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22 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities

22 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities featured image

Problem-solving is a critical skill for professionals and with team building problem-solving activities, you can sharpen your skills while having fun at the same time.  

Updated: March 1, 2024

In the professional world, one thing is for sure: problem-solving is a vital skill if you want to survive and thrive. It’s a universal job skill that organizations seek in new potential employees and that managers look for when considering candidates for promotions.  

But there’s a problem. 

According to Payscale, 60% of managers feel that new grads entering the workforce lack problem-solving abilities – making it the most commonly lacking soft skill.  

Problem-solving skill needs to be practiced and perfected on an ongoing basis in order to be applied effectively when the time comes. And while there are tons of traditional approaches to becoming a better problem-solver, there’s another (much more interesting) option: team building problem-solving activities. 

The good news? This means learning and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And you can create a stronger team at the same time. 

16 In-Person Team Building Problem Solving Activities for Your Work Group  

1. cardboard boat building challenge, 2. egg drop , 3. clue murder mystery, 4. marshmallow spaghetti tower  , 5. corporate escape room, 6. wild goose chase, 7. lost at sea  , 8. domino effect challenge, 9. reverse pyramid  , 10. ci: the crime investigators, 11. team pursuit, 12. bridge builders, 13. domino effect challenge, 14. hollywood murder mystery, 15. code break, 16. cardboard boat building challenge, 6 virtual team building problem solving activities for your work group  , 1. virtual escape room: mummy’s curse, 2. virtual clue murder mystery, 3. virtual escape room: jewel heist, 4. virtual code break  , 5. virtual trivia time machine.

  • 6. Virtual Jeoparty Social

There are a ton of incredible team building problem solving activities available. We’ve hand-picked 16 of our favorites that we think your corporate group will love too. 

a cardboard boat building challenge for problem solving team building

Split into teams and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided: cardboard and tape. Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats to test their durability! Nothing says problem-solving like having to make sure you don’t sink into the water!

egg drop is a great team building problem solving activity

Every day at work, you’re forced to make countless decisions – whether they’re massively important or so small you barely think about them.  

But your ability to effectively make decisions is critical in solving problems quickly and effectively.  

With a classic team building problem solving activity like the Egg Drop, that’s exactly what your team will learn to do. 

For this activity, you’ll need some eggs, construction materials, and a place you wouldn’t mind smashing getting dirty with eggshells and yolks.  

The goal of this activity is to create a contraption that will encase an egg and protect it from a fall – whether it’s from standing height or the top of a building. But the challenge is that you and your team will only have a short amount of time to build it before it’s time to test it out, so you’ll have to think quickly! 

To make it even more challenging, you’ll have to build the casing using only simple materials like: 

  • Newspapers 
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber bands
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Cotton balls

Feel free to have some fun in picking the materials. Use whatever you think would be helpful without making things too easy! 

Give your group 15 minutes to construct their egg casing before each team drops their eggs. If multiple eggs survive, increase the height gradually to see whose created the sturdiest contraption.  

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of using eggs for this activity, consider using another breakable alternative, such as lightbulbs for a vegan Egg Drop experience. 

solving a crime is a great way to practice problem solving skills

With Clue Murder Mystery, your team will need to solve the murder of a man named Neil Davidson by figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime.

But it won’t be easy! You’ll need to exercise your best problem-solving skills and channel your inner detectives if you want to keep this case from going cold and to get justice for the victim.

do a spaghetti tower for team building problem solving activity

Collaboration is critical to problem solving. 

Why? Because, as the old saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This expression reflects the fact that people are capable of achieving greater things when they work together to do so. 

If you’re looking for a team building problem solving activity that helps boost collaboration, you’ll love Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower.  

This game involves working in teams to build the tallest possible freestanding tower using only marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti, tape, and string.  

The kicker? This all has to be done within an allotted timeframe. We recommend about thirty minutes.  

For an added dimension of challenge, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower to make it a little more top heavy.  

Whichever team has the highest tower when time runs out is the winner! 

corporate escape rooms are unique team building problem solving activities

If you’ve never participated in an escape room, your team is missing out! It’s one of the most effective team building problem solving activities out there because it puts you and your colleagues in a scenario where the only way out is collaboratively solving puzzles and deciphering clues.  

The principle is simple: lock your group in a room, hide the key somewhere in that room, and have them work through challenges within a set time frame. Each challenge will lead them one step closer to finding the key and, ultimately, their escape.    

At Outback, we offer “done-for-you” escape rooms where we’ll transform your office or meeting room so you don’t have to worry about:

  • Seeking transportation for your team 
  • Capacity of the escape rooms  
  • High costs 
  • Excessive planning  

That way, you and your team can simply step inside and get to work collaborating, using creative problem solving, and thinking outside the box.   

wild goose chase is a great scavenger hunt problem solving team building activity for work

In this smartphone-based scavenger hunt team building activity , your group will split into teams and complete fun challenges by taking photos and videos around the city. Some examples of challenges you can do in this activity are:

  • Parkour:  Take a picture of three team members jumping over an object that’s at least waist-high.
  • Beautiful Mind:  Snap a photo of a team member proving a well-known mathematical theorem on a chalkboard.
  • Puppy Love:  Take a photo of all of your team members petting a stranger’s dog at the same time.

It takes a ton of critical thinking and problem-solving to be crowned the Wild Goose Chase Champions!

your teammates will love lost at sea team building activity

Can you imagine a higher-pressure situation than being stranded at sea in a lifeboat with your colleagues? 

With this team building problem solving activity, that’s exactly the situation you and your group will put yourselves. But by the time the activity is over, you’ll have gained more experience with the idea of having to solve problems under pressure – a common but difficult thing to do. 

Here’s how it works. 

Each team member will get a six-columned chart where: 

  • The first column lists the survival items each team has on hand (see the list below) 
  • The second column is empty so that each team member can rank the items in order of importance for survival  
  • The third column is for group rankings  
  • The fourth column is for the “correct” rankings, which are revealed at the end of the activity 
  • The fifth and sixth columns are for the team to enter thee difference between their individual and correct scores and the team and correct rankings 

Within this activity, each team will be equipped with the following “survival items,” listed below in order of importance, as well as a pack of matches:  

  • A shaving mirror (this can be used to signal passing ships using the sun) 
  • A can of gas (could be used for signaling as it could be put in the water and lit with the pack of matches) 
  • A water container (for collecting water to re-hydrate ) 
  • Emergency food rations (critical survival food) 
  • One plastic sheet (can be helpful for shelter or to collect rainwater) 
  • Chocolate bars (another food supply) 
  • Fishing rods (helpful, but no guarantee of catching food) 
  • Rope (can be handy, but not necessarily essential for survival) 
  • A floating seat cushion (usable as a life preserver)  
  • Shark repellant (could be important when in the water) 
  • A bottle of rum (could be useful for cleaning wounds) 
  • A radio (could be very helpful but there’s a good chance you’re out of range) 
  • A sea chart (this is worthless without navigation equipment) 
  • A mosquito net (unless you’ve been shipwrecked somewhere with a ton of mosquitos, this isn’t very useful) 

To get the activity underway, divide your group into teams of five and ask each team member to take ten minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance in the respective column. Then, give the full team ten minutes as a group to discuss their individual rankings together and take group rankings, listed in that respective column. Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with those of the group as a whole. 

Finally, read out the correct order according to the US Coast Guard, listed above.  

The goal of this activity is for everyone to be heard and to come to a decision together about what they need most to survive.  

If your team works remotely, you can also do this activity online. Using a video conferencing tool like  Zoom , you can bring your group together and separate teams into “break-out rooms” where they’ll take their time individually and then regroup together. At the end, you can bring them back to the full video conference to go through the answers together. 

colleagues thinking outside the box with a domino effect challenge team building problem solving activity

Many problems are intricately complex and involve a ton of moving parts. And in order to solve this type of problem, you need to be able to examine it systematically, one piece at a time.  

Especially in the business world, many problems or challenges involve multiple different teams or departments working through their respective portions of a problem before coming together in the end to create a holistic solution. 

As you can imagine, this is often easier said than done. And that’s why it’s so important to practice this ability.  

With a collaborative team building problem solving activity like Domino Effect Challenge, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do as you and your group work to create a massive, fully functional chain reaction machine. 

Here’s how it goes. 

Your group will break up into teams, with each team working to complete their own section of a massive “Rube Goldberg” machine. Then, all teams will regroup and assemble the entire machine together. You’ll need to exercise communication, collaboration, and on-the-fly problem solving in order to make your chain reaction machine go off without a hitch from start to finish. 

reverse pyramid is a team building activity that makes colleagues think about problems in new ways

Being a great problem-solver means being adaptable and creative. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy team building problem solving activity, you’ll love the reverse pyramid. 

The idea here is simple: break your group out into small teams and then stand in the form of a pyramid.  

Your challenge is to flip the base and the peak of the pyramid – but you can only move three people in order to do so.  

Alternatively, rather than doing this activity with people as the pyramid, you can do another version –  the Pyramid Build  – using plastic cups instead.   

This version is a little bit different. Rather than flipping the base of a pyramid to the top, you’ll need to build the pyramid instead–but in reverse, starting from the top cup and working down. 

With this version, you’ll need 36 cups and one table per group. We recommend groups of five to seven people. Give your group 20 to 30 minutes to complete the activity. 

To get started, place one cup face down. Then, lift that cup and place the subsequent two cups underneath it. 

The real challenge here? You can only lift your pyramid by the bottom row in order to put a new row underneath – and only one person at a time can do the lifting. The remaining group members will need to act quickly and work together in order to add the next row so that it will balance the rest of the pyramid. 

If any part of your pyramid falls, you’ll need to start over. Whichever team has the most complete pyramid when time runs out will be the winner!  

solving a crime is a great way for team members to use problem solving skills

The value of being able to approach problems analytically can’t be overstated. Because when problems arise, the best way to solve them is by examining the facts and making a decision based on what you know. 

With CI: The Crime Investigators, this is exactly what your team will be called upon to do as you put your detective’s hats on and work to solve a deadly crime. 

You’ll be presented with evidence and need to uncover and decipher clues. And using only the information at your disposal, you’ll need to examine the facts in order to crack the case. 

Like many of our team building problem solving activities, CI: The Crime Investigators is available in a hosted format, which can take place at your office or an outside venue, as well as a virtually-hosted format that uses video conferencing tools, or a self-hosted version that you can run entirely on your own.  

team pursuit team building is great for problem solving skills

Each member of your team has their own unique strengths and skills. And by learning to combine those skills, you can overcome any challenge and solve any problem. With Team Pursuit, you and your team together to tackle challenges as you learn new things about one another, discover your hidden talents, and learn to rely on each other.

This team building problem solving activity is perfect for high-energy groups that love to put their heads together and work strategically to solve problems as a group.

image

Collaborate with your colleague to design and build different segments of a bridge. At the end, see if the sections come together to create a free-standing structure!   

domino effect challenging is a brain busting winter team building activity

Together as a group, see if you and your colleagues can build a gigantic “chain-reaction” machine that really works!

In smaller groups, participants work together to solve the challenge of creating sections of the machine using miscellaneous parts, and at the end, you’ll have to collaborate to connect it all together and put it in motion.

The case is fresh, but here’s what we know so far: we’ve got an up-and-coming actress who’s been found dead in her hotel room following last night’s awards show.

We have several suspects, but we haven’t been able to put the crime on any of them for sure yet. Now, it’s up to you and your team of detectives to crack the case. Together, you’ll review case files and evidence including police reports, coroners’ reports, photo evidence, tabloids, interrogations, and phone calls as you determine the motive, method, and murderer and bring justice for the victim.

You’ll need to put your problem-solving skills to the test as you share theories, collaborate, and think outside the box with your fellow investigators.

code break is a cerebral indoor team building activity

Using Outback’s app, split up into small groups and put your heads together to solve a variety of puzzles, riddles, and trivia. The team who has completed the most challenges when time is up, wins!

image 1

Can you stay afloat in a body of water in a boat made entirely of cardboard? Now that is a problem that urgently needs solving.

With this team building problem solving activity, you and your colleagues will split into groups and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided – cardboard and tape.

Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats across the water!

colleagues doing a virtual team building problem solving activity

If you and your team are working remotely, don’t worry. You still have a ton of great virtual team building problem solving options at your disposal.

virtual escape room mummys curse

In this virtual escape room experience, your team will be transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. You’ll have to work together to uncover clues and solve complex challenges to lift the ancient curse.

team members doing a fun virtual clue murder mystery

You’ve probably never heard of a man named Neil Davidson. But your group will need to come together to solve the mystery of his murder by analyzing clues, resolving challenges, and figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime. 

This activity will challenge you and your group to approach problems analytically, read between the lines, and use critical thinking in order to identify a suspect and deliver justice.  

escape rooms are fun and unique team building problem solving activities

If you and your team like brainteasers, then Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist will be a big hit.  

Here’s the backstory.

There’s been a robbery. Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.

Together, you’ll need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.

try virtual code break as a way to use problem solving skills with teammates

With Virtual Code Break, you and your team can learn to be adaptive and dynamic in your thinking in order to tackle any new challenges that come your way. In this activity, your group will connect on a video conferencing platform where your event host will split you out into teams. Together, you’ll have to adapt your problem-solving skills as you race against the clock to tackle a variety of mixed brainteaser challenges ranging from Sudoku to puzzles, a game of Cranium, riddles, and even trivia. 

Curious to see how a virtual team building activity works? Check out this video on a Virtual Clue Murder Mystery in action. 

trivia is a great problem solving activity for colleagues

Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60’s. 

This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing. 

Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers! 

And if your team loves trivia, check out our list of the most incredible virtual trivia games for work teams for even more ideas.

6.  Virtual Jeoparty Social

Virtual Jeoparty Social is a fun high energy virtual team building activity

If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round. 

With the right team building problem solving activities, you can help your team sharpen their core skills to ensure they’re prepared when they inevitably face a challenge at work. And best of all, you can have fun in the process. 

Do you have any favorite team building activities for building problem-solving skills? If so, tell us about them in the comments section below! 

Learn More About Team Building Problem Solving Activities  

For more information about how your group can take part in a virtual team building, training, or coaching solution, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.     

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games like problem solving

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I love how this blog provides a variety of problem-solving activities for team building. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to foster teamwork and collaboration!

games like problem solving

23 Problem-solving games for busy work teams

games like problem solving

Problem solving is a skill that can serve almost anyone, in any role, in any industry. The ability to think critically, and resolve issues is a welcome talent that is helpful for every organization. How can you encourage such thinking in your team? In this article, we are talking about our favorite problem-solving games, activities, and exercises for work. Use these activities to sharpen the reasoning and decision-making skills of your department or your entire company. Without further ado, let’s dive into the best problem solving games for getting the most of your next work event. 

In-person problem solving games

If you have the opportunity to get your team together in person, that’s a gift! Perhaps you are planning a company retreat or a department-wide in-person meeting. Whatever the circumstances, in today’s more digital workspace, it’s not always easy to have everyone in the same room. When you actually do, make the most of it! These activities are set up for in-person groups. They are part team-building activity, part icebreaker, and all fun! All of these activities are guaranteed to get people thinking, communicating, and having fun. If you have a particularly big group, you may want to browse our article on large group games too. 

1. Treasure hunt

Similar to a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt is a lot of fun but with a bit more intention. Rather than collecting a random list of items, participants use clues to find more prompts and hints, until the group solves a mystery (or finds a treasure). You can also create a treasure map if you want to play into the “pirate” fantasy a little more. The important thing is that only clues point toward the next stop - areas of the map should not be spelled out, but involve some problem solving and critical thinking to figure out what the clue means. 

2. Story challenge

For the language lovers on your team, try this version of an ongoing story icebreaker. To play, each person receives a number of words (a word bank) that they can use to create a story. Then, everyone reads their piece out loud or presents it to the group. To come up with the words available for each person, you can use a random word generator online, or get creative. For example, consider instructing participants that they can only use words from the company website, or from the emails they received in their inbox yesterday. 

3. Moral dilemma

Similar to a “ would you rather ” game, this activity centers on ethical dilemmas. Players should try to flex their moral problem-solving muscles by tackling a social issue. For example, Scruples is a popular board game that can be played. Or, you can look online for versions of games like Dilemma or Quandary. This is a great way to learn more about your colleagues while getting a peek at the way they think. 

4. Build a shelter

How would you survive if you were stranded in an isolated place with a blizzard coming? Use this activity to find out! As an added complication, you can pretend that everyone is blinded by frostbite (by using blindfolds). The team leader must give the group instructions for building a shelter that can withstand the arctic winds. To play, you need a large space and some supplies. Then, select a leader (who can see) and blindfold everyone else. You’ll also need a large fan. The leader guides everyone in putting together their shelter (remember, while blindfolded). When everyone feels confident that their shelter is up to the test, turn on the fan and see if the structure can withstand the wind! This game is sure to lead to a lot of laughs and you’ll be surprised at some of the clever ideas that people come up with. This is also a powerful exercise for effective leadership - it’s not easy to reach a goal with a group that is blindfolded! Check out our article on team activities especially for leadership as well.

5. Improv games

You may think of improv games as more of an icebreaker activity, but the truth is there is a lot of brain power that goes into well-done improv. Look for ways to add both logic and entertainment to your next improv effort. Consider scenarios like banned words, where people cannot use a certain list of words, or “miracle cure”, where one person shares a problem they’re having and the other person must come up with the solution on the spot. Both are fun and easy ideas that don’t require anything but willing participants! If you need some other quick and easy team building activities , make sure to follow our blog. 

6. Spaghetti tower

In this classic team building game, users try to build a tower using uncooked pasta noodles and marshmallows. The instructions are simple: use the tools at your disposal to design and build the tallest tower in order to win the challenge. You can judge on height alone, or weigh other factors like innovation, number of towers, or stability. For more simple team building activities , make sure to follow our blog. 

7. What would you do?

Another classic icebreaker, this game involves coming up with some scenarios that require brain power to address. Here are some prompts you can use with your group: 

  • What would you do if you were at the zoo and all the animals escaped? 
  • What would you do if you were the first person to find out about an upcoming zombie apocalypse? 
  • What would you do if you were in line for a really important item, and a person cut in front of you, getting the last item? 
  • What would you do if you were invited for dinner at the home of someone you really needed to impress, and the food was terrible? 
  • What would you do if an imposter that looks and acts just like you infiltrated your organization? How can you convince everyone that you’re the “real” you?

8. “MacGyver” challenge

MacGyver is an older television program where the hero escaped sticky situations by improvising tools made of unlikely materials. You can recreate this set-up in your event space or office. To play, challenge participants to use 3-5 items to reach a desired end result. For example, something like “a way to pick the door lock” or “escape vehicle” are fun options. You can either set out some various equipment, or have people collect their own based on what they can find around the office. Note: if you are doing this in a conference room or other rented space, it makes sense to have a table set up with random odds and ends for people to pick from. 

9. Egg drop challenge

This one will take you back to high school physics class! Break a larger group into smaller teams and challenge them to come up with a container that will protect an egg even when it’s dropped from up high. You can either let people know far enough in advance that they can discuss, design, and collect materials; or you can have supplies ready and have everyone build their creation on the spot. If you go that route, you’ll want to provide a variety of boxes, packing supplies, rubber bands, fabric, etc. Then set up a ladder and have each team drop their container and see if their egg remained intact. 

10. Shrinking circle

Adaptability and flexibility are huge in the business world. One way to focus on both of those items is by playing this simple and silly game. Start out by using a rope to create a large circle that everyone can fit in. Then, every few minutes, make the circle a bit smaller. Depending on how large the circle is in the first place, you can take away an inch or a foot each round. The challenge is for everyone present to stay inside the circle. This will require some serious innovation once the circle gets small, and lots of laughs almost always ensue. Note: People are likely to end up touching each other in this exercise. It’s difficult not to once the space gets small, like a game of Twister. You know your colleagues best - if that level of closeness would make anyone uncomfortable, it’s probably best to try a different exercise. 

Out-of-the-office problem-solving activities

Everyone once in a while, it can be really valuable to get out of your usual work environment and into a new mental space. If your team is planning a multi-day retreat, don’t be afraid to include an organized activity that will help everyone to think more critically. Most towns have at least one option for getting your group together and learning some new ways to problem solve. Do some research on what you have available locally, or work with an organization like Surf Office who can plan your next retreat - including the fun elements that your employees will be talking about for months to come! If you know that you can’t get out of the office right now, stick to this list of indoor team building activities . 

11. Escape room

The goal of an escape room is to follow a series of clues and take on some challenges in order to unlock the space that everyone is locked in. There are usually 5 - 10 puzzles that teams will work together to figure out. Typically finishing one leads to another clue, so that participants can move onto the next phase. Only when they’ve successfully completed all of the tasks can they find the key and escape. While you can definitely set up an escape room on your own, we think it’s worth finding a local version in your town (or wherever your retreat is taking place). These are professionally set up and usually in really cool spaces like an underground bunker or a historic building. An escape room is a good excuse to get out of the office and spend time with coworkers in a new environment. 

12. Murder mystery

These story-based games have people take on a role in a pretend scenario. They may take on a role like detective, dinner guest, or even killer in their dinner. Most of the time the games involve reading lines from a script, searching for clues, or even solving some simple challenges to move onto the next phase. Participants have to pay attention to conversations and context clues in order to get an understanding of who the killer might be. Observation and logic are key to catching the killer. Some murder mysteries involve getting dressed up and having a nice dinner, so if you’re looking for an idea for a big night out capping off your next retreat, this is perfect. 

13. Ax throwing

What do axes have to do with problem solving? You might be surprised. This is definitely an activity you’ll want to go to a professional venue for. Ax throwing outfits have everything you need, plus the right safety precautions. They have everything set up with the proper distances, buffers between throwing stations, safe ax materials, etc. Plus, many of them offer food and drinks! Ax throwing can help with problem solving because most people don’t excel at it their first time. It takes some practice and careful consideration to figure out where to stand, the best stance, the force of the throw, etc. As you take turns, you’ll make adjustments and also consider new methods based on observing your teammates. The more you watch and the more you try, the better you’ll get. In fact, instead of having people compete against each other, we suggest having the team compete against themselves, aiming for a higher total score in their second or third consecutive game. This activity allows you to observe others and then optimize - essentially learning from each other. 

14. Paper boat race

If you are able to visit a location by water, you can try this really fun activity. In this fun and creative exercise, participants build a small boat with paper (and other supplies) and then race them in a small body of water like a pond or stream. The boats are usually made by folding paper into a boat shape, but you can also try offering cardboard, balloons, popsicle sticks, or other crafty materials. You’ll also want to supply materials for decorating so that everyone can really have their creation stand out. Obviously the person who reaches the finish line first is the winner, but you can offer a few other prizes just for fun, like most beautiful boat or best effort. Make sure to check out our article on other creativity and innovation games , too. 

Problem-solving puzzles

When it’s just not possible to get everyone together, you can still encourage your team to put on their thinking caps and hone their skills. There are tons of critical thinking games, puzzles , and even apps that people can use to practice problem solving. You can encourage your team members to play these games in their spare time, or even set up a competition where people log minutes playing such games or using the apps. If you’re feeling really generous, give everyone a small stiped to be used on a problem solving app of their choice. This special touch makes a nice addition to a holiday gift, too!

Sudoku has become one of the most popular problem solving games for adults. There are dozens of free app options, as well as paperback books that you can pick up. The goal of this game is to fill each box on a 9×9 grid so that every row, column, and letter contains each number from one to nine. It sounds tricky - and it is - but players tend to find it addicting and the game has grown a huge following in recent years. Encourage people to play on their own by downloading an app or purchasing a puzzle book, or as a team by having the puzzles available in your office or at your next event. 

16. Crossword puzzles

These classic word games have players fill out words based on clues. Words interconnect, and people must think critically about the context clues of what they’ve filled out so far. These puzzles are super versatile and one of the best things about them is that you can make them yourself so they are themed. You can use an online crossword puzzle maker to create a custom puzzle with clues about your business or other relevant subjects. For your next event, it might be fun to have a custom crossword puzzle about your company history or trivia! 

17. Tic-tac-toe tournament

It sounds a little silly, but tic-tac-toe requires more brain power than one might think. Set up an ongoing tic-tac-toe board in your office and encourage people to use it on their breaks or when they have a few minutes to kill. You can set up a scoreboard and keep track of the leader; it’s a lot of fun to see the rankings change and to challenge the top performers. If you need an even simpler version of the same concept, simply set up the Connect Four game board in your break room and let people have at it! 

Problem-solving for virtual teams 

If your team is a bit scattered, it doesn’t mean that you can’t practice solving challenges together. In our digital world, there are plenty of options for online activities that teams can work on either independently or as a group. In the section above, we shared some ideas for independent work. These ideas are designed to bring your team together, no matter where they are. Set a time and have everyone hop onto your preferred communication tool, and then work together tackling these challenges. 

18. Virtual hackathon

A hackathon normally refers to an event where participants have a set amount of time to design and pitch a new product or solution. It’s normally used in the tech space for pitching things like new apps, but you can apply the concept in lots of other ways too. In this online version, teams work with each other using virtual meeting software and pitch ideas to a panel of judges. This type of event requires some advance notice for the participants, as they’ll want to collect a team and come up with some designs. If you want to raise the stakes, offer a prize for first place.

19. Online escape room

Just like an in-person escape room, in an online version people must solve a variety of puzzles in order to make it “out”. Digital escape rooms normally come in one of two ways: in a Zoom “room” led by a host, or in a choose-your-own-adventure style via Google Forms or other websites. To play virtually, staff will enter the meeting and follow the prompts they get, and it might involve screen sharing some Google tools to work on puzzles together. Because of the platforms and tools that may be involved, this activity is better for teams who are a bit more tech-savvy and comfortable with online meetings, apps, etc. 

20. Survival plans

Prioritizing is an important mental exercise. You can work on this with a game about survival. Have everyone imagine they are stranded on a desert island, and they must decide the correct order to perform life-saving steps in. Have this list handy, and ask everyone to pair off or get in small groups and number the list according to the best likelihood of survival: 

  • Set up shelter
  • Look around the island
  • Signal for help
  • Create weapons for self-defense
  • Build a raft for water
  • Start a fire
  • Select a group leader
  • Find other survivors
  • Anything else you think of! 

The catch is that everyone must agree on the order of events!  That will typically involve discussion and coming to some sort of consensus. Once everyone is done with the exercise, have them present to the larger group and explain their reasoning. This exercise is good for team-building, communication, and problem resolution. Plus, you will be better prepared if you ever get stuck on a deserted island! 

21. Online role-playing games (like Dungeons and Dragons)

Seeing how people react in real-world situations is a really interesting way to get to know them better. Find an online game that has real-world actions and consequences, like Dungeons and Dragons. Or, you can make things even simpler by hopping on a Zoom together and reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book aloud, with the reader getting group consensus before making a decision. The important part is the discussion that will occur before choosing the next action. This is helpful for bonding and also helps you to see how your colleagues tick. These activities can be difficult to organize for big groups, so if you have a substantial team, try some of these team building activities for large groups instead. 

22. Google Docs story

Similar to an ongoing story icebreaker, this game is easy to do online as people have time. You start by creating a Google Doc that everyone on the team has access to. Then, have people go into the Doc and add to the story that’s developing. If you want, you can pick a prompt to kick things off - or you can just let the first person get creative and go for it! The more specific or bizarre the scenario, the more creative and clever people will have to get to add their portion. 

23. Model UN

Chances are you might be familiar with this concept from high school. Fortunately, adults can have a lot of fun with it too. You can play this virtually as long as everyone is a strong communicator. Each participant should take on the role of an international diplomat, and work together to form alliances and solve crises. Come up with a potential scenario that the UN must work through. Consider things like a global food shortage, natural disaster, or cyber-security threats. If your group is particularly large, you can have multiple people assigned to a country and they will have separate roles. If politics is a sensitive topic on your team, you might want to tweak this exercise to be focused on a business and treat participants like board members - or even a musical group! 

Set the tone of your next company retreat

These problem solving games and activities are great virtually any time - there is something for everyone, whether you’re remote or in person, on a large team or a small one. One of the best ways to implement a problem solving exercise is at the beginning of a team retreat. If you have organized a large meeting or team building event, consider getting things started with such an activity. Many of these problem solving games will get everyone thinking and make people more comfortable, plus a lot of them also serve as a form of icebreaker.

The next time you plan a work retreat , consider including a few of these on the agenda to set the tone for a fun, energizing event. Need help ensuring that your retreat is, in fact, fun and energizing?

Let Surf Office help ! We can help with organizing your next team retreat or all-company meeting so that you can focus on the fun.

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18 Benefits of team building in any working environment

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Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master

May 27, 2022 - 10 min read

Brianna Hansen

Some people see problems as roadblocks, others see them as opportunities! Problem-solving activities are a great way to get to know how members of your team work, both individually and together. It’s important to teach your team strategies to help them quickly overcome obstacles in the way of achieving project goals.

In this article, you’ll explore 15 problem-solving activities designed to enhance collaboration and creativity. Additionally, if you want to discuss the insights and outcomes with your team after the activities, you can use Wrike’s actionable meeting notes template. This template allows you to record meeting discussions, assign action items, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

The importance of problem-solving skills in today’s workplace

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According to a 2019  report by McKinsey , soft skills are increasingly important in today's world — and problem-solving is the top area in which skills are lacking. A company or team’s success weighs heavily on the willingness of managers to help employees improve their problem-solving abilities. Team building activities targeting focus areas like communication and collaboration, adaptability, or strengthening decision-making techniques help.

All problem-solving processes start with identifying the problem. Next, the team must assess potential courses of action and choose the best way to tackle the problem. This requires a deep understanding of your team and its core strengths. A problem-solving exercise or game helps identify those strengths and builds problem-solving skills and strategies while having fun with your team.

games like problem solving

Problem-solving games aren't for just any team. Participants must have an open mind and accept all ideas and solutions . They must also have an Agile mindset and embrace different structures, planning, and processes. Problems usually arise when we least expect them, so there's no better way to prepare than to encourage agility and flexibility.

Another aspect to keep in mind when engaging in problem-solving games and activities: There are no winners or losers. Sure, some games might end with a single winner, but the true goal of these exercises is to learn how to work together as a team to develop an Agile mindset. The winning team of each game should share their strategies and thought processes at the end of the exercise to help everyone learn.

Here’s a list of fun problem-solving activity examples to try with your team. From blindfolds to raw eggs, these problem-solving, team-building activities will have your team solving problems faster than Scooby and the gang.

Classic team-building, problem-solving activities

1. a shrinking vessel.

Helps with: Adaptability

Why adaptability is important for problem-solving: Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster , according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before . People, teams, and organizations that can adapt will come out on top.

What you’ll need:

  • A rope or string

Instructions:

1. Using the rope, make a shape on the floor everyone can fit into.

2. Slowly shrink the space over 10-15 minutes.

3. Work together to figure out how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.

2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps with: Collaboration

Why collaboration is important for problem-solving: “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individually,” writes Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline . We can solve problems better as a team than we can alone, which means developing your team’s collaboration skills will lead to better problem-solving outcomes.

What you’ll need (per team):

  • 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • 1 yard of string
  • 1 marshmallow

1. The goal of this exercise is to see which team can use the materials provided to build the tallest tower within an allotted time period. The tower must be able to stand on its own.

2. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower. This team problem-solving exercise helps people think on their toes while building camaraderie and leadership.

3. Egg Drop

Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making

Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn’t easy , but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices. Train your team’s decision-making muscles and they will become more adept at problem-solving.

  • A carton of eggs
  • Basic construction materials such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, etc., tarp, or drop cloth
  • A parking lot, or some other place you don’t mind getting messy!

1. Each team gets an egg and must select from the construction materials.

2. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg and protect it from breaking.

3. Drop each egg carrier off a ledge (i.e. over a balcony) and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.

4. If multiple eggs survive, keep increasing the height until only one egg is left.

4. Stranded

Helps with: Communication, decision-making

Why communication is important for problem-solving: More employees work remotely than ever before. Good communication skills are vital to solving problems across  virtual teams . Working on communication skills while your team is together will help them solve problems more effectively when they’re apart.

Here's the setting: Your team has been stranded in the office. The doors are locked, and knocking down the doors or breaking the windows is not an option. Give your team 30 minutes to decide on ten items in the office they need for survival and rank them in order of importance. The goal of the game is to have everyone agree on the ten items and their rankings in 30 minutes.

Creative problem-solving activities

Helps with: Communication

What you'll need:

1. Divide everyone into small teams of two or more.

2. Select an overseer who isn't on a team to build a random structure using Lego building blocks within ten minutes.

3. The other teams must replicate the structure exactly (including size and color) within 15 minutes. However, only one member from each group may look at the original structure. They must figure out how to communicate the size, color, and shape of the original structure to their team.

4. If this is too easy, add a rule that the member who can see the original structure can't touch the new structure.

  • A lockable room
  • 5-10 puzzles or clues (depending on how much time you want to spend on the game)

1. The goal of this exercise is to solve the clues, find the key, and escape a locked room within the time allotted.

2. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room.

3. Gather the team into the empty room and "lock" the door.

4. Give them 30 minutes to an hour to find the key using the clues hidden around the room.

7. Frostbite

Helps with: Decision-making, adaptability

  • A blindfold
  • 1 packet of construction materials (such as card stock, toothpicks, rubber bands, and sticky notes) for each team
  • An electric fan

Instructions:  Your employees are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Separate them into teams of four or five and have them select a leader to guide their exploration. Each team must build a shelter from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. However, both the team leader’s hands have frostbite, so they can’t physically help construct the shelter, and the rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.

8. Minefield

  • An empty room or hallway
  • A collection of common office items

1. Place the items (boxes, chairs, water bottles, bags, etc.) around the room so there's no clear path from one end of the room to the other.

2. Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team.

3. The other must verbally guide that person from one end of the room to the other, avoiding the "mines."

4. The partner who is not blindfolded can't touch the other.

5. If you want to make the activity more challenging, have all the pairs go simultaneously so teams must find ways to strategically communicate with each other.

9. Blind Formations

1. Have the group put on blindfolds and form a large circle.

2. Tie two ends of a rope together and lay it in a circle in the middle of the group, close enough so each person can reach down and touch it.

3. Instruct the group to communicate to create a shape with the rope — a square, triangle, rectangle, etc.

4. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.

Quick and easy problem-solving activities

10. line up blind.

1. Blindfold everyone and whisper a number to each person, beginning with one.

2. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking.

3. Instead of giving them a number, you could also have them line up numerically by height, age, birthday, etc.

11. Reverse Pyramid

Helps with: Adaptability, collaboration

1. Have everyone stand in a pyramid shape, horizontally.

2. Ask them to flip the base and the apex of the pyramid moving only three people.

3. This quick exercise works best when smaller groups compete to see who can reverse the pyramid the fastest.

12. Move It!

  • Chalk, rope, tape, or paper (something to mark a space)

1. Divide your group into two teams and line them up front to back, facing each other.

2. Using the chalk, tape, rope, or paper (depending on the playing surface), mark a square space for each person to stand on. Leave one extra empty space between the two facing rows.

3. The goal is for the two facing lines of players to switch places.

4. Place these restrictions on movement:

  • Only one person may move at a time.
  • A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
  • No one may not move backward.
  • A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.

13. Human Knot

1. Have everyone stand in a circle, and ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly next to them.

2. When everyone is tangled together, ask them to untangle the knot and form a perfect circle — without letting go of anyone's hand.

Our last two problem-solving activities work best when dealing with an actual problem:

14. Dumbest Idea First

Helps with: Instant problem-solving

1. "Dumb" ideas are sometimes the best ideas. Ask everyone to think of the absolute dumbest possible solution to the problem at hand.

2. After you have a long list, look through it and see which ones might not be as dumb as you think.

3. Brainstorm your solutions in Wrike. It's free and everyone can start collaborating instantly!

15. What Would X Do

1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.

2. Each person must approach the problem as if they were their chosen famous person. What options would they consider? How would they handle it?

3. This allows everyone to consider solutions they might not have thought of originally.

Looking for more team-building and virtual meeting games? Check out these virtual icebreaker games or our  Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities that Don't Suck.

Additional resources on problem-solving activities

  • Problem-Solving Model : Looking for a model to provide a problem-solving structure? This detailed guide gives you the tools to quickly solve any problem.
  • The Simplex Process:  Popularized by Min Basadur's book, The Power of Innovation , the Simplex Process provides training and techniques for each problem-solving stage. It helps frame problem-solving as a continuous cycle, rather than a “one and done” process.
  • Fun Problem-Solving Activities and Games : Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of interesting and creative problem-solving activities for adults and kids!
  • The Secret to Better Problem-Solving:  This article provides tips, use cases, and fresh examples to help you become a whiz at solving the toughest problems.

How to organize problem-solving activities with Wrike

If you want to make problem-solving activities more effective, consider using team collaboration software such as Wrike. 

Wrike’s pre-built actionable meeting notes template helps you keep track of meeting discussions, assign action items, and keep everyone in the loop. It’s an effective tool to streamline your problem-solving sessions and turn insights into real projects.

Brianna Hansen

Brianna Hansen

Brianna is a former Content Marketing Manager of Wrike. When she’s not writing about collaboration and team building games, you’ll find her in the kitchen testing out the latest recipes, sharing her favorite wine with friends, or playing with her two cats.

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></center></p><h2>13 Problem-Solving Activities & Exercises for Your Team</h2><ul><li>December 4, 2023</li><li>Project Management</li><li>21 min read</li></ul><p><center><img style=

Are you looking to enhance your or your team’s problem-solving abilities? Engaging in activities specifically designed to stimulate your and your team’s critical thinking skills can be an excellent way to sharpen your problem-solving prowess. Whether you enjoy puzzles, brain teasers, or interactive challenges, these activities provide an opportunity to overcome obstacles and think creatively.

By immersing yourself in problem-solving activities, you can develop valuable strategies, improve your decision-making abilities, and boost your overall problem-solving IQ. Get ready to unlock your full potential and tackle any challenge that comes your way with these exciting activities for problem-solving.

In this article, we will explore activities for problem-solving that can help enhance your team’s problem-solving skills, allowing you to approach challenges with confidence and creativity.

What Are Problem Solving Activities?

Problem-solving activities or problem-solving exercises are interactive games requiring critical thinking to solve puzzles. They enhance teamwork & critical thinking. Examples include building towers, navigating simulated challenges, and fostering creativity and communication.

For instance, imagine a team working together to construct the tallest tower using limited materials. They strategize, communicate ideas, and problem-solve to create the best structure, promoting collaboration and inventive thinking among team members.

Some widely practiced problem-solving activities include:

  • A Shrinking Vessel: Teams must fit into a shrinking space, testing their cooperation and adaptability.
  • Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower: Participants build a tower using marshmallows and spaghetti, promoting creative engineering.
  • Egg Drop: Protecting an egg from a fall challenges problem-solving skills.
  • Desert Island Survival: Teams simulate survival scenarios, encouraging creative solutions.
  • Rolling Dice: A simple yet effective game involving chance and decision-making.
  • Build a Tower: Constructing a stable tower with limited resources fosters teamwork and innovation, etc.

13 Easy Activities For Problem-Solving Ideas to Enhance Team Collaboration

Team building activities offer a great opportunity to test problem-solving abilities and promote effective collaboration within a group to problem solving group activities. By engaging in these activities, teams can break the monotony of the workplace and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment.

Here are nine easy-to-implement activities that can bring substantial change to your team culture and overall workplace dynamics.

#1. Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles

Objective: To enhance problem-solving skills, vocabulary, and cognitive abilities through engaging crossword puzzles. 

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes 

Materials Needed:

  • Crossword puzzle sheets
  • Pens or pencils
  • Distribute crossword puzzle sheets and pens/pencils to each participant.
  • Explain the rules of crossword puzzles and the goal of completing as many clues as possible within the given time.
  • Participants individually or in pairs work on solving the crossword puzzle by filling in the correct words.
  • Encourage critical thinking, word association, and collaborative discussions for solving challenging clues.
  • At the end of the time limit, review the answers and discuss any interesting or challenging clues as a group.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving: Participants engage in critical thinking while deciphering clues, promoting effective problem-solving skills.
  • Vocabulary Expansion: Exposure to new words and phrases within the crossword improves vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Cognitive Stimulation: The mental exercise of solving the puzzle stimulates the brain, enhancing cognitive abilities.
  • Team Collaboration: If done in pairs, participants practice collaboration and communication to solve clues together.
  • Achievement and Motivation: Successfully completing the crossword brings a sense of accomplishment and motivates individuals to explore more puzzles.

Tips for Facilitators:

  • Provide varying levels of crossword puzzles to accommodate different skill levels.
  • Encourage participants to share strategies for solving challenging clues.
  • Emphasize the fun and educational aspects of the activity to keep participants engaged.

#2. A Shrinking Vessel

A Shrinking Vessel

Estimated Time: 10-15 Minutes

  • Materials Needed: A rope and a ball of yarn
  • Prepare the Setting: Lay a rope on the floor in a shape that allows all team members to stand comfortably inside it. For larger teams, multiple ropes can be used, dividing them into smaller groups.
  • Enter the Circle: Have all team members stand inside the rope, ensuring that nobody steps outside its boundaries.
  • Shrinking the Circle: Begin gradually shrinking the rope’s size, reducing the available space inside the circle.
  • Adapt and Maintain Balance: As the circle shrinks, team members must make subtle adjustments to maintain their positions and balance within the shrinking area.
  • The Challenge: The objective for the team is to collectively brainstorm and find innovative ways to keep every team member inside the circle without anyone stepping outside.
  • Collaboration and Communication: The activity promotes teamwork and open communication as participants strategize to stay within the shrinking circle.
  • Adaptability: Team members learn to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, fostering agility and flexibility.
  • Creative Problem-Solving: The challenge encourages inventive thinking and brainstorming to find unique solutions.
  • Trust Building: By relying on each other’s actions, participants build trust and cohesion among team members.
  • Time-Efficient: The short duration makes it an ideal icebreaker or energizer during meetings or workshops.
  • Observe and Facilitate: Monitor the team’s dynamics and offer guidance to encourage equal participation and effective problem-solving.
  • Encourage Verbalization: Prompt participants to voice their ideas and collaborate vocally, aiding in real-time adjustments.
  • Debrief Thoughtfully: Engage the team in a discussion afterward, reflecting on strategies employed and lessons learned.
  • Emphasize Adaptability: Highlight the transferable skill of adaptability and its significance in both professional and personal contexts.

#3. Human Knots

Human Knots

  • Objective: Improving Collaboration & enhancing Communication Skills

Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Materials: None required

Procedure: 

  • Organize your team into a compact circle. For more sizable teams, subdivide them into smaller clusters, with each cluster forming its own circle. 
  • Direct each individual to grasp the hands of two other people in the circle, with the exception of those positioned directly adjacent to them. This action will result in the formation of a complex “human knot” within the circle. 
  • Present the challenge to the group: to unravel themselves from this entanglement while maintaining their hold on each other’s hands. If preferred, you can establish a specific time limit. 
  • Observe the team members collaborating to unravel the knot, witnessing their collective effort to devise solutions and free themselves from the intricate puzzle.
  • Team Cohesion: The activity encourages team members to interact closely, promoting bonding and understanding among participants.
  • Effective Communication: Participants practice clear and concise communication as they coordinate movements to untangle the knot.
  • Problem-Solving: The challenge stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving skills as individuals work collectively to find the optimal path for untangling.
  • Adaptability: Participants learn to adapt their actions based on the evolving dynamics of the human knot, fostering adaptability.
  • Trust Building: As individuals rely on each other to navigate the intricate knot, trust and cooperation naturally develop.
  • Set a Positive Tone: Create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, emphasizing that the focus is on collaboration rather than competition.
  • Encourage Verbalization: Urge participants to articulate their intentions and listen to others’ suggestions, promoting effective teamwork.
  • Observe Group Dynamics: Monitor interactions and step in if needed to ensure everyone is actively engaged and included.
  • Reflect and Share: Conclude the activity with a debriefing session, allowing participants to share their experiences, strategies, and key takeaways.
  • Vary Grouping: Change group compositions for subsequent rounds to enhance interactions among different team members.

#4. Egg Drop

Egg Drop

Helps With: Decision Making, Collaboration

  • A carton of eggs
  • Construction materials (balloons, rubber bands, straws, tape, plastic wrap, etc.)
  • A suitable location for the activity
  • Assign each team a single egg and random construction materials.
  • Teams must create a carrier to protect the egg from breaking.
  • Drop the carriers one by one and increase the height if necessary to determine the most durable carrier.
  • The winning team is the one with the carrier that survives the highest drop.
  • Decision Making: Participants engage in critical decision-making processes as they select construction materials and determine carrier designs.
  • Collaboration: The activity necessitates collaboration and coordination among team members to construct an effective carrier.
  • Problem-Solving: Teams apply creative problem-solving skills to devise innovative methods for safeguarding the egg.
  • Risk Management: Participants learn to assess potential risks and consequences while making design choices to prevent egg breakage.
  • Celebrating Success: The victorious team experiences a sense of accomplishment, boosting morale and promoting a positive team spirit.
  • Provide Diverse Materials: Offer a wide range of construction materials to stimulate creativity and allow teams to explore various design options.
  • Set Safety Guidelines: Prioritize safety by specifying a safe drop height and ensuring participants follow safety protocols during construction.
  • Encourage Brainstorming: Prompt teams to brainstorm multiple carrier ideas before finalizing their designs, fostering diverse perspectives.
  • Facilitate Reflection: After the activity, lead a discussion where teams share their design strategies, challenges faced, and lessons learned.
  • Highlight Collaboration: Emphasize the significance of teamwork in achieving success, acknowledging effective communication and cooperation.

#5. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps With: Collaboration

Estimated Time: 20-30 Minutes

Materials Needed (per team):

  • Raw spaghetti: 20 sticks
  • Marshmallow: 1
  • String: 1 yard
  • Masking tape: 1 roll
  • Tower Construction: Instruct teams to collaborate and utilize the provided materials to construct the tallest tower possible within a designated time frame.
  • Marshmallow Support: Emphasize that the tower must be capable of standing independently and supporting a marshmallow at its highest point.
  • Prototype and Iterate: Encourage teams to engage in prototyping and iteration, testing different design approaches and refining their tower structures.
  • T eamwork and Communication: Promote effective teamwork and communication as team members coordinate their efforts to build a stable and tall tower.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Evaluate each tower based on its height, stability, and the successful placement of the marshmallow at the top.
  • Collaboration: Participants collaborate closely, sharing ideas and working together to design and construct the tower.
  • Innovative Thinking: The activity encourages innovative thinking as teams experiment with different strategies to build a stable tower.
  • Time Management: Teams practice time management skills as they work within a specified time limit to complete the task.
  • Problem-Solving: Participants engage in creative problem-solving to address challenges such as balancing the marshmallow and constructing a sturdy tower.
  • Adaptability: Teams adapt their approaches based on trial and error, learning from each iteration to improve their tower designs.
  • Set Clear Guidelines: Clearly explain the materials, objectives, and evaluation criteria to ensure teams understand the task.
  • Foster Creativity: Encourage teams to think outside the box and explore unconventional methods for constructing their towers.
  • Emphasize Collaboration: Highlight the importance of effective communication and teamwork to accomplish the task successfully.
  • Time Management: Remind teams of the time limit and encourage them to allocate their time wisely between planning and construction.
  • Reflect and Share: Facilitate a discussion after the activity, allowing teams to share their design choices, challenges faced, and lessons learned.

Sudoku

Objective: To engage participants in the strategic and analytical world of Sudoku, enhancing logical thinking and problem-solving abilities. 

Estimated Time: 20-25 Minutes 

  • Sudoku puzzle sheets
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Distribute Sudoku puzzle sheets and pencils to each participant.
  • Familiarize participants with the rules and mechanics of Sudoku puzzles.
  • Explain the goal: to fill in the empty cells with numbers from 1 to 9 while adhering to the rules of no repetition in rows, columns, or subgrids.
  • Encourage participants to analyze the puzzle’s layout, identify potential numbers, and strategically fill in cells.
  • Emphasize the importance of logical deduction and step-by-step approach in solving the puzzle.
  • Provide hints or guidance if needed, ensuring participants remain engaged and challenged.
  • Logical Thinking: Sudoku challenges participants’ logical and deductive reasoning, fostering analytical skills.
  • Problem-Solving: The intricate interplay of numbers and constraints hones problem-solving abilities.
  • Focus and Patience: Participants practice patience and attention to detail while gradually unveiling the solution.
  • Pattern Recognition: Identifying number patterns and possibilities contributes to enhanced pattern recognition skills.
  • Personal Achievement: Successfully completing a Sudoku puzzle provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence.
  • Offer varying levels of Sudoku puzzles to cater to different skill levels.
  • Encourage participants to share strategies and techniques for solving specific challenges.
  • Highlight the mental workout Sudoku provides and its transferable skills to real-life problem-solving.

Escape

Helps With: Communication, Problem-solving, & Management

  • A lockable room
  • 5-10 puzzles or clues
  • Hide the key and a set of clues around the room.
  • Lock the room and provide team members with a specific time limit to find the key and escape.
  • Instruct the team to work together, solving the puzzles and deciphering the clues to locate the key.
  • Encourage efficient communication and effective problem-solving under time pressure.
  • Communication Skills: Participants enhance their communication abilities by sharing observations, ideas, and findings to collectively solve puzzles.
  • Problem-solving Proficiency: The activity challenges teams to think critically, apply logical reasoning, and collaboratively tackle intricate challenges.
  • Team Management: The experience promotes effective team management as members assign tasks, prioritize efforts, and coordinate actions.
  • Time Management: The imposed time limit sharpens time management skills as teams strategize and allocate time wisely.
  • Adaptability: Teams learn to adapt and adjust strategies based on progress, evolving clues, and time constraints.
  • Clear Introduction: Provide a concise overview of the activity, emphasizing the importance of communication, problem-solving, and time management.
  • Diverse Challenges: Offer a mix of puzzles and clues to engage various problem-solving skills, catering to different team strengths.
  • Supportive Role: Act as a facilitator, offering subtle guidance if needed while allowing teams to independently explore and solve challenges.
  • Debriefing Session: Organize a debriefing session afterward to discuss the experience, highlight successful strategies, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Encourage Reflection: Encourage participants to reflect on their teamwork, communication effectiveness, and problem-solving approach.

#8. Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Helps With: Decision Making, Trust, Leadership

  • An electric fan
  • Construction materials (toothpicks, cardstock, rubber bands, sticky notes, etc.)
  • Divide the team into groups of 4-5 people, each with a designated leader.
  • Blindfold team members and prohibit leaders from using their hands.
  • Provide teams with construction materials and challenge them to build a tent within 30 minutes.
  • Test the tents using the fan to see which can withstand high winds.
  • Decision-Making Proficiency: Participants are exposed to critical decision-making situations under constraints, allowing them to practice effective and efficient decision-making.
  • Trust Development: Blindfolding team members and relying on the designated leaders fosters trust and collaboration among team members.
  • Leadership Skills: Designated leaders navigate the challenge without hands-on involvement, enhancing their leadership and communication skills.
  • Creative Problem Solving: Teams employ creative thinking and resourcefulness to construct stable tents with limited sensory input.
  • Team Cohesion: The shared task and unique constraints promote team cohesion and mutual understanding.
  • Role of the Facilitator: Act as an observer, allowing teams to navigate the challenge with minimal intervention. Offer assistance only when necessary.
  • Clarity in Instructions: Provide clear instructions regarding blindfolding, leader restrictions, and time limits to ensure a consistent experience.
  • Debriefing Session: After the activity, conduct a debriefing session to discuss team dynamics, leadership approaches, and decision-making strategies.
  • Encourage Communication: Emphasize the importance of effective communication within teams to ensure smooth coordination and successful tent construction.
  • Acknowledge Creativity: Celebrate creative solutions and innovative approaches exhibited by teams during the tent-building process.

#9. Dumbest Idea First

Dumbest Idea First

Helps With: Critical Thinking & Creative Problem Solving Activity

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes

Materials Needed: A piece of paper, pen, and pencil

  • Problem Presentation: Introduce a specific problem to the team, either a real-world challenge or a hypothetical scenario that requires a solution.
  • Brainstorming Dumb Ideas: Instruct team members to quickly generate and jot down the most unconventional and seemingly “dumb” ideas they can think of to address the problem.
  • Idea Sharing: Encourage each participant to share their generated ideas with the group, fostering a relaxed and open atmosphere for creative expression.
  • Viability Assessment: As a team, review and evaluate each idea, considering potential benefits and drawbacks. Emphasize the goal of identifying unconventional approaches.
  • Selecting Promising Solutions: Identify which seemingly “dumb” ideas could hold hidden potential or innovative insights. Discuss how these ideas could be adapted into workable solutions.
  • Divergent Thinking: Participants engage in divergent thinking, pushing beyond conventional boundaries to explore unconventional solutions.
  • Creative Exploration: The activity sparks creative exploration by encouraging participants to let go of inhibitions and embrace imaginative thinking.
  • Critical Analysis: Through evaluating each idea, participants practice critical analysis and learn to identify unique angles and aspects of potential solutions.
  • Open Communication: The lighthearted approach of sharing “dumb” ideas fosters open communication, reducing fear of judgment and promoting active participation.
  • Solution Adaptation: Identifying elements of seemingly “dumb” ideas that have merit encourages participants to adapt and refine their approaches creatively.
  • Safe Environment: Foster a safe and non-judgmental environment where participants feel comfortable sharing unconventional ideas.
  • Time Management: Set clear time limits for idea generation and sharing to maintain the activity’s energetic pace.
  • Encourage Wild Ideas: Emphasize that the goal is to explore the unconventional, urging participants to push the boundaries of creativity.
  • Facilitator Participation: Participate in idea generation to demonstrate an open-minded approach and encourage involvement.
  • Debriefing Discussion: After the activity, facilitate a discussion on how seemingly “dumb” ideas can inspire innovative solutions and stimulate fresh thinking.

This activity encourages out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem-solving. It allows teams to explore unconventional ideas that may lead to unexpected, yet effective, solutions.

#10: Legoman

Legoman.

Helps With: Foster teamwork, communication, and creativity through a collaborative Lego-building activity.

Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

  • Lego bricks
  • Lego instruction manuals

Procedure :

  • Divide participants into small teams of 3-5 members.
  • Provide each team with an equal set of Lego bricks and a Lego instruction manual.
  • Explain that the goal is for teams to work together to construct the Lego model shown in the manual.
  • Set a time limit for the building activity based on model complexity.
  • Allow teams to self-organize, build, and collaborate to complete the model within the time limit.
  • Evaluate each team’s final model compared to the manual’s original design.
  • Enhanced Communication: Participants must communicate clearly and listen actively to collaborate effectively.
  • Strengthened Teamwork: Combining efforts toward a shared goal promotes camaraderie and team cohesion.
  • Creative Problem-Solving: Teams must creatively problem-solve if pieces are missing or instructions unclear.
  • Planning and Resource Allocation: Following instructions fosters planning skills and efficient use of resources.
  • Sense of Achievement: Completing a challenging build provides a sense of collective accomplishment.
  • Encourage Participation: Urge quieter members to contribute ideas and take an active role.
  • Highlight Teamwork: Emphasize how cooperation and task coordination are key to success.
  • Ensure Equal Engagement: Monitor group dynamics to ensure all members are engaged.
  • Allow Creativity: Permit modifications if teams lack exact pieces or wish to get creative.
  • Focus on Enjoyment: Create a lively atmosphere so the activity remains energizing and fun.

#11: Minefield

Minefield.

Helps With: Trust, Communication, Patience

Materials Needed: Open space, blindfolds

  • Mark a “minefield” on the ground using ropes, cones, or tape. Add toy mines or paper cups.
  • Pair up participants and blindfold one partner.
  • Position blindfolded partners at the start of the minefield. Direct seeing partners to verbally guide them through to the other side without hitting “mines.”
  • Partners switch roles once finished and repeat.
  • Time partnerships and provide prizes for the fastest safe crossing.
  • Trust Building: Blindfolded partners must trust their partner’s instructions.
  • Effective Communication: Giving clear, specific directions is essential for navigating the minefield.
  • Active Listening: Partners must listen closely and follow directions precisely.
  • Patience & Support: The exercise requires patience and encouraging guidance between partners.
  • Team Coordination: Partners must work in sync, coordinating movements and communication.
  • Test Boundaries: Ensure the minefield’s size accommodates safe movement and communication.
  • Monitor Interactions: Watch for dominant guidance and ensure both partners participate fully.
  • Time Strategically: Adjust time limits based on the minefield size and difficulty.
  • Add Obstacles: Introduce additional non-mine objects to increase challenge and communication needs.
  • Foster Discussion: Debrief afterward to discuss communication approaches and trust-building takeaways.

#12: Reverse Pyramid

Reverse Pyramid.

Helps With: Teamwork, Communication, Creativity

Materials Needed: 36 cups per group, tables

  • Form small groups of 5-7 participants.
  • Provide each group with a stack of 36 cups and a designated building area.
  • Explain the objective: Build the tallest pyramid starting with just one cup on top.
  • Place the first cup on the table, and anyone in the group can add two cups beneath it to form the second row.
  • From this point, only the bottom row can be lifted to add the next row underneath.
  • Cups in the pyramid can only be touched or supported by index fingers.
  • If the structure falls, start over from one cup.
  • Offer more cups if a group uses all provided.
  • Allow 15 minutes for building.

Teamwork: Collaborate to construct the pyramid.

Communication: Discuss and execute the building strategy.

Creativity: Find innovative ways to build a tall, stable pyramid.

Clarify Expectations: Emphasize the definition of a pyramid with each row having one less cup.

Encourage Perseverance: Motivate groups to continue despite challenges.

Promote Consensus: Encourage groups to work together and help each other.

Reflect on Failure: Use collapses as a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and improving.

Consider Competitions: Modify the activity for competitive teams and scoring.

#13: Stranded

Stranded.

Helps With: Decision-making, Prioritization, Teamwork

Materials Needed: List of salvaged items, paper, pens

  • Present a scenario where teams are stranded and must prioritize items salvaged from a plane crash.
  • Provide teams with the same list of ~15 salvaged items.
  • Instruct teams to agree on an item ranking with #1 being the most important for survival.
  • Teams share and compare their prioritized lists. Identify differences in approach.
  • Discuss what factors influenced decisions and how teams worked together to agree on priorities.
  • Critical Thinking: Weighing item importance requires analytical thinking and discussion.
  • Team Decision-Making: Coming to a consensus fosters team decision-making capabilities.
  • Prioritization Skills: Ranking items strengthen prioritization and justification abilities.
  • Perspective-Taking: Understanding different prioritizations builds perspective-taking skills.
  • Team Cohesion: Collaborating toward a shared goal brings teams closer together.
  • Encourage Discussion: Urge teams to discuss all ideas rather than allow single members to dominate.
  • Be Engaged: Circulate to listen in on team discussions and pose thought-provoking questions.
  • Add Complexity: Introduce scenarios with additional constraints to expand critical thinking.
  • Highlight Disagreements: When priorities differ, facilitate constructive discussions on influencing factors.
  • Recognize Collaboration: Acknowledge teams that demonstrate exceptional teamwork and communication.

Now let’s look at some common types of problem-solving activities.

Types of Problem-Solving Activities

The most common types of problem-solving activities/exercises are:

  • Creative problem-solving activities
  • Group problem-solving activities
  • Individual problem-solving activities
  • Fun problem-solving activities, etc.

In the next segments, we’ll be discussing these types of problem-solving activities in detail. So, keep reading!

Creative Problem-Solving Activities

Creative problem solving (CPS) means using creativity to find new solutions. It involves thinking creatively at first and then evaluating ideas later. For example, think of it like brainstorming fun game ideas, discussing them, and then picking the best one to play.

Some of the most common creative problem-solving activities include:

  • Legoman: Building creative structures with LEGO.
  • Escape: Solving puzzles to escape a room.
  • Frostbite: Finding solutions in challenging situations.
  • Minefield: Navigating a field of obstacles.

Group Problem-Solving Activities

Group problem-solving activities are challenges that make teams work together to solve puzzles or overcome obstacles. They enhance teamwork and critical thinking.

For instance, think of a puzzle-solving game where a group must find hidden clues to escape a locked room.

Here are the most common group problem-solving activities you can try in groups:

  • A Shrinking Vessel
  • Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
  • Cardboard Boat Building Challenge
  • Clue Murder Mystery
  • Escape Room: Jewel Heist
  • Escape Room: Virtual Team Building
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Dumbest Idea First

Individual Problem-Solving Activities

As the name suggests, individual problem-solving activities are the tasks that you need to play alone to boost your critical thinking ability. They help you solve problems and stay calm while facing challenges in real life. Like puzzles, they make your brain sharper. Imagine it’s like training your brain muscles to handle tricky situations.

Here are some of the most common individual problem-solving activities:

  • Puzzles (jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, etc.)
  • Brain teasers
  • Logic problems
  • Optical illusions
  • “Escape room” style games

Fun Problem-Solving Activities

Fun problem-solving activities are enjoyable games that sharpen your critical thinking skills while having a blast. Think of activities like the Legoman challenge, escape rooms, or rolling dice games – they make problem-solving exciting and engaging!

And to be frank, all of the mentioned problem-solving activities are fun if you know how to play and enjoy them as all of them are game-like activities.

Team Problems You Can Address Through Problem Solving Activities

Fun problem-solving activities serve as dynamic tools to address a range of challenges that teams often encounter. These engaging activities foster an environment of collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, enabling teams to tackle various problems head-on. Here are some common team problems that can be effectively addressed through these activities:

  • Communication Breakdowns:  

Activities like “Escape,” “A Shrinking Vessel,” and “Human Knots” emphasize the importance of clear and effective communication. They require teams to work together, exchange ideas, and devise strategies to accomplish a shared goal. By engaging in these activities, team members learn to communicate more efficiently, enhancing overall team communication in real-world situations.

  • Lack of Trust and Cohesion:  

Problem-solving activities promote trust and cohesiveness within teams. For instance, “Frostbite” and “Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower” require teams to collaborate closely, trust each other’s ideas, and rely on each member’s strengths. These activities build a sense of unity and trust, which can translate into improved teamwork and collaboration.

