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Problem Solving Games, Activities & Exercises for Adults
Here is our list of the best problem solving games, activities and exercises for adults.
Problem solving games are activities that require players to use critical thinking skills to solve puzzles. Example activities include escape rooms, Sudoku, and murder mysteries. The purpose of these exercises is to sharpen reasoning and decision-making skills in group settings and to do team building with employees.
These activities are a subset of remote team games , found in problem solving books , and are similar to team puzzles , team building brain teasers and team riddles .
This article contains:
- team building problem solving activities for employees
- free problem solving games for adults
- virtual problem solving activities for students
- group problem solving activities
- problem solving team builders
Here we go!
List of problem solving games & activities
From word and number puzzles to role-playing games, here is a list of inexpensive and free problem solving team builders that help groups practice the art of critical thinking and compromise.
1. Espionage! (Team Favorite)
For an exciting game of social deduction, check out Espionage! This thrilling experience will put your team’s wits and instincts to the test.
Espionage! offers the following:
- a 90-minute session led by an experienced host
- undercover teams of agents and spies
- challenging puzzles, tasks, and maneuvers
- team conversations to help uncover secret identities
The best part is we will bring all the necessary game materials to your preferred location. If you are interested in boosting communication and critical-thinking skills within your team, then consider Espionage!
Learn more about Espionage!
2. Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh (Hosted)
You can turn your team into skilled detectives with Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh! In this captivating mystery, participants will locate the stolen artwork, The Bedroom .
Key features of this experience include:
- a 90-minute adventure led by a world-class host
- detailed puzzles, clues, and mysteries to unravel
- trails of evidence and hidden secrets
- group discussions to find the art
Additionally, you can include a cocktail kit to spice up your event. Through Art Heist, you will enhance your team’s ingenuity and problem-solving skills!
Learn more about Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh .
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3. War of the Wizards (Popular)
With War of the Wizards, teams roleplay as minions of powerful wizards to vanquish forces of evil. Participants will play thrilling games and go on a quest to restore harmony to the realm!
War of the Wizards offers the following:
- a 90-minute journey guided by a distinguished host
- immersive storytelling that transports players into a magical realm
- engaging activities like world-building, role-playing games, and storytelling
- opportunities for forming alliances, facing challenges, and going on quests
Through the power of imagination and teamwork, your team can overcome tasks and participate in an epic fantasy battle. To improve communication and bonds, include War of the Wizards in your agenda!
Learn more about War of the Wizards .
Sudoku is one of the most popular free problem solving games for adults. The objective of this game is to fill each box of a 9×9 grid so that every row, column, and letter contains each number from one to nine. The puzzle makes a great team challenge. To play Sudoku on Zoom, screen share the game board. Then, turn on the annotation features. Using the add text functions, participants can fill in the numbers on the grid.
We made a starter puzzle you can use in your next meeting or virtual team bonding session:
Here are more online Sudoku puzzles .
5. Crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles are word games that ask players to fill in words based on clues. Words interconnect, and players must think critically about the surrounding words to select the right phrase for the space.
You can use an online crossword puzzle maker to create a custom puzzle. Here are a few themes you may want to consider:
- teammates’ tastes and interests
- company knowledge and history
- industry terms and trends
Or, create a miscellaneous puzzle just for fun.
We made a sample puzzle you can use for your game:
To complete puzzles during online meetings, you can use the share screen function and add text through annotations.
Or, subscribers can play the New York Times’ daily crossword puzzle virtually . Dictionary.com also offers a free daily online crossword puzzle .
Check out more vocabulary games .
6. Online Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are timed games that get groups working together to solve puzzles. Traditionally, players enter a locked room and must complete all puzzles in an hour or two to unlock the door. However, groups can also play escape rooms online.
Digital escape rooms typically come in one of two forms: in a Zoom room and led by a host, or in a choose-your-own adventure format via Google Forms or websites. To play escape rooms virtually, enter a video meeting and follow the prompts, or screen share the Google Form and work out the puzzles together.
Check out our full list of online escape rooms .
7. Murder Mysteries
Murder Mysteries are story-based games that ask players to take on the roles of suspects or detectives while trying to identify a killer. These games often involve reading lines from a script, searching for clues, and occasionally solving puzzles to get hints.
These games make participants pay attention to conversations, analyze other characters’ behavior, and search for hidden meaning in the script. Players must use their powers of observation and logic to unravel the mystery.
