Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Changing the nature of something simple to solve a problem is often fun, and it’s what 'thinking outside the box' is all about. Try this out with simple household supplies.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Get three glasses and a piece of paper and put them on a flat surface. Now get someone interested in your challenge.

Lend me your ears


Do you think you can balance a glass on top of a piece of paper resting between these two other glasses?

Give them some time to figure it out. When they don’t, reveal a simple solution.

Seal the Deal and Reveal


We’ve got all the correct materials in front of us, they just need a bit of leftfield thinking.

Take the piece of paper and fold it up into a concertina shape. This will make the paper sturdier.

Now place the glass on top of the paper, balanced between the glasses.

Some extra lines you can try

  • On paper, this is a great idea.
  • It’s not the pen, but the paper, that’s mightier than the sword.
  • Take a page out of my book and try it out for yourself.
Alternative ending

You can always win the bet by pushing the glasses together, turning them over so the bottoms face upwards. Place the paper on top, but resting the third glass on top of the other glasses.

Not as creative as folding and reformatting the paper, but still another solution.

Anticipated responses and retorts

What happens if I fill the glasses with water?

Water and paper don’t mix well.

Is life all about balance?

Balance is important, but breaking the ice is fundamental.

Do you know any other cool balancing acts?

For sure – check out Coolfidence for lots more.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to get people thinking outside of the box.
  • When you demonstrate that balance is the key.
  • When you want to win a free drink at the pub.
Where to use it
  • team building events
  • mentoring
  • socializing at the pub
  • cocktail parties
Getting ready
Items required
  • Some drinking glasses and a piece of paper
  • Find a flat surface and place the glasses down and you are ready to roll, er, fold.
Training required
  • You should be a balancing maestro in no time.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • Don’t break the glasses.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

three drinking classes and an A4 sheet of paper

size size

every house and office should have drinking glasses, and paper is, well, paper

durability durability

don’t break any of your glasses and this one will be with you forever

source source

the ether

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one or a small group

possible health risk possible health risk

we all need balance in our lives

reusable how many times you can use it

just once

training needed training needed

get the balance right, again

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