Duct Tape Bonanza
Download the PDF version of this activity plan.
A duct tape activity is a natural for Mensans — it's fun, it's creative and it's smart. (And before you argue that it should be "duck" tape, not "duct" tape, please know that we actually researched this and found that there's no industry-accepted term, so we're sticking with "duct." No offense to the fowl.)
All you need is a lot of duct tape and some prizes! If you can get different tape colors, that's a definite plus. A wide variety is available at good prices from tapebrothers.com. If you want to serve refreshments, try pretzel sticks and marshmallows that can be made into structures before they're eaten. You can also have "sticky food" like Dots candies or dried fruit rolls, or serve food that looks tape-like, such as roll-ups made from luncheon meat and cheese.
Attached as a separate Word file, you will find the following samplematerials that you are welcome to use or reproduce:
- Duct Tape Bonanza invitation.
- Duct Tape Bonanza certificates of achievement.
First, select a location where imaginative duct-taping will not be a problem; in other words, the floor, walls and room layout are tape- and activity-friendly. Depending on the activities you select, you may need room for participants to run, bowl, build, etc. As necessary, prepare snacks in advance. You can run this activity in two ways: you can provide tape and lots of directions for cool projects and let participants go wild, or you can set up challenges in which everyone participates. You may also wish to do a combination of both.
If you pick the first way, you can find directions for making everything from a duct-tape rose to clothes. If you pick the second option, see the Showtime! section for a list of possible challenges. Either way, plan to award prizes at the end of the event. Duct tape makes an obvious prize, but other ideas include other kinds of tape or similarly useful items like super glue. In lieu of prizes, you may want to present achievement certificates (see Samples).
These should be designed, customized for each challenge (if so desired) and printed out in advance.
Here are some ideas for challenges:
Duct Tape Pharaoh
Using at least 15 rolls of duct tape, make a pyramid that stays in place for 30 seconds.
Getting to Know You
Duct tape two people's legs together (not too tightly!). Have them complete an obstacle course that includes walking backward, hopping and walking sideways. (Remember, safety first: if you choose this activity, be sure to get each participant's permission and ensure sure the tape is not placed directly on the skin and that you are in area where the participants can't get hurt if they fall down.)
Divide into two teams. Place a roll of duct tape on the heads of the first people in line. Each team must pass the duct tape from head to head without using their hands or dropping the roll.
Duct Tape Jester
Juggle three rolls of duct tape.
Duct Tape Bowling
Roll rolls of duct tape toward bowling pins or similar targets.
Stack five rolls of duct tape on the participants' heads. They then need to walk at least 10 feet with the tape balanced on their heads. (Make sure the tape isn't sticky around the edges to avoid it sticking to the participants' hair.)
Wall to Wall
Divide participants into groups of three. Each group is given three rolls of duct tape. Each group selects the smallest member and must try to tape him/her to the wall using nothing but the three rolls of duct tape. (Make sure tape is applied only to participants' clothing.)