A Team Challenge: Paperclip Chain

The aim of the activity is to discover one’s skills, talents and personality in terms of teamwork and communication. Videosmall


1 hour

Format & Materials


Box of paper clips, in different colours


This activity consolidates the previous activities and discussions about working in teams with a common goal.

The participants are divided into 3 groups.

Two of the groups compete against each other – against time – to create a chain of coloured paperclips – to be made in a specific colour order.

They have 5 minutes to make the longest paperclip chain.

The 3rd group is split into 2 groups – to observe the paperclip groups – and make notes on how they communicated with each other – listening, observing, managing, dominant team-working schema.

After the challenge, the observers explain what they have noted regarding the team working.

This is followed by a general discussion of the activity:

  • How did they feel the team working went?
  • Challenges?
  • Best practice?
  • What worked well and why etc.