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Draw A Beach

This creative team building activity will see teams collaborate to draw a beach based on their brief. One team is given direction whereas another is given instructions. Step back and let them discover how important the project brief can be to the outcome of a creative product...

Tools Required

  • A3 paper or flip chart
  • Pens - black, blue and red
  • Brief A and brief B (below) printed on separate pieces of paper

Brief A

"Draw a beautiful sandy beach with blue and red umbrellas, some dolphins swimming in the sea, palm trees with coconuts on the shore and birds flying beneath a shining sun."

Brief B

"Draw a beautiful sandy beach with:

  • 5 blue umbrellas with 3 sections each
  • 3 blue & red umbrellas with 4 sections each
  • 2 red umbrellas with 6 sections each
  • 3 dolphins
  • 1 palm tree with 3 coconuts
  • 4 palm trees with 2 coconuts
  • 2 birds flying in the upper left corner
  • 3 birds in the middle
  • One sun to the right with 5 sunbeams"


  1. Split the room into groups of around 4-6 people. Try and ensure you have an even number of groups. Give each group a selection of pens & one piece of paper/flipchart.
  2. Explain that each group will have 3 minutes to draw a picture together. You will provide a brief on what the picture needs to be. When everyone is set up, place either brief A or brief B face down with the teams, ensure they DO NOT look until you start the 3-minute timer.
  3. Once they all have a brief, paper and pens - give them the GO! Once 3 minutes is up, they must stop drawing immediately.
  4. Have them hold up their drawings and present their artwork. You could play the art critic and give feedback on which you would purchase, or have a guest come in and give the feedback. Make it fun!
  1. Finally, ask the teams to reveal their instructions to each other.


Teams with brief A will probably have a much more pleasant picture than the teams who had brief B!What you usually see is teams with brief A have drawn a beautiful sandy beach that actually looks good! Teams with brief B have probably drawn various elements incoherently across the page, in a bit of a mess...Teams with brief B may have achieved everything on their list, however, the bigger picture doesn’t show a beautiful sandy beach. They focused so much on the checklist that they forgot what the overall goal was.

Teams that are given the big picture and the creative freedom to deliver the end result will often produce the best solutions (and enjoy the process a whole lot more).Enjoyed this retrospective? It is also available in our signature comic strip style for easy reading and sharing. View and download the pdf here.


Inspiration for this exercise was taken from Mark Summers' meadows exercise (

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