Floating nails

How can you stack several nails on the head of a nail that has been hammered in?


  • Duration
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity
  • Group size
    1 to 8 persons

This activity is not suitable online.

Description Long

A long nail is hammered firmly into a board. The objective is to ‘stack’ several equally long nails (that have been provided) onto the head of the other nail. The nails may not come into contact with the board, the table or the floor.



Be sure to provide enough sets for all the participants.


Ready-made sets can be purchased.


Depending on the target group, it can be useful to let people tackle this task in pairs, or as a group. Another option is to let the participants create the set from scratch, e.g., let them cut the wood, hammer-in the nail, and so forth.



Option 1 (Sets are ready made):


Hand out the sets, explain the task, and provide a timeframe of ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the number of participants and the type of arrangement (individuals, pairs, teams).


Option 2 (Set still to be prepared):


Hand out the materials (wood, saws, hammers, nails, protective goggles) depending on the number of testers and type of arrangement (individuals, pairs, teams). Provide safety instructions and permit ten to fifteen minutes for the exercise, once the board has been assembled.

Hints from experience

This method is suitable as a turning point, if the opening process has been active and lively, since it helps participants to focus on a closing process.


The workshop leader should be able to confidently present the solution if the participants are unable to solve it, which is often the case.


You will find the solution under the following link:  www.youtube.com/watch  



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