30 Crazy Good Team Building Games That Don’t Require Dangling From Buildings

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Team Building Games

We’ve searched far and wide for team building games and have hand selected the 30 exercises below because they meet the following criteria:

  • They are simple to set up.
  • They don’t require many (if any) materials.
  • They fun to engage in.
  • People won’t be annoyed when asked to play them (thus defeating the purpose).

While team building activities have huge benefits, there are other options for group exercises as well.

If you’re just looking for a simple opening activity, rather than a full blown game or challenge, you may prefer these icebreakers. Or if you aren’t really hunting for an exercise, but are just looking for conversation starters, you can check out these 50+ ice breaker questions (and these 30 more icebreaker questions). You may also find helpful info in these posts about 10 tricks for making an ice breaker work or why icebreaker games are beneficial.

  1. Photos Tell the Story: Split your group into two teams and give each of them a list of challenges they must perform and take a photo of themselves doing. For example, challenges could range from photographing the whole team squeezed under a conference room table to the team clearing people’s trash for them at a local restaurant. Whatever team completes all the tasks, with photographic proof, wins.
  2. A Twist on Charades: Collect a bag of random objects. Have a person pull out an object. They must now act out one use for the object and get other people to guess that use…without speaking.
  3. Blind Shapes: Ask your group to stand in a circle, while holding onto a section of rope. After having them put on blindfolds, ask them to step back two paces from the rope. They should then return to it and try to make new shapes (squares, diamonds, ovals, hearts, rectangles, etc.) without removing their blindfold.
  4. Glass Half Full: Have the group pair off. Instruct them to share one negative life experience with their partner. When one has finished sharing, their partner must try to retell the story but should try to focus on some sort of good (however small) that may have come from the negative.
  5. Lead the Blind: Place random objects, kick balls or traffic cones–for example, in the middle of an open gym, large room, or outside clearing. Break the group into pairs, and have one partner put on a blindfold. The other partner must tell them how to move in order to reach the desired object. The person wearing the blindfold cannot ask questions and must remain completely silent.
  6. An Epic Knot: Ask the group to stand in a circle and then reach out their right hand and grab the hand of someone else in the circle. Now, have them extend their left hand and grab the hand of a different person in the circle. Once everyone is connected with both hands, challenge the group to untangle themselves by going under or over each other’s arms without releasing their hold on their teammates.
  7. Jigsaw Negotiations: Acquire two puzzles that are different from each other. Imporant: Secretly take a few pieces out of one puzzle and trade them for a few pieces in the other, but don’t tell the participants you did this. Break the group into two teams and give each team their puzzle. Ask them to race to see who can finish first. When they discover there are some pieces missing, and the other team has them, they have to come up with a strategy–either negotiating, stealing, or some other idea–for getting the correct pieces back so they can complete their puzzle first.
  8. Truth Teller: Have each person share 3 statements about themselves with the group, specifying that only one of the statements should be true, while the other 2 are false. Have the people in the room guess which statement is true. Each guesser gets one point when they guess correctly, and the person making the statement gets a point if no one guesses the correct answer. Have everyone take a turn and see who has the most points at the end.
  9. Recreating Art: Break the group into pairs. Each pair will have a “drawer” with a pen and paper and a “teller” will have a detailed picture (of any scene or object).  The teller will explain what is in the picture and the drawer will have to recreate it as closely as they can without ever looking at the original picture. They may say things like, “Draw a cup on a rectangle table…in the middle of the table.” Whatever pair’s picture most closely resembles the original, wins.
  10. GeoCache Fun: Create a geocache scavenger hunt. To do this, you’ll need to hide clues in places around the neighborhood or city at specific GPS coordinates. Then, unleash the group to use their smart phones or other GPS devices to find and follow the clues to the end of the hunt.
  11. What’s Important: Break the group into two teams. Give each team a random bag of objects (these might include things like a cell phone, scotch tape, a comic book, a pair of tweezers, a serving spoon, a woman’s high heel, and so on). Now assign them a random challenge–such as “You’re on a plane that’s about to crash” or “You’ve been kidnapped by Mickey Mouse”–and ask the group to rank the objects based on how useful they would be to solve their problem. They must explain their logic.
  12. Show and Tell Revisited: Ask each person to bring in something to share with the group. You may leave the type of object open to their choice or you can limit them by saying “Bring in an object that represents a hobby you have” or “Bring in an object that reminds you of a good memory.” You might also get even more specific by having them bring in a photograph, for example. Have each person share about their object with the group.
  13. Puzzled Vision: Cut your company’s mission or vision statement apart word by word and ask two teams to race to reassemble it correctly. To make it more challenging, throw in a couple extra words that sound like they could belong in the statement and also provide a blank card where they have to fill in a missing word.
  14. The Common Thread: Break the group into two teams. Tell the teams they must figure out something all of them have in common. (For example, “We all have a brown eyed child” or “We have all been to Shady’s Ice Cream palace.”) Whichever team comes up with a commonality first, wins. You may extend the game or make it more challenging by asking them to come up with 5-10 things they have in common.
  15. Watch Your Back: Place the name of a celebrity (or even another team member) on each person’s back. Ask the group to talk among themselves, asking each other various questions to try to figure out what name they are wearing.
  16. Shared Time: Create a giant timeline that goes back to the birth year of the oldest person in the room and extends to today. You can do this on a white board or bulletin board or a roll of paper. Give each person four post-it notes and ask them to place four events on the timeline–two of them must mark memorable things that happened at work (funny or serious) and two of them must mark memorable moments in their personal lives.
  17. Product Development: Place a collection of random objects in the middle of the table. Before you explain the activity, ask each person (or each pair or small group) to choose one object for themselves. Then instruct the person/group that they must create a marketing campaign to sell the object they chose. Have them draw up a mock ad or have them write an informercial script to explain the angle they’ll use to convince people to buy. Or, you could provide them with a worksheet to fill out the name of their product, the tag line or slogan, the primary ways they’ll advertise, the target audience, and so on.
  18. Sort It Out: Place a collection of random objects in the center of the room and give each person a piece of paper. Ask each participant to make a list of the objects on their paper and to separate alike objects into categories of their choosing. At the end, have a few participants share. Talk about the differences in people’s logic and declare the person with the most original categorization strategy to be the winner.
  19. Memory Test: Place a collection of random objects in a visible place and take one photo of them. Break the team into two and tell each team to talk among themselves about which 3 objects they would like to select for the game–not knowing what they will be asked to do. After they’ve voiced their selection, put all the objects in a bag hidden from view and ask the teams to try to recall all the objects they were just viewing. Whatever team remembers the most, wins. If it’s a tie, they must try to remember the order the objects were lying in. Whoever reorganizes the objects to look the most like the photo, wins.
  20. Hidden Bonuses: Print out a long, tedious article related to your teams’ work or activities. Ask each person to read the article silently and suggest you will discuss the article as a group once they’ve finished. Tell them they may not talk at all about the article or make any observations about it aloud. Inside the article, hide various sentences with secret instructions. For example, one sentence could be “There are five dollar bills hidden throughout the office. Stand up, say you’ll be right back, and try to go find one. Then return here and keep reading.” Another could say “Anyone who jumps up and down, in place, ten times can have access to the snacks in the box on my desk.”
  21. Grown Up Memory: Create a deck of cards with words or pictures related to your team’s activity. Each card must have a corresponding card that goes with it (like glove to hand). If you’re a youth group at a church, you could use words like “July 12” and “Summer Camp Begins.” If you’re a company, you can write down the names of companies and their slogans. Any large group could use first and last names of members on the cards to be matched. Break the teams into groups and ask them to race to match each word with it’s corresponding words.
  22. Pass the Picture: Have one person in the group draw a small picture on the top of a piece of paper. Have the second person look at the picture, fold the paper over so they can no longer see it, and re-draw the picture from memory. Continue to pass the paper around, asking each person to fold the paper over and re-draw the picture from the person before them. After everyone has gone, compare the last person’s drawing to the first and see how well (or badly) the visual message traveled.
  23. 1 Cent Experiences: Place a variety of coins marked with years from the most recent two to four decades on a table. Ask each person to select 2 coins and share an event from their lives that occurred in the year shown.
  24. Balloon Ball: Break everyone into two groups. Give each group a balloon and specify that they must try to hit it 20 times without it hitting the ground. The rules are no person can touch the balloon twice in a row. Whoever gets to 20 first, wins. You can increase the number of hits required for future rounds or you can add limitations such as half your team must kneel or everyone can only use one hand.
  25. Back to Back Madness: Have people break into pairs, sit down on the ground, and link arms. The object is to be the first to stand up without unlinking their arms.
  26. Letter People: Break the group into two teams. Yell out a letter of the alphabet and ask the team to form the letter using their bodies, by either lying down on the floor or standing in various configurations. You can try various letters, even spelling a word, and see if anyone catches on to what you’re spelling.
  27. Cozy Blanket: Break the group into two teams. Spread two blankets on the ground and ask each team to stand on their blanket together. Now fold the blanket sin half and ask each team to stand on it together again. The goal is to get everyone on the blanket so no one is touching the ground. Continue to fold the blanket to make it smaller and ask the groups to continue to try to keep their team members on the blanket without touching the floor. Once the blanket space is very small and it’s obviously incredibly challenging, declare that whatever team fits on their blanket and holds their position without touching the ground for 5 seconds wins.
  28. Phone Book Scavenger Hunt: Break the group into two teams and hand them phone books or catalogs. Make them race through the books to find the answer to a list of questions you provide. Example questions might be, “What is pictured on page 90?” or “What is the phone number for Bill’s Chiropractic Office?” Whichever team completes the race first, wins. If you can provide multiple phone books or catalogs, teams can strategize to break up the questions and move faster if they think of it.
  29. Tower Reconstruction: Build a small but fairly complex tower out of cups, playing cards, blocks, or other items. Hide the tower from view behind a box, curtain, or divider of some kind. Break the group into two teams. Ask each team to send one person to look at the tower and then return to the group and try to rebuild the tower with their own materials. Each group can continue to send one person at a time to look at the tower again, but the sent person can only look at the model tower for 5 seconds. The first team to correctly duplicate the tower, wins.
  30. Building Timelines: Create two identical sets of index cards or post it notes with various events in your group’s history written on them. Break the group into two teams and give them each a set of cards. Instruct them to race to put the events in the correct order, from the ones that happened first to the ones that happened last.

Still not find what you’re looking for? Check out these ice breakers from other websites, these books of team building games, these team building exercises that double as field trips, or these team building activities for work.

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