe the actions of other players to help them make logical decisions. Ages 8 and up, 2-6 players ( much better with 3 or more players ).
- 6 games that improve visual perception
- Best award-winning games for each ages
- 12 best family games for all ages and skill levels
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Home » Games » 17 Fun Problem Solving Activities & Games [for Kids, Adults and Teens]
17 Fun Problem Solving Activities & Games [for Kids, Adults and Teens]
Everyone should learn problem solving, as it is important in both our personal and professional lives. Problems occur all around us and many people react with spontaneous emotion. Instead, effective use of problem solving skills can lead to rational thinking, a component of any successful endeavor.
Creative problem involves using one or more of the basic steps of problem solving in exercises designed to challenge the thinking. Problem solving activities work for every age group. In this article, we will present problem-solving activities for adults and kids. We will also provide you with group and team building problem solving ideas.
Table of Contents
- 1.1 Wool Webs
- 1.2 To Do Scavenger Hunt
- 1.3 Impromptu Skits
- 1.4 Block Duplicating
- 2.1 Tower Building
- 2.2 Personalized Crossword
- 2.3 Picture Pieces Puzzle Game
- 3.1 Move It!
- 3.2 Playing Card Mix-up
- 3.3 Blind Formations
- 3.4 Line up Blind
- 3.5 Balloon Tower
- 4.1 Walking the Plank
- 4.2 “Laser” Web
- 4.3 Group Drawing
- 4.4 Animals
- 4.5 Alphabet Game
- 4.6 Related Posts
There are four basic steps in problem solving:
- define the problem
- generate possible solutions
- evaluate and select possible solutions
- implement solutions
Problem solving activities use one of more of these steps.
Group Problem Solving Activities
Group activities provide an effective way to learn problem-solving skills. The following list of activities present problem solving skills in the form of games, a non-threatening and fun way.
Divide your group into teams of equal numbers. Give each team a ball of yarn. Instruct the teams to create a web using only the yarn. Once the teams have finished (you may have to set an amount of time for completion), switch the teams around so that every team has a web other than their own. Each team then blindfolds one team member. The goal is for the blindfolded individual to unwind the web following the verbal instruction of their teammates. In order to be successful, team members must concentrate, and give/follow directions. The first team that has dismantled the web wins this game.
To Do Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt game involves solving a list of problem activities. Begin by dividing your group into teams. Give each group a list of to do activities. The list should begin with some simple tasks, with increasingly more difficult activities. Some suggested activities are:
- Write a one hundred word poem on a given theme.
- Find an object readily available in the area in which you are playing
- Drink a whole can or glass of a liquid
- Solve a Sudoku or cross word puzzle
- Write out all the lyrics of a song (a Christmas carol works well at holiday time)
The team that completes all the activities first, wins.
Prior to playing this game, write down a few appropriate situations that deal events in the venue in which you are playing. For example, for a group involved in customer service, use dealing with an angry customer on the phone. If you have a large group, divide them into teams of six to eight members. Have each group choose a folded piece of paper on which you have written the subject of a skit they must create. Give a set amount of time to prepare the skit and then have each team present their skit to the group. If you have a small group, have each person create one side of a conversation dealing with the problem for presentation to everyone.
Build a model out of building blocks. Provide each group member (or divide into teams for a large group ) enough blocks to duplicate the model. Set a specific amount of time for completing the duplicated model. The team that is the first to finish – or gets the furthest on completing their model – wins. The more difficult the original model, the longer this task will take.
Team Building Problem Solving Activities
When choosing team building problem solving activities, make sure the game you use suits the group of people – their ages and interests. The activities we have listed will help with not only problem solving, but also build decision making, collaboration, and listening skills.
Although there are many variations to this game, this one using spaghetti and marsh mellows is our favorite. Divide you group into teams with an equal number of players. Provide each team with an equal amount of spaghetti and marsh mellows. The goal is to see which team can build the highest tower within a set amount of time.
For this game to be effective, you need one or more teams of 8 to 10 people. Have each team list the first and last names of their group members. The goal is to create a crossword puzzle with clues composed of hints about the person, for example, if only one team member has red hair, the two clues for her first and last name could be, “Red hair,” and “Ginger.” It should take each team 20 to 30 minutes to complete their puzzle. When all the teams are finished, trade puzzles so that every team has a different one. Make sure you provide a list of names for the puzzle solvers.
Picture Pieces Puzzle Game
Prepare for this problem solving activity by choosing a well-known picture or cartoon full of detail. Cut the picture into equal sized squares and give one to each member of the group. You will need as many pieces as you have participants. Additionally, give each person a pencil, ruler for help enlarging the picture, colored markers, and a clean sheet of paper. Instruct them to make the puzzle piece five times larger.
Problem Solving Activities for Adults
Divide your group into two teams. Line up the two teams front to back. Have the two groups face each other. Using chalk, spray paint, or masking tape (depending on the play surface) mark a square space for each person to stand on with one extra empty space between the two facing rows. You may also use a piece of paper for each person. The goal is for the two facing lines of players to change places.
Place these restrictions on movement:
- Only one person may move at a time.
- A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
- A person may not move backward.
- A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.
Playing Card Mix-up
Divide your group into teams of six to eight participants. Give each team two decks of cards randomly mixed together. Tell the group they must sort them out without talking. As they working at the task, after a few minutes, change the way in which they are doing so using one of the following:
- If a team is sorting by suits from ace to king (4 stacks), tell them to collect the suits together by number (13 stacks).
- If a team begins by collecting the suits together, i.e. all the ones, twos, threes, etc., tell them to sort the suits from ace to king.
