There is nothing more important than a group of people having the ability to work together as a team, especially in the workforce. It is, however, not always easy for all employees to work collaboratively.
Team building games really help to promote and foster relationships in which the individuals trust one another and work together in a positive and productive manner. There are fun team building games for kids and team building games for adults. The common goal of both is to have fun and promote teamwork. Team building activities not only help ease tension and promote a good relationship between employees or children, but they can also help develop problem-solving skills, foster creative thinking, and build better communication between team members.
There are many options for great indoor team building games and exercises. Below, I’ve compiled 17 of the best! You can see the step-by-step instructions for these fun games and group activities below. We’re sure you’ll have a good time playing these team building games.
1.) 3 Truths and a Lie
In this fun, getting-to-know-you team building activity, each person gets a chance to state three truths about themselves and one lie, to the rest of the group. The truths may be as fun and creative as you would like, or as simple as you may choose. The lie must not be so far-fetched that it is completely unbelievable (i.e., “I swam the English Channel with my arms tied behind my back and a shark chasing me.”). Everyone should discuss what they believe are the truths and which is the lie. After they come to a united decision, the speaker will reveal if they are correct or not.
This is a great team building game to help everyone become acquainted with one another. It also helps the quieter people of the group who may more easily remain silent, if allowed, to break out and get to be known by others. In addition, it allows the participants to learn a bit about themselves as well as others based on the lies they believed to be true.
2.) Scavenger Hunt
An oldie but a goodie: you likely remember this game from your childhood. Small groups should be made to create teams whom work together with the common goal of finding the objects or answers needed from their scavenger hunt list. The answers or items being sought out should all be work or event-related. A time limit should be given for the groups to find as many objects and answers as they possibly can. Some will be quite easy, but others will really require them to work together as they will be a bit more difficult.
This promotes united teamwork. When the game is done everyone will have been reminded of different work/event procedures and policies as they will have been incorporated in their lists for answers or items to find. This is ideal when large indoor spaces are available.
3.) Hello My Name Is
Write adjectives describing someone’s mood or personality (i.e., happy, grouchy, negative, prankster) on name tag stickers. Be sure there are enough so that each person can have one. Then randomly hand them out or let each person draw one from a hat. Each person must then put the sticker with their assigned adjective on to their shirt and wear it, behaving as their assigned adjective during all interactions for a certain amount of time.
This is a great activity that shows each person that when we define them by a feeling - “Boy, you’re really grumpy today!” – it can actually lead us to take on that persona, whether we were feeling that way or not. This, of course, can be a good thing or a bad thing – acting happy can, in fact, make you feel happy! This shows how behavior and actions can actually define our feelings, not the other way around.
4.) Big Foot
This is a fun, albeit tricky game, in which everyone must stand up in a single file line. All the players are then blindfolded so that they cannot see. They are then instructed to put themselves in line in order of smallest foot to biggest foot. Caveat: they cannot ask or state anyone’s shoe size.
This is a great team building game that demands teamwork to communicate efficiently in order get into line properly without the use of sight or verbalizing the most basic and obvious of information: shoe size.
5.) See What I Mean?
In this challenging team building activity one person draws a picture using only basic shapes and a volunteer than describes the picture drawn to everyone else. Without seeing the picture, each person much tries to reproduce the picture based solely on what the volunteer is relaying to them with the ultimate goal being that they are able to create the same picture.
In this game it is unlikely that anyone in the group will reproduce a carbon copy – some pictures will be more similar than others. This activity emphasizes how very important verbal communication is, and also how it can be vastly interpreted by different people. To really drive the point home you could do a few rounds of this game, which would also exhibit how some people interpret directions and communication differently from others and how certain methods are more easily understood than others.
6.) Zombie Escape
In this thrilling game, everyone will be “locked” in a room with a “zombie.” One person will be the zombie, complete with outstretched arms and zombie noises, and they will be tied to a rope in the corner. Every five minutes the zombie will be given an extra foot of leeway on the rope, eventually being close enough to “eat” the other players. Before the zombie gets that far, however, the group will have a series of puzzles, riddles, or clues they must complete in order to find the key and escape the room intact.
This activity fosters collaborative teamwork and creative problem-solving skills, as everyone must work together to figure out the clues in a high-stress situation in order to get out. This also helps to show which individuals have a more difficult time in stressful situations, which people flourish in them, and helps to bring out real team leaders.
7.) What’s My Name?
Write the name of famous present or past figures, or of people types such as nurse, geek, blind, homeless on to a name tag place one on to the back of each person in the room so that they cannot see the name tag, but everyone else in the room can.
The group then may socialize with one another for a set amount of time, asking questions in order to try and figure out who they are. Others will treat them in stereotypical ways based on who their label says they are. Each person can use the answers to their questions, as well as their treatment, to ascertain who they are. Once they have correctly identified their label, they may leave the game until everyone has finished.
This is a really great ice-breaker game, but also allows each person to confront stereotypes in the questions used and the answers are given, as well as by how they treated others and other treated them based solely on their label. It permits each person to get a better idea of how we erroneously perceive people, as well as how it feels to be so narrowly characterized by a simple label.
8.) Get to Know Me!
In this activity request everyone to pair off into twos with people they were not sitting near and/or do not know well. The pairs will then ask one another three questions: 1.) Name something that you are very proud of in your work and/or personal life. 2.) Tell something about yourself that very few people know about. 3.) Interviewers choice: any question can be asked. Afterward, each person will share with the large group what they learned about their partner.
This is a fun and effective way to get to better know your colleagues, especially those with whom you may not interact with often.
