Beyond the


Tuesday Tip: Practice Spontaneous


Spontaneous Ideas

Because the Spontaneous problem is unknown until the day of the tournament, parents and coaches can share what they would do in practice problems without any penalty. The Winter Break is a good time to keep exercising that “thinking on your feet” part of the brain. 

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 Video Tips from our Spont PC

If you haven’t seen them already, Cathy Parker, our NorCal Spontaneous Problem Captain, created great videos for teams. 

Get familiar with the Hands-on Materials Building for height or length or strength is a common task in hands-on spont problems. Practice different ways of using paper, index cards, rubber bands, paper clips, pipe cleaners, mailing labels, aluminum foil, toothpicks, cotton balls, paper plates, coffee filters, straws, Q-tips, craft sticks, Crayola modeling clay. What can you do with each of these materials (separately or in combination with others)? Have fun building and creating for a limited amount of time. 

During the Long Drive, Practice Verbal Problems

You don’t have to find a verbal problem online, you can make up simple ones by naming things with more than one meaning. 

  • Name things that are Red (Read). (a newspaper, dread) 
  • Name different types of Rocks. (The Rolling Stones, rocking horse) 
  • Hame different types of Trees (poetry, crOAK) 
  • Name things you find in Cans (AmeriCAN, CANoe, toilet paper) 

If you want to find spontaneous problems galore, here are verbal problems from Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) Odyssey of the Mind. 

Suggested Games from our Spont PC

Here are a list of family games (in stores) that help team members to “think on their feet.” Some have Jr. versions for younger students. 

  • Apples to Apples 
  • Blurt 
  • Suspend 
  • Quaggle 
  • Kanoodle 
  • Quirkle 
  • Scattergories
  • For those who celebrate Christmas, Christmas Song Picture Game 

Good luck! And remember to HAVE FUN!