The team(s) that do so successfully by the end of a given time (depending on the size of your group) share what methods they used to accomplish the task.
Blindfolded games are always fun and provide the perfect challenge for adult problem solving. We have provided two for you.
Have your group of adults put on blindfolds and form a large circle. Tie the ends of a rope together and lay in it a circle in the middle of the group, close enough that each person can reach down and pick up the rope. Tell them they must create a shape – a square, triangle, pentagon, etc. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.
Line up Blind
Blindfold everyone and number the group by whispering a number to each individual beginning at one. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking. Variations are many, with some of the favorites not requiring the whispering step being to line up according to height, birthday, surname, color of hair, etc.
Divide you group into teams of three and provide ten balloons and four 3-foot long strips of masking tape for each team. The object of this problem solving activity is to build the tallest freestanding tower in ten minutes. They can break the balloons if they wish. However, they may not use any additional materials and the tower must be built on a table or the floor. If you wish, you may add the following instructions:
- No talking.
- Each team member may use only one hand.
- One team member may not touch the materials and only give directions.
You can use one or more of these limitations in 60-second intervals. The first team to complete their tower wins this challenge.
Problem Solving Activities for Kids
The purpose of problem solving activities for kids is to get kids to think about a problem in a different way and have fun while solving it. Children will develop their creativity as they seek to implement a solution.
Walking the Plank
For this problem solving activity for older kids or teens, you will need four 2×6 boards. Divide your group into two teams with an equal number of children on each team. Place two of the four boards end to end on the ground or floor. Set the other two parallel to the first two about two or three feet apart. The goal is for each team to pass one board forward while standing on the other board in single file. If someone steps off a board, the team must start over. The team that succeeds in passing the boards a set number of times, or reaches a predetermined spot is the winner.
Use a large ball of string to create a giant web from one end of a room to the other. The goal is for individuals or teams to move through the web without touching the string. If they do so, they have been “zapped by a laser” and must try again. For greater suspense and for older players, use blindfolds or turn off the lights, allowing players to touch the string, but not pull it down or out of its original shape.
Divide your group of kids into teams of three. Each person on the team has a one of the following roles:
- Drawer . The drawer attempts to recreate a pre-drawn design they cannot see. They take directions from the talker. They stand with their back to the talker and viewer and may not talk.
- Talker . The talker describes the design to the drawer, without seeing the design. They may question the viewer. They may not use hand gestures.
- Viewer . The viewer sees the design. However, they are not allowed to talk and must communicate nonverbally to the talker. Additionally, they must not draw the design in the air or actually show the design with their gestures.
The activity ends when the viewers say they are satisfied with the drawings. You may wish to award a prize to the best drawing.
Prior to playing this game, write on individual slips of paper the names of animal pairs, one name on each slip. Distribute the slips of paper to each group, instructing them not to share which animal name they received. The kids then move around performing activities their animal might do. The goal is for the kids to get into pairs successfully in a set amount of time without talking or making any noises. Suggest the following activities:
- Cleaning or grooming
- Eating and drinking
- Walking or running
Have your players sit or stand in a circle. The goal is to shout out words in alphabetical order. Give the kids one of the following categories (or choose your own):
If a player takes longer than five seconds to think of a word, they are out. The last player remaining wins the game.
People achieve more when they solve problems and make decisions together. Our problem solving activities teach participants how to work out a solution, a talent useful in many different environments. Problem solving:
- Improves team work
- Helps participants address complex situations
- Utilizes different thinking styles
- Increases creativity
- Collectively leads to decision making
- Teaches both negotiation and cooperation
After completing a problem solving activity, encourage participants to discuss what process(es) they used in the exercise. Even kids are able to participate in such discussions. Also ask what was learned and if they have any opinions about how they could have solved the problem more efficiently.
Team-building exercises can improve problem solving and decision making in a new or established team. They work with every age group and in many different environments. Use our exercises to help solve problems and have some fun doing so.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.
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Thanks for your help!!
excellent ideas – thanks !
Thank you. My students have requested we do team-building activities; I thought we would start with problem-solving.
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Top 20 Problem Solving Activities for Your Team to Master
We live in a world where problems are numerous in number and stingier than ever. There are a lot of ethnic, social, or other organizational problems among the workforce. But as they say, “Every cloud has a silver lining”, we can see these problems as opportunities in disguise.
Confused? Let us clarify.
Sure, these problems should not be present in this day and age, but since they are still among us, we can guide our team to be more conscious , so they can be pros at problem-solving no matter what it is.
Given below are 20 of the most effective problem-solving games your team can master.
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1. A Shrinking Vessel
If your team has been suffering from adaptability issues, then this technique is an amazing way to overcome that obstacle. As we know, Adaptability is deeply connected with cognitive diversity which aids your troops to solve their issues quickly.
You will need a rope or a string for this technique.
- Make a shape on the floor using the rope which should be big enough to fit everyone in
- Reduce the size of this space over the period of 10-15 minutes
- The real challenge for the team will be to adapt and figure out how they can work together and keep everyone inside the shrinking boundaries
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In this activity, the team has to be positive about any and every suggestion anyone speaks out loud. That means that when anyone gives an idea, everyone has to chant “Yes!” and the activity goes on. This lets all of the group speak their mind and not face any negativity or counter of any kind, in return.
These ideas can be creative, or it can be stuff just coming right off from the top of their heads. This helps in Communication and Collaboration.
3. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
This technique helps amazingly with collaboration among the team members . Why Collaboration is important? Well in the words of Peter Senge, “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individual”.
