Shrinking Space

10 minutes
Learning Outcomes

Participants must work together to repeatedly solve the same problem but under different conditions and thereby train their problem-solving skills as well as adaptability and collaboration.

Resources & Preparation Needed

Two newspapers



Participants are divided into two teams. 

Two big newspapers are laid on the floor. Both groups must fit all members on their newspaper. 

When both teams succeed, the newspapers are folded to a smaller size, and the groups must find new ways to make sure that every member fits on the newspaper. 

The newspaper is repeatedly folded to a smaller size, until one team fails. 

Optionally, add a time limit. 

For larger teams, other tools can be used to create the “shrinking space,” e.g. rope.

Ideas For Reflection

Ask the groups to evaluate the experience. You might ask them questions like: 

  • Which decisions did you make during the process?
  • How were the decisions made? 
  • How did it feel to stand to close to each other?
  • What were your thoughts about having to get so close to your class mates – physically?
  • Think about situations in the daily life, where your space or your circumstances are being changed without warning. How do you cope with that?