  • Innovative Thinking:  

“Dumbest Idea First” and “Egg Drop” encourage teams to think outside the box and explore unconventional solutions. These activities challenge teams to be creative and innovative in their problem-solving approaches, fostering a culture of thinking beyond traditional boundaries when faced with complex issues.

  • Decision-Making Challenges:  

Activities like “Onethread” facilitate group decision-making by providing a platform for open discussions and collaborative choices. Problem-solving activities require teams to make decisions collectively, teaching them to weigh options, consider different viewpoints, and arrive at informed conclusions—a skill that is transferable to real-world decision-making scenarios.

  • Leadership and Role Clarification:  

Activities such as “Frostbite” and “Egg Drop” designate team leaders and roles within groups. This provides an opportunity for team members to practice leadership, delegation, and role-specific tasks. By experiencing leadership dynamics in a controlled setting, teams can improve their leadership skills and better understand their roles in actual projects.

  • Problem-Solving Strategies:  

All of the problem-solving activities involve the application of different strategies. Teams learn to analyze problems, break them down into manageable components, and develop systematic approaches for resolution. These strategies can be adapted to real-world challenges, enabling teams to approach complex issues with confidence.

  • Team Morale and Engagement:  

Participating in engaging and enjoyable activities boosts team morale and engagement. These activities provide a break from routine tasks, energize team members, and create a positive and fun atmosphere. Elevated team morale can lead to increased motivation and productivity.

By incorporating these fun problem-solving activities, teams can address a variety of challenges, foster skill development, and build a more cohesive and effective working environment. As teams learn to collaborate, communicate, innovate, and make decisions collectively, they are better equipped to overcome obstacles and achieve shared goals.

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

#1 Better Thinking

Problem-solving activities bring out the best in team members by encouraging them to contribute their unique ideas. This stimulates better thinking as team managers evaluate different solutions and choose the most suitable ones.

For example, a remote team struggling with communication benefited from quick thinking and the sharing of ideas, leading to the adoption of various communication modes for improved collaboration.

#2 Better Risk Handling

Team building problem solving activities condition individuals to handle risks more effectively. By engaging in challenging situations and finding solutions, team members develop the ability to respond better to stressful circumstances.

#3 Better Communication

Regular communication among team members is crucial for efficient problem-solving. Engaging in problem-solving activities fosters cooperation and communication within the team, resulting in better understanding and collaboration. Using tools like OneThread can further enhance team communication and accountability.

#4 Improved Productivity Output

When teams work cohesively, overall productivity improves, leading to enhanced profit margins for the company or organization. Involving managers and team members in problem-solving activities can positively impact the company’s growth and profitability.

How Onethread Enhances the Effect of Problem Solving Activities

Problem-solving activities within teams thrive on collaborative efforts and shared perspectives. Onethread emerges as a potent facilitator, enabling teams to collectively tackle challenges and harness diverse viewpoints with precision. Here’s a comprehensive view of how Onethread amplifies team collaboration in problem-solving initiatives:

Open Channels for Discussion:

Open Channels for Discussion

Onethread’s real-time messaging feature serves as a dedicated hub for open and seamless discussions. Teams can engage in brainstorming sessions, share insightful observations, and propose innovative solutions within a flexible environment. Asynchronous communication empowers members to contribute their insights at their convenience, fostering comprehensive problem analysis with ample deliberation.

Centralized Sharing of Resources:

Centralized Sharing of Resources

Effective problem-solving often hinges on access to pertinent resources. Onethread’s document sharing functionality ensures that critical information, references, and research findings are centralized and readily accessible. This eradicates the need for cumbersome email attachments and enables team members to collaborate with precise and up-to-date data.

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring:

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring

Problem-solving journeys comprise a series of tasks and actions. Onethread’s task management capability streamlines the delegation of specific responsibilities to team members. Assign tasks related to research, data analysis, or solution implementation and monitor progress in real time. This cultivates a sense of accountability and guarantees comprehensive coverage of every facet of the problem-solving process.

Facilitated Collaborative Decision-Making: Navigating intricate problems often demands collective decision-making. Onethread’s collaborative ecosystem empowers teams to deliberate over potential solutions, assess pros and cons, and make well-informed choices. Transparent discussions ensure that decisions are comprehensively comprehended and supported by the entire team.

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing:

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing

As the problem-solving journey unfolds, the accumulation of insights and conclusions becomes pivotal. Onethread’s collaborative document editing feature empowers teams to document their discoveries, chronicle the steps undertaken, and showcase successful solutions. This shared repository of documentation serves as a valuable resource for future reference and continuous learning.

With Onethread orchestrating the backdrop, team collaboration during problem-solving activities transforms into a harmonious fusion of insights, ideas, and actionable steps.

What are the 5 problem-solving skills?

The top 5 problem-solving skills in 2023 are critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and data literacy. Most employers seek these skills in their workforce.

What are the steps of problem-solving?

Problem-solving steps are as follows: 1. Define the problem clearly. 2. Analyze the issue in detail. 3. Generate potential solutions. 4. Evaluate these options. 5. Choose the best solution. 6. Put the chosen solution into action. 7. Measure the outcomes to assess effectiveness and improvements made. These sequential steps assist in efficient and effective problem resolution.

How do you teach problem-solving skills?

Teaching problem-solving involves modelling effective methods within a context, helping students grasp the problem, dedicating ample time, asking guiding questions, and giving suggestions. Connect errors to misconceptions to enhance understanding, fostering a straightforward approach to building problem-solving skills.

So here is all about “activities for problem solving”.No matter which activity you choose, engaging in problem-solving activities not only provides entertainment but also helps enhance cognitive abilities such as critical thinking, decision making, and creativity. So why not make problem solving a regular part of your routine?

Take some time each day or week to engage in these activities and watch as your problem-solving skills grow stronger. Plus, it’s an enjoyable way to pass the time and challenge yourself mentally.

So go ahead, grab a puzzle or gather some friends for a game night – get ready to have fun while sharpening your problem-solving skills!

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Featured Reads

games like problem solving

  • Inspire & Impact Collection |
  • 45 team building games to improve commu ...

45 team building games to improve communication and camaraderie

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshot

Team building games bring everyone together without the added pressure of work. Here, we’ve listed 45 of the top team building activities broken down by icebreaker, problem solving, indoor, and outdoor games.

As Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana puts it, “Creating a shared experience for teams to build relationships is one of the best ways to increase trust and encourage collaboration."

Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, quick icebreaker games, or activities to bond with your remote team members, we compiled a list of over 45 team building games that you’ll actually enjoy. 

How to make team building inclusive

Teams with an inclusive culture tend to be more transparent, supportive, and happy because everyone feels accepted. It’s essential to make any team activity feel productive and enjoyable for the entire group, regardless of personalities or skill sets. Whether you’re working on building an inclusive remote culture or want in-person teams to feel more comfortable together, consider the following for an inclusive team building experience:

Inclusive team building means including everyone. Depending on the type of team building activity, you may benefit from hiring an outside expert to facilitate a team building event that everyone can participate in. Plus, the activity may feel more authentic because a professional is guiding you.

If you have introverts on the team, they may not be as excited about an exercise that involves lots of social interaction and do better in small groups. 

Teammates with speech, sight, or hearing impairments may feel left out during a game that involves blindfolding players and communicating without looking at each other.

Physically active games could exclude physically impaired teammates. 

Before choosing one of the team building games from this list, take stock of everyone's abilities. Find an activity that everyone on your team can participate in. Maybe even send out an anonymous poll to see what kinds of activities your team would be willing to partake in. Ultimately, the best team building activity will be the one that everyone can enjoy.

Team icebreaker games

Icebreaker questions and activities are the perfect “getting to know you” games but they’re also fun to play with teammates you’ve known for a long time. You can play them to get everyone up to speed for a meeting (especially on those 8am calls) or use them to introduce new team members.

Team icebreaker games

1. Two truths, one lie

Team size : 3+ people

Time : 2–3 minutes per person

How to play : Ask everyone in the group to come up with two facts about themselves and one lie. The more memorable the facts (e.g., I went skydiving in Costa Rica) and the more believable the lies (e.g., I have two dogs), the more fun the game will be! Then, ask each team member to present their three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie.

Why this exercise is great : This game is perfect for groups who don’t know each other well yet. The details you share can be used as building blocks for late conversations (“What else did you do in Costa Rica?”) to give you a better idea of who you’re working with.

2. Penny for your thoughts

Team size : 5+ people

How to play : You’ll need a box full of pennies (or other coins) with years only as old as your youngest team member (not the time to brag about your 1937 collector’s penny). Ask every team member to draw a coin from the box and share a story, memory, or otherwise significant thing that happened to them that year. This can be anything from learning how to ride a bike to landing your first job.    

Why this exercise is great : This is a fun twist on a stress-free and simple icebreaker that gives everyone the chance to share a personal story with their team. You can play multiple rounds if the stories are on the shorter side or let team members elaborate on their stories to gain deeper insight into their lives.

3. Mood pictures

How to play : Prepare a variety of images before you play. You can collect newspaper clippings, magazine cutouts, postcards, and posters or print out different images from the internet (Pinterest is a great spot). The images should show landscapes, cities, people, shapes, or animals in a variety of colors and perspectives.

Lay all the images out and ask team members to each pick one that resonates with their current mood. Once everyone has picked an image, ask them to share what they resonated with, how it makes them feel, and why they picked it.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a great way to get a meeting or a workshop started because it allows you to get a feel of the room in a creative and unexpected way. You don’t always have to ask your team to pick an image that reflects their mood—it can also be their expectations for a workshop, their feelings about a current project, or how they hope to feel at the end of the day. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so this exercise makes talking about feelings easier for a lot of people.

4. One word exercise

Time : 5–10 minutes 

How to play : Pick a phrase related to the meeting topic and ask everyone to write down one word that comes to mind on a post-it. Then, gather these words on a whiteboard or put them in a presentation. For example, if you’re hosting a meeting about your annual holiday event. Everyone would take a moment to respond with the first word that comes in their head. If the team is responding with words like stress or exhaustion, you might want to rethink your process.

Why this exercise is great : This is a way to collect opinions, thoughts, or feelings about a meeting that’s well within most people’s comfort zone. You’ll have the chance to read the room before diving into the topic and may uncover some concerns or questions to focus on, which will make the meeting more beneficial to everyone.

5. Back-to-back drawing

Team siz e: 4+ people 

Time : 5–10 minutes

How to play : Split your team into groups of two and make them sit back to back. Hand one person a pen and piece of paper and show the other person a picture of something that’s fairly simple to draw (e.g., a car, a flower, a house). This person now has to describe the picture to their teammate without actually saying what the item is so they can draw it. They’re allowed to describe shapes, sizes, and textures but can’t say, “Draw a lily.” Once the blind drawing is finished, compare it with the original to see how well you communicated.

Why this exercise is great : This activity is a fun way to polish your communication skills, especially your listening skills. It also gives your team a chance to get creative and innovative by thinking outside the box to describe the image to their teammate.

6. Birthday line up

Team size : 8+ people

Time : 10–15 minutes

How to play : Ask your entire team to form a line in order of their birthdays without talking to each other. You can encourage other forms of communication like sign language, gestures, or nudges. If you want to add a little bit of pressure and excitement to the exercise, add a time limit! 

Why this exercise is great : Besides learning everyone’s birthday (which can always come in handy as a conversation starter later on), this exercise encourages your team to learn to communicate towards a common goal without using words. Although this can be a challenge and get frustrating, this exercise promotes problem framing skills, cooperation, and non-verbal communication skills.

7. Charades

Team size : 8–10 people

Time : 10–25 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four or five people. The person who goes first is given or shown a random object (e.g., printer, stapler, keyboard) in private. They then have to demonstrate how to use the object without actually showing it in front of their team. Their team gets 30 seconds on the clock to shout out the correct word (you can adjust the time depending on the difficulty of the objects).

Then it’s the other team’s turn. You’ll keep playing until every team member has had the chance to demonstrate an object to their team. 

Why this exercise is great : This classic game is a nice way to break up a mentally taxing day and get your team to do a creative exercise that isn’t work-related.

8. Swift swap

Team size : 10–20 people

How to play :  Split your team into two groups and line them up facing each other. Team A gets a quick observation period (15–30 seconds) in which group members have to memorize as many things about the people in front of them as possible. Then team A turns around while team B changes as many things about their appearance as possible. 

Anything from changing the line up order to swapping shoes with someone or changing your hairdo is fair game. After about 45 seconds, team A turns back around and gets 5–10 minutes to find out what’s changed. You can adjust the time depending on the size of your group.

Why this exercise is great : This game is a great way to break up a long day and take everyone’s minds off work for a little while. Your team also gets to practice time-sensitive non-verbal communication during the swapping phase.

9. Code of conduct

Time : 20–30 minutes

How to play : This game is a great way to tune into a new project or workshop. Write the two categories “meaningful” and “enjoyable” on a whiteboard and ask the group to share what they believe is needed to accomplish these two things for your project or workshop. This can be anything from “regular breaks'' to “transparency and honesty,” which could fall under either category.

Everyone will choose ideas that they agree are both meaningful and enjoyable . Record these values in a shared tool to establish the code of conduct for your upcoming project or workshop. This list will function as a reminder for the team to uphold these values.

Why this exercise is great : Whether it’s the first day of a workshop, the beginning of a new project, or simply a Monday morning, this exercise is great to get everyone on your team on the same page. By establishing group norms and values early on and holding everyone accountable with a written code of conduct, you can create a sense of cohesiveness. If you’d like to do this exercise virtually, use our team brainstorming template to collect everyone’s thoughts.

10. Common thread

Team size : 10+ people

Time : 30 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of three to five people. Then ask your team to find things everyone in their group has in common. This can be a favorite TV show, an ice cream flavor nobody likes, or a common hobby. Encourage your teammates to find common threads that aren’t too superficial or obvious. The more things they can find that everyone in the group has in common, the better! If you have the time, bring everyone together afterward and ask the teams to share their experiences.

Why this exercise is great : This fun game allows your team to find commonalities that they may not get a chance to discover otherwise. It’s also a great way to reunite teams that feel a bit divided. Talking about shared likes and dislikes can be helpful to reconnect you with teammates.

Remote or virtual team building games

Bonding with your teammates can be more difficult when you’re working remotely. Remote or virtual team building games can improve remote collaboration , motivate teams , and create a sense of community even though you’re physically apart. You can use Zoom to connect with your teammates or do quick team building exercises via your remote work software during the day.

Virtual team building games

If your team is located across multiple time zones, you may have to get creative with scheduling. Ashley Frabasilio, Employee Engagement Manager at Asana encourages leaders to schedule these activities during normal work hours. Ensure that the activity is appropriate for all participants in all time zones so no one feels excluded. Using work hours for these exercises can also increase the participation rate because you’re not interfering with personal time.

11. Show and tell  

How to play : Ask everyone in your team to bring something they’re proud of or that brings them joy to your next meeting. This can be anything from a pet to a plant, a painting they did, or a certificate they received. Everyone gets two to three minutes to show off their item and answer questions from the team if they have any.

Why this exercise is great : Show and tell isn’t just fun for kids, it’s also a great way to connect with your team. You’re probably going to learn something new about your teammates and may get a couple of conversation starters for your next meeting from this game.

12. Photo caption contest 

How to play : Collect a few funny photos—for example a few memes that have recently been circling the internet. Send these to your team before the meeting and ask everyone to submit their best photo caption for each image. You can put these together in a quick presentation and present them to your team during the call. You can have a good laugh together and even vote for the best captions.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a fun way to get creative as a team and have a good laugh together.

13. Morning coffee 

Time : 15–30 minutes

How to play : Schedule regular coffee calls for your remote team to give everyone a chance to get to know each other like they would in an office setting. You can schedule team calls with four to five people or randomly assign two people to each other that switch every time. You can offer these casual calls once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, depending on your team size and the interest in this opportunity. 

Why this exercise is great : Remote teams don’t often get a chance to just chit-chat and get to know each other without talking about work or feeling like they’re wasting meeting time. By designating 15–30 minutes on a regular basis to a casual call, your team members will have a chance to bond with people they might not typically interact with.

14. Lunch and learn

How to play : Hold a weekly or monthly “lunch and learn” where one team member presents a topic to the whole team during their lunch break. This presentation can be on a tool everyone uses at work, on a lesson learned from a recent project, or even on a book they read that everyone can learn from. 

Why this exercise is great : These events are a great opportunity for your team to connect in a more casual yet educational setting. If your team budget allows, send restaurant gift cards to your team members so they can order lunch for the call.

15. Online group game  

Time : 30–60 minutes

How to play : Invite your team to play a game online together. This can be an actual video game if everyone happens to use the same console at home or you can download an interactive game (like Jackbox ) which you can screen share with the rest of the group. 

Why this exercise is great : Playing a video game or an interactive game that has nothing to do with work can be a fun way to switch things up, create a more casual work environment, and get to know each other better. It will also give people with great sportsmanship a chance to shine!

16. Trivia games 

Team size : 6–20 people

Time : 30–90 minutes

How to play : Start a meeting with a quick game of trivia or host a regular virtual trivia night at the end of the work day. You can play a game of office trivia (e.g., facts about the company) or pick random other themes like TV shows, music, or national parks. To mix things up, ask other team members to host trivia night.

Why this exercise is great : Whether you’re making the trivia game office-themed or creating a regular team activity that takes everyone’s minds off of work, you’ll get to spend time with your team playing a competitive, educational, and entertaining game that gives everyone a chance to bond.

17. Quarterly challenge  

Time : One month

How to play : Create an optional challenge for your team to participate in. The challenge can be centered around healthy eating, meditation, journaling, or reading. Create a chat or thread where your teammates can exchange their experiences, wins, and questions to keep each other motivated and accountable throughout the month. 

Make sure your team knows that participation is optional. It never hurts to ask for feedback to spark future team challenge ideas.

Why this exercise is great : Creating a challenge like this for your team shows them that you care about their work-life balance. By offering a quarterly challenge, you provide your team with the opportunity to share an experience together. Plus, it’s always easier to complete a challenge when you have a team who supports you and an incentive to work toward.  

18. Personality test  

How to play : Send a personality test to your team and ask everyone to share their results in a chat or during your next team meeting. This can be a formal test like the Enneagram or StrengthsFinder . For something more lighthearted, you can send a fun quiz like the Sorting Hat to find out which Hogwarts house you belong in or a Buzzfeed quiz (e.g., “ What Kitchen Appliance Are You? ”).

Why this exercise is great : Depending on the type of quiz your team takes, this can become a funny icebreaker before you start a meeting or turn into a discussion on your team’s combined strengths and challenges. 

Problem solving games

Playing problem solving games with your team helps them level up their teamwork skills, resolve issues, achieve goals, and excel together. Whether you’re using new brainstorming techniques or going out for a team adventure, these fun team building activities are the perfect way to improve your team's problem solving skills.

Problem solving games

19. Your first idea

Team size : 5–12 people

Time : 10–20 minutes

How to play : Ask everyone in your team to write down the first idea that pops into their head when they’re presented with the problem. Compile the list and review it as a team.

A fun twist on this game is to ask everyone to write down their worst idea. After reviewing with the team, you may realize that some ideas aren’t that bad after all. You can play this game with a real-life problem, a fictional one, or when you’re brainstorming new ideas to pitch.

Why this exercise is great : We often get too much into our heads about problems and solutions. By writing down the first solution that comes to mind, we can uncover new perspectives and fixes.

20. Back of the napkin

Team size : 6–24 people

Time : 15–20 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two to four and present them with a variety of open-ended problems. These can be work-related, imaginary, or even environmental problems. Every team gets a napkin and pen that they have to sketch or write their solution on after they’ve discussed the issue as a group. These will then be presented to the rest of the team.

Why this exercise is great : Some of the best ideas have allegedly been recorded on napkins (hey, when creativity strikes you’ll write on anything). This game imitates this scenario while challenging your team to collaborate on solving a creative problem.

21. Create your own

How to play : Each team member will create an original problem-solving activity on their own and present it to the group. Whether this entails a physical, mental, or creative challenge is up to your team. If you have the time, play some of the games afterward!

Why this exercise is great : Coming up with your own games is fun and a real creative challenge. It also allows your team members to showcase their strengths by creating challenges they’ll be prepared to tackle.

22. Spectrum mapping

Team size : 5–15 people

How to play : Present your team with a few topics that you’d like their opinions and insight on. Write them down on a whiteboard and give everyone sticky notes and pens. Ask them to write down their thoughts and pin them on the whiteboard underneath the respective topic.

Now arrange the sticky notes as a team. Try to group similar ideas together to the left of the topic and post outliers toward the right side. This will create a spectrum of popular thoughts and opinions on the left and more extreme ideas on the right.

Why this exercise is great : This game will help you map out the diversity of perspectives your team has on different topics. Remember that unpopular opinions don’t have to be wrong. Embracing this diversity can help you uncover new perspectives and innovative ideas to solve problems you’re facing as a team. 

23. What would “X” do? 

Team size : 5–10 people

Time : 45–60 minutes

How to play : Present your team with a problem and ask everyone to come up with a famous person or leader they admire. This can be a celebrity, a business person, or a relative. Challenge your teammates to approach the problem as if they were that person and present their solution (extra points for playing in character).

Why this exercise is great : Getting stuck in your own head can often keep you from solving a problem efficiently and effectively. By stepping into the shoes of someone else, you may uncover new solutions. Plus, it’s fun pretending to be someone else for a little while!

24. Team pursuit

Time : 1–3 hours

How to play : Form groups of two to six people that will compete against one another in a series of challenges. You can buy a team pursuit package online or create your own game, which will take a good amount of prep time. 

You’ll want to create a set of challenges for your team: cerebral challenges that test logic and intelligence, skill challenges like aptitude tests, and mystery challenges which usually ask for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking (e.g., come up with a unique handshake, take a fun picture, etc.).  

Why this exercise is great : A solid game of team pursuit will create a fun challenge that gives everyone a chance to shine and show off their talents. Whether you’re a good runner, a quick thinker, or a creative mind, everyone will be able to contribute to the success of the team. This game will bring your team closer together and show them new sides of their teammates that they may not have been aware of.

25. Code break

Team size : 8–24 people

How to play : This brain teaser is a fun activity that you can play indoors or outdoors to challenge your team. Outback Team Building offers self-hosted, remote-hosted, and on-site hosted events that include several codes your teammates have to find and break to make it through the course.

Why this exercise is great : This challenge requires creative thinking, creates a competitive environment, and works with large groups because you can break off into smaller groups.

26. Escape room

Time : 2–3 hours

How to play : Visiting an escape room is always a unique experience and a great way to spend an afternoon with your team. If you have multiple escape rooms nearby, ask your team if they have a general idea of what theme they’d like to explore (e.g., history, horror, sci-fi) and try to pick something you’ll think everyone will enjoy.

If you’re super creative and have the time and resources, you can put together an escape room on your own!

Why this exercise is great : Solving the mysteries of an escape room with your team will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, foster communication and collaboration, build trust, and become a shared memory that connects you together.

Indoor team building games

Most of these indoor games can be played in an office, conference room, or a hallway with a small team, but you may need a bit more space if you’re inviting a larger group to join in.

Indoor team building games

27. Perfect square

Team size : 4–12 people

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four to six and ask them to stand in a tight circle with their group. Ask everyone to blindfold themselves or close their eyes and give one person a rope. Without looking at what they're doing, the teams now have to pass the rope around so everyone holds a piece of it and then form a perfect square. Once the team is sure their square is perfect, they can lay the rope down on the floor, take off their blindfolds (or open their eyes) and see how well they did. 

Why this exercise is great : This game is about more than perfect geometric shapes, it’s an amazing listening and communication exercise. Because no one can see what they're doing, your team members have to communicate clearly while figuring out how to create a square out of a rope. Besides, it’s often really funny to see how imperfect the squares come out.

28. Memory wall

How to play : You’ll need a whiteboard and sticky notes for this game. Write different work-related themes on the whiteboard such as “first day at work,” “team celebration,” and “work travel.” Hand each teammate a few sticky notes and ask them to write down their favorite memories or accomplishments associated with one or more of these themes. Invite everyone to share these with the team to take a walk down memory lane and post the notes on the whiteboard as you go.

Why this exercise is great : This is a nice way to end a week, long day, or workshop because you’ll share positive experiences with one another that will leave your teammates smiling. If you’re finishing up a work trip or multi-day workshop, you can also do a slimmed-down version of this by asking everyone to share their favorite memory or biggest accomplishment of the last few days.

29. Turn back time  

How to play : This team building exercise works best in a quiet atmosphere with everyone sitting in a circle. Ask your team to silently think of a unique memory in their lives. You can give them a few minutes to collect their thoughts. Then, ask everyone to share the one memory they’d like to relive if they could turn back time.

Not everyone may be comfortable opening up at first, so be sure to lead with vulnerability and make everyone in the room feel safe about sharing their moment.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise is a great way to help your team members remember their priorities and bond on a deeper level. In a team that’s facing disconnection or stress, sharing personal highlights that aren’t work-related can help create a sense of togetherness. Although the exercise doesn’t take too long, it’s best to do it toward the end of the day so your team has a chance to reflect on what’s been said.

30. Paper plane  

Team size : 6–12 people

How to play : Split your team into groups of two to four and hand out card stock. Give each team 10–15 minutes to come up with the best long-distance paper plane design (they’re allowed to do research on their phones or computers) and a name for their airline.

When the paper planes are done, have a competition in a long hallway or outside to see which plane flies the farthest. 

Why this exercise is great : This exercise requires team members to collaborate on a project with a tight timeline. It is a great activity to practice communication skills, delegation, and time management.

31. Build a tower

Team size : 8–16 people

How to play : Divide your team into groups of four or five and provide them with 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. Challenge each team to build the tallest tower possible using only the supplies you gave them. When finished, the tower has to support the marshmallow sitting on top. Set the timer for 20 minutes and ask everyone to step away from their masterpiece when it runs out so you can crown a winner.

Why this exercise is great : This challenge is a great way to improve problem solving skills and communication within your team. Your team members will have to prototype, build, and present the tower in a short amount of time, which can be stressful. The better they work together, the more likely they are to succeed.

32. Flip it over

Team size : 6–8 people

How to play : Lay a towel, blanket, or sheet on the floor and ask your teammates to stand on it. The goal is to flip the piece over without ever stepping off of it or touching the ground outside of the fabric. You can make the challenge more difficult by adding more people to the team or using a smaller sheet.

Why this exercise is great : This exercise requires clear communication, cooperation, and a good sense of humor. It’s a great way to find out how well your teammates cooperate when presented with an oddly difficult task.

33. Sneak a peek 

Team size : 4–20 people

How to play : Create a structure out of Lego pieces and hide it in a separate room. Divide your team into groups of two to four people and give them enough Legos to replicate the structure in 30 minutes or less.

One player per team is allowed to sneak a peek at the original structure for 15 seconds, then run back and describe it to their team. The person who gets to sneak a peek rotates so everyone gets to see the original at some point during the game. The team that first completes the structure as close to the original wins! 

Why this exercise is great : During this game your team gets to focus on teamwork and communication. Since only one person at a time is allowed to look at the original, team members may see and describe different things. The more complex the structure is, the harder this game will be.

34. Pyramids

How to play : Pick a large open area for this game like a hallway, a meeting room, or the cafeteria. Divide your team into groups of four to six and give each team 10 paper cups. Ask the teams to stand in a line with about 8–10 feet between the team members. Now it’s a race against time!

The first person in each line has to build a pyramid with four cups at the base. Once they’re done, the second player has to help them carry the pyramid to their station (this can be on the floor or at a table). They can slide it on the floor or carry it together but if the pyramid falls apart, the players have to reassemble it on the spot before continuing their journey. At the next station, the second player has to topple the pyramid and rebuild it before the third player gets to help them carry it to the next station. This continues until the pyramid reaches the last station. The team that finishes first wins the game

Why this exercise is great : This game is fun to play during a mid-day break, fosters communication skills, and promotes teamwork.

35. Shipwrecked

Team size : 8–25 people

How to play : The premise of the game is that you’re stranded on a deserted island and only have 25 minutes to secure survival items off the sinking ship. Place items like water bottles, matches, food, etc., in the “shipwreck area.” You can also print pictures on index cards to make things a bit easier. The quantity of each item should be limited, with some items having more than others (e.g., more water than food, fewer tarps than teams, more knives than ropes, etc.).

Divide your team into groups of two (or more if it’s a large team). Once the clock starts, they have to gather as many items as they deem worthy from the shipwreck and rank them in order of importance. Since the items are limited (some more than others), the teams will not only have to prioritize the items within their own group of people but also negotiate, trade, and exchange items with other teams. 

Why this exercise is great : This game will challenge problem-solving abilities, encourage collaboration, and enable your team to flex their leadership skills. Typically, teams with strong leadership qualities will have the most success in making these quick decisions.

36. Team flag

Time : 30–45 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two to four people and provide them with paper and pens. Each group now has to come up with an emblem or flag that represents their team. Once everyone has completed their masterpiece, they have to present it to the rest of the teams, explaining how they came up with the design. This exercise is also a great opportunity to discuss how each group identified their common values and created alignment during the design process.

Why this exercise is great : This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Your team will not only have to come up with a unique design that represents their collective identity but they’ll also have to collaborate on putting pen to paper and presenting their flag or emblem at the end of the game.

37. Salt and pepper  

How to play : You’ll need a list of things that go well together like salt and pepper, left sock and right sock, day and night, peanut butter and jelly, or yin and yang. Write these words on individual pieces of paper and tape one sheet of paper on every team member's back. 

Ask your team to mingle and find out what’s written on their back by asking questions that can only be answered with yes or no (e.g., “Am I sweet? Do you wear me? Am I cold?”). Once the participants find out who they are, they have to find their match!

Why this exercise is great : Your team can use this game to bond with one another and improve their communication skills. If you have a large team, this exercise also gives them a chance to interact with people they may not usually get to talk to.

38. Sell it

Time : 45–90 minutes

How to play : Ask your teammates to each bring a random object to the meeting. Everyone then has to come up with a logo, slogan, and marketing plan to sell this object. After 30 minutes, each team member has to present their new product to the rest of the team. If you have a larger team, divide them into groups of 2–4 people and ask them to collaborate on their product pitch.

Why this exercise is great : This game is great to switch things up if you don’t already work in marketing or sales. It’s also fun to play with others as it allows your team to get creative and have fun with everyday objects.

39. The barter puzzle

Time : 1–2 hours

How to play : Divide your team into groups of three or four people and give each a different jigsaw puzzle of the same difficulty level. Ask them to complete the puzzle as a team. The twist: each puzzle is missing a few pieces that are mixed in with an opposing team’s puzzle. The teams have to figure out ways to get the pieces they need from the other teams by negotiating, trading pieces, or even exchanging teammates. Every decision has to be made as a team. The first team to complete their puzzle wins.

Why this exercise is great : Every decision made will have to be a group decision which challenges your team to improve their problem solving skills.  

Outdoor team building exercises

If you want to get a larger group together for a team building exercise, why not take things outside? Outdoor team building is also a great way to get your teammates to interact without the distractions of screens or smartphones. Whether you want to catch a breath of fresh air or get some sunshine together, these exercises will help you bond with your teammates outside of the office.