This means that we are always more receptive to any type of social or psychological change if we are a part of a collaboration or team.
So, we can solve issues in teams more easily than alone. For that developing the team’s collaborative efforts and skills need to be enhanced for more effective problem-solving outcomes.
For this, you will need 20 sticks of spaghetti that haven’t been cooked, a marshmallow, a single roll of masking tape, and a yard of string.
- Keep in mind that the main goal of this game is to find out which team will utilize the materials provided to construct the tallest tower in a specific time period
- To make it more interesting, you can try adding a marshmallow at the very top of the tower
- This group problem-solving activity helps the team to think quickly while building a solid foundation of camaraderie and leadership
4. Brainstorm ideas
The simplest way to resolve problems in a team is through Brainstorming ideas. This will help your team come up with a lot of solutions on their own and you just have to choose the right path for them.
5. Egg Drop
This technique helps to promote collaboration among the troops with additional decision-making capabilities . How does problem-solving depend on decision-making? Well, as we know indecision can make a team immobile with a lot of unresolved problems due to stagnant thinking.
Decision-making will help the team be quicker on their feet and create more effective choices.
For this game, you will need a full carton of eggs and construction material like plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, etc.
- Firstly, you will provide an egg to each team and select a random construction material
- The task for each team is that they have to construct a carrier for the egg and keep it from breaking
- Once the carriers are completed, drop them off a ledge or over a balcony to see which carrier is the most successful in protecting the eggs
6. Dumbest Idea First
In this activity, you encourage all of your team members to quickly think of the dumbest ideas they have in their heads in solving a particular problem. Once they have done so, check the list and find out the ideas that are not dumb at all and you can shape that into an effective solution for your problem.
Stranded helps in building effective communication and decision-making foundations among the team members.
Why is it important for teams to communicate with each other for problem-solving? Well, we live in a time where people mostly work remotely, good communication skills on different channels are critical to solving problems.
This is why, when the team starts working on their communications skills being present in one physical space, they will be able to better understand each other when they will be apart.
You just need an office space to perform this activity.
- The setting for this activity is that your team will be stranded in the office space
- The doors of the room will be locked, and you can’t break down the windows or the doors
- Your team will be given 30 minutes so that they can choose 10 items that they will need for survival
- They have top rank the items as well in order of importance
- The goal of this activity is that each team member has to agree on the 10 items and their ranking under the given time period
8. End in Mind
This is an amazing activity that lets you backtrack your way into finding a solution. To create the perfect solution, you first have to start off with the end in your mind. The main purpose of this is to move backward.
Establish important milestones and dates that might be useful, in reverse order. These dates have to start with the end-of-project party and finishing with today.
This activity helps with communication. You will need Legos and your team for this activity.
- Your team has to be divided into small teams of two or more people
- Select an impartial individual that is not on any team to construct a random structure using the Legos in under 10 minutes
- The teams that are competing in this activity have to recreate that exact structure in under 15 minutes but there’s a catch
- Only one person from the teams is allowed to see the structure and they have to communicate all of the parameters like the color, shape, and size, to the other team members
10. Idea Mock-ups
In this activity, you have different solutions for your problems that can be projected via mock-ups. This way you can try out a bunch of solutions for your problem to find the perfect one. You can create a solution using office supplies or even making images from the internet.
This technique helps to increase collaboration among the team members and requires 4 things to be performed. They are:
- Lockable room
- 5-10 puzzles or clues
- The expected outcome of this activity is to solve all of the clues to find the key that will unlock the room within the given time
- You have to hide the key somewhere in the room and also a list of all of the clues that are needed to find the key
- Gather all of the team members in the room and lock it
- You can give them 30-60 minutes to find the key to complete the whole activity
This activity is incredibly fun as it turns your problem into a sort of a game for the whole team to participate into. You can set different types of rules and objectives for the team which they have to follow to earn different skill points that will let them “win the game” aka solving the problem.
This activity helps with Decision Making and Adaptability and requires three things to be performed. They are:
- An electric fan
- A packet of construction materials like card stock, rubber bands, and sticky notes, etc.
- A blindfold
The scenario for this activity is:
- Your team is on an arctic exploration
- You have to separate them into different teams comprising of 4-5 members
- They have to choose a leader among themselves who will lead them on this adventure
- Each team has to construct a shelter to protect themselves from the storm that will hit in precisely 30 minutes
- The catch is that the hands of the team leaders’ are unable to work due to frostbite and all other team members are temporarily blind due to snow blindness
- After the time is up, you can turn on the fan and see whose shelter can endure the high winds of the storm
14. Be a Character
With this activity, you can add a bit of fun to your work by executing the solution to the problem as if you were an imaginary character. This will give you a different perspective on your solution and whether or not it’s feasible for other members of the team.
15. Reverse Pyramid
This technique helps with Adaptability and Collaboration.
- Firstly, your team has to be standing in a pyramid shape
- The next step is to flip the base and apex of the pyramid, but you can only move three people
- This encourages adaptability and collaboration among the troops
16. Word on the Street
This is a useful technique where you can experience different perspectives on the solution you came up with for the problem your team has been facing. You will interview members of the team about the solution and get to know how they feel about it.
17. Move It!
Move It also helps with adaptability and Collaboration among the team members and requires an item that can mark a space. That can be chalk, paper, tape or a rope.