Check out our list of Zoom murder mystery games .
8. Treasure Hunts
Treasure hunts are scavenger hunts with intention. While virtual scavenger hunts often ask players to collect random items, treasure hunts require participants to locate clues that lead to other prompts and hints. The game typically ends with players finding a treasure or solving a mystery, sometimes both.
The treasure hunt can have a specific theme such as secret agent missions or a hunt for pirate treasure, or you can run a more general hunt. Teammates can either compete simultaneously via Zoom call, or can play the hunt on an app individually and compete to beat each other’s scores.
Check out our list of treasure hunt apps .
9. Poem or story challenge
Most team building problem solving activities for employees revolve around science, math, and logic. Poem/story challenges rely on writing skills and are sure to appeal to the language lovers on your team.
Each player receives a limited word bank to use to create a story or poem. Then, players have a few minutes to craft their pieces. Afterward, everyone reads out or screen shares their creations.
Here are a few word challenge activities you can do remotely:
- Found poems or stories : Participants make poems or stories out of words they find by visiting websites, searching emails, glancing out the window, or taking a walk or drive around the neighborhood.
- Random word generators : Teammates use a random word generator to populate a word bank, and must use each word in the poem or story.
- Poetry magnets : Group members make poems using poetry magnets. You can send poetry magnet sets to employees and assemble the verses on a cookie pan during a Zoom call. Or, teammates can play with poetry magnets online .
- Page poems: Participants receive one page of a book or magazine, and must make a poem or story by blocking out other words so only the chosen text remains visible. This activity is part storytelling, part art, since story crafters can illustrate the pages as part of the design.
- Ransom note stories or poems : Players cut out letters from magazines and must form new words to make poems and stories. Or, players can receive a mix of random letters, form words, and run the text through a ransom note generator .
These activities are suitable for teams and individual players.
10. Moral challenge
Some problems are ethical rather than factual. Moral judgment plays just as important a role in the decision-making process as technical prowess. Players can flex their moral problem-solving skills by tackling ethical dilemmas or social puzzles.
Here are some social problem solving games online:
- Moral machine
- Scruples – the game of moral dilemmas
- Morality play
To play these games, either download the apps, or pull up the website and then screen share the prompts. These games are best played when discussed as a group, because the more belief systems and opinions, the harder an issue is to resolve. These exercises provide practice for real-life conflict resolution.
You can find similar challenges on our list of online personality tests .
Frostbite is a group game that hones team leaders’ communication skills while sharpening teammates’ listening and cooperation skills. The premise behind the game is that a group of explorers gets caught in a snowstorm and must build a shelter. Frostbite has paralyzed the leaders’ hands and snow-blinded the rest of the team. The leader must give the team instructions to build a tent that can resist arctic winds.
To play Frostbite, each teammate wears a blindfold. Then, the leader gives directions. Once the structures are complete, players turn on a fan to test whether tents can withstand the wind.
Frostbite is usually an in-person game, however you can also play virtually. In the remote version of the game, teammates construct tents out of cards and tape, while the leader surveys the scene on screen.
This exercise demonstrates the challenges of leading remotely, as teams need to operate with minimal oversight or supervisor observation. Therefore, instructions need to be clear and direct to be effective.
Check out more team building games .
12. Virtual Hackathons
Hackathons are events where participants have a set amount of time to design and pitch a new product or solution. This type of event originated in the programming world and is often used to create new apps, however you can apply the game to any industry or school subject.
Virtual hackathons are online versions of the event. Teams enter the competition, then work with each other via virtual meeting software or remote work communication platforms to design the solution. At the end of the competition, teams pitch ideas to a panel of judges and a winner is decided.
To run a virtual hackathon, first announce the theme of the event and collect sign-ups. So that no teams work ahead, hint at the general idea of the issue, and only explain the precise problem when the event begins. Then, give teams anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete the project.
Discover more virtual hackathon ideas .
13. Improv games
Improv games are excellent problem solving activities. These exercises force participants to think and respond quickly to keep scenes moving in a logical and entertaining way.
Here are some good problem solving improv games:
Banned words : Performers cannot say certain words. Scene partners will conceive of situations that encourage the actors to use those words, and the actors must find alternatives, such as using synonyms or taking the scene in a new direction.
