Team-Building  Activities

In the books Team-Building Activities for Every Group and the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group you will find games and activities that go through the team-building process from getting to know each other to working together.

On this page is a sample of the games found in the Team Up chapter of each book. 

You can also find these games along with activities from all the chapters in a PDF format by clicking on the Home or go to the Team-Building Games page to find activities from all chapters posted together. 

Bid and Build
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To work together as a team to build a bridge out of the objects your team obtains.

Group Size
4 to 20 participants is ideal

Materials

  • A large sheet of paper ( or chalkboard, dry erase board, etc.)

  • A writing utensil for the paper, chalkboard, or dry erase board

  • Various items that can be used or not used to get a group from point A to point B (i.e. Frisbees®, sheets of paper, rope, hula hoops, pieces of wood or cardboard, an old garbage can, a tumbling mat, or anything else you can find)

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

  • Optional: Play money

Description
     This activity is two teamwork activities in one! For the first part, list all the items that you have gathered on the large sheet of paper, display it for the group to see, and show them the items listed. Divide the group into at least two smaller teams of two or more and give each group a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Explain to the groups that their task is to attempt to get their entire team from one side of an open area to the other side (at least ten yards apart) using any of the items listed and without anyone on their team touching the ground at any time.
     First the teams must bid for the items listed. Each team gets 100 points (or $100 in play money) that they may spend however they wish on the items. They must divide up the points based on what they think will help them the most and write down their bids on the paper given to them. For example, one team may bid 75 points on the Frisbees, and 25 points on the rope. Another team may bid 50 points on the rope, 25 points on the Frisbees, 10 on the paper, and 15 on the cardboard.
     After all the bids are completed, collect them and divide up the materials based upon the highest bid. In the example, the first team would end up with the Frisbees and nothing else, but the second team would get the rope, paper, and cardboard. If there is a tie for any item, you may have the teams bid again on certain items or divide the items up if possible.
     Once the teams have their items, the second part of this teamwork activity occurs. They must now work together to get their entire team across the open area without any of the team members touching the ground in the process.

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it hard for your team to agree on what numbers to bid? Why or why not?
2.    What did you do to come to an agreement?
3.    When you disagree with others how do you handle it?
4.    How do you feel about your ability to work with others after this activity?
5.    What role do you usually take when in a group that is making decisions? Do you feel this is a good role for you? Why?

Variation
This activity may be done for an art project as well. Teams must bid on items that can be used to create a piece of art.

 

Earthquake Escape
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To build trust and to learn to work together in a situation in which people’s abilities and needs are different.

Group Size
6 to 10 participants (or break large groups into small groups of 6 to 10 each)

Materials

  • Cardboard

  • Small flat wood pieces

  • Cloth strips

  • Cotton balls

Description
     Explain to the group that there has just been a major earthquake and that many of the group members have sustained injuries. Select different group members to have different injuries and instruct them to act out these injuries during the course of the activity. One person may be deaf with cotton balls in his/her ears, another person is blind with a blindfold on. Someone may be unconscious and must lie on the ground. Others may have broken legs or arms with splints made out of cloth strips and cardboard or wood pieces, or you may tie someone’s arms to his/her side. You may or may not appoint one or more people to have no injuries.
     Once each person is set up with his/her injuries, tell the group you just got word that we are expecting aftershocks and they are in a dangerous area and must move to safety. Designate an area that has been declared safe at least twenty yards away. Prior to the activity, set up obstacles such as tables, overturned chairs, and other objects between the danger zone and the “safe area”. The group must move everyone to the safety area without causing any further injury.

Discussion Prompts
1.    How did you feel when helping others get to safety?
2.    How did you feel if others had to help you?
3.    Do you have any disabilities that require you to accept help from others? If so, how do you deal with this?
4.    How do you react to someone else who is working with you who has a disability that requires your help?

 

Blind Creations
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To build group communication and trust.

