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Human Resources

Team Building Exercise Ideas

You can make team building fun and easy with the right games.

A sense of membership on a team isn’t something that happens spontaneously. You can help grow this sense among your staff with team building exercises. If you’re looking for activities to foster this sense of comraderie among your employees, try some of the suggestions below.

Icebreakers

The first thing to do in a team-building environment is to break the ice so everyone can get to know one another.

  • Crazy Handshakes: Divide the group into pairs. Have each pair create a unique handshake. Then split the pair up and create new pairs. Have each new pair teach each other their own handshake before creating a new one. Repeat once more.
  • Name Boogie: Have a team member say his name as well as perform a dance move. Everyone in the circle should do the dance move while saying the name three times.
  • Would You Rather?: Make a list of “this or that” questions. For example, would you rather be able to make time come to a stop or be able to fly? Take turns answering the questions.

Small Groups

Team building exercises are generally broken up by the size that they are appropriate for. A small group is a group of between three and ten people.

  • Group Spot: Participants stand in a circle with one person at the center. The person in the center tells the circle when he is ready, then falls into the arms of a member of the group in the circle. This exercise builds a sense of trust.
  • Blind Polygon: Blindfold your team. Put a rope in the middle of the circle. Tell your team to form a perfect square using the rope without taking their blindfolds off. The team will decide when they are done. This teaches teamwork and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Warp Speed: Have your circle members throw a ball around so that everyone gets it at least once. Now have them repeat throwing the ball in the same order, but time it. See how much the circle can improve their time. This will teach working together as a team, as well as improving the memory.

Medium-Sized Groups

These group activities are appropriate for groups of between 10 and 30 people:

  • The Tallest Building: Get a bunch of building materials such as paper plates and cups, popsicle sticks, construction paper and masking tape. Have a bag of candy on hand to offer as a prize. Distribute building materials unevenly and give each group 20 minutes to build the tallest tower possible.
  • Googlism Yourself: Go to the site Googlism.com. Have everyone put their name into the site, which will generate a list of statements about the person beginning with “__________ is.” Go around the group and ask people which ones apply.
  • Snap Debate: Split your group into two large groups. Select a statement such as “No one should be allowed to do __________” or “Our company should adopt X policy.” Assign the “pro” side to one group and the “con” side to the other. Have each present its case, then make them switch sides.

Large Groups

Large group activities are for when you have more than 30 people in a room:

  • Musical Chairs: This is like the popular children’s game with one notable exception: Everyone always has to have a chair. People in the group must work together to ensure that everyone has a place to sit. The game gets really interesting when there are half as many chairs as people.
  • Family Feud: You’ll need a copy of the DVD board game to play this, but it’s well worth it. You will have your team members working together trying to determine the best answer to the questions.
  • Pass the Stone: Give each team a small stone, marble or coin. Have each team form a line and then pass the stone down the line. The stone doesn’t actually have to be passed all the way down the line. In fact, it is the job of the opposing team to guess where the stone has stopped.