Acid river

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Acid river
Type: Group dynamics game
Number of players: about 5-15
Location: small playing field (best outdoors)
Equipment: markers for the river (ropes), stepping stones (best: wood)
Duration: about 20 minutes
Preparation: prepare the river

Acid River is a group dynamics game for groups of 5 to 15 people. There are several different variants of the game, that are played indoors or outdoors, with different equipment and different level of difficulty. Like most group dynamics games, it is suited to train the cooperation in a group, and is not suitable as ice breaker game.


You need the following equipment:

  • two riverbanks (usually you use ropes for that, but you can also use chalk to paint on a street, etc.)
  • stepping stones (usually made of wood); they should be "secure" (not break, don't slip too easily, etc.)


story line

The participants reach the shores of an acid river. They want to cross the river. Obviously, they cannot swim though it, and it is too wide to jump over. However, they can use the stepping stones that resist the acid (at least for some time).

crossing the river

The group listens to the story (or something similar). Their task is to cross the river (using the stepping stones) without touching the acid river itself. The group then thinks and discusses how to solve that task and then starts to execute their solution. After some time, the group should be able to master the task.


Many aspects of the task can be tailored to the abilities of the group and the environment at the location of the river.

  • Type, number and size of the stepping stones (usually less then participants)
  • May the group talk to each other after starting to execute their solution?
  • Are stepping stones lost that are not in contact with a player (they "float away")?
  • Do the stepping stones have to be brought to the other river bank?
  • Can the members cross the river one after the other (probably throwing back the stepping stones over the river)?
  • Is there a time limit?
  • What happens when the group touches the river?