Team Building Exercises

Team Building Activities

“If  you are loosing a tug of war with a tiger,  give it the rope.  You can always buy a new one.”   Max Gunther, American journalist and writer.

Learning Names

  • Form a circle, everyone says their name one by one.
  • One person enters the center of the circle and points to someone in the circle using one of four commands: me (the person pointed to must say the name of the person in the center), you (the person pointed to says their own name), right (the person pointed to says the name of the person on the right), and left (the person pointed to says the name of the person on their left.
  • If the person pointed to gets it wrong they take the place of the person in the center.
  • Every few minutes people re-arrange themselves in the circle to a new location.

Zoom Exercise
(just for fun, cooperation)

  • Form a circle.
  • One person says zoom and then it is repeated to the right
  • Goal is to get the zoom to go around the circle as fast as possible
  • Repeat several times challenging team to got the zoom to go around the circle faster each time
  • Take time to discuss strategies

Ooh/Ah exercise (raise energy level – fun)

  • Stand in a circle holding hands
  • One person says ‘ooh’ & squeezes the right hand of the person next to them
  • That person then says ‘ooh’ and squeezes the right hand of the person next to them
  • The ‘ooh’ goes around the circle and continues around a number of times
  • Once it passes the person who started it, that person says ‘ah’ and squeezes the left hand of the person next to them
  • The ‘ah’ goes in the opposite direction of the ‘ooh’
  • The initiator may add more ‘oohs’ & ‘ahs’ as they please, adding to the chaos & fun

Two Truths and a Lie (Get to know one another)

  • Every team member writes down two truths about themselves and one lie on a small piece of paper – Do not reveal to anyone what you wrote down!
  • Once each person has completed this step, allow 10-15 minutes for open conversation – much like a cocktail party – where everyone quizzes each other on their three statements.
  • Try to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths/lies by asking them questions.
  • After the conversational period, gather in a circle and one by one repeat each one of your three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie.
  • You can play this game competitively and award points for each lie you guess or for stumping other players on your own lie.

Mute Organization (Communication skills)

  • Team members line up by their birth date without talking
  • Once the players have lined up, ask them their birthdays
  • You can play the same game with the height, birthday month or shoe size
  • Variation: Give each team member a number and tell them to arrange themselves in the numerical order without talking to each other. They cannot hold up fingers, but do not prohibit them from using or making up a sign language or sub-language.

Arm wrestle exercise (Importance of cooperation)

  • Pair partners by strength for apparent arm-wrestling matches; have them assume the position
  • Have a bunch of jelly beans, chocolate covered raisins, or some similar rewards
  • A participant gets a reward when the back of their ‘opponents’ hand touches the table
  • Trick: By co-operating (deliberately alternating wins and losses), this eliminates competition between partners and maximizes the total number of treats each gets

Human Knot (Communication skills)

  • Team members make a circle
  • Tell them to put their hand in the middle and grab two hands without looking at each other
  • Participants have to negotiate how to untangle themselves without letting go of the hands 
  • This activity helps team members to express themselves and to listen to others.

Other General Team Building Activities

  • Pizza party with movies involving the law 
  • Potluck with parents
  • Fund raisers
  • Post competition gathering and awards