At least once a month someone asks me where to find teambuilding activities that they can facilitate themselves for a group in the near future. When this happens, I like to recommend activities that even a first time facilitator can present successfully. I’ve written sixteen books (so far) and from these, I’ve pulled my favourite DIY teambuilding activities. If you enjoy the activities you might consider purchasing the books that hold these (and many more) outstanding teambuilding activities or purchasing the equipment for these activities from www.training-wheels.com.
1. The Big Question This is the best icebreaker I know.
Participants hold a card with a question written on it, find a partner, answer their partner’s question, trade cards and move on to a new partner by holding their card in the air (to show they are looking for a new partner). Books that have this activity include: Essential Staff Training Activities (www.kendallhunt.com), 100 Activities That Build Unity, Community & Connection (www.healthylearning.com) and the Teamwork & Teamplay International Edition (www.training-wheels.com). Purchase the T&T Training Cards (with this activity and 16 others) from www.training-wheels.com. These cards have over 155 great questions perfect for The Big Question.
This unique Brazilian-inspired game is played in a circle of ten people with the goal of keeping the feