How to play Toxic Waste Dump, a team building challenge.

When working to build community, games can bring fun and exciting challenges to a team. This week's game uses an exciting story and team problem solving. The Game of the Week is Toxic Waste Dump.

Group Size:  Large group (10 or more)

Age Group:  Grades 3+
Length of Activity:  10 minutes or more
Developmental Goal:  To develop communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
Equipment Needed: Potato sacks, cardboard, carpet squares or anything that players can easily stand on and carry. 

Before You Start: 

  • Divide players into two teams. 
  • Each team receives an equal number of potato sacks, one less than the number of people in the group.
  • Brainstorm strategies and give examples if needed.
  • Make sure the teams have all their supplies and can repeat the rules.

Set Up: 

A clearly marked start and finish line.

How To Play: 

  • The object of the game is to get all team members from one side of town to the other without touching the toxic sludge. 
  • Players can only be in the toxic zone if they are standing on a potato sack. 
  • If players step off the potato sack and into the toxic sludge, they must return back to the other side of town. 
  • If a potato sack is placed into the toxic sludge without being constantly touched by a player, it is lost and the whole team must return back to the other side of town. 
  • Each team should come up with a strategy on how to get all of their teammates across safely. 


  • Everyone everyone work together to race against a clock (instead of placing on teams.) Inform them that their side of town is going to explode in ten minutes and they must have everyone across by that time.
  • Choose the amount of potato sacks based on the experience level of the group. Less potato sacks makes the game harder. 
  • Have players figure out their plan before they start and then remain silent during the game. 
  • Randomly blindfold or silence a few members of the group.
  • Rename the game and tell a different story with the same goals, such as Alligator Swamp.


Find more new and exciting games in our games library!


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