Fly in the Glass


This is a quick initiative exercise using lateral thinking. Before you begin, use the sticks to create the shape of a wine glass with a fly placed in it (see below). Introduce the challenge and explain that they must recreate the wine glass without the fly in it. To complete the challenge, they are only allowed to move just two sticks. The remaining sticks and the fly must not move.

Resources required: Each team needs four sticks of equal length (use can also use matchsticks if space is limited) and one fly-like object e.g. a cone or a bean bag
Space Required: Small. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 5 to 12 at max. For larger groups split into smaller teams.

Total Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 minutes to brief and set up
  • 5 minutes to complete fly in the glass challenge
  • 3 minutes to review and debrief

Problem Solution


Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem Solving
  • Cooperation
  • Communication
  • Leadership

Useful Tips

This challenge requires teams to working together to find a solution. This is a great opportunity to introduce the problem solving model to the team.

If a team member is dominating the discussion and talking over others, silence the individual for 2 minutes to allow an opportunity for others to speak – remember to use this as a review point at the end of the challenge. Try to balance the exercise so everyone is actively involved and engaged.

When working with large teams, split them into smaller sub-teams. You can then setup this challenge as a race. Working in smaller teams also allow for more inclusion and better group discussion.

Questions to use for review:

How well did you feel you worked as a team?
Did you feel you planned well? How did you come up with your strategy for the task?
How important was it to discuss and share ideas?
When your plan wasn’t working, how did you respond?
Why is it important to review your approach? Did you adapt at any point?
Was everyone included in the activity?


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