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Top 15 problem-solving activities for your team to master

May 27, 2022 - 10 min read

Brianna Hansen

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

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

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

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

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

activities book problem solving

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

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

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

Classic team-building, problem-solving activities

1. a shrinking vessel.

Helps with: Adaptability

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

What you’ll need:

  • A rope or string


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

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

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

2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps with: Collaboration

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

What you’ll need (per team):

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

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

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

3. Egg Drop

Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Stranded

Helps with: Communication, decision-making

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

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

Creative problem-solving activities

Helps with: Communication

What you'll need:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Frostbite

Helps with: Decision-making, adaptability

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

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

8. Minefield

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Blind Formations

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

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

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

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

Quick and easy problem-solving activities

10. line up blind.

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

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

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

11. Reverse Pyramid

Helps with: Adaptability, collaboration

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

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

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

12. Move It!

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

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

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

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

4. Place these restrictions on movement:

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

13. Human Knot

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

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

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

14. Dumbest Idea First

Helps with: Instant problem-solving

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

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

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

15. What Would X Do

1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.

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

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

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

Additional resources on problem-solving activities

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

How to organize problem-solving activities with Wrike

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

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

Brianna Hansen

Brianna Hansen

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

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“what do you do with a problem” problem solving activities.

“What Do You Do With a Problem?” by Kobi Yamada is a story that is sure to leave an impact on your students.  Many times kids can feel overwhelmed by their problems, whether they are big or small.  This book will help your readers realize that challenges can make us more courageous and when we face our problems, we often find that they are not as daunting as they may have seemed.

activities book problem solving

In the story, the boy is plagued with a problem that follows him everywhere, the illustrations allow the reader to imagine the problem as a cloud hanging over the boy’s head; this visual is a great talking point with your students as you can discuss how sometimes a problem feels like a cloud hanging over us that just will not leave our thoughts.  The cloud soon grows into a storm, and the problem feels like it is just too much…until the boy arms himself with the tools he needs to take on the problem and discovers that the problem really holds an opportunity.  

The discussions that you can have can be so meaningful as the story unfolds, revealing that problems may be overwhelming, but we can face them, learn and grow from them.

Skills to teach with “What Do You Do With a Problem?”:

  • Character development
  • Beginning-middle-end
  • Growth mindset

Important Discussions:

  • The importance of dealing with our worries, stress, and anxiety
  • Acknowledging problems and working to solve them
  • Learning from problems and growing with each problem you face

5 Favorite Activities for ” Skills to teach with “What Do You Do With a Problem?”:

Here are some of my favorite activities that you can do with your students after reading the book.

What Do You Do With A Problem book quote

1. Asking for help

In the story, the boy tries everything he can to avoid the problem but it just keeps following him.  This is a great opportunity to discuss with students ways that they can ask for help.  Thinking of someone that they could turn to, writing down ideas and ways to ask for help, and sharing ideas with others will all give students strategies to use when they feel overwhelmed by their problems.

What Do You Do With A Problem book page and activity

2. Avoiding your problems

As the story continues, the boy uses different strategies to avoid the problem, which does not fare well as it gets bigger.  Students can think about how they feel when they hold their feeling inside and feel overwhelmed by their worries, fears, or problems.  You can share your own feelings when you avoid tasks, problems, or fears and how often times makes you feel worse.

What Do You Do With A Problem book page and activity

3. When small problems become big problems

The boy realizes that maybe he is making the problem bigger than it actually is…what if it is not as scary as it seems? The idea of the boy’s problem is very vague and the author does not identify what the problem is; this can be a great discussion with your students to predict what the problem could be.  It could be things that they have faced, things they fear or worry about, or just an idea that they have.

Students can share about a time that they had a problem that turned out not to be as scary as they thought it would be.

What Do You Do With A Problem book page and activity

4. Facing your problems head on

As the boy realizes that he needs to face his problem, students can also proudly share when they faced a problem and how they felt.  Share with your students small and big wins that you may have experienced to show that no matter how small a problem may be, overcoming the fear of asking for help or facing the problem head-on is a feat to be proud of.

What Do You Do With A Problem book page and activity

5. Problems can hold opportunities

The boy realizes that his problem holds an opportunity…to learn and grow, to be brave, to do something.  Your students can interpret this any way that they find meaningful to themselves.  What opportunities do their problems hold for them?

What Do You Do With A Problem book page and activity

I think you and your students will love “What Do You Do With A Problem?” and the lessons that you learn.  I love reading engaging books that leave an impact on young readers.  Students can take these lessons and discussions and learn strategies to help them deal with their struggles and know that they always have a way to carry on and someone to turn to.

I hope you and your students love it!

You can grab a free one-page guide for using this book in your classroom here:

activities book problem solving

You can find more of my favorite read-aloud books HERE .

And read more about why I think reading aloud is so important HERE .

You might like this blog post about self-love.

Check out all of my favorite read-aloud books and grab free guides for reading them aloud HERE .

You might also like to read more about these books:

activities book problem solving

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Read Aloud Book Companion-What Do You Do With a Problem?

You can find the book, “What Do You Do With a Problem?” here:

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Happy Teaching!

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21 Good Picture Books to Teach Problem and Solution

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Read mentor text picture books to teach problem and solution text structure. Understanding the problem and solution story structures improves comprehension and helps readers make informed predictions. (As well as helping children see the creative possibilities in problem-solving!)

Of course, almost all stories have a problem and a solution –with the exception of a concept book. So really, you can search out problem and solution examples in any book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.

problem and solution books

When children learn what to expect in a problem and solution story, not only will they be able to predict solutions, but they will also be better able to write their own problem-solution stories. I started teaching this early to my young kids, well before they were school-age because we want our children to become problem solvers. That is an important life skill!

While many picture books model the narrative story structure of problem and solution, these are my favorites to use with kids both at home and in the classroom.


problem and solution picture books mentor texts

Mentor Text Picture Books to Teach Problem and Solution

activities book problem solving

Problem Solved! by Jan Thomas When Rabbit sees his messy room, he learns that he has HIS OWN PROBLEM SOLVING PORCUPINE! Which seems good at first. But, it turns into a disaster. Because to clean up the blocks, the porcupine flushes them down the toilet. And to clean up his shirts, he feeds them to the goldfish. How can Rabbit get rid of his not-very-helpful problem-solving porcupine?

activities book problem solving

A House in the Woods  by Inga Moore Little Pig’s den becomes filled with friends, but once Moose arrives, the den collapses. Oh, no! Problem. What will they do to find a solution? Together, the animals build a new house in the woods big enough to fit all the friends.

activities book problem solving

Enigma  by Graeme Base Bertie needs to find the missing magic show props that have disappeared from his grandpa’s retirement home. Each performer tells him what’s missing. Readers help find the items in the illustrations so that Bertie can find the culprit. Like all his books, Base excels in his detailed illustrations.

activities book problem solving

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story  by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald 6 bangs on Private I’s door for help! Because there’s a rumor that 7 is eating other numbers because apparently, 7 ate 9. YIKES! But did 7 really eat 9? Pitch perfect tongue-in-cheek number and word humor will crack you up throughout this suspenseful, funny problem and solution story. (Also on:  Best Picture Book Mysteries .)

activities book problem solving

The Brownstone  by Paula Scher, illustrated by Stan Mack The Bear family is ready for hibernation but first, they need to figure out what to do about the noise problem. Their solution? All the animals work together to shift apartments so that everyone finds the best apartment for their specific needs. You’ll love the message and illustrations.

activities book problem solving

Pigeon P.I.  by Meg McLaren What a unique and delightful mystery story! A little canary asks Pigeon P.I. (private investigator) to help her find her missing friends. Then the canary goes missing, too. It’s up to Pigeon to solve the missing bird mystery. The author writes in the style of the old detective shows– punchy with short sentences. The illustrator captures the details, giving kids clues to notice as they read.

activities book problem solving

One Word from Sophia  by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail This picture book is a great way to teach kids summarizing and word choice as well as a problem-solution text structure! Sophia really wants a pet giraffe for her birthday. As a result, she sets out to convince her family, starting with her mother, a judge. However, Mother says that Sophia’s argument is too verbose. As a result, Sophie tries fewer words with Father. But he says her presentation is too effusive. Sophia continues with each family member until she reaches her last-ditch attempt and says the one word that works: PLEASE.

activities book problem solving

No Boring Stories!  by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Charles Santoso When a cute little bunny tries to join a group of animal storytellers (mole, weevil, crab, and babirusa), the group doesn’t want to add her to their brainstorming group. As the animals continue their story plans with relatable characters, an inciting incident, rising action, climax, and…. Only the group gets stuck with the ending. That’s when bunny reveals that she likes making up weird (not boring) stories. The group realizes that the bunny has the perfect ending idea. Reluctantly, they agree that she can be part of the group. At least until a “ bunch of adorable frogs and puppies show up next week… ” This book shows plotting as well as the creative strengths of writers working together.

activities book problem solving

That Fruit Is Mine!  by Anuska Allepuz This is a charming problem and solution story about learning to share and the power of working together. You’ll crack up watching the elephants’ many failed attempts to get delicious-looking fruit off a tree while simultaneously watching a tiny group of mice work together to get the yummy fruit, too. The problem is getting the fruit but only one animal group succeeds in a solution. Who do you think it will be? Great for prediction! (Also on:  Picture Books That Teach Cooperation .)

problem solution picture book

Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians!   by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by Mark Fearing Mom says that if the boy doesn’t clean his room, he’ll get pests . . . which the boy thinks aren’t all that bad, right? However, things go downhill when barbarian “pests” start arriving. Because they eat everything, use his toys to clean out their ears, and steal blankets and pillows. So there is only one thing to do — CLEAN up his room. It’s a predictable but funny solution with the perfect forgot-to-clean-up twist at the end.

