Building Bridges

Summary: Players will work in teams to build the longest bridge.

Materials: (for each group)

  • A marble
  • 6 pieces of paper
  • 4 paper plates
  • 4 cups
  • A ruler
  • A pair of scissors
  • Tape


  1. Divide players into groups of equal size. Have them sit around their building materials.
  2. Explain that all groups will have a limited amount of time to build a bridge out of their building materials (you can determine how long you want to give them). A marble should be able to travel without assistance from one end to the other.
  3. When time is up, the game facilitator should test each bridge and measure how long it is. The group that builds the longest working bridge wins!


  • For older groups, have the first 5 minutes be “strategy” time. Groups can talk to each other to make a plan for their bridge, but they can’t touch their materials yet. Once strategy time is over, they can start building but they are no longer allowed to talk to each other.
  • Randomly assign one person in each group to be the leader, but do not give the leaders any specific instructions or responsibilities.

Debrief Questions: 

  • What was your plan for your bridge? Did it work?
  • If you could do this again, what would you do differently?
  • Why is important to be a good team member? How can you be a good team member?
  • What is your favorite part of being on a team?

Activity Length: Long (>30 minutes)

Energy Level: Low

Grade Level: 4th, 5th, 6th & Up

Group Size: Large (10+), Medium (5-9), Small (2-4), Pairs