The Ultimate Guide to Problem Solving Scenarios for Adults

group of adults surrounding and looking at a laptop in an office

A Guide to Problem Solving Scenarios for Adults

Problem solving scenarios are a great tool to improve critical thinking, increase creativity, and build camaraderie in a team. While there are plenty of resources on the internet to practice problem solving skills for children, there are few that cater towards adults! Here is the ultimate guide to problem solving scenarios for adults!

Complete a Brain Teaser

solved rubiks cube rolling on its side

I know what you’re thinking – brain teasers are just for children! Wrong! There are plenty of tricky brain teasers made for adults. Here’s a quick one to get you started:

I am heavy and hard to pick up, but backwards I am not. What am I?

Hint: The answer lies within the riddle

Are you ready for the answer?

…It’s a ton! Of course a ton is heavy and hard to pick up – at least I have yet to see anyone lift 2,000 pounds – but it is also n-o-t backwards.

I’m sure that got you thinking critically. Check out some other adult brain teasers here!

Team Building Kits

group of adults after completing Baker's Dozen from Team Building Kits

Team Building Kits offers an all-in-one adult problem solving scenario in a box! From the same team as murder mystery subscription box Hunt A Killer, Team Building Kits fits all of the fun of a true crime mystery into a 90 minute problem solving activity that you can bring anywhere. Perfect for a company retreat, or just a quick afternoon activity, Team Building Kits provides an easy and flexible opportunity to test your critical thinking and problem solving abilities!

Adult Scavenger Hunt

man and woman completing scavenger hunt near a sculpture

An adult scavenger hunt can get everyone moving while trying to decipher hints and clues that will lead you to the final destination! The best part about a scavenger hunt: you can make the clues as difficult or as easy as you would like. Are you looking to really challenge your team and test their problem solving ability? Give some difficult clues! Are you looking for a more relaxed activity to promote camaraderie? Make the clues a little bit easier! A scavenger hunt is very flexible, can be as long, short, easy, or difficult as you’d like! Check out some ideas for your scavenger hunt here!

The Leg Challenge

two teams competing in a three legged race

The Leg Challenge is a short and simple adult problem solving activity. Here’s how it works:

  1. Split your group into two even teams
  2. Place some cones down about 15 yards apart
  3. Have both teams start on the same side with each team’s arms interlocked
  4. Teams will run from one set of cones to the other, however, each time a team reaches a set of cones, they must keep one fewer leg on the ground to run to the next set of cones. (ex. Two teams of 6 are competing. They begin with 12 legs, but then must use 11 legs after reaching the first set of cones)
  5. The first team to successfully make it between the two sets of cones with only 25% of their total legs wins! (ex. Two teams of 6 are competing. The first team to successfully reach a set of cones using only 3 legs wins!)
  6. If a team fails to reach a set of cones during the challenge, the team must return to the set of cones they began that leg at and try again.

Egg Drop Challenge

pile of brown and white eggs stacked on one another

The Egg Drop Challenge is the perfect problem solving scenario for adults. Take a carton of eggs, and any sort of office supplies you have on hand – pencils, erasers, paper clips, rubber bands – you name it. Next, find an elevated surface such as a staircase or overlook. Now, with your office supplies and an egg, create a contraption that will prevent the egg from cracking when dropped off your elevated surface. Whichever teams can successfully drop the egg without a crack wins! Check out some inspiration for your egg drop design here!

Ropes/Challenge Course

group of adults completing a high ropes course for team building

A ropes or challenge course offers the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and test your problem solving skills, often while suspended over 25 feet in the air! Climb over, around, and through obstacles while deciding which way offers the path of least resistance (or most, if that’s what you’re looking for). Check out a detailed guide to ropes/challenge courses here!

Looking for your office’s next team building activity? Try Team Building Kits!