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YLT-Barter Puzzle

Your team must complete a puzzle – easy enough, right? When you look at your puzzle pieces, you realize that you don’t have all the pieces you need, and you have some pieces belonging to other teams! Barter with other teams as you try to complete your puzzle!

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  • Will you make your own puzzles, or will you bring some from home? This activity will be easier with a smaller puzzle (think a kids’ puzzle). 
  • How will you divide into your teams? 
  • How will you decide which team does which puzzle? 
  • How will you scramble the puzzle pieces to give everyone some pieces from the other puzzles? 


  • Divide yourself into small teams and give each team a bag of puzzle pieces. The bag should have a majority of pieces from one puzzle, but not all. The rest of the pieces should be a mixture of pieces from the other puzzles. 
  • Teams are then challenged to make their puzzle – but how will they complete it while missing pieces? Barter (trade) with other teams to try to get the pieces you need. 
  • Sometimes you may run into a challenge – you might not have anything to offer a team with your pieces. Can you trade with other teams to get something that they want?  


  • Was it hard to make a puzzle this way? What challenges did you encounter? 
  • How did you overcome the challenges that came up? 
  • How did you make deals with other teams to get the pieces you needed? 
  • How quickly did each team finish their puzzles? 

Keep it Simple

Carefully divide the pieces so that each team has the same number of pieces from each other team – this will make your trades a lot more straightforward.    

Take it Further

Rather than giving each team mostly pieces from one puzzle, give everyone an equal number of pieces from each puzzle. How will you decide which team is doing which puzzle?