Leadership Inspirations Activities

Candy Challenge

A series of activities that culminate in the construction of a bridge out of candy

Duration

30-45 minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Game, Experiential Activity

Materials

Poster Board (For Base), Straws, Toothpicks, Graham Crackers, Assorted Candy (Chocolate Bars, M&M’s, etc.)

 

SUMMARY

By competing in challenges and constructing the bridge, you can observe team interaction while exploring collaboration and competition among groups, particularly in reference to use of resources.

 

SET UP

  • Group Size: Minimum of two groups of 4-10 participants.
  • You can use all or just one of the pre-bridge building events. Allow five to ten minutes per event.
  • Setup will differ depending on which events you choose to do. For all events, get enough candy (marshmallows and spaghetti also work) to build 3-5 bridge sections.
    • Full Contact Candy Bingo
      • Prepare bingo cards with chocolate or candy experiences such as “has eaten the ears off a chocolate bunny first” and “has eaten cereal with chocolate milk” on a grid (1 for each person)
    •  CSI Candy
      • Prepare 10 different types of candy (chocolate makes it harder) for taste tests and between 5-10 types of candy that you will chop up or squish for the Candy Sight Investigation (CSI) portion.
    •  You’re in the Game of Candy
      • Prepare a game board with “Candy Trivia” and “Candy Challenge” spots. Also prepare cards that include different Candy Trivia and Candy Challenges for teams to complete.
      • Also get large dice for teams to roll.
    •  Towering Candy
      • You need only lay out the candy you brought for the activity.
    •  A Bridge Over Candy Waters
      • Bring Tarps or secure separate rooms where teams can work privately.
      • Make sure there are tables or other surfaces where teams can construct their bridges
      • Make sure each team has candy from previous activities.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Full Contact Candy Bingo
    • Find others who fit the descriptions on the Bingo cards, write their names in the appropriate boxes and get each Bingo wins chocolate you can use later for building.
  •  CSI Candy
    • In the CSI “Candy Taste Test” competition in which each group gets two tries at tasting ten different types of mystery chocolate. Whose taste buds will reign supreme? But that’s not all. In our “Candy Sight Investigation” (CSI) we’ve dissected chocolate bars. Teams must sleuth out what kind it is. Correct answers earn each team chocolate to be used for creating a building, later in the competition.
  •  You’re in the Game of Candy
    • Teams complete chocolate trivia and chocolate challenges either sitting at tables or moving around a giant game board. The game board is made up of “chocolate trivia” spots and “chocolate challenge” spots. The music starts, the extra-large dice are rolled, and the game begins! The faster the teams answer correctly, the more chocolate they win.
  •  Towering Candy
    • Towering Candy challenges teams to build a freestanding candy tower as high as possible! Timing is everything.

The pre-bridge games will give the appearance that this will be a competition even though it is not. After all the candy is distributed the final challenge will begin.

  • A Bridge Over Candy Waters
    • The Finale is perfect for creating a sense of one team. This exercise creates a strong visual, while demonstrating the importance of developing leadership and communication.
    • Teams enter a world of pure imagination as they design and build a self-supported bridge made only of candy and items supplied. Let participants know that the judges will be scoring on bridge appearance (best-looking), symmetry & height requirement, creativity (most-ingenious), bridge strength, and smoothness and flatness of road deck.
    • Teams will have ten minutes to construct their bridge
    • Now the twist: Teams must work to build “parts” of a bridge and at the end of the time the parts must connect. While the groups are able to communicate, they won’t actually see each other’s handiwork until the end.
    • Create work spaces where each team can work independently. (tarps or separate rooms)
    • Teams may communicate by sending one person at a time to a neutral location.
    • Once the construction time is over. Just like the cake challenge on Food Network, each team must be able to move their bridge to a central location.
    • Give teams a few minutes to connect the bridge parts.
    • Note: If teams are in the same room, it’s okay if teams are yelling out, it adds to the confusion and adds to the debrief questions.

VARIATIONS

  • This activity can be played with any number of competition activities that lead up to the Bridge portion. Just remember to reward the teams with candy to use for their bridge.
  • This activity can also be facilitated using only the Bridge portion.
  • Check out Tallest Tower for another variation that requires less resources and supplies!

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Teambuilding

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What does your group do well as a team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?

Alignment

  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?