Outdoor team building games

40. The minefield

Team size : 4–10 people

How to play : Create a minefield in a parking lot or another large, open space by sporadically placing objects like papers, balls, cones, and bottles. Split your team into groups of two and ask one person to put on a blindfold. The other person now has to guide the blindfolded teammate through the minefield only using their words. The blindfolded person is not allowed to talk and will be eliminated if they stop walking or step on anything in the minefield. 

The objective of the game is to make it to the other side of the minefield. The teams can then switch so another person will be blindfolded and guided through the field on their way back. You can also distribute pieces the blindfolded person has to pick up on their way through the field to add another difficulty level.

Why this exercise is great : This game is not just a trust exercise for your teammates but also a fun way to practice active listening skills and clear communication.

41. Earth-ball  

Team size : 5–20 people

Time : 15–45 minutes

How to play : You’ll need a balloon, beach ball, or volleyball for this activity. Ask your team to stand in a circle and keep the balloon or ball in the air for as long as possible. To make it a real challenge, no one can touch the ball twice in a row. The bigger your team, the more fun this game will be!

Why this exercise is great : This fun challenge is a great way to get your team moving. If you’re struggling to keep the ball up for longer, try to come up with a strategy to improve your time.

42. Scavenger hunt

How to play : Put together a scavenger hunt for your team. This can be in the form of a list of photographs they have to take (e.g., something red, all teammates in front of the company logo, the CEO’s car, etc.), items they have to collect (e.g., company brochure, yellow sticky note with manager’s signature on it, ketchup packet from the cafeteria, etc.), or other activities they have to complete on a designated route. 

Why this exercise is great : The more people that tag along, the more fun this game will be. You can group people together who don’t know each other very well to allow them time to bond during this exercise. Try to come up with company-specific quests for your team so they learn a few fun facts along the way. You can offer prizes for the most creative team or the first to finish the challenge to boost motivation.

43. Egg drop 

Time : 60–90 minutes

How to play : Divide your team into groups of two or three people and give each team a raw egg (keep some extras in case they break before the grand finale). Then put out supplies like tape, straws, rubber bands, newspapers, and balloons so the teams can build a structure for the raw egg that will protect it from a fall out of a second or third story window. 

Each team has 60 minutes to complete their structure. When the time is up, ask your teams to gather their eggs and egg cages to drop them out of the window. This grand finale will reveal which team engineered and built the best cage.

Why this exercise is great : Collaborating on a design and building a cage will challenge your team’s problem solving and collaboration skills.

44. Team outing

Team size : Any

How to play : Plan an outing for your team. You could attend a cooking class or go to a museum together. If you want to have something your teammates can work toward, plan to run a 5K together or host a ping pong tournament. You can also do something more casual like inviting your team to hangout at a bowling alley after work where you can play a few games in a casual and fun setting.

Why this exercise is great : Taking your team somewhere new will help break down some of the walls we often build in a professional setting. While you’re still at a company function, you’re more inclined to connect through casual conversation at a restaurant or park than you would at the office.

45. Volunteer as a team

How to play : Organize a team event during your regularly scheduled workday. This can be a charity event, yard sale, or fundraiser for a cause your team cares about. Even though these are enjoyable, scheduling them during work hours makes this feel like more of a perk than an obligation.

If your team members have a few causes they’re truly passionate about, consider making this a monthly or quarterly event. You can also rotate the charities that you’re helping out to accommodate your team’s different interests.

Why this exercise is great : Experiencing helper’s high can improve your personal health and mental state. Sharing this rush that doing good can give you will help your team bond on a deeper level. 

Benefits of team building

Team building is more than a fun break from your everyday routine at work. It also:

Improves communication, trust, and collaboration skills

Promotes a collaborative culture by bringing teammates together

Fosters agile decision making and problem solving skills

Boosts team productivity and morale

Uses creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking

Ashley Frabasilio believes that:

quotation mark

A common goal is to create a memorable and meaningful experience for folks to connect. Some questions to consider when planning an impactful team-building activity include: What do I hope folks walk away with? I.e., a new skill, a deeper connection to one another, personal development, a moment of delight, etc.”

Ask yourself these questions before proposing a team building activity so you can reap the full benefits of the exercise.

Bring your team together, creatively

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build your team’s confidence, connection, and teamwork skills. While team building is fun, it’s also important to connect with your team on an everyday basis. To build one of those connections in your day-to-day work, the right collaboration software is key. 

Looking for the right collaboration tool? See how Asana keeps your team connected, no matter where you’re working. 

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Team Building Exercises – Problem Solving and Decision Making

Fun ways to turn problems into opportunities.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

games like problem solving

Whether there's a complex project looming or your team members just want to get better at dealing with day-to-day issues, your people can achieve much more when they solve problems and make decisions together.

By developing their problem-solving skills, you can improve their ability to get to the bottom of complex situations. And by refining their decision-making skills, you can help them work together maturely, use different thinking styles, and commit collectively to decisions.

In this article, we'll look at three team-building exercises that you can use to improve problem solving and decision making in a new or established team.

Exercises to Build Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills

Use the following exercises to help your team members solve problems and make decisions together more effectively.

Exercise 1: Lost at Sea*

In this activity, participants must pretend that they've been shipwrecked and are stranded in a lifeboat. Each team has a box of matches, and a number of items that they've salvaged from the sinking ship. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival.

Download and print our team-building exercises worksheet to help you with this exercise.

This activity builds problem-solving skills as team members analyze information, negotiate and cooperate with one another. It also encourages them to listen and to think about the way they make decisions.

What You'll Need

  • Up to five people in each group.
  • A large, private room.
  • A "lost at sea" ranking chart for each team member. This should comprise six columns. The first simply lists each item (see below). The second is empty so that each team member can rank the items. The third is for group rankings. The fourth is for the "correct" rankings, which are revealed at the end of the exercise. And the fifth and sixth are for the team to enter the difference between their individual and correct score, and the team and correct rankings, respectively.
  • The items to be ranked are: a mosquito net, a can of petrol, a water container, a shaving mirror, a sextant, emergency rations, a sea chart, a floating seat or cushion, a rope, some chocolate bars, a waterproof sheet, a fishing rod, shark repellent, a bottle of rum, and a VHF radio. These can be listed in the ranking chart or displayed on a whiteboard, or both.
  • The experience can be made more fun by having some lost-at-sea props in the room.

Flexible, but normally between 25 and 40 minutes.

Instructions

  • Divide participants into their teams, and provide everyone with a ranking sheet.
  • Ask team members to take 10 minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance. They should do this in the second column of their sheet.
  • Give the teams a further 10 minutes to confer and decide on their group rankings. Once agreed, they should list them in the third column of their sheets.
  • Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with their collective ones, and consider why any scores differ. Did anyone change their mind about their own rankings during the team discussions? How much were people influenced by the group conversation?
  • Now read out the "correct" order, collated by the experts at the US Coast Guard (from most to least important): - Shaving mirror. (One of your most powerful tools, because you can use it to signal your location by reflecting the sun.) - Can of petrol. (Again, potentially vital for signaling as petrol floats on water and can be lit by your matches.) - Water container. (Essential for collecting water to restore your lost fluids.) -Emergency rations. (Valuable for basic food intake.) - Plastic sheet. (Could be used for shelter, or to collect rainwater.) -Chocolate bars. (A handy food supply.) - Fishing rod. (Potentially useful, but there is no guarantee that you're able to catch fish. Could also feasibly double as a tent pole.) - Rope. (Handy for tying equipment together, but not necessarily vital for survival.) - Floating seat or cushion. (Useful as a life preserver.) - Shark repellent. (Potentially important when in the water.) - Bottle of rum. (Could be useful as an antiseptic for treating injuries, but will only dehydrate you if you drink it.) - Radio. (Chances are that you're out of range of any signal, anyway.) - Sea chart. (Worthless without navigational equipment.) - Mosquito net. (Assuming that you've been shipwrecked in the Atlantic, where there are no mosquitoes, this is pretty much useless.) - Sextant. (Impractical without relevant tables or a chronometer.)

Advice for the Facilitator

The ideal scenario is for teams to arrive at a consensus decision where everyone's opinion is heard. However, that doesn't always happen naturally: assertive people tend to get the most attention. Less forthright team members can often feel intimidated and don't always speak up, particularly when their ideas are different from the popular view. Where discussions are one-sided, draw quieter people in so that everyone is involved, but explain why you're doing this, so that people learn from it.

You can use the Stepladder Technique when team discussion is unbalanced. Here, ask each team member to think about the problem individually and, one at a time, introduce new ideas to an appointed group leader – without knowing what ideas have already been discussed. After the first two people present their ideas, they discuss them together. Then the leader adds a third person, who presents his or her ideas before hearing the previous input. This cycle of presentation and discussion continues until the whole team has had a chance to voice their opinions.

After everyone has finished the exercise, invite your teams to evaluate the process to draw out their experiences. For example, ask them what the main differences between individual, team and official rankings were, and why. This will provoke discussion about how teams arrive at decisions, which will make people think about the skills they must use in future team scenarios, such as listening , negotiating and decision-making skills, as well as creativity skills for thinking "outside the box."

A common issue that arises in team decision making is groupthink . This can happen when a group places a desire for mutual harmony above a desire to reach the right decision, which prevents people from fully exploring alternative solutions.

If there are frequent unanimous decisions in any of your exercises, groupthink may be an issue. Suggest that teams investigate new ways to encourage members to discuss their views, or to share them anonymously.

Exercise 2: The Great Egg Drop*

In this classic (though sometimes messy!) game, teams must work together to build a container to protect an egg, which is dropped from a height. Before the egg drop, groups must deliver presentations on their solutions, how they arrived at them, and why they believe they will succeed.

This fun game develops problem-solving and decision-making skills. Team members have to choose the best course of action through negotiation and creative thinking.

  • Ideally at least six people in each team.
  • Raw eggs – one for each group, plus some reserves in case of accidents!
  • Materials for creating the packaging, such as cardboard, tape, elastic bands, plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, and scissors.
  • Aprons to protect clothes, paper towels for cleaning up, and paper table cloths, if necessary.
  • Somewhere – ideally outside – that you can drop the eggs from. (If there is nowhere appropriate, you could use a step ladder or equivalent.)
  • Around 15 to 30 minutes to create the packages.
  • Approximately 15 minutes to prepare a one-minute presentation.
  • Enough time for the presentations and feedback (this will depend on the number of teams).
  • Time to demonstrate the egg "flight."
  • Put people into teams, and ask each to build a package that can protect an egg dropped from a specified height (say, two-and-a-half meters) with the provided materials.
  • Each team must agree on a nominated speaker, or speakers, for their presentation.
  • Once all teams have presented, they must drop their eggs, assess whether the eggs have survived intact, and discuss what they have learned.

When teams are making their decisions, the more good options they consider, the more effective their final decision is likely to be. Encourage your groups to look at the situation from different angles, so that they make the best decision possible. If people are struggling, get them to brainstorm – this is probably the most popular method of generating ideas within a team.

Ask the teams to explore how they arrived at their decisions, to get them thinking about how to improve this process in the future. You can ask them questions such as:

  • Did the groups take a vote, or were members swayed by one dominant individual?
  • How did the teams decide to divide up responsibilities? Was it based on people's expertise or experience?
  • Did everyone do the job they volunteered for?
  • Was there a person who assumed the role of "leader"?
  • How did team members create and deliver the presentation, and was this an individual or group effort?

Exercise 3: Create Your Own*

In this exercise, teams must create their own, brand new, problem-solving activity.

This game encourages participants to think about the problem-solving process. It builds skills such as creativity, negotiation and decision making, as well as communication and time management. After the activity, teams should be better equipped to work together, and to think on their feet.

  • Ideally four or five people in each team.
  • Paper, pens and flip charts.

Around one hour.

  • As the participants arrive, you announce that, rather than spending an hour on a problem-solving team-building activity, they must design an original one of their own.
  • Divide participants into teams and tell them that they have to create a new problem-solving team-building activity that will work well in their organization. The activity must not be one that they have already participated in or heard of.
  • After an hour, each team must present their new activity to everyone else, and outline its key benefits.

There are four basic steps in problem solving : defining the problem, generating solutions, evaluating and selecting solutions, and implementing solutions. Help your team to think creatively at each stage by getting them to consider a wide range of options. If ideas run dry, introduce an alternative brainstorming technique, such as brainwriting . This allows your people to develop one others' ideas, while everyone has an equal chance to contribute.

After the presentations, encourage teams to discuss the different decision-making processes they followed. You might ask them how they communicated and managed their time . Another question could be about how they kept their discussion focused. And to round up, you might ask them whether they would have changed their approach after hearing the other teams' presentations.

Successful decision making and problem solving are at the heart of all effective teams. While teams are ultimately led by their managers, the most effective ones foster these skills at all levels.

The exercises in this article show how you can encourage teams to develop their creative thinking, leadership , and communication skills , while building group cooperation and consensus.

* Original source unknown. Please let us know if you know the original source.

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14 Best Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities For 2024

The best teams see solutions where others see problems. A great company culture is built around a collaborative spirit and the type of unity it takes to find answers to the big business questions.

So how can you get team members working together?

How can you develop a mentality that will help them overcome obstacles they have yet to encounter?

One of the best ways to improve your teams’ problem solving skills is through team building problem solving activities .

“86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.” — Bit.AI

These activities can simulate true-to-life scenarios they’ll find themselves in, or the scenarios can call on your employees or coworkers to dig deep and get creative in a more general sense.

The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, you have to prepare for the unexpected. It just happens that team building activities help with that, but are so fun that they don’t have to feel like work ( consider how you don’t even feel like you’re working out when you’re playing your favorite sport or doing an exercise you actually enjoy! )

Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities

What are the benefits of group problem-solving activities?

The benefits of group problem-solving activities for team building include:

  • Better communication
  • Improved collaboration and teamwork
  • More flexible thinking
  • Faster problem-solving
  • Better proactivity and decision making

Without further ado, check out this list of the 14 best team-building problem-solving group activities for 2024!

Page Contents (Click To Jump)

Popular Problem Solving Activities

1. virtual team challenge.

Virtual Team Challenges are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team brainstorming, discussing, and creating solutions for a given problem.

Participants work both individually and collaboratively to come up with ideas and strategies that will help them reach their goals.

Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Participants can interact and communicate with each other in a virtual environment while simultaneously engaging with the problem-solving activities. This makes it an enjoyable experience that allows people to use their creative thinking skills, build team spirit, and gain valuable insights into the issue at hand.

Problem-solving activities such as Virtual Team Challenges offer a great way for teams to come together, collaborate, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.

2. Problem-Solving Templates

Problem-Solving Templates are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue. The challenge generally involves members of the team utilizing pre-made templates and creating solutions for a given problem with the help of visual aids.

This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey.

Why this is a fun problem-solving activity: Problem-Solving Templates offer teams an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing. The visual aids that come with the templates help team members better understand the issue at hand and easily come up with solutions together.

This activity is great for teams that need assistance in getting started on their problem-solving journey, as it provides an easy and stress-free way to get the creative juices flowing.

Problem Solving Group Activities & Games For Team Building

3. coworker feud, “it’s all fun and games”.

Coworker Feud is a twist on the classic Family Feud game show! This multiple rapid round game keeps the action flowing and the questions going. You can choose from a variety of customizations, including picking the teams yourself, randomized teams, custom themes, and custom rounds.

Best for: Hybrid teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Coworker Feud comes with digital game materials, a digital buzzer, an expert host, and a zoom link to get the participants ready for action! Teams compete with each other to correctly answer the survey questions. At the end of the game, the team with the most competitive answers is declared the winner of the Feud.

How to get started:

  • Sign up for Coworker Feud
  • Break into teams of 4 to 10 people
  • Get the competitive juices flowing and let the games begin!

Learn more here: Coworker Feud

4. Crack The Case

“who’s a bad mamma jamma”.

Crack The Case is a classic WhoDoneIt game that forces employees to depend on their collective wit to stop a deadly murderer dead in his tracks! Remote employees and office commuters can join forces to end this crime spree.

Best for: Remote teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: The Virtual Clue Murder Mystery is an online problem solving activity that uses a proprietary videoconferencing platform to offer the chance for employees and coworkers to study case files, analyze clues, and race to find the motive, the method, and the individual behind the murder of Neil Davidson.

  • Get a custom quote here
  • Download the app
  • Let the mystery-solving collaboration begin!

Learn more here: Crack The Case

5. Catch Meme If You Can

“can’t touch this”.

Purposefully created to enhance leadership skills and team bonding , Catch Meme If You Can is a hybrid between a scavenger hunt and an escape room . Teammates join together to search for clues, solve riddles, and get out — just in time!

Best for: Small teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Catch Meme If You Can is an adventure with a backstory. Each team has to submit their answer to the puzzle in order to continue to the next part of the sequence. May the best team escape!

  • The teams will be given instructions and the full storyline
  • Teams will be split into a handful of people each
  • The moderator will kick off the action!

Learn more here: Catch Meme If You Can

6. Puzzle Games

“just something to puzzle over”.

Puzzle Games is the fresh trivia game to test your employees and blow their minds with puzzles, jokes , and fun facts!

Best for: In-person teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Eight mini brain teaser and trivia style games include word puzzles, name that nonsense, name that tune, and much more. Plus, the points each team earns will go towards planting trees in the precious ecosystems and forests of Uganda

  • Get a free consultation for your team
  • Get a custom designed invitation for your members
  • Use the game link
  • Dedicated support will help your team enjoy Puzzle Games to the fullest!

Learn more here: Puzzle Games

7. Virtual Code Break

“for virtual teams”.

Virtual Code Break is a virtual team building activity designed for remote participants around the globe. Using a smart video conferencing solution, virtual teams compete against each other to complete challenges, answer trivia questions, and solve brain-busters!

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Virtual Code Break can be played by groups as small as 4 people all the way up to more than 1,000 people at once. However, every team will improve their communication and problem-solving skills as they race against the clock and depend on each other’s strengths to win!

  • Reach out for a free consultation to align the needs of your team
  • An event facilitator will be assigned to handle all of the set-up and logistics
  • They will also provide you with logins and a play-by-play of what to expect
  • Sign into the Outback video conferencing platform and join your pre-assigned team
  • Lastly, let the games begin!

Learn more here: Virtual Code Break

8. Stranded

“survivor: office edition”.

Stranded is the perfect scenario-based problem solving group activity. The doors of the office are locked and obviously your team can’t just knock them down or break the windows.

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Your team has less than half an hour to choose 10 items around the office that will help them survive. They then rank the items in order of importance. It’s a bit like the classic game of being lost at sea without a lifeboat.

  • Get everyone together in the office
  • Lock the doors
  • Let them start working together to plan their survival

Learn more here: Stranded

9. Letting Go Game

“for conscious healing”.

The Letting Go Game is a game of meditation and mindfulness training for helping teammates thrive under pressure and reduce stress in the process. The tasks of the Letting Go Game boost resiliency, attentiveness, and collaboration.

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Expert-guided activities and awareness exercises encourage team members to think altruistically and demonstrate acts of kindness. Between yoga, face painting, and fun photography, your employees or coworkers will have more than enough to keep them laughing and growing together with this mindfulness activity!

  • Reach out for a free consultation
  • A guide will then help lead the exercises
  • Let the funny videos, pictures, and playing begin!

Learn more here: Letting Go Game

10. Wild Goose Chase

“city time”.

Wild Goose Chase is the creative problem solving activity that will take teams all around your city and bring them together as a group! This scavenger hunt works for teams as small as 10 up to groups of over 5000 people.

Best for: Large teams

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: As employees and group members are coming back to the office, there are going to be times that they’re itching to get outside. Wild Goose Chase is the perfect excuse to satisfy the desire to go out-of-office every now and then. Plus, having things to look at and see around the city will get employees talking in ways they never have before.

  • Download the Outback app to access the Wild Goose Chase
  • Take photos and videos from around the city
  • The most successful team at completing challenges on time is the champ!

Learn more here: Wild Goose Chase

11. Human Knot

“for a knotty good time”.

Human-knot

The Human Knot is one of the best icebreaker team building activities! In fact, there’s a decent chance you played it in grade school. It’s fun, silly, and best of all — free!

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: Participants start in a circle and connect hands with two other people in the group to form a human knot. The team then has to work together and focus on clear communication to unravel the human knot by maneuvering their way out of this hands-on conundrum. But there’s a catch — they can’t let go of each other’s hands in this team building exercise.

  • Form a circle
  • Tell each person to grab a random hand until all hands are holding another
  • They can’t hold anyone’s hand who is directly next to them
  • Now they have to get to untangling
  • If the chain breaks before everyone is untangled, they have to start over again

Learn more here: Human Knot

12. What Would You Do?

“because it’s fun to imagine”.

Team-building-activity

What Would You Do? Is the hypothetical question game that gets your team talking and brainstorming about what they’d do in a variety of fun, intriguing, and sometimes, whacky scenarios.

Best for: Distributed teams

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: After employees or coworkers start talking about their What Would You Do? responses, they won’t be able to stop. That’s what makes this such an incredible team building activity . For example, you could ask questions like “If you could live forever, what would you do with your time?” or “If you never had to sleep, what would you do?”

  • In addition to hypothetical questions, you could also give teammates some optional answers to get them started
  • After that, let them do the talking — then they’ll be laughing and thinking and dreaming, too!

13. Crossing The River

“quite the conundrum”.

Crossing-the-river

Crossing The River is a river-crossing challenge with one correct answer. Your team gets five essential elements — a chicken, a fox, a rowboat, a woman, and a bag of corn. You see, the woman has a bit of a problem, you tell them. She has to get the fox, the bag of corn, and the chicken to the other side of the river as efficiently as possible.

Why this is an effective group problem solving activity: She has a rowboat, but it can only carry her and one other item at a time. She cannot leave the chicken and the fox alone — for obvious reasons. And she can’t leave the chicken with the corn because it will gobble it right up. So the question for your team is how does the woman get all five elements to the other side of the river safely in this fun activity?

  • Form teams of 2 to 5 people
  • Each team has to solve the imaginary riddle
  • Just make sure that each group understands that the rowboat can only carry one animal and one item at a time; the fox and chicken can’t be alone; and the bag of corn and the chicken cannot be left alone
  • Give the verbal instructions for getting everything over to the other side

14. End-Hunger Games

“philanthropic fun”.

Does anything bond people quite like acts of kindness and compassion? The End-Hunger Games will get your team to rally around solving the serious problem of hunger.

Best for: Medium-sized teams

Why this is an effective problem solving group activity: Teams join forces to complete challenges based around non-perishable food items in the End-Hunger Games. Groups can range in size from 25 to more than 2000 people, who will all work together to collect food for the local food bank.

  • Split into teams and compete to earn boxes and cans of non-perishable food
  • Each team attempts to build the most impressive food item construction
  • Donate all of the non-perishable foods to a local food bank

Learn more here: End-Hunger Games

People Also Ask These Questions About Team Building Problem Solving Group Activities

Q: what are some problem solving group activities.

  • A: Some problem solving group activities can include riddles, egg drop, reverse pyramid, tallest tower, trivia, and other moderator-led activities.

Q: What kind of skills do group problem solving activities & games improve?

  • A: Group problem solving activities and games improve collaboration, leadership, and communication skills.

Q: What are problem solving based team building activities & games?

  • A: Problem solving based team building activities and games are activities that challenge teams to work together in order to complete them.

Q: What are some fun free problem solving games for groups?

  • A: Some fun free problem solving games for groups are kinesthetic puzzles like the human knot game, which you can read more about in this article. You can also use all sorts of random items like whiteboards, straws, building blocks, sticky notes, blindfolds, rubber bands, and legos to invent a game that will get the whole team involved.

Q: How do I choose the most effective problem solving exercise for my team?

  • A: The most effective problem solving exercise for your team is one that will challenge them to be their best selves and expand their creative thinking.

Q: How do I know if my group problem solving activity was successful?

  • A: In the short-term, you’ll know if your group problem solving activity was successful because your team will bond over it; however, that should also translate to more productivity in the mid to long-term.

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games like problem solving

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unremot.com

Developer marketplace

Top 50 problem solving activities, games & puzzles for remote teams

Blockchain and Crypto / March 6, 2022 by admin

Here is a list of the top 50 problem solving activities, games & puzzles best suited for remote teams. Read on!

What are problem solving activities?

The success of a company or organization depends heavily on the managers’ ability to help workers develop their problem solving skills. Problem solving activities that address areas such as teamwork and cooperation, adaptability or reinforcement of decision-making strategies help.

All processes of problem solving begin with the identification of the problem. The team will then evaluate the possible course of action and select the best way to tackle it. This needs a profound understanding of your team and its core strengths.

Not only among corporates, but problem solving activities find their use in educational settings as well. Students who are good at solving problems will become much more successful than those who are not. Remote work and education are on the rise.

Enabling smooth interpersonal communication to solve problems can become a task in these situations. However, engaging all the people concerned in problem solving activities before shifting to the remote space can ease the process.

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Key skills evaluated in problem solving activities

Problem solving skills refer to the necessary thinking skills that an individual or group uses when met with a challenge. Many issues require the use of several skills; others are easy and may require only one or two skills. These are some skills that help to solve problems,

  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Negotiation skills
  • Logical reasoning
  • Persistence
  • Lateral thinking

Problem solving skill examples

Several problems occur at the workplace. Problem solving skills can be technical problems that occur on websites or apps or addressing client concerns. Problems could be simple or complex. Business managers spend time and resources to solve problems.

They encourage their team to improve their analytical and logical abilities. Common issues in companies can be exploding data or changing technology, or financial management.

Did you know? Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in problem solving!

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Problem solving scenarios

Many problem solving scenarios occur at work. The basis to solve any problem is to evaluate and arrive at a solution. Analytical skill or problem solving ability is a skill many employers evaluate while hiring candidates.

Strong problem solving skills can be an asset to any organization. Organizations organize problem and solution activities to improve the problem solving abilities in the workplace.

1. Decision making games

Businesses are looking for new and innovative ways to stimulate their staff. Decision making games help employees to learn new skills and work effectively as a team. Decision making activities help to improve the creative problem solving and decision-making skills of the team. Here are some best Decision-making games,

1. Dumb Idea first – This game gives a hypothetical problem that could occur in your company. Ask each manager to think of the dumbest solution to the problem. After compiling the list of the ideas, the team reviews them.

You have a brainstorming session to make the “dumb ideas” feasible. This problem solving exercise underlines the importance of out-of-box thinking.

Benefits: Decision-making skill

Time duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Team size: 2 to more team managers

Material: Paper and pencil

2. Egg Drop Idea – The objective of the game is to build a container to protect the egg when dropped from a specified height using the material provided. Each team nominates a presenter who explains why the egg will survive the fall.

Once they have presented the idea, the team drops the egg to check if the idea has worked. Egg drop pyramid activities like the marshmallow challenge help teams to think on their feet.

Benefit: Decision-making skill and is a top problem solving skill example

Time duration: 15 – 30 minutes

Team size: 6 or more

Material: A cartoon of eggs, aprons to protect clothes, material for packing (cardboard, tape, elastics, plastic straws, etc.), material to clean up.

Instructions:

  • Every team gets an egg and should choose from the building materials. 
  • Grant everyone 20-30 minutes to build an egg carrier and guard against breaking. 
  • Remove each egg carrier from a ledge (that is, over a balcony) to see which carrier prevents it from cracking. 
  • If several eggs survive, continue to heighten until only one egg remains.

3. Dog, Rice, and Chicken – The dog, rice, and chicken game can be fun decision-making activities for adults. In this game, one team member plays the farmer, and the other team members are villagers who advise him. The farmer has to take three items chicken, dog, and rice across the river by boat.

There are the following constraints:- only one item can be carried on the boat. He cannot leave the chicken and dog alone because the dog will eat the chicken. He cannot leave the chicken alone with the rice because the chicken will eat the rice grains.

Benefit: creative problem solving examples that are applicable at work.

Time duration: 10-15 minutes.

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2. Teambuilding puzzle

Team building exercises are fun and creative ways to get your team to work together and improve problem solving skills.

1. Lost at Sea – In this game, you and your friends have chattered a yacht to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Since you do not have any navigation experience, you hire a captain and a two-person crew. Unfortunately, the crew and captain die when a fire breaks out on the yacht.

The yacht is severally damaged and is sinking. You and your friends have managed to save 15 items and a lifeboat. Your task is to rank the 15 items while you are waiting to be rescued. The activity lost at sea team building underlines the importance of problem solving skills in the workplace.

Benefits: Team building exercise and interaction

Time duration: 30 to 40 minutes

Team size: 4 to 6

Material: Lost in sea ranking for interaction chart for each member

2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower – The marshmallow team-building activities have the goal of building the tallest tower as quickly as possible. To make the task more challenging the marshmallow is placed at the top of the tower. This is a fun puzzle activity for team building.

Benefit: Teambuilding puzzle

Time duration: 30 minutes

Material required: 20 sticks on raw uncooked spaghetti, a marshmallow, masking thread, and yarn of thread.

3. Go for Gold – This is an example of a marshmallow challenge similar to activities. The objective of this exercise is to create a structure using pipes, rubber tubing, and cardboard to carry a marble from point A to point B using gravity.

Benefit: team building problem solving scenario examples

Team size: Minimum 6 persons

Material required: Each member has different material

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3. Work Problem Solving

Work problem solving activities help to use the skills you used in problem solving activities in your workplace.

1. Create your own – this game aims to create a brand new problem solving activity for the organization. The team can brainstorm for 1 hour. After one hour each team has to give a presentation about their activity outlining the key benefits.

Benefit: Understanding the problem solving process. Build creativity, improve negotiation, and Decision-making skills

  • When the participants arrive, you declare that they will create an original problem solving activity on their own, rather than spending an hour on an existing problem solving team-building exercise. 
  • Divide members into teams and encourage them to develop a new problem solving team-building exercise that will fit well with the organization. The activity should not be one they have engaged in or heard of before.
  • Every team has to show their new activity to everyone else after an hour and outline the main benefits.

2. Shrinking Vessel – make a shape on the floor using a rope where all the team members can fit. Reduce the size every 10 -15 minutes. The real challenge for the team is figuring out how to work together and keep everyone together.

Benefits: Adaptability and cognitive diversity

Material: Rope and large room

  • Place on the floor a big circle of rope. Position your whole team inside the circle. 
  • Lessen the circle size steadily. When it gets smaller, advise the team to keep the entire team inside the circle. Nobody must move out of the loop. See how small you can make the area until it cannot remain inside.

3. Legoman – the team is divided into groups of two or more people. Select an impartial individual who will make a structure in 10 minutes. Each team will compete to recreate it in fifteen minutes. Only one person is allowed to see the structure. They need to communicate vital parameters like color, shape, and size.

Benefits: Communication

Tools: Lego

4. What Would X Do – This problem solving activity stimulates teams to think of new ideas.

  • Benefits: Instant problem solving
  • Time Duration: 10-15 minutes
  • Materials Required: N/A
  • Let every team pretend to be someone famous. 
  • Every team needs to address the issue as if they were a famous person. Which are the choices they would consider? How will they do this? 
  • It helps all to consider options they may not have initially thought of.

Tip: Before you decide, a problem is worth solving, weigh the risks of solving it versus not solving it. 

