Elementary Education Block Tackles the Acid River

Shelley Heaton

Mr. Albright is constantly giving his elementary education classes some fun hands-on activities. This past week they were able to do one, in particular, is entitled, The Acid River. 

 "Acid River" as an outdoor opening activity to warm up the group. It also requires people to get into each other's personal space which helps open them up and begin to connect with each other more quickly.

This activity can be used to stimulate insights into problem-solving, strategy, challenging, collaboration, teamwork, communication, mutual support, encouragement, and celebration.

The game goes as follows: 

Everyone is gathered on one bank of the river and divided into teams of 4-8 people each. Everyone has a "stepping stone" . The objective of the exercise is to get everyone in the group safely across the imaginary river without anyone falling in. The river, of course, is full of hungry competitors, piranha, difficulties, and that the resources the company needs to survive are on the other side of the river. In order to ensure the company's continued success, a creative solution must be generated that will get everyone across the river and have everyone step onto the opposite bank at the same time.

In this activity, they are individual teams but they are all part of one larger organization.  Teams have 5 minutes to brainstorm possible strategies for crossing the river. They may practice, if they choose, on the starting bank but not in the river (between the two rope/tape lines). After 5 minutes of planning, the teams are brought to the starting bank, they have 15 minutes to reach the other side and start them on their way.


  • You must keep possession of your stepping stone. You may not hand it to anyone else. However, others may step on your stone in passing.
  • You can rest only on your own stone.
  • No "skooching" - sliding your rock along the ground.
  • If anyone falls in the river (steps off a stone), everyone in the entire group must go back to the starting river bank and begin again.
  • Everyone must step onto the opposite bank at the same time.


It is always so much fun to watch these students finally click and work together as a team.

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