Paper Tower

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Overview: This team building activity is simple to execute and it is a great way to get your participants to think strategically. Participants will be given ten minutes to construct the tallest free-standing paper tower using only a single sheet of paper. This planning exercise is sure to show your participants the importance of thinking ahead while also fostering a bit of friendly competition.

Equipment Required: Individual sheets of paper.  Tape measures.
Space Required: Small. Indoors or Outdoors.
Group Size: 2 to 80 people.
Total Time: 20 Minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief the activity.
  • 10 minutes to complete the challenge.
  • 5 minutes to debrief the activity.

Instructions:

  • Decide if you would like your group to compete against one another individually or in teams of two. If you choose to have teams compete, decide how you will assign teams (randomly, strategically, or let the participants choose their own partner).
  • Brief the group and distribute one piece of paper to each team. Explain that they have ten minutes to build the tallest free-standing tower using only the one piece of paper they have been given. They may not use any other materials to build the tower or to hold it up in place.
  • After ten minutes, you may measure the towers to determine a winner.
  • Announce the winners and debrief the activity.

Learning Outcomes

  • Communication
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Cooperation
  • Leadership
  • Team Cohesion

Suggested Review Questions

  • What was most challenging about the activity?
  • Did you develop a plan for your tower prior to starting to build? If so, what was your plan? Was it successful?
  • Did you change your plan at all during the construction process? If so, how?
  • Did you have enough time to build your tower?
  • Was leadership important during the task?
  • How well did you work as a team? How could you have improved?
  • Is there anything you would do differently next time?
  • What is one thing that you can take away from this activity?

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