Use these Team building exercises for your tool kit. Create synergy and bond your team. Have fun as you build your team. Teamwork can be fun and productive. Learn how you can use these team building exercises to help your team grow. Improve team communication.
Ah Soh Koh:
Start with the group standing (or sitting) in a circle. Use hand gestures for the folowing:
· Ah (hand under the chin palm facing the floor)
· So (hand at forehead, in salute fashion), and
· Ko (arm and hand out in front of you pointing at another player).
One person starts with “Ah” (hand to neck). The direction the hand is pointing, that person follows with “So” (hand to forehead). Similar, the direction of the hand signals that person to do “Ko”. And so on... If someone “messes up” or forgets to act they are “outta the game.”
At that point, they step out of the circle, and the person to the right has a silent 3 second count to start the game again with “Ah”.
Game continues until 2-3 people are left (up to you whether the last 2 compete for AhSoKo champion title!).
One Optional way to continue to involve everyone: The people who get “out” can become “hecklers” whose job it is to try to get the others to mess up. Rules of being a heckler are, hecklers must stay on the outside of the circle, cannot obstruct vision, physically touch anyone, or be cruel
Take turns in you group sharing a story about any scar they might have on their body. If you have several groups, have them share "the best story." Be prepared: this one can get gross. If they prefer, they can also share emotional scars, although warning this can be risky and should be done with a group ready to keep each other's stories confidential,
Instruct Group members to line up in order of their age without talking.
· Blindfold some or all participants
· Use alternative criteria like middle name, age, etc.
· Long (20 – 50 ft) Rope
· Blindfolds for every person
The team forms a circle with arms outstretched, drops hands and sits down. Team members put blindfolds on. Facilitator places the rope in the middle of the circle. The group is instructed to form perfect square with each team member holding on to the rope. No team member can let go of the rope. When group members feel the task is completed, they can take off the blindfolds to check the results.
· How did you work together?
· What was challenging?
· Mute people randomly
· Follow up by asking for a triangle or other shapes
· Give members time to come up with a plan before putting on blindfolds, then after blindfolds are in place, members may not speak or use verbal signals.
Call of the Wild:
Animal Cards (2 or more cards with an animal's name written on them)
Each person receives a card with an animal on it (participants should keep their animal a secret). Make sure for each animal, at least 2 cards are distributed. With eyes closed, participants 'call out' the noise that their animal makes, and try to find their partner(s) making the same noise. Can be played with small groups or as large as 50.
Build a Tower
1 package of candy (with enough for each participant to have some)
1 pre-built tower made from:
· 15 Paper Cups
· 25 Popsicle Sticks
· 5 sheets of Construction Paper
· enough Masking Tape to hold it together
3 packets containing the following items:
· 1 roll of Masking Tape
· 10 Paper Cups
· 25 Popsicle Sticks
· 4 sheets of construction paper
· 12” strip of Masking Tape
· 25 Paper Cups
· 15 Popsicle Sticks
· 8 sheets of construction paper
· 6” strip of Masking Tape
· 10 Paper Cups
· 35 Popsicle Sticks
· 3 sheets of construction paper
The setup requires pre-building a tower and dividing the materials into each packet. There is no model for the pre-built tower - it can look like anything you want - the more complicated it is the harder it will be for the groups to replicate.
Big Picture: Participants will work in small groups to build towers that look like a pre-built tower. Each group will be missing some of the supplies necessary to build their tower, but between the groups they will have enough to build 3 towers identical to the pre-built tower if they decide to collaborate and share supplies. The facilitators should make sure this is not immediately obvious, and once it becomes more obvious, the facilitators should neither discourage or encourage collaboration. The groups will be purposely set against each other through competition (and therefore they will be less likely to collaborate). Use appropriate additional debrief questions based on the groups choice to collaborate or not to collaborate.
Procedure: 15 min Begin by randomly dividing participants into small groups and organizing the groups in different areas of the room. You should have the pre-built tower (hidden from view) e.g outside the room, or in a corner where not everyone can see it. Introduce the activity by saying: “Your goal is to build a tower that matches the pre built tower.” Ask for one volunteer from each group to be their group’s representative, and explain that only the representative will be allowed to see the pre-built tower. Announce that a prize will be awarded for the group that builds the tower that most closely replicates the pre-built tower. While one facilitator is showing the representatives the pre-built model, another facilitator should be distributing the supply packets to the group. The representatives should only have a short time (~30 seconds to see the model) and no one but the representative should be allowed to see the model. Answer any questions at this point, and then announce that the representatives will return to the groups, and once they return, the facilitators will not answer any questions.
