Saturday, July 21, 2012

Team Tower Challenge

This is a team building/leadership exercise or game with a point (and as many twists as you like). But you don't have to do it for the point it is fun in itself. Also there'll be other points you could make out of it. I ran this last night for three teams of 4-5 and had screens up so that they couldn't see what the other teams were doing. It was lots of fun (and this was a group of adults not kids),

1. Each team is given a bag of building material. Each team needs to be given the same amount and type of material. I used dominoes, playing cards, drinking straws and hair ties. You could use any number of other items, most obvious being kids building blocks. There are more opportunities for imaginative engineering if there are different sorts of material.

2. Each team chooses a leader.

3. The teams are told that they will be building a tower out of the material, but that the criteria for that tower will only be told to the leaders who are not allowed to speak (or lip sync) or touch the building or the team.

4. The leaders are taken aside and given the criteria for winning that round of construction.

5. The teams then have 5 minutes to build a tower under the guidance of their leader.

6. When the time is up teams step away from the tower, the criteria for the towers is revealed to everybody and the towers are judged.

The first time round the criteria for the tower was
"Build the tallest tower without using the drinking straws"  - This was pretty easy although banning the straws meant that the easiest way to gain hight was dissallowed.

The second time I made them choose new leaders, the criteria this time was
"Build the tower that is the tallest after I have dropped a large book on the table from a height." - This time the criteria was harder to convey and some leaders opted to merely show what sort of tower they wanted built (which of course circumvented the engineering ideas of the team) while other tried to convey the impending catastrophe and created some confusion. (NB. I used Grout's History of Western Music rather than a Study Bible for reasons of respect.)

Now in this instance it was a quick game to make the point that if you know something bad is about to happen you build your tower differently, we were discussing discipleship that built "earthquake proof" faith in people.  But I think simply as a team building game you could have a lot of fun with this, the more complicated the criteria for each round the more opportunity for confusion and fun. One such criteria would be to build the tower on someone's back and another would be to make a Stone Henge rather than a tower. also changing which items are banned from round to round messes with their head as in round two 2/3 teams failed to use the straws.

Have fun, and if you use it leave me a comment and let me know how it went.

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