Team Building … 60 fun games to play, encouraging collaboration and effectiveness
January 15, 2016
Below are more than sixty fun free team building activities that can improve teamwork, develop trust, and enhance problem solving skills and the best part is, the majority of these team challenges can be delivered anywhere, by anyone and with limited or no equipment.
All you have to do is click on the link of one of the team building activities and you will be taken to an information page containing: challenge description, equipment requirements and suggested learning outcomes.
The group stand in an outward facing circle with their backs to one another. As a team they have to count as high as they can out loud with only one person saying a number at a time. This is a guessing game that focuses on listening skills and strategy.
Here are a selection of quick and easy to deliver blindfold team building challenges. These blindfold activities can be delivered in less than 20 minutes and only require a blindfold and a rope. Great for developing communication skills, especially active listening and they are also good fun!
Blindfolded participants are given a route by their partners, and then tasked with retracing their steps without any instruction to try and end up as close to the start point as possible.
In this fun and challenging blindfold activity, the group is split into smaller sub-teams and must compete against each other to try and retrieve an object. One person is blindfolded in each team and directed by their team-mates using simple commands to try and find the object before the other team.
Blindfolded and under pressure, the group have to work together in a race against the clock to put up a tent. Blindfold tent build is a great challenge for developing communication and leadership skills.
One person is selected to stand in the middle of the circle wearing a blindfold, the objective of the challenge is for the rest of the group to pass a selected object (such a tin with marbles in) around the circle without making any noise.
Working as a team, blindfolded participants follow a rope and try to navigate their way round a series of obstacles. Trust, support, leadership and communication is essential for this challenge.
The objective of this fun blindfold activity is for smaller sub-teams to work together and communicate effectively to retrieve a bomb before the other teams. This challenge focusses on communication, trust and cooperation.
In smaller teams, blindfolded team members must be guided into a pen by the shepherd giving them verbal commands. The team that pens the most amount of sheep in the quickest time, wins the challenge.
One at a time, blindfolded team members are guided by their team mates through an obstacle course to the finish line. They must rely heavily on trust and communication to complete the challenge.
Working in pairs, blindfolded participants are led on a walk around the surrounding area or a course by their partners. This is great activity for focusing on communication skills and developing trust.
All aboard is easy to run and effective team based challenge, where the group have to fit inside a defined space (using either a rope or a tarpaulin). Once the group has achieved this, the size of the area decreases, becoming smaller and smaller over time.
Working in pairs, one person must describe a shape without naming it, whilst their partner must try to draw the shape they are describing to try and get as close the original shape as possible. This activity focusses heavily on verbal communication and listening skills.
The team is tasked with creating balloon sculptures that reflect how they view the team. This activity works well with participants that are of different job levels and allows everyone to show creativity and make connections.
Participants line up in a straight line side-by-side. They are then asked to get in order by their birthdays (month and day, year isn’t necessary), however they are not allowed to talk. You can also get them to get in order by height, shoe size, favourite colour etc.
In this activity, the team has to instruct their “artist” to draw an item. They have to describe their chosen item without revealing what it is and they are not able to see what the “artist” is drawing.
Group members make choices (express their opinions) in front of other people by getting on and off an imaginary bus.
This is a quick initiative exercise using lateral thinking. Before you begin, use the sticks to create the shape of a wine glass with a fly placed in it (see below). Introduce the challenge and explain that they must recreate the wine glass without the fly in it. To complete the challenge, they are only allowed to move just two sticks.
The group stand in an inward facing circle and are asked to throw juggling balls amongst the group in a specific order. As the activity develops more juggling balls are introduced and the pressure to work well as a group increases.
The objective of this challenge is for the team to work together to navigate a ball around a tarpaulin for as long as possible without the ball falling through a hole or off the tarp completely.
Starting in a circle, participants connect hands with two others people in the group to form the human knot. As a team they must then try to unravel the “human knot” by untangling themselves without breaking the chain of hands.
Working together as a team, the group have to use their bodies to form letters and words.
Pairs are connected using the infinite loops, their challenge is to become disconnected from their partner, without removing their hands from the loops or untying the knots.
The team stand in a circle and hold hands. Start one hula-hoop hanging (or bungee) over one pair of joined hands. Each person in the circle must pass the hoop/loop over him/herself and on to the next person whilst staying connected at all times.
Teams are given a magic cane (also known as helium stick) which they must lower to the ground, using just their index fingers. All participants must remain in contact with it at all times – what seems like a simple task, can become incredibly frustrating and funny for all involved.
The team race against the clock to retrieve and move as many tennis balls from one bucket to another, without using their hands or arms.