Scenes from a chat : Audience gives a suggestion for a scene, and players act the scene out. Though it’s a fictional and often ridiculous scenario, actors must react to the situation and solve the problem in order for the scene to end.
Miracle cure : Miracle cure is a quick-moving exercise that follows a simple format. One player declares, “I have a problem.” Another player responds, “I have a….[random object.]” The first player then replies, “great! I can use the [random object] to….” and describes how they will solve the problem.
Check out more problem-solving improv games .
14. Spaghetti Tower
The spaghetti tower is a classic team building game. Participants gather uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, and must construct the tallest freestanding tower.
During the in-person version, players must construct one tall freestanding tower. However, for the virtual version of the game, players construct individual towers. You can send groups to breakout rooms for the build, then reconvene in the main room for judging. Teams are judged on three main factors: number of towers, height, and uniformity.
This version of the game not only tests the structural integrity of the tower, but also consistency and quality control. This exercise teaches teams to align and collaborate remotely, and produce a consistent product even when far apart.
15. What Would You Do?
What Would You Do? is a simple situational game that challenges participants to react to different circumstances. To play this game, read prompts one by one, and then ask participants to respond with gameplans. You can use the polling or raise hand feature to vote for the best option.
Here are some problem solving scenarios for adults or kids to use in the game:
- Zombies attack and you have to find a place to hide.
- You are at the zoo and the animals escape. Which one do you try to corral back into the pen first?
- After waiting in line for hours, someone cuts in front of you last minute. The person appears to be visually and hearing impaired, and doesn’t notice your protests. An official announces that due to diminishing supply, this individual will be the last in line to be served.
- You are eating a meal with important clients and/or your partner’s parents, and you want to impress. The individuals make you a dish that does not fit within your dietary restrictions, but you do not speak the same language and cannot explain why you do not want to eat.
- An imposter has infiltrated the organization, who looks, speaks, and behaves exactly like you. How do you convince your peers that you are the original?
For similar dilemmas, check out this list of Would You Rather? questions.
16. Desert Island Survival
Desert Island Survival is a game that challenges players to prioritize. The premise is that players have been stranded on an island, and must decide what order to perform survival steps.
Here are the possible actions:
- Set up shelter
- Explore the island
- Try to signal for help
- Make weapons for self-defense
- Build a raft to escape the island
- Start a fire
- Choose a group leader
- Search for other survivors
All group members must agree on the order of the steps. Players should explain the reasoning for the order of each step while ranking the actions.
Another version of the game involves players receiving a list of 15 to 20 items, and selecting five or so to bring to the island. You can also vary the location of the game, substituting remote islands for destinations like outer space or the distant past.
17. Choose Your Own Adventure
Choose Your Own Adventure stories enable readers to determine the outcome of the story by making decisions. Each action has a consequence that takes the tale in a different direction. Participants can try to guess how the story may unfold by talking through the different choices. When completing the activity in a group setting, the majority of the team must agree on an action before moving forward in the story.
There are a few ways to facilitate these activities online:
- Play an online role playing video game
- Watch an interactive movie like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
- Read from a Choose Your Own Adventure book on Zoom
- Click through a Choose Your Own Adventure platform
- Create your own story using a Google Form
Whichever way you choose to do the exercise, you can use the screen share feature in your virtual meeting software so that listeners can more easily follow along.
MacGyver is a show where the hero escapes sticky situations by improvising tools out of unlikely materials. For example, in one episode the hero makes a telescope out of a newspaper, magnifying lens, and a watch crystal.
To play MacGyver, you can either list three to five objects participants can use, or challenge players to use items that are within arms reach.
Simply state a desired end result, such as “a way to open a locked door,” or “a getaway vehicle,” and then ask teams to explain what they will build and how they will build it. To make the activity more collaborative, you can give teams five or ten minutes in breakout rooms to strategize and design a prototype.
19. Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a roleplaying game where players pretend to be magical figures and creatures. One player serves as the dungeon master, who guides the game, while the other players pick characters and make decisions to move the story forward. Upon choosing a course of action, players roll a twenty-sided die to determine whether or not the plan succeeds. The game is story-based, the possibilities are nearly limitless, and truly creative problem solving options arise. Also, since gameplay is mostly verbal, Dungeons & Dragons is an easy activity to do over Zoom.
Here are the basic rules for Dungeons & Dragons .
