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Creation of this activity stemmed from a repeat program with a middle school group. The focus was on developing resiliency in the students and preparing them for the 9th grade transition. Have not tried Botenga with a Corporate/Adult team building group yet; and not sure if I will.

Would love to hear any suggestions, modifications and variations you have and can think of…plus if you lead this team building activity please share photos with us. You can post the photos on the FaceBook page


Props Needed:

As many water bottles as possible, generally 15 bottles per group works

Group Size:

3 people per team.


This initiative can prove to be challenging. The group is attempting to stack the bottles 3 x 3 horizontally.

Here is the challenge. The group is going to go through a process of first building the tower using only the bottles. The bottles must be free from other obstacles (they cannot be leaning or touching anything besides each other).

Like Jenga the team will build the tower with the bottles lying horizontally and each level will be perpendicular to the next.

For example level one the bottles are set with the top facing the left of the room and the bottom facing the right of the room, the next level (level 2) the bottles will be arranged so that the top is facing the front of the room and the bottom facing the back of the room.

Once the tower in built – the challenge really begins!

The tower is now built. Guidelines are as follows pull one of the bottles below the top level out of the tower then place it on top of the tower.

Each person will take turns removing a bottle from below the top level and placing the bottle on the top level.

The overall objective is to move as many bottles per team as possible without the tower falling over.


What was your initial reaction to this activity?

Describe what happened?

Explain your processes?

What creative ideas were used?

Describe a time when the team was in sync with each other, when you could sense the “flow”.

Where were the success points?

How did you know?

What external signs did you see, feel, hear that this was working / not working?

If we were to do this over again what would you do more of?

Facilitator Notes:

Botenga is frustrating! And moves slow.

It is a great activity to use to slow action down and talk about the necessity of focus and purpose in actions.

I recommend sequencing this activity in the later portions of programs.

Idea From:


Hire Mike

Need experiential and hands-on ways to create lasting memories and content in your programs / workshops / and lessons.

Mike is your answer. He will create and develop customized activities and simulations for what you need. Contact Mike (mike@mikecardus.com)

Mike will come to you to facilitate the action learning and processing, or can just send you a document with videos and photos of how to do everything you need.

Mike will make you a success and your next meeting and training program better than ever.