Pairs sit back-to-back, arms linked and have to stand up together. When successful make a 4 and do the same.
The aim of the challenge is for the whole group to step across the line at exactly the same time. If one person is out of sync, then they must start over again. This activity involves planning, communication, timing and resilience
Using the shoes available to their team, they must construct the tallest tower. The team with the tallest tower at the end of the time wins the challenge.
The objective of this simple but effective challenge is for everyone in the group to pass through the loop as quickly as possible.
One person is selected and stands in the centre of the circle. They allow themselves to relax, and fall backwards, safe in the knowledge that their team will catch them and then ‘bounce’ them gently round the circle.
One person in the team is selected to be ‘the willow’ and stands in an upright and rigid position in the center of a circle. On your instruction, the person in the centre of the circle (the willow) is gently passed around the circle in any direction by the spotters. The willow must keep their feet absolutely still at all times and put their trust in the rest of the team.
Problem Solving Games
Whilst on a sailing holiday, an accident causes the boat to set on fire, with just enough time to grab a few items at hand – the team have to decide which items are top priority. Working together the team have to use their decision making skills and cooperation to prioritize the ten items listed.
In this fun activity, the team has to build a road for a toy car using only the provided materials. The team whose car travels the furthest wins the game.
In this activity, the team is tasked with the challenge of immersing an inflated balloon underwater for at least 5 seconds, using only the materials provided.
Using the materials provided, two teams must work together to build a bridge, with each sub-team constructing half the bridge each. During the challenge, teams cannot see each other and must rely on their communication skills to build an identical design. This is an excellent activity for developing communication skills, problem solving and creative thinking.
Team members are spread out in a line, consisting of several sections. The first person is shown an picture by the facilitator and must then pass tell the next person what it is, this continues until the last person receives the description and they must then attempt to recreate the picture.
Teams work together to complete a puzzle as quickly as possible. Initially the teams will be divided and given separate bags of puzzle pieces, they will think that they are competing against each other and then come to realise that they have no way of completing the puzzle unless they work together.
Team’s race against the clock to try and retrieve a ping pong ball placed at the bottom of a leaky pipe. To do this they are provided with a bucket of water and several cups. Teams are required to use good teamwork and problem solving skills to complete the challenge.
Memory Lane is a giant game of Chinese whispers where communication and cooperation are essential for success.
The team have come to a battle field that has been laid with mines. One person at a time must attempt to cross the battlefield without stepping on a mine. Once a team member steps on a mine, they must return back to the start.
The aim of this problem solving challenge is for for the team to lay the rope over nine cones that are laid out in a square grid. so that the rope passes over the middle of every cone in the grid. The rope may only bend through an angle of no more than ninety degrees three times at most.
The aim of the challenge is for each group to try and build an exact copy of a pre-built sculpture – the catch is only one person in each group can look at the model at a time and for only ten seconds.
Traffic Jam is a real, ‘Brain Buster’ that requires a lot thinking and communication. This challenge is very similar to a human chess game. The group is split in 2, with both sides working together to complete the challenge.
The team has to build a 1 meter tall structure that will hold up a beach ball for at least 10 seconds, using only the materials provided.
In this activity, the group has to devise a way to cushion a falling water balloon, using only the materials provided.
The team is tasked with putting together a story from a set of sequential images. Each person is given an image but is not permitted to show it to anyone else. Together, the team has to figure out the correct sequence.
Active Team Games
In this fun team challenge, groups are required to work together to do complete a simple task. The problem is, that they are tied together by their wrists. Problem solving, teamwork and communication are essential for this challenge.
The team are lost in a bamboo forest, the only way of survival is by catching the attention of the people in the local village. To get their attention, the teams must build two free-standing structures, each 6m high.
The aim of the challenge is for the entire team to cross from one side of the fence to the other without touching the fence line. There are two variations of this challenge a more basic version and the more advanced one, both are great for developing teamwork and trust.
The objective of this challenge is to lift a ball of the ground and place it into the cup on top of a Giant Matchstick, using only the broom handles provided to touch the ball and aid completion of the task.
Working together, each team member must travel through a hole in space without touching it. If anyone touches the outside of the square, the activity is restarted. This activity is ideal for those looking for a quick team builder and for those with limited space and resources available.
A container marked Toxic Waste is put in the middle of an exclusion zone. Using a limited range of equipment the team have to lift the container and place it in a ‘safe’ zone.
The team are stranded on a sand bank, they have just 30 minutes before the tide comes in. In order to survive they have to build a structure that holds the entire team off the ground.