Pandemic is a game that pits players against the forces of nature in a race to contain and control disease outbreaks. At the beginning of the game, each player receives a role such as containment specialist or operations expert. Participants must carry out the duties of their roles by choosing appropriate actions. Pandemic is a great game for groups because each team member has a clear part to play, and players must collaborate and work together instead of competing against each other.
To play the game online, you can use a Pandemic game app , or talk through the exercise while one attendee moves and displays pieces on the board.
Note: The subject of this game might hit too close to home for some players, considering recent history. You can find games with similar mechanics that deal with different subject matter, such as Forbidden Island.
Check out more team building board games .
21. Model UN
Model UN is one of the best virtual problem solving activities for students. This exercise casts participants in the role of international diplomats who must negotiate to solve realistic problems. Each player assumes the role of a country ambassador and must form alliances and propose solutions to solve crises.
Here are some sample Model UN scenarios:
- Human rights violation by powerful country
- Food shortage
- Disease epidemic
- Technology privacy violations
- Civil war branching into surrounding countries
- Natural disasters
Depending on the size of the group, participants either take on the part of an entire government of a country, or play a certain role within the government. To carry out the activity on Zoom, players can take turns giving speeches, message other countries privately via the chat, meet in breakout rooms to form alliances or have more intimate discussions, and use the polling feature to vote on propositions.
If politics does not resonate with your group, then you can alter the exercise by applying the same activity structure to a different theme, such as the Justice League, movie characters, business board members, or reality TV stars.
The main purpose of the exercise is to research, talk through problems, and compromise. As long as these elements are present, then the specifics of the setup do not matter.
There are many types of problem solving activities for adults. You can do online problem solving games, which require a different skill set than in-person problem solving. For instance, communication must be much clearer and more abundant when group members are far apart and unable to demonstrate or pick up physical cues.
Though many problem solving games include props and in-person elements, there are many games you can play together online. These exercises work well as educational tools as well as team bonding accelerators. Upon completion, participants are likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence. These games are also great practice for real life conflict resolution, creative thinking and team building.
Next check out this list of connection games , and this post with conflict resolution games .
We also have a list of the best decision making books and a list of team building problems for work .
FAQ: Problem solving activities
Here are common answers to questions about group problem solving activities.
What are problem solving games?
Problem solving games are challenges that ask players to think critically and use logic to overcome issues or answer riddles. Examples include sudoku, murder mysteries, and spaghetti towers. These games are also known as “problem solving exercises”, “problem and solution games” and “group problem solving activities.”
What are the best problem solving games for groups?
The best problem solving games for groups include online escape rooms, moral challenges, and improv games.
What are some good problem solving team building activities for students?
Some good problem solving activities for students include crossword puzzles, choose your own adventure stories, and model UN.
How do you play problem solving games online?
The best way to play problem solving games online is to join a video call meeting to talk through the issue. Using the screen sharing and digital whiteboard features helps participants visualize the problem more clearly. Breakout rooms give teams the chance to discuss the issue more intimately.
Author: Angela Robinson
Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com. Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.
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Logic puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, but the kind of puzzles we offer here are most commonly referred to as "logic grid" puzzles. In each puzzle you are given a series of categories, and an equal number of options within each category. Each option is used once and only once. Your goal is to figure out which options are linked together based on a series of given clues. Each puzzle has only one unique solution, and each can be solved using simple logical processes (i.e. educated guesses are not required).
A custom-labeled grid is provided for every puzzle, like the one you see to the right. The grid allows you to cross-reference every possible option in every category. You can eliminate pairs you know aren't true with an X, and pencil in pairs you know are related with an O. If you know, for example, that Lauren wasn't born in 1961, you can add an X in the box where the Lauren column and 1961 row meet. Similarly, if you know that Bryant was born in 1971, you can add an O in the appropriate box. Furthermore, since every option can only be used once in any given puzzle, you can eliminate the four other options for Bryant in that category (1937, 1946, 1961, 1975) and the four other options for 1971 (Anahi, Jayden, Lauren and Nikolas).
Continue doing this for every clue you're given. Eventually you will have filled in enough X's and O's on the board that you will then be able to use simple logic to deduce the solution to the puzzle. For example, if A = B, and B = C, then A must equal C. Similarly, if A = B, and B =/= D, then A must not equal D.
