Thinking inside the box or being stuck in a grid can be frustrating. Overcome this by arranging twelve matches into a square grid with four squares inside the main square.
Set a creative mood with a deceptively simple mind puzzle that can be demonstrated anywhere. All you need is a pocket of matches, a flat surface and a willing participant.
Can I show you something? It won’t take a minute and it'll help tune your brain to some lateral thinking.
Tell your participant that you like to think outside the box… of matches. And they should too.
So I've arranged these twelve matches into a block. How many squares do you see?
They'll do a quick count and should easily provide you with the correct answer: five squares. Now you have their attention.
Now here's the question… can you make six squares by moving only two matches?
Don't give them any clues, only a knowing smile or poker face. Give them as long as it takes.
It's right in front of you. Can you see it?
Reveal with ease, by moving two matches into the bottom right square to make even smaller squares.
Just like that … now there are one, two, three, four, five, six squares. Just trying to get you to think outside the matchbox.
- Don't be a square, make a square.
- I've always been looking for a match made in heaven, but I had to get these from the local store.
- There's only one more space left, make your move.
- Matches can make a hot puzzle, who knew?
- Is there space for one more? There is.
After revealing the answer.
Let's square away these squares…
Toss the matches in the bin.
You think you are smart?
What else can you do with those matches?
You ever win any free drinks with that puzzle?
You can always make "AN IMPRESSION" on someone after showing the 6 squares. This will get them smiling.
- This is a great for a brainstorming session or a team building event - gets people's creative juices flowing.
- This makes for a fun bar bet.
- You can do this at a dinner table - it is a good conversation starter.
- team building events
- brainstorming sessions
- socializing at a bar
- a box of matches
- a flat surface (table)
- Arrange the 12 matches on the table and you are all set.
- This works out of the box (the matchbox).
- Don't start any fires - matches can do that sometimes.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
a box of matches can fit in your pocket
as long as the matches don't get set alight they should be fine for a while
a camp fire get together
time to impact time to impact
pretty much there and then
size of audience size of audience
this works well in a group
possible health risk possible health risk
don't start any fires
reusable how many times you can use it
training needed training needed
minimal (if you can handle matches you are good to go)