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10 Fantastic Team Building Activities

10 Fantastic Team-Building Activities
10 Fantastic Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities for work are both informative and fun. They help teams get to know each other, helping them learn how their colleagues think, work, problem-solve, and relate to one another.

Team-building activities are often announced to choruses of groans, but there are innovative ways to use them within your team 👯. They can be used during orientation and as icebreakers, and they can be used on team-building days to help bring your staff closer together.

Below, we’ve gathered ten team-building activities that are fun and exciting. 

Take a look and make notes for your next team-building day!

1) Egg Drop 🥚

Shared experiences

Egg Drop is a traditional team-building game that brings groups together to solve creative problems. It can get messy! But this just raises the stakes, making it more exciting.

Your aim is to create an egg package/carrier that can withstand a 2+ story drop while keeping the uncooked egg intact. Like we said, messy 🍳!!

Group Size: 2+ small groups. Can work for small to large teams.

Run Time: 30-40 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Split your team into even groups. Usually, 2-4 people in each team is a good amount. It allows people to work together and build relationships without too many people shouting over one another.
  2. Give each team a raw/uncooked egg and provide various office supplies, such as straws, tape, plastic, balloons, rubber bands, and newspapers in a pile.
  3. Give teams 15-30 minutes to use the supplies provided to build the best protection for the egg.
  4. After they have built protective packages for their eggs, it’s time for the drop. This part can get messy, especially if people’s carriers aren’t up to the task!
  5. The winning squad is the one where the most eggs survive the free fall. In the event of a tiebreaker, you can raise the egg-fall height. Or just declare joint team winners with a planned rematch at another time!

This team-building activity is a great way to have people think on the spot and work under pressure. They have to think creatively, which can be translated into problem-solving in the workplace to improve company culture.

The nature of this activity also means they will have a fun shared experience with their colleagues, which should help them to build deeper relationships with their colleagues. In fact, research actually suggests that shared experiences can be beneficial to colleagues and can help them to recognize each other’s shared strengths and unique abilities.

2) The Minefield / Watch Your Step 🧨

This game is played with a partner. One person is blindfolded and unable to speak; the other acts as the guide. The goal of the guide is to help the blindfolded person through an obstacle course without touching them.

The guide is only allowed to speak directions and may not help the guide in any other way. The blindfolded person must not touch, bump into, or trip over any obstacles. Otherwise, the team is out of the game, and you must start over.

The game encourages precise communication between teammates. The blindfolded person is reliant only on spoken instructions, and so the guide needs to be clear and give instructions that are easy to follow.

It’s probably pretty easy to see how a game like this can be great for developing communication and team bonding, but we’ll reiterate all the same!

The game can help people to understand how their colleagues communicate with each other. It allows teams to develop communication habits that work for everyone. This could be particularly useful for remote teams who follow a hybrid working style, as remote work requires clear communication.

Equipment for setting up the game can vary.

Blindfolds can easily be made from scarves or strips of fabric. Or you could cover safety goggles in masking tape so you cannot see through them. Obstacle options can be small, like paper, pencils, small toys, and more. Or you could build a maze with chairs and tables. Just ensure that the course isn’t too hazardous!

Group Size: Groups of 2, small to medium team size.

Run Time: 15-30 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. For this activity, use an open space or activity room.
  2. Prepare a start and endpoint. Use the obstacles listed above or get creative with your own ideas.
  3. Divide the group into teams of two, each with one member blindfolded.
  4. Give verbal instructions to the blindfolded teammate on how to negotiate the course and avoid walking on the obstacles/mines.
  5. Time each team from start to finish. The winner will complete the course in the shortest time. With a draw, you could have the two winners face off in a completely new obstacle course to declare a winner.

3) The Perfect Square ⬛

This is a game in which team members must collaborate to build a perfect square with a rope while blindfolded. Communication skills, teamwork, and hilariously out-of-shape courts are all on the menu.

This game encourages the group to work together, but they will find that having a team leader may make communication smoother. You can appoint team leaders, perhaps choosing employees who don’t usually speak up or those you think would make good leaders.

Appointing a leader can get people out of their comfort zone and help them to open up to the group a bit more.

Group Size: 4-20 people.

Run Time: 15-30 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Gather the group together, have them sit in a circle, and place their blindfolds over their eyes. Take a rope with the ends tied together and give it to the group. Their goal is to form a perfect square out of the rope without taking off their blindfolds. 
  2. Allow them as much time as they like – once they are happy they have formed a square, they can take off their blindfolds and observe their handy work…
  3. If you have time, you can repeat the activity and offer the team another chance to improve. You could also have them create different shapes while blindfolded… five-pointed star, anyone ⭐?