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4. Team building riddles

Team building riddles are a great way to show the team group problem solving is usually more effective.

1. Barter puzzle – the team is broken into groups. Give each team a different jigsaw puzzle to solve. The groups have to complete the puzzle at the same time. The twist in the game is that some pieces of their puzzle belong to other puzzles.

The goal is to complete the puzzle before the other teams. Each group has to come with their method to convince other teams to handover the pieces they need, either by bartering pieces or donating time to the other teams. This puzzle piece team-building activity helps teams to collaborate.

Benefit: Team building and negotiating.

Material: Jigsaw puzzle for each team

Time: 30 minutes

2. Scavenger Hunt – in this game, each team has a list of the article to locate and bring back. The goal of the game is to finish the assigned list first. In the scavenger hunt, the team has a time limit to make the game more challenging. You have the flexibility of having the hunt outside or within the premises. The team-building puzzle game helps the team to look for creative solutions.

3. Escape – the goal is to solve clues and find the key to unlock the door in a limited time. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room. The team has 30 to 60 minutes to figure out the clues and unlock the door.

Benefit: Team building exercise

Material: Rope, key, lockable room, 5 to 10 puzzles

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5. Work together problems

Work together on problems helps to underline the need to collaborate while solving issues at work. Group challenge activities help the team work well together.

1. Bonding belt – each group is divided into 5 to 6 participants, who are bound together with rope or tape so that their movements are limited. The team has to reach from point A to point B, and the time is recorded. The teams collaborate to beat their previous score.

Benefits: Helps the team to collaborate and skills for problem solving scenario/

Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Material: Cling film, belt, or rope

2. Scramble puzzle – the team members with blindfolds sit in a circle with the puzzle. The teammate without the blindfold sits outside the circle, with their back to the group. The blindfolded group tries to assemble the pieces of the puzzle. The outsider who has the same puzzle gives the team instructions to solve it.

Benefits: trust, leadership, and communication

Material: Preschool-level puzzles and blindfolds.

3. Flip it over – this is a classic work-together problem. In this game, 6 to 8 participants stand together on a blanket/towel/tarp. The challenge is to flip over the blanket or reverse it. The rule is that none of the participants can leave the blanket.

Benefit: Work together exercise

Duration: 30 minutes

Material: Blanket

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6. Team building survival games

Team building survival games helps to fine-tune problem solving scenarios that may occur at work. The activities encourage creative problem solving and decision making.

1. Stranded – Stranded helps in building effective communication. In this setting, the team is stranded in an office. The rooms will be locked, and doors and windows cannot be broken down. The team is asked to make a list of 10 items that they need to survive.

They need to rank items in the order of their importance. The team has to agree on the items and the order. Stranded is one of several popular survival team-building exercises.

Benefit: Team building and Decision-making exercises

  • Your team is stuck inside the building. Doors are closed, so there is no option to kick down the doors or smash the windows.
  • Grant the team 30 minutes to determine what ten things they need to thrive in the office and list them in order of importance.
  • The goal of the game is to get everyone to agree in 30 minutes about the ten things and their ranking.

2. Minefield – you randomly place items around the room or hallway and there is no clear path from one end of the room to another. The team is divided into pairs. One team member is blindfolded, and the other team member is the guide.

The guide navigates the blindfolded person across the minefield. The two partners cannot touch. This survival team-building activity underlines the need for clear communication.

Benefits: Communication and collaborative problem solving

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Material: Blindfold, empty room or hallway, and collection of random items.

3. Frostbite – in this survival scenario team-building exercise the team is trapped in Siberia. Each team has to elect a team captain. The team has to build a storm shelter with the material provided.

The twist in the game is the team captains cannot help physically since they have frostbite. Other team members are suffering snow blindness and are blindfolded. The electric fan will be turned on in 30 minutes to see if the shelter built will survive the storm.

Benefit: Leadership, skills action plan, and team building survival games

Team size: 4 to 5 members

Material: An electric fan, blindfold, simple building materials like cardboard paper, rubber bands, toothpicks, masking tape, straws, sticky notes, etc.

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7. Group decision making games

Group decision making games help encourage creative problem solving and decision making at work. Here is a bunch of group decision making games

1. Reverse Pyramid – the team members stand in a pyramid shape. The next step is to flip the base and apex of the pyramid. The limiting factor in only three persons can move.

Benefits: Group Decision-making and collaboration

2. Tower of Hanoi – in this game, there are three towers/posts/rods with 5 or more discs arranged conical shape with the smallest shape at the top. The objective of the game is to move the entire stack to another location retaining the shape. Some conditions of the games are only one disc can be moved at a time. Only the top disc can be moved. Another rule of the game is larger disc cannot be put on a smaller disc.

Benefits: This team-building exercise helps problem solving within the participants.

3. Human Knot – the team stands in a circle every person holds hands with a person not standing next to them. When everyone is cross-connected, the aim is to untangle the structure without letting go of anybody’s hand.

Benefit: group problem solving

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8. Funny problem solving games

We need to solve problems for personal and professional lives. Funny problem solving exercises are a light way. Funny problem solving can help reduce stress levels.

1. Pencil drop – in the pencil drop challenge, one end of the pencil is tied to a pencil and the other is tied around the waist of a team member. The other team member puts the pencil into the bottle placed below. The participants are not allowed to use their hands.

Benefit: Team bonding

Team size: 2 members each

Material: Some pencil and bottle

2. Blind drawing – this game requires two players to sit back to back. One participant describes an image in front of them without giving stating anything obvious. The other participant needs to draw it using the description. The outcome can be fun.

3. Be the character – in this activity, you pretend to be an imaginary character while trying to solve a problem. This game gives a unique perspective on your solution and whether the solution is feasible for other members.

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9. Group problem solving activities for adults

Group problem solving activities are very efficient, especially for adults. These can be used in any setting to enhance problem solving skills. 

1. Human Knots

  • Benefits: Communication skills, collaboration
  • Time Duration: 10 – 15 minutes.

This is one of the most straightforward group problem solving activities that can be done with any group. It facilitates communication and critical thinking in the face of a challenging and complex question. Various group members will possibly suggest a variety of solutions, and each will need to be reviewed and adopted by the organization as a whole.

  • Have the group stand in a small circle (make several circles when you are a larger group). Every person in the loop will hold the hands of 2 other people who are not directly next to them. That would make a messy crossed arms knot.
  • Ask the group to disentangle themselves without moving their hands at any point in time. They may be unable to disentangle completely to form a circle again. Still, they would have begun to work together to solve the problem by the end of the activity.

2. Frostbite 

  • Benefits: Leadership, decision-making, trust, adaptability
  • Time Duration: 30 minutes.
  • Materials Required: An electric fan, blindfold, simple building materials like cardboard paper, rubber bands, toothpicks, masking tape, straws, sticky notes, etc.

Your group is trapped in the barren deserts of Siberia, and a sudden winter storm is approaching. You have to create a shelter with only the materials in hand that can survive the storm’s harsh winds. The leader of your expedition was afflicted with frostbite in both hands, sadly, and all the others experience severe snow blindness.

  • Divide the group into clusters of 4-5. Every group will have to elect a chief. 
  • Group leaders are not allowed to use their hands to support the group in any way, and group members should be blindfolded during the exercise. 
  • The groups have 30 minutes to build a small tent structure that can withstand the wind from the fan’s highest location. 

3. Dumbest Idea First

  • Benefits: Critical thinking, creative problem solving, quick problem solving
  • Time Duration: 15 – 20 minutes
  • Materials Required: Pen or pencil, a piece of paper.

Dumbest Idea First is one of the most creative problem solving activities for groups. This can encourage your creativity by thinking out of the box and lead you to ideas that would typically sound too insane to work. You can broaden the possibilities by looking at these crazy solutions first, and find potential alternatives that might not be as obvious.

  • Present your team with a question. It could be a real-world dilemma facing the group, or it could be a created scenario. For example, your company attempts to beat a rival to win a high-paying customer contract, but the customer bends to your competitors. You have a short period before they make the final decision to change their mind.
  • With the given question, advise your group to come up with the dumbest ideas to tackle the issue. Anything can be written down. 
  • After each person has put forward a few ideas, go through the list, and analyze each plan to see which are the most feasible. List them from the highest level of feasibility to the lowest level.  

4. Wool Web 

  • Benefits: Leadership, communication
  • Time Duration: 30 minutes
  • Materials Required: Some balls of yarn.

As hard as replicating the magnitude of the real-world problems is, that is no excuse not to try! Wool web creates a dilemma that appears complicated at first, but groups will learn to break down complicated challenges into solvable problems one move at a time.

This happens by using the right strategy and working together. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most stimulating problem solving activities for adults.

  • Split the group into similarly large teams. Every time, it receives a yarn ball. 
  • Tell each team to turn the yarn ball into a vast web. Give them around 5-10 minutes to do this. When done, rotate all the teams so that every team is on a yarn web they have not set up. 
  • Every group must choose one person to untangle the web. That individual would be blindfolded and be guided by the rest of the team on how to unwind the web using only verbal instructions. The first team to achieve it wins the game.

5. Tallest Tower 

  • Benefits: Creative thinking, collaboration
  • Materials Required: 1 bag of marshmallows, one packet of uncooked spaghetti.

Simple building projects can help group members create strategies to overcome box issues. Tallest Tower is another one of the most creative problem solving activities. Groups will compete with only two materials to make the tallest tower in a fixed period.

  • Divide the group into two, which have an equal number of players. Provide 20 – 30 uncooked spaghetti noodles and 3-4 marshmallows to every team. 
  • Groups must compete in the provided period to build the tallest tower using only the materials supplied. A marshmallow has to be set at the top of the tower.

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10. Problem solving activities for students

Below is a bunch of problem solving activities for students and kids,

1. Brainstorm Bonanza – Brainstorm Bonanza is one of the best problem solving activities for students. As a teacher, making your students create lists relevant to something you are teaching at the moment can be a fantastic way to help them expand their knowledge of a subject when learning to solve problems.

  • Benefits: Problem solving
  • Materials Required: Pen and paper

1. If you are discussing a real, current, or fictional occurrence that did not work out well, let your students imagine ways that the protagonist or participants might have produced a better, more favorable result.

2. They can brainstorm independently or in groups. 

2. Clue Me In – this is one of the most enjoyable problem solving games. It facilitates logical thinking and cognitive development.

  • Benefits: Cognitive development, logical thinking
  • Time Duration: 20 minutes
  • Materials Required: A bag, clues, items as necessary
  • Select a collection of things relating to a specific occupation, social phenomenon, historical incident, object, etc.
  • Assemble individual objects (or pictures of things) commonly linked to the target response.
  • Place all of them in a bag (five-10 clues ought to be enough).
  • Then, have a student reach into the bag and take out clues one by one.
  • Select a minimum number of clues to draw before they make their first guess (two-three).
  • After that, the student should guess, pulling each clue until they think it is right.
  • See how quickly the student can solve the riddle.

3. Survivor Scenario – Create a hypothetical situation that allows students to think creatively to make it through. One example may be being stuck on an island, realizing that three days of help would not come.

The community has a small amount of food and water and has to establish shelter from the island’s objects. This would undoubtedly be one of the fascinating problem solving activities for students.

  • Benefits: Logical thinking, collaboration
  • Encourage working together as a group.
  • Listen to each student who has an idea about making it safe and secure across the three days.

4. Moral Dilemmas – Create several potential moral dilemmas that your students can face in life, write down, and place each object in a bowl or container. These things may include items like, “I’ve seen a good friend of mine shoplifting. What is it that I would do?” or “The cashier gave me an additional $1.50 in change after I purchased candy from the shop. What is it that I would do?”

  • Benefits: Logical thinking
  • Time Duration: 5 minutes per student
  • Materials Required: Container, bits of paper with moral dilemmas written
  • Ask every student to draw an item from the bag one after the other and read it aloud. 
  • They must then tell the class the response on the spot as to how they would handle the situation.

5. Problem solving box – this is an activity that will help on both cognitive and emotional levels for students. 

  • Benefits: Logical thinking, decision making
  • Materials Required: Box, paper, pen
  • Have your students design and decorate a medium-sized box with a top slot. Name it as the “Problem Solving Box.”
  • Invite students to write down anonymously and apply any concerns or problems they may have at school or at home, which they do not appear to be able to work out on their own.
  • Let a student draw one of the things from the box once or twice a week, and read it aloud.
  • Finally, as a group, let the class work out the best way students can approach the problem and eventually solve it.

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11. Problem solving activities for kids

Below is a bunch of problem solving activities for kids,

1. Puzzle-solving – Solving puzzles is one of the best problem solving activities for kids out there. Essentially, every puzzle is a big collection of muddled-up items to figure out and bring back together again.

Kids must be introduced to puzzles with regularity. These are useful for improving skills in reasoning. The best kinds to choose from are wooden puzzles with a wooden frame. They last long, and the structure serves as the foundation to direct children during construction. 

  • Benefits: Reasoning skills
  • Time Duration: Varies
  • Materials Required: Puzzles according to the age level

Instructions: 

  • Show the kids a demo of how a particular puzzle can be solved. 
  • Then, let them choose a puzzle of their liking from the available choices. 
  • Ask them to solve their chosen puzzles. 

2. Memory Games – Memory games will improve memory and attention to detail for your child. 

  • Benefits: Attention to detail
  • Materials Required: Matching pairs of images
  • Using matching pairs of images and turn them all face down, shuffled, on a table.
  • Take turns to pick any two cards, and face them on the table.
  • You hold the cards if you turn over a similar pair, and if the pair does not match, turn the cards over before it is your turn to try again. 
  • A teacher/parent must encourage the kids to concentrate on where the pictures are, and seek to find a matching pair on each turn.

3. Building games – Construction toys like building blocks, wooden blocks, or legos should be a staple in a kid’s home every day. Playing with them is one of the most fun problem solving activities for kids. Anything that your child builds is a challenge as it involves thinking about what to create and how to put together the parts to get a workable and usable design. 

  • Benefits: Decision making
  • Materials Required: Construction toys.

1. Let your child build a challenge openly and often, and ask him/her to build a particular structure, with conditions. For instance:

  • Create two towers with a bridge that connects them.  
  • Create a creature that stands alone and has three arms.

2. Observe how your child uses trial-and-error before finding a way to bring the idea into motion.

4. Tic-Tac-Toe – this is an excellent game for teaching decision-making skills. It encourages kids to think before they act and weigh the potential consequences. 

  • Materials Required: Pencil, paper
  • Draw a simple tic-tac-toe table on paper or chalkboard.
  • Take turns to add a nought or a cross to the table to see who is the first to make a line of three.
  • Your kid will likely catch on in no time before placing their symbol and start thinking carefully.
  • Coloured counters or different items can be used to play this game as well.

5. Building a Maze – This activity is fun and fits for any age. It will also be a lot more enjoyable than doing a maze in an activity book, particularly for younger kids. 

  • Materials Required: Chalk
  • Draw a big maze with jumbo chalk on the paving. Make passages, including one or two, which end in an impasse. Teach your kid how to get out of it.  
  • Make the maze more complicated and add more dead-end passages as your child gets better at figuring out a path and finding the way out.

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What is a problem solving process?

When a team or person faces an issue or obstacle, it can be tempting to quickly track a potential solution and set up a fast fix. This could happen without understanding the complexity of the problem and pursuing a systematic approach to seeking a solution.

The attempts to address issues or obstacles may become unstructured and frustrating without a consistent method. End-to-end processes for problem solving offer a mechanism for a community to tackle any size or nature, and see results. Problem solving activities for adults, kids, and students can help make the problem solving process very useful.

Army problem solving process

There are 7 steps to problem solving army model,

  • Recognize and define the problem – The first step army problem solving process is defining the problem precisely and determining the root cause.
  • Gather facts and make assumptions – You need to gather all information you have at your disposal. Common resources for information may be documentation and policies. Assumptions are unsubstantiated facts. Use facts rather than assumptions when you need to analyze the scope of the problem.
  • Generate alternatives – One of the key steps in military problem solving is finding ways to solve the problem. Ideally, it best to have multiple approaches to solve the problem. Take input from peers and subordinates if possible.
  • Analyze possible solutions – Analyze each possible solution with advantages and disadvantages. You evaluate each solution according to screening and feasibility criteria. Reject the solution when it fails in the screening process.
  • Compare Alternatives – Another crucial step in the army problem solving model is to evaluate alternatives for cost and benefits. You need to consider your experience and immediate future. Tabulating each solution with the pros and cons will help clear the picture.
  • Make an executive your decision – Make a decision and prepare an action plan, and put it in motion.
  • Assess the result – You need to monitor the implementation of the plan and modify it if required. Establishing critical steps and milestones will help to ensure success.

Army problem solving games

  • Capture the flag – the game helps in team building and army problem solving. Two teams compete against one another to retrieve a flag or object from the opposing team camp base and get into their camp base. This game is flexible, and ground rules need to be set before the game starts.
  • Paintball – Paintball is a fun military problem solving activity. You can have many modifications and variations of the paintball game. The aim is to fire paint pellets at the opposing team. Laser tag is another variation of the game.
  • Firing blind – Firing blind is a game where each team has a large number of water balloons. At the other end of the field has to hit the target is protected by a tarp from direct firing. The team has to hit the target that is covered. One team member acts as the observer and directs the team to hit the target with the water balloons.

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Obstacles to problem solving

Problem solving can take time and patience, one of the best ways to solve any problem is pausing and evaluating the problem. Obstacles to problem solving are,

  • Misdiagnosis – Misdiagnosis is a common problem can occur due to preconceived idea, biases or judgments. Defining and having a concrete understanding of the problem is the first step in the problem solving activity. This can be difficult. If you are not careful, you may spend your time and resources solving the wrong problem and finding the wrong solution.
  • Communication bias – Communication barriers are caused when we are unable to explain the problem to the team, or presuming we know more than everyone else. Everyone on the team must be on the same page. You may need to acknowledge you have a limited understanding of the problem.
  • Solution bias – A common obstacle in problem solving is thinking there may be a universal solution or thinking the same solution can solve multiple problems. You need to evaluate a problem independently than try to force-fit a solution that worked previously.
  • Cognitive bias – One of the barriers to finding an effective solution is cognitive bias, or the tendency to jump to conclusions. To find solutions fast firms often end up with an irrelevant solution. This may cause more problems down the line.
  • Lack of empathy – Every problem is associated with human emotions or abilities. It is important to identify and recognize people affected by the problem or it will be difficult to find a solution that will solve help.

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Famous virtual problem solving software

Traditionally watercoolers chat is a great way to bring people together and help team members interact with one another. A virtual water cooler has a similar concept where people interact in a similar virtual setting or a dedicated virtual room. It allows remote teams to bond. Software that offers virtual water coolers services,

  • unremot.com – provides users with a unique water cooler experience. The app provides unique solutions to remote teams.
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Informal Whatsapp group
  • Donut over slack channels

games like problem solving

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Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities to Strengthen Any Team

games like problem solving

We live in a fast-paced environment where challenges often arise, both personally and professionally.

Especially in today’s workplace, professionals have to deal with social, ethical, and organisational problems.

This is where problem-solving skills come into play.

Strong problem-solving tactics can improve creativity and help team members make efficient and informed decisions.

While every professional might not be a natural born problem-solver, there are a lot of resources to help develop these skills.

In this article, we’ll go over the definition of problem-solving activities, their main benefits, and examples that can be put into practice in the workplace.

What Are Problem-Solving Activities?

What are problem solving activities

These activities require problem-solving skills, which help find solutions for difficult situations.

Like any other skill, these tactics are best learnt through practice.

To make problem-solving activities worth the ride, participants have to be open-minded, listen to others, and accept alternative ideas and solutions.

An agile mindset can also be beneficial when participating in such activities because they’re based on understanding, collaborating , learning and staying flexible.

As problem-solving games are group activities, participants must be willing to collaborate and embrace agility and flexibility.

Another critical aspect is creating the mindset that there are no winners or losers.

The goal of these activities is to share strategies and learn from each other, rather than compete against one another.

The Four P’s to Problem-Solving

The four Ps to problem solving

By following the four P’s in the problem-solving guide, one can resolve almost any problem that comes along.

Problem-solving activities begin with a discovery phase, where the problem is identified.

This is the step where you understand, dissect, and learn about the problem you’re trying to solve.

Until the problem has been well defined, you can’t move forward and prepare to form the right solution.

After you’ve analysed the problem, you have to develop several courses of action to solve the issue.

This is the phase where you generate several possibilities to ultimately decide on the best course of action for your problem.

After the problem has been defined and resolutions have been listed, it’s time to take action.

This is the step where you find the best approach and implement a plan that needs to be followed with precision.

You need to first visualise your plan and then execute it.

When the problem has been solved, you need to evaluate the plan and assess whether it could be improved for future situations.

While you should do your best to solve the issue, the truth is that there is always room for growth.

Reviewing and checking for room for further improvement is essential because it can help you achieve even greater results in the future.

Benefits of Developing Problem-Solving Skills in the Workplace

Benefits of developing problem solving skills in the workplace

Employees are often asked to think outside the box for projects or find alternative solutions for work problems.

Problem-solving tactics are a great way to practice valuable skills relevant in the workplace.

There are a lot of situations where processes and workflow in organisations need improvement. Or, when deadlines are tight, team members have to find ways to deliver on time.

These are the exact scenarios that can be overcome if the team is able to turn problems into actionable solutions.

After all, performance is closely related to employee efficiency as achieving companies’ goals on time is crucial to success.

Having team members with good problem-solving skills means they can use critical thinking to make better decisions and ultimately increase business productivity and growth.

There are a wealth of advantages that problem-solving activities can bring to teams.

Here are a few benefits you can expect from employees well equipped with problem-solving skills:

Better risk management

Simply put, risk management skills help people know what could go wrong, assess risks, and finally take action to solve an issue.

Some people are very good at handling risk, while others are afraid of risky situations.

Whichever way your team members are naturally inclined, problem-solving techniques are here to help.

Participating in problem-solving tasks trains the mind to handle stressful situations better.

It’s impossible to avoid risk, and this is why it’s essential to be confident that your team knows how to handle risk and turn it into opportunity.

Better thinking

Better thinking

Team problem-solving techniques stimulate better thinking by pushing people to find progressive alternatives.

Better thinking also develops analytical skills, which help people find logical explanations for problems and identify practical solutions.

Better communication skills

As mentioned earlier, problem-solving activities are group tasks that can only be performed if participants work together.

Humans are competitive by nature which can be problematic when trying to create a cohesive team. Problem-solving skills nurture understanding and collaboration within a company.

By solving problems together, employees learn how to better communicate and listen to others.

Having transparent and effective communication improves engagement and productivity and leads to better relationships .

Increased team cohesion

If your team already has good communication skills , this will likely lead to increased team cohesion .

Regardless of your business’s profile or size, success comes from having a united team.

Team cohesion reduces anxiety, brings motivation, and increases employee satisfaction.

Being on a cohesive team means that employees work together for the same goal, and everyone contributes to the group’s overall success.

People are social creatures, so it’s imperative that everybody feels heard, understood, and included.

Efficiency / increased productivity

Exercising problem-solving activities can boost performance and workplace productivity, leading to overall growth and profits.

Having solid problem-solving skills equips employees with the ability to find efficient solutions promptly.

By reducing the time spent solving specific problems, companies benefit from improved workplace productivity , leading to better profit margins.

creativity

Problem-solving activities foster creativity and encourage team members to express their ideas.

Creative thinkers know how to find the balance between analytical skills and innovative solutions, thus providing new perspectives.

No matter how well-established company processes are, there are always situations that require alternative ways of thinking.

Creative thinking skills boost people’s confidence in putting forth unique ideas.

List of the Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities

Virtual problem-solving activities for teams are meant to challenge participants to think outside the box and find solutions to problems while also having fun. Remember that these exercises should be playful and enjoyable.

Here is a list of virtual problem-solving activities that teams of any size can play:

  • Dumbest Idea First
  • Brainstorm Ideas
  • End in Mind
  • Stop, Start, Continue
  • Idea Mock-Ups
  • Be a Character
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Online Escape Rooms
  • Murder Mysteries
  • Virtual Hackathons
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Moral Challenge
  • Improv Games
  • Poem/Story Challenge
  • What Would You Do?
  • Lost at Sea
  • Coworker Feud
  • Virtual Code Break
  • War of the Wizards
  • Ultimate Game Show

Online problem-solving activities can be played through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Webex, etc.

Let’s take a closer look:

1. Dumbest Idea First

Dumbest Idea First, as the name suggests, is a problem-solving exercise in which participants are asked to think of the dumbest possible solutions to the problem presented.

After all ideas have been presented, look through the list.

You might be surprised to find that some ideas are not as dumb as first thought!

Helps with : creative problem-solving .

2. Brainstorm Ideas

One of the most common problem-solving activities is brainstorming ideas with your team.

Brainstorming ideas’ objective is to generate as many ideas as possible.

After the list is complete, team members review them and decide which is most suitable for the given scenario.

There are a lot of methods to aid the brainstorming process.

You can play word games, create a mood board, play improv games, or even doodle.

Helps with : lateral thinking.

3. End in Mind

The End in Mind technique is an excellent activity for solving group problems that require participants to start with the end.

In this exercise, you have to backtrack, finding solutions for the issue.

It challenges team members to think of the “what,” “why,” and “how” of a problem, thus coming up with alternative approaches.

Helps with : analytical thinking.

4. Stop, Start, Continue

“Stop, Start, Continue” is a technique used for delivering or requesting feedback.

This problem-solving activity consists of a list of three categories that each member has to think about:

  • Stop: three things that the team should stop doing
  • Start: three things that the team should start doing
  • Continue: three things that the team should continue doing

This exercise aims to solve problems in new ways while also having fun.

Helps with : team cohesion, critical thinking.

5. Idea Mock-Ups

Idea mock-ups are processes in which solutions to problems are found via mock-ups.

It’s a virtual solving problem activity as you can use images from the internet that can be easily shared with the team members.

This exercise aims to have players try out a bunch of different scenarios until the perfect match for the problem is found.

6. Be a Character

Be a Character

Have you ever dreamed of being a character from a movie or a book? Then this is the perfect exercise for you.

By playing this group game, participants impersonate a character and approach problems through that person’s mindset.

Helps with : creativity , thinking outside the box.

7. Idea Trial

The Idea Trial is another fun virtual problem-solving activity that encourages participants to find solutions for a particular problem.

Players need to present their ideas to the “court.”

They can go through the entire process, such as opening and closing statements, and call witnesses to support their ideas.

Helps with : risk management, communication skills.

8. Crossword Puzzles

Everybody has heard of crossword puzzles, but not everyone has thought of transforming them into a virtual problem-solving activity.

All you have to do is use an online crossword puzzle to create a custom puzzle for your team.

To make it more exciting and engaging for your team, you should consider your company’s niche and your teammates’ interests.

Helps with : critical thinking.

9. Online Escape Rooms

Like in-person escape rooms, their online counterpart requires participants to escape rooms and work together to solve puzzles virtually.

Digital escape rooms provide two alternatives for players: either a Zoom room led by a host or from a specialised website.

These are significant virtual problem-solving activities that are both fun and challenging.

Helps with : cooperation, communication.

10. Murder Mysteries

Murder mysteries are story-based problem-solving activities that require participants to take on the roles of suspects and detectives.

The aim of the game is to identify the killer by searching for clues and occasionally solving small puzzles.

These group exercises are complex because they require players to be observant and search for hidden clues using logic.

Luckily for you, there are many options for playing murder mystery games online .

Helps with : observation, logical thinking.

11. Virtual Hackathons

Hackathons are events where a group of people pitch a product or service in a given period.

Even though it originated in the programming world, hackathons can be easily applied to any industry.

Virtual hackathons refer to the online version of these events, where participants work together via online meeting software to design solutions.

These are great virtual team problem-solving activities because they don’t require much organisational work.

You just have to announce the event’s theme, explain the problem when the hackathon begins, and set a timeline.

Helps with : efficiency, cooperation.

12. Treasure Hunts

Like escape rooms or murder mysteries, treasure hunts are group games that require players to find hidden objects by following a trail of clues.

Treasure hunts are fun problem-solving activities that teach participants how to collaborate and communicate with each other.

They can have specific themes or be a more general hunt.

Helps with : communication, cooperation.

13. Moral Challenge

While most group problem-solving activities focus more on finding alternative problem resolutions, moral challenges lean more towards ethics.

These group techniques are just as important as the others as not all problems are factual; some are ethical.

Moral challenge exercises are better played in a group because each participant can represent a different opinion or moral belief.

The moral issue becomes harder to resolve and implicitly forces team members to find common ground.

Moral challenges are equally important in decision-making processes as rational thinking.

Some of the most well-known moral challenges online are the Moral Machine or the Dilemma .

Helps with : communication skills.

14. Improv Games

Improv games have their roots in acting and comedy and are group activities designed around participants’ acting without a script, or improvising.

These problem-solving activities force players to keep the story going in an entertaining and logical way.

This kind of group exercise helps build collaborative skills while boosting team members’ confidence.

Helps with : collaboration, imagination.

15. Poem/Story Challenge

If most of the problem-solving activities mentioned are based on logical thinking, the poem/story challenge revolves around writing skills.

While not all businesses rely on this, it’s still an excellent exercise for groups, as it stimulates the imagination and improves public speaking.

All you have to do is ask participants to create a story or a poem using a limited word bank.

After they have crafted their stories, they read them aloud in front of the group.

Helps with : creativity, public speaking.

16. What Would You Do?

“What Would You Do?” is a hypothetical problem-solving activity that challenges your team to brainstorm ideas and react to different scenarios.

To play this game with your team members, prepare some problem-solving stories in advance, then read them one by one.

Participants have to say what they would do in these circumstances.

Helps with : lateral thinking, imagination.

17. Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea, also known as Stranded at Sea, is a team-building activity that encourages interaction and teamwork.

Give participants a scenario where they’re stranded on an island with just a handful of objects.

To increase their chances of survival, they need to rate the objects based on their utility.

Players should work individually first and then together to decide which objects are most important.

If multiple groups play this game, the moderator can ask each group to compare their individual and collective rankings.

They should also consider why any scores differ.

At the end of the game, players reflect and feedback on their choices.

Helps with : decision making, collaboration, critical thinking.

18. The Hunt

Treasure Hunts

Its purpose is to challenge players to collaborate under pressure as they compete for glory.

This is a virtual problem-solving activity suitable for a business of any size.

It works best played in small teams of four or five, so players have the opportunity to interact with one another.

Helps with : team decision making, lateral thinking, creativity.

19. Coworker Feud

Coworker Feud

This game is a new take on the classic game show Family Feud, and it consists of multiple rapid rounds.

The players are asked to provide fast answers to a fun assortment of questions the host presents.

The aim is to guess the five most popular answers to win points for the round.

The team with the most points is declared the winner of the game.

Helps with : fast-thinking, communication.

20. Virtual Code Break

Virtual Code Break is a virtual team-building activity specially designed for remote players.

Its purpose is to challenge players to think outside the box, improve problem-solving skills, and leverage their own and each other’s skills.

This game uses an intelligent video conferencing solution so that teams of all sizes can play from anywhere globally.

Players compete against each other by answering trivia questions and solving riddles and puzzles.