problem solving picture books

Walrus in the Bathtub  by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Matt Hunt The worst thing about this family’s new home is the walrus in the bathtub. And walrus songs are very, very loud. It’s a big problem. The family tries lots of clever things to get the walrus to leave the bathtub but with no success. So they decide to move. Again. That’s when the walrus shows them his list — “ How to Make Your New Family Feel Welcome ” — which, surprisingly, includes all the things that annoy the family. It turns out the walrus was just trying to be nice. As a result, the family stays with a few *new* rules. This story will make you want your own walrus in a bathtub.

activities book problem solving

The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Kristyna Litten Wordplay, problem-solving, and persistence! One day Bear finds a Thingity-Jig (aka. a couch), which he thinks is wonderful as a sit-on-it, jump-on-it thing.  He asks his friends to help him carry it home but they’re too fast asleep, so Bear figures out some ideas to do it himself. He makes a Rolly-Rumpity! Which is a pack-it-up, heap-it-up, load-it-up thing. That isn’t enough to move the Thingit-Jig so Bear makes something else — a Lifty-Uppity. And then, a Pushy-Poppity. And at daybreak, he arrives back at home where his friends are waking up, with his special Thingity-Jig. Bingity…Bing…Boing…Bear falls asleep.

activities book problem solving

Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins  by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Clara advocated for justice and equality during a time when Black people weren’t permitted the same rights as white people. As a teacher, she inspired her students to believe that change was possible. Clara and her students went to the Katz drugstore and asked to be served — even though the store didn’t serve black people. She and her students returned day after day despite people yelling and throwing food. Eventually, the Katz store relented and started to serve people of all races. Clara and her students finally could enjoy a Coke and a burger without trouble.

activities book problem solving

Wangari’s Trees of Peace  by Jeannette Winter Based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, read how Wangari helped her country of Kenya whose forests were all but destroyed. She started planting trees which started a movement motivating other people to plant trees as well. This is an example of how narrative nonfiction book can also teach the plot structure of problem and solution .

activities book problem solving

Battle Bunny   by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matt Myers When Alex gets a silly, sappy picture book called Birthday Bunny, he picks up a pencil and turns it into something he’d like to read: Battle Bunny. An adorable rabbit’s journey through the forest becomes a secret mission to unleash an evil plan–a plan that only Alex can stop. Not only does this mentor text model problem and solution, but also voice and revision.

activities book problem solving

When Pigs Fly  by James Burke One day, an exuberant pig declares that he will fly. His sister observes with disbelief and horror as one attempt after another fails. The brother pig is so disappointed that he decides to give up. That’s when his sister comes up with an idea — something he hasn’t tried before that will help her brother fly — a pretend airplane. The pigs’ expressive illustrations are absolutely perfect as is the message of persistence despite failure.

activities book problem solving

Piper and Purpa Forever!  by Susan Lendroth, illustrated by Olivia Feng Most stories have a  problem and a solution  but this story is a great example showing a little girl’s ability to creatively  problem solve  with a beautiful solution to her problem. Piper loves her beloved purple sweater, Purpa, and is so sad when she grows out of it. Will she be able to keep her sweater somehow?

problem and solution picture books


Picture Books to  Teach Perspective

Picture Books to  Teach Vivid Description

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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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My grandson loves cars, RC cars, sports cars but I don’t find any books about cars, racing, car features, etc. It would be a ‘hook’ to get him to read more. Any suggestions appreciated.

Here is a list of vehicle books. https://imaginationsoup.net/picture-books-vehicle-loving-kids/ . My recommendation for car books is Professor Wooford McPaw’s History of Cars by Elliot Kruszynski.

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activities book problem solving

11 Books That Help Empower Little Kids to Solve Big Problems

by Meghan Fitzgerald


Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Mindset: There are problems to solve all around us.

The only thing better than Beatty’s masterful rhymes are her marvelous characters. In Ada Twist, Scientist , she nails the curiosity and inquiry that drives a true problem seeker and solver. Our kids love this one, and we hope it inspires them to take on the mindset that there are problems to solve all around us. As parents, we love how this book both acknowledges some of the lumpier parts that come along with supporting genuine problem solving in our kids and reminds us that it’s so worth it in the end.


Stuck by Oliver Jeffers, 

Mindset: Problem solving can be fun (or at least quite silly).

Although we would never advocate throwing objects into trees, we cannot help but love this book. This whimsical tale shows a young boy, Floyd, as he attempts to solve an all too familiar problem—his kite is stuck in a tree! Floyd’s approach makes kids of all ages smirk and squeal with delight. When we read this, we enjoy acting amazed as the situation grows more and more outrageous. The book gets our kids talking, too. Even our youngest has ideas about why Floyd’s plan is not ideal and can share how she’d go about getting that kite un-stuck. 

activities book problem solving

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom

Mindset: I have the resources to solve problems.

Even though our goal is for problem solving to be joyful , sometimes real problems are daunting, especially to kids who may not yet realize that they have the capacity to solve them. This beautiful follow up to Yamada and Besom's What Do You Do with an Idea helps kids see a child really wrestle with a problem and gives everyone a way to talk about the opportunity available in every problem, even the ones that seem hard.

activities book problem solving

Cat and Bunny by Mary Lundquist 

Mindset: Sometimes the key to solving a problem is teamwork and inclusion.

When a new friend asks to join Cat and Bunny’s tight-knit two-friend circle, Bunny says yes, but Cat’s not so sure. The changing dynamics of friendship can be tough for kids to navigate, and flexibility solves a lot of tricky issues. 

activities book problem solving

Going Places by Paul A. Reynolds, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Mindset: Every problem has many different solutions.

Talk about thinking outside the box: Some kids love to follow directions. Others prefer to let their imaginations take them from challenge to solution. This book about a go-cart race that takes flight celebrates both sets of strategies.

activities book problem solving

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Mindset: Creative thinking is at the heart of problem solving.

We love that this fanciful story about a dad inspired by his child’s question (“have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fish?”) to invent the submarine is based on a real-life inventor! This story gets school-aged kids’ imaginations whirring. 

activities book problem solving

The Boy and the Airplane by Mark Pett

Mindset: Problem solving is joyful.

A little boy’s beloved toy airplane gets stuck on a roof. Through the beautiful illustrations in this wordless book, kids can work through the problem with the protagonist, and wonder how they’d go about solving it themselves. 

activities book problem solving

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson

Mindset: I have the capacity to solve any problem.

“I see you” are the magic words that kick off an epic adventure. When Tim meets a big blue whale no one else can see (no one else can see Tim, it seems to him sometimes), he’s tasked with helping his new friend find his way back to the sea. Kids will love discovering Tim’s process as he methodically sketches solutions for this massive problem. The winning strategy is a sweet surprise.

activities book problem solving

Solutions for Cold Feet (and Other Little Problems) by Carrie Sookocheff

Mindset: There are problems to solve everywhere.

Solutions abound for many of life’s little problems, as illustrated by a little girl and her dog. What if you’re caught in the rain? Faced with a boring day? Eating a fast-melting ice cream cone? Strategies range from clear to creative.

activities book problem solving

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg  

Mindset: I have experience that I can use to solve new problems.

Kids’ problem-solving comes with lots and lots of mistakes along the way, which is the most wonderful thing about the process. This interactive book celebrates mistakes as an opportunity for new discoveries. Read it together and then make “Beautiful Oops” a family catch-phrase for turning problems into launching pads for progress.

activities book problem solving

Journey by Aaron Becker  

A girl yearning for adventure in this Caldecott Honor book makes it herself with a swipe of her red crayon. That single tool takes her on a magical trip and it’s what she uses to draw her way out of each dilemma. 


Meghan Fitzgerald

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></center></p><h2>13 Problem-Solving Activities & Exercises for Your Team</h2><ul><li>May 22, 2024</li><li>Project Management</li><li>21 min read</li></ul><p><center><img style=

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

By immersing yourself in problem-solving activities, you can develop valuable strategies, improve your decision-making abilities, and boost your overall problem-solving IQ.

One key aspect of successful problem-solving is ensuring clear and effective communication, such as when teams use critical tools available online. For example, testing emails for deliverability and avoiding spam filters can improve team efficiency (Maileroo’s) free mail tester to validate email campaigns effectively. Get ready to unlock your full potential and tackle any challenge that comes your way with these exciting activities for problem-solving.

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

What Are Problem Solving Activities?

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

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

Some widely practiced problem-solving activities include:

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

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

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

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

#1. Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles

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

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes 

Materials Needed:

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

Tips for Facilitators:

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

#2. A Shrinking Vessel

A Shrinking Vessel

Estimated Time: 10-15 Minutes

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

#3. Human Knots

Human Knots

  • Objective: Improving Collaboration & enhancing Communication Skills

Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Materials: None required


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

#4. Egg Drop

Egg Drop

Helps With: Decision Making, Collaboration

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

#5. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Helps With: Collaboration

Estimated Time: 20-30 Minutes

Materials Needed (per team):

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


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

Estimated Time: 20-25 Minutes 

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


Helps With: Communication, Problem-solving, & Management

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

#8. Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Frostbite for Group Problem Solving Activities

Helps With: Decision Making, Trust, Leadership

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

#9. Dumbest Idea First

Dumbest Idea First

Helps With: Critical Thinking & Creative Problem Solving Activity

Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes

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

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

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

#10: Legoman


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

Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

  • Lego bricks
  • Lego instruction manuals

Procedure :

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

#11: Minefield


Helps With: Trust, Communication, Patience

Materials Needed: Open space, blindfolds

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

#12: Reverse Pyramid

Reverse Pyramid.

