Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Play the magic carpet game

You’re hovering on a magic carpet, when you realise it’s upside down. Work as a team to find the solution, without anyone falling off!

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • A sheet, tarpaulin, rug, or blanket (big enough for around six payers to stand on) for each team

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Playing the game

  1. Split into teams of up to six people, and give each team a sheet. This is their magic carpet. Everyone should help anyone who’s new to join in.
  2. Each team should get into a space, and lay out their magic carpet. Once their carpet is ready, the team should jump aboard and get ready to go. You might want to say a rhyme, invent a magic word, or make a sound to command your magic carpets to rise.
  3. Now each team is hovering, check everyone's ready to fly. Make sure to notice if all of the teams have got their carpets the right way up.
  4. Teams now need to work together to flip their magic carpet over, so that the side facing the floor faces the sky. No one can step off the carpet, as they’re already in the air.
  5. Let each team try to figure the puzzle out for themselves. After a while, they can start giving hints using the solution provided. Remember, the teams should still try to solve the problem themselves. You can give them one step of the solution at a time, not the whole thing at once.
  6. If anyone falls off, the whole team should reset the sheet and start again.

The solution

Teams might find other ways to complete the challenge – but this is one solution:

  1. Take hold of one corner of the sheet (the bottom left corner if viewed from above).
  2. Drag it over the top of the sheet – so that the side of the sheet that was on the left is now at the top.
  3. This edge should stick out above the square of folded over sheet, so that there’s a strip where only a single layer of sheet is touching the floor.
  4. Everyone should move to stand on this strip of single layered sheet.
  5. Slowly and carefully, untuck the sheet so it’s no longer folded over. The whole carpet should now be the right way up.
  6. It’s probably easiest to start with the top left corner, where players can stand on the ‘strip’ and untuck the sheet from underneath.


To complete this challenge, you needed to be a team player. Did you work well with others in your team? Did you listen to each other? Did you all have the same goal? What happened if some people disagreed? Did you sometimes have to put the team before what you wanted? Did you have to encourage others, or be patient with them?

To turn the magic carpet over, you also had to problem-solve. Did you take time to understand the problem before you tried to solve it? Did you have a plan? Did you solve it first time, or did you have to try a few different solutions? What was the most difficult part?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Contact games and activities

Make sure everyone understands what contact is acceptable, and monitor contact throughout the activity.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

  • Varying the size of the sheet will change the challenge. If it’s too small, it may be a struggle for everyone to squeeze on, but if it’s too big it might be difficult to move.
  • Increase the challenge by flipping the carpet in silence. Teams will have to find other ways to communicate – maybe they could point, or mime?

Standing on the magic carpet is likely to involve being close to other team members. If anyone doesn’t want to do this, they could take part by staying on the ground and offering advice, suggestions and feedback.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Players could work towards their Team Leader Challenge Award, if they lead their group or captain their team.