Helps with : better thinking, collaboration.

21. War of the Wizards

War of the Wizards is a 90-minutes virtual team-building activity that promises to be both fun and creative.

To play this game, participants roleplay as powerful wizards to conquer evil forces through the power of storytelling.

They have to play mini-games and competitions, develop their characters, and make decisions together to win.

Helps with : teamwork, imagination.

22. Ultimate Game Show

Ultimate Game Show

In this 90-minute virtual event, players bond together as a team while playing different quizzes to win the final prize.

This competition works for hybrid teams, as well as for fully remote teams.

Helps with : collaboration, fast-thinking.

Plenty of organisations face daily challenges that affect team productivity and get in the way of attaining business goals.

While it’s impossible to avoid those situations, there are many ways to train team members to work collaboratively to resolve problems effectively.

Problem-solving activities act as educational tools that bring all participants closer as a team and help them develop problem-solving skills. By nurturing solution-generating capabilities, your team learns to communicate better, act fast in risky situations, and find creative solutions.

The virtual problem-solving activities listed in this article are excellent practices for real-life conflict resolution that can benefit everyone within an organisation.

games like problem solving

Stefan is a Co-Founder and a President of Brosix. His many years experience as a programmer, give him an unique perspective to lead the team and build Brosix in a way to best serve the customers.

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games like problem solving

How problem-solving games can boost your brain

In a world that appreciates fast thinking and adaptability, problem-solving games have become an effective way to keep the mind sharp and encourage ongoing learning. From traditional puzzles to immersive escape rooms, these games challenge the mind in fun and engaging ways, promoting critical thinking, creativity, and strategic planning. 

So, how are these games effective? 

Let's delve into the science behind problem-solving games, explore the variety available, and discover how incorporating them into daily life can offer significant cognitive benefits.

The science behind problem-solving games

Problem-solving games aren’t just fun and games. They're also a brain workout that strengthens cognitive processes crucial for daily functioning. In fact, research has shown that regular participation in problem-solving activities strengthens skills like pattern recognition, logical reasoning, and decision-making, and it can be a great way to keep the brain sharp. 

But how exactly do these games contribute to cognitive health? 

By challenging the brain to think in new and complex ways, problem-solving games stimulate neural connections , enhancing both short-term working memory and overall cognitive resilience. 

Types of problem-solving games

Each type of problem-solving game has its own benefits:

Puzzles and fun brain teasers

Puzzles and brain teasers, such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles , and jigsaw puzzles require you to recognize patterns, think logically, and maintain concentration over extended periods. The act of piecing together solutions in a logical manner not only sharpens your cognitive skills but also improves your attention to detail and focus. 

Escape rooms

Escape rooms, both in their physical and virtual forms, offer an exhilarating journey through puzzles and mysteries that demand collaboration, creativity, and time management. These experiences push you to think outside the box, communicate effectively with team members, and develop strategies under pressure. 

Strategy games

Strategy games, like chess, challenge you to engage in complex planning, resource management, and anticipatory thinking. These games are not just about the immediate moves; they also require a vision for the future, teaching you to consider long-term consequences and strategic advantages. 

Logic and math games

Logic and math games are designed to strengthen your analytical thinking and numerical abilities. Through challenges that require logical deduction and mathematical problem-solving, these games strengthen your ability to process information, analyze data, and solve problems efficiently. 

Adventure and mystery games

Adventure and mystery games immerse players in story-driven quests and puzzles, often involving complex narratives and character interactions. These games stimulate cognitive processes by encouraging you to uncover secrets, solve mysteries, and navigate through intricate plots. 

Which type of problem-solving game is your favorite to play?

Incorporate problem-solving games into your daily life with the Elevate app

Incorporating problem-solving games and other brain games into your daily routine can help you make big improvements in your critical thinking skills, so it’s easier to tackle challenges in both personal and professional aspects of your life. 

And if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to incorporate problem-solving games into your daily life, check out the Elevate app, available on iOS and Android . 

Whether it's during your morning coffee, on your commute, or as a fun break between tasks, playing Elevate’s award-winning library of 40+ brain training games can be an enjoyable and effective way to strengthen your cognitive abilities. 

So, why not make the smart choice? Incorporate the Elevate app into your daily routine and turn idle moments into opportunities for growth and improvement. It's time to elevate your cognitive abilities and make every moment count!

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10 Best Brain Games to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Playing mind games is a no-brainer

 Mark Stibich, PhD, FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements.

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

games like problem solving

Aaron Johnson is a fact checker and expert on qualitative research design and methodology. 

games like problem solving

Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

Happy Neuron

Brain age concentration training, my brain trainer.

People of all ages use brain-training games to improve mental functioning and prevent brain aging . Backing them up is research showing that brain-training games may help improve attention levels, memory, response time, logic skills, and other measures of cognitive function if played over a long timespan.

The brain is just like a muscle - it thrives on exercise! As a neurologist, I'm thrilled by the incredible potential of brain games to help people flex their mental muscles, activating underused brain circuits to sharpen cognition and skills like focus, speed, and memory.

From pen-and-paper Sudoku and crosswords to specialized brain training apps, options for brain games are plentiful. To give your brain a workout while having fun, try these games and activities that may improve your mental focus and fitness.

Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Sudoku is a number placement game that relies on short-term memory. To complete a Sudoku puzzle, you have to look ahead and follow trails of consequences—if you put a 6 in this box, that one must be an 8 and this one a 4, and so on. This type of planning helps improve short-term memory and concentration.

You can play Sudoku online, on an app, or on paper. Look for a regular Sudoku in your newspaper, buy a book with a collection of puzzles, or download a free app for your phone or tablet.

Sudoku puzzles are available in varying degrees of difficulty. When you're starting out, play the easy games until you learn the rules. If you're playing on paper, use a pencil!

Lumosity is one of the most established brain training and mental fitness programs. You can sign up for a free account to play three games per day, or choose the subscription service for more offerings. Either way, you can keep track of your results and improvement.

One recent study showed that participants who played Lumosity's exercises for 15 minutes a day at least seven days a week for three weeks experienced improved attention and motor speed. You can use Lumosity via their website or download the Lumosity app on iOS and Android. Lumosity also has a meditation and mindfulness app called Lumosity Mind.

Carol Yepes / Getty Images

Crosswords are a classic brain trainer, accessing not only verbal language but memory from many dimensions of knowledge. There are many ways to do crossword puzzles, both online and off. If you receive a daily newspaper, you'll almost always get a crossword there. Or pick up a book of crosswords specifically suited to your skill level and interests.

You will also find many options for crossword puzzles online or via free or inexpensive apps. The AARP website offers a daily crossword that's free to everyone, whether or not you're a member of the group.

Elevate's games center on reading, writing, speaking, and math, and you can customize your training to focus on whichever areas you prefer. As with most other brain games, you can track your progress to see how your skills are improving.

You'll need to download an app to play Elevate 's 35 (and counting) different brain-training games, which have a strongly educational feel. It's free (with in-app purchases) and both iOS and Android versions have tens of thousands of five-star reviews.

Peak is another app-only option (available for iOS and Android) that provides brain games to help you work on focus, memory, problem-solving, mental agility, and more cognitive functions. If you're a competitive person, you might be motivated by seeing how you perform against other users. The app is free to use, but an inexpensive subscription unlocks more features.

Happy Neuron divides its games and activities into five critical brain areas: memory, attention, language, executive functions, and visual/spatial. Like Lumosity, it personalizes the training to fit you, tracks your progress, and the games are based on scientific research.

You must pay a monthly subscription fee to use the site, and its simplified app version is available for Android users only. Happy Neuron does, however, offer a free trial offer so you can see if you like the approach.

Claiming to have the world's largest collection of brain teasers, Braingle's free website provides more than 15,000 puzzles, games, and other brain teasers as well as an online community of enthusiasts. You can even create your own puzzles to give your brain a super workout. Braingle has a wide variety of offerings, including optical illusions, codes and ciphers, and trivia quizzes.

Queendom has thousands of personality tests and surveys. It also has an extensive collection of "brain tools"—including logic, verbal, spatial, and math puzzles; trivia quizzes; and aptitude tests—for you to exercise and test your brain. If you'd like to save results and scores, you'll need a free account. Some tests give you only snapshot results for free, and charge a fee for full reports.

Brain Age: Concentration Training / Nintendo Life

Brain Age Concentration Training is a brain training and mental fitness system for the Nintendo 3DS system. It includes a huge number of games to hone your concentration, memory, calculation, and other brain skills. It's fun, portable, and challenging. Brain Age is also available for the Nintendo Wii U, but not for the Switch, Nintendo's most up-to-date gaming system.

My Brain Trainer calls itself an online "brain gym." It is similar in format to, although less stylish than, Lumosity and Happy Neuron. It's also less expensive; a three-month subscription costs the same as a month on the other services. The annual subscription is an even bigger savings. You can try a challenge for free as well.

This website is full of games, puzzles, and other challenges designed to improve your mental fitness. The website recommends 10 minutes of brain training twice a day for the best effects. It also has a basic training program that claims to improve your mental speed.

This web-based puzzle game from The New York Times exploded in popularity in early 2022 and now counts millions of users worldwide. The premise is simple: Users get six tries to guess a five-letter word. Wordle's combination of problem-solving challenges and easy-to-use interface makes for a satisfying mental workout.

Keep in Mind

Remember, brain training isn't limited to games and puzzles; staying socially engaged, maintaining creative hobbies, and even working out can help to flex your brain and improve cognitive functioning. Find what feels good and works for you.

Make brain training a daily habit and build the mental reserves to delay cognitive decline!

Al-Thaqib A, Al-Sultan F, Al-Zahrani A, et al. Brain training games enhance cognitive function in healthy subjects .  Med Sci Monit Basic Res . 2018;24:63-69. doi:10.12659%2FMSMBR.909022

Playing these 6 video games could help improve your problem-solving skills

Jane McGonigal , a world-renowned designer of alternate-reality games who has a Ph.D. in performance studies, wants to change people's conception of video games as " just escapist, guilty pleasures."

" My number one goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize," McGonigal writes on her website . 

She tells Business Insider she wants people to realize that games can be "powerful tools to improve our attention, our mood, our cognitive strengths, and our relationships."

And research is on her side. 

Studies suggest that mainstream games like "Call of Duty" may improve our cognitive abilities significantly more than games specifically designed to do so by designers like Luminosity.

To help spread the truth about common misconceptions, seven neuroscientists from around the world signed the document "A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community" in 2014 to say they "object to the claim" that brainteaser games can improve cognitive abilities, as no scientific evidence has been able to confirm such a claim. 

Even better for gamers, research from North Carolina State University and Florida State University suggests that mainstream games geared toward entertainment can help improve attention, spatial orientation, and problem-solving abilities.

In her book, " Super Better ," McGonigal writes that the researchers she talked to about this seeming contradiction offered a simple explanation: "Traditional video games are more complex and harder to master, and they require that the player learn a wider and more challenging range of skills and abilities."

If you want to have fun and stimulate your mind, McGonigal recommends playing one of these six games three times a week for about 20 minutes.

McGonigal says playing fast-paced games like "Call of Duty," a first-person shooter game, can help improve visual attention and spatial-intelligence skills, which can lead to better performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

games like problem solving

Another fast-paced game, "Forza," a car-racing game, may help improve your ability to make accurate decisions under pressure.

games like problem solving

Taking on the role of a criminal in a big city in "Grand Theft Auto" may help train you to process information faster and keep track of more information — up to three times the amount as nongamers, some studies suggest — in high-stress situations.

games like problem solving

Strategic games like "StarCraft," a military-science-fiction game, can also improve the ability to solve imaginary and real-life problems, possibly because they teach users to both formulate and execute strategic plans.

games like problem solving

Games that require strategic thinking, like science-fiction third-person-shooter game "Mass Effect," also test and refine your information-gathering skills.

games like problem solving

Lastly, "thinking games" like "Final Fantasy," a fantasy-role-playing game, can help train you to evaluate your options faster and more accurately.

games like problem solving

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35 problem-solving techniques and methods for solving complex problems

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All teams and organizations encounter challenges as they grow. There are problems that might occur for teams when it comes to miscommunication or resolving business-critical issues . You may face challenges around growth , design , user engagement, and even team culture and happiness. In short, problem-solving techniques should be part of every team’s skillset.

Problem-solving methods are primarily designed to help a group or team through a process of first identifying problems and challenges , ideating possible solutions , and then evaluating the most suitable .

Finding effective solutions to complex problems isn’t easy, but by using the right process and techniques, you can help your team be more efficient in the process.

So how do you develop strategies that are engaging, and empower your team to solve problems effectively?

In this blog post, we share a series of problem-solving tools you can use in your next workshop or team meeting. You’ll also find some tips for facilitating the process and how to enable others to solve complex problems.

Let’s get started! 

How do you identify problems?

How do you identify the right solution.

  • Tips for more effective problem-solving

Complete problem-solving methods

  • Problem-solving techniques to identify and analyze problems
  • Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions

Problem-solving warm-up activities

Closing activities for a problem-solving process.

Before you can move towards finding the right solution for a given problem, you first need to identify and define the problem you wish to solve. 

Here, you want to clearly articulate what the problem is and allow your group to do the same. Remember that everyone in a group is likely to have differing perspectives and alignment is necessary in order to help the group move forward. 

Identifying a problem accurately also requires that all members of a group are able to contribute their views in an open and safe manner. It can be scary for people to stand up and contribute, especially if the problems or challenges are emotive or personal in nature. Be sure to try and create a psychologically safe space for these kinds of discussions.

Remember that problem analysis and further discussion are also important. Not taking the time to fully analyze and discuss a challenge can result in the development of solutions that are not fit for purpose or do not address the underlying issue.

Successfully identifying and then analyzing a problem means facilitating a group through activities designed to help them clearly and honestly articulate their thoughts and produce usable insight.

With this data, you might then produce a problem statement that clearly describes the problem you wish to be addressed and also state the goal of any process you undertake to tackle this issue.  

Finding solutions is the end goal of any process. Complex organizational challenges can only be solved with an appropriate solution but discovering them requires using the right problem-solving tool.

After you’ve explored a problem and discussed ideas, you need to help a team discuss and choose the right solution. Consensus tools and methods such as those below help a group explore possible solutions before then voting for the best. They’re a great way to tap into the collective intelligence of the group for great results!

Remember that the process is often iterative. Great problem solvers often roadtest a viable solution in a measured way to see what works too. While you might not get the right solution on your first try, the methods below help teams land on the most likely to succeed solution while also holding space for improvement.

Every effective problem solving process begins with an agenda . A well-structured workshop is one of the best methods for successfully guiding a group from exploring a problem to implementing a solution.

In SessionLab, it’s easy to go from an idea to a complete agenda . Start by dragging and dropping your core problem solving activities into place . Add timings, breaks and necessary materials before sharing your agenda with your colleagues.

The resulting agenda will be your guide to an effective and productive problem solving session that will also help you stay organized on the day!

games like problem solving

Tips for more effective problem solving

Problem-solving activities are only one part of the puzzle. While a great method can help unlock your team’s ability to solve problems, without a thoughtful approach and strong facilitation the solutions may not be fit for purpose.

Let’s take a look at some problem-solving tips you can apply to any process to help it be a success!

Clearly define the problem

Jumping straight to solutions can be tempting, though without first clearly articulating a problem, the solution might not be the right one. Many of the problem-solving activities below include sections where the problem is explored and clearly defined before moving on.

This is a vital part of the problem-solving process and taking the time to fully define an issue can save time and effort later. A clear definition helps identify irrelevant information and it also ensures that your team sets off on the right track.

Don’t jump to conclusions

It’s easy for groups to exhibit cognitive bias or have preconceived ideas about both problems and potential solutions. Be sure to back up any problem statements or potential solutions with facts, research, and adequate forethought.

The best techniques ask participants to be methodical and challenge preconceived notions. Make sure you give the group enough time and space to collect relevant information and consider the problem in a new way. By approaching the process with a clear, rational mindset, you’ll often find that better solutions are more forthcoming.  

Try different approaches  

Problems come in all shapes and sizes and so too should the methods you use to solve them. If you find that one approach isn’t yielding results and your team isn’t finding different solutions, try mixing it up. You’ll be surprised at how using a new creative activity can unblock your team and generate great solutions.

Don’t take it personally 

Depending on the nature of your team or organizational problems, it’s easy for conversations to get heated. While it’s good for participants to be engaged in the discussions, ensure that emotions don’t run too high and that blame isn’t thrown around while finding solutions.

You’re all in it together, and even if your team or area is seeing problems, that isn’t necessarily a disparagement of you personally. Using facilitation skills to manage group dynamics is one effective method of helping conversations be more constructive.

Get the right people in the room

Your problem-solving method is often only as effective as the group using it. Getting the right people on the job and managing the number of people present is important too!

If the group is too small, you may not get enough different perspectives to effectively solve a problem. If the group is too large, you can go round and round during the ideation stages.

Creating the right group makeup is also important in ensuring you have the necessary expertise and skillset to both identify and follow up on potential solutions. Carefully consider who to include at each stage to help ensure your problem-solving method is followed and positioned for success.

Document everything

The best solutions can take refinement, iteration, and reflection to come out. Get into a habit of documenting your process in order to keep all the learnings from the session and to allow ideas to mature and develop. Many of the methods below involve the creation of documents or shared resources. Be sure to keep and share these so everyone can benefit from the work done!

Bring a facilitator 

Facilitation is all about making group processes easier. With a subject as potentially emotive and important as problem-solving, having an impartial third party in the form of a facilitator can make all the difference in finding great solutions and keeping the process moving. Consider bringing a facilitator to your problem-solving session to get better results and generate meaningful solutions!

Develop your problem-solving skills

It takes time and practice to be an effective problem solver. While some roles or participants might more naturally gravitate towards problem-solving, it can take development and planning to help everyone create better solutions.

You might develop a training program, run a problem-solving workshop or simply ask your team to practice using the techniques below. Check out our post on problem-solving skills to see how you and your group can develop the right mental process and be more resilient to issues too!

Design a great agenda

Workshops are a great format for solving problems. With the right approach, you can focus a group and help them find the solutions to their own problems. But designing a process can be time-consuming and finding the right activities can be difficult.

Check out our workshop planning guide to level-up your agenda design and start running more effective workshops. Need inspiration? Check out templates designed by expert facilitators to help you kickstart your process!

In this section, we’ll look at in-depth problem-solving methods that provide a complete end-to-end process for developing effective solutions. These will help guide your team from the discovery and definition of a problem through to delivering the right solution.

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing method or problem-solving model, these processes are a great place to start. They’ll ask your team to challenge preconceived ideas and adopt a mindset for solving problems more effectively.

  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Lightning Decision Jam
  • Problem Definition Process
  • Discovery & Action Dialogue
Design Sprint 2.0
  • Open Space Technology

1. Six Thinking Hats

Individual approaches to solving a problem can be very different based on what team or role an individual holds. It can be easy for existing biases or perspectives to find their way into the mix, or for internal politics to direct a conversation.

Six Thinking Hats is a classic method for identifying the problems that need to be solved and enables your team to consider them from different angles, whether that is by focusing on facts and data, creative solutions, or by considering why a particular solution might not work.

Like all problem-solving frameworks, Six Thinking Hats is effective at helping teams remove roadblocks from a conversation or discussion and come to terms with all the aspects necessary to solve complex problems.

2. Lightning Decision Jam

Featured courtesy of Jonathan Courtney of AJ&Smart Berlin, Lightning Decision Jam is one of those strategies that should be in every facilitation toolbox. Exploring problems and finding solutions is often creative in nature, though as with any creative process, there is the potential to lose focus and get lost.

Unstructured discussions might get you there in the end, but it’s much more effective to use a method that creates a clear process and team focus.

In Lightning Decision Jam, participants are invited to begin by writing challenges, concerns, or mistakes on post-its without discussing them before then being invited by the moderator to present them to the group.

From there, the team vote on which problems to solve and are guided through steps that will allow them to reframe those problems, create solutions and then decide what to execute on. 

By deciding the problems that need to be solved as a team before moving on, this group process is great for ensuring the whole team is aligned and can take ownership over the next stages. 

Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ)   #action   #decision making   #problem solving   #issue analysis   #innovation   #design   #remote-friendly   The problem with anything that requires creative thinking is that it’s easy to get lost—lose focus and fall into the trap of having useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions. Here’s the most effective solution I’ve found: Replace all open, unstructured discussion with a clear process. What to use this exercise for: Anything which requires a group of people to make decisions, solve problems or discuss challenges. It’s always good to frame an LDJ session with a broad topic, here are some examples: The conversion flow of our checkout Our internal design process How we organise events Keeping up with our competition Improving sales flow

3. Problem Definition Process

While problems can be complex, the problem-solving methods you use to identify and solve those problems can often be simple in design. 

By taking the time to truly identify and define a problem before asking the group to reframe the challenge as an opportunity, this method is a great way to enable change.

Begin by identifying a focus question and exploring the ways in which it manifests before splitting into five teams who will each consider the problem using a different method: escape, reversal, exaggeration, distortion or wishful. Teams develop a problem objective and create ideas in line with their method before then feeding them back to the group.

This method is great for enabling in-depth discussions while also creating space for finding creative solutions too!

Problem Definition   #problem solving   #idea generation   #creativity   #online   #remote-friendly   A problem solving technique to define a problem, challenge or opportunity and to generate ideas.

4. The 5 Whys 

Sometimes, a group needs to go further with their strategies and analyze the root cause at the heart of organizational issues. An RCA or root cause analysis is the process of identifying what is at the heart of business problems or recurring challenges. 

The 5 Whys is a simple and effective method of helping a group go find the root cause of any problem or challenge and conduct analysis that will deliver results. 

By beginning with the creation of a problem statement and going through five stages to refine it, The 5 Whys provides everything you need to truly discover the cause of an issue.

The 5 Whys   #hyperisland   #innovation   This simple and powerful method is useful for getting to the core of a problem or challenge. As the title suggests, the group defines a problems, then asks the question “why” five times, often using the resulting explanation as a starting point for creative problem solving.

5. World Cafe

World Cafe is a simple but powerful facilitation technique to help bigger groups to focus their energy and attention on solving complex problems.

World Cafe enables this approach by creating a relaxed atmosphere where participants are able to self-organize and explore topics relevant and important to them which are themed around a central problem-solving purpose. Create the right atmosphere by modeling your space after a cafe and after guiding the group through the method, let them take the lead!

Making problem-solving a part of your organization’s culture in the long term can be a difficult undertaking. More approachable formats like World Cafe can be especially effective in bringing people unfamiliar with workshops into the fold. 

World Cafe   #hyperisland   #innovation   #issue analysis   World Café is a simple yet powerful method, originated by Juanita Brown, for enabling meaningful conversations driven completely by participants and the topics that are relevant and important to them. Facilitators create a cafe-style space and provide simple guidelines. Participants then self-organize and explore a set of relevant topics or questions for conversation.

6. Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD)

One of the best approaches is to create a safe space for a group to share and discover practices and behaviors that can help them find their own solutions.

With DAD, you can help a group choose which problems they wish to solve and which approaches they will take to do so. It’s great at helping remove resistance to change and can help get buy-in at every level too!

This process of enabling frontline ownership is great in ensuring follow-through and is one of the methods you will want in your toolbox as a facilitator.

Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD)   #idea generation   #liberating structures   #action   #issue analysis   #remote-friendly   DADs make it easy for a group or community to discover practices and behaviors that enable some individuals (without access to special resources and facing the same constraints) to find better solutions than their peers to common problems. These are called positive deviant (PD) behaviors and practices. DADs make it possible for people in the group, unit, or community to discover by themselves these PD practices. DADs also create favorable conditions for stimulating participants’ creativity in spaces where they can feel safe to invent new and more effective practices. Resistance to change evaporates as participants are unleashed to choose freely which practices they will adopt or try and which problems they will tackle. DADs make it possible to achieve frontline ownership of solutions.

7. Design Sprint 2.0

Want to see how a team can solve big problems and move forward with prototyping and testing solutions in a few days? The Design Sprint 2.0 template from Jake Knapp, author of Sprint, is a complete agenda for a with proven results.

Developing the right agenda can involve difficult but necessary planning. Ensuring all the correct steps are followed can also be stressful or time-consuming depending on your level of experience.

Use this complete 4-day workshop template if you are finding there is no obvious solution to your challenge and want to focus your team around a specific problem that might require a shortcut to launching a minimum viable product or waiting for the organization-wide implementation of a solution.

8. Open space technology

Open space technology- developed by Harrison Owen – creates a space where large groups are invited to take ownership of their problem solving and lead individual sessions. Open space technology is a great format when you have a great deal of expertise and insight in the room and want to allow for different takes and approaches on a particular theme or problem you need to be solved.

Start by bringing your participants together to align around a central theme and focus their efforts. Explain the ground rules to help guide the problem-solving process and then invite members to identify any issue connecting to the central theme that they are interested in and are prepared to take responsibility for.

Once participants have decided on their approach to the core theme, they write their issue on a piece of paper, announce it to the group, pick a session time and place, and post the paper on the wall. As the wall fills up with sessions, the group is then invited to join the sessions that interest them the most and which they can contribute to, then you’re ready to begin!

Everyone joins the problem-solving group they’ve signed up to, record the discussion and if appropriate, findings can then be shared with the rest of the group afterward.

Open Space Technology   #action plan   #idea generation   #problem solving   #issue analysis   #large group   #online   #remote-friendly   Open Space is a methodology for large groups to create their agenda discerning important topics for discussion, suitable for conferences, community gatherings and whole system facilitation

Techniques to identify and analyze problems

Using a problem-solving method to help a team identify and analyze a problem can be a quick and effective addition to any workshop or meeting.

While further actions are always necessary, you can generate momentum and alignment easily, and these activities are a great place to get started.

We’ve put together this list of techniques to help you and your team with problem identification, analysis, and discussion that sets the foundation for developing effective solutions.

Let’s take a look!

  • The Creativity Dice
  • Fishbone Analysis
  • Problem Tree
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Agreement-Certainty Matrix
  • The Journalistic Six
  • LEGO Challenge
  • What, So What, Now What?
  • Journalists

Individual and group perspectives are incredibly important, but what happens if people are set in their minds and need a change of perspective in order to approach a problem more effectively?

Flip It is a method we love because it is both simple to understand and run, and allows groups to understand how their perspectives and biases are formed. 

Participants in Flip It are first invited to consider concerns, issues, or problems from a perspective of fear and write them on a flip chart. Then, the group is asked to consider those same issues from a perspective of hope and flip their understanding.  

No problem and solution is free from existing bias and by changing perspectives with Flip It, you can then develop a problem solving model quickly and effectively.

Flip It!   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   Often, a change in a problem or situation comes simply from a change in our perspectives. Flip It! is a quick game designed to show players that perspectives are made, not born.

10. The Creativity Dice

One of the most useful problem solving skills you can teach your team is of approaching challenges with creativity, flexibility, and openness. Games like The Creativity Dice allow teams to overcome the potential hurdle of too much linear thinking and approach the process with a sense of fun and speed. 

In The Creativity Dice, participants are organized around a topic and roll a dice to determine what they will work on for a period of 3 minutes at a time. They might roll a 3 and work on investigating factual information on the chosen topic. They might roll a 1 and work on identifying the specific goals, standards, or criteria for the session.

Encouraging rapid work and iteration while asking participants to be flexible are great skills to cultivate. Having a stage for idea incubation in this game is also important. Moments of pause can help ensure the ideas that are put forward are the most suitable. 

The Creativity Dice   #creativity   #problem solving   #thiagi   #issue analysis   Too much linear thinking is hazardous to creative problem solving. To be creative, you should approach the problem (or the opportunity) from different points of view. You should leave a thought hanging in mid-air and move to another. This skipping around prevents premature closure and lets your brain incubate one line of thought while you consciously pursue another.

11. Fishbone Analysis

Organizational or team challenges are rarely simple, and it’s important to remember that one problem can be an indication of something that goes deeper and may require further consideration to be solved.

Fishbone Analysis helps groups to dig deeper and understand the origins of a problem. It’s a great example of a root cause analysis method that is simple for everyone on a team to get their head around. 

Participants in this activity are asked to annotate a diagram of a fish, first adding the problem or issue to be worked on at the head of a fish before then brainstorming the root causes of the problem and adding them as bones on the fish. 

Using abstractions such as a diagram of a fish can really help a team break out of their regular thinking and develop a creative approach.

Fishbone Analysis   #problem solving   ##root cause analysis   #decision making   #online facilitation   A process to help identify and understand the origins of problems, issues or observations.

12. Problem Tree 

Encouraging visual thinking can be an essential part of many strategies. By simply reframing and clarifying problems, a group can move towards developing a problem solving model that works for them. 

In Problem Tree, groups are asked to first brainstorm a list of problems – these can be design problems, team problems or larger business problems – and then organize them into a hierarchy. The hierarchy could be from most important to least important or abstract to practical, though the key thing with problem solving games that involve this aspect is that your group has some way of managing and sorting all the issues that are raised.

Once you have a list of problems that need to be solved and have organized them accordingly, you’re then well-positioned for the next problem solving steps.

Problem tree   #define intentions   #create   #design   #issue analysis   A problem tree is a tool to clarify the hierarchy of problems addressed by the team within a design project; it represents high level problems or related sublevel problems.

13. SWOT Analysis

Chances are you’ve heard of the SWOT Analysis before. This problem-solving method focuses on identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a tried and tested method for both individuals and teams.

Start by creating a desired end state or outcome and bare this in mind – any process solving model is made more effective by knowing what you are moving towards. Create a quadrant made up of the four categories of a SWOT analysis and ask participants to generate ideas based on each of those quadrants.

Once you have those ideas assembled in their quadrants, cluster them together based on their affinity with other ideas. These clusters are then used to facilitate group conversations and move things forward. 

SWOT analysis   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   #meeting facilitation   The SWOT Analysis is a long-standing technique of looking at what we have, with respect to the desired end state, as well as what we could improve on. It gives us an opportunity to gauge approaching opportunities and dangers, and assess the seriousness of the conditions that affect our future. When we understand those conditions, we can influence what comes next.

14. Agreement-Certainty Matrix

Not every problem-solving approach is right for every challenge, and deciding on the right method for the challenge at hand is a key part of being an effective team.

The Agreement Certainty matrix helps teams align on the nature of the challenges facing them. By sorting problems from simple to chaotic, your team can understand what methods are suitable for each problem and what they can do to ensure effective results. 

If you are already using Liberating Structures techniques as part of your problem-solving strategy, the Agreement-Certainty Matrix can be an invaluable addition to your process. We’ve found it particularly if you are having issues with recurring problems in your organization and want to go deeper in understanding the root cause. 

Agreement-Certainty Matrix   #issue analysis   #liberating structures   #problem solving   You can help individuals or groups avoid the frequent mistake of trying to solve a problem with methods that are not adapted to the nature of their challenge. The combination of two questions makes it possible to easily sort challenges into four categories: simple, complicated, complex , and chaotic .  A problem is simple when it can be solved reliably with practices that are easy to duplicate.  It is complicated when experts are required to devise a sophisticated solution that will yield the desired results predictably.  A problem is complex when there are several valid ways to proceed but outcomes are not predictable in detail.  Chaotic is when the context is too turbulent to identify a path forward.  A loose analogy may be used to describe these differences: simple is like following a recipe, complicated like sending a rocket to the moon, complex like raising a child, and chaotic is like the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”  The Liberating Structures Matching Matrix in Chapter 5 can be used as the first step to clarify the nature of a challenge and avoid the mismatches between problems and solutions that are frequently at the root of chronic, recurring problems.

