Water Carry


The aim of this challenge is for the team to try and retrieve 10 cups full of water from around the room and place on a tray without spilling any of it. During the task, each person is only allowed to use, just one hand and one leg to complete the task.

Equipment Required: 10 paper cups (filled with water 3/4), tray
Space Required: Medium. Can be delivered either indoors or outdoors.
Group Size: 6 to 12 ideally (for larger groups, split into smaller sub-teams)

Total Time: 20 minutes

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

Water Carry Team Challenge Instructions

  1. Before you start the activity, fill ten paper cups with water. Place five cups on the ground at one end of the room at the other five on the opposite side of the room. Aim for having these at a minimum 20ft apart if possible.
  2. Provide a tray for the group and explain that their challenge is to retrieve all 10 cups of water and place them on the tray without spilling any water.
  3. The group are only allowed to retrieve, just one cup at a time. They cannot return to the same side of the room, twice in a row and must alternate betweens sides.
  4. Each person in the team can only use just one hand and one foot for the duration of the challenge. Once the group have retrieved all 10 cups of water, they must then return back to the middle of the room and place the tray on the floor.
  5. If they spill any water, they must start over again.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Goal Setting
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication skills

Useful Tips

Most of the time, groups will try to hop with the tray and the contents which results in water spillage. The best way of completing this task is for the group to form a chain and pass the tray down the line and then reverse the chain to the opposite and repeat until they have retrieved all 10 cups.

Add a time limit to the challenge to make it harder for the group and put pressure on them to complete the task. Allow enough time before they start the challenge to plan.

Suggested questions to ask during the review:

  • How did you feel when working as part of a team?
  • Is there anything you would do differently next time?
  • What did you find most difficult? Why did you find it difficult and how can you prevent it from happening again?
  • Did anyone lead the task and why was important to nominate a leader?
  • How did you plan for the task? Did everyone share their ideas?


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