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Play 9 Dots

Play 9 Dots

What is it?

A game to encourage thinking outside of the box.

Time Needed

5 Minutes

Number of Participants


Supplies Needed

  • Paper
  • Pen or Pencil

Process Steps

  1. Instruct the participants to draw 9 dots as depicted below:
  1. Have participants connect the 9 dots under the following constraints:
    1. Use no more than 4 (or fewer) straight lines to make the connection.
    2. Participants cannot lift their pencil.
    1. Participants cannot retrace a line.
  2. Reveal the solution:


The most obvious solution isn’t always so obvious. Most people will assume when they start this activity that they have to stay within the parameters of the box that the dots form. However, that was never part of the constraints given to the participants. Sometimes, creative thinking needs to go outside of the box to find the best solution.

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