Magic Shoes – Teamwork Initiatives


Teamwork Initiatives.

Magic Shoes – Teamwork Initiatives

Time: 15 – 45 min.

Supplies: A large open area, start / finish line markings.

Layout: Set a starting and finish line about 50 feet apart.

Basic Description:

Your team has been wandering through the dessert for weeks. You are stranded at an oasis where the water has been completely used up. You can see an oasis across the way, but the sand is too hot to walk on. Unfortunately the hot sand melted all but one pair of shoes. These magic shoes have some special properties: they can only be worn once in one direction by each team member, they may not be thrown, they may not be separated and your whole team must get to fresh water.



1) The game begins when the entire team is behind the starting line.

2) The hot sand is never ending – the team cannot walk around to reach the oasis

3) The “magic shoes” are not an actual pair of shoes – they are imaginary.

4) The team must declare who is “wearing” the magic shoes before they enter the desert.

5) Only one person can wear the magic shoes at a time.

6) When a person is wearing the magic shoes, they are wearing both of them – the shoes cannot be split up.

7) Each person can only wear the magic shoes one time (one-way) to cross the desert.

8) If anyone touches the hot sand the entire team must go back and start again behind the starting line.

9) The team successfully completes the initiative when the entire team crosses over the lava, using the magic shoes, with no lava touches.

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The Key:

There are many ways to solve this initiative all of which include carrying team members accross to the oasis. The most effective way to complete “Magic Shoes” is when a team plans the entire “mission” before they start sending team members across the desert. The team will have to physically carry each other across the lava and must plan ahead to insure no one is left behind. Teams often will think that only guys can carry girls or only big team members can carry two other members, but it is always surprising what team members can accomplish with a little encouragement.

Debriefing Questions:

What made you succeed / fail?

How important was communication?

Who was in charge?

Were all ideas listened to? Why or why not?


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