Helps With: Teamwork, Communication, Creativity

Materials Needed: 36 cups per group, tables

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

Teamwork: Collaborate to construct the pyramid.

Communication: Discuss and execute the building strategy.

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

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

Encourage Perseverance: Motivate groups to continue despite challenges.

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

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

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

#13: Stranded


Helps With: Decision-making, Prioritization, Teamwork

Materials Needed: List of salvaged items, paper, pens

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

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

Types of Problem-Solving Activities

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

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

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

Creative Problem-Solving Activities

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

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

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

Group Problem-Solving Activities

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

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

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

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

Individual Problem-Solving Activities

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

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

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

Fun Problem-Solving Activities

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

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

Team Problems You Can Address Through Problem Solving Activities

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

  • Communication Breakdowns:  

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

  • Lack of Trust and Cohesion:  

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

  • Innovative Thinking:  

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

  • Decision-Making Challenges:  

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

  • Leadership and Role Clarification:  

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

  • Problem-Solving Strategies:  

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

  • Team Morale and Engagement:  

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

The incentives of event prizes can further stimulate the enthusiasm and participation of team members. The choice of prizes is crucial, as it can directly affect the attractiveness and participation of the event. Among them, Medals are essential prizes.

Medals are symbols of honor awarded to winners and represent the value and achievement of an event.

Medals also have a motivational effect, they encourage team members to pursue higher achievements and progress.

Medals are artistic and aesthetic. They are usually designed by designers according to different occasions and themes and have high collection value.

activities book problem solving

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

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

The Benefits of Problem Solving Activities for Your Team

#1 Better Thinking

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

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

#2 Better Risk Handling

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

#3 Better Communication

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

#4 Improved Productivity Output

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

How Onethread Enhances the Effect of Problem Solving Activities

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

Open Channels for Discussion:

Open Channels for Discussion

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

Centralized Sharing of Resources:

Centralized Sharing of Resources

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

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring:

Efficient Task Allocation and Monitoring

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

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

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing:

Seamless Documentation and Insights Sharing

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

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

What are the 5 problem-solving skills?

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

What are the steps of problem-solving?

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

How do you teach problem-solving skills?

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

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

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

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

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Problem Solving Activities

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By Jean Gilliam DeGaetano

The problem solving activities in this reproducible workbook go beyond choosing a solution.  The activities concentrate on the possible long-range outcomes that could happen when a certain solution is chosen.  While students often choose the easiest solution, they will learn to predict what could happen if they choose that method to resolve the problem.  This book encourages responsible thinking.  120 reproducible pages.  Grades: 1st – 6th

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Teach your students how to solve problems using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

Problem solving is challenging for young students (and many adults too)! To support my little friends, I teach them problem solving strategies that they can use when they encounter a problem. We want our students to become independent thinkers who can solve problems, control their emotions, express empathy, and help others.

I introduce the problem solving techniques a few at a time during a class meeting. Each week, I introduce three new problem solving techniques.  We then end up with nine to twelve techniques total based on what my students need that year.  I explain the technique to the students in concrete terms so they will understand what the technique is and what it can look/sound like.

We usually start with these four skills:  “please stop”, ask, get help, and say how you feel.  Many problems can be solved with those solutions, which is why I always start with those. Then, the following week, I introduce take turns, play together, trade, and share. Then, the last four solutions the next week.

Problem Solving Techniques

Teach your students problem solving skills using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

Singing with puppets is a fun and active way to practice the problem-solving techniques .  Preschoolers LOVE puppets!  This technique also allows students to role play.  Some students will be more verbal if they can pretend to be someone else.  At the end of each verse, students act out the problem-solving technique with a buddy using the puppets!As a transition activity to lunch, students took turns sharing a way they have solved a problem. You can also play, “What would you do if….”. State a real problem that could happen and have students pick a problem-solving solution to solve the problem. Some examples would be, “What would you do if your friend took your book?”, “What would you do if you got sticky glue on your hands?”, or “What would you do if you needed the red marker and your friend was coloring with it?” Once they have learned the strategies, stand back and let students try solving their own problems independently. Just a warning: this can take some time with lots of practice and support. As long as the student isn’t frustrated, let them try before you jump in to help. You will be amazed at the problems your child can solve given the opportunity to.

At first, you will be giving students lots of support and giving them the words to use to solve a problem.

  • Always approach students at their level, in a calm supporting way.
  • Ask, “what’s the problem?” If they don’t respond, comment on what you see such as “I see you have glue all over your hands and it looks sticky.”
  • Restate the problem. “So the problem is ….”
  • Brainstorm solutions and choose one together. This is the perfect time to use problem solving card visuals! “How can we solve this problem?” Flip through the solution cards and ask “Could we ….?”
  • Praise and observe! Cheer on the students for solving the problem and stay close just in case they need more support.

Throughout the day, try to make EVERYTHING a problem to solve.  Then model, talk through your thinking out loud, and use visuals to support students as they try to solve a problem. For example, I may put out a big ball of playdough in the center of the table as a small group activity. Students have to problem solve so each student has play dough to play with. It only takes few extra minutes to sneak in problem-solving situations throughout the day. Each time students help solve a problem or observe a friend solve a problem, they learn to self-regulate, express emotions appropriately, develop empathy, and develop problem-solving skills.

State problems for students who look stuck. If a student is just standing there, they need support, but don’t solve the problem for them! It’s so easy to do. Simply state their problem or what you see and ask a probing question. For example, if a student is standing with an empty bowl in their hand, you could say “Your snack spilled on the floor. How can you solve the problem?”

Problem-Solving Necklace or Mini Book!

I hole punched the small cards, put them on a book ring and keep them on a lanyard I wear every day.  This way I can support students’ solving problems without having to go to the safe place where they are posted.  I can just show the picture cards as a visual on my necklace.  The mini book in the safe place works the same way.

Teach your students how to solve problems using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

Safe Place!

I keep my techniques posted in my circle area at the beginning of the year AND in my safe place. My safe place is a small spot in my classroom where students can go when they are upset, need to calm down, want to be alone, or have a problem.

Teach your students how to solve problems using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

Once I see students using the problem-solving techniques independently, I remove them from my circle area.  They are posted in my safe place ALL YEAR LONG for students to use when they are struggling to solve a problem.  In my safe place, you will find a mirror, feeling chart, bean bag, sensory bottles, calm down choices, a stuffed animal, problem solving mini book and problem-solving techniques chart. You can read all about how to set up a safe place in your classroom HERE . Children’s Books!

These are some of my FAVORITE children’s books to teach all about problem-solving.  As we read the book, we talk about how the character is or isn’t solving the problem, how it makes the character and others feel, any natural consequences that could occur, and which one of our problem-solving strategies the character could use to solve the problem.

Teach your students how to solve problems using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

Do you want to use them in your classroom?  You can!  I did the work for you.  Grab them from my TPT store HERE .

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Teach your students how to solve problems using visual supports and techniques in your early childhood classroom. Teaching social skills (aka character education) is just as important as teaching letters.

hey, i’m jackie!

I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum. 

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10 Problem Solving Picture Books for Elementary Teachers – 2024

Reading aloud children’s books to your elementary students is a great way to introduce and teach problem solving. Below is a list of our favorite picture books to teach this social emotional learning topic. They all lend themselves well to facilitating rich classroom discussions around problem solving. Oona, Stuck, Rosie Revere, Engineer and The Paper Bag Princess are part of our problem solving SEL Unit , which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching problem solving. Learn all about these problem solving picture books below and how you can use them to teach problem solving!

problem solving read alouds

10 Problem Solving PIcture Books

Below are 10 quality problem solving children’s books for elementary teachers. Your kids will love these  read alouds ! They are great for teaching problem solving, as well as many other concepts and skills.

1. Oona by Kelly DiPucchio

Oona lived in the ocean with her best friend, Otto. She was brave, creative, and resilient- like most treasure hunters. One day, she saw a crown in the middle of a rift, a hard to get area. She tried various plans to problem solve, but each time a different problem arose. Eventually, she quit. Then one day, as she was playing on a beach, she had an idea. Students will see Oona try many different problem-solving strategies to get the crown. Through patience and resilience, she gets the crown in the end! My Problem Solving SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

2. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree. He throws many different items into the tree trying to get the kite out. Everything he throws gets stuck in the tree and the kite still doesn’t come out. Eventually, Floyd has the idea to throw a saw into the tree. Although the kite came down, the rest of the items remained in the tree! Students will engage with Floyd as he tries many different ways to solve his problem. My Problem Solving SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

3. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

This story is about a young girl named Rosie, who dreamed of becoming an engineer when she grew up. Rosie spends her time creating, but eventually hides them from loved ones because she is embarrassed that they will be failures. One day, her Aunt Rose comes to visit and teaches her that failure is part of success. Rosie learns an important lesson, as readers will, about patience, resilience, and the importance of problem-solving. My Problem Solving SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

Princess Elizabeth lives in a castle, wears expensive princess clothes, and is going to marry Prince Ronald. That is, until a dragon comes and smashes the castle, burns her clothes, and carries Prince Ronald to a cave. In this empowering fairytale, Princess Elizabeth is able to identify her self-worth and connect with character traits that actually have her leave Prince Ronald behind. This story reminds us that we can problem solve and feel empowered by our solutions! My Problem Solving SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

5. What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

He tries to run from his problem and hide from his problem, but he realizes his problem just won’t go away. The boy starts to worry about what the problem is going to do to him. Eventually, he realizes that his worrying is making the problem worse than it is. He sets out to solve his problem, and when he solves it he discovers that problems hold beautiful opportunities. Students will learn about the importance of facing problems, and the great opportunities that can come out of them. Check out these What Do You Do With a Problem? activities !

6. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

In this story is a small mouse who goes for a walk through the forest. During his walk, the mouse runs into several larger animals that want to make a meal of him. The clever mouse tricks each animal by saying he is off to have lunch with a gruffalo, a made up creature that scares each animal off. While reading this story, students will be able to identify the problem and how it was solved by the mouse creatively. They may even think of times this has happened in their own lives! Check out these The Gruffalo activities !

7. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Stantat

Beekle has a problem. Children in the real world have imagined all the other imaginary friends besides him. He is the only one left on Imaginary Friend Island. Instead of waiting for a child to imagine him, Beekle decides to go out to find his friend himself. He does the unimaginable and travels to the real world! This story shows a brave character solving a problem in quite a unique way! Students will enjoy seeing Beekle looking for his real-world friend, and make connections about problem solving along the way. Check out these The Adventures of Beekle activities !

8. Star in the Jar by Sam Hay and Sarah Massini

A little boy loved looking for treasure. He looked high and low, and one day came across an abandoned star. He asked his friends at school, but no one had lost a star. He kept this shiny treasure until the sky sent a message. It was looking for the lost star! This story lends itself to teaching about problem solving with this brother and sister duo as they find ways to get the star back with his family high in the sky. Check out these Star in the Jar activities !

9. On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex

In this book, a boy got gum stuck in his hair and it caused many other problems. There are so many people each with their own idea that the boy is overwhelmed. He shouts and asks everyone to get out. That’s when the wad of gum hops out of the boy’s hair and walks away. He finally found the solution, although the gum thought the boy was rude. This book is sure to keep students laughing as the boy faces problem after problem caused by the gum, leading to a great mentor text for teaching problem solving strategies. Check out these On Account of the Gum activities !

10. Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

One night, Harold decided he would go for a walk into the moonlight. However, there wasn’t a moon to give off light, so Harold drew one. He set off on his walk drawing his setting as he went. Students will see that when problems arise, Harold draws solutions! Readers will have fun thinking of their own ways to solve the problems that arise in this charming story. Check out these Harold and The Purple Crayon activities !

Integrated SEL and Literacy Activities

Below are some integrated SEL and literacy resources for elementary teachers.

Our  Problem Solving Unit , which is available individually or as part of a  year-long SEL bundle , includes lessons for the first four books on this list. This unit is packed with lesson plans, teaching resources, games, and activities. Click an image below to either get this  individual problem solving unit  or get ALL  30 SEL units !

SEL Book Companions

As I mentioned earlier, I love  teaching SEL skills using picture books . That’s why I created the  Starts With a Story  Collection. High quality children’s literature supports elementary teachers in delivering meaningful and accessible SEL lessons. All of the read alouds on this list are part of this book companion collection. Check out the book companions below!

In closing, we hope you found this list of problem solving picture books helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

  • How to Integrate SEL into Everyday Instruction
  • SEL Activities Students and Their Families Can Do at Home
  • Back to School Read Alouds for Elementary Teachers

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15 Best Problem Solving Activities: Foster Critical Thinking

Kids playing in the park

1. Rolling Dice

2. build a tower, 3. tic tac toe, 4. scavenger hunt, 6. activity books, 7. board games, 9. human knot, 10. open-ended questions.

Problem solving activities for kids are a great way to teach them how to think critically and creatively, and how to develop a growth mindset . We’re sure you must have also played many educational games as a kid that helped you develop critical thinking or problem-solving- skills you’re using even today. These activities can be tailored to be fun and engaging, and they help kids understand that challenges and difficulties are opportunities to learn and grow instead of things to be feared.

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By providing kids with problem-solving activities, we can give them the tools to develop their problem-solving skills and build the confidence to tackle difficult challenges, which will be valuable to them throughout their life. It will also help them understand that their abilities can be developed with practice and hard work, encouraging them to persevere through difficult tasks and not give up easily when faced with obstacles. If you’re looking for some fun and engaging problem solving activities for children to develop a growth mindset, we have curated a list of activities for you.

15 Best Problem Solving Activities for Kids

Kids playing in the park

Things you’ll need: A die or dice, some flashcards and a pen

How to do: You can play tons of different games with dice. Playing with two dice encourages kids to quickly add up numbers and learn math in a fun way . One fun game you can play with a single die involves flashcards. For this game, you can assign a category to each number on the die and when the kid rolls the die, they have to name any 3 examples from the category assigned to the number rolled. For example, if number 4 is assigned to animals and it is rolled, they will have to name any 3 animals. 

Things you’ll need: Building blocks, lego, toilet rolls or anything that can be stacked

How to do: If you’re looking for problem solving activities for 5 year olds, this is for you. To play this game, just give the kids anything that can be stacked on top of the other. This can be building blocks, lego, Jenga blocks, toilet rolls, etc. The challenge is to stack one on top of the other and see how high a tower they can build. This game can be played in teams or individually as well. 

Things you’ll need: A tic tac tow board or pen and paper

How to do: This is one of the most exciting problem solving fun activities for students. You can either play this game on a tic tac toe board or on paper. If you’re playing it on paper, draw a table so that you have 9 boxes. Now each player must choose X or O and try to make a continuous row of their chosen symbol. Whoever succeeds wins. 

Things you’ll need: Small toys, stationery items, or anything you want to include in a scavenger hunt

How to do: Assign the teams or individual players specific items they have to find in a defined area. This can be an indoor or outdoor activity for kids . Give them a list of the things they need to find, and you can also give them hints on where to find these things. Whoever or whichever team finds all the things first wins. 

Things you’ll need: A puzzle game

How to do: Get a puzzle set. This can be a regular cardboard puzzle or a wooden puzzle and ask the players or teams to arrange it. You can make this a timed challenge or just let the kids solve the puzzle in their own time and have fun. 

Things you’ll need: Activity books and pencils

How to do: This is one of the best problem solving activities for kids. Activity books are great for children’s problem-solving skills to develop. Buy them activity books containing games like find the element, what’s wrong with the pictures, or hidden picture books. 

Things you’ll need: Board games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly Junior, and Go Fish

How to do: Give them board games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly Junior, Go Fish, etc. These board games help kids to develop logic, think deeper, plan ahead and solve problems. 

Things you’ll need: A chalk

How to do: Build a maze with chalk on the sidewalk. Make sure you add a few dead-end ways to make it more challenging for the kids. Once the kid is able to walk through and come out of the maze, take the game to the next level by adding even more dead-end ways and see how they overcome the challenge. 

Things you’ll need: Just a playground or garden

How to do: This is a great group activity for kids that’ll also teach them lots of skills. Ask the kids to form a circle and raise their right arm up. Now ask them to reach out to someone standing opposite to them in the circle and hold their left hand with their left hand. Now ask them to raise their left hands up and repeat the process with their right hands. The objective is to entangle them completely and then ask them to detangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hands. 

Things you’ll need: Pen and paper 

How to do: Once you’re done with an activity, ask kids open-ended questions. These are questions that have no right or wrong answers. Some examples of such questions are- “Did you find this activity easy?”, “What did you enjoy the most about this activity?”, “How would you make this activity more fun?”, etc. 

11. Wool Web

Things you’ll need: Balls of yarn

How to do: This is one of the most exciting group problem solving classroom activities for kids . Divide the players into equal teams and ask them to form a circle. Hand them over one ball of yarn each and ask them to make a web of it amongst the teams. Set a time limit for this step, and once it is done, switch the webs so that none of the teams has their own webs. Now the teams will decide on one player from each team to be blindfolded. This blindfolded player will have to untangle to web assigned to their team with the help of verbal instructions from their teams. The team that untangles the web first wins. 

12. Fingertip Hula Hoop

Things you’ll need: Hula hoops

How to do: Divide the kids into teams of 6-8 for this game. Each team will stand in a circle and then be asked to raise their hands up. Now, place a hula hoop on top of their fingertips and ask them to bring it down slowly and make it touch the ground without it falling down or leaving the fingertips. The team to finish the task first wins. 

13. Obstacle Course

Things you’ll need: Pillows, blankets, mattresses, cones, balls, chairs, etc. 

How to do: Build an obstacle course indoors or outdoors with whatever you can find. This makes for one of the most engaging problem solving games for kids. Ask your kids to cross the obstacle course as fast as they can. To make it a bit more challenging, you can also ask them to race against each other to cross the obstacle course. 

14. Memory Games

Things you’ll need: Playing cards

How to do: For this fun cards game, place all the cards face down and take turns to turn 2-4 cards. If you are able to open two similar cards (in number), you get to keep the pair. The player with the highest number of cards with them in the end wins.  

15. Impromptu Plays

Things you’ll need: A stage

How to do: This is one of the best problem-solving exercises for kids to play in groups. If you have a large group, divide the kids into teams of 6-8. If the group is smaller, just make the kids stand individually. Now make a few chits on a theme that has questions that form a difficult situation or a challenge. For example, you can put in chits with questions like “You just found your friend cheating in an exam. What do you tell them?” or “Your younger sibling just broke your favorite toy. How do you react?”. Each team must enact a scene that includes the situation their chit has. If the group isn’t that big, each kid must speak about the same chit but have different perspectives. 

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important for Kids?

Little girls playing with sand

Developing problem solving skills is extremely important for kids as it helps them to navigate easily around difficulties later on in life. As adults, we’re faced with challenging situations every day, and without our basic problem-solving skills, we wouldn’t be able to survive.

