Team building games can be old and boring. The following activities are some of the best and freshest to change things up.
Activities That Fit into Day-to-Day Activities
Team Building Exercises in the Office
Team-Building Activities for Parks or Parking Lots Near the Office
Team-Building Exercises for Away from the Office
Online Teambuilding Activities for Remote Teams
Activities That Fit into Day-to-Day Activities
1. Team Puzzles
Have a 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle sitting in a central area for people to place puzzle pieces into place throughout their workday as they pass by.
2. Cooperative Chess
Have a chess board set out for people to move pieces at any point during their workday. Keep a marker beside the board to show whose turn it is.
3. Color of the Day
Each day team members wear a clothing item of the same color or following a particular theme. For instance, “deal socks,” where a sales team may wear different goofy socks each day. You could do this for a week at a time, or have certain days during the quarter that are designated.
4. Appreciation Cards
Have blank appreciation cards placed around the office in shared spaces. Encourage employees to take a card from time to time and write an encouraging note recognizing the achievement of a colleague.
5. Cheap Trophies
Either weekly or monthly, a different staff member is nominated to buy a cheap trophy or ribbon. They then set a challenge for that week or month, and the winner receives the award. For example, you could have “Earliest in the Office award” for whoever is earliest the most days.
6. Shared Lunch
This is best for smaller teams but can be done with any group size with good planning. Once a month, each team member brings a food item to share for a communal lunch.
7. Bad Joke Friday
Over time, this is an effective way to create relaxed and fun team spirit, especially if a team leader takes point. Each Friday, anyone who wants to can tell a bad joke (or “dad joke”) at a team meeting or in a team chat.
Team Building Exercises in the Office
8. Team Lunch
Eating together is one of the best ways to create trust. Once a month or quarter, go out together for a team lunch. Have a slightly extended lunch break on these days and take turns suggesting restaurants.
9. Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Challenge
Break into small groups. Each group has a number of marshmallows (usually 10-20) and a packet of dry spaghetti noodles. Set a timer for 18 minutes. As a team, use spaghetti and marshmallows to create the tallest tower possible.
10. Featured Staff-Member Section in Company Newsletter
A fun way to improve company culture is to have a monthly newsletter with a section featuring a short interview with a random team member each month. Or, for larger companies, feature new team members each month.
A company club is a great way to get together as a team. A club can be for the company, or you can have smaller clubs such as a women’s club, a men’s club, a young parents’ club, a Bible study club, a charity club, etc. These clubs can also run their own team-building activities.
12. Birthday of the Month
Once every month, such as the first Friday of each month, have a communal birthday party (with cake, of course!) for everyone celebrating a birthday that month. This is a good way for large groups to recognize birthdays without having several separate parties.
13. Survival Scenario
This fun game encourages small groups to work on problem solving to achieve a common goal. First, present small teams with a scenario, such as being lost at sea or on a desert island. Provide a list of 40 possible items they can choose from. Then, on a piece of paper, they must prioritize the top 10 items to help them survive. Compare lists. To make it even more interesting, consider inviting a survival expert to host the event, as it will aid engagement and feedback.
14. Fake Rescues
This team building exercise requires teams of 3-5 group members. Nominate one person to be the injured person (they cannot move themselves). Set a short time limit, and the rest of the team must work out how they will get the first person to a set rescue location.
15. Fundraising with a Twist
For this activity, the entire group nominates organizations they would like to fundraise for. Everyone collects donations, and the three team members who raise the most can choose which three charities receive the funds.
16. Rubik’s Cube Contest
This is a great game for building communication skills. Break into pairs and give one member of the team a Rubik’s cube and the next person instructions on how to solve the Rubik’s cube. The person with the cube may not read the instructions, and the person with the instructions cannot touch the cube. Each team must try to solve the Rubik’s cube together. The winning team is the first team to solve their Rubik’s cube.
17. Lifesize Team Chess or Checkers
If playing chess, make sure to set a time limit per turn. You will require a large team (32 people). As a team, you must quickly decide who will move on each turn and where they will move. This team-building activity fosters teamwork throughout the entire team and helps the team practice its time management and communication.
18. Lego Building
This team building event is a fun activity that requires different people to act as leaders. The first step is to create a Lego structure and hide it behind a curtain. One person from each team gets 20 seconds to take a peek. They get two minutes to help the rest of the group to use their own Lego building blocks to copy the original. After this, another team member gets a 20-second peek and two minutes to instruct their team. Repeat until the entire group has had a turn or there is a successful team.