- You have to first split the whole group into two teams and line them up in such a way from front to back that they should face each other
- Using the space marking the item, draw an area for each person to stand on
- You have to leave on extra space between the two facing rows
- The main objective of this activity is that the two lines of players that are facing each other have to switch places
There are some restrictions that have to be put on the movement though. They are:
- Only one individual is allowed to move at a time
- An individual can not move around anyone if they are facing in the same direction as them
- Moving backward is not allowed
- An individual can move only once at a time around the people from the other team
18. Idea Trial
Another fun activity that you can do to find out solutions for a particular problem is to have mock trials about your problem. You can have different or all members of the team come up and project their ideas in “court”. They will go through their opening and closing statements and also call witnesses to support their ideas.
19. Human Knot
This technique also helps with Adaptability and Collaboration.
- Firstly, your team has to be standing in a circle
- Ask every team member to hold hands with the people that aren’t directly next to them
- When everyone is cross-connected, ask them to untangle this whole structure and form a proper circle without letting go of anyone’s hand
20. Find the Funny
The final activity on the list is the most fun one and that is creating a monologue that covers the main aspects of the problem or some funny moments that happened during all of the activities. Share them with your team and make them feel relaxed.
Organizational cultures are complete mayhem nowadays with different problems haunting the teams daily. These problems have a profound effect on the team’s performance which can delay the company to achieve its goals. This is why it’s very important that you work with your team and choose the activities that are described in this piece so that they can get the work done while having fun.
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Top 50 problem solving activities, games & puzzles for remote teams
Blockchain and Crypto / March 6, 2022 by admin
Here is a list of the top 50 problem solving activities, games & puzzles best suited for remote teams. Read on!
What are problem solving activities?
The success of a company or organization depends heavily on the managers’ ability to help workers develop their problem solving skills. Problem solving activities that address areas such as teamwork and cooperation, adaptability or reinforcement of decision-making strategies help.
All processes of problem solving begin with the identification of the problem. The team will then evaluate the possible course of action and select the best way to tackle it. This needs a profound understanding of your team and its core strengths.
Not only among corporates, but problem solving activities find their use in educational settings as well. Students who are good at solving problems will become much more successful than those who are not. Remote work and education are on the rise.
Enabling smooth interpersonal communication to solve problems can become a task in these situations. However, engaging all the people concerned in problem solving activities before shifting to the remote space can ease the process.
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Key skills evaluated in problem solving activities
Problem solving skills refer to the necessary thinking skills that an individual or group uses when met with a challenge. Many issues require the use of several skills; others are easy and may require only one or two skills. These are some skills that help to solve problems,
- Communication skills
- Decision-making skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Logical reasoning
- Lateral thinking
Problem solving skill examples
Several problems occur at the workplace. Problem solving skills can be technical problems that occur on websites or apps or addressing client concerns. Problems could be simple or complex. Business managers spend time and resources to solve problems.
They encourage their team to improve their analytical and logical abilities. Common issues in companies can be exploding data or changing technology, or financial management.
Did you know? Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in problem solving!
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Problem solving scenarios
Many problem solving scenarios occur at work. The basis to solve any problem is to evaluate and arrive at a solution. Analytical skill or problem solving ability is a skill many employers evaluate while hiring candidates.
Strong problem solving skills can be an asset to any organization. Organizations organize problem and solution activities to improve the problem solving abilities in the workplace.
1. Decision making games
Businesses are looking for new and innovative ways to stimulate their staff. Decision making games help employees to learn new skills and work effectively as a team. Decision making activities help to improve the creative problem solving and decision-making skills of the team. Here are some best Decision-making games,
1. Dumb Idea first – This game gives a hypothetical problem that could occur in your company. Ask each manager to think of the dumbest solution to the problem. After compiling the list of the ideas, the team reviews them.
You have a brainstorming session to make the “dumb ideas” feasible. This problem solving exercise underlines the importance of out-of-box thinking.
Benefits: Decision-making skill
Time duration: 10 to 15 minutes
Team size: 2 to more team managers
Material: Paper and pencil
2. Egg Drop Idea – The objective of the game is to build a container to protect the egg when dropped from a specified height using the material provided. Each team nominates a presenter who explains why the egg will survive the fall.
Once they have presented the idea, the team drops the egg to check if the idea has worked. Egg drop pyramid activities like the marshmallow challenge help teams to think on their feet.
Benefit: Decision-making skill and is a top problem solving skill example
Time duration: 15 – 30 minutes
Team size: 6 or more
Material: A cartoon of eggs, aprons to protect clothes, material for packing (cardboard, tape, elastics, plastic straws, etc.), material to clean up.
- Every team gets an egg and should choose from the building materials.
- Grant everyone 20-30 minutes to build an egg carrier and guard against breaking.
- Remove each egg carrier from a ledge (that is, over a balcony) to see which carrier prevents it from cracking.
- If several eggs survive, continue to heighten until only one egg remains.
3. Dog, Rice, and Chicken – The dog, rice, and chicken game can be fun decision-making activities for adults. In this game, one team member plays the farmer, and the other team members are villagers who advise him. The farmer has to take three items chicken, dog, and rice across the river by boat.
There are the following constraints:- only one item can be carried on the boat. He cannot leave the chicken and dog alone because the dog will eat the chicken. He cannot leave the chicken alone with the rice because the chicken will eat the rice grains.
Benefit: creative problem solving examples that are applicable at work.
Time duration: 10-15 minutes.
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2. Teambuilding puzzle
Team building exercises are fun and creative ways to get your team to work together and improve problem solving skills.
1. Lost at Sea – In this game, you and your friends have chattered a yacht to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Since you do not have any navigation experience, you hire a captain and a two-person crew. Unfortunately, the crew and captain die when a fire breaks out on the yacht.