4) Human Knot 🪢

37 percent of employees

Source:  Gusto Report

The Human Knot game is an excellent icebreaker 🧊 for a group of new team members.

The knot is a disentanglement puzzle in which a group of people in a circle hold hands with two people who are not next to them. The goal is to disentangle the limbs to get the group into a circle without letting go of the grasped hands 🧑‍🤝‍🧑.

Remember to ask employees to dress in clothes they can move in, as they will be climbing through arms, shimmying through small spaces, and will probably end up rather bedraggled by the end of this activity!

Group Size: 8-20 people.

Run Time: 15-30 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Form a circle with the group. Tell them to raise their right hand in the air and grab the hand of someone on the opposite side of the circle. Then repeat with the left hand, grabbing a different person’s hand each time.
  2. Make sure that everyone is holding the hands of two distinct people and that no one on either side of them is holding their hands. They must untangle themselves to make a circle without breaking the hand chain. Set aside a specific amount of time to finish this assignment (‌ten to twenty minutes should suffice).
  3. They must begin anew if the chain of hands is broken at any time.

While playing this game, and so as not to have to get the accident book out, try to encourage your team not to pull, push, or fall while trying to untangle themselves!

Giving your team fun experiences to bond over can ensure they feel they’re part of a great team. For many people, working with a good team is their reason for staying with a company for longer.

5) Photo Finish 📸

Photo Finish is a quick and straightforward game that can be played with small groups. It requires only a small amount of space and a smartphone with a camera to play. 🤳

The objective is to have the team cross a finish line simultaneously and capture a “photo finish”. This is a great activity for your team’s putting coordination to the test. Also, for obtaining a great team photo for your office’s memory wall.

Group Size: 4+ people.

Run Time: 20 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Find an appropriate “finish line”. Use chalk, masking tape, or rope to draw a straight line if necessary.
  2. Have everyone cross the finish line at the exact same time for a “photo finish”.
  3. Take a photo of them crossing the finish line each time to check if it counts as a photo finish. If not, they need to try again.
  4. If you have a highly coordinated team, you can increase the challenge by making them run across the finish line.

6) Bridge Building 🌉

Using the limited materials provided, two teams construct separate sides of a bridge. When done, they’ll have to work together to make the halves fit together—a fantastic game for fostering teamwork and creativity. 

Group Size: 8+ people.

Run Time: 60 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Gather materials for constructing a bridge, such as cardboard, pieces of paper, post-it notes, Lego, construction blocks, straws, paper, tape, rulers, and similar items. Which items to provide (or not provide) can really alter the course of this game.
  2. Split the participants into two teams of equal size.
  3. Physically separate the teams so they cannot visually see what the other team is building.
  4.  Assign one-half of a bridge to each team. Though they cannot see each other, they can interact verbally or via text message, but only with words. No images, emojis, or links are allowed.
  5. Teams have 10 minutes to develop a bridge concept and drawing (again, without any visual communication). They will then have an additional 30 minutes to construct the bridge.
  6. After 30 minutes, invite the two teams to meet and connect the two sides of the bridge together. This may be a fun moment where compatibility issues are found and further problem-solving occurs.
  7. Optional: If you have a larger group, divide them into multiple team pairs to make this more competitive. The team pair that comes the closest to completing a bridge wins.

This is a fantastic option if your team sometimes feels fragmented. You can ensure that colleagues who don’t normally work together are paired to encourage better communication. Or, if you have two departments that frequently have issues with communication, you can have them work together to construct their bridge.

The game is a true test of clear and concise communication in a more relaxed space. It can help colleagues to build better methods of communication to ensure things don’t get lost in translation. They can observe each other and learn which methods work best for who.

Hopefully, this will translate into better communication during normal working days and lead to fewer problems overall.

7) Emblems 🎨

This fun team-building activity is ideal for smaller groups. Participants are divided into teams and must work together to design a team logo, flag 🏁, or shield. This activity is excellent for developing a stronger sense of team identity and cohesion.

You can encourage participants to create the logo based on shared values and things that matter to them. It helps colleagues to get to know one another and creates a sense of unity.

It is also a creative task and can help people to work to their strengths, i.e., the artist in the group can draw while someone else may look up Latin slogans for the motto!

Group Size: Any.

Run Time: 30-90 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Gather materials you’ll provide participants to create their masterpieces, including pens, paper, cardboard, tape, and anything else you think they’d need.
  2. Split participants equally into teams, preferably three to four participants per team, and we recommend keeping as close to real-life department teams as possible.
  3. Allow enough time for each team to plan, draw, and paint their masterpiece. Allow roughly ten minutes of research and discussion and twenty minutes of design time. Do make it a strictly timed task, but don’t rush the artists 🖌️!
  4. When the timer goes off, display one team logo, flag, or shield at a time, allowing the other teams to offer their interpretation of it, then allow the creating team to give their perspective. Repeat this process for each team.

