Human Resource Development

Teambuilding Activities

Toxic Waste Dump

Description

Teams must work together using rope to move a can of "toxic waste" from one area to another. The team is not allowed to talk with one another and much figure out how to arrange the ropes and how to work together to pull.

Objective

The group must work together and find a way to communicate in order to move the toxic waste.

Group Size

We have two kits available, each of which can accommodate 8-12 participants.

Equipment necessary

One toxic waste kit for each team including a can, water, rope, and "toxic" objects.

ZOOM

Description

The group is issued a card with a drawing. The group must organize themselves without talking to make sense of all the related pictures. The pictures end up being a view of the earth with each subsequent picture zooming in on the picture.

Objective

This activity shows the importance of communication and the importance of knowing the assumptions we make.

Group Size

This activity accommodates from 20-30 individuals. It needs to be large enough that the group does not immediately see the pattern of drawings.

Equipment necessary

Zoom book/cards



Electric Maze

Description

The group must move from one end of a 9x6 grid to the other as quickly as possible. The problem is that some of the squares are electrified. The group must move across the grid sequentially and without verbal communication. Trial and error are used to eventually move the entire group across the grid.

Objective

To teach the importance of communication and planning. This also demonstrates how important it is to have people you trust to guide you.

Group Size

Groups can range from 10-20, but can be divided into multiple mazes to accommodate more.

Equipment necessary

Map of grid and masking tape for the floor.

Pipeline

Description

Divide the group up into two teams. This activity involves moving marbles or different sized balls or even water down lengths of half pipe or 1"/2"gutters. The trick? Each participant has only one short length of pipe each, and the start and finish points can be separated by an obstacle course.

Objective

There is a good amount of competition in this one, but the point is communication and making quick decisions as well as working together as a team.

Group Size

Works best with 6-8 people per team for a total of 12-16.

Equipment necessary

PVC pipes and marbles



Marshmallow Challenge

Description

Teams are given a few basic materials and must build the tallest tower in a matter of 18 minutes. The tower must have a marshmallow at the top and must be free standing when time is up. Tallest tower wins.

Objective

Teamwork, creativity, fun, and communication.

Group Size

Can accommodate any size more than six people.

Equipment necessary

PowerPoint presentation, spaghetti, marshmallows, tape, string, brown lunch sacks.

Paper Towers

Description

Participants are given a few materials and have a limited time to build the tallest tower in the group.

Objective

Teamwork, creativity, and communication.

Group Size

Any size group

Equipment necessary

Sheets of paper, scissors, tape, paper clips.

Note

There are multiple variations of this which can include other materials. There are also large pvc pipes that can be used in a field or open area to make these on a larger scale.



Tall Ships

Description

Using tinker toys, teams much build a tall ship. This is a purchased product and includes multiple activities that revolve around teamwork and building under time constraints.

Objective

Teamwork, creativity, and communication.

Group Size

Up to about 15-18 participants.

Equipment necessary

Tall ships kits and instructions.

Egg Drop

Description

This involves having teams of 6 to 8 people each plan and construct a vehicle for safely delivering an egg from a height of 10 feet dropped on to a concrete surface. Materials include pipe cleaners, rubber bands, tooth picks, and straws. The team is charged a price for each piece of material used so the object is to safely the egg safely and for the lowest possible price.

Objective

Teamwork, communication, group dynamics, creativity.

Group Size

Two teams are needed to begin and the teams can range from 3-8 members each. No limit on the number of teams.

Equipment necessary

Eggs, pipe cleaner, rubber bands, toothpicks, straws.



Survival Scenarios/Case Studies

Description

The group is divided into smaller teams and they go through a scenario where they have to make choices to survive. One scenario is a plane crash in the desert, but there are also others that deal with being on a life boat, in a forest in Canada, or other disaster or emergency events. Groups must prioritize the objects they would use first as an individual and then as a team. Those are compared with an expert solution.

Objective

Team dynamics, conflict resolution, teamwork, communication.

Group Size

Any size will work, but optimally more than 10.

Equipment necessary

Instruction sheets and pens/pencils.

Compass Course

Description

Multiple groups follow compass courses that have been set up outside the building. While each group is navigating their way through their particular route, stations are set up that ask questions of the team to spark small discussions about teamwork. Questions could also be a quiz or could focus on your theme. This is a fun activity that requires some leadership to move the group and make sure it is on the right course. We could also add a time element to inject a little competition into the activity.

Objective

The group works together to navigate the course and to answer the questions along the route.

Group Size

This is flexible, but works best with groups of 5-7 people. Each route would take some time to set up. More than five courses would not be recommended.

Equipment necessary

One compass for each team.



Jigsaw Puzzle Activity

Description

The group is divided into smaller teams and directed to a table where a jigsaw puzzle is waiting for each. The teams are instructed to complete the puzzle as quickly as possible and in competition with the other teams. As the teams start to complete the puzzle they will realize that there are about five pieces missing, and that they have pieces of their puzzles that don't match. The teams are then forced to find their missing pieces and negotiate their return in order to complete their puzzles first. This activity can be longer or shorter depending on how many pieces the puzzles have. Typically a 100 or 150 piece puzzle is used.