Organizing and charting a team’s progress can be important in ensuring its success. SQUID (Sequential Question and Insight Diagram) is a great model that allows a team to effectively switch between giving questions and answers and develop the skills they need to stay on track throughout the process. 

Begin with two different colored sticky notes – one for questions and one for answers – and with your central topic (the head of the squid) on the board. Ask the group to first come up with a series of questions connected to their best guess of how to approach the topic. Ask the group to come up with answers to those questions, fix them to the board and connect them with a line. After some discussion, go back to question mode by responding to the generated answers or other points on the board.

It’s rewarding to see a diagram grow throughout the exercise, and a completed SQUID can provide a visual resource for future effort and as an example for other teams.

SQUID   #gamestorming   #project planning   #issue analysis   #problem solving   When exploring an information space, it’s important for a group to know where they are at any given time. By using SQUID, a group charts out the territory as they go and can navigate accordingly. SQUID stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram.

16. Speed Boat

To continue with our nautical theme, Speed Boat is a short and sweet activity that can help a team quickly identify what employees, clients or service users might have a problem with and analyze what might be standing in the way of achieving a solution.

Methods that allow for a group to make observations, have insights and obtain those eureka moments quickly are invaluable when trying to solve complex problems.

In Speed Boat, the approach is to first consider what anchors and challenges might be holding an organization (or boat) back. Bonus points if you are able to identify any sharks in the water and develop ideas that can also deal with competitors!   

Speed Boat   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   Speedboat is a short and sweet way to identify what your employees or clients don’t like about your product/service or what’s standing in the way of a desired goal.

17. The Journalistic Six

Some of the most effective ways of solving problems is by encouraging teams to be more inclusive and diverse in their thinking.

Based on the six key questions journalism students are taught to answer in articles and news stories, The Journalistic Six helps create teams to see the whole picture. By using who, what, when, where, why, and how to facilitate the conversation and encourage creative thinking, your team can make sure that the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the are covered exhaustively and thoughtfully. Reporter’s notebook and dictaphone optional.

The Journalistic Six – Who What When Where Why How   #idea generation   #issue analysis   #problem solving   #online   #creative thinking   #remote-friendly   A questioning method for generating, explaining, investigating ideas.

18. LEGO Challenge

Now for an activity that is a little out of the (toy) box. LEGO Serious Play is a facilitation methodology that can be used to improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills. 

The LEGO Challenge includes giving each member of the team an assignment that is hidden from the rest of the group while they create a structure without speaking.

What the LEGO challenge brings to the table is a fun working example of working with stakeholders who might not be on the same page to solve problems. Also, it’s LEGO! Who doesn’t love LEGO! 

LEGO Challenge   #hyperisland   #team   A team-building activity in which groups must work together to build a structure out of LEGO, but each individual has a secret “assignment” which makes the collaborative process more challenging. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy.

19. What, So What, Now What?

If not carefully managed, the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the problem-solving process can actually create more problems and misunderstandings.

The What, So What, Now What? problem-solving activity is designed to help collect insights and move forward while also eliminating the possibility of disagreement when it comes to identifying, clarifying, and analyzing organizational or work problems. 

Facilitation is all about bringing groups together so that might work on a shared goal and the best problem-solving strategies ensure that teams are aligned in purpose, if not initially in opinion or insight.

Throughout the three steps of this game, you give everyone on a team to reflect on a problem by asking what happened, why it is important, and what actions should then be taken. 

This can be a great activity for bringing our individual perceptions about a problem or challenge and contextualizing it in a larger group setting. This is one of the most important problem-solving skills you can bring to your organization.

W³ – What, So What, Now What?   #issue analysis   #innovation   #liberating structures   You can help groups reflect on a shared experience in a way that builds understanding and spurs coordinated action while avoiding unproductive conflict. It is possible for every voice to be heard while simultaneously sifting for insights and shaping new direction. Progressing in stages makes this practical—from collecting facts about What Happened to making sense of these facts with So What and finally to what actions logically follow with Now What . The shared progression eliminates most of the misunderstandings that otherwise fuel disagreements about what to do. Voila!

20. Journalists  

Problem analysis can be one of the most important and decisive stages of all problem-solving tools. Sometimes, a team can become bogged down in the details and are unable to move forward.

Journalists is an activity that can avoid a group from getting stuck in the problem identification or problem analysis stages of the process.

In Journalists, the group is invited to draft the front page of a fictional newspaper and figure out what stories deserve to be on the cover and what headlines those stories will have. By reframing how your problems and challenges are approached, you can help a team move productively through the process and be better prepared for the steps to follow.

Journalists   #vision   #big picture   #issue analysis   #remote-friendly   This is an exercise to use when the group gets stuck in details and struggles to see the big picture. Also good for defining a vision.

Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions 

The success of any problem-solving process can be measured by the solutions it produces. After you’ve defined the issue, explored existing ideas, and ideated, it’s time to narrow down to the correct solution.

Use these problem-solving techniques when you want to help your team find consensus, compare possible solutions, and move towards taking action on a particular problem.

  • Improved Solutions
  • Four-Step Sketch
  • 15% Solutions
  • How-Now-Wow matrix
  • Impact Effort Matrix

21. Mindspin  

Brainstorming is part of the bread and butter of the problem-solving process and all problem-solving strategies benefit from getting ideas out and challenging a team to generate solutions quickly. 

With Mindspin, participants are encouraged not only to generate ideas but to do so under time constraints and by slamming down cards and passing them on. By doing multiple rounds, your team can begin with a free generation of possible solutions before moving on to developing those solutions and encouraging further ideation. 

This is one of our favorite problem-solving activities and can be great for keeping the energy up throughout the workshop. Remember the importance of helping people become engaged in the process – energizing problem-solving techniques like Mindspin can help ensure your team stays engaged and happy, even when the problems they’re coming together to solve are complex. 

MindSpin   #teampedia   #idea generation   #problem solving   #action   A fast and loud method to enhance brainstorming within a team. Since this activity has more than round ideas that are repetitive can be ruled out leaving more creative and innovative answers to the challenge.

22. Improved Solutions

After a team has successfully identified a problem and come up with a few solutions, it can be tempting to call the work of the problem-solving process complete. That said, the first solution is not necessarily the best, and by including a further review and reflection activity into your problem-solving model, you can ensure your group reaches the best possible result. 

One of a number of problem-solving games from Thiagi Group, Improved Solutions helps you go the extra mile and develop suggested solutions with close consideration and peer review. By supporting the discussion of several problems at once and by shifting team roles throughout, this problem-solving technique is a dynamic way of finding the best solution. 

Improved Solutions   #creativity   #thiagi   #problem solving   #action   #team   You can improve any solution by objectively reviewing its strengths and weaknesses and making suitable adjustments. In this creativity framegame, you improve the solutions to several problems. To maintain objective detachment, you deal with a different problem during each of six rounds and assume different roles (problem owner, consultant, basher, booster, enhancer, and evaluator) during each round. At the conclusion of the activity, each player ends up with two solutions to her problem.

23. Four Step Sketch

Creative thinking and visual ideation does not need to be confined to the opening stages of your problem-solving strategies. Exercises that include sketching and prototyping on paper can be effective at the solution finding and development stage of the process, and can be great for keeping a team engaged. 

By going from simple notes to a crazy 8s round that involves rapidly sketching 8 variations on their ideas before then producing a final solution sketch, the group is able to iterate quickly and visually. Problem-solving techniques like Four-Step Sketch are great if you have a group of different thinkers and want to change things up from a more textual or discussion-based approach.

Four-Step Sketch   #design sprint   #innovation   #idea generation   #remote-friendly   The four-step sketch is an exercise that helps people to create well-formed concepts through a structured process that includes: Review key information Start design work on paper,  Consider multiple variations , Create a detailed solution . This exercise is preceded by a set of other activities allowing the group to clarify the challenge they want to solve. See how the Four Step Sketch exercise fits into a Design Sprint

24. 15% Solutions

Some problems are simpler than others and with the right problem-solving activities, you can empower people to take immediate actions that can help create organizational change. 

Part of the liberating structures toolkit, 15% solutions is a problem-solving technique that focuses on finding and implementing solutions quickly. A process of iterating and making small changes quickly can help generate momentum and an appetite for solving complex problems.

Problem-solving strategies can live and die on whether people are onboard. Getting some quick wins is a great way of getting people behind the process.   

It can be extremely empowering for a team to realize that problem-solving techniques can be deployed quickly and easily and delineate between things they can positively impact and those things they cannot change. 

15% Solutions   #action   #liberating structures   #remote-friendly   You can reveal the actions, however small, that everyone can do immediately. At a minimum, these will create momentum, and that may make a BIG difference.  15% Solutions show that there is no reason to wait around, feel powerless, or fearful. They help people pick it up a level. They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change.  With a very simple question, you can flip the conversation to what can be done and find solutions to big problems that are often distributed widely in places not known in advance. Shifting a few grains of sand may trigger a landslide and change the whole landscape.

25. How-Now-Wow Matrix

The problem-solving process is often creative, as complex problems usually require a change of thinking and creative response in order to find the best solutions. While it’s common for the first stages to encourage creative thinking, groups can often gravitate to familiar solutions when it comes to the end of the process. 

When selecting solutions, you don’t want to lose your creative energy! The How-Now-Wow Matrix from Gamestorming is a great problem-solving activity that enables a group to stay creative and think out of the box when it comes to selecting the right solution for a given problem.

Problem-solving techniques that encourage creative thinking and the ideation and selection of new solutions can be the most effective in organisational change. Give the How-Now-Wow Matrix a go, and not just for how pleasant it is to say out loud. 

How-Now-Wow Matrix   #gamestorming   #idea generation   #remote-friendly   When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’. The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters.

26. Impact and Effort Matrix

All problem-solving techniques hope to not only find solutions to a given problem or challenge but to find the best solution. When it comes to finding a solution, groups are invited to put on their decision-making hats and really think about how a proposed idea would work in practice. 

The Impact and Effort Matrix is one of the problem-solving techniques that fall into this camp, empowering participants to first generate ideas and then categorize them into a 2×2 matrix based on impact and effort.

Activities that invite critical thinking while remaining simple are invaluable. Use the Impact and Effort Matrix to move from ideation and towards evaluating potential solutions before then committing to them. 

Impact and Effort Matrix   #gamestorming   #decision making   #action   #remote-friendly   In this decision-making exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas along these lines is a useful technique in decision making, as it obliges contributors to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them.

27. Dotmocracy

If you’ve followed each of the problem-solving steps with your group successfully, you should move towards the end of your process with heaps of possible solutions developed with a specific problem in mind. But how do you help a group go from ideation to putting a solution into action? 

Dotmocracy – or Dot Voting -is a tried and tested method of helping a team in the problem-solving process make decisions and put actions in place with a degree of oversight and consensus. 

One of the problem-solving techniques that should be in every facilitator’s toolbox, Dot Voting is fast and effective and can help identify the most popular and best solutions and help bring a group to a decision effectively. 

Dotmocracy   #action   #decision making   #group prioritization   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   Dotmocracy is a simple method for group prioritization or decision-making. It is not an activity on its own, but a method to use in processes where prioritization or decision-making is the aim. The method supports a group to quickly see which options are most popular or relevant. The options or ideas are written on post-its and stuck up on a wall for the whole group to see. Each person votes for the options they think are the strongest, and that information is used to inform a decision.

All facilitators know that warm-ups and icebreakers are useful for any workshop or group process. Problem-solving workshops are no different.

Use these problem-solving techniques to warm up a group and prepare them for the rest of the process. Activating your group by tapping into some of the top problem-solving skills can be one of the best ways to see great outcomes from your session.

  • Check-in/Check-out
  • Doodling Together
  • Show and Tell
  • Constellations
  • Draw a Tree

28. Check-in / Check-out

Solid processes are planned from beginning to end, and the best facilitators know that setting the tone and establishing a safe, open environment can be integral to a successful problem-solving process.

Check-in / Check-out is a great way to begin and/or bookend a problem-solving workshop. Checking in to a session emphasizes that everyone will be seen, heard, and expected to contribute. 

If you are running a series of meetings, setting a consistent pattern of checking in and checking out can really help your team get into a groove. We recommend this opening-closing activity for small to medium-sized groups though it can work with large groups if they’re disciplined!

Check-in / Check-out   #team   #opening   #closing   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   Either checking-in or checking-out is a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen and heard, and to express a reflection or a feeling. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and symbolic closure.

29. Doodling Together  

Thinking creatively and not being afraid to make suggestions are important problem-solving skills for any group or team, and warming up by encouraging these behaviors is a great way to start. 

Doodling Together is one of our favorite creative ice breaker games – it’s quick, effective, and fun and can make all following problem-solving steps easier by encouraging a group to collaborate visually. By passing cards and adding additional items as they go, the workshop group gets into a groove of co-creation and idea development that is crucial to finding solutions to problems. 

Doodling Together   #collaboration   #creativity   #teamwork   #fun   #team   #visual methods   #energiser   #icebreaker   #remote-friendly   Create wild, weird and often funny postcards together & establish a group’s creative confidence.

30. Show and Tell

You might remember some version of Show and Tell from being a kid in school and it’s a great problem-solving activity to kick off a session.

Asking participants to prepare a little something before a workshop by bringing an object for show and tell can help them warm up before the session has even begun! Games that include a physical object can also help encourage early engagement before moving onto more big-picture thinking.

By asking your participants to tell stories about why they chose to bring a particular item to the group, you can help teams see things from new perspectives and see both differences and similarities in the way they approach a topic. Great groundwork for approaching a problem-solving process as a team! 

Show and Tell   #gamestorming   #action   #opening   #meeting facilitation   Show and Tell taps into the power of metaphors to reveal players’ underlying assumptions and associations around a topic The aim of the game is to get a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives on anything—a new project, an organizational restructuring, a shift in the company’s vision or team dynamic.

31. Constellations

Who doesn’t love stars? Constellations is a great warm-up activity for any workshop as it gets people up off their feet, energized, and ready to engage in new ways with established topics. It’s also great for showing existing beliefs, biases, and patterns that can come into play as part of your session.

Using warm-up games that help build trust and connection while also allowing for non-verbal responses can be great for easing people into the problem-solving process and encouraging engagement from everyone in the group. Constellations is great in large spaces that allow for movement and is definitely a practical exercise to allow the group to see patterns that are otherwise invisible. 

Constellations   #trust   #connection   #opening   #coaching   #patterns   #system   Individuals express their response to a statement or idea by standing closer or further from a central object. Used with teams to reveal system, hidden patterns, perspectives.

32. Draw a Tree

Problem-solving games that help raise group awareness through a central, unifying metaphor can be effective ways to warm-up a group in any problem-solving model.

Draw a Tree is a simple warm-up activity you can use in any group and which can provide a quick jolt of energy. Start by asking your participants to draw a tree in just 45 seconds – they can choose whether it will be abstract or realistic. 

Once the timer is up, ask the group how many people included the roots of the tree and use this as a means to discuss how we can ignore important parts of any system simply because they are not visible.

All problem-solving strategies are made more effective by thinking of problems critically and by exposing things that may not normally come to light. Warm-up games like Draw a Tree are great in that they quickly demonstrate some key problem-solving skills in an accessible and effective way.

Draw a Tree   #thiagi   #opening   #perspectives   #remote-friendly   With this game you can raise awarness about being more mindful, and aware of the environment we live in.

Each step of the problem-solving workshop benefits from an intelligent deployment of activities, games, and techniques. Bringing your session to an effective close helps ensure that solutions are followed through on and that you also celebrate what has been achieved.

Here are some problem-solving activities you can use to effectively close a workshop or meeting and ensure the great work you’ve done can continue afterward.

  • One Breath Feedback
  • Who What When Matrix
  • Response Cards

How do I conclude a problem-solving process?

All good things must come to an end. With the bulk of the work done, it can be tempting to conclude your workshop swiftly and without a moment to debrief and align. This can be problematic in that it doesn’t allow your team to fully process the results or reflect on the process.

At the end of an effective session, your team will have gone through a process that, while productive, can be exhausting. It’s important to give your group a moment to take a breath, ensure that they are clear on future actions, and provide short feedback before leaving the space. 

The primary purpose of any problem-solving method is to generate solutions and then implement them. Be sure to take the opportunity to ensure everyone is aligned and ready to effectively implement the solutions you produced in the workshop.

Remember that every process can be improved and by giving a short moment to collect feedback in the session, you can further refine your problem-solving methods and see further success in the future too.

33. One Breath Feedback

Maintaining attention and focus during the closing stages of a problem-solving workshop can be tricky and so being concise when giving feedback can be important. It’s easy to incur “death by feedback” should some team members go on for too long sharing their perspectives in a quick feedback round. 

One Breath Feedback is a great closing activity for workshops. You give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback on what they’ve done but only in the space of a single breath. This keeps feedback short and to the point and means that everyone is encouraged to provide the most important piece of feedback to them. 

One breath feedback   #closing   #feedback   #action   This is a feedback round in just one breath that excels in maintaining attention: each participants is able to speak during just one breath … for most people that’s around 20 to 25 seconds … unless of course you’ve been a deep sea diver in which case you’ll be able to do it for longer.

34. Who What When Matrix 

Matrices feature as part of many effective problem-solving strategies and with good reason. They are easily recognizable, simple to use, and generate results.

The Who What When Matrix is a great tool to use when closing your problem-solving session by attributing a who, what and when to the actions and solutions you have decided upon. The resulting matrix is a simple, easy-to-follow way of ensuring your team can move forward. 

Great solutions can’t be enacted without action and ownership. Your problem-solving process should include a stage for allocating tasks to individuals or teams and creating a realistic timeframe for those solutions to be implemented or checked out. Use this method to keep the solution implementation process clear and simple for all involved. 

Who/What/When Matrix   #gamestorming   #action   #project planning   With Who/What/When matrix, you can connect people with clear actions they have defined and have committed to.

35. Response cards

Group discussion can comprise the bulk of most problem-solving activities and by the end of the process, you might find that your team is talked out! 

Providing a means for your team to give feedback with short written notes can ensure everyone is head and can contribute without the need to stand up and talk. Depending on the needs of the group, giving an alternative can help ensure everyone can contribute to your problem-solving model in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Response Cards is a great way to close a workshop if you are looking for a gentle warm-down and want to get some swift discussion around some of the feedback that is raised. 

Response Cards   #debriefing   #closing   #structured sharing   #questions and answers   #thiagi   #action   It can be hard to involve everyone during a closing of a session. Some might stay in the background or get unheard because of louder participants. However, with the use of Response Cards, everyone will be involved in providing feedback or clarify questions at the end of a session.

Save time and effort discovering the right solutions

A structured problem solving process is a surefire way of solving tough problems, discovering creative solutions and driving organizational change. But how can you design for successful outcomes?

With SessionLab, it’s easy to design engaging workshops that deliver results. Drag, drop and reorder blocks  to build your agenda. When you make changes or update your agenda, your session  timing   adjusts automatically , saving you time on manual adjustments.

Collaborating with stakeholders or clients? Share your agenda with a single click and collaborate in real-time. No more sending documents back and forth over email.

Explore  how to use SessionLab  to design effective problem solving workshops or  watch this five minute video  to see the planner in action!

games like problem solving

Over to you

The problem-solving process can often be as complicated and multifaceted as the problems they are set-up to solve. With the right problem-solving techniques and a mix of creative exercises designed to guide discussion and generate purposeful ideas, we hope we’ve given you the tools to find the best solutions as simply and easily as possible.

Is there a problem-solving technique that you are missing here? Do you have a favorite activity or method you use when facilitating? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you! 

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thank you very much for these excellent techniques

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Certainly wonderful article, very detailed. Shared!

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Your list of techniques for problem solving can be helpfully extended by adding TRIZ to the list of techniques. TRIZ has 40 problem solving techniques derived from methods inventros and patent holders used to get new patents. About 10-12 are general approaches. many organization sponsor classes in TRIZ that are used to solve business problems or general organiztational problems. You can take a look at TRIZ and dwonload a free internet booklet to see if you feel it shound be included per your selection process.

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According to a survey, a significant 88% of teachers who use digital games in their classrooms report that it increases student engagement. This statistic highlights the effectiveness of game-based learning platforms in making education enjoyable and engaging. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 game-based learning platforms that combine fun with learning to enhance the educational experience for kids.

SplashLearn: Most Comprehensive Learning Program for PreK-5

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SplashLearn inspires lifelong curiosity with its game-based PreK-5 learning program loved by over 40 million children. With over 4,000 fun games and activities, it’s the perfect balance of learning and play for your little one.

SplashLearn games

Who is it for: Pre-K to Grade 5

Subjects: Math , ELA , Early Skills

SplashLearn is one of the best game-based learning platforms for kids that excels in making foundational math, and reading skills engaging for kids. It offers interactive games that not only cover essential academic topics but also enhance early skills such as critical thinking, logic, problem-solving, creativity, and motor skills . 

Each game is designed to adapt to a child’s learning pace, ensuring they are both challenged and adequately supported. This adaptability helps keep the learning process dynamic and aligned with each student’s needs, promoting a deeper understanding of the subjects.

Why Choose SplashLearn?

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: This game-based curriculum covers a wide array of essential early education topics:
  • Math: Engages children with topics such as number sense , addition , subtraction , shapes , division , fractions , money , measurement , algebra , decimals , and more.
  • Reading Skills: Develops crucial capabilities in reading , writing , grammar, vocabulary, and spelling.
  • Early Skills: Introduces children to general knowledge , art & creativity , critical thinking, and motor skills.
  • Flexible and Adaptive Learning Path: SplashLearn’s learning path is highly adaptable, allowing it to perfectly align with each student’s individual learning pace and needs.
  • Extensive Resource Library: With a vast collection of over 5000 ELA and math games , SplashLearn ensures that learners always have fresh and exciting challenges available.
  • Rewards and Motivation: To further engage students, SplashLearn incorporates rewards like coins and access to non-curricular games such as puzzles and quizzes. These games sharpen critical thinking skills and provide a delightful break from traditional learning.
  • Multiplayer Games: The platform includes multiplayer games that allow children to compete and cooperate with peers, adding a social element to learning. 
  • Progress Tracking and Insights : Provides detailed feedback on a child’s progress, helping parents and educators make informed decisions about the next steps in their educational journey.
  • Cost-Effective with Free Trial: Offers a free trial period before committing to a subscription, and it is completely free for teachers.

Devices: Accessible on the web , iOS , and Android .

Homepage of Kahoot

Who is it for: Grades K-12

Subjects: Wide range, including Math, Science, Languages, and Social Studies

Kahoot! is a gamified learning platform that turns quiz-based learning into a fun competition. Teachers can create their own quizzes or choose from millions shared by others, which cover a broad range of subjects. The interactive, game-like format encourages active participation and can be used to review material or introduce new concepts. Its engaging, fast-paced nature makes it a popular choice in classrooms worldwide.

Homepage of Coding Adventure

Who is it for: Grades 2-9

Subjects: Computer Programming

Coding Adventure is a standout among gamified apps for education designed to teach kids programming through a series of fun and challenging games. The platform uses a story-based approach, where students help characters solve problems by writing code. It covers basic to advanced programming concepts, helping build logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Features include personalized learning paths and real-time feedback.

Homepage of National Geographic Kids

Who is it for: Grades K-6

Subjects: Geography, Science, Social Studies

National Geographic Kids is one of the most fun game-based learning platforms for students that offers a wealth of resources like videos, images, and games focused on the natural world. The content is rich with real-world geographical and scientific information that engages young learners’ curiosity about animals, ecosystems, cultures, and more. The platform is educational yet entertaining, making learning about the Earth enjoyable and memorable.

Devices: Accessible on the web .

Homepage of BrainPOP

Who is it for: Grades 3-12

Subjects: Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Health, Arts, and Technology

BrainPOP features a variety of animated movies, quizzes, and activities designed to make complex subjects understandable for kids. The content is presented by the engaging robot character, Moby, and his friends. It’s widely used to introduce new topics and deepen knowledge through interactive tools and tailored learning paths. BrainPOP also includes resources for teachers and parents to track learning outcomes.

Homepage of PBS Kids

Who is it for: Pre-K to Grade 3

Subjects: Reading, Math, Science, and Social Skills

PBS Kids offers a range of educational games and videos connected to PBS’s children’s television programming. The platform includes characters from beloved shows like ‘Arthur’, ‘Curious George’, and ‘Sesame Street’, making learning familiar and fun. The educational content is developed by experts to enhance children’s creativity and critical thinking.

Homepage of Adventure Academy

Who is it for: Grades 3-8

Subjects: Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies

Adventure Academy is a virtual world where kids can explore a wide range of academic subjects through interactive quests and activities. This gamified learning platform combines high-quality educational content with an engaging, multiplayer online experience. It allows children to learn at their own pace in an immersive, adventure-driven environment, which helps to build essential skills in a context that feels more like play than work.

Homepage of Lightbot

Who is it for: Grades 2-8

Subjects: Computer Science, Programming

Lightbot is one of the best game-based learning apps that introduces children to programming concepts through puzzle-solving gameplay. It teaches basic programming logic, such as sequencing, overloops, and conditionals, all without typing or complex code. By guiding a robot to light up tiles and solve levels, children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun, engaging way.

Devices: Accessible on the web , iOS , and Amazon .

Homepage of Duolingo

Who is it for: All ages (including Grades K-12)

Subjects: Languages

Duolingo is a widely recognized gamified learning platform that teaches languages through short, interactive lessons. The app uses a combination of listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises to enhance language learning. Its strength lies in its adaptive learning technology, which tailors lessons to the user’s pace and learning style , making language learning accessible and effective for everyone.

Homepage of Funbrain

Who is it for: Pre-K to Grade 8

Subjects : Math, Reading, Literacy

Funbrain is a game-based learning platform that offers a variety of educational games, books, comics, and videos designed to develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Each activity is crafted to be fun and engaging while providing valuable educational content that aligns with curriculum standards. Funbrain’s friendly and intuitive interface ensures that kids enjoy learning and gain confidence in their abilities through interactive play.

Devices: Accessible on the web , and iOS .

Why Choose Game-Based Learning for Your Kids?

  • Games naturally capture children’s interest, keeping them engaged longer and making learning feel like play.
  • Interactive elements in games encourage active participation, which can lead to deeper understanding and retention of information.
  • Most game-based learning platforms provide instant feedback, helping children understand their mistakes and learn from them quickly.
  • Many platforms adjust the difficulty levels based on the child’s performance, ensuring they are neither too easy nor frustratingly hard.
  • Beyond academic knowledge, these games help develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Games often include elements like points, levels, and badges that motivate children to set goals and achieve them, enhancing their learning experience.

Game-based learning platforms offer a unique and effective way to engage children in their education. By combining fun with learning, these platforms help students develop a love for knowledge and a deeper understanding of various subjects. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the two types of game-based learning.

The two types of game-based learning are content-embedded games, where learning objectives are integral to the game mechanics, and content-adjacent games, where the game indirectly supports learning through engagement and critical thinking skills enhancement.

Which is the best educational game site for kids?

One of the best educational game sites for kids is SplashLearn. It not only teachers math and reading but also early skills through interactive games.

What is the game-based learning method of teaching?

The game-based learning method of teaching involves using games to deliver educational content, helping students learn and practice new skills through gameplay. This approach makes learning interactive, enjoyable, and often collaborative, enhancing motivation and retention of information.

How do you implement game-based learning in the classroom?

To implement game-based learning in the classroom, educators can start by identifying suitable games that align with their educational goals . They should integrate these games into the curriculum as supplemental tools, set clear objectives for what students should achieve through gameplay, and provide guidance and support as students engage with the games.

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Finished Today's Wordle? Try These 10 Puzzle Games Next

Give one of these other games a try once you've solved your Wordle for the day.

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  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents

wordle phone screen

Want to try a similar game?

Wordle  was 2022's biggest word game, and it continues to be a smash hit. It was created by Josh Wardle for his partner, and  it was later bought by the New York Times . CNET's  Gael Cooper  has loads of tips and tricks to tackle each Wordle puzzle, but if you're finished with today's game -- or just want more puzzles to keep your mind ticking -- there are a ton of options worth your time.

Wordle asks players to figure out a five-letter word in six or fewer guesses (we have a two-step strategy to help you solve the puzzle every time ). After each guess, the game shows gray blocks for wrong letters, yellow blocks for right letters in the wrong spot and green blocks for right letters in the correct spot. It's addictive, but after you solve the daily puzzle or use up all your guesses, you have to wait until the next day to play again.

You've likely already learned some tips, tricks and lessons from the popular word game , so why not apply your newly honed problem-solving skills to other puzzles, too? After all, Wordle isn't the only game in town. Here are 10 other puzzle games to play.

Connections

I know it's old, but i'm not even going to try to figure this out. screenshot by gael fashingbauer cooper/cnet.

Another NYT-owned puzzle,  Connections is a tricky word game. "Players must select four groups of four words without making more than four mistakes," the  NYT wrote on X, formerly Twitter . There are also four color-coded difficulty levels for each game; yellow is the easiest, then green, the blue and finally purple. The game is also similar to the BBC quiz show Only Connect, and the show's host took to  X  to point out the connection -- see what I did there?

You can play  Connections on any web browser, but you need a NYT subscription ( which starts at $1 a week ) to play.

Multiple word Wordle spinoffs: Dordle, Quordle, Octordle and Sedecordle

A person playing Quordle on their phone

Quordle has you solve four word puzzles at once which sounds daunting.

Are you up for a challenge? If you love Wordle and want puzzle games that takes more brain power, you'll want to check out either  Dordle ,  Quordle , Octordle  or  Sedecordle . Each of these word games resemble Wordle, but add more rows, columns and words to solve. Each requires you to simultaneously solve a different number of words at once: Dordle has you solving two words, Quordle four at once, Octordle eight at once, and Sedecordle a whopping 16. Good luck. 

You can play  Dordle ,  Quordle ,  Octordle  or  Sedecordle  on any web browser.

Word Master

This Wordle remake  functions almost exactly like the original, but with a small tweak. Word Master uses gray, yellow and green blocks in the same way as Wordle, but Word Master lets you play unlimited games at a time so you don't have to wait 24 hours for the next puzzle. 

You can play Word Master on any web browser. 

Hello Wordl

Hello Wordl -- another Wordle remake -- gives you six tries to guess a word and uses the same colored blocks to track your progress. Hello Wordl lets you play as many games as you want, like Word Master, but it also lets you change the number of letters in the word you're guessing. You can choose to solve for words with between four and 11 letters. But no matter how long the word is, you still only get six guesses.

You can play Hello Wordl on any web browser.

"Lewdle is a game about rude words," this game's content advisory reads. "If you're likely to be offended by the use of profanity, vulgarity or obscenity, it likely isn't for you." Translation: It's Wordle, but with bad words. The words range from mild -- like poopy -- to words that would make a sailor blush. Thankfully, despite this game's content warning,  slurs are not included . Like Wordle, gray, yellow and green blocks are used in the same way and there's only one puzzle per day. So go forth and let the bad words flow!