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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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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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.
- 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
- 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
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Top 22 Virtual Problem-Solving Activities to Strengthen Any Team
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.
Table of Contents
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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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23 Problem-solving games for busy work teams
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.
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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Team Building Exercises – Problem Solving and Decision Making
Fun ways to turn problems into opportunities.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
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.
- 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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Braingle is a place to solve puzzles, brush up on your trivia, play games and give your brain a workout. Get ready to have your brain tangled!
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Fun Brain Games for Adults
Memory Games for Adults
Here you can find free and fun brain memory games online for adults that will develop your concentration skills overnight.
World Geography Memorizing
This picture memory game for adults is designed to strengthen visual memory , spatial memory , and long-term memory skills.
Memory Card Game
This card game, created to improve adults’ short-term memory and visual attention , is a fun way of providing brain development.
Difficult Memory Game for Adults
This effective brain memory game for adults empowers visual memory , aural memory , and decision-making skills.
Visual Memory Games for Adults
This fun game is appropriate for adults to advance their short-term memory , sustained , and visual attention skills.
You can find hundreds of fun brain memory games for adults online on MentalUP.
Logic Games for Adults
Here you can find logic games for adults including sorting and matching training that help you to boost your cognitive skills.
Sorting Game for Adults
This cognitive game for adults is designed to improve reasoning , planning , and visualization abilities.
Pattern Game for Adults
This logic game is appropriate for adults and is designed to develop reasoning , spatial perception , and counting skills.
This special game, tailored for adults, will empower logical thinking , planning , and sustained attention skills.
This game is created for adults to help them boost their visual scanning , comparison , and planning abilities.
If you are interested, do not waste any time and reach many more logic game alternatives for adults in MentalUP.
Thinking Games for Adults
Here you can find the best thinking games for adults we have prepared specially for you to both have fun and keep your brain healthy.
Fun Mind Game for Adults
This thinking game is prepared for adults to strengthen their visualization , planning , and decision-making skills.
This online mind game will develop adults’ visual recognition , conceptualization , and visual attention skills.
Ball Mind Game for adults
This is one of the best mind games for adults to empower visual attention , sustained attention , focusing abilities.
This thinking game is designed for adults as a top mind game to advance vocabulary , verbal fluency , planning skills.
If you like to have fun and strengthen your mind with free online mind games simultaneously, do not skip without looking at MentalUP’s best free mind games.
Mind Games for Adults
Surprise your mind with one of the best mind games for adults! This game improves attention and focusing skills.
Best Mind Games
Puzzles can be one of the best mind games! Tangram puzzles support logic and visual intelligence skills.
Free Mind Games for Adults
Remembering faces can be a challenge! This mind game is wonderful for developing memory and attention skills.
Mind Games Examples
This mind game is the best example of a simple-looking yet challenging game. It’s great for visual attention skills!
Brain Training Games for Adults to Keep Their Brain Healthy
The brain is one of the most important organs in our body. It works as a control mechanism and needs to be improved regularly. As we all know, the state of the brain can affect various aspects of our health.
So, if we do not boost it with memory games , logic exercises , and thinking games , it can weaken and even collapse in the end. Our scientifically approved intellectual games are tailored for this purpose.
When you start improving your skills by just spending a little time daily playing educational games for adults, you will see how you can focus more easily and do your routine errands more efficiently.
Using brain health tips such as playing puzzle games for adults is one the best ways to develop yourself and improve your life quality.
Foods that are beneficial for brain health are one of the other ways that we can choose to improve our brain health. We can use supplements to boost our system for various reasons, such as providing reinforcement to our system and helping our brain function to work more powerfully.
Moreover, there are much more fun and easy ways to enhance your brain skills. These include playing fun mind games, intellectual games, and number games for adults.
Apps designed to improve decision-making skills sustained, and visual attention or verbal fluency are really easy-to-apply practices. These free fun brain games for adults will help solve concentration problems, focus issues, and improve your other brain skills.
In this sense, MentalUP is one of the most popular apps which provide mental exercises and brain health practices along with other opportunities such as entertaining puzzle games and brain training games for adults . 🌟
Moreover, if it isn’t enough for you, you can always check out MentalUP’s specially designed attention-boosting exercises, such as games for dementia patients or other expansive sources for adults.