Objective

Teamwork, communication, negotiation and cooperation are all addressed in this activity.

Group Size

This would accommodate the entire group or part of the group. Groups of 4-6 are optimal for putting together the puzzles.

Equipment necessary

One puzzle for each team or table.

Win As Much As You Can

Description

Teams of four pairs are created. Each pair is given an instruction/score sheet which they review. The facilitator then leads the teams through 10 rounds where the pairs have to select either and X or a Y without discussing their selection with the rest of the team. Depending on the selection, the teams will either win or lose money. If everybody works together, they can win up to $100 by the end of the rounds. If some are more selfish, the number will be fewer and some may even be in the hole. There is a strong incentive to act with self interest and in three of the rounds the pairs are able to discuss strategy with the other team members. The team with the most money at the end wins.

Objective

Win as much as you can. This activity creates a fun atmosphere to talk about teamwork and how one member of the team can really affect the whole. The is a fun game that lends itself well to a discussion about teamwork and being incredible.

Group Size

Very flexible. Can be done with any number above eight people.

Equipment necessary

Each pair would need a copy of the tally sheet and a pen or pencil.



Build A Boat

Description

Teams plan, build, and test a vessel of their own making. The materials are supplied and the teams must organize to decide how they will accomplish the goal of creating a boat that will support one of its members on water. They meet together at first to discuss rules and get a general idea of what is to come. They will then brainstorm their ideas and decide roles (designer, pilot, etc.). Then they will draw or design their boat. Once designed, teams then are able to build their boats. In the middle of the building, there is a quick meeting to compare designs and swap materials if desired. The completed boats are presented to the whole group and then tested. A debrief is then held after testing the boats.

Objective

Fosters creativity and interaction, allows groups to see who emerges with different roles and talents, and requires that they work as a team . . . with some potentially wet consequences for their product.

Group Size

Any number

Equipment necessary

Cardboard, pvc pipes, duct tape, plastic sheeting, yard sticks, saws, pencils, paper, utility knives, etc.

Note

This is the most ambitious of the activities. It requires more equipment and can take up to 3.5, depending on how we structure the activity. We would need to see the extent of the pond at Spring Haven and also people would have to be willing to get wet. We would need to factor those things into the planning.

Jeopardy

Description

The "JEOPARDY!" PowerPoint template allows you to take up to thirty review questions and turn them into a fun, interactive classroom activity modeled after the popular game show, "JEOPARDY!" The template includes graphics and sound effects from the actual show. It uses the familiar wall of topics, and thirty individual "answer" screens that you can easily customize with your own material.

Objective

An interactive review for any material learned in a group setting.

Group Size

Any number

Equipment necessary

PowerPoint, projector

Note

You will need to add your own "answers" (not questions, remember-this is jeopardy) into the "JEOPARDY" presentation. It is very important that you not delete or reorder any of the slides in the show.



Millionaire

Description

The "Millionaire" PowerPoint template allows you to take fifteen multiple-choice review questions and turn them into a fun, interactive classroom activity modeled after the popular game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" The template includes graphics and sound effects from the actual show. It contains fifteen question slides, waiting for your own questions and answers.

Objective

An interactive review for any material learned in a group setting.

Group Size

Any number

Equipment necessary

PowerPoint, projector

Note

You will need to add your own questions and answers into the "MILLIONAIRE" presentation. It is very important that you not delete or reorder any of the slides in the show.

Drawing

Description

In teams of two, decide who will be the sender and who will be the receiver. Each pair is given two envelops that each contain a top-secret image, and two blank sheets of paper. When told to start, the sender will open the first envelope and describe the image to the receiver. The receiver will attempt to replicate the image on a blank sheet of paper. Neither person can show their image to the other, nor make eye contact. The receiver may not ask or answer questions. Now hold debrief session #1. For the next round, the sender and receiver switch roles. The new sender will, when told to start, open the second envelope and describe the picture to the new receiver, who will try to replicate the image on the second blank sheet of paper. This time, the receiver may ask and answer questions. Now hold debrief session #2, illustrating the difference when two-way communication is allowed.

Objective

learn the importance of two-way communication, teamwork, and collaboration

Group Size

Any number

Equipment necessary

Copies of two images in the two envelopes, pencils, blank sheets of paper



This or That

Description

One side of the room is "This", and the other side of the room is "That". In rounds, give the group an option between two things, and give each of the two things a side of the room. Each individual will choose one of those things by physically moving to the corresponding side of the room. When everyone has chosen which side, have individuals from each side explain why they chose the way they did. Examples include blue or red, email or phone, yes or no, lead or follow, structure or freedom.

Objective

decision making, learning about each other, forming and defending an opinion, diversity

Group Size

Any number

Equipment necessary

None

I've Never...

