Balloon in Water Team Building Activity

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In this activity, the team is tasked with the challenge of immersing an inflated balloon underwater for at least 5 seconds, using only the materials provided.

Resources:

Set-Up:

  • 1 large bucket (ideally 15-30 liters)
  • 1 brick

Materials for the challenge:

  • 5 plastic straws, 5 paper clips
  • 1 plastic shopping bag
  • 1 piece of string (20cm)
  • 20cm of tape
  • Scissors
  • 3 binder clips
  • Regular-sized balloons (prepare some extras in case some balloons pop)

Space Required: Small. Ideally outdoors, or an area suitable for getting wet.

Group Size: 8 to 12 ideally. With bigger groups, you can split them into smaller teams and prepare one set of resources for each team.

Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 10 minutes to brief and setup
  • 10 minutes for the activity
  • 10 minutes to review and debrief

Set Up:

  • Fill the bucket with water until it’s filled 15cm from the top
  • Place the brick at the bottom of the bucket
  • Inflate one balloon (ideally to a 10cm diameter)

Running the Activity

  • Explain the activity: Each team has to fully immerse an inflated balloon in water, using only the materials provided. The balloon must remain submerged for at least 5 seconds. They are given 1 minute planning time, followed by 5 minutes to do the activity.
  • When the team is ready, they should notify the trainer(s) who will then judge if their balloon is submerged for the minimum of 5 seconds.

Rules

  • Only the provided materials can be used during the challenge.
  • The 3 binder clips and inflated balloon given to the team cannot be changed in any way.
  • Before starting the activity, the team has one minute to plan. The trainer(s) will inform participants what materials are provided, but they have to plan without touching the materials.
  • After planning, the team is given 5 minutes to execute their plan.
  • The balloon must be fully immersed in the water before the 5 minutes is over.
  • The balloon must remain immersed for at least 5 seconds, and the team must notify the trainer(s) when they are ready to be timed.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Strategy
  • Creative thinking

Activity Guidance and Notes
This activity challenges participants to work together and find a creative solution to a problem. There is no one correct way to complete the challenge, and each team will have a different method of doing it.

If the team is unsuccessful in their attempt to submerge the balloon, consider running the activity in two rounds to give them another chance. This strengthens their problem-solving skills and helps build resilience from failure.

Review

Suggested questions to ask:

  • What did you do well? How did you decide on the method of submerging the balloon?
  • Did you miscommunicate at any point during the challenge? How did you get back on track?
  • Did you identify a leader?
  • What leadership was demonstrated during the challenge?
  • How well did you communicate during the challenge?
  • (If the activity is done in two rounds) What did the team do differently in the second round?
  • What did you learn from the challenge?

More Team Building Ideas

More fun and effective team building activities can be found in our Team Building Activity BookThe eBook provides easy to follow, step by step instructions for leading 30 activities, including activity notes, challenge rules, variations and review questions. We guaranteed it will help you inspire and motivate your team or your money back. Click here to check it out.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, I am wanting to know what the rules are with the brick? Can they take it out of the water and to use it any way they wish as well? Also, in your experience, what is the most common way to solve this challenge?

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