Ideas for Team Building

Preparing team building games for adults is not easy, the task has to be complex enough for them to be interested and the rules have to be clear. If you are cracking your head trying to figure out team building ideas for your up coming meeting as an ice breaker or team building activity, here are some ideas that you may consider.

Do note that if you are not experienced in conducting groups activities for adults, do round up a few friends and get them to try it out for you so that you have a good sense of how it will work out and if you need to make any adjustments to the instructions. It will also give you an idea of stuff that you may not think of when preparing for the event.

You may also want to read our article on Optimal approach to organising team building for adults

1. Tallest Tower
The materials required for this indoor team building game is simple – a packet of marsh mallows for each team and disposable wooden skewers (or satay stick as we affectionately call them in South East Asia). The rule is to built the tallest tower with ONLY the given materials in a given time, say 30mins. Teams will be graded based on height and aesthetics.

A similar game can be done by using some sheets from magazines, newspaper and drinking straws as materials.

2. Do You Know…
This activity is great as an indoor team game especially if you have space constraints. Prepare a set of general knowledge questions of varied genre. People love to solve questions. Have some of them in multiple choices and some as “true or false” questions. This will give them a fighting chance even if they have no clue at all about the topic.

If you have new colleagues in the group, you can also find out some interesting facts about them beforehand and include them as questions to the rest of the group. For example, “which of the following people do you think was a president’s scholar?” (then list the new colleagues’ names as multiple choice answers). Or “Who do you think can play the violin?”.¬†Adding these questions will help the group get to know the new colleagues.

You probably need about 20 or so questions for a 30 minutes segment but do prepare a few more in advance, you can always skip them if there is not enough time to finish all the questions.

3. Celebrity Bingo
This activity will require some pre-work. You will need to send out a list of questions to each of the meeting participant and also compile the results and keep them handy so you can mark the answer scripts.

It does like this. You print out questions about individuals in a grid say 9 by 9 or 15 by 15. Participants are suppose to go around the room to try and get the person who is described in the box to sign in that box. This activity will get participants get to know some interesting fact about a few other people and it will get the conversation going. Some questions you may use are, “who keep 2 pet turtles as pets?”, “who stays with his parents?” and “who runs 5km every day”.

The winner is the person who can form the longest connect boxes on the grid either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. You will have to take note that the participants can ONLY sign in the box according to the answers that they have sent to you, or this will not work properly.

4. Back to School Games
Yes, believe it or not, we have conducting “back to school” team building activities for our corporate clients. Here are some ideas for indoor team building if you have an informal group:

a) Paper Toss
I remember an iPhone app called “paper toss” that was top games download for quite a while some time back. I believe at that time it was mostly adults who were playing this game. Real paper toss can be quite interesting if you get the different team members to take turns to toss. You can also have a few levels of difficulty by varying the distance.

b) Chalk Pyramid
Using chalk as material, teams are supposed to build a wall that is as tall as possible in 10mins.

c) Five Stones
This is a classic popular with girls and some boys who like to hangout with girls in primary school. The “five stones” are actually little bean bags in pyramid shape with about 3cm sides. the five stones are stacked nicely and held on the palm of the hand, tossed upwards and balanced on the back of the hand, then toss up a second time to be caught by a downward catch. The score is the number of stones caught.

d) Spot the difference
You can either make your own changes to a selected picture (which can be more interesting if it is a picture of the team). If you wish to make your own changes, you can use graphic editing software like “Paint” or “Adobe Photoshop Elements”, or any other graphic editing tools that comes bundled with your computer or laptop. Do remember save the picture as a new file before you start to edit.

e) Sport Stacking
This sport is also known as cup stacking or speed stacking. Participants will need to and unstack the cups in particular sequences. Using only plastic cups, you could get participants to try their hand at Sport Stacking. The actual competition uses 12 cups but you could do a simplified one that uses maybe only 6 cups. If you are interested in this game, you can find a demo on Youtube easily.

Facilitating team building games takes practice and if you keep doing it, you will get better at it, as with everything else.