Description

Everyone in the group sits in a circle. Before play starts, give everyone in the group 10 beans. The first person starts by saying, "I've never..." and tells something he or she has never done, or somewhere he or she has never been, etc. If others in the group have done it, they must put a bean into the middle. If they have not done it, they keep their bean. Play continues around the circle. The game ends when only one person has a bean left. (NOTE: If all of your beans are gone, you can no longer name something.)

Objective

Learning about the group members

Group Size

Works with any, but is best with more than 10 people

Equipment necessary

Beans

Note

This can also be done without any equipment with a seat variation. One person stands in the middle of a circle and tells something that they have never done, and everyone in the circle that has done that thing must get up and switch chairs with other people who have also done it. The person in the middle must steal a chair, and a different person will be left in the middle.



I Love Ya, Baby, But I Just Won't Smile

Description

The group sits in a circle. A person is chosen to be "it." That person then goes to someone and tries to get them to laugh, doing anything possible to make that person laugh. The person who is chosen has to say, "I love ya, baby, but I just won't smile" three times without laughing. If they can withstand and don't laugh, the person who is "it" goes to someone else until he or she finds someone who will laugh. If they do laugh, they are "It" and they now have to go try to make someone else laugh.

Objective

Leaving your comfort zone, bonding with team members

Group Size

Any, preferably more than 10

Equipment necessary

None

Do You Love Your Neighbor

Description

Pick someone to be "It." "It" stands in the middle of the circle and asks one of the players: "Do you love your neighbor?" If the player says, "No, I do not love my neighbor" then the neighbors on both sides of the player must switch places while "It" tries to steal one of their places. If the player says, "Yes, I love my neighbors, but I do not like people with blue eyes (wearing red, from Idaho, have brothers, speak a foreign language, etc.)." All the people who fit these specifications have to get up and change places while the person in the middle tries to sit in one of the new vacant spots. The person left without a seat is "It", and the game continues.

Objective

Getting to know team members, bonding

Group Size

Any, preferably more than 10

Equipment necessary

None



Tug of Friendship

Description

A large group of people sits in a circle holding on to a thick rope that is inside the circle in front of their feet. The rope is tied together to make a large loop. If everyone pulls in harmony, the entire group should be able to come up to a standing position. Tug of Friendship can also be played by stretching the rope out straight and having people sit on both sides of it, facing each other in two lines. If everyone pulls on the rope equally, they can help each other up. It is a great cooperative alternative to Tug of War.

Objective

Teamwork, contribution

Group Size

Rope

Equipment necessary

Any, preferably 8 or more

Tennis Ball Toss

Description

Divide into circles of eight people. Have one person step outside the circle and give them a bucket with 8 balls. Have them work out a pattern of throwing one ball back and forth across the circle until each person has caught and tossed the ball. When the pattern is down, introduce more balls every second or so apart until all 8 balls are in the air, all following the original pattern. Challenge the group to come up with different ideas on how to keep 8 balls in the air. (When they are good, replace the balls with a dozen eggs!)

Objective

Team work, creativity

Group Size

8, or a multiple of that number

Equipment necessary

A bucket of 8 tennis balls



Connecting Eye to Eye

Description

This game tries to reconnect the eyes of those who have learned to avoid looking at each other. This game starts with a group of people standing in a circle, facing inward. Once mutual contact has been made, the two people switch positions while maintaining eye contact. Several pairs can exchange at the same time and players are encouraged to try to ensure that every person in the circle is included in the exchange. First try it in silence (walking), then exchange greetings at the center of the circle as you walk to the other side ("Hello, I'm Terry;" "Hi, I'm Barbara").

Objective

Getting to know team members, making eye contact

Group Size

None

Equipment necessary

Any, preferably more than 10

Perfect Team Member

Description

This involves dividing into groups where there is an assortment of items available to use to build the perfect team member. Teams would create the model/dummy with the items and then would explain why they included the individual items in this perfect co-worker. We would discuss in the groups and as a whole what makes an "incredible" team member and how they could apply that to their everyday work.

Objective

Understanding qualities of a good team member, how each individual member adds different qualities to the overall team to achieve the perfect team

Group Size

Works best with 8-12 people

Equipment necessary

Items for building the perfect team member



All Aboard

Description

Depending on the size of your team, place a 1-foot to 3-foot square of cardboard on the floor, or mark off a square with masking or duct tape. Draw numbers, one for each team member. In order of the numbers drawn, team members must stand in the square. As the number of people in the square increases, members will have to work together and get creative to get everyone aboard

Objective

Cooperation, problem-solving, leadership

Group Size

8 people or more, accommodate with a bigger box for bigger groups

Equipment necessary

Box or masking/duct tape

That's Me

Description

Each individual is given a "worksheet" to fill out with questions about them. Given a few minutes to fill it out, the facilitator collects all the worksheets and numbers them. Each individual now has a sheet of paper with numbers (however many as there are people). The facilitator will then go through each worksheet by number and the individuals of the group will guess the name of the person who filled out that worksheet. Once they move onto the next worksheet, the previous guess cannot be changed. Each correct guess is a point, and the person with the most points wins!

Objective

Getting to know team members, bonding

Group Size

8 people or more

Equipment necessary

Paper - worksheet, pencils