The yacht is severally damaged and is sinking. You and your friends have managed to save 15 items and a lifeboat. Your task is to rank the 15 items while you are waiting to be rescued. The activity lost at sea team building underlines the importance of problem solving skills in the workplace.
Benefits: Team building exercise and interaction
Time duration: 30 to 40 minutes
Team size: 4 to 6
Material: Lost in sea ranking for interaction chart for each member
2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower – The marshmallow team-building activities have the goal of building the tallest tower as quickly as possible. To make the task more challenging the marshmallow is placed at the top of the tower. This is a fun puzzle activity for team building.
Benefit: Teambuilding puzzle
Time duration: 30 minutes
Material required: 20 sticks on raw uncooked spaghetti, a marshmallow, masking thread, and yarn of thread.
3. Go for Gold – This is an example of a marshmallow challenge similar to activities. The objective of this exercise is to create a structure using pipes, rubber tubing, and cardboard to carry a marble from point A to point B using gravity.
Benefit: team building problem solving scenario examples
Team size: Minimum 6 persons
Material required: Each member has different material
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3. Work Problem Solving
Work problem solving activities help to use the skills you used in problem solving activities in your workplace.
1. Create your own – this game aims to create a brand new problem solving activity for the organization. The team can brainstorm for 1 hour. After one hour each team has to give a presentation about their activity outlining the key benefits.
Benefit: Understanding the problem solving process. Build creativity, improve negotiation, and Decision-making skills
- When the participants arrive, you declare that they will create an original problem solving activity on their own, rather than spending an hour on an existing problem solving team-building exercise.
- Divide members into teams and encourage them to develop a new problem solving team-building exercise that will fit well with the organization. The activity should not be one they have engaged in or heard of before.
- Every team has to show their new activity to everyone else after an hour and outline the main benefits.
2. Shrinking Vessel – make a shape on the floor using a rope where all the team members can fit. Reduce the size every 10 -15 minutes. The real challenge for the team is figuring out how to work together and keep everyone together.
Benefits: Adaptability and cognitive diversity
Material: Rope and large room
- Place on the floor a big circle of rope. Position your whole team inside the circle.
- Lessen the circle size steadily. When it gets smaller, advise the team to keep the entire team inside the circle. Nobody must move out of the loop. See how small you can make the area until it cannot remain inside.
3. Legoman – the team is divided into groups of two or more people. Select an impartial individual who will make a structure in 10 minutes. Each team will compete to recreate it in fifteen minutes. Only one person is allowed to see the structure. They need to communicate vital parameters like color, shape, and size.
4. What Would X Do – This problem solving activity stimulates teams to think of new ideas.
- Benefits: Instant problem solving
- Time Duration: 10-15 minutes
- Materials Required: N/A
- Let every team pretend to be someone famous.
- Every team needs to address the issue as if they were a famous person. Which are the choices they would consider? How will they do this?
- It helps all to consider options they may not have initially thought of.
Tip: Before you decide, a problem is worth solving, weigh the risks of solving it versus not solving it.
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4. Team building riddles
Team building riddles are a great way to show the team group problem solving is usually more effective.
1. Barter puzzle – the team is broken into groups. Give each team a different jigsaw puzzle to solve. The groups have to complete the puzzle at the same time. The twist in the game is that some pieces of their puzzle belong to other puzzles.
The goal is to complete the puzzle before the other teams. Each group has to come with their method to convince other teams to handover the pieces they need, either by bartering pieces or donating time to the other teams. This puzzle piece team-building activity helps teams to collaborate.
Benefit: Team building and negotiating.
Material: Jigsaw puzzle for each team
Time: 30 minutes
2. Scavenger Hunt – in this game, each team has a list of the article to locate and bring back. The goal of the game is to finish the assigned list first. In the scavenger hunt, the team has a time limit to make the game more challenging. You have the flexibility of having the hunt outside or within the premises. The team-building puzzle game helps the team to look for creative solutions.
3. Escape – the goal is to solve clues and find the key to unlock the door in a limited time. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room. The team has 30 to 60 minutes to figure out the clues and unlock the door.
Benefit: Team building exercise
Material: Rope, key, lockable room, 5 to 10 puzzles
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5. Work together problems
Work together on problems helps to underline the need to collaborate while solving issues at work. Group challenge activities help the team work well together.
1. Bonding belt – each group is divided into 5 to 6 participants, who are bound together with rope or tape so that their movements are limited. The team has to reach from point A to point B, and the time is recorded. The teams collaborate to beat their previous score.
Benefits: Helps the team to collaborate and skills for problem solving scenario/
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Material: Cling film, belt, or rope
2. Scramble puzzle – the team members with blindfolds sit in a circle with the puzzle. The teammate without the blindfold sits outside the circle, with their back to the group. The blindfolded group tries to assemble the pieces of the puzzle. The outsider who has the same puzzle gives the team instructions to solve it.
Benefits: trust, leadership, and communication
Material: Preschool-level puzzles and blindfolds.
3. Flip it over – this is a classic work-together problem. In this game, 6 to 8 participants stand together on a blanket/towel/tarp. The challenge is to flip over the blanket or reverse it. The rule is that none of the participants can leave the blanket.
Benefit: Work together exercise
Duration: 30 minutes
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6. Team building survival games
Team building survival games helps to fine-tune problem solving scenarios that may occur at work. The activities encourage creative problem solving and decision making.
1. Stranded – Stranded helps in building effective communication. In this setting, the team is stranded in an office. The rooms will be locked, and doors and windows cannot be broken down. The team is asked to make a list of 10 items that they need to survive.
They need to rank items in the order of their importance. The team has to agree on the items and the order. Stranded is one of several popular survival team-building exercises.
Benefit: Team building and Decision-making exercises
- Your team is stuck inside the building. Doors are closed, so there is no option to kick down the doors or smash the windows.
- Grant the team 30 minutes to determine what ten things they need to thrive in the office and list them in order of importance.
- The goal of the game is to get everyone to agree in 30 minutes about the ten things and their ranking.
2. Minefield – you randomly place items around the room or hallway and there is no clear path from one end of the room to another. The team is divided into pairs. One team member is blindfolded, and the other team member is the guide.
The guide navigates the blindfolded person across the minefield. The two partners cannot touch. This survival team-building activity underlines the need for clear communication.
Benefits: Communication and collaborative problem solving
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Material: Blindfold, empty room or hallway, and collection of random items.
3. Frostbite – in this survival scenario team-building exercise the team is trapped in Siberia. Each team has to elect a team captain. The team has to build a storm shelter with the material provided.
The twist in the game is the team captains cannot help physically since they have frostbite. Other team members are suffering snow blindness and are blindfolded. The electric fan will be turned on in 30 minutes to see if the shelter built will survive the storm.
Benefit: Leadership, skills action plan, and team building survival games
Team size: 4 to 5 members
Material: An electric fan, blindfold, simple building materials like cardboard paper, rubber bands, toothpicks, masking tape, straws, sticky notes, etc.
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7. Group decision making games
Group decision making games help encourage creative problem solving and decision making at work. Here is a bunch of group decision making games
1. Reverse Pyramid – the team members stand in a pyramid shape. The next step is to flip the base and apex of the pyramid. The limiting factor in only three persons can move.
Benefits: Group Decision-making and collaboration
2. Tower of Hanoi – in this game, there are three towers/posts/rods with 5 or more discs arranged conical shape with the smallest shape at the top. The objective of the game is to move the entire stack to another location retaining the shape. Some conditions of the games are only one disc can be moved at a time. Only the top disc can be moved. Another rule of the game is larger disc cannot be put on a smaller disc.
Benefits: This team-building exercise helps problem solving within the participants.
3. Human Knot – the team stands in a circle every person holds hands with a person not standing next to them. When everyone is cross-connected, the aim is to untangle the structure without letting go of anybody’s hand.
Benefit: group problem solving
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8. Funny problem solving games
We need to solve problems for personal and professional lives. Funny problem solving exercises are a light way. Funny problem solving can help reduce stress levels.
1. Pencil drop – in the pencil drop challenge, one end of the pencil is tied to a pencil and the other is tied around the waist of a team member. The other team member puts the pencil into the bottle placed below. The participants are not allowed to use their hands.
Benefit: Team bonding
Team size: 2 members each
Material: Some pencil and bottle
2. Blind drawing – this game requires two players to sit back to back. One participant describes an image in front of them without giving stating anything obvious. The other participant needs to draw it using the description. The outcome can be fun.
3. Be the character – in this activity, you pretend to be an imaginary character while trying to solve a problem. This game gives a unique perspective on your solution and whether the solution is feasible for other members.
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9. Group problem solving activities for adults
Group problem solving activities are very efficient, especially for adults. These can be used in any setting to enhance problem solving skills.
1. Human Knots
- Benefits: Communication skills, collaboration
- Time Duration: 10 – 15 minutes.
This is one of the most straightforward group problem solving activities that can be done with any group. It facilitates communication and critical thinking in the face of a challenging and complex question. Various group members will possibly suggest a variety of solutions, and each will need to be reviewed and adopted by the organization as a whole.
- Have the group stand in a small circle (make several circles when you are a larger group). Every person in the loop will hold the hands of 2 other people who are not directly next to them. That would make a messy crossed arms knot.
- Ask the group to disentangle themselves without moving their hands at any point in time. They may be unable to disentangle completely to form a circle again. Still, they would have begun to work together to solve the problem by the end of the activity.
- Benefits: Leadership, decision-making, trust, adaptability
- Time Duration: 30 minutes.
- Materials Required: An electric fan, blindfold, simple building materials like cardboard paper, rubber bands, toothpicks, masking tape, straws, sticky notes, etc.
Your group is trapped in the barren deserts of Siberia, and a sudden winter storm is approaching. You have to create a shelter with only the materials in hand that can survive the storm’s harsh winds. The leader of your expedition was afflicted with frostbite in both hands, sadly, and all the others experience severe snow blindness.
- Divide the group into clusters of 4-5. Every group will have to elect a chief.
- Group leaders are not allowed to use their hands to support the group in any way, and group members should be blindfolded during the exercise.
- The groups have 30 minutes to build a small tent structure that can withstand the wind from the fan’s highest location.
3. Dumbest Idea First
- Benefits: Critical thinking, creative problem solving, quick problem solving
- Time Duration: 15 – 20 minutes
- Materials Required: Pen or pencil, a piece of paper.
Dumbest Idea First is one of the most creative problem solving activities for groups. This can encourage your creativity by thinking out of the box and lead you to ideas that would typically sound too insane to work. You can broaden the possibilities by looking at these crazy solutions first, and find potential alternatives that might not be as obvious.
- Present your team with a question. It could be a real-world dilemma facing the group, or it could be a created scenario. For example, your company attempts to beat a rival to win a high-paying customer contract, but the customer bends to your competitors. You have a short period before they make the final decision to change their mind.
- With the given question, advise your group to come up with the dumbest ideas to tackle the issue. Anything can be written down.
- After each person has put forward a few ideas, go through the list, and analyze each plan to see which are the most feasible. List them from the highest level of feasibility to the lowest level.
4. Wool Web
- Benefits: Leadership, communication
- Time Duration: 30 minutes
- Materials Required: Some balls of yarn.
As hard as replicating the magnitude of the real-world problems is, that is no excuse not to try! Wool web creates a dilemma that appears complicated at first, but groups will learn to break down complicated challenges into solvable problems one move at a time.
This happens by using the right strategy and working together. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most stimulating problem solving activities for adults.
- Split the group into similarly large teams. Every time, it receives a yarn ball.
- Tell each team to turn the yarn ball into a vast web. Give them around 5-10 minutes to do this. When done, rotate all the teams so that every team is on a yarn web they have not set up.
- Every group must choose one person to untangle the web. That individual would be blindfolded and be guided by the rest of the team on how to unwind the web using only verbal instructions. The first team to achieve it wins the game.
5. Tallest Tower
- Benefits: Creative thinking, collaboration
- Materials Required: 1 bag of marshmallows, one packet of uncooked spaghetti.
Simple building projects can help group members create strategies to overcome box issues. Tallest Tower is another one of the most creative problem solving activities. Groups will compete with only two materials to make the tallest tower in a fixed period.
- Divide the group into two, which have an equal number of players. Provide 20 – 30 uncooked spaghetti noodles and 3-4 marshmallows to every team.
- Groups must compete in the provided period to build the tallest tower using only the materials supplied. A marshmallow has to be set at the top of the tower.
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10. Problem solving activities for students
Below is a bunch of problem solving activities for students and kids,
1. Brainstorm Bonanza – Brainstorm Bonanza is one of the best problem solving activities for students. As a teacher, making your students create lists relevant to something you are teaching at the moment can be a fantastic way to help them expand their knowledge of a subject when learning to solve problems.
- Benefits: Problem solving
- Materials Required: Pen and paper
1. If you are discussing a real, current, or fictional occurrence that did not work out well, let your students imagine ways that the protagonist or participants might have produced a better, more favorable result.
2. They can brainstorm independently or in groups.
2. Clue Me In – this is one of the most enjoyable problem solving games. It facilitates logical thinking and cognitive development.
- Benefits: Cognitive development, logical thinking
- Time Duration: 20 minutes
- Materials Required: A bag, clues, items as necessary
- Select a collection of things relating to a specific occupation, social phenomenon, historical incident, object, etc.
- Assemble individual objects (or pictures of things) commonly linked to the target response.
- Place all of them in a bag (five-10 clues ought to be enough).
- Then, have a student reach into the bag and take out clues one by one.
- Select a minimum number of clues to draw before they make their first guess (two-three).
- After that, the student should guess, pulling each clue until they think it is right.
- See how quickly the student can solve the riddle.
3. Survivor Scenario – Create a hypothetical situation that allows students to think creatively to make it through. One example may be being stuck on an island, realizing that three days of help would not come.
The community has a small amount of food and water and has to establish shelter from the island’s objects. This would undoubtedly be one of the fascinating problem solving activities for students.
- Benefits: Logical thinking, collaboration
- Encourage working together as a group.
- Listen to each student who has an idea about making it safe and secure across the three days.
4. Moral Dilemmas – Create several potential moral dilemmas that your students can face in life, write down, and place each object in a bowl or container. These things may include items like, “I’ve seen a good friend of mine shoplifting. What is it that I would do?” or “The cashier gave me an additional $1.50 in change after I purchased candy from the shop. What is it that I would do?”
- Benefits: Logical thinking
- Time Duration: 5 minutes per student
- Materials Required: Container, bits of paper with moral dilemmas written
- Ask every student to draw an item from the bag one after the other and read it aloud.
- They must then tell the class the response on the spot as to how they would handle the situation.
5. Problem solving box – this is an activity that will help on both cognitive and emotional levels for students.
- Benefits: Logical thinking, decision making
- Materials Required: Box, paper, pen
- Have your students design and decorate a medium-sized box with a top slot. Name it as the “Problem Solving Box.”
- Invite students to write down anonymously and apply any concerns or problems they may have at school or at home, which they do not appear to be able to work out on their own.
- Let a student draw one of the things from the box once or twice a week, and read it aloud.
- Finally, as a group, let the class work out the best way students can approach the problem and eventually solve it.
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11. Problem solving activities for kids
Below is a bunch of problem solving activities for kids,
1. Puzzle-solving – Solving puzzles is one of the best problem solving activities for kids out there. Essentially, every puzzle is a big collection of muddled-up items to figure out and bring back together again.
Kids must be introduced to puzzles with regularity. These are useful for improving skills in reasoning. The best kinds to choose from are wooden puzzles with a wooden frame. They last long, and the structure serves as the foundation to direct children during construction.
- Benefits: Reasoning skills
- Time Duration: Varies
- Materials Required: Puzzles according to the age level
- Show the kids a demo of how a particular puzzle can be solved.
- Then, let them choose a puzzle of their liking from the available choices.
- Ask them to solve their chosen puzzles.
2. Memory Games – Memory games will improve memory and attention to detail for your child.
- Benefits: Attention to detail
- Materials Required: Matching pairs of images
- Using matching pairs of images and turn them all face down, shuffled, on a table.
- Take turns to pick any two cards, and face them on the table.
- You hold the cards if you turn over a similar pair, and if the pair does not match, turn the cards over before it is your turn to try again.