The objective of the activity is to get all team members safely across the lava flow. Participants cannot touch the lava and therefore must use platforms provided to cross to safety.
Marble Tube is a fun team challenge activity, where participants have to work together to get the marble(s) from the start to the finish line without touching the floor and only using the piping to touch the marble.
The group has to construct two missile launchers that can launch a missile over a target 10 metres away. After 30 minutes the teams are allowed two practice shots (using golf balls) after which they can review their designs before they make their final shot with an egg.
In this activity, the team is tasked with moving 15 ping pong balls from Table #1 to Table #4 without directly touching or lifting the balls, and using only the materials provided.
The objective of the challenge is for the group to retrieve a bucket containing deadly radioactive isotope and tip the contents into a second bucket in a defined safety zone.
This is a fun variation to the popular game human knot, where instead participants have to try and untangle the rope.
The objective of this challenge is to get the entire team from one side of the web to the other without using the same gap twice and without touching any of the web.
The team is presented with the challenge of organising a stack of tyres in a set order but on a different post. There are a total of three posts and five tyres, moving just one tyre at a time, transfer the tyres from the post they are currently on to another set post.
Equipped with just 2 ropes, the group must work out how to transport a bucket of ‘Toxic Waste’ and return it back to the safe zone without tipping over the contents. This fun team building challenge can also be known as ‘Bomb Removal’. This is an excellent team challenge for highlighting the importance of teamwork, problem solving and leadership.
The team have been stranded on three separate islands, the objective of the challenge is to figure out how to get three essential items to each island to survive until they are rescued.
With all members standing on a sheet of plastic, the group has to slowly flip the sheet to the other side without anyone stepping off it. This activity is great for small groups, and helps to promote cooperation, trust and communication.
The aim of this challenge is for the team to try and retrieve 10 cups full of water from around the room and place on a tray without spilling any of it. During the task, each person is only allowed to use, just one hand and one leg to complete the task.
Standing in a circle, participants hold onto a looped rope with both hands at waist-level. The trainer will then call out different shapes, and the team has to form those shapes without letting go of the rope.
Creative Team Games
In this activity, the group is tasked with creating a mock-newspaper with headlines based on what they think the department/company will achieve in the near future.
The aim of the challenge is for teams to compete against each other and try win a lucrative contract for the commercial production of an airship. To win the contract, each team will have to design and build a fully operational prototype, within budget and on time, that meets a detailed specification.
During this fun twenty minute challenge, teams are tasked with building a structure using the resources provided in just ten minutes. The structure must be big enough so a team member can completely pass under it in less than one minute. Creative thinking, cooperation and time management are essential in this challenge.
The group are split into smaller teams and must work together to create their own problem solving challenge. Once they have come up with the ideas they must work together to finalise the challenge and then present back to the other groups.
The groups task is to design and market a product to present to the Dragons Den.
Groups work together to tackle the challenge of firing an egg onto a landing area without breaking it. They must present, design and build their rocket before competing against other teams. The team that lands their egg closest to the landing area, wins the challenge.
A firm favourite with corporate groups and my own personal favourite, teams are challenged to write and produce their very own 5 minute cinematic masterpiece. After picking a genre of film at random, teams stretch their creativity and race against the clock to have their final cut ready before the big premiere.
Each team is provided with two pieces of flip chart paper and a roll of sellotape and are tasked with creating two marble movers to keep a marble rolling as long as possible. After creating their builds, all teams come together to test their marble movers. The team that has the longest combined time, wins the challenge.
Teams are tasked with transporting as many balls as possible from the start line to the end line and over No-Man’s Land in ten minutes using just the resources provided.
Participants must work together in smaller teams to create and perform their own radio play – this means no acting is necessary. Once they have planned and prepared their play, they must then perform it in front of the other teams.
Scrapheap Challenge involves a whole heap of scrap and lots of creative thinking. In this challenge, teams are tasked with building a product made of scrap to protect an egg when dropped from a height.
Teams compete to build the highest tower that holds a weighted object off the ground for a minimum of ten seconds. Careful planning and creative thinking are essential for this fun team exercise.
Participants work together to build the tallest free-standing tower with the resources provided by the facilitator.
In this team building activity, the group has to devise a way to move as many “flying” cotton balls as possible into the “landing zone” indicated in front of them, using only the materials provided.
Working in smaller groups, each group must create a team shield to establish a team identity (or any other subject you are trying to teach).
Working in smaller teams, each team must record all the items listed on the scavenger hunt list within a set time period using a video camera.
Team building activities are a great for developing communication, increasing the success of a team, motivating participants and keeping everyone a lot happier.