9.) Kid’s Stuff
For this creative challenge, you will all work together to create a board game based on the work your business or event conducts. Using basic and limited supplies, such as poster board and markers, everyone will work together using their imaginations to create a fun and interactive game. The game may include questions focused on the business that must be answered at certain game spots, ways to earn/lose points or move forward/ backward. Perhaps a dice will move you forward? The sky is the limit.
This exercise will force each person to work collaboratively and give their input in order to create a board game that is fun for everyone.
10.) Spider Web
In Spider Web have the group form a large circle. It may be standing or sitting; if it is a very large group, you may prefer to sit. One person will hold a large ball of twine and then tell the group an embarrassing story about themselves. Afterward, they will then hold onto the end of the twine and throw it to someone else in the circle, extending the twine from themselves to the next person. That person will then also tell an embarrassing story about his or herself and throw the twine to another person while keeping a hold of it as well. This will continue until the twine has been passed to each person and each person has had the opportunity to humor the group with an embarrassing story of his or her own. The end result will produce a “spider web” out of the twine, connecting everyone to each other.
This team building game shows how each person, no matter how different, is connected in one or way or another to each other person. It also allows each person to see how everyone may have vastly different experiences, but they all experience the same emotions and feelings. Though you may be very different people, you are also more alike and connected than you realize.
11.) Group Timeline
Create a large timeline on a whiteboard, bulletin board, or whatever other means you may prefer. Mark the very beginning of the timeline back to either when the oldest participant in the group was born, or when the business or event was first founded; whichever occurred first. Then mark off any major milestones for the business or event, such as “Change of Name” or “Celebrated 50 years,” etc.
Then allow each person in the group to mark four important moments for them on the timeline; whether it be personal or business/event-related; it is completely up to them.
When the timeline is completed it will show a visual representation of your whole team and their generational experiences. This allows for dialogue on generational and cultural differences and how they affect work and communication, as well as general differences and similarities.
12.) Plane Crash
In this team building activity you will imagine that your group was in a plane crash and are now stranded on a deserted island. This can be done as one large group, or you can break off into smaller groups. The group must then choose 12 items that can be found in the building that they believe to be the most useful for their survival on their deserted island, and rank them in order of most importance to least.
This focuses on teamwork and collaboration, as well as creative problem solving and thinking outside of the box, as they may very likely have to make do with items they would not pick if not so limited.
13.) Watch Where You Step
Make a polygonal shape on the floor using masking tape that is at least 12 feet by 6 feet. Make the outline of the shape a tad complicated, selecting a shape that is stretched out as people will be making their way from one end to the other. Be sure there are starting and stopping points marked. Put a handful of squeaky dog toys inside of the taped shape, and at least double the number of sheets of paper, each with a huge X on them, inside of the shape. The papers are mines.
In groups of two, each person will be blindfolded and must make it from start to finish through the minefield. The only direction is from the verbal instructions coming from those whom are outside of the shape and not blindfolded. The blindfolded participants may not step outside of the shape enclosure, nor may the step on a mine. If they do, they are frozen until someone else steps on a squeaky toy in order to unfreeze them. This occurs until the entire group has had a turn to make it successfully through the minefield.
This team building exercise works on communication and teamwork, as well as clear diction and the ability to be vigilant of numerous actions at once.
14.) Use What You Have
In this fun game, split your group into two equal groups. Or if needed, several equal groups. Give them clear instructions for a goal in which they must create something: the something is completely up to you. It may be that they must create a way to move a marble from point A to point B without the use of electricity or rubber bands; it can really be anything. Each group has the same goal and the same restrictions.
The teams are then given a specific amount of time to work and complete the mission with a particular set of supplies. They are not allowed to use any other materials, but how they use the supplies available to them is entirely up to them. The big reveal at the end is an exciting event and allows for friendly competition.
This activity requires teamwork in creative problem solving with limited options. It allows for the groups to see how each person thinks and works abstractly and in a time-crunch.
15.) Find the Common Thread
Divide everyone into groups of three or more. They will talk and get to know one another long enough to find a common thread amongst them, such as they all love zombie movies or they’re huge football fans. They will then write a list of common stereotypes attributed to people who tend to enjoy those sorts of things.
The groups will then come together and proclaim who they as a group are. For the rest of the day each group will behave as their stereotype: perhaps the zombie-lovers will be overheard making zombie apocalyptic plans or acting like zombies. Football aficionados may randomly cheer for their team. At the end of the day discuss stereotypes and how they often limit how we view people and their abilities. Also, discuss how each group came about discovering their common thread.
The purpose of this teambuilding game is to help everyone see how silly and limiting stereotypes are, and how if people truly behaved the way we often write them off to act, things would be vastly different. It also shows how a group of seemingly very different people can have great commonalities that bring them together.
16.) Someone You Admire
This team building game is as straightforward as the name. Each person will take a turn stating someone whom they admire; it may be a current person or someone from history. You could also spice it up a bit and make it be someone within the group. Each person must also tell why they admire that person; what traits, attributes, and/or accomplishments make that person worthy of admiration.
This exercise really helps everyone get to know one another better and have a stronger sense of each other’s values and what attributes they find to be important. It also can help bring people closer together as they realize they respect and admire the same people.
17.) Classify This
Collect at least 20 different items and set them on a table. The broader the category, the better (i.e., jewelry, office supplies, etc.). You want for these items, at first glimpse, to have no obvious connection to each other.
Then break everyone into equal teams, armed with a pen and paper. They must then classify the objects into four groups. They may do this, however, they choose, working together, not allowing other groups to hear. Once all the groups are finished they will each get a turn explaining how they opted to group the items. Each group may have vastly different conclusions, grouping by size, material, color, etc.
This activity encourages teamwork and creative thinking. It forces them to think outside the box and rethink everyday objects and problems and find connections to things that they would typically view as entirely unrelated.