20 Team Building Activities for Work

Here are some fun and easy ideas you can use for large group activities. Remember to:

  • Be engaging
  • Be energetic
  • Be purpose driven.

When looking at the activities we focus on:

  • Purpose – Take special focus on this section, because it’s within this section that we share the overall goal. Most of the games can be manipulated to fit your needs.
  • Duration – This is self-explanatory but it provides you with a general overview of how long this game will take. Every game has the possibility to be shorter or longer depending on the extension questions and the facilitator’s skill level.
  • Trust Level – This tells you the trust level required for the activity to be successful. For example, if this is a brand new group then doing an activity that requires an advanced level of trust might not be the best idea.
  • Materials – Each one of these activities might require materials such as paper, pencils, or a specific item. Make sure that you select an activity that fits your budget, and preparation time.
  • Description -This is where we describe the game its application and process.
  • General Materials – These are some general materials that we feel will always help you engage your community while keeping focused on the task at hand, which is building your team. These are optional but if you have the budget and the time you should look to purchase these items.
  1. Speakers – There are all types of speakers that you can purchase that range from cheap to more expensive. I recommend the Sonos Play Compact Wireless Speaker. These speakers have served me well for all of my professional developments and team building sessions. If interested Click –> Sonos Play Compact Wireless Speaker. Take a look at (Sonos Review) this review will provide you with some general information and will help you make a decision.  If you are looking for something cheaper here is another option  Click –>Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speakers
  2. Presentation remotes – I have used a presentation remote for all of my presentations. I hate having to go to the computer or having someone press it for me. It slows my presentation flow and keeps me from engaging my crowd. If you are looking for remotes I recommend one of these two options.

Happy planning!

Alien Making Tea

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.

Superheroes

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: Pair group members off and tell them to interview the other person to find out, in thorough detail, what their values and principles are in life. What is their life motto? What do they stand for? Now, each group member has to design an appropriate superhero person for the person they interviewed to capture this essence. This can be done verbally or through drawing, depending on the group. This is a great way to get to the root of who people are and can leave the group feeling very appreciated as individuals.

Who is Winning?

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 10+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: This takes a little preparation. Make some questions along the lines of, “who is youngest?”, “who is best under pressure?”, “who has the nicest sense of humor?” etc. Now, group members have to organize themselves in rows according to how they rank themselves on this question. The exercise will start out with people being quite competitive, but soon it will emerge that someone is always better than you at some things and that in life, it isn’t really a competition as we all have our good features. Have a discussion about how people felt when they were at the back of the ranks versus in the front. What did they take from the experience? Obviously, the questions have to be designed so that everyone in the group gets a chance to be in front

Throwing the Bouquet

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 6+

Level: Basic

Directions: Pick a “bride” and give her (or him!) a bouquet of flowers to throw just like a bride would do on her wedding. Whoever catches it is must now come up to the front and decide, would they make a good match for the bride? Keep this casual and humorous, for example, don’t make a big deal of mixed genders etc., instead focus on some questions: what would make these two work well together in a partnership (i.e. marriage?) what would they need to work on together? Have the rest of the group weigh in. The bouquet is then thrown by that person to see how well they match up with someone else (the one who catches their bouquet). This can be a lot of fun and gets people thinking about how their personalities interact with those around them.

The String Game

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Basic

Directions: Cut plenty of short lengths of string or yarn to prepare. Now, pass the strings to the first member in the group. They have one minute to lay down a piece of string while saying one fact about themselves. They keep the strings they’ve put down after the minute is up. Who has the most strings at the end of the game? What new information did you learn about your group?

Charm Bag

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Basic

Directions: Ask group members to secretly bring a small “charm” – any item that has special meaning for them. It could be a piece of jewelry, a vegetable, a toy, a tool, a spoon, a pretty rock, an ornament, anything really – as long as it means something to them. Now, they each secretly out their charm into a bag. The instructor collects this bag and then empties the contents out into the center of the group. One by one, the group tries to decide which item belongs to each person and why. Lots of fun for people who have never met before.

Opposite Debate

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: This is a great exercise to increase feelings of empathy in the group. Choose some contentious issue (not too contentious – use your discretion) and then find a statement that the group seems divided 50/50 on. Now, they have to debate the issue, but the trick is they have to debate the issue from the opposite point of view. This can lead to some very interesting and illuminating conversations.

