# 2020: Activity 41 – Problem Solving

This morning we’ve had a go at several problem solving activities.

This summer I’ve shared regular updates of what we’ve been up to during the school holidays – you can see a summary at our 2020: 42 Activities of Summer page.

First up was a giant see saw challenge. The brief was to get it to balance for ten seconds. At first we spread out to the edges. It was so sensitive we couldn’t get it to stay still, so decided to stand in the middle (with the exception of Boy 1 who decided it was more fun to sabotage our attempts).

Eventually we managed, and then the instructor told us the cheat, which is we could have simply stood round the edge and balanced it with our hands. He’d not said we’d had to stand on it! Lesson learned for next time.

The second challenge was to cross a wall with holes in it, using only 11 metal pegs. We took it in turns to start from the beginning, taking a few pegs each to put in the holes. I was pleased all five of us crossed successfully, with a big hanging jump at the end to take us over the finish line.

Puzzle three was a giant wooden square maze hanging from chains that we had to stand round the edge of, and lift up and down to move a tennis ball from one side to the other without it dropping out of some holes. With Dad’s skill and lifting skills, this took only two attempts.

Puzzle four was a drainpipe challenge, where we had to make a channel on some logs to enable a tennis ball to get from start to finish without dropping out. This was the easiest, and we enjoyed it.

Puzzle five was to lift a container with rocks in from the centre of a square, to outside the square, without going in the square itself. We had to use two ropes to tie round the container and lift it out. Success.

Our final puzzle was a bean bag challenge. There were seven hula hoops played out in a row with three orange bean bags at one end, and three red at the other end. We had to swap the three orange ones with the three red ones by moving them one place forwards each time. This took a few attempts but we got it.

During this Boy 1 found a huge mushroom, and the leader set him other individual challenges to keep him entertained.

Can you recommend any good problem solving experiences? Perhaps an escape room? I’d like to try the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience in Manchester when the boys are older (age 13 up). I’d also like to try the more local crystal maze style escape room challenge Never Give Up in Newcastle.

#ProblemSolving #Puzzles