18 Team Bonding Activities that Work!

Building a team can be a lot of work. For various reason including, staff profile or the time you may have to facilitate team building all have an impact on how productive your team is. These 15 team bonding activities are quick ways that you can develop your time without spending too much time.

Creating an amazing team building activity:

  • Takes planning
  • An understanding of your goals
  • The activity level of your team
  • Your teams trust in each other.

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!

Name Bingo

  • Purpose: Getting to know you – especially names!
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: The instructor stands some way away from the group, who are arranged in a
    row. He calls out random letters from the alphabet. Each person can take one step
    closer to the instructor for each time that letter appears in his name. The first person to
    touch the instructor wins. This can be altered so that the instructor calls out places that
    people may have visited, foods they have eaten or things they know how to do. Mixing
    it up is also a fun possibility and the instructor will have to be careful as one person
    gets closer and closer

Get-To-Know Cubes

  1. Get everyone into a circle.
  2. Ask a person to throw the cubes at a person of their choice. Make sure that the person throwing makes eye contact with the person they are throwing.
  3. The person catching must answer the question where their right thumb lands on.
  4. Once answered they should repeat the process with another.
  5. The Learning Resources Conversation Cubes has hundreds of questions and could be a great way to facilitate morning circles, group meetings, or counseling sessions. Click on –> Learning Resources Conversation Cubes to find out more.

Get To Know Ball (Variation)

Image result for Common Ground Thumball Team Building Game - 6" Purpose: Getting to know, Active

Group Size: Any

Tools: Common Ground Team Building Ball

Directions: Using the Common Ground Teambuilding Ball Form a circle and toss the ball. Players should toss the ball to whoever they want. Before tossing the ball, the person holding the ball should make eye contact with the person they are passing the ball to. Players must answer the question that is underneath one of their thumbs. Once the question is answered, players should pass the ball to another person.

If you are looking to build your team in a fun and active way then this ball is for you. Take a look at all of the different types of Click on –> Common Ground Teambuilding Balls

Colors

  • Purpose: Getting to know you, teamwork
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: Give a box of crayons or colored pencils to the group and ask them to pick
    a color that they love best and that they think is a good match for them. Now, give the
    group some blank paper and ask them to draw something simple – the trick is, they
    can only use the color they have chosen. To get a really beautiful picture, they will have
    to work together to make sure the colors are well used. Great for group cohesion.

M&M Game

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: Get a big bow of M&Ms and tell group members to take a handful. Now,
    assign a category to each color, for example, blue is about family life, red is about work
    etc. Each person has to state a fact about themselves according to the color before
    they can eat their M&M.

Remembering Names

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 14+, bigger is better
  • Directions: This is a way for a new group to remember everyone’s names. Have two
    people hold up a sheet or blanket vertically that can completely conceal a person
    hiding behind it. Now, there are two teams on either side of the blanket. Taking turns,
    a person on either side of the blanket stands behind it, and then the two people
    quickly drop the blanket to reveal who it is. The first person on the other team who can
    correctly remember the name of this person is the winner and gets a point.

Whodunit

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
    Group Size: 4+
    Directions: Get people to write down on a slip of paper something outrageous they
    have done. Put the slips in a hat, mix and then open all of them. The group now has to
    decide who did what crazy thing.

Creating Flags

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: Separate the group into teams and have them design and create a flag that
    represents everyone’s strengths and goals as a team. Encourage them to choose
    animal mascots, symbols, and colors that mean a lot to them. Then, teams can explain
    to other groups what their flags mean and if possible, the flags can be hung
    somewhere prominent.

Riddles

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: Put the group into small teams and present them with a series of riddles,
    ranging from easy to difficult. Have them chat together and solve the riddles. It’s great
    if you can find a way to link the riddles to general issues relevant to the group. The
    team that solves the most riddles wins, and then the group can take a few moments to
    share any riddles they know. Also chat about the group dynamics as each team tried to
    work on their problems together.

Nautical Knots

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: Give half the people in the group a card with a printed visual instruction on
    how to tie a particular knot. There are thousands of varieties, some more difficult than
    others. The other half of the group gets a length of rope. Pair these people off. Now,
    without showing them the picture, the first person has to verbally describe how to tie
    the knot to the other person. Make a time limit and compare the resulting knots to the
    picture. How good is everyone at keeping calm during the exercise?

