Have one or a couple of participants standing on the same side of a table surface as you and place down the matches.
You want to see how easy it is to make a cat appear?
You’ll have their attention. With them viewing from the same perspective as you, place the 9 matches into a sequence that reads ‘100’.
Lay down the mind challenge.
What number do the matches currently spell out?
They’ll say ‘100’.
You’re a natural, but here’s the interesting part… can you move only two matches for ‘100’ to spell the word ‘cat’?
Give them a few tries, resetting each time that it doesn’t work.
Tell everyone to move to the other side (ie, the opposite side) of the table surface, so they’re facing matches that now read, ‘001’.
We can make a cat appear by simply moving two matches… watch.
One match turns the ‘1’ into a ‘T’, the bottom of the middle ‘0’ slides up halfway to form an ‘A’.
Some extra lines you can try
- Voila, a cat of nine tails, er, matches.
- No animals were harmed in the making of this icebreaker
- This icebreaker just requires a little paws for thought.
Demonstrate a second possible ending, with yet another change in perspective. Using the same match moves, change ‘100’ to ‘CAT’ in a vertical rather than horizontal direction. It works both ways.