Five Years’ Time

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: Have each group member stand at the front of the room and explain briefly what they plan for the next 5 years of their lives. The rest of the group can ask questions or make comments. If this goes well, you can even extend it – what about 10 or 20 years?

 My Biggest Fear

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication

Group Size: 6+

Level: Basic

Directions: Ask group members to think of what they believe is their biggest fear. Now, they have to tell the rest of the group, but only through miming. They are not allowed to talk. This can be interesting as the group invariably projects their own fears onto the actions they see. A good start to a discussion about fears

What’s in a Name?

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Basic

Directions: Each group member gets a piece of paper and is asked to write their names in big letters down the one side. Now, they have a minute or two to think of characteristics they possess that being with each letter. Share with the group. A fun extension is to ask members to share what their actual names mean and how they got them. This can be a great way to get to know each other.

Happy Families

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Basic

Directions: Ask the group to have the discussion in pairs about who they most take after in their family – their mother or father? If appropriate, this can also be extended to which of their children take after them and in what ways. People usually enjoy this question and will willingly share a lot of information about themselves.

My Worst Trait

Purpose: Getting to know you, fun

Group Size: 4+

Level: Advanced

Directions: This is a useful exercise to get people to know one another more closely, but is also a good technique for people to explore themselves a little more fully. Ask people to think silently for a moment on their single worst trait in their personality, be it their impatience, shyness or snobbery. Now, ask them to mingle around the room and have a discussion, but to amplify that trait as much as possible, to ridiculous proportions even. People are usually happy to throw themselves into this activity and the results can be quite funny. Have the group decide afterward what trait each person was demonstrating.

Would You Rather…?

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: The instructor starts by giving the group a choice between two very horrible things, for example, would you rather live the perfect life for only one year and then die, or would you rather live till 100 but have a bit of a boring life? Then, each member can suggest their own set of choices. This can be a fun way to start discussing values etc.

Human Sculpture

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: Tell group members that they are all going to be exhibitions in a museum, and must position themselves as statues in poses that represent their personalities the best. Clear the room of furniture and give them time to position themselves. You can take a literal photograph of this if you like. Get each member to explain why they positioned themselves in the way they did.

Secret Role Play

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Advanced

Directions: Have the group mingle around in a group and chat about some topic that you’ve chosen beforehand. The trick is, each person in the group is assigned some other group member who they have to pretend to be. As they talk and mingle, people have to find out if the person they are talking to is actually portraying them. This can get very interesting and makes for some good conversation afterward.

When I Grow Up…

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Level: Intermediate

Directions: Group members take some time to explain to the rest of the group what they wanted to be when they were little. Did they achieve their dreams? What changed? This is a nice relaxed way of learning more about each member.

Same But Different

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Have group members mingle loosely with each other and pair of naturally with each other person in turn. As they chat, they need to find one thing that that is the same about them and one thing that is different. People can share this after everyone’s had a chance to speak to everyone else. Even the most different people can always find something that is the same about them. To finish, ask the group to find one way in which every single one of them is the same, and also one way in which every single member is different from every other.

Speed Dating

Purpose: Getting to know you, communication

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Arrange some chairs in the room to resemble a speed dating set up: have pairs of chairs facing each other set up all over the room. For one minute, people need to chat to another group member and make a quick first impression about how suitable they’d be to do a joint project with. After a minute is up, they move chairs and go onto the next person (one person always stays sitting). When that’s over, have each person explain who they would like to pair up with a project for and why.

Blanket

Purpose: Getting to know you, team building

Group Size: 6+

Directions: A nice physical activity that also builds trust. Have a big blanket, sheet or tarpaulin that group members have to hold on the outside edges. The task is to pick someone to hold the middle of the blanket, without them falling off or touching the ground in any way. For this to work, each member needs to literally pull their weight and coordinate to carry the chosen person properly.

Bucket List

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Ask students to write down a list of 5 things they want to do before they die. This is a lot of fun to share with the group. Were there any similarities?

Creating Vision Boards

Purpose: Getting to know you

Group Size: 4+

Directions: Set aside some time to create vision boards as a group. ON large pieces of cardboard, people can cut and paste pictures from magazines etc. to create inspiring collages of their goals, plans and dreams for the future. This can be a lot of fun with the right materials, or else the group to bring in their own supplies. The boards can be hung up somewhere prominent and each person can take a moment to explain their boards.

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