Can Span Team Building Activity


In this activity, the team has to span the distance between the cans using only the materials provided.


  • 10 cans, unopened
  • 10 toothpicks
  • 10 drinking straws
  • 5 paper clips
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Length of string (20cm)
  • Length of masking tape (20cm)
  • Scissors

Space Required: Medium. Ideally indoors.

Group Size: 4 – 8 participants

Total Time: 30 minutes

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


  •    Place the cans on the floor in a row. They should be 20cm apart from each other.

Can Span Team Building Activity
Running the Activity

  • Explain the activity: The aim of the activity is to span the distance between the cans using only the resources provided. The team is given a time limit of 4 minutes to span as many cans as possible.
  • The team receives 5 minutes of planning time to plan their build.
  • Once they are ready, they can begin the activity.


  •    Only the provided resources can be used to span the cans.
  •    Each completed span should rest on the top of the cans. No materials should touch the floor.
  •    The cans cannot be moved.


  • If there is more than one team participating, you can make it a challenge to see which team can complete spanning all the cans first.
  • Increase the distance between the cans in order to make the activity more challenging.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  •    Communication
  •    Cooperation
  •    Problem solving
  •    Creativity


Suggested questions to ask:

  •    How did the planning time help you execute the activity?
  •    How did the team decide on the method of spanning the cans?
  •    How well did you communicate during the challenge?
  •    Why was cooperation important during this challenge?
  •    What could you have done better as a team?
  •    What did you learn from the challenge?

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