Lilly Pads

Type of Activity: Problem-Solving

Props Needed: One Plastic Square for each participant

Set Up: Provide a start and a finish line for the group. Designate the space in the middle as the “pond.” Once the game starts no one can be in the “pond.”

Process: Tell the group they must get across the pond, (or from Point A to Point B), using only the Lilly Pads, or plastic squares that you give them. Instruct them that the lily pads must remain in human contact at all times.  If a lily pad loses contact with a human, they lose the lily pad to the hungry alligator that lives in the pond (you, the facilitator).  This will prevent the group from throwing the lily pads to one another. The only thing that can touch the ‘pond’ is the lily pad.  Everyone on their team must make it to the other side of the pond safely or the entire group must start over.


1. Start half the group on one side of the pond, and the other half of the group on the other side of the pond.  Sometimes groups will figure out that if they meet in the middle it will be an easier task.  Other times they see it as a competition and will try to ‘beat’ the other team.

2. After each time they successfully get across the pond you can take away some of their resources, their lily pads.

3. Have the group connected in some manner so all members must go across at same time.

Debriefing Topics:

  • Did your group come up with a plan before entering the pond?
  • What were some of the strategies you came up with?
  • What happened to the group when some of your resources were lost?
  • How did you support each other during this activity?
  • How did the group communicate with each other?
  • What could the lily pads represent in everyday life for you?
  • What resources are you careless with?  More careful with?


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