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Free Fun Brain Games for Adults
Did you know how beneficial riddles are? You can see them everywhere almost every day. Crossword puzzles, math riddles and other versions of riddles for adults besides brain teasers contribute to the development of memory and attention skills.
MentalUP Brain Games for Adults:
MentalUP is created to support mental development for children. However, this scientific mind games app is also suitable for adults. MentalUP, which provides hundreds of brain puzzle games , can be used on smartphones, tablets, or computers.
It supports the development of concentration skills , memory , mind , and logical abilities in adults. MentalUP is created by leading academicians and game designers. MentalUP may also have positive effects against Alzheimer’s Disease . The Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) recommends 3 things to protect the human brain against Alzheimer's disease:
- Doing Sports Regularly
- Having a Healthy Diet
- Regular Brain Exercises for Memory
MentalUP brain training games, puzzles, and intellectual exercises aimed at strengthening and improving your mental agility can protect you against mental issues. Also, they can help you with brain exercises for stroke recovery and how to memorize things fast .
Chess is one of the most popular intelligence games. People who play chess know better that there is not only one way to win a game and how to evaluate alternatives.
Chess improves fast decision-making and planning mechanisms. Trying to act fast and right empowers strategic thinking, concentration, and attention development . Chess is an effective alternative among other choices of brain teaser puzzles both for adults and children.
Video Games / PC Games:
PC games are fun activities that their benefits are usually ignored by adults, and we usually think of their negative effects .
In fact, they affect us in a positive or negative way depending on how much time we spend on them. Computer and video games including mobile apps/games have an improving effect on intelligence when they are played in a controlled manner.
For instance, we can improve our brain abilities such as making quick decisions or focusing on an action game when having fun and clearing our minds.
Similarly, a car racing game can provide improvement in hand-eye coordination . It has been observed that people who have difficulty focusing on a job or topic (distractibility, lack of attention , unable to focus, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) do not have trouble with focusing on PC games.
Therefore, it is a fact that video games improve attention, focus, visual abilities, and coordination skills. If you are looking for more effective concentration and coordination exercises , you can check out entertaining MentalUP brain training games .
Card Matching Games:
Card matching games are one of the most popular card games for kids and adults of any age group. In this memory-boosting brain training game, you try to match the pairs of cards.
Of course, the concentration card game is now widely available online. In the game when you match card pairs, your brain and memory improve at the same time.
Mobile Apps for Adults:
There are hundreds of mobile apps developed for adults who want to improve their cognitive skills. These educational apps for adults, including brain games, puzzles, mind exercises, work with artificial intelligence in the background.
There are also many online brain games that you can play individually and then you can compare your scores with other players. Generally speaking, comparing results with others may help to interpret your own results better.
Here are some of the most loved mobile apps for adults that will help them learn how to think faster easily:
- Angry Birds 2
- Draw Something
- Geometry Dash
- Crossy Road
Memory problems are dreadful conditions for people of all ages as they can be a sign of cognitive impairment. Yet, forgetting things every now and then can be nothing but a harmless memory failure.
To be sure if your short-term memory (STM) loss is harmless, you can take a quick quiz right now: Short Term Memory Loss Test .
Online Puzzle Games:
Puzzles are one the most effective ways to improve visual abilities. They also help us to develop our memory. They are similar to online brain games in many ways but there is a remarkable difference between them.
Online puzzle games can be played by both adults and children. You can have fun with your friends, relatives or any other person you want to. When you entertain together, you can also empower your mind, visual recognition skills, focus, and attention, too.
MentalUP provides you with many options in this sense. By the free brain games and mental exercises in MentalUP, you will develop your memory, cognitive abilities, and have a beneficial way to spend your spare time effectively.
If you get bored easily because of the similar games and exercises online, you will really love the mental exercises in MentalUP that include so many different alternatives for all the age groups from kindergarten kids to adults. You can try our fun brain games instantly.
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Today mindfulness activities have become so much popular. All the people from different age groups need to relax throughout the day because of their stressful lives.
If you are one of those who have trouble with calming down, you can try to breathe in and out with online mindfulness apps providing many alternative solutions from meditation coaching to physical exercise programs.
Cognitive games also known as mind training can help you to have fun when improving your brain. There are alternative adult memory games options such as pattern, matching, and sorting games in this category.