19. Car Key Lucky-Dip
This is ideal for smaller groups and those who are already quite close. This is a simple game where half the team places their car keys into a bowl, and the other half takes turns drawing a key out. Each pair goes for a short drive, such as a coffee run.
20. Musical Chairs
In this team building activity, have a circle of chairs with one less chair than the number of team members. Play some music while everyone walks around the circle. When the music stops, everyone sits down, and whoever does not have a seat must say one thing about themselves to the group.
21. Team Bingo
Create a bingo sheet of unique attributes, e.g., “left-handed,” “has met a famous person,” etc. Provide a sheet to each team member. Everyone must try to talk to team members and write down the team members’ names in a square that they can fill. The winner shouts “bingo” when they have met someone for every square.
22. Human Knot
In a conference room, get everyone to stand in a huddle and closes their eyes while reaching into the center and taking the hand of one other person. Without anyone letting go of each other’s hands, the entire group must untangle into a circle.
23. Take a Stand
Break into pairs (or trios for extra difficulty). Sit on the floor back to back and clasp hands. Without talking, attempt to stand up together. It is easier said than done!
This is exactly like the classic game. Either play it as intended or mix it up by creating your own phrases or activities, such as with office in-jokes or common office tasks and duties.
25. Backseat Driver
You will need a map of your city. Everyone except one person knows the destination. With the office as the starting point, everyone must give the driver directions on how to reach the destination. The driver traces their route using their finger or a pen and must always be moving in the last direction they were given.
26. Witch Hunt
In a large group, secretly assign everyone roles as either witches or townspeople. No more than one in 10 should be a witch (you may choose not to nominate any witches at all). Tell everyone to form the largest group possible that doesn’t have a witch as a member. After a set time, reveal who the witches were.
27. Pack It In!
Prepare several common office items such as desks, chairs, reams of paper, etc. Using tape, mark out an area about 3′ x 3′ on the floor. In teams of 2-3 people, attempt to pack as many items as possible into the taped area within one minute.
28. Blind Art
Working in teams, have one team member stand facing a whiteboard. Give the other team member a picture to trace onto their partners’ backs with their fingers. The partner must attempt to draw the same image on the whiteboard as traced onto their own back.
In teams, provide each person with a 3-foot string. Have one person hold both ends of the string. Have the second person pass their string over their partner’s string and then hold both ends, tangling the teammates together. Each team must attempt to untangle its strings without letting go.
30. Flying Ball
Get a small 2-3 inch round disc of either corflute sign or cut from an ice cream tub. Tie 3-5 strings to the edges of the disc, spaced approximately (but not exactly) equally apart. Give each team a ball. Each team’s team members will take a string and attempt to work together to lift and move their ball from one point to another.
Give teams inflated balloons equal to one less than the number of people in their team. Teams must line up with a balloon between each member. Moving in unison, pressing the balloons between team members’ bodies, they must move together and get the balloons from point “a” to point “b” without using their hands.
32. Shapes with Ropes
Provide each team with a continuous loop of string 12-18 feet in total length. In teams of 2-4, working blindfolded, each team must attempt to hold the string in a perfect square.
33. Cross the River
Working in teams of three, give each team member an 8×10 inch piece of paper. Each team starts on one side of the room, working together, stepping only on their pieces of paper. The teams must work to cross from one side of the room to the other.
34. Tent Walking
In teams of 3-5, give each team a fabric loop about two feet wide and long enough that everyone in the team can stand on the fabric and wrap it up and over the entire team. Working together, the team must shuffle forwards, pulling the fabric up from behind the last person so that the front team member can take their next step. Attempt to cross a room and race the other teams.
35. Pass the Hoop
Have teams form a human chain of 10+ people holding hands. Give one person a hula hoop. Without anyone letting go of each other’s hands, pass the hula hoop down the chain to the other end. This can also be done in a large circle and passing it around the entire circle.
36. Balloon Wars
Split a large group into two teams and provide each with different colored balloons. Everyone ties a balloon to each ankle. Each team must attempt to step on and pop the balloons of their opponents without having their own balloons popped. Anyone who loses both their balloons is out and must leave the field.
37. Reverse It
In teams of four, provide teams with a 3-foot x 3-foot cloth or tarpaulin. Teams must start by standing on their cloth. Without anyone stepping onto the ground, each team must attempt to reverse the side of the cloth they are standing on.
