Team Builder Activities
If you ever started a role within a company, you will generally find that the business is keen to instill teamwork at its very core, and it’s no surprise given that the people the business hires are effectively the people who will be pushing it forward. However, if the cogs of the business machine stop turning, then business owners could find that their brand grinds to a halt.
As such, businesses will ensure that communication, teamwork and problems solving are skills that anyone can implement, and with the right kind of activities, a business can ensure that such traits are used in the right way.
Two Truths and a Lie
This activity sees all group members write down two truths and one lie about themselves. It is then up to other team members to work out what the lie is, while the one telling the lie has to convince the others that their lie is actually true.
For the activity to have the full effect, it’s important that team members do not disclose their truths to anyone else. Once discussions have taken place, generally around 15 to 20 minutes, all team members then form a circle and have an open vote as to which facts about people they think are lies, and which they think are true.
This exercise looks to encourage open discussion and encourage others to communicate better within the team. Used in the right way, this activity can show how in-depth discussions can lead to problem solving. It can also trach some outside-of-the-box thinking due to team members really examining what others are saying and looking for traits that may give the game away.
Life Highlights Game
Those looking for an activity to get new team members talking will find the life highlights game a real icebreaker. Each participant is asked to close their eyes for one minute, while considering the best moments of their lives. This could be a time they’ve spent alone, with family members or among friends. Once all the participants have considered their greatest moments, they will then be asked to narrow their highlights into one they would like to relive again if they only had 30 seconds left in their life.
Not only does this allow team members to get to know each other, but it also encourages participants to look back on their life and realise some of their accomplishments and experiences.
Another activity that can act as a brilliant icebreaker is the Coin Logo game. To take part, participants are asked to place any coins they have onto a table in front of them. If anyone is short on coins, they can simply share with others. The participants should then be split up into different groups, and design a logo for an organization, department or group.
In order to design a logo, team members will need to have open discussions, as well as truly understanding what each person has contributed to the exercise. Thus encouraging teamwork among team members. This exercise also allows teams to truly portray their creative side as they try to embody a brand’s message into a pictorial form.
Sneak a Peak
Everyone loves building bricks, so what better way to use them than part of a team building activity? The instructor running the activity will build a small sculpture from building bricks, and then hide it from the participants. The participants are then split into a number of groups, with each being given enough bricks to allow them to recreate a replica of the sculpture. The model created by the instructor should be placed within equal view of all groups, with one member from each team being given ten seconds to look at the sculpture. Once the sculpture has been analyzed for ten seconds, all groups will then have 25 seconds to build their models, acting on instructions from the group member who looked at the sculpture.
Not only are balloons fun, but they are also cost-effective. As such, this activity can be carried out with very little expense. Participants are split into teams of three, with each team member given a balloon. The instructor should ensure that all teams have their own corresponding color.
The aim of the exercise is to keep the balloon. Should a balloon hit the floor, then those from the competition are allowed to burst the balloon. The winning team is that with the least number of balloons popped. As well providing teams with a great deal of humor, the balloon burst exercise will also promote teamwork and communication.
As the name would suggest, ‘Snakes’ sees people join in a line, much in the style of a serpent. A circle is created where a bucket will be placed. Participants are then split into teams of 5 to 7, and are required to drop an object into the bucket. While this sounds simple in the first instance, the twist is that all team members are blindfolded except for the person at the back, who will tap a person’s left or right shoulder to guide them, with each team tapping the person’s shoulders in front of them until they tap the shoulders of the person with the object, who will use the signals to place the object in the bucket.
Once an object has been placed, the person in front then removes their blindfold and join the back of the queue, with the next person leading the others based on the shoulder taps they receive. The process should be repeated until each member has been able to place an object in the bucket.
The activity promotes teamwork and communication in a non-verbal manner, while promoting out instinct to trust other team members and the guidance they give.
Although the objective of ‘Yurt Circle’ is pretty straightforward, reaching the objective can be a little tricky. Due to the nature of the game, it shouldn’t be tried with less than ten people, who will all stand to form a circle. Each participant will be given an ascending number which they will need to remember. Those with odd numbers will be instructed to lean in, whilst those with an even number will lean out. As each person will be holding hands with two other people, there is no way that they can fall over.
This is an exercise that will look to instill trust between all participants.
The concept of cup stacking is pretty straightforward, although there are those who can stack cups within a manner of seconds, much to everyone’s amazement. However, this version of the game is a little more challenging than the cup stacking seen before.
The object of the exercise is to build a pyramid using six cups. However, each team will need to use an elastic band with string attached to actually build the tower. Team members hold onto a piece of string and stretch the elastic band so they are able to pick up the cup. Once the cup is in place, the team members will then need to release the cup in the correct location before completing the process. The team who builds a cup pyramid first will be declared the winner.
As well as being a really enjoyable activity, ‘Cup Stacking’ encourages team building while facing off against the competition.
Battle of the Air Bands
If you’re keen to find an exercise that’s both fun and good for bonding, then you could do a lot worse than ‘Battle of the Air Bands,’ which sees teams of 3 to 4 people trying to sync to a work-friendly song.
Any music can be used if all parties are happy, and can be played via a radio, smartphone or television. Groups are welcome to use a series of props, and you could even have another department in work take ownership of the judging side. If teams do vote for their favorite acts, then they should ensure that they don’t vote for someone in their own team.
Hula Hoop Pass
As well as being a brilliant icebreaker, ‘Hula Hoop Pass’ can also encourage co-operation and communication within a team. Participants stand in a circle, and the circle is introduced by asking two participants to loosen their grip temporarily. The hula hoop is then passed in a designated direction until it reaches the start of the circle.
An alternative take on the activity is to use two hoops, and pass the round in opposite directions. If you don’t have access to hula hoops, then you can use looped ropes instead.
This exercise allows for the open discussion of the opinions of others. This is done by creating a virtual bus, using either two pieces of rope, or two rows of duct tape in a parallel manner to give the illusion of stepping on and off the bus. The space between the ropes should be between 10 and 15 meters wide.
The facilitator of the exercise will then act as the bus driver by standing in between the ropes or duct tape. Word pairs are then read out by the facilitator, with them pointing to a side of the bus or the other. Participants will then get on the bus, depending on which statement they agree with.
There should be an interval within the game that allows for both teams to see what words were chosen and why, and discuss among the group accordingly.
Once discussions have finished, all participants get back on the bus, and a further pairing of words is given. The process can then be repeated as the facilitator sees fit, leading the way for much discussion among the group.
The exercise not only encourages open discussion, but also strengthens our listening skills.
Some of the word pairings that can be used are as follows, but you can of course create your own, depending on the aim of the exercise.
This exercise not only encourages exercise, but also in-depth discussion among the group.
The Tallest Tower
As this is the last activity on the list, we thought it would be worth putting in one that really is a lot of fun, so much so, you’ll probably not even notice it’s a team building exercise. However, ‘Tallest Tower’ is an activity that encourages participants to truly try out their communication skills, as well as putting their problem-solving tactics to the test.
The facilitator needs to split people into groups of five or six, and supply each group with a different set of materials. For examples, a set of materials could include paper clips, paper cups and popsicle sticks, while another could contain additional materials such as construction paper and masking tape, but contains less of everything else.
The object of the exercise is to create the tallest tower with the materials given. While this may seem unfair in the first instance, it will teach all team members to truly think outside the box and offer their insight in a constructive way. Working together is also key to ensure the creation of the tallest tower is deemed a success.
What’s more, these activities can be used within any age group. Whether you’re looking to play the games with children or elderly citizens, the activities will always ensure that a person’s strengths are brought to the forefront.