Nine Dots Game


To find solutions to a problem you sometimes need a bit of creativity. This is the “Nine Dots Game” where you need some creativity to solve a little problem. The game can be used as an ice breaker.


  1. To raise awareness about creativity
  2. To learn about conditions that favor or constrain creativity.


  • 5-10 minutes


  • Newsprint paper
  • Marker


  1. Draw 9 dots on a sheet of newsprint paper, as shown:

    Nine dots puzzle

  2. Ask the participants to connect all nine dots using only 4 lines and without lifting the pen.
  3. The participants can work individually on the exercise. But ask a few participants to work on the problem on a sheet of newsprint in front of the group.
  4. If no one can solve the problem, show them how to do it (see picture).
  5. Discuss why they did not manage to solve the problem themselves? Why did they only look within the square formed by the dots, and why didn’t they look beyond? What restricted their creativity?
  6. Conclude that for creativity it is necessary that people must dare go beyond their usual habits. They should not feel restricted and need a supportive environment. They should try to “think outside the box”.

Here is the solution:

nine dots solution

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