Problem solving skills also help kids to make effective decisions. It helps them resolve problems all at once without reducing them to smaller problems. Once kids develop problem solving skills, it is easier for them to develop other skills as well like critical thinking, cooperation and collaboration with others.

Having problem solving skills helps kids to become more creative and think differently than others and enables them to become independent. These skills also help kids develop decision-making skills and build their confidence along the way as they take the right decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the 5 problem solving skills.

The five problem solving skills are identifying the problem, producing possible results that might work, picking one solution from these, applying the chosen solution and evaluating the results.

What are some examples of problem-solving skills in kids?

Some of the problem solving skills in kids are research, creativity, team-building, communication, active listening, decision-making, and analysis. If you find some of these skills in a kid, chances are they’re great at problem solving.

What is problem solving learning?

According to cornell.edu, Problem solving learning is an approach wherein students are asked open-ended questions about a certain topic, and they must resolve and answer  the same in groups.

At what age do children begin problem-solving?

According to a study by Shaffer , kids can start developing basic problem solving skills from the age of three. This further continues to develop as they grow.

What are three problem-solving techniques

According to deakin.edu , the three most basic problem solving techniques are defining the problem, listing out all the possible solutions, and evaluating the options.

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30 New and Notable Children’s Books About Problem Solving

  • October 3, 2021

Looking for the best children’s books about problem solving? These children’s books on problem solving for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about problem solving with strategies, fiction, nonfiction, STEM and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

If you’re a member of the  Picture Book Brain Trust Community , you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

Emmanuel's Dream

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story—which was turned into a film,  Emmanuel’s Gift,  narrated by Oprah Winfrey—is nothing short of remarkable.

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Emmanuel’s Dream HERE

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So Few Of Me by Peter H. Reynolds

So Few of Me

Leo’s list of things to do keeps growing, until one day he wishes, “If only there were two of me.” Just as the words are out of his mouth, poof! Another Leo appears! Two Leos become three, three become four, and four become more . . . but Leo can’t help but notice that he has even more to do than before. As he struggles to deal with his overcomplicated life, Leo realizes that there may be a simpler solution to his overscheduling woes.

Get the lesson plan and activities for So Few Of Me HERE

Looking for the best children's books about problem solving? These children's books on problem solving for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about problem solving with strategies, fiction, nonfiction, STEM and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

The Dot

Her teacher smiled. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says. A book that teaches that sometimes to solve a problem, you just need to start.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Dot HERE

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

The Most Magnificent Thing

The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look, and she knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Most Magnificent Thing HERE

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers


When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Stuck HERE

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping illustrations, this tale is gentle inspiration for every child with dreams of greatness.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Giraffes Can’t Dance HERE

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—stars of their own  New York Times  bestselling picture books  Iggy Peck, Architect  and  Rosie Revere, Engineer —Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don’t go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ada Twist Scientist HERE

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Iggy Peck, Architect

Some kids sculpt sand castles. Others make mud pies. Some construct great block towers. But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer. It looks as if Iggy will have to trade in his T square for a box of crayons . . . until a fateful field trip proves just how useful a mast builder can be.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Iggy Peck Architect HERE

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.

Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose (AKA Rosie the Riveter!), who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. And you can only truly fail, if you quit.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Rosie Revere Engineer HERE

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty

Sofia Valdez Future Prez

Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia (aka Sofi) misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Sofia Valdez Future Prez HERE

Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey by Aaron Becker

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? An amazing wordless picture book !

Get the lesson plan and activities for Journey HERE

What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada

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From the same author and illustrator as the #1 nationally best-selling  What Do You Do With an Idea?  comes a new book to encourage you to look closely at problems and discover the possibilities they can hold.

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

Get the lesson plan and activities for What Do You Do With A Problem? HERE

Flight School by Lita Judge

Flight School

A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of  Red Hat  and  Red Sled .

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Flight School HERE

Jack’s Worry by Mark Zuppardi

Jack's Worry

Jack loves playing the trumpet, and for weeks he’s been looking forward to taking part in his first concert. But on the morning of the big day, Jack finds he has a Worry. And his Worry starts to grow. Even when Jack’s mother calls him for a special breakfast, even when he hides under the bed or runs around the yard, his Worry follows him. Suddenly, when it’s almost time to leave for the concert, Jack finds it’s all too much. For anyone who’s ever been afraid of failing at something new, this book offers just what’s needed to shrink a Worry down to size.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Jack’s Worry HERE

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

The Great Kapok Tree

Lynne Cherry journeyed deep into the rain forests of Brazil to write and illustrate this gorgeous picture book about a man who exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Great Kapok Tree HERE

Teach Us Your Name by Huda Essa

Teach Us Your Name

A girl is frustrated with her name and accepts people saying it incorrectly. A visit to her grandmother helps her think of how to solve her problem. Embracing the diversity of our names is one of the first steps we can take to show our appreciation of diversity and inclusion. Everyone has a name and every name has a story. Teach Us Your Name focuses on the many stories and ways we can all connect by helping children take pride in their many identities and to utilize the opportunity to learn from others. This book lends itself to countless invaluable discussions about cultural norms, languages, unconscious bias, and much more.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Teach Us Your Name HERE

Boxes For Katje by Candace Fleming

Boxes for Katje

After World War II there is little left in Katje’s town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom “thick and bright,” Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje’s street to deliver a mysterious box – a box from America!

Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What’s inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks – beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same. Sometimes to solve a problem, we need help from our neighbors, even if they’re across an ocean. An amazing historical fiction picture book !

Get the lesson plan and activities for Boxes For Katje HERE

Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin

Click Clack Moo

Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears click, clack,  MOO. Click, clack,  MOO. Clickety, clack,  MOO. But Farmer Brown’s problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes….

Get the lesson plan and activities for Click Clack Moo HERE

City Green by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan

City Green

Right in the middle of Marcy’s city block is a vacant lot, littered and forlorn. Sometimes just looking at it makes Marcy feel sad. Then one spring, Marcy has a wonderful idea: Instead of a useless lot, why not a green and growing space for everyone to enjoy?

Get the lesson plan and activities for City Green HERE

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Lilly loves all sorts of things. She loves school, she loves dressing up, she even grows to love her stinky baby brother, Julius. In fact, Lilly loves everything! But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse to school and can’t wait until sharing time to show off the purse and her movie star sunglasses, her teacher, Mr. Slinger, has to take away her prized possessions.

Lilly’s fury leads her to draw a mean picture of her favorite teacher. It isn’t until Mr. Slinger gives her belongings back to her with a kind note and snacks that Lilly realizes she owes Mr. Slinger an apology.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse HERE

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna

Mr. Peabody's Apples

Tommy Tittlebottom sees Mr Peabody taking an apple from Mr Funkadeli’s fruit market and is very surprised that he doesn’t pay. Then Tommy sees it happen again and decides that Mr. Peabody is a thief. Word spreads quickly around the town. When Mr Peabody arrives at the baseball ground, ready for the usual Saturday game, only Billy Little turns up and he soon explains what has happened. It is then up to Mr. Peabody to teach Tommy about the importance of truth and the power of words.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mr. Peabody’s Apples HERE

The Three Questions by Jon Muth

The Three Questions

Young Nikolai is searching for the answers to his three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? But it is his own response to a stranger’s cry for help that leads him directly to the answers he is looking for. This profound and inspiring book is about compassion and being engaged in each moment. With his stunning watercolors — and text that resounds with universal truths, Jon J Muth has transformed a story by Leo Tolstoy into a timeless fable for readers of every age!

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Three Questions HERE

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone’s crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind HERE

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham

The Cat Man of Aleppo

Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay–he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Cat Man of Aleppo HERE

I Dissent by Debbie Levy

I Dissent

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Get the lesson plan and activities for I Dissent HERE

Mary Wears What She Wants by Keith Negley

Mary wears what she wants

Once upon a time (but not  that  long ago), girls only wore dresses. And only boys wore pants. Until one day, a young girl named Mary had an idea: She would wear whatever she wanted. And she wanted to wear pants!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mary Wears What She Wants HERE

Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter


Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there’s barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution—a traveling library! He buys two donkeys—Alfa and Beto—and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Biblioburro HERE

Energy Island by Allan Drummond

Energy Island

At a time when most countries are producing ever-increasing amounts of CO2, the rather ordinary citizens of Samsø have accomplished something extraordinary―in just ten years they have reduced their carbon emissions by 140% and become almost completely energy independent. A narrative tale and a science book in one, this inspiring true story proves that with a little hard work and a big idea, anyone can make a huge step toward energy conservation.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Energy Island HERE

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming

Papa's Mechanical Fish

Clink! Clankety-bang! Thump-whirr!  That’s the sound of Papa at work. Although he is an inventor, he has never made anything that works perfectly, and that’s because he hasn’t yet found a truly fantastic idea. But when he takes his family fishing on Lake Michigan, his daughter Virena asks, “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fish?”―and Papa is off to his workshop. With a lot of persistence and a little bit of help, Papa―who is based on the real-life inventor Lodner Phillips―creates a submarine that can take his family for a trip to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Papa’s Mechanical Fish HERE

The Boy Who Grew a Forest by Sophia Gholz

The Boy Who Grew a Forest

As a boy, Jadav Payeng was distressed by the destruction deforestation and erosion was causing on his island home in India’s Brahmaputra River. So he began planting trees. What began as a small thicket of bamboo, grew over the years into 1,300 acre forest filled with native plants and animals. The Boy Who Grew a Forest tells the inspiring true story of Payeng–and reminds us all of the difference a single person with a big idea can make. Sometimes to solve a problem, it takes a little bit of effort over a long period of time.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Boy Who Grew a Forest HERE

