Towers of Hanoi


The team is presented with the challenge of organising a stack of tyres in a set order but on a different post. There are a total of three posts and five tyres, moving just one tyre at a time, transfer the tyres from the post they are currently on to another set post. The group cannot put a larger tyre on a smaller tyre and they stack of tyres must look the same as they do to begin with.

Equipment Required: 3 posts and five tyres (you can use alternatives if you which to deliver indoors and on a smaller scale).
Space Required: Medium. Delivered outdoors.
Group Size: 8 to 12 ideally, but can be done with anything from 5 through to 20 participants.

Total Time: 20 minutes

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

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Group Discussion
  • Planning

Useful Tips

Be careful and ensure that everyone is actively engaged during the challenge. Sometimes, group members do their on thing without telling others in the group what they are doing. Make sure they discuss the challenge before even touching a tyre so everyone understands what to do and the plan. Set a rule, that everyone in the group moves a tyre at least once.

If someone has done the challenge before, either get them to stand at the side or mute them for the challenge. If the group find the challenge easy mute them, challenge them to a certain or even blindfold certain members (Whatever you feel works with the group you are teaching).

Suggested questions to ask in the review:

  • How much did you discuss the challenge before starting the task?
  • Did everyone understand the challenge and plan? If not, why not?
  • Did someone take the lead on the challenge or was it a group effort?
  • How well did you communicate as a team? How could you improve?


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