[The facilitators should not answer any questions so that the groups are forced to figure out how to build their tower on their own. If the groups figure out they need to collaborate, the facilitators should neither encourage or discourage them (this will come up in the debrief).]
Send the representatives back to their groups and announce that each group has 10 minutes to build the tower. 5 minutes into the building, ask for the representatives to come to the center of the room and report to the other representatives one thing they are doing well and one challenge they are having. Then let them see the model again for a short time (~30 seconds.
[Again, the facilitators should not answer any questions, encourage or discourage collaboration! ]
After 10 minutes of building, have a representative from each group present their tower to the other groups.
Report Back: 10 min Give some candy to everyone who participated, and debrief!
The facilitators should ask the following questions of the entire group.
· Raise your hand if your group built a tower!
· Did you achieve the tower in the picture? Why or why not?
· What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
· How did competition add from or detract from what you were trying to achieve?
· What will you take away from this activity?
· How does building the tower in this activity compare to your daily work?
· How does this activity relate to being part of the larger company or organization, or group?
· How can we encourage collaboration and healthy competition among team members?
Additional Debrief (add the following questions if the groups did not collaborate):
· Why did you not to collaborate?
· Was it a conscious choice or did it not occur to you?
· What would have been possible if you had decided to share resources?
(add the following questions if the groups collaborated):
· How did you come to the decision to collaborate?
· What became possible once you made the decision to share resources?
Room for group to meet and end up in; fun area for scavenger hunt
After groups are formed, ask one representative to come up and get a paper bag with the scavenger hunt list in it. Ask the group not to open the bag until you say, “go”. Establish the boundaries, which are usually the room itself. Tell them to be creative in finding the items on the list and put them in the bag. As long as they can justify it, and can convince the audience it will work. Call time after ten minutes. Have each group explain their items. If you choose to score the activity, have the audience clap, or an “impartial judge” decides.
Suggested scavenger hunt items:
· 1. Paperclip
· 2. Pet leash
· 3. Ticket stub
· 4. Scissors
· 5. Pencil
· 6. Out of state license
· 7. Bingo marker
· 8. Pocket knife
· 9.The oldest penny
· 10. Baby picture
· 1. magic wand
· 2. portable phone
· 3. flower
· 4. an invention
· 5. hat
· 6. musical instrument
· 7. spider web
· 8. clock
· 9. binoculars
· 10. flea circus trapeeze
If you are trying to orient a group to a new space, consider adding items such as “date stamp from library” or “parking ticket from garage”, “count the number of stairmasters in the gym” or similar challenges to help them learn the physical layout of the new space. .
Also consider thematic lists: camping trips, holidays, etc.
Variation: Alphabet scavenger hunt: have each group find something on their bodies that begins with each letter of the alphabet, have them record the words on a sheet of paper
· Tent Pole (or similar Long, Thin, Light Rod)
Line up team in two rows which face each other. Introduce the Helium Stick - a long, thin, light rod. Ask participants to point their index fingers and hold their arms out. Lay the Helium Stick down on their fingers. Before you let go, get the group to adjust their finger heights until the Helium Stick is horizontal and everyone's index fingers are touching the stick. Explain that the challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground. The catch: Each person's fingers must be in contact with the Helium Stick at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed - it must rest on top of fingers.
Reiterate to the group that if anyone's finger is caught not touching the Helium Stick, the task will be restarted. Let the task begin....
Warning: Particularly in the early stages, the Helium Stick has a habit of mysteriously float up rather than coming down, causing much laughter. A bit of clever humoring can help - e.g., act surprised and ask what are they doing raising the Helium Stick instead of lowering it!
Often times the Helium Stick rises first
For added drama, jump up and pull it down! Participants may be confused initially about the paradoxical behavior of the Helium Stick. The secret (keep it to yourself) is that the collective upwards pressure tends to be greater than the weight of the stick. Often the more a group tries, the more it floats. Some groups or individuals (most often larger size groups) after 5 to 10 minutes of trying may be inclined to give up, believing it not to be possible or that it is too hard. The facilitator can offer direct suggestions or suggest the group stops the task, discusses their strategy, and then has another go.
Less often, a group may appear to be succeeding too fast. In response, be particularly vigilant about fingers not touching the pole. Also make sure participants lower the pole all the way onto the ground. You can add further difficulty by adding a large washer to each end of the stick and explain that the washers should not fall off during the exercise, otherwise its a restart. Eventually the group needs to calm down, concentrate, and very slowly, patiently lower the Helium Stick - easier said than done
Introduction to Team Building Techniques helps increase motivation, promote unity, strengthen corporate and team culture by using proven team building activities.