Best Children’s Books About Problem Solving

What are some of your favorite children’s books about problem solving Are there any must read books about problem solving that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

Remember : You can try a free lesson and activities for Emmanuel’s Dream by signing up here:

Looking for the best children's books about problem solving? These children's books on problem solving for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about problem solving with strategies, fiction, nonfiction, STEM and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

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Top 10 Problem Solving Books

Gus's Garage

Whenever my son encounters a problem—be it building block pieces that won't fit together the way he wants them to, a door he can't open, or a bucket on the playground his friend won't share—my mom heart immediately leaps to help him. I want to solve his problems for him, to help him be happy and make life easy . . . but the truth I know deep down is that if I always help him, I'm not helping him at all. By allowing him opportunities to problem solve himself when a problem of appropriate difficulty arises, while it may be painful for both of us at the moment, I know he's developing crucial problem-solving skills, and problem-solving is one of those essential skills that, once developed, will serve children their entire lifetime. To help showcase different techniques for problem-solving, and hone metacognition for kids, we've collected here on this list the very best books for teaching problem solving through children's literature! Reading these problem-solving books with your child provides an unparalleled opportunity to have shared references to help you as a team through a learning moment when it arises, plus you'll get to enjoy the bonding moment of reading together! Some books are absolute classics, such as "The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear," that take a more humorous approach to problem-solving; others are popular titles you may be familiar with that take a more direct approach to flexible thinking techniques, such as New York Times Bestseller "What To Do With a Problem"; and some are hidden gems you may be discovering for the first time. There are books that teach social problem solving, highlight out-of-the-box thinking in innovation, speak to the role of teamwork in overcoming obstacles, and address the very real possibility that problem-solving may be needed to cope with failure at many stages of the process. Because problem solving is important in all of life's stages, this list includes board, picture and chapter books. Board books are best for infants and toddlers. Picture books are excellent for toddlers and also include stories for kindergarten and early elementary students (although we think picture books are great for all ages!). Chapter books are great for elementary- and middle school-age readers. If you know your target age group, feel free to filter to a single category, or just browse the entire list. Without further ado, enjoy this problem-solving list, and let us know what titles you would include!

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23 Problem-solving games for busy work teams

activities book problem solving

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

In-person problem solving games

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

1. Treasure hunt

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

2. Story challenge

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

3. Moral dilemma

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

4. Build a shelter

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

5. Improv games

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

6. Spaghetti tower

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

7. What would you do?

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

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

8. “MacGyver” challenge

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

9. Egg drop challenge

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

10. Shrinking circle

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

Out-of-the-office problem-solving activities

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

11. Escape room

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

12. Murder mystery

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

13. Ax throwing

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

14. Paper boat race

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

Problem-solving puzzles

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

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

16. Crossword puzzles

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

17. Tic-tac-toe tournament

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

Problem-solving for virtual teams 

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

18. Virtual hackathon

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

19. Online escape room

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

20. Survival plans

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

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

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

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

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

22. Google Docs story

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

23. Model UN

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

Set the tone of your next company retreat

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

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

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

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22 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities

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

Updated: March 1, 2024

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

But there’s a problem. 

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

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

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

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

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

  • 6. Virtual Jeoparty Social

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

a cardboard boat building challenge for problem solving team building

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

egg drop is a great team building problem solving activity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

do a spaghetti tower for team building problem solving activity

Collaboration is critical to problem solving. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

corporate escape rooms are unique team building problem solving activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your teammates will love lost at sea team building activity

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

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

Here’s how it works. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how it goes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

team pursuit team building is great for problem solving skills

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

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


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

domino effect challenging is a brain busting winter team building activity

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

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

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

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

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

code break is a cerebral indoor team building activity

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

image 1

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

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

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

colleagues doing a virtual team building problem solving activity

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

virtual escape room mummys curse

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

team members doing a fun virtual clue murder mystery

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

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

escape rooms are fun and unique team building problem solving activities

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

Here’s the backstory.

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

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

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

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

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

trivia is a great problem solving activity for colleagues

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

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

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

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

6.  Virtual Jeoparty Social

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

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

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

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

Learn More About Team Building Problem Solving Activities  

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

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And stay updated, related articles.

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activities book problem solving

29 Spring Team Building Activities to Help Shake Off the Winter Blues [Updated for 2024]


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

activities book problem solving

1st Edition

Science Skills A Problem Solving Activities Book

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This is a practical book for pupils, designed to teach the basic skills of scientific investigation and problem solving. With an emphasis on skills not facts, it is practical in approach, describing over 100 activities. No specialised apparatus is required and the investigations it covers are flexible enought to relate to any science course.

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Alan Peacock

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18 Best 5-Minute Team-Building Activities for Fast Bonding

July 3, 2024

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group of employees team building

5-minute team-building activities are the secret sauce for keeping your employees engaged. And, as the name suggests, they take little-to-no time out of your day.

Imagine: It’s a typical workday, and your team is stuck in the same old routine. Emails, meetings, deadlines—rinse and repeat. You notice the energy is dipping, and everyone seems a bit disconnected. Sound familiar?

Fortunately, you don't need a team retreat to revitalize your team's spirit. All you need is 5 minutes. That’s right—no long workshops or elaborate events. Just five minutes.

Whether you’re dealing with tight schedules, remote teams, or a group of introverts, these team-building activities will help you shake things up and get everyone working together again.

activities book problem solving

What Are Team-Building Activities?

Team-building activities give you a template for structured exercises (or tasks) that improve relationships, define roles within teams, and improve team's problem-solving skills and collaboration. These activities can range from simple icebreakers to complex problem-solving challenges.

When done right, these activities can break down barriers, build rapport, and create a sense of camaraderie that carries over into the day-to-day work environment.

But let’s be honest—traditional team-building activities can sometimes feel like a chore (especially when they’re long, drawn-out, and interrupt the workflow). That’s where 5-minute team-building activities come in. They’re quick, fun, and can be easily added to your daily routine without causing major disruptions.

These short activities are perfect for kickstarting meetings, re-energizing the team during a mid-afternoon slump, or simply providing a quick break that encourages team bonding. They’re designed to be impactful without taking up too much time—and that's a win-win for everyone.

Why 5-Minute Team Building Activities Hit the Sweet Spot

Finding time for team-building can be challenging. Everyone has a jam-packed schedule, and asking anyone to cut out an afternoon for an escape room or team dinner is just adding to the day-to-day stress.

That's why 5-minute team building activities are the perfect solution. They provide bite-sized opportunities for quick, engaging collaboration that don't take up too much of your valuable time.

Here's why:

  • Time-Efficient: Time is money, and you get more of both with quick activities that don't disrupt your workflows.
  • Easy to Implement : No special equipment or extensive planning is needed. Most 5-minute team-building activities require minimal setup and can be done with items you already have in the office or with digital tools for remote teams.
  • Morale Booster : A short, fun activity can provide a much-needed break and a team morale boost . These activities inject a bit of fun into the workday, helping to reduce stress and re-energize your team.
  • Better Bonding: These activities create opportunities for team members to interact in a non-work-related context, strengthening relationships and fostering a sense of camaraderie.
  • Adaptable for Any Team: In-person, remote, globally distributed—it doesn't matter. These 5-minute activities let anyone participate, regardless of their physical location.

18 Best 5-Minute Team-Building Activities

activities book problem solving

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to helping your team members bond and work together. That's why we've come up with a long list of 5-minute team-building activities—to give you plenty of options that cater to different wants, needs, and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for quick icebreakers to kickstart your meetings, mid-afternoon energizers to boost team morale, or creative exercises to get those brainstorming sessions flowing, we’ve got you covered.

5-Minute Icebreaker Activities

1. two truths and a lie.

Two Truths and a Lie is a classic icebreaker that’s simple, fun, and effective in getting team members to learn more about each other. It's great way to get a little bit personal in a fun and non-intimidating way. Use this when introducing new team members.

How to Play:

  • Each team member takes turns sharing three statements about themselves. Two of these statements should be true, and one should be a lie.
  • The rest of the team then guesses which statement is the lie.
  • Once the lie is revealed, the person shares more details about the true statements (this is where the spark in conversation happens).

2. Word Association Game

The Word Association Game stimulates quick thinking and creativity. It's a great way to kick-off a meeting, especially if everyone is looking a bit tired and ragged. You'll get some good ideas, and you might even share a few laughs.

  • The team leader starts with a word related to work or a random topic.
  • The next person quickly says the first word that comes to their mind in response.
  • This continues around the group, with each person building off the last word.
  • Set a time limit of five minutes to keep the game moving quickly.

5-Minute Problem-Solving Activities

3. riddle me this.

Riddle Me This is a fun and engaging way to challenge your team’s problem-solving abilities with clever riddles. It encourages team members to think outside the box, use critical-thinking, and build communication skills.

  • The facilitator prepares a list of riddles in advance.
  • Present a riddle to the team and set a timer for one minute (or more for harder riddles).
  • Team members can discuss and collaborate to find the answer within the time limit.
  • After the time is up, the facilitator reveals the correct answer and discusses the solution with the team.

Examples of Riddles :

  • "I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have nobody, but I come alive with wind. What am I?" (Answer: An echo)
  • "The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?" (Answer: Footsteps)

4. Minute Mysteries

Minute Mysteries are short, puzzling scenarios that require logical thinking and teamwork to solve. It sharpens logical thinking and deductive reasoning as team members work through the clues. Done right, it can add an element of excitement and challenge that can energize the team and make problem-solving fun.

