Together we build

Together we build

How to create a dynamic game with simple tools and resources? And how to make sure that there are many possibilities for challenges, creativity and success? With this following activity, we are about to show you.

Name of the activity: Together we build
Duration: up to 40 minutes, of course, you can make it longer by giving more time for certain challenges or by giving more challenges.
Preferred location: forest or city park; in general a place with a lot of trees.
Working method: group work in small teams, and then group work between the teams.
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): to unleash the individuals’ creativity and imagination through thinking and to support the participants in getting to know each other.
Materials: natural resources (branches, sticks, stones, etc.) and/or trash (tin cans, bottle caps, etc.).
Instructions: divide the group into teams of 2 people. Ask them to choose an area where they would like to develop their own village, while telling them that the area must be separated by a deep gap (a river). Each team has 5 minutes in order to discuss how their village should look like and to gather enough materials from the surroundings. Afterwards, each team has to construct 2 houses and a Village Hall in their area. This hall needs to be higher than the other houses in the village. As soon as they are done with this, they need to connect their villages by bridges. The bridges must be constructed above the land level (one stick is not a bridge). They should be connected with roads as well, while each village is anyways connected with a bridge network. Each team must build its half of the bridge. The bridges can only be considered valid if they are balanced, above the village level and they stand still over the water.
Debriefing: as soon as the work is done, you can ask all your participants to walk around these villages, observe them and the work put into them – little adjustments, how each group constructed the houses, what was the plan behind, how different or how similar these villages are. Afterwards, you can have a reflection with them supported by the following questions:
– what do you think about the game?
– do you find it interesting?
– was it hard at first; what was the hardest part?
– how did you cooperate with your teammates?
– how did you cooperate with the other team while developing the bridge network?
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances: if you want to organize this activity in an indoor setting, use office materials instead of natural ones (markers, pens, pencils, papers, tapes, etc.). If you would like to increase the size of these villages, increase the number of houses that they need to construct. You can also add other elements that they need to construct in order to make the activity more difficult (but also more fun).