Group Size
2 or more

Materials

  • Varies (paper and markers, blocks, Popsicle® sticks, Lego’s®, etc.)

Description
     There are several variations to this popular activity. One person creates a drawing, sculpture, design, etc. out of the materials given to him/her. The rest of the group is given a pile of the same materials and must work as a group to duplicate what the first person made by following his/her verbal directions. The person who made the drawing or object should not be able to see the group members and the group cannot see the direction-giver or the creation that he or she has created. You may allow the group members to ask questions or not. Once everyone thinks they have a copy of the original creation, allow both parties to view what the other has made. 

 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it easier to give or to receive directions? Why?
2.    Would it have been easier or harder to do this activity individually, rather than with a group? Why?
3.    How was communication used during this activity?
4.    Why is communication so important when in a group?
5.    Did everyone contribute to the project, or did a few people do most of the work? Why?
6.    Are you ever in a group where a few people take over? How do you feel about this?
7.    What can you do to help a group work together more effectively? 

 

 

Hula Walk
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To promote teamwork and cooperation.

Group Size
3 or more

Materials

  • Several Hula-Hoops

 

Description
     Line group members up side by side, give them Hula-Hoops and have them connect themselves in the following manner: One person puts his/her right leg inside a Hula-Hoop. The person next to them puts their left leg inside the same hoop, pulling the hoop taut so that it isn’t dragging on the ground. That person then puts his/her right leg into another hoop, and so on, until the entire line of people is connected by Hula-Hoops. Those on the ends will have their outside leg free. Once everyone is connected the group must try to walk across a designated area without letting the hoops fall. This can also be done with two rows of people, one in the back and one in the front, all connected using the same hoops. Have smaller groups take turns if there aren’t very many hoops.

 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was this easy or difficult for the group? Why?
2.    What obstacles did you encounter while doing this activity?
3.    Is it easier for you to overcome obstacles on your own or when with a group? Why?

 

Variation

  • Use string or elastic bands instead of hoops. 

 

Newscast
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
For people to work together to focus on the good qualities in themselves and others.

Group Size
5 or more

Materials

  • One video camera/ phone per team

 

Description
     Break the group into teams of five or six and give each group a video camera and videotape. Have each team use their camera to and create a newscast that everyone is a part of, that features each group member in a story, and that in some way highlights each persons best qualities, talents or skills. After a set time limit gather the groups back together and watch each newscast. You may need to limit the length of the newscasts so there is enough time to watch them all. 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it easier to do a story about others or about yourself?
2.    Did people in your group have a wide variety of good qualities?
3.    How important is it for teams to be full of people with a variety of talents and skills?
4.    Do you feel your talents are used to the fullest as a member of this group?
5.    How could you contribute more to the teams that you are on, given your unique talents, skills and attributes? 

Variation
Each group makes a newscast about the people of another team and highlights their best qualities. 

Group Clay Creations
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
For all group members to contribute to a joint project. 

Group Size
4 or more

Materials

  • Clay in various colors

  • Cardboard pieces or paper plates

Description
     Divide the group into teams of four to eight. (Make sure that there are not more people in each group than you have colors of clay.) Give each group clay in various colors. Each person must take one color of the clay (more than one if there are extra), and this color is the only color that this person can use for the entire activity. Each team must create a sculpture or scene (you may specify the type of scene, such as a town, park, family, etc.) out of the clay, with no sharing of clay with others. For instance, the team decides to make a car, the person with the black clay must make the tires and the person with gray can make some hubcaps, and so on. After each group has made their creation, have them name it and share it with the rest of the group. 

Discussion Prompts
1.    How did your group decide who got which color?
2.    Did some colors have more to do than others?
3.    Are you happy with your creation? Why or why not?
4.    Would this have been easier for you to do by yourself?
5.    Would this have been easier if everyone could use any of the colors? Would everyone have contributed the same amount? Why or why not?
6.    Do people usually have an equal part in all group projects?