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#1. Beach Ball Icebreaker
This interactive game can make a great icebreaker for team members who don’t know each other very well. All you need to execute this icebreaker activity is a beach ball and a permanent marker. Inflate the beach ball and write personal questions all over the entire ball. The questions can be as basic or complex as you like. Get your team members into a circle and toss the ball into the air. The person who catches the ball has to answer the question closest to their right thumb, and then they toss the ball into the air again.
#2. The Human Knot
If you decide to use this activity, let your team members know in advance to wear comfortable, casual clothing. The object of this activity is to use teamwork and communication skills to get out of a difficult situation. Everyone must stand in a circle shoulder-to-shoulder facing each other. Have each team member extend their right hand and grab a random member’s hand, then do the same with their left. The team members must untangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hand.
#3. Solve Wooden Puzzle
Strategy games for adults such as wooden puzzle games can be an effective way to get your team to practice problem-solving strategies as a team in a fun, low-stress environment. Wooden puzzles are a good option for teams because they are 3-dimensional, allowing team members to take turns handling and analyzing the puzzle. Another benefit of wooden puzzle games is that as they work together to solve the puzzle, they learn more about how their team members think and how they approach challenges.
#4. Scavenger Hunt
This can be a good activity if you have plenty of time and space. A scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage team members to get out of their familiar social group and have them practicing teamwork, delegation of tasks, and working together towards a common goal in a fun and active way. Divide team members into small groups and give them the same list of tasks. Whoever completes the tasks first (or completes the most within a given time frame) wins.
#5. Egg Drop
This is a classic problem-solving team building activity. Divide your group into two teams. Then distribute a carton of eggs and an assortment of supplies to each team. The two teams will be responsible for packaging their carton in such a way that the eggs won’t crack when the carton is dropped. Before they drop their carton, you can also task each team with “marketing” their packaging, highlighting the factors that make it unique and why they think it will work.
#6. Mine Field
Outdoor games can also be a good way to help team members de-stress and let their guard down, which is important since this is a trust-building exercise. In an open space such as a parking lot, you can set up obstacles such as cones or cans. Divide your team members into pairs, and have one member of each pair put on a blindfold. The non-blindfolded partner will guide their blindfolded companion across the lot using only verbal instructions. To prevent accidents, this activity is best performed one pair at a time.
#7. Driving a Car
This is a similar trust-building activity, except with the added security that the non-blindfolded partner is able to hold on to the blindfolded partner’s shoulders. The non-blindfolded partner will simulate driving the blindfolded partner as a car, using only hand gestures (such as tapping on the left shoulder to indicate a left turn) to direct their partner and prevent collisions into other “vehicles.”
#8. Grab Bag Skits
Having team members create and perform skits can be a great way to tap into their creativity as well as emphasize cooperation and organization. Divide team members into small groups and hand each group a bag of props. Each group has to perform a skit that utilizes each assigned prop.
#9. Blind Drawing
This paired activity requires communication and creativity to achieve the task. The pair sits back-to-back and one is handed a drawing while the other receives a blank sheet of paper and a pencil or pen. The person with the drawing has to describe the drawing without actually saying what it is, while the other person has to guess what is being described and draw it.
#10. Create a Team Building Activity
Sometimes, team members don’t want to repeat the same team building activities that they might have done before in previous workplaces. A unique way to circumvent this problem and encourage them not only to work together but also negotiate preferences and compromise is to present them with a challenge: design and execute their own team building activity. Set a time limit (at least an hour) for team members to discuss activities and plan all the detail such as the objectives and rules of the activity as well as group sizes. Then let them execute the activity.
In short, fun activities at work can be a great way to encourage team building, cooperation, and trust among employees. Keep them creative, simple, and fun and you will help build a stronger, more cohesive work environment.