Activity-creative thinking-Paper Aeroplanes

Have you ever wondered how to unleash your creativity and think outside the box? Well, we have just the activity for you! Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey of paper aeroplanes. This quick and fun challenge will test your creative thinking skills as you compete against others to accomplish a simple yet exciting task.


In this activity, participants are prompted to think creatively and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. The goal is to build paper aeroplanes and get them across a taped line. Sounds simple, right? Let’s dive deeper into the details.

Time: 20 Minutes

Tools/Items required

To get started, you’ll need the following:

  • Colored sheets of A4 paper
  • Masking tape

Directions and Set up

First, split the participants into equal groups of 4 or 5 members per group. Each group will receive 10 sheets of A4 paper, and each group will have a different color of paper. Use the masking tape to mark a start line and a finish line. The distance between the two lines should be around 1.5 to 2 meters.


Now, let’s talk about the rules:

  • The winning team will be the one that gets the most paper aeroplanes across the taped line.
  • Each team has a different color paper.
  • You will have 3 minutes to strategize without touching your paper.
  • You will have 5 minutes to build your airplanes and get them across the taped line.

What’s the point of this activity?

The main objective of this activity is to highlight how we often stick too closely to the rules, even when there are very few of them. It demonstrates how making assumptions can hinder our ability to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to problems.

Discussion & Debrief

During this activity, you will notice that most groups don’t take full advantage of the 3-minute strategy session. Instead, they rush to start building their paper aeroplanes. As a result, many of their designs are not aerodynamic, and most of the planes fail to reach the finish line.

The 8 Blocks to Creative Thinking

To understand why this happens, let’s explore the 8 famous blocks that prevent us from thinking creatively:

  1. Believing you aren’t creative
  2. Making assumptions
  3. Following the rules too strictly
  4. Being too serious
  5. Avoiding risks or fearing failure
  6. Sticking to routines and habits
  7. Believing there is only one solution
  8. Making quick judgments

Now, let’s apply these blocks to what happened during the activity. Ask the groups what assumptions they made and which rules they stuck to that caused them to design the aeroplanes the way they did.

Despite having only a few rules, most groups will adhere strictly to them. They will assume that an aeroplane must have wings and a tail, limiting their creativity. But what if they thought differently?

Some creative groups crumpled each sheet of paper into a ball, making heavier designs that easily flew over the finish line. Others stacked their aeroplanes together with a rubber band, ensuring their combined weight propelled them to victory. Another ingenious approach involved placing all the planes on an office chair with wheels and simply pushing it across the finish line.

These examples demonstrate how thinking differently and challenging the 8 blocks to creative thinking can yield exciting and innovative solutions.

So, are you ready to take on the challenge of paper aeroplanes? Unleash your creativity, defy assumptions, and soar beyond the limitations of traditional thinking. Let your imagination take flight!

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