  • The facilitator reads out a mystery scenario to the team.
  • Team members have one minute to ask yes-or-no questions to gather clues and piece together the solution.
  • After one minute, the team discusses and presents their solution.
  • The facilitator reveals the correct answer and explains the reasoning behind it.

Examples of Minute Mysteries:

  • Scenario: "A man was found dead in a locked room with no windows and a puddle of water around him. How did he die?" (Answer: He was stabbed with an icicle that melted.)
  • Scenario: "A woman leaves, makes three left turns, and returns home to find two masked men waiting for her. Who are they?" (Answer: The catcher and the umpire at a baseball game.)

5-Minute Creative-Thinking Activities

5. quick storytelling.

Quick Storytelling is a fun and collaborative activity where other team members adds a sentence to build a story. Promotes teamwork and collaboration as everyone contributes to the creation of a cohesive story. It gets people's creative juices flowing—and everyone has to pay close attention.

  • Start with a Prompt : The facilitator provides a story starter or prompt to kick things off.
  • Add to the Story : Each team member takes turns adding one sentence to the story. Encourage creativity and spontaneity.
  • Continue Around the Team : Keep going around the team until the story reaches a natural conclusion or until the time limit is reached.

Examples of Story Starters :

  • "Once upon a time, in a land where everyone could fly..."
  • "In the middle of the night, a mysterious package appeared on the doorstep..."
  • "The ancient map led them to a hidden treasure, but what they found was beyond their wildest dreams..."

6. Brainstorm Session

The Five-Minute Brainstorm is a rapid-fire activity designed to generate a burst of creative ideas on a specific topic or problem. It encourages a free flow of ideas without the pressure of prolonged thinking, which can spark innovative solutions.

  • Choose a Topic : Select a topic or problem that needs creative solutions.
  • Set Up : Provide team members with sticky notes or a shared digital document if you’re working remotely.
  • Set the Timer : Give the team exactly five minutes to brainstorm as many ideas as possible.
  • Brainstorm : Encourage team members to write down every idea that comes to mind (no matter how wild or unconventional).
  • Share and Discuss : After the timer goes off, have each team member share their ideas. Group similar ideas together and discuss the most promising ones.

5-Minute Remote Team-Building Ideas

7. virtual coffee chat.

A virtual coffee chat is just what it sounds like—a time for everyone to kick back, relax, and enjoy a mid-morning coffee with the team. Nothing fancy about it. It provides a casual setting for team members to build team bonds and relationships.

Don't make it serious or about work. Keep things casual and laid back. You might kickoff a basic conversation, such as:

  • "What’s the best thing you’ve watched or read recently?"
  • "Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?"
  • "What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?"

Here's what a virtual coffee chat tends to look like:

  • Schedule a Time : Set aside five minutes during a virtual meeting or as a stand-alone break.
  • Grab a Beverage : Encourage everyone to bring their favorite coffee, tea, or beverage.
  • Start the Chat : Use the time to catch up on non-work-related topics. Ask questions about hobbies, weekend plans, or interesting news.
  • Facilitate the Conversation : The facilitator can prepare a few light-hearted questions or conversation starters to keep the chat flowing.

8. Online Pictionary

Online Pictionary lets you connect is one of the best virtual team building activities. It gives you a light-hearted break from work with a simple, fun game that anyone can pick up and learn in no time.

  • Choose a Platform : Use online tools like Skribbl.io , Zoom’s whiteboard feature, or a shared digital whiteboard.
  • Divide into Teams : Team members pair up into small groups.
  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for each round of drawing and guessing.
  • Draw and Guess : One team member draws a word or phrase while the others guess what it is. Rotate roles for each round.

5-Minute Feedback Activities

9. one-word feedback.

One-Word Feedback is a quick and straightforward activity that encourages team members to share their thoughts and feelings concisely. Use this activity to identify common themes and areas for improvement in a quick, easy-to-understand format.

  • Choose a Topic : Select a specific project, meeting, or aspect of work you want feedback on.
  • Set the Timer : Give team members one minute to think of a single word that describes their feedback.
  • Share and Explain : Go around the group and have each team member share their word. Optionally, they can provide a brief explanation of why they chose that word.

10. Team Shout-Outs

Team Shout-Outs are a great way to recognize and celebrate individual contributions and achievements in just a few minutes. It's basically a recognition session to celebrate everyone's wins (big and small).

  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes at the end of a meeting or as a stand-alone activity.
  • Encourage Participation : Ask team members to give shout-outs to colleagues who have done something commendable or helpful.
  • Be Specific : Encourage team members to be specific about what they’re recognizing, explaining the action and its positive impact.

Examples of Positive Feedback :

  • "I’d like to give a shout-out to Alex for going above and beyond to help with the client presentation. Your hard work made a huge difference!"
  • "A big thank you to Maria for stepping in to cover my tasks while I was out. Your support was invaluable."
  • "Kudos to John for bringing fresh ideas to the brainstorming session. Your creativity really sparked some great discussions!"

5-Minute Get-to-Know-You Activities

11. speed networking.

You might be surprised how little you know about your team members—and how little they know about each other. You work with these people for hours every week, but you sometimes skip over the basics and jump straight to career aspirations and big company projects. Yes, those are important, too, but a speed networking sessions helps you take a step back and get to know each of your colleagues better.

  • Set Up Pairs : Pair team members up randomly.
  • Set the Timer : Allocate one minute per round for each pair to talk.
  • Share Information : During their minute, team members can share fun facts, hobbies, or answer a specific question.
  • Rotate : After each minute, rotate pairs so that everyone gets a chance to talk to multiple colleagues.

Examples of Questions :

  • "What’s your favorite hobby?"
  • "If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?"
  • "What’s the best book or movie you’ve enjoyed recently?"

12. Favorite Things

Favorite Things is a simple activity where team members share some the things they like best in this world—whether that's music, sports, celebrities, food, or hobbies. It encourages team members to open up and share personal interests, and that often reveals commonalities and shared passions among team members.

  • Choose a Topic : Decide on a category like favorite books, movies, foods, or vacation spots.
  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for the entire activity.
  • Share Favorites : Go around the group and have each team member share their favorite thing in the chosen category.

Variations :

  • Themed Favorites : Pick a theme related to the season or a current event, such as favorite summer activities or favorite holiday traditions.
  • Rapid-Fire Round : Ask team members to quickly list their top three favorites in a category within 30 seconds.

5-Minute Team-Building Activities for Introverts

13. silent brainstorming.

Not everyone likes loud, fast-paced team-building activities, but that doesn't mean they can't collaborate and get closer to their coworkers. Silent Brainstorming is an inclusive activity that allows team members to contribute ideas without the pressure of speaking up in front of a group.

  • Choose a Topic : Select a topic or problem that requires creative input.
  • Set Up Materials : Provide each team member with sticky notes or use a shared digital document for remote teams.
  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for the brainstorming session.
  • Write Ideas : Team members write down their ideas silently and independently.
  • Share and Discuss : After five minutes, collect the ideas and discuss them as a group, highlighting common themes and standout suggestions.

14. Personal Reflection

Personal Reflection provides a quiet moment for team members to think about their own experiences, goals, or recent work. Getting to know yourself (and what you really want) helps you better connect with others and find common ground.

  • Choose a Prompt : Select a reflective question or prompt related to work or personal growth.
  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for the reflection.
  • Reflect Silently : Team members spend the time thinking or writing down their thoughts individually.
  • Optional Sharing : If comfortable, team members can share their reflections with the group or with a partner.

5-Minute Trust-Building Activities

15. trust circle.

We'd do a trust fall, but that's perhaps not the safest (or most work appropriate) team-building activity. Instead, go for the trust circle. This simple activity encourages open communication by sharing personal experiences or feelings in a supportive environment.

  • Form a Circle : Have the team sit or stand in a circle, either in person or in a virtual meeting.
  • Share Experiences : Each team member shares a personal experience, challenge, or positive moment they’ve had recently.
  • Listen Actively : Encourage active listening without interruption or judgment.

16. Compliment Circle

Compliment Circle is an uplifting activity where team members give and receive positive feedback in a structured way. It'll help team members feel valued for their contributions .

  • Form a Circle : Have the team sit or stand in a circle, either in person or in a virtual team meeting.
  • Give Compliments : Each team member takes turns giving a compliment to the person on their right.
  • Receive Compliments : Encourage team members to graciously accept compliments and express gratitude.
  • Themed Compliments : Focus on specific areas, such as work achievements, personal qualities, or teamwork.
  • Anonymous Compliments : Write compliments on sticky notes or in a shared document, and then read them out loud.

5-Minute Physical Activities

17. stretch break.

A quick stretch break is an excellent way to refresh the body and mind, especially during long meetings or work sessions. Throw them into the daily routine to liven everyone up and get them to focus on their personal wellbeing for a few minutes. It shows that your work culture values more than just bottoms in chairs (literally).

  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for the entire stretch session.
  • Guide the Stretches : Lead the team through a series of simple stretches that can be done at their desks or in a small space.
  • Hold Each Stretch : Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds, focusing on different muscle groups.

Nobody needs to get down on the ground, either (unless they want to, of course). Here are a few basic stretches you can do seated or standing.

Examples of Stretches :

  • Neck Rolls : Gently roll your head in a circle to loosen neck muscles.
  • Shoulder Shrugs : Lift your shoulders towards your ears and then release.
  • Seated Forward Bend : Sit on the edge of your chair, extend your legs, and reach towards your toes.
  • Side Stretch : Raise one arm overhead and lean to the opposite side, stretching the side body.