This game doesn’t have a ‘winner’ as such. Instead, everyone gets to be creative and discuss values and things close to their hearts. It can be an excellent exercise for new departments or teams, especially after a reshuffle.

8) Team Jigsaw 🧩

Teams must compete to solve a jigsaw puzzle within a set amount of time. Sounds too easy, right? There is just one catch… Some pieces of the puzzle are mixed with the other team’s pieces.

This activity is excellent for uncovering your team’s negotiation and strategy skills as they barter their way to completing their puzzle first.

By having to communicate with other teams for things that they need, each colleague may be able to learn more about the communication methods that each team prefers.

Group Size: 9+ people.

Run Time: 30 minutes.

How To Play:

  1. Take three puzzles with 50 or so pieces each that are roughly the same complexity level. Swap a few pieces between the puzzles that could blend well together.
  2. Split participants into equal teams, which can be 3-4 per team. If you have many participants, just add puzzles, keeping the team sizes small.
  3. Give each team a box containing their puzzles. The teams will begin by believing that all they have to do is build their puzzle.
  4. Once the teams begin working, they will notice that some elements are missing (and some are extra). Instruct the groups to talk openly and honestly about the situation. They will eventually realize that they must work harder to solve the puzzle.

9) Tethered 🔗

This is a simple game for literally and figuratively forming bonds. Participants are tethered by their wrists and must accomplish a series of tasks together. To be successful, everyone must work closely together and communicate well.

Like many games in this list, this one aims to build better communication skills and teamwork. It is a good idea to pair up people from various departments to help people see how the company works together.

Group Size: 4-16 people.

Run Time: 30 minutes.

How To Play: 

  1. Gather shoe laces or something else that may be utilized to bind two participants together at the wrists comfortably.
  2. Form a circle with all participants facing inwards. Request that they put their arms at their sides. Place all objects needed to complete the desired tasks in the circle’s center.
  3. Tie each participant’s wrists to their neighbor’s until everyone is tied together.
  4. Next, have the team accomplish a series of activities using the items in the circle, such as building something, wrapping a present, or even making a cocktail.
  5. As the participants are all connected, they must communicate clearly and work effectively to execute these seemingly straightforward tasks. To make the game more challenging, add a time constraint.

10) Human Skill Tester 🤸

Trust can improve

Source:  Harvard Business Review

Two teams compete against each other in this easy but demanding activity. Each squad has one blindfolded member. The other team members then offer the blindfolded person instructions on gathering objects from the playing area.

To be successful in this game, you must have excellent communication skills 📢 and a high level of trust. Trust is crucial in the workplace. In fact, people who work at high-trust companies are 50% more productive than those who work at low-trust companies.

Group Size: 6-24 people.

Run Time: 30-40 minutes.

How To Play: 

  1. Create a space with various items randomly placed around it, such as water bottles, shoes, books, and so on. These things must be distinct enough that individuals can tell them apart by touching them.
  2. Place an enormous basket in the center of the space.
  3. Split players into two groups. Make sure there are at least twice as many items in the space as there are players on each team.
  4. Separate the two groups on opposite sides of the space.
  5. Ask each group to choose one volunteer from their squad to be blindfolded. Blindfold the volunteer and have each team call out a random item from the space.
  6. In a race against the clock (2-3 minutes), each blindfolded volunteer must pick up their respective group’s items and place them into the basket in the center of the room. The blindfolded can’t see or ask questions, so they rely only on their colleagues’ input.
  7. Teammates not blindfolded may describe the object, its shape, and its intended purpose, but they must not use its name. They may then instruct the blindfolded on how to reach the item and place it in the basket.
  8. The round is won by the group that gets their items into the basket first.
  9. Repeat the process until every team member has taken a turn as a volunteer.
  10. The game is won by the group that wins the most rounds.

Final Thoughts

These activities cover a wide range of team-building exercises. How you employ these activities will be determined by your purpose, the size of your team, the setting, and the time you have to prepare. 

Some of the indoor activities can be used in outdoor situations and vice versa. To get the best outcomes, mix serious team-building exercises with some silly games. You want team building to be both practical and enjoyable.

And, more often than not, lighthearted activities have a more significant impact on your business than serious exercises.

Remember, the aim of every one of these activities is to enhance the relationships within your team. Healthy competition is fun, but don’t let it ruin the day!