- A teacher/parent must encourage the kids to concentrate on where the pictures are, and seek to find a matching pair on each turn.
3. Building games – Construction toys like building blocks, wooden blocks, or legos should be a staple in a kid’s home every day. Playing with them is one of the most fun problem solving activities for kids. Anything that your child builds is a challenge as it involves thinking about what to create and how to put together the parts to get a workable and usable design.
- Benefits: Decision making
- Materials Required: Construction toys.
1. Let your child build a challenge openly and often, and ask him/her to build a particular structure, with conditions. For instance:
- Create two towers with a bridge that connects them.
- Create a creature that stands alone and has three arms.
2. Observe how your child uses trial-and-error before finding a way to bring the idea into motion.
4. Tic-Tac-Toe – this is an excellent game for teaching decision-making skills. It encourages kids to think before they act and weigh the potential consequences.
- Materials Required: Pencil, paper
- Draw a simple tic-tac-toe table on paper or chalkboard.
- Take turns to add a nought or a cross to the table to see who is the first to make a line of three.
- Your kid will likely catch on in no time before placing their symbol and start thinking carefully.
- Coloured counters or different items can be used to play this game as well.
5. Building a Maze – This activity is fun and fits for any age. It will also be a lot more enjoyable than doing a maze in an activity book, particularly for younger kids.
- Materials Required: Chalk
- Draw a big maze with jumbo chalk on the paving. Make passages, including one or two, which end in an impasse. Teach your kid how to get out of it.
- Make the maze more complicated and add more dead-end passages as your child gets better at figuring out a path and finding the way out.
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What is a problem solving process?
When a team or person faces an issue or obstacle, it can be tempting to quickly track a potential solution and set up a fast fix. This could happen without understanding the complexity of the problem and pursuing a systematic approach to seeking a solution.
The attempts to address issues or obstacles may become unstructured and frustrating without a consistent method. End-to-end processes for problem solving offer a mechanism for a community to tackle any size or nature, and see results. Problem solving activities for adults, kids, and students can help make the problem solving process very useful.
Army problem solving process
There are 7 steps to problem solving army model,
- Recognize and define the problem – The first step army problem solving process is defining the problem precisely and determining the root cause.
- Gather facts and make assumptions – You need to gather all information you have at your disposal. Common resources for information may be documentation and policies. Assumptions are unsubstantiated facts. Use facts rather than assumptions when you need to analyze the scope of the problem.
- Generate alternatives – One of the key steps in military problem solving is finding ways to solve the problem. Ideally, it best to have multiple approaches to solve the problem. Take input from peers and subordinates if possible.
- Analyze possible solutions – Analyze each possible solution with advantages and disadvantages. You evaluate each solution according to screening and feasibility criteria. Reject the solution when it fails in the screening process.
- Compare Alternatives – Another crucial step in the army problem solving model is to evaluate alternatives for cost and benefits. You need to consider your experience and immediate future. Tabulating each solution with the pros and cons will help clear the picture.
- Make an executive your decision – Make a decision and prepare an action plan, and put it in motion.
- Assess the result – You need to monitor the implementation of the plan and modify it if required. Establishing critical steps and milestones will help to ensure success.
Army problem solving games
- Capture the flag – the game helps in team building and army problem solving. Two teams compete against one another to retrieve a flag or object from the opposing team camp base and get into their camp base. This game is flexible, and ground rules need to be set before the game starts.
- Paintball – Paintball is a fun military problem solving activity. You can have many modifications and variations of the paintball game. The aim is to fire paint pellets at the opposing team. Laser tag is another variation of the game.
- Firing blind – Firing blind is a game where each team has a large number of water balloons. At the other end of the field has to hit the target is protected by a tarp from direct firing. The team has to hit the target that is covered. One team member acts as the observer and directs the team to hit the target with the water balloons.
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Obstacles to problem solving
Problem solving can take time and patience, one of the best ways to solve any problem is pausing and evaluating the problem. Obstacles to problem solving are,
- Misdiagnosis – Misdiagnosis is a common problem can occur due to preconceived idea, biases or judgments. Defining and having a concrete understanding of the problem is the first step in the problem solving activity. This can be difficult. If you are not careful, you may spend your time and resources solving the wrong problem and finding the wrong solution.
- Communication bias – Communication barriers are caused when we are unable to explain the problem to the team, or presuming we know more than everyone else. Everyone on the team must be on the same page. You may need to acknowledge you have a limited understanding of the problem.
- Solution bias – A common obstacle in problem solving is thinking there may be a universal solution or thinking the same solution can solve multiple problems. You need to evaluate a problem independently than try to force-fit a solution that worked previously.
- Cognitive bias – One of the barriers to finding an effective solution is cognitive bias, or the tendency to jump to conclusions. To find solutions fast firms often end up with an irrelevant solution. This may cause more problems down the line.
- Lack of empathy – Every problem is associated with human emotions or abilities. It is important to identify and recognize people affected by the problem or it will be difficult to find a solution that will solve help.
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Famous virtual problem solving software
Traditionally watercoolers chat is a great way to bring people together and help team members interact with one another. A virtual water cooler has a similar concept where people interact in a similar virtual setting or a dedicated virtual room. It allows remote teams to bond. Software that offers virtual water coolers services,
- unremot.com – provides users with a unique water cooler experience. The app provides unique solutions to remote teams.
- Microsoft Teams
- Informal Whatsapp group
- Donut over slack channels
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Logical reasoning requires that you apply rules to a scenario after planning the outcome. Quantitative reasoning asks you to compare quantities that are expressed differently from each other.
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