Online cognitive games, memory games for seniors , and free brain games for seniors are some of the best games that brain training apps offer. These games are specially designed by academicians, experts and they are also suggested for the people who have difficulty remembering things in their daily routine.
MentalUP doesn’t only provide you to have fun and develop your skills via its mind games for adults but it also makes you available to compare your scores with other players. Don’t forget comparison is the spark of competition.
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Backgammon is one of the oldest ways for people use to develop their brains and have fun together. It is played with at least two players but thanks to technological advancements now we can play backgammon online by ourselves.
It improves our memory, mind, and decision-making skills at the same time. It is appropriate for older children and adults. You can enjoy this brain game online or in a real environment by buying the board game.
Some apps to improve math skills for adults offer number games. They are appropriate for adults who love to play with figures and also for children from different age groups who need support to improve their skills due to educational purposes.
There are different types of number games you can entertain yourselves depending on your fields of interest. They help you to have a more sensible and coherent perspective on your daily routines.
In the modern world, so many people need to learn one more language than their native languages. Learning a foreign language is beneficial both for our brains in the meaning of widening our vocabulary and using it for work or social purposes.
Language apps and games help us in this sense. They are easy to use and more reachable because we can use them whenever we want regardless of time and space.
These apps work like a mobile language course that we can reach anywhere. They develop our grammar, teach us the basic rules of the target language and assist us to expand our knowledge gradually.
Sudoku is one of the best brain games for adults have played since ancient times. It develops short-term memory, mind, and concentration skills. Sudoku is just like a puzzle played with numbers.
Both adults and older children from different age groups can enjoy this beneficial game. There are online and real versions of it you can play depending on your preference.
Crosswords are one of the essential brain words games for the development of our vocabulary and verbal fluency. You can play these games online or on paper.
There are many alternative options you can choose according to your level. These educational games are among classical and easy brain training exercises both for adults and kids.
Online Concentration Games:
Free concentration games online such as MentalUP provide you, are one of the most effective ways to improve your memory, focus, and strategic thinking. These are in the category of brain games for adults but depending on their features children from different age groups can be taken advantage of.
You can find lots of alternatives according to your interests and enjoy online concentration games when empowering your logical skills, short and long-term memory easily.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Games for Adults
What are the best brain games for adults.
It’s hard to choose the best brain games for adults, yet the games we’ve suggested above such as puzzles, sudoku, backgammon, and chess, are the most popular ones all around the world.
What are the benefits of brain games for adults?
Keeping the mind active is the most significant advantage of brain games for adults. This way, people use logic, strategic thinking, and analyzing skills more efficiently.
What is the best game for your brain?
Even if it’s hard to choose the best game for the brain, all the games we’ve suggested above can be considered one of the best brain games for adults who have different interests.
Do brain games help your brain?
Yes, brain games help people keep their brains active. Brain games are quite beneficial, especially for skills like memory, logic, attention, and more.
Do mind games really work?
Mind games and brain games for adults can offer a huge improvement when people do these exercises on a daily basis. It can be observed as a specific development, especially in skills, like visual attention, logical thinking, and memory.
You’ve checked the list, but there are hundreds of levels of brain games for adults in MentalUP that are waiting for you to play now! 👏Besides, MentalUP puts its games forward with specialized difficulty levels according to users’ potential and abilities! 🧠🚀
You can download MentalUP now to have a healthy brain and develop your cognitive skills by spending 15 minutes daily to make it a part of your routine. ✨
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Home / Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs / Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies Degree Program / Problem Solving Games
Problem Solving Games for Students
Problem-solving is an important skill to learn and work at. Every problem has a solution and there are skills you can practice in order to come to those solutions easily and quickly. Through critical thinking, logic, and consideration, you’ll be able to solve many problems every day. Use this collection of problem-solving links to help you practice your problem-solving skills specific to reading, math, puzzles, and more.
General Problem Solving
- Knowledge Adventure – Pick an exciting game that builds science, math, or word skills for students in preschool through sixth grade.
- Kaeru Jump – Can you make all the stones disappear by helping the frog hop on each one?
- FunBrain Junior – Build your brainpower while you play Beach Ball Balance, Beaker Bonanza, Deep Letter Dive, and lots of other fun games.
- Smarty Games – Choose from a variety of fun, educational games that challenge kids’ math, logic, and reading skills.
- Brain Den – Kids can challenge themselves to solve logic riddles, matchstick puzzles, and more.
