Initial encounters can be awkward, whether you’re starting a new job, enrolling in a new course, or collaborating with a team, you have never worked with before. This is why many educators, supervisors, and team leaders often look to using ice breakers and other team building activities that help people break out of their shells and feel more comfortable towards one another.
Additionally, team building can also help boost productivity and help with employee retention. However, a lot of the time, the chosen activities can be overused and corny. As a result, we have put together a list of non-corny team building activities that you can use when meeting a new group of people to aid in fostering more effective collaboration between everyone.
Team Building Activities that are Actually Fun
Next time you’re in charge of bringing together a team, try out one of these fun team building activities listed below. Make sure to tell us which one is your favorite!
What you need: a timer, pens, paper, pre-printed drawings, or shapes
Great For: Communicating with each other
First on our list of team building activities is called back-to-back drawing. To play, you need to split your group up into pairs of two. Then, have each pair sit back-to-back from one another. One individual will be given a pen and paper, while the other individual will be given a piece of paper with a simple shape or design printed on it. The individual holding the shape or design oversees describing the picture to their partner, who is then responsible for drawing the shape their partner describes. After a specified amount of time has passed, check each drawing, and see which pair drew the most accurate shape.
Coat of Arms
What you need: paper and coloring supplies
Great For: communication, bonding, creative thinking, and breaking the ice
Whether you’re in a classroom setting or the office, have your team of employees create a coat of arms for the group that represents who you are and the values you uphold. Have your team collaborate and brainstorm designs and colors before they work together to draw and color it in. Afterward, hang the coat of arms in the room so everyone can see it and remember the values of your team. Furthermore, while this is one of the simplest team building activities, it is highly effective and fun.
Virtual Murder Mystery
What you need: A computer or laptop with a webcam and working microphone
Great For: Teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving
Next on our list of team building activities is a virtual murder mystery, making it perfect for online schools and businesses. Like any murder mystery games, the goal is to find out who the murderer is by interacting with each other and looking for clues. Those in charge will need to assign a character and backstory to each individual and choose who the murderer is. You can search for pre-made murder mystery stories online or create your own!
What you need: 12 eggs and construction materials such as paper, straws, glue, tape, balloons, popsicles, rubber bands, a large cloth, a parking lot, and access to the second floor of a building.
Great For: creative thinking, collaboration, critical problem-solving, and communication
This is one of the team building activities that are both effective and fun if you don’t mind creating a mess! Divide your group into smaller teams and provide each team with one egg and construction supplies. Give each team 30 minutes to develop a carrier for the egg that will protect it when dropped from the second floor—the group whose egg is successfully dropped from the second floor without it breaking wins.
What you need: Newspapers and tape
Good For: Collaboration, communication, and creative thinking
Next on our list of team building activities is called newspaper clothing. Divide your larger group into smaller groups and ask them to create an item of clothing out of newspapers. The goal here is to have teams be creative as possible and conduct strategic problem-solving to achieve their final result. Furthermore, as the leader, your job is to judge each clothing item then and choose which team is the winner.
What you need: Local escape room
Good For: Collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking
Moreover, another fantastic idea on our list of team building activities is an escape room. The goal of the game is to escape the room by using clues and items found within the room before the time runs up. However, this activity will require you to venture outside your school or business location and head to a local escape room in your area. Nonetheless, there is nothing better than going on a field trip with others and having a change of scenery.
Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
What you need: uncooked spaghetti, string, tape, marshmallows
Good For: creative problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking
Lastly on our list of team building activities is the marshmallow spaghetti tower. To play, you need to divide your team members into smaller groups. Give each group 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, one marshmallow, string, and tape. The goal is to construct the tallest tower using the materials you have. However, the marshmallow needs to be at the base of the tower. Each building will need to stand on its own without any support for 15 seconds. Whichever tower stays up the longest wins.
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Traditional team building activities are boring and awkward. Therefore, the next time you’re in charge of hosting team building events, make sure you try one of these activities and let us know which one your favorite is. Additionally, if you have any more activities that aren’t corny that we haven’t listed above, let us know by leaving a comment for us!