Magic Cane/Helium Stick


Teams are given a magic cane (also known as helium stick) which they must lower to the ground, using just their index fingers. All participants must remain in contact with it at all times – what seems like a simple task, can become incredibly frustrating and funny for all involved.

Equipment Required: 1 thin, light-weight, bamboo cane (can be purchased from a garden store) or tent pole
Space Required: Minimal. Delivered either indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 8 to 12 but can be done with 6 to 14

Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief and set up
  • 10-15 minutes to achieve outcome
  • 5 minutes to review and debrief

Helium Stick Team Challenge Instructions

  • Split the group into two and line them up in two rows facing each other.
  • Introduce the cane to the group.team_building2
  • Ask participants to hold their arms out in front of them and  point their index fingers.
  • Lay the cane down on their fingers.  Get the group to adjust their finger heights until the cane is horizontal and everyone’s index fingers are in contact with the stick.
  • Explain that the challenge is to lower the cane to the ground.
  • The rule: Everybody’s index fingers must remain in contact with the cane at all times. Pinching or grabbing is not permitted – it must rest on top of fingers only.
  • Reiterate to the group that if anyone’s finger is caught not touching the cane, the challenge will be restarted.

Link to Magic Cane Video Tutorial

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Cooperation

The full description and instructions for Helium Stick can be found in our eBook, The Team Building Activity BookThe eBook provides easy to follow, step by step instructions for leading the activity including activity notes, challenge rules, variations and review questions. The book also features 29 other team activities that guaranteed to inspire and motivate your team. Click here to check it out.TBAB_3Dimage small




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