Building a tower with newspapers can be used as an icebreaker exercise at the beginning of the workshop. This playful activity involves a practical group challenge that will allow participants to get acquainted with one another. The problem-solving, yet fun task of building a paper tower typically generates a sense of collaboration and engagement.
In this game, teams are instructed to build a freestanding tower with newspapers and tapes in a given time (e.g. 15-20 minutes). There are no specific requirements regarding the appearance of the tower and no technical building instructions are necessary. The winning team is the one with the highest freestanding tower in the allocated time.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
Minimum 9 participants
This exercise is most suited to approx. 12-20 participants.
MODE OF DELIVERY
Minimum 15 minutes | F2F
Depending on the size of the group, time will differ. However, it is recommended to finish the session within 30 minutes.
- 2-3 newspapers
- 2-3 rolls of Scotch (sticky) tape per team
- Scissors to cut the tape
- Timer/bell for the facilitator
The space/table for each group can be set up before, along with the group’s required paper and tape.
The facilitator divides the participants into groups (e.g. 3-5 participants per group), and distributes the newspapers and tapes equally to each group.
The facilitator sets the timer (e.g. 15 to 30 minutes).
Participants begin to build the tower once the facilitator gives the ‘start’ signal. When the time has run out (e.g. after 15 minutes), the teams stop working immediately.
The towers are presented in the middle of the room. The winning team is the one that built the highest freestanding tower. (The tower has to be able to stand erect, independently for a given time, e.g. 30 seconds)
- The facilitator should check that there are adequate tape and newspapers available for each group.
- There should be enough space in the workshop venue for each group to build a tower.
- Instead of using newspapers, the tower can also be built with recycled printing papers. To ensure fairness, however, all the teams should use the same materials to build the tower.
This exercise summary draws from the practical experience of the database contributors, as well as the following resource:
- Newspapers Towers Game. Icebreakers.ws. Retrived on 2 March 2022 from https://www.icebreakers.ws/medium-group/newspaper-towers.html.