10 Quick Team Building Activities That Will Help Your Team Get to Know Each Other

So if you are here then you are probably trying to find some really quick and cool ways to help a team get to know each other.

These 10 ideas are quick and should last between 5-15 minutes depending on your strategy. As always you want to make sure that you:

  • Provide Clear Expectations – Take the time to do a quick check of the space after explaining the directions. One way to check if everyone understands is to ask someone to restate the expectation.
  • Be Energetic – The last thing anyone wants is for the person who is trying to get them excited for the next 15-90 minute session to be boring and “dry”. Take the time to smile and be yourself. One way to break the ice is to tell people in a quick and easy way that you are nervous about how you are feeling. I find that people are naturally sympathetic and want to help. Being honest (but quick), might be a good way to let everyone know that its okay to overcome their own apprehensions and take a risk.
  • Use a timer and aware for teachable moments – Remember you are managing a moment. Set a timer and actively monitor everyone’s progress in the activity.

1: Drawing Faces

Image result for drawing a face

Purpose: Getting to know you
Group Size: 4+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Pair group members up and have them face one another comfortably. Give each person a paper pad and pen/pencil. Give everyone 10 minutes to sketch the person they see in front of them, highlighting their most noteworthy features but being as accurate as possible. Good for groups who know each other a little already. Afterward, discuss the pictures. You may choose to keep some.

 

2: Poetry

Purpose: Getting to know you
Group Size: 4+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Write some random words on slips of paper and put them into a hat. The group each pulls one word out of the hat. Now, individually, they must write a short “poem” using the words, then share them with the group. This is a great way to break down barriers and get people to be a little vulnerable.

 

3: Blind Cooperation

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication
Group Size: 4+
Level: Advanced
Directions: Find a small and easy jigsaw puzzle or else some other item that needs to be assembled. Group members are blindfolded and must work together, by feeling alone, to put the object back together. They can use words but are unable to see, and this forces them to communicate with one another.

 

4: Christmas Garland

Image result for christmas Garland png
Purpose: Getting to know you, fun
Group Size: 4+
Level: Basic
Directions: The group will make a long paper chain that can be used for any holiday or any time of year. Make plenty of strips of colored paper. Ask members to write a handful of things they are grateful for on the slips. Now, go around the group, each person reading their slip and folding their paper into a ring and gluing the ends closed. The next person does the same, linking their slip through the previous one, till a long chain is formed. What is written on the slips can be varied depending on the needs of the group, for example, they could also do it at end of the year to make their new year’s resolutions.

 

5: Dance Class

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Purpose: Getting to know you, fun, team building

Group Size: 4+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Dance can be an excellent way to let a group relax a little, especially those who are very stressed or overly cerebral. Sign the whole group up for a dance class that everyone will enjoy and have them practice moves with one another. Choose an appropriate dance form that’s not too difficult to start, such as ballroom dancing or square dancing if physical proximity may be a problem.

 

6: Group Member Mad Libs

Purpose: Getting to know you
Group Size: 4+
Level: Advanced
Directions: Present each group member with two copies of a worksheet of sentences that are incomplete, for example, “I can’t stand it when people…” or “All you need is…”. Now, in pairs, group members take a moment to fill out the sheets – once for them and once for what they imagine the other person will say. Next, the sheets are compared. How well did they guess each other’s answers? Have a chat about first impressions etc.

 

7: One Voice

Purpose: Getting to know you, team building
Group Size: 10+
Level: Advanced
Directions: Separate the group into two teams. Tell the teams that from now on, they are to act “as one”. The trick is, that each person can only say one sentence, which you’ve given them on a slip of paper. Other group members don’t at first know what is on their other team member’s slips. Now, the two groups must have a negotiation. This can be a dialogue about selling something, a job interview or some other kind of negotiation. The group members can only say their sentence so they will have to communicate non-verbally to make sure that they are presenting a united front to the other team. Can be hilarious and quite challenging.

 

8: Visual Broken Telephone

Image result for telephone
Purpose: Getting to know you, communication
Group Size: 6+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Conceal a picture underneath a pile of blank sheets of paper. Pass this around the group. Each person must look at the top-most picture just once, then secretly draw what they saw on the blank piece of paper on top of that (no peeking, no tracing!). They pass this on and the next person does the same, much like in the game of broken telephone except that the message, in this case, is a picture. In the end, the picture is compared to the original. How did different people focus on different aspects of the picture/ what was lost? What was added? A good springboard for a conversation about communication.

 

9: Nutty Professors
Purpose: Getting to know you
Group Size: 4+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Each person gets a piece of paper and some art supplies like crayons, colored pens etc. For 10 or 15 minutes, they have to design and portray a groundbreaking invention that will solve their life’s biggest problem. Tell them to go wild with their imaginations and not to hold back. Share the pictures with the group and get each person to explain the invention’s function. A good way to learn about people is to learn about what bothers them! Some commonalities may be discovered. Vote for the best invention.

 

10: Alien Making Tea

Image result for alien png
Purpose: Getting to know you, communication
Group Size: 4+
Level: Intermediate
Directions: Break the group into two teams. The goal is for each team to manage to get an “alien” (played by the instructor) to do a simple task like making a cup of tea. The trick is that the alien has no concept of what water is, how to use a cup or what it means to “turn on a kettle” etc. so the group has to be very, very clear with their instructions. The instructor can play dumb and be intentionally difficult to force the group to be more specific. This is a fun game with a message on how easy it is to misinterpret instructions.