Problem solving - skills challenge

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good fun problem solving activity for KS2 as part of their skills challenge badge.


1 x gummi snake, 4 x paperclips, 1 x plastic cup and 1 x gummy hoops. one set of these per 2-3 cubs.


Only You Can Help Save Sam!

Sam has been spending his summer boating on the great lakes. However, he’s not too bright (after all, the brains of worms are pretty small). He’s never learned how to swim, and he never wears his life preserver. The worst has happened! His boat has capsized and he’s stuck! Fortunately, his life preserver is in the boat, but unfortunately he does not know how to reach it without falling off and drowning.

How can you and your partner save Sam using only 4 paper clips. You may not touch Sam, the boat, or the life preserver directly with your hands.

• Gummy Worm
• Gummy “Life Saver” preserver
• 1 Plastic or Paper Cup
• 4 Paper Clips

1. Work with your partner and "Save Sam".
2. Follow the rules. Sam, the boat, the life preserver can be touched only with the paper clips. NO HANDS.

Leader Notes:
Sam sits on the inverted cup. The cup sits half-covering the life preserver on the tabletop. No real water is involved.

'answer' - picture in attachment. But in case you can't see it - using paperclips... snake is pulled through hoop. then using 2 clips the hoop (with snake inside)is lifted to safety!


  • Problem solving and games
  • Skills Badge
  • skills challenge
  • Team work game

Badge Links

  • Skills - Problem solving
  • Teamwork - Team-building