Easy and Fun Team Building Games

2020.10.06.

If you've ever been part of a larger corporation, then the idea of team building games probably makes you throw up in your mouth a little. Yes, we've all suffered that at some point. When HR announces that the company are organizing a team building activities, you can feel the enthusiasm drain from the room. For some reason, they always seem awkward and forced. Somehow the office hierarchy remains intact and so you can't really express yourself freely. Often nothing more than an exercise in futility.

Team building

But what if we told you that there is another way. That since those heavy days, things have moved forwards in leaps and bounds. That today's team building games is a very different beast from the one you experienced all those moons ago. All those established means of achieving aims have been thrown out. What remains is a new, streamlined and welcoming effort that'll forge trust and friendship, improve communication and also, along the way, offer a great time. Let's take a look at team building games and some examples of modern efforts. 

What is Team Building?

Essentially, team building is a process that brings a working group closer together. It helps mold them into one cohesive unit.

Team Building Activities

Normally these are games or exercises that stimulate individual members of a group to rise up and work together as one. They increase efficiency by improving communication as well as simply introducing each team member to the rest of the group in an informal and fun setting. By sharing in a competitive event or adventure, bonds are formed that will continue into the work place, making for a better and more productive working environment.

Why is Team Building Important?

When you first put together a work team, it's going to take time for them to know and understand each other. There may well be conflicts and misunderstandings. No team will gel together the moment that they meet. What team building tries to do is create bonds that arise from a common collaboration. Eventually, we want to achieve a seamless coordination between all workers and partners on a team by promoting trust, respect and a greater understanding of each other. Yes, these do sound like some lofty goals, but it's a good place to start. If you can create the environment that allows your employees to work better and more efficiently, then that's a good thing for everyone. Having a real camaraderie in the work place will lead directly to a happier and therefore, healthier workforce.  

Before we get started with our list of team building games, there are some basic steps that you'll have to take. The first is actually identifying your teams strengths and weaknesses. What aspects need re-enforcing? What areas need improvement? It's essential that you spend some time to identify these points before starting out with any team building. You have to know what you want the team building exercise to achieve. The second point is more down to earth: budget. You'll need to have an idea of the possible spend you're allowed to dip into over the course of the team building exercise. Once you have a definitive budget, then pick your game, choose who it'll benefit and be sure to make enough time.

Icebreaker Games

These are short and informal team building games so that everyone can get to know each other.

Two Truths and a Lie 

Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Group size: 4 – 6
Objective: Build affinity

One person will tell two truths and one lie about themselves in a random order. The other team member have to figure out which is which.

What’s My Name

Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Group size: <20
Objective: Build rapport

All sit yourselves in a circle. Everyone says they're name in turn. One person is given a tennis ball. They need to throw it  to another person, whilst at the same time saying their name out loud. You can't throw the ball to the same person twice. 

Building a Story-line

Time: 30 minutes
Group size: Varies
Objective: Listening, Collaboration, Teamwork

Once again all the participants are sat in a circle. Starting with one team member, they begin to tell a story, but stop at an important juncture in mid sentence. The next in line, completes the sentence and then continues the story, and so on. Essentially you're trying to ensure that people listen to each other.

Form the Order

Time: 20 minutes
Group size: <20
Objective: Communication, Collaboration

Members of the team are to be lined up according to some criteria, it could be hair color, shoe size, birthday, whatever. The team has to perform this but using non-verbal communication.

Show and Tell

Time: 30 – 60 minutes
Group size: 10 – 15
Objective: Build trust

Simply ask each team member to share something they love. It could be a hobby, a pet or a food. They have one minute to talk about it, and then the others can ask them questions. Sharing something personal can build trust

Team Building Activities

Life’s Best Moments

Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Group size: 15 – 20
Objective: Build rapport, trust

Ask your team members to think about the best moments of their lives. Then ask them which 30 seconds would they love to relive. Now ask each one to share that memory with the others. Essentially you're pulling members of the team out of the usual comfort zone.

