Outdoor activities offer a great occasion to move around and enjoy the surroundings. A treasure hunt can be a nice activity in this sense, staying outside and solving puzzles around is a fun and efficient way of increasing the “problem solving” skills of our participants. Even more if you can use this as a tool to improve the teamwork and the cooperation as well.
Name of the activity: Better together
Duration: 45 minutes
Preferred location: it is recommended to have this activity outside.
Working method: teamwork – focusing on cooperation and problem solving (groups of 3 people at least).
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): improving communication in groups, improving teamwork, improving problem solving.
Materials: colourful papers, pens, markers, tape, scissors.
– prepare 4 puzzles (the solution of each puzzle has to be a key-word, each key-word has to include a letter of the word “TEAM”);
– prepare a paper with the word “TEAM” written on it;
– each of the first two steps has to be repeated a number of times (depending on the number of people in the group – for each small team you will make, you need 4 puzzles that contain the letter of “TEAM”, depending on how many small groups you want to make, you need to create according sets of puzzles);
– hide the 4 puzzles in the area, hide the word “TEAM” in a different area (preferably bigger);
– divide the participants in groups.
– in the first part of the activity the group will have to find the 4 puzzles;
– after finding the puzzles, the group will have to solve them and find the 4 key-words, putting the 4 key-words on a column they will find the main word which is “TEAM”;
-the group will move to the new area (where you hide the “TEAM” paper);
-after telling the location of the paper to one of the team members, he/she will have to show the location to one other member only using gestures, the second person will guide the third person to the location using only one word per time and without being able to repeat the same word again. You can give more roles depending how big the group is.
Debriefing: after all the team members find the “TEAM” paper there can be a short closing to reflect on the activity together with all the participants.
– how did you find the hidden puzzles (alone or all together)?
– did you find it easy to find the solutions; do you think your team helped to find the solutions or you could be faster alone?
– how was the communication in your group; what did work, how could you have a more efficient communication?
– for the ones who were giving instruction to find the “TEAM” paper, was it easy to guide; could the others understand your indications?
– for the ones who were being guided, was it easy to follow indications?
– in both cases (guiding and being guided) could you do something different that could lead to a better result?
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances: you can variate the puzzles depending on the target group and give more challenging instructions for the second part of the game. Also, the team members could have instructions to find all together the “TEAM” paper instead of searching for it one by one. You can also put time limitations to each part of the activity so the team members will need to have a more efficient communication and find solutions with time pressure.