38. Tied Up
Tie two people’s hands together, e.g., one person’s left hand to their partner’s right hand. With their spare hands, assign a joint task to complete, such as crafting paper chains.
39. Salt and Pepper
Choose common associations, like salt and pepper, Vin Diesel and the Rock, etc. Write one part of each association onto a piece of paper and stick one on the back of each group member. Group members must try to find their association as quickly as possible. When found, each pair should sit down together.
40. Blind Skeeball
In the activity area, have a taped line on the floor and a bucket 3-9 feet away from the line. Blindfold a team member, stand them at the line and give them a tennis ball. Their teammates must provide them with instructions and feedback as they attempt to throw the ball into the bucket. Once they succeed, one of the other team members does the same. Repeat this until all team members have succeeded at throwing their tennis balls into the bucket.
Break teams into groups of five and secretly assign four members as agents and one as a rebel. Team members take turns choosing who will go on a mission. Each agent going on a mission is given a success and a failure voting card and anonymously votes if the mission succeeds. The agent must vote to succeed. The rebel’s goal is that at least three missions fail (without themselves being identified). If even one vote on any mission is for failure, the mission fails.
For the first two missions, only three people go on the mission. For the last three missions, four people are sent on the mission. At any time, the agents may choose to vote on who the rebel is. If they agree to accuse someone and are incorrect, they automatically fail. If there are not enough votes to accuse anyone, the game continues.
42. Play Moving Out
For small teams of four people, obtain a gaming console and install the game Moving Out. The game is a fast-paced cooperative game that requires team coordination and strong communication to be successful.
43. Office Olympics
Set a series of events based on office activities, such as manually copying handwritten text to a word document, sorting index cards, etc. Break teams into the same number of players as you have activities. Players may compete in only one event each. Teams score 10 points for first place, six points for second place, and four points for third place in any event. The team with the most points at the end of all events is the winner.
Team-Building Activities for Parks or Parking Lots Near the Office
44. Blindfolded Tug of War
Played like ordinary tug of war, but with both teams blindfolded so team members cannot coordinate with each other easily nor see their progress.
45. Three-Legged Race
Separate everyone into partnerships and tie the left leg of one person to the right leg of their partner. Teams must race between the start line and the finish line against the other teams.
46. International Sports Day
This activity is particularly good for multicultural teams. You can have a sports day where the different sports of the team members are played. For example, you might choose to spend half a day playing baseball and the other half playing cricket.
47. Tarpaulin Sling-Shot
Team members hold the edges of a tarpaulin and attempt to use it like a slingshot to launch a soft object (e.g., softball or tennis ball) as far as possible.
Set out a random grid or an array of sports cones. Teams are broken into groups, and one member is blindfolded. The blindfolded team member must attempt to navigate from one side of the minefield to the other under the instruction of their teammates.
49. Fill the Bucket
Set up two hula hoops six feet apart, in each place a large bucket. Fill one bucket to the top with water. Give each team of 2+ people a small bucket with 4 x ¼ inch holes in the bottom of it, a silicone bowl cover, a drinking straw, and an eight-foot length of hose. Without moving either bucket outside of its hula hoop, transfer as much water as possible between the two buckets in three minutes.
50. Water Run
Set up a bucket of water and an equal-sized empty bucket, 20 feet apart. Working in teams of four or five people, give each person given a disposable cup. Without moving either bucket or letting go of your cup, transfer as much water as possible in three minutes.
51. Don’t Break It
Provide teams of 3-5 people with an egg. Provide a range of different items (e.g., butcher paper, tape, popsicle sticks, straws, a garbage bag, string, and any other items you wish). Each team may choose only 3 of the resources to work with to create a means to safely drop their egg from 10′ without it breaking.
Provide teams with a choice between balsa wood, construction card, and corflute card and either packaging tape, a staple gun, or a hot glue gun. Using their chosen materials and adhesive, they must build a boat no longer than 12″ and no wider than 6″ to hold as many marbles as possible without sinking.
Team-Building Exercises for Away from the Office
53. Escape Room
As a team (or break a large team into smaller teams), take a day or half a day and visit an escape room venue together. Remote teams can book online virtual escape room experiences.
54. iFly or Indoor Skydiving
Take a day to visit iFly or another indoor skydiving venue. Indoor sky diving pushes people out of their comfort zone without the dangers of actual skydiving.