You can play Lewdle on any web browser. You can also download this title from Apple's App Store or the Google Play store.

The words Camel, Cells and Belch with grey, yellow and red squares over letters

Not off to a great start with this Antiwordle puzzle.

Tired of seeing those grey, yellow and green blocks plastered all over your social media feed? Give Antiwordle a try. While Wordle wants you to guess a word in as few tries as possible, Antiwordle wants you to avoid the word by guessing as many times as possible. When you guess, letters will turn gray, yellow or red. Gray means the letter isn't in the word and can't be used again, yellow means the letter is in the word and must be included in each subsequent guess and red means the letter is in the exact position within the word and is locked in place. If you can use every letter on the keyboard without getting the word correct, you win. And honestly, I've found this version of Wordle to be much harder than the original. 

You can play  Antiwordle  on any web browser.

Absurdle bills itself as the "adversarial version" of Wordle. While Wordle nudges you in the right direction with each guess, Absurdle is trying to avoid giving you the correct answer. According to the game's website, "With each guess, Absurdle reveals as little information as possible, changing the secret word if need be." Absurdle doesn't pick a word at the beginning of the game for the player to guess. Instead, it uses the player's guesses to narrow its list of words down in an effort to make the game go as long as possible. The final word might not even include a yellow letter from one of your earlier guesses either. You can guess as many times as you want, which is helpful, and the best score you can get is four. Have fun!

You can play Absurdle on any web browser.

For more word game fun, check out CNET's Wordle tips , the best Wordle jokes and how to play past Wordle puzzles . If you're still confused about the word game, here's everything to know about the word game .

games like problem solving

games like problem solving

One Official D&D Rule Would Solve All Of Astarions Problems In BG3 (& Break The Whole Game)

  • Baldur's Gate 3 remains largely true to DnD rules but deviates in crucial areas.
  • DnD resurrection would solve major plot points like Asterion's vampirism.
  • Limiting resurrection makes it possible for Baldur's Gate 3 to have a more engaging story.

Baldur's Gate 3 is firmly rooted in the rules of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons , but it also diverges from its source material in a lot of key regards. Not every concept that works for tabletop would be as effective in video game form, so choosing what's essential and what would just generate its own problems is an essential part of translation. Some cut rules and concepts just wouldn't have had much place in the game, but there's a select variety that would have the potential to completely break Baldur's Gate 3.

One area where Baldur's Gate 3 is generally loyal to DnD rules lies in how the game treats death, which isn't as permanent as it is in reality. A party wipe forces a reload, but when characters go down individually, they can be brought back through revivify. Resurrection is a key part of tabletop play, since losing a character that a player has invested a lot of time and thought into can be frustrating when it's nothing more than bad luck. When it comes to the details, however, resurrection in Baldur's Gate 3 has some crucial differences from DnD .

Easily Missed Baldur's Gate 3 Details Show Larian's Dedication To D&D Lore

Baldur's Gate 3 crams in plenty of homages to the rich history and lore of Dungeons & Dragons, and one approach that it takes is particularly cool.

D&D's Resurrection Would Cure Astarion's Vampirism

Baldur's gate 3 is seriously nerfing what resurrection can do.

One major part of the companion stories in Baldur's Gate 3 lies in Astarion's struggle with vampirism , and it's a conflict that doesn't have any perfect resolution. As pointed out by Reddit user Vio_Van_Helsing , however, official DnD 5e rules would make this problem incredibly easy to fix. Vampire spawns and vampires can be brought back to their normal human state by being killed and resurrected , a process that's simple and relatively cheap in Baldur's Gate 3.

According to the most balanced interpretation of the rules, revivify wouldn't actually do the trick for this , and it's hard to imagine that most dungeon masters would allow that particular spell to cure vampirism in tabletop play. A number of other resurrection spells specify whether they can bring back undead and whether they restore them from being undead, a note that's lacking on revivify. The implication is that it can revive undead from true death but leaves them as undead, which wouldn't cure Astarion's problem.

All Baldur's Gate 3 Characters That Can Join Camp, Ranked

As well as traveling companions, there are a host of fun characters who can join the player's camp in Baldur's Gate 3, but who is the best?

What would, however, is true resurrection , which happens to be unusually easy to access in Baldur's Gate 3 . This is what Withers uses to bring characters back, as there aren't any time restrictions on when he can return someone to the land of the living. True resurrection can basically do it all, even providing a body to creatures who have lost one , so DnD 's provision for restoring vampires to their original form through resurrection should be more than covered.

True Resurrection Has Other Baldur's Gate 3 Implications

Mind flayer tadpoles and karlach's infernal engine could be fixed.

The ramifications of true resurrection in Baldur's Gate 3 go a lot further than just Astarion, with the most obvious second example lying in the mindflayer tadpoles infecting the party. Although any methods of safely removing the tadpoles keep running into dead ends, true resurrection seems like the perfect solution . Willingly dying and entrusting companions with resurrection is certainly a bold move, but there's no apparent reason why the party couldn't do this, remove the tadpoles, and take advantage of true resurrection 's cure-all powers to return to life in fresh form.

Gale's situation with resurrection is a bit more complicated than it is for the rest of the party, thanks to the deadly Netherese Orb set to trigger upon his total demise, but it could theoretically be done in a different dimension.

There's also the fact that true resurrection could allow Karlach to get a proper heart again and get rid of her infernal engine since it's capable of regenerating organs wholesale. Any such application is dependent on Withers, of course, and there's no guarantee that he would be willing to support the party's meddling in these particular ways. Still, it seems like something they would raise with him and potentially even something that would happen upon resurrection by default.

How To Romance Karlach in Baldur's Gate 3

To romance Karlach in Baldur's Gate 3, players must always be compassionate and heroic. Helping her fix her infernal engine heart is also essential.

Why True Resurrection Is Different In Baldur's Gate 3

Sticking to d&d rules would make the game worse.

The easiest narrative explanation for the situation is that Withers may not actually be using true resurrection in Baldur's Gate 3 , even though the game states that he does in the combat log. Taking all the facts into account, this seems like more of a mechanical convenience than a literal representation of what he's doing. Although it might be best to leave the true identity of Withers unspoiled for those who haven't yet uncovered it, there are particular reasons that he's able to meddle with death, and they're not the same as the standard high-level spellcaster throwing true resurrection around.

Beyond that, it's also just necessary to accept narrative contrivances and intentional breaks from tabletop DnD rules when it serves the story. Astarion's vampirism, the mind flayer tadpoles, and Karlach's infernal engine are all major motivators for the plot, and providing cheap methods of solving them would only make the game a worse experience. Buying into Baldur's Gate 3 's concept and setting aside the impulse to be a rules lawyer opens up a much grander experience than would otherwise be possible, and it's a great example of why plot holes really don't matter that much when they're done right.

"An Iconic, Engaging Mess Of Brilliant Ideas": Baldur's Gate 3 Review

Baldur's Gate 3 is imposing in stature and its best moments are truly memorable, but some early issues with scale suggest an uneven experience.

All the same, it's fun to take a look at the areas where Baldur's Gate 3 differs from DnD , especially considering how many tabletop groups have probably incorporated elements and inspiration from the game into their campaigns. Like the rise of live play or the DnD references in Stranger Things , anything that opens up DnD to more people tends to be a good thing, and being flexible with the source material makes a lot of that possible. Baldur's Gate 3 might not have the same true resurrection as Dungeons & Dragons , but it's ultimately for the best that it doesn't.

Source: Vio_Van_Helsing/Reddit

Baldur's Gate 3

Franchise Baldur's Gate

Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, macOS

Released August 31, 2023

Developer(s) Larian Studios

Genre(s) RPG

One Official D&D Rule Would Solve All Of Astarions Problems In BG3 (& Break The Whole Game)

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Teens and Video Games Today

85% of u.s. teens say they play video games, and about four-in-ten do so daily. teens see both positive and negative sides of video games – from problem-solving and making friends to harassment and sleep loss, table of contents.

  • Who plays video games?
  • How often do teens play video games?
  • What devices do teens play video games on?
  • Social media use among gamers
  • Teen views on how much they play video games and efforts to cut back
  • Are teens social with others through video games?
  • Do teens think video games positively or negatively impact their lives?
  • Why do teens play video games?
  • Bullying and violence in video games
  • Appendix A: Detailed charts
  • Acknowledgments
  • Methodology

An image of teens competing in a video game tournament at the Portland Public Library in Maine in 2018. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to better understand teens’ use of and experiences with video games.

The Center conducted an online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23, 2023, through Ipsos. Ipsos recruited the teens via their parents, who were part of its KnowledgePanel . The KnowledgePanel is a probability-based web panel recruited primarily through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey was weighted to be representative of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 who live with their parents by age, gender, race and ethnicity, household income, and other categories.

This research was reviewed and approved by an external institutional review board (IRB), Advarra, an independent committee of experts specializing in helping to protect the rights of research participants.

Here are the questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and  its methodology .

There are long-standing debates about the impact of video games on youth. Some credit them for helping young people form friendships and teaching them about teamwork and problem-solving . Others say video games expose teenagers to violent content, negatively impact their sleep and can even lead to addiction.

With this in mind, Pew Research Center surveyed 1,423 U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 about their own video game habits – from how often they play to the friends they’ve made and whether it gets in the way of them doing well in school or getting a good night’s sleep. 1

Key findings from the survey

  • Video games as a part of daily teen life: 85% of U.S. teens report playing video games, and 41% say they play them at least once a day. Four-in-ten identify as a gamer.
  • Gaming as a social experience: 72% of teens who play video games say that a reason why they play them is to spend time with others. And some have even made a friend online from playing them – 47% of teen video game players say they’ve done this.
  • Helpful with problem-solving, less so for sleep: Over half of teens who play video games say it has helped their problem-solving skills, but 41% also say it has hurt their sleep.
  • Bullying is a problem: 80% of all teens think harassment over video games is a problem for people their age. And 41% of those who play them say they’ve been called an offensive name when playing.
  • Boys’ and girls’ experiences differ: Most teen boys and girls play video games, but larger shares of boys identify as gamers (62% vs. 17%) and play every day (61% vs. 22%). Boys who play them are also more likely to experience positive things from it, like making friends, and more troubling things like harassment.

Jump to read about: Who plays video games | Socializing over video games | Views about video games’ impact | Harassment and violence in video games      

A bar chart showing that 85% of teens play video games, and 4 in 10 identify as gamers

Playing video games is widespread among teens. The vast majority of U.S. teens (85%) say they play them. Just 15% say they never do, according to the survey conducted Sept. 26-Oct. 23, 2023.

In addition to asking whether teens play video games, we also wanted to learn whether they consider themselves gamers. Overall, four-in-ten U.S. teens think of themselves as gamers. Just under half of teens (45%) play video games but do not think of themselves as gamers.

A bar chart showing that Most teen boys and girls play video games, but boys are far more likely to identify as gamers

Nearly all boys (97%) say they play video games, compared with about three-quarters of teen girls. There is a substantial gap by gender in whether teens identify as gamers: 62% of teen boys do, compared with 17% of girls. 2

By gender and age

Younger teen girls are more likely than older girls to say they play video games: 81% of girls ages 13 to 14 compared with 67% of those ages 15 to 17. But among boys, nearly all play video games regardless of age. 

Similar shares of teens play video games across different racial and ethnic groups and among those who live in households with different annual incomes. Go to Appendix A for more detail on which teens play video games and which teens identify as gamers.

A flow chart showing How we asked teens in our survey if they play video games and identify as gamers by first asking who plays video games and then who identifies as a gamer

We also asked teens how often they play video games. About four-in-ten U.S. teens say they play video games daily, including 23% who do so several times a day.

A bar chart showing that About 6 in 10 teen boys play video games daily

Another 22% say they play several times a week, while 21% play them about once a week or less.

Teen boys are far more likely than girls to say they play video games daily (61% vs. 22%). They are also much more likely to say they play them several times a day (36% vs. 11%).

By whether someone identifies as a gamer

About seven-in-ten teens who identify as gamers (71%) say they play video games daily. This drops to 30% among those who play them but aren’t gamers.

By household income

Roughly half of teens living in households with an annual income of less than $30,000 (53%) say they play video games at least daily. This is higher than those in households with an annual income of $30,000 to $74,999 (42%) and $75,000 or more (39%).

Go to Appendix A to see more details about who plays video games and identifies as a gamer by gender, age, race and ethnicity, and household income.

A bar chart showing that Most teens play video games on a console or smartphone, 24% do so on a virtual reality headset

Most teens play video games on a gaming console or a smartphone. When asked about five devices, most teens report playing video games on a gaming console (73%), such as PlayStation, Switch or Xbox. And 70% do so on a smartphone. Fewer – though still sizable shares – play them on each of the following:

  • 49% say they play them on a desktop or laptop computer
  • 33% do so on a tablet  
  • 24% play them on a virtual reality (VR) headset such as Oculus, Meta Quest or PlayStation VR

Many teens play video games on multiple devices. About a quarter of teens (27%) do so on at least four of the five devices asked about, and about half (49%) play on two or three of them. Just 8% play video games on one device.

A dot plot showing that Teen boys are more likely than girls to play video games on all devices except tablets

Teen boys are more likely than girls to play video games on four of the five devices asked about – all expect tablets. For instance, roughly nine-in-ten teen boys say they ever play video games on a gaming console, compared with 57% of girls. Equal shares of teen boys and girls play them on tablets.  

Teens who consider themselves gamers are more likely than those who play video games but aren’t gamers to play on a gaming console (95% vs. 78%), desktop or laptop computer (72% vs. 45%) or a virtual reality (VR) headset (39% vs. 19%). Similar shares of both groups play them on smartphones and tablets.

A dot plot showing that Teen gamers are far more likely to use Discord and Twitch than other teens

One way that teens engage with others about video games is through online platforms. And our survey findings show that teen gamers stand out for their use of two online platforms that are known for their gaming communities – Discord and Twitch :

  • 44% of teen gamers say they use Discord, far higher than video game players who don’t identify as gamers or those who use the platform but do not play video games at all. About three-in-ten teens overall (28%) use Discord.
  • 30% of teens gamers say they use Twitch. About one-in-ten other teens or fewer say the same; 17% of teens overall use the platform.

Previous Center research shows that U.S. teens use online platforms at high rates .

A bar chart showing that Teens most commonly say they spend the right amount of time playing video games

Teens largely say they spend the right amount of time playing video games. When asked about how much time they spend playing them, the largest share of teens (58%) say they spend the right amount of time. Far fewer feel they spend too much (14%) or too little (13%) time playing them.

Teen boys are more likely than girls to say they spend too much time playing video games (22% vs. 6%).

By race and ethnicity

Black (17%) and Hispanic (18%) teens are about twice as likely than White teens (8%) to say they spend too little time playing video games. 3

A quarter of teens who consider themselves gamers say they spend too much time playing video games, compared with 9% of those who play video games but don’t identify as gamers. Teen gamers are also less likely to think they spend too little time playing them (19% vs. 10%).

A bar chart showing that About 4 in 10 teens have cut back on how much they play video games

Fewer than half of teens have reduced how much they play video games. About four-in-ten (38%) say they have ever chosen to cut back on the amount of time they spend playing them. A majority (61%) report that they have not cut back at all.

This share is on par with findings about whether teenagers have cut back with their screen time – on social media or their smartphone.

Although boys are more likely to say they play video games too much, boys and girls are on par for whether they have ever cut back. About four-in-ten teen boys (39%) and girls (38%) say that they have ever cut back.

And gamers are as likely to say they have cut back as those who play video games but don’t identify as gamers (39% and 41%).

A chart showing that 89% of teens who play video games do so with others; about half or 47% made a friend through them

A main goal of our survey was to ask teens about their own experiences playing video games. For this section of the report, we focus on teens who say they play video games.

Socializing with others is a key part of the video game experience. Most teens who play video games do so with others, and some have developed friendships through them.

About nine-in-ten teen video game players (89%) say they play them with other people, in person or online. Far fewer (11%) play them only on their own.

Additionally, about half (47%) report that they have ever made a friend online because of a video game they both play. This equals 40% of all U.S. teens who have made a friend online because of a video game.

These experiences vary by:  

A bar chart showing that Teen boys who play video games are more likely than girls to make friends over video games

  • Gender: Most teen boy and girl video game players play them with others, though it’s more common among boys (94% vs. 82%). Boys who play video games are much more likely to say they have made a friend online because of a video game (56% vs. 35%).
  • Race and ethnicity: Black (55%) and Hispanic (53%) teen video game players are more likely than White teen video game players (43%) to say they have made a friend online because of them.
  • Whether someone identifies as a gamer: Nearly all teen gamers report playing video games with others (98%). Fewer – though still most – of those who play video games but aren’t gamers (81%) also play them with others. And about seven-in-ten (68%) say they have made a friend online because of a video game, compared with 29% of those who play them but don’t identify as gamers.

A bar chart showing that More than half of teens who play video games say it helps their problem-solving skills, but many say it negatively impacts the amount of sleep they get

Teens who play video games are particularly likely to say video games help their problem-solving skills. More than half of teens who play video games (56%) say this.

Additionally, more think that video games help, rather than hurt, three other parts of their lives that the survey asked about. Among teens who play video games:

  • Roughly half (47%) say it has helped their friendships
  • 41% say it has helped how they work with others
  • 32% say it has helped their mental health

No more than 7% say playing video games has hurt any of these.

More teens who play video games say it hurts, rather than helps, their sleep. Among these teens, 41% say it has hurt how much sleep they get, while just 5% say it helps. And small shares say playing video games has impacted how well they do in school in either a positive or a negative way.

Still, many teens who play video games think playing them doesn’t have much an impact in any of these areas. For instance, at least six-in-ten teens who play video games say it has neither a positive nor a negative impact on their mental health (60%) or their school performance (72%). Fewer (41%) say this of their problem-solving skills.

A dot plot showing that Boys who play video games are more likely than girls to think it helps friendships, problem-solving, ability to work with others

Teen boys who play video games are more likely than girls to think playing them has helped their problem-solving skills, friendships and ability to work with others. For instance, 55% of teen boys who play video games say this has helped their friendships, compared with 35% of teen girls.

As for ways that it may hurt their lives, boys who play them are more likely than girls to say that it has hurt the amount of sleep they get (45% vs. 37%) and how well they do in school (21% vs. 11%). 

Teens who consider themselves gamers are more likely than those who aren’t gamers but play video games to say video games have helped their friendships (60% vs. 35%), ability to work with others (52% vs. 32%), problem-solving skills (66% vs. 47%) and mental health (41% vs. 24%).

Gamers, though, are somewhat more likely to say playing them hurt their sleep (48% vs. 36%) and how well they do in school (20% vs. 14%).

By whether teens play too much, too little or the right amount

Teens who report playing video games too much stand out for thinking video games have hurt their sleep and school performance. Two-thirds of these teens say it has hurt the amount of sleep they get, and 39% say it hurt their schoolwork. Far fewer of those who say they play the right amount (38%) or too little (32%) say it has hurt their sleep, or say it hurt their schoolwork (12% and 16%).

A bar chart showing that Most common reason teens play video games is entertainment

Teens who play video games say they largely do so to be entertained. And many also play them to be social with and interact with others. Teens who play video games were asked about four reasons why they play video games. Among those who play video games:

  • Nearly all say fun or entertainment is a major or minor reason why they play video games – with a large majority (87%) saying it’s a major reason.
  • Roughly three-quarters say spending time with others is a reason, and two-thirds say this of competing with others. Roughly three-in-ten say each is a major reason.
  • Fewer – 50% – see learning something as a reason, with just 13% saying it’s a major reason.

While entertainment is by far the most common reason given by teens who play video games, differences emerge across groups in why they play video games.

A bar chart showing that Teen gamers are especially likely to say spending time and competing with others are reasons why they play

Teens who identify as gamers are particularly likely to say each is major reason, especially when it comes to competing against others. About four-in-ten gamers (43%) say this is a major reason, compared with 13% of those who play video games but aren’t gamers.

Teen boys who play video games are more likely than girls to say competing (36% vs. 15%), spending time with others (36% vs. 27%) and entertainment (90% vs. 83%) are major reasons they play video games.

Black and Hispanic teens who play video games are more likely than White teens to say that learning new things and competing against others are major reasons they play them. For instance, 29% of Black teen video game players say learning something new is a major reason, higher than 17% of Hispanic teen video game players. Both are higher than the 7% of White teen video game players who say the same.

Teens who play video games and live in lower-income households are especially likely to say competing against others and learning new things are major reasons. For instance, four-in-ten teen video game players who live in households with an annual income of less than $30,000 say competing against others is a major reason they play. This is higher than among those in households with annual incomes of $30,000 to $74,999 (29%) and $75,000 or more (23%).

Cyberbullying can happen in many online environments, but many teens encounter this in the video game world.

Our survey finds that name-calling is a relatively common feature of video game life – especially for boys. Roughly four-in-ten teen video game players (43%) say they have been harassed or bullied while playing a video game in one of three ways: 

A bar chart showing that About half of teen boys who play video games say they have been called an offensive name while playing

  • 41% have been called an offensive name
  • 12% have been physically threatened
  • 8% have been sent unwanted sexually explicit things

Teen boys are particularly likely to say they have been called an offensive name. About half of teen boys who play video games (48%) say this has happened while playing them, compared with about a third of girls (32%). And they are somewhat more likely than girls to have been physically threatened (15% vs. 9%).

Teen gamers are more likely than those who play video games but aren’t gamers to say they been called and offensive name (53% vs. 30%), been physically threatened (17% vs. 8%) and sent unwanted sexually explicit things (10% vs. 6%).

A pie chart showing that Most teens say that bullying while playing video games is a problem for people their age

Teens – regardless of whether they’ve had these experiences – think bullying is a problem in gaming. Eight-in-ten U.S. teens say that when it comes to video games, harassment and bullying is a problem for people their age. This includes 29% who say it is a major problem.

It’s common for teens to think harassment while playing video games is a problem, but girls are somewhat more likely than boys to say it’s a major problem (33% vs. 25%).

There have also been decades-long debates about how violent video games can influence youth behavior , if at all – such as by encouraging or desensitizing them to violence. We wanted to get a sense of how commonly violence shows up in the video games teens are playing.

A bar chart showing that About 7 in 10 teen boys who play video games say there is violence in at least some of the games they play

Just over half of teens who play video games (56%) say at least some of the games they play contain violence. This includes 16% who say it’s in all or most of the games they play.

Teen boys who play video games are far more likely than girls to say that at least some of the games they play contain violence (69% vs. 37%).

About three-quarters of teen gamers (73%) say that at least some of the games they play contain violence, compared with 40% among video game players who aren’t gamers.   

  • Throughout this report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17. ↩
  • Previous Center research of U.S. adults shows that men are more likely than women to identify as gamers – especially the youngest adults. ↩
  • There were not enough Asian American respondents in the sample to be broken out into a separate analysis. As always, their responses are incorporated into the general population figures throughout the report. ↩

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COMMENTS

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    Quick and easy problem-solving activities 12. Unpuzzled (in-person, virtual, hybrid) Activity Focus Areas: Communication, reasoning, collaboration under time pressure. Objective: Unpuzzled is an engaging team-building game that combines problem-solving and trivia elements. The goal is for each team to work collaboratively to solve a series of puzzles and then unscramble them to uncover a meta ...

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    15. Sudoku. Sudoku has become one of the most popular problem solving games for adults. There are dozens of free app options, as well as paperback books that you can pick up. The goal of this game is to fill each box on a 9×9 grid so that every row, column, and letter contains each number from one to nine.

  5. Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master

    3. Egg Drop. Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making. Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn't easy, but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices.

  6. 15 Problem-Solving Games and Activities for the Workplace

    Problem-solving games are interactive challenges that aim to teach, promote and encourage the practice of analyzing problems and developing solutions for them. ... Like codenames, teams can play team feud in person or on virtual platforms. 12. Cross the river Cross the river is a critical thinking game in which teams work together to solve a ...

  7. 13 Problem-Solving Activities & Exercises for Your Team

    "Escape room" style games; Fun Problem-Solving Activities. Fun problem-solving activities are enjoyable games that sharpen your critical thinking skills while having a blast. Think of activities like the Legoman challenge, escape rooms, or rolling dice games - they make problem-solving exciting and engaging!

  8. 45 Team Building Games to Psych Up Your Team [2024] • Asana

    This game imitates this scenario while challenging your team to collaborate on solving a creative problem. 21. Create your own. Team size: 5-12 people. Time: 30-60 minutes. How to play: Each team member will create an original problem-solving activity on their own and present it to the group. Whether this entails a physical, mental, or ...

  9. Team Building Exercises

    In this exercise, teams must create their own, brand new, problem-solving activity. Uses. This game encourages participants to think about the problem-solving process. It builds skills such as creativity, negotiation and decision making, as well as communication and time management. After the activity, teams should be better equipped to work ...

  10. 20 Teamwork Games to Boost Collaboration

    This game enhances decision-making skills under pressure. Further, teams will learn to work together in high-stress scenarios. 2. Balloon Tower Construction. Balloon Tower Construction is a fantastic teamwork game. Teams will learn collaboration and problem-solving skills. Here is how to play this game: Divide teams into small groups.

  11. 20 Effective Strategy Games For Teams

    The game requires strategic thinking, communication, and collaboration. Playing Pandemic can help teams improve their problem-solving skills and enhance teamwork. This game is an engaging way for teams to bond while honing their strategic planning skills. Check out Pandemic. 16. Diplomacy. Diplomacy combines strategy and history into an ...

  12. 14 Brain-Boosting Problem Solving Group Activities For Teams

    Jeopardy. Problem-solving activities such as Virtual Team Challenges offer a great way for teams to come together, collaborate, and develop creative solutions to complex problems. 2. Problem-Solving Templates. Problem-Solving Templates are popular problem-solving activities that involve a group of people working together to solve an issue.

  13. Top 50 problem solving activities, games & puzzles for remote teams

    8. Funny problem solving games. We need to solve problems for personal and professional lives. Funny problem solving exercises are a light way. Funny problem solving can help reduce stress levels. 1. Pencil drop - in the pencil drop challenge, one end of the pencil is tied to a pencil and the other is tied around the waist of a team member ...

  14. Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities For Teams

    22. Ultimate Game Show. If you're looking for high-energy virtual problem-solving activities for competitive teams, then the Ultimate Game Show is the perfect fit. In this 90-minute virtual event, players bond together as a team while playing different quizzes to win the final prize.

  15. The Power of Problem-Solving Games

    Problem-solving games aren't just fun and games. They're also a brain workout that strengthens cognitive processes crucial for daily functioning. In fact, research has shown that regular participation in problem-solving activities strengthens skills like pattern recognition, logical reasoning, and decision-making, and it can be a great way to ...

  16. 61 Ice Breaker Games [That Your Team Won't Find Cheesy]

    This icebreaker game emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, collaboration, innovation and problem solving strategy. Genuinely fun icebreakers for meetings can be hard to find - The Marshmallow Challenge is one of those icebreaker games for work that feels almost like play.

  17. 44 Powerful Problem Solving Activities for Kids

    These problem-solving steps are like our trusty toolkit, helping us build our way to success with creativity and ingenuity. Whether it's figuring out a math puzzle, resolving a conflict with a friend, or coming up with a new game, these problem-solving steps will be a guide to helping kids take their next steps. Featured resource.

  18. Brain Games: 10 Best Brain-Training Games for Adults, Kids, and Seniors

    This web-based puzzle game from The New York Times exploded in popularity in early 2022 and now counts millions of users worldwide. The premise is simple: Users get six tries to guess a five-letter word. Wordle's combination of problem-solving challenges and easy-to-use interface makes for a satisfying mental workout.

  19. Video Games That Help Improve Problem-Solving Skills

    Strategic games like "StarCraft," a military-science-fiction game, can also improve the ability to solve imaginary and real-life problems, possibly because they teach users to both formulate and ...

  20. Logic Games ️ Play on CrazyGames

    MMO. Match 3. Use logic to solve problems. Using logic to solve problems rewards your brain and may improve your cognition. They are also potentially great for keeping your mind healthy in later life! Mahjong gamesare ideal for improving your ability to memorize and spot patterns, as well as solving the overall puzzle.

  21. Brain Games ️ Play on CrazyGames

    The best brain game for you depends on what genre you like. If you enjoy mahjong, ... Brain games feature problem-solving puzzles that may help improve one or more aspects of your cognition. They can feature abstract logic, math, memory recall, and sometimes questions similar to those you may find on an IQ test. ...

  22. 35 problem-solving techniques and methods for solving complex problems

    Problem-solving techniques like Four-Step Sketch are great if you have a group of different thinkers and want to change things up from a more textual or discussion-based approach. ... Problem-solving games that help raise group awareness through a central, unifying metaphor can be effective ways to warm-up a group in any problem-solving model. ...

  23. Best Games That Reward Creative Problem-Solving

    Games like Portal 2 and Baldur's Gate 3 reward players for thinking creatively and finding unique ways to solve problems. Undertale and Scribblenauts Unlimited offer players the freedom to ...

  24. 10 Best Game-Based Learning Platforms for Kids

    Beyond academic knowledge, these games help develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Games often include elements like points, levels, and badges that motivate children to set goals and achieve them, enhancing their learning experience. Conclusion. Game-based learning platforms offer a unique and effective way to ...

  25. Finished Today's Wordle? Try These 10 Puzzle Games Next

    Hello Wordl. Hello Wordl -- another Wordle remake -- gives you six tries to guess a word and uses the same colored blocks to track your progress. Hello Wordl lets you play as many games as you ...

  26. Friendships, problem-solving: How video games are helping U.S ...

    Teenage gamers say video games help them build problem-solving skills, make friends and collaborate — but they also admit to problems like bad sleep habits and cyberbullying, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.. Why it matters: While moral panic over video games and violence are (mostly) behind us, it's still critical to understand how games are affecting young minds — both for good ...

  27. One Official D&D Rule Would Solve All Of Astarions Problems In BG3

    Baldur's Gate 3 remains largely true to DnD rules but deviates in crucial areas. DnD resurrection would solve major plot points like Asterion's vampirism. Limiting resurrection makes it possible ...

  28. Teens and Video Games Today

    There are long-standing debates about the impact of video games on youth. Some credit them for helping young people form friendships and teaching them about teamwork and problem-solving.Others say video games expose teenagers to violent content, negatively impact their sleep and can even lead to addiction.. With this in mind, Pew Research Center surveyed 1,423 U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 about ...

  29. Solve (x+4)^2

    Solve your math problems using our free math solver with step-by-step solutions. Our math solver supports basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and more. ... Solve Practice Play. Game Central. Fun + improving ... 2 • (x + 1)2 Step by step solution : Step 1 : Step 2 :Pulling out like terms : 2.1 Simplify ( 2x+2 )2 Put the ...

  30. Top 5 Problem-Solving Business Ideas for 2024 : r/SideProject

    Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions - Reduce environmental impact while maintaining product safety. Subscription Box Services - Offer personalized and convenient product deliveries. Health and Wellness Apps - Promote physical and mental well-being. You can read the full article here: Top 5 Problem-Solving Business Ideas for 2024.