18. Desk Yoga

Desk Yoga is a series of gentle yoga poses that can be done at your desk to relieve stress and tension. You can do this one remotely (cameras on or off) or in-person. Plus, most people close their eyes during yoga, so it can be a peaceful, private way to get a little team exercise in to the day.

  • Set the Timer : Allocate five minutes for the desk yoga session.
  • Guide the Poses : Lead the team through a series of simple yoga poses that can be done while seated or standing.
  • Breathe Deeply : Encourage deep, mindful breathing throughout the session to enhance relaxation.

Examples of Desk Yoga Poses :

  • Seated Cat-Cow : Sit with your hands on your knees, arch your back on an inhale (cow), and round your spine on an exhale (cat).
  • Seated Forward Fold : Sit at the edge of your chair, fold forward, and let your head and arms hang down.
  • Chair Pigeon : Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and gently lean forward for a hip stretch.
  • Seated Twist : Sit up straight, place one hand on the opposite knee, and twist your torso gently to the side.

Drive Team Engagement with Terryberry

5-minute team-building activities can make a massive difference in your team spirit, team dynamics, morale, and overall productivity. But how do you know if your efforts are actually making an impact?

We can help with that.

Terryberry provides comprehensive solutions to help you measure and improve team engagement. Our surveys help you gain valuable insights in your team's needs and track the outcomes of team-building activities. You'll learn what's really driving engagement to help you better scale initiatives to the rest of your company.

See for yourself. Schedule a demo with our team to see how we can help you implement everything from engagement surveys and peer-to-peer recognition to performance awards and wellness challenges .

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Problem Solving Activities

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Problem Solving Activities Paperback – January 1, 1996

  • Print length 120 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Great Ideas for Teaching, Incorporated
  • Publication date January 1, 1996
  • ISBN-10 1886143358
  • ISBN-13 978-1886143357
  • See all details

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Great Ideas for Teaching, Incorporated (January 1, 1996)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 120 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1886143358
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1886143357
  • #13,117 in Decision-Making & Problem Solving

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activities book problem solving


  1. Problem Solving Activities

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  2. Problem Solving with Little Learners (preschool, pre-k, and

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  3. Handbook of Problem-Solving Activities ~ COMMON CORE 15 pages

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  6. Creative Problem Solving: An Introduction, Fourth Edition by Donald J

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  5. AMC 8 Book Problem-Solving Session!

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  1. 12 Best Problem Solving Books to Read

    9. Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving by by V. Anton Spraul. Think Like a Programmer is one of the top problem solving books for programmers. The guide lays out methods for finding and fixing bugs and creating clean, workable code.

  2. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity

    Using 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will give you the information and tools you need to: Generate creative ideas to solve problems. Avoid patterned and negative thinking. Engage in activities that are guaranteed to spark ideas. Use proven techniques for brainstorming with groups.

  3. Top 15 problem-solving activities for your team to master

    3. Egg Drop. Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making. Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn't easy, but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices.

  4. 44 Powerful Problem Solving Activities for Kids

    By honing their problem-solving abilities, we're preparing kids to face the unforeseen challenges of the world outside. Enhances Cognitive Growth: Otherwise known as cognitive development. Problem-solving isn't just about finding solutions. It's about thinking critically, analyzing situations, and making decisions.

  5. "What Do You Do With a Problem?" Problem Solving Activities

    Here are some of my favorite activities that you can do with your students after reading the book. 1. Asking for help. In the story, the boy tries everything he can to avoid the problem but it just keeps following him. This is a great opportunity to discuss with students ways that they can ask for help. Thinking of someone that they could turn ...

  6. 21 Good Picture Books to Teach Problem and Solution

    One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail. This picture book is a great way to teach kids summarizing and word choice as well as a problem-solution text structure! Sophia really wants a pet giraffe for her birthday. As a result, she sets out to convince her family, starting with her mother, a judge.

  7. Books That Help Teach Kids Problem Solving

    One of the most helpful and easy ways to do this is to read, fall in love with and make sense of books that help support problem-solving. Here are a few of our favorites along with why we love them and how they each support children in developing their problem-solving skills. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts.

  8. 13 Problem-Solving Activities & Exercises for Your Team

    Here are nine easy-to-implement activities that can bring substantial change to your team culture and overall workplace dynamics. #1. Crossword Puzzles. Objective: To enhance problem-solving skills, vocabulary, and cognitive abilities through engaging crossword puzzles. Estimated Time: 15-20 Minutes.

  9. Problem Solving Activities

    The activities concentrate on the possible long-range outcomes that could happen when a certain solution is chosen. While students often choose the easiest solution, they will learn to predict what could happen if they choose that method to resolve the problem. This book encourages responsible thinking. 120 reproducible pages. Grades: 1st - 6th.

  10. Problem Solving with Little Learners (preschool, pre-k, and

    Cheer on the students for solving the problem and stay close just in case they need more support. Throughout the day, try to make EVERYTHING a problem to solve. Then model, talk through your thinking out loud, and use visuals to support students as they try to solve a problem. For example, I may put out a big ball of playdough in the center of ...

  11. 10 Problem Solving Picture Books for Elementary Teachers

    Oona, Stuck, Rosie Revere, Engineer and The Paper Bag Princess are part of our problem solving SEL Unit, which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching problem solving. Learn all about these problem solving picture books below and how you can use them to teach problem solving! 10 Problem Solving ...

  12. 15 Fun Problem-Solving Activities for Growth Mindset

    How to do: This is one of the best problem solving activities for kids. Activity books are great for children's problem-solving skills to develop. Buy them activity books containing games like find the element, what's wrong with the pictures, or hidden picture books. Related Reading: Best Positive Reinforcement Tips For Teachers & Parents 7.

  13. Best 20 Problem-Solving Activities to Challenge Your Team

    Quick and easy problem-solving activities 12. Unpuzzled (in-person, virtual, hybrid) Activity Focus Areas: Communication, reasoning, collaboration under time pressure. Objective: Unpuzzled is an engaging team-building game that combines problem-solving and trivia elements. The goal is for each team to work collaboratively to solve a series of puzzles and then unscramble them to uncover a meta ...

  14. 30 New and Notable Children's Books About Problem Solving

    These children's books on problem solving for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about problem solving with strategies, fiction, nonfiction, STEM and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students.

  15. Problem Solving Games, Activities & Exercises for Adults

    4. Sudoku. 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.

  16. The 100 Best Problem Solving Kids Books

    Without further ado, enjoy this problem-solving list, and let us know what titles you would include! Problem Solving Books. #2: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear #3: To the Sea #4: Rosie Revere, Engineer #5: Solutions for Cold Feet.

  17. 23 Problem-solving games for busy work teams

    15. Sudoku. Sudoku has become one of the most popular problem solving games for adults. There are dozens of free app options, as well as paperback books that you can pick up. The goal of this game is to fill each box on a 9×9 grid so that every row, column, and letter contains each number from one to nine.

  18. 15 Picture Books to Teach Problem Solving To Kids

    Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears by Cynthia Rylant. Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears is a sweet story about an older man named Mr. Putter who wants pear jelly. His problem is that he has crancky legs and can't climb up the ladder to pick the pears. So he has to find another way to get the pears out of the tree.

  19. 22 Unbeatable Team Building Problem Solving Activities

    This means learning and having fun don't have to be mutually exclusive. And you can create a stronger team at the same time. Table Of Contents. show. 16 In-Person Team Building Problem Solving Activities for Your Work Group. 1. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge. 2. Egg Drop.

  20. Powerful Problem Solving: Activities for Sense Making with the

    Max Ray-Riek is a curriculum writer at Illustrative Mathematics and is the lead author of Powerful Problem Solving: Activities for Sense Making with the Math Practices.He previously worked for The Math Forum, focusing on fostering problem solving, communication, and valuing student thinking. Max is a former secondary mathematics teacher who regularly presents at regional and national conferences.

  21. 20 Best Problem Solving eBooks of All Time

    Empowering Problem-Solving. Core Critical Thinking. Groundbreaking Work. Quality Assessment. Fairminded Critical Societies. Close-Mindedness. Self-Deception. #43 Best Seller in Philosophy of Logic & Language on Amazon. Recommended by Michael Shermer, Bryan Deptula, Linda Tym and 1 other.

  22. Science Skills A Problem Solving Activities Book

    Description. This is a practical book for pupils, designed to teach the basic skills of scientific investigation and problem solving. With an emphasis on skills not facts, it is practical in approach, describing over 100 activities. No specialised apparatus is required and the investigations it covers are flexible enought to relate to any ...

  23. Amazon.com: 103 Exciting Activity Book for Kids Ages 6-8: Challenging

    Introducing "103 Exciting Activity Book for Kids Ages 6-8" - the ultimate puzzle and activity extravaganza that guarantees hours of entertainment and learning for young minds!This captivating activity book is carefully designed to engage children aged 6, 7, and 8 with a delightful array of brain-teasers, challenges, and fun-filled puzzles. The book is the perfect gift for kids, making their ...

  24. 18 Best 5-Minute Team-Building Activities for Fast Bonding

    5-Minute Problem-Solving Activities 3. Riddle Me This. Riddle Me This is a fun and engaging way to challenge your team's problem-solving abilities with clever riddles. It encourages team members to think outside the box, use critical-thinking, and build communication skills. ... Choose a Topic: Decide on a category like favorite books, movies ...

  25. Problem Solving Activities

    Problem Solving Activities Paperback - January 1, 1996 by Jean Gilliam DeGaetano (Author), Kevin Newman (Illustrator) 5.0 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

  26. 7 Screen-free summer activities your kids won't hate

    This activity encourages problem-solving, teamwork and critical thinking. It may take an hour or two to set up and create your DIY escape room for teens or tweens.