55. Miniature Golf
Go to a fun park or miniature golf park together. This is a great low-impact physical activity that everyone can participate in.
56. Skeet Shooting
Skeet or clay shooting is a simple task that is more challenging task than it may appear. The easiest way to arrange a safe event is to contact a local sports shooting club.
Volunteering as a group can be a great opportunity to help the community and get to know each other better. There are many options, from soup kitchens to charity drives, adopt-a-highway, and other initiatives you can volunteer for as a group.
This is a great activity for friendly competition between different teams and departments. Most paintball fields can set up a range of different scenarios, too, such as VIP escort and capture the flag, which encourages teamwork and fosters leadership skills.
59. Team Cook-Off
Host a cooking event at a local cooking school where teams can learn new skills and compete with each other for various accomplishments like best-tasting food, best presentation, and best teamwork.
60. High Rope Courses
High-rope courses are a popular way to get people outside of their comfort zone in a safe and fun way.
61. Raft Building
Visiting an adventure or team-building venue or even a local waterway or pool and building rafts can be a great experience. Add to the challenge by having teams then race their rafts across the pool or compete in other challenges.
62. Horse Riding
Horse riding is great for a range of skill levels and different group sizes. A beginner trail ride is a good starting point with most activity providers. Many ranches can provide a break-away group for more experienced riders too.
Archery is a great team activity for sales departments due to its association with hitting targets. While it is simple to purchase cheap bows and arrows, it’s best to visit a local archery range where all the equipment, targets, and basic direction can be provided.
64. Build a Fire
Building a fire can be great as an add-on to other outdoor activities such as camping. Team members can compete to build the best campfire, light one the fastest, or even light one in the rain.
Orienteering is best in small wilderness areas or run by trained professionals to prevent teams from getting lost. It requires each team to have a compass, a map, and a destination to reach while racing against other teams.
66. White Water Rafting
Professionally operated white water rafting is a fun activity that is adventurous. Successful rafting requires a lot of coordination and teamwork.
67. Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is a safe and challenging activity that can challenge experienced climbers and new beginners and gives team members a chance to practice working together, providing instruction, support, and encouragement to each other.
68. Camping Trip
An office camping trip can provide a great time for teams that are already fairly close. It allows experienced campers to mentor and help first-timers and can be combined with other team-building games.
69. Bubble Soccer
Bubble soccer provides a good laugh. Due to the specialized equipment, you will need to find a local venue or service provider.
Go-karting is a great opportunity to challenge each other head-to-head. It’s important to arrange go-karting ahead of time with a professional and well-run activity provider.
71. Ax Throwing
Ax throwing is a unique activity and doesn’t require too much time. It’s best undertaken at a professional venue due to the dangers of trying to run an event privately.
72. Cocktail Making
Cocktail making is a great way to have fun. Most people enjoy cocktails, but few people know how to make them. Many bartending schools can help host a team-building day for this unique activity.
73. Pottery Classes
If looking for creative ideas for team-building activities, pottery classes are a non-cliché alternative to many of the common options. Many galleries offer private classes and can host one-off team-building workshops.
74. Art Class
Taking an art class is a great way to encourage creativity in a fun and safe environment. Many art schools and smaller studios can provide events to tailor to team activities, and some venues offer wine and art days if you want to make it a more casual experience.
75. Family Days
Hosting a family day, such as a company barbecue in a local park, is a great way to encourage employees to spend time together. These events are especially useful for families with children.
76. Bowling Nights
Bowling is one of the easiest events to set up outside of the office. Book a number of lanes depending on how many people are turning up. All equipment is provided and available for rent, and it’s a very low-risk activity, so everyone can be included.
77. Movie Nights
Booking out an entire cinema, especially for a pre-screening event or at the start of a major new release, is a great way to excite employees. However, it often reinforces existing employee relationships without creating new ones.
78. Friday Night Drinks
This is one of the most common and easiest events to arrange. Usually, an open invitation to all team members is provided. Often the event will be held during happy hour to make it more appealing.
79. Trivia Nights
Trivia nights can be held in a common area like a conference room or at an external venue. You may hire a professional provider or have internal staff operating the trivia contest.
80. Karaoke Night
Karaoke is a great, low-risk alternative to Friday night drinks. It’s fun, it’s interactive, and it pushes people out of their comfort zones. It’s simple to arrange, karaoke machines are cheap to buy, and there are even apps available for smartphones and tablets.