Letz Talk Conversation Starter

  • Directions: The goal of this game is to help teens build confidence and connection. Questions “like list 3 things about yourself that you like” help teens or young adults build confidence. There are multiple ways to use the cards. This could be:
  1. A written activity where students read a question, answer the question and then share.
  2. A circle activity where students select a random card that they must answer to the group or;
  3. Cards can be spread in various locations on the floor. Students can walk around and select a card that they will answer.
  4. Student or young adults can share their response with a partner.

If interested Click –> LetzTalk Conversation Starter and Question Cards

 

Numbers

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 8+, bigger is better
  • Directions: The instructor stands in front of the group and writes a few numbers on a
    whiteboard, say about 5 or 6 of them. Now, the rest of the group has to guess what
    each number represents. Number of children? Year they married? Number of years
    living in their current house? When they are all guessed, it’s the next person’s turn. This
    is a great way for people to selectively share things about themselves to the group.

Toe Relay

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: A ridiculous but very entertaining game. Best done in summer when people
    are wearing sandals or open shoes anyway. Make sure the group is more or less
    comfortable taking their shoes off. Now, separate the group into two teams and seat
    them on chairs in a long row, facing the other team. Have two “relay sticks” that the
    people have to pass down the length of the line from person to person – using only
    their toes.

Awkward Questions

  • Purpose: Getting to know you, communication
  • Group Size: Any
  • Directions: If people are a little hesitant to talk freely with each other, this exercise can
    be a good way to get them talking indirectly. Start the group conversation with the
    question: what questions are rude or impolite to ask of others. For some, it’s not that
    impolite to ask after age or marital status, for others it is. See what the group can agree
    on and how taboo certain questions are. Are there any generational or cultural
    differences? Sometimes, interesting personality traits will emerge within the group.
    How do people deal with being asked awkward questions themselves?

Group Meditation

  • Purpose: Getting to know you, team building
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: An excellent and non-threatening way to get everyone involved in a group
    activity. The instructor guides a meditation. People can sit comfortably in a circle and
    begin by noticing their breath and relaxing their muscles. Then, the instructor asks
    people to imagine a tranquil and beautiful place. Take your time and let people
    imagine in detail all the sights, sounds, colors etc. Focus, too, on the feelings of calm
    and peace. Let them become aware of their breath, their thoughts and what their
    bodies are doing at the moment. Close off with a stretching exercise. If people would
    like to, they can share details of their special place and why it’s important to them.
    Likewise they can share the experience of meditation: was it easy or difficult? What
    came up for them?

Name Balloons

  • Purpose: Getting to know you, remembering names
  • Group Size: 4+, but the bigger the better
  • Directions: Blow up one balloon that the team has to keep from hitting the ground,
    The twist with this game is that before anyone can hit the balloon, they have to shout
    out the name of someone else in the group, who then has to pay attention and be
    ready to hit the balloon after the present person has hit it. They, too, have to shout out
    a name before they can touch the balloon. This is great when a group is brand new to
    each other. You could tell them they have 1 minute to try and memorize the names of
    everyone because they will be “tested” and then explain the rules of this game. A
    the variant is to make people shout out something else beforehand, such as a good quality
    for an employee or something, they’re grateful for that day.

 

Spinning Game

  • Purpose: Getting to know you, fun, team building
  • Group Size: 8+
  • Directions: This game is played silently. The rule is that clockwise is the norm and
    counterclockwise is against the norm. The instructor starts a timer for one minute. At
    the end of the minute, the people who are spinning counterclockwise are out of the
    game, then the next round begins. To start with, only one person spins
    counterclockwise, but, if he touches someone else, they both change the direction they
    are turning. This can get quite urgent as the time counts down and people panic that
    they will be left spinning in the wrong direction. Make a rule that you cannot touch
    someone you recently touched to prevent people getting stuck in loops.

Naming Emotions

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: 4+
  • Directions: The workplace is often not an arena where people are encouraged to
    vocalize their emotions. Divide the group into two teams. Give each group one minute
    to write down on a piece of paper as many feeling words as they can think of. After a
    minute, the group with the most wins. The next level, make them do the same but with
    words starting with a particular letter you’ve picked from the alphabet. To finish, ask
    each member to choose the word on the list that most expresses how they feel that
    day, and another for how they usually feel. This is a great way for people to start
    sharing their experiences.

Group Sentence

  • Purpose: Getting to know you
  • Group Size: Any
  • Directions: Sit the group in a circle and say any word that comes to mind. The next
    person in the chain must add a word to this, in a way that makes sense for him (i.e. if
    the sentence continued it could make sense). The next person adds their word etc. to
    make a long sentence. Chat with the group afterward to see how they felt about their
    original vision for their sentence changing as each person contributed.

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