Yesterday I posted ‘Puzzling Picasso’s‘ the first of this week’s trilogy of problem solving activities and today’s activity is called ‘Mind Block’.
Once again this problem solving activity is very simple to set up and run and all you will need are some Lego or children’s building blocks, it’s as simple as that. Now as yesterday’s problem solving activity was all about attention to detail and working as a whole group to complete the puzzle today’s problem solving activity relies more on passage of information, memory and team work.
Mind Block – The Brief
Mind Block is a great 10-15 minute problem solving activity that can be organised with small or large groups of adults and students resulting in a fun and competitive atmosphere. It is also a very hands on and fun way to break the ice before you start your meeting/lecture with a new group or existing team.
The main aim of the activity is to test individuals powers of communication and memory by them copying a Lego shape and replicating this with their team, however there are a few stumbling blocks to overcome first!
- Collect enough Lego blocks of varying colours so that you have enough to provide equal amounts to each team. (make sure you know how many guests will be attending before hand so that you can prep before the day)
- Ideally select around 30 blocks with say 4 colours per team and hand them out to the teams.
- Make sure that each pile of Lego has exactly the same amount of blocks and colours and once you are happy drop them into an envelope or plastic bag ready for the teams.
Just before the guests arrive for your meeting you will need to construct your Lego shape and make sure you include as many colours as possible. Try not to make the design too difficult as the teams are going to have to replicate this design as accurately as possible so something like the designs below will do just fine.
Activity brief to the teams
- Explain to the guests that you are going to split them into teams and they will need to select one member from their team to act as the team leader.
- Once the teams have been selected by yourself make sure that they not seated too close to the other teams and then hand out the team Lego packs.
- Tell the teams that one person from each team will now need to come out the the front of the room and observe your Lego design. (make sure the rest of the team cannot see the design!)
- The team leaders will only have 30 seconds to view the design after which they must return to their team and through communication only, explain to the team what they have seen and how to replicate the design.
- The team who builds the most accurate design will be the winner.
- Set a time limit to the building phase.
- Team leaders only have one shot at viewing the design.
- Team leaders may not touch the Lego blocks when the building phase commences.
- Only the other team members can build the design.
- Team leaders can only explain to the team where each block must go and what colour should go where.
- Team leaders and members are not allowed to draw the shape to communicate the design.
- Teams must not copy other teams.
Mind Block – Problem Solving Activity De-Brief
Once the time limit has been reached stop all teams from constructing their Lego designs and bring out your design for comparison. Line all the Lego designs up next to each other and judge the teams on their accuracy.
Which team made the best copy?
Which teams communicated the task well and which teams did not?
Which teams completed the task first?
Which team had the worst design and why?
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final post in our problem solving activity trilogy!
There are loads more great fun team building games and activities like this one on our blog so please take a look around and feedback with any comments.