81. Song Shuffle
For a song shuffle, each team member attending the event selects a song to be played (this might be along a theme like 80’s music). The playlist is played in the background of another event, like bowling or a karaoke night. Whichever song plays last on a random shuffle, that staff member wins the song shuffle.
Online Teambuilding Activities for Remote Teams
82. Team Paint-It
For Team Paint It, one person opens a basic pain program like MS Paint and shares their screen in a video chat. One other person is given an object or thing that they need to tell the artist how to create with, only telling them what size, color, and position to put basic shapes.
Parody is a very simple game and great for remote workers, especially in environments like call centers. Each person is given a name of a team member at random, and they make their best impression of that person. Other staff then guess who they’re imitating.
84. Me Too!
Each person holds up 10 fingers. Starting with the youngest, they say something true about themselves. For anyone who it’s not true will put a finger down. The next person makes a statement, and so on. The winner is the last person to have any of their fingers still up.
85. A Rough Description
This twist on a scavenger hunt involves one person giving others a list of loose descriptions for items to scavenge. For example, something named after an animal, a white liquid, something that rolls. Other team members have a limited time to scavenge items around their house that meet the description.
86. What Comes to Mind?
The event host gives a value or feeling, and other staff finds something that represents that to them. For instance, “something that represents love” could be a wedding ring, a treasured gift, or a photo of a loved one. Then go around the group and discuss what each person got and why.
87. What Drink Are You and Why?
For this game, go around the group, and each person must describe what beverage describes them and why they associate it with themselves.
88. Two Truths and a Lie
Give everyone a few minutes to think before the game begins. Go around the group, and each person makes three statements about themselves. Two are truthful, and one is false. The rest of the team tries to guess which is false.
89. Never Have I Ever
This game simply involves going around in a group, and each person states something they have never done, and anyone who has done it has to admit it. This game is often played as a drinking game but is not necessary. For work, ground rules should be set about what topics can’t be discussed.
90. Online Codenames
Using a platform like Zoom, have team members join as guests with their cameras off and join the conversation with an alias. Have a text-chat conversation where no one knows who anyone else is.
91. Digital Draw It Out
Before an event, every team member is given the same object or animal to draw in a basic art program like MS Paint. All the drawings are submitted to the event organizer, who creates a slideshow of the art, and everyone guesses who drew each picture.
92. If I Didn’t Work Here
Each person says what career they would transition to (and why) if they couldn’t stay in their current job. It’s ideal to start with a manager or team leader to break the ice.
93. I Remember…
Using digital sticky notes (or private messages), everyone writes down a unique memory or experience. The organizer then reads through the list of memories, and people try to guess who owns which memory.
94. And Then…
Each person is given a word they need to include in their sentence. One person starts telling a story with just one sentence. The next person says “and then…” and adds their sentence to the story.
95. Guess the Refrigerator
All team members submit a photo of their refrigerator to the event organizer. The host then plays a slideshow of each refrigerator photo they received, and the team tries to identify the owner of each fridge.
96. Spin Doctors
Each person (or in small teams) takes 5-10 minutes to write a short magazine-style article. Each spin piece should describe your team or company in the most misleading way possible while still accurately saying what you do.
97. Trivial Pursuit
Create a set of office trivia questions based on your team or company. Questions can be “the most expensive item we sell,” “staff leave request policy?” etc. Ask the questions during a video chat and have everyone write down their answers. At the end, have each person submit their answers to the host to find the winner.
98. In 5 Clicks
For this game, get everyone to go to the same page of Wikipedia (even the current default page). Provide a goal topic for them to end up on. Take turns sharing screens while each person attempts to get to a pre-determined page in just five mouse clicks.
Teambuilding Exercises That Develop Work-Related Skills
99. Personality Testing
Find a reliable online test resource such as a Myers-Briggs personality test and give everyone time to complete it. At the end, discuss each person’s results as a group.
100. Build a Spreadsheet
Have teams each create a shared google spreadsheet on Google Drive or Excel document in OneDrive. Provide an objective like creating a choose your own adventure style book or a tool that tells you what recipes you can make based on ingredients in your pantry.
Whether the first day working with a new team or trying to build cohesion in an existing team, team building exercises can be an effective way to have a good time and build team rapport. This list is some of the most original ideas online to help you have as much fun as possible and get complete team engagement at your next team building exercise.