Survivor

Time: 30 minutes
Group size: 4 – 6
Objective: Problem-solving, Collaboration, Creativity

Pretend that you're all stranded in the middle of Antarctica or the desert. They have to form a list of 5 items which might help them to survive out of a choice of 10 items. Split the group into 2  and have them work together to finalize their choices. They then have to present their teams items and justify them. Finally, you all vote on the best team's strategy for survival. 

Game of Possibilities

Time: 10 minutes
Group size: 4 – 6
Objective: Problem-solving, Communication, Creativity

Divide your team into smaller teams. Give each team an object. Each member has to act out a usage for the object.

A Team-Made Puzzle

Time: 20 minutes
Group size: 8
Objective: Collaboration

With this you'll need to print out a large image, which you'll then cut into 8 square pieces. Each member of the team gets one of these along with a full sized piece of paper. Using just their portion of the image, they have to construct the rest of the image by drawing. 

A Scavenger Hunt

Time: > 60 minutes
Group size: 4 – 6
Objective: Collaboration, Problem-solving, Build rapport

This is really an outdoor event. Organize clues and puzzles and trivia questions that'll lead team members to different locations. They need to take a photo of the location and the winning team is the one with the most correct photos.

Human Knot

Time: 20 minutes
Group size: 8 – 15
Objective: Collaboration, Building rapport, Problem-solving, Communication

All team members stand in a circle, shoulders touching. Each member reaches out and grabs the hand of the person opposite. Then do the same with the other hand. Each team then has to un-knot themselves against the clock, without releasing their grip on the other's hands.

Guess Who?

Time: 15 minutes
Group size: 5 – 10
Objective: Problem-solving, Communication

Write the different names of famous people on a piece of sticky tape. Tape it to the forehead of each team member without them seeing. Arrange everyone in a circle. Using only "yes" or "no" questions each person can ask a question about their respective characters. If you get a question right, then you can ask another directly afterwards.

All Tied Up

Time: 10 minutes
Group size: 2 – 4
Objective: Collaboration, Communication, Problem-solving

Instruct small groups to stand in a circle. Then use string or rope to tie their hands together. Then have these teams fulfill simple games or activities, like tying their shoe laces or making a sandwich but whilst still tied together.

Blind Drawing

Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Group size: 2
Objective: Build trust, Communication, Collaboration

Pairs must sit back to back. One has a pencil and a piece of paper. The other is clutching an object. The latter has to describe the object to the former, but with out telling him exactly what it is. The other player must draw it based on the description he's received. 

Perfect Vacation

Time: 10 – 20 minutes
Group size: 2
Objective: Listening

First we need to divide our teams into pairs. Then each partner reveals to the other what their perfect vacation might be. After an exchange of holiday ideas, then each partner must describe the others plans.

Sculpture Peek

Time: 30 minutes
Group size: 4 – 6
Objective: Communication, Problem-solving, Strategy

For this you're going to need either a tub of Lego or some Jenga blocks. Divide your team into two groups. The organizer builds something and then hides it from them. Then one team leader from each group can step forwards and have a sneak peek at the object. They then return to their respective groups and try and instruct them to build a perfect replica of what they saw. The group who comes closest to building the original gets to win.

Electric Fence

Time: 20 minutes
Group Size: 10 – 15
Objective: Collaboration, Communication, Building trust, Problem-solving, Building rapport

First thing is to create an "electric wire" using, say, a piece of string tied between two chairs. Now the object of the game is to get across this obstacle without touching it. But the rules are that the member doing the crossing must at all times be in contact with at least one other team member. Also...you can't go under the wire. 

Company Outing

Time: > 60 minutes
Group size: Entire group
Objective: Communication, Building rapport

Getting out of the office or daily work environment is extremely important once in a while. On the whole these outings are going to be much more expensive for the business. But, then again, they do add much greater value for all the participants. Whether for a game of football or paintball, doing a group activity, but outside the work environment, is both relaxing and fulfilling. Go on...make you employees feel wanted and respected. Chose a team building exercise that'll be memorable and fun. 
 

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