- Topmarks Reading and Math Games – Kids ages 3-14 can choose from a variety of reading and math games that build their problem solving skills as they count sea creatures, spice up a scary story with adjectives, match animals to their sounds, and more.
Puzzles and Patterns
- Pattern Quest – Are you ready for a challenge? Put on your thinking cap and find the secret car pattern, one tricky clue at a time!
- Shape Sequences – Figure out which shape completes the pattern in this interactive, colorful game with fun sounds and animations.
- Pattern Matcher – Look at the silly pictures to discover their repeating patterns!
- Memorize Patterns – Memorize each pattern, but be quick! It’s your job to repeat it when it disappears.
- Pattern Games – Kids can learn to recognize patterns as they play a number sequence game or help a dog cross the pattern bridge.
Math Problems and Games
- Fast Math in Outer Space – You can solve math problems to shoot down enemy ships and win the space battle.
- Math Playground – Choose your math skill level from first through sixth grade and then race your pony in the Division Derby, compete in the Math Millionaire game show, play with the animals of Fraction Forest, and more!
- Math Zone – Want to learn about number lines with Cake Monster or win in MathCar Racing? Check out the Math Zone!
- Interactive Math Games – Improve your math skills with Monkey Drive, practice multiplication in Fruit Splat, or try the Animal Rescue Number Line.
- The Kidz Page – Try the Math Race or solve the Pirate Picture Math Puzzle!
- Alphabetter – Can you match each letter to the word it begins in this colorful, animated game?
- English Language Arts Games – Young readers with a range of ability levels can try the School Bus Spelling Game or play Sentence Spinner to add goofy adjectives to sentences.
- Greek Word Roots – Play the It’s Greek to Me game to strengthen your knowledge of Greek word roots as you represent your country in the Olympic Games.
- Starfall – Would you like to practice forming words and sentences while hearing them spoken aloud? Check out the cute, animated reading games at Starfall!
- Teach Your Monster to Read – Kids preschool age and beyond will love this engaging series of games that build reading skills. Whether children are learning letters and sounds or reading sentences, Teach Your Monster to Read can help them grow and thrive.
- ABC Countdown – Can you help the monkey practice his alphabet by picking coconuts in the right order?
- Room Recess – Use context clues to help Sir Readalot make his way through the castle or practice letter sounds with fun, animated characters.
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- MATH Games for Adults
Online math games for adults are interactive activities to test your math skills with numbers, calculation, problem solving and logic. Refresh your mental agility with exercises that make you think and propose solutions to mathematical challenges. Keep your mind young and agile, always prepared for the new intellectual challenges of life.
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MATH WORDLE Game Online
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NUMBER SEARCH – ADDITION (3-digit)
Calculate the Value of the Missing Angle
ORBITING NUMBERS: Addition Game
INTEGER PYRAMID: Addition and Subtraction
SPIDER MATCH: Integer Spider Web
FOUR-WHEEL FRACAS: One-Step Equations Race – Arcademics
MATH RALLY: Additions and Subtractions up to 100
JUNGLE EQUATIONS: Symbolic Equations with Animals
INTEGER WARP: Integer Multiplication – Arcademics®
NUMBER SEQUENCES: Completing Number Series
ADD IT UP 2 Game: Sum to a Given Number
RAPID MATH Game
Add 100% Percentage
Matt vs Math
Algebra Moto Racing
Parts of a Circle
Build 3D Models
Choose the Math Symbol
Multiplication Tables Pacman
Bloxorz: roll the block
Percentage Space Battle Game
Calculate Mean, Median, Mode and Range
Math Crossword Puzzles
Maths Challenge: System of Equations
Add it Up 3
Online Mental Math
Comparing Fractions Racing
Math Push: Mathematical Sokoban
Interactive Calculus: Quick Math!
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10 Online Problem Solving Games For Adults
Published on april 25, 2017 at 1:51 am by amber hewitt in lists , news, 10. grand theft auto.
This is an action-adventure game that takes place in fictional places like Vice City, Liberty City, or San Andreas, which are the equivalent to Miami, New York, and California. In this game, you choose a mission to progress an overall story. You can also do side projects like shooting, stealing cars, or driving. The character in the game is betrayed by the protagonist or their organization. This game can help you process information faster and to keep track of more information to deal with highly stressful situations.
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