Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Activity Overview

A creative facilitation activity to generate and evaluate ideas.


To improve the ability of a group to see an issue from a number of perspectives, rather than to argue one perspective against another. Sometimes referred to as parallel thinking.

Running this activity online

  • Pick an online whiteboard tool that allows using a large, zoomable canvas.
  • Users can either draw their stinky tuna on paper and upload an image into the whiteboard or attach sticky notes to their individual image of the fish.
  • In the reflection step, invite users to navigate to the image of the person speaking in the whiteboard.
  • If you don’t have an online whiteboard tool, you can use Slack or Google docs to share and comment on the uploaded images.
  • If using video conferencing software alone, invite the participants to share their screen and show their digital image, or hold up their physical drawing for the entire group to see.

Materials Needed

  • Flip charts, markers
  • Prop hats of the 6 colors, or some other visual prompt

Step By Step Procedures

  1.  Before starting the activity consider offering a brief presentation or short pre-reading on the nature of parallel thinking.
  2. Explain the metaphor of six colored thinking hats; “white, red, black, yellow, green and blue” is used to position the members of a discussion so that they are all looking in the same direction at one time. It is important that everyone is wearing the same color hat at the same moment. The “hats” are described below; 

    • The white hat suggests paper and computer print-outs. The white hat means “information”. When the white hat is on everyone if focusing on information.
    • Think of red as fire and warm. The red hat represents emotions, feelings, and intuition. The red hat is very important because it allows emotions and intuitions in the discussion without the need to explain why one feels that way.
    • This is the most used in normal behavior. The black hat is the basis of “critical thinking”: is this right or wrong?
    • The yellow hat is the much-neglected positive aspect of thinking. Wearing the yellow hat the group looks for values, benefits and why something should work.
    • The green hat lets participants explore the issue using a creative mindset. In this role they may use statements of provocation and investigation. Let wild ideas and thoughts flow freely. Experience the freedom of seeing where a thought goes.  This approach would best be characterized as thinking creatively and outside the box.
    • The blue hat considers the issue from a managing perspective. Wearing the blue hat the group asks questions such as; “What is the subject? What are we thinking about? What is the goal? Can  we look at the big picture..”
  3. Participants discuss their issue from the perspective of one of the hats and then move to another one. 
  4. The facilitator captures the ideas generated on flipcharts.
  5. Follow-up required for the idea processing step or convergence steps.

Six Colored Thinking Hats Ice Breaker Activity

Basic Details
Property Type : Ice Breakers
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Ice Breakers
Focus On : Communication, Having Fun, Problem Solving
Outcome Based : No, just fun
Facilities : Indoor, Outdoor
Props Required : Minor
Duration : 26+ minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30, 31+
Age : Youth, Adults