Nine Cone Path


Nine cones are laid out in a square grid. The objective is to lay the rope over so that the rope passes over the middle of every cone in the grid. The rope may only bend through an angle of no more than ninety degrees three times at most.

Resources Required: Each team needs nine cones and one long length of rope.
Space Required: Small. Indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 8 to 12 ideally, but can be done with anything from 5 to a maximum 15 participants.

Total Time: 15-20 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief and set up
  • 5-10 minutes to achieve outcome
  • 5 minutes to review and debrief


Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Resilience
  • Lateral thinking

Useful Tips

This is all about teams working together to come up with a solution. If any team member is dominating or not listening then make them participate in silence for 1, 2 or 3 minutes. This will allow others in the team to take the lead.

If you have a larger group, you can split them into smaller sub-teams and get them competing against each other to see who can solve the problem the quickest. This task can be done in small groups as a race or as a whole group with more focus on inclusion and discussion.

Suggested questions when reviewing:

How much planning did you do before attempting the challenge?
Why was planning essential for this challenge?
How did you decide on the strategy you used?
What happened when things didn’t go to plan?
How well do you feel you worked as a team?
Did everyone have some involvement in the challenge?
What did you learn from the challenge?


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