What is team building and team building activities really?
Team building and team building activities is used very broadly for different activities and it is often discussed what does it actually means, what can one use it for and what it cannot be used for.
We believe, that team building is about social connections between colleagues, where the goal is to create a good atmosphere and raise team spirit. From this, teamwork, motivation and effectivity can grow.
In order to reach this, it is important that you are not expecting an immediate effect on the company’s results after some team building exercises. Rather look at the positive experiences, that motivates and lifts the spirit in your team.
Team building exercises are small activities, games that helps us getting to know our colleagues. They can last 5 minutes or even few hours.
If you are still at home because of Covid-19, you can check out our virtual teambuilding activities.
How do you choose the right team building activity for your team?
It can be difficult to figure out what kind of team activity you should choose for a team day or similar. As an organizer, you probably have an idea about what the goal of the upcoming team event is and you will choose activities that help you to achieve it. However, you probably would like that the participants enjoy the activities and that it does not waste the employees’ precious time.
Our experience is, that the result does not depend too much on the activities – the most important thing is that you are in a new surroundings and doing something else with your colleagues then you are used to in your usual office settings. Talk about what the expectations in your team are about a team event and make sure that the activities are not to complicated or does not need long preparations. Often the simple things are the best.
It is a good idea to tell your team already during the introduction that you are here to be together and to get to know each other better. It does not matter so much who is the best, the most important is that we are laughing together and it will make all those tuff conversations much easier to have!
Knowie (The page you are currently visiting 🙃) was exactly developed for making team building easy for everyone. It is an online team building game, where you play every day 2-5 minutes for 5 days. You can play wherever you want, it does not matter if the team is at the same place or not. You can get to know each other better, have some fun, get valuable feedbacks for reflection and on top of it, you get a lot of fun insights about your team. Check it out here.
You can play Knowie also as a build-up for your team day. But if you are looking for some simple, free and not digital teambuilding activities, we can recommend you the following exercises:
Here are our recommendation for 7 team building activities that are easy to set up and even can be done in a small office space.
If you subscribe for our newsletter under this article, you can get 6 extra virtual exercises and a 10% off on your first Knowie game – no strings attached! 🤞
1. Who can escape first?
2 x 1 meter string per group
First you need to make teams of two people. You have to tie the two ends of one of the strings on one persons wrists. Then take the other string and tie it on one wrist of the second person, then you guide the string under the other person’s string and then bind the other end on the other wrist of the second person (See the picture). The group that frees itself the fastest without cheating ✂️ wins the game. See the solution at our partners homepage.
2. Who is the best at throwing human darts?
You need a stick/broomstick, pens or pencils, tape and a target. Draw an approx. 60 cm big target on a piece of paper. Tape the pen on the end of the stick.
Make teams of two people, where one in each team has to be blindfolded. The blindfolded person gets the stick with the pen. The person who is not blindfolded has to guide the blindfolded one towards the target, so they can hit it with the pen as close to the bullseye as possible.The person who guides has to stay in one place and cannot follow the blindfolded person. The team with most points wins.
3. Which team can avoid the mines?
Something that can be used as stepping stones. It can be papers, folders or something else you can find in the office.
Start by making a minefield with 25 stepping stones in a 5×5 meter square. It should be in a separate room so people cannot see the minefield. Make a drawing of the minefield and decide which stepping stones should be mines. Make two teams and each teams sends in one person alone who tries to reach the other side of the room using the stepping stones. They should take one step after another slowly, so the moderator can shout “BOOM” when they accidentally step on a mine. When someone blows up, they have to walk out of the room and try to explain their team mates how they can get the furthest without stepping on a mine. Then another teammember can try their luck. The team that reaches the other side first wins. You can choose how many mines there should be in the game, the more you have, the harder the game will be.
4. Which team goes through a newspaper the fastest?
Lots of newspapers or paper and a minimum of 2 scissors
Make teams and give each team some newspapers or papers, so they can make a hole by cutting/folding the papers. The goal is that everyone in the team has to go through that hole. They have to make this hole in a way that it does not fall apart until the entire team is on the other side. This task can be solved with one piece of paper, but you need many papers to practice on. See the solutions at this website.
5. Who can build the highest spaghetti tower?
Dry spaghetti pasta, tape, 1 meter string and marshmallows
First you have to divide yourself into teams and give each team building materials. The team who builds the highest tower wins. The tower has to stand for minimum 5 seconds and there should be a marshmallow on the top. You measure the towers’ hight from the ground to the top of the marshmallow even if there are other materials that go higher.
6. Which team can draw better back to back?
Something to draw on and something to draw with, simple printed pictures.
You have to make pairs where the two people sit back to back. One of the participants sits with a printed picture and the other one with an empty paper and a pen. The person with the picture tries to give instructions to the other one on how to draw the picture of what he has in the hand. It is not allowed to tell what is on the picture. You can choose a judge who can decide at the end which pictures are most similar to each other.
7. Which team can stay longest in the sinking ship?
A long string or rope
Form teams with same amount of people. Make a big circle on the floor with the rope where the whole team can fit in easily. Afterwards the circle going to be smaller and smaller, so the team has to be creative and work together so they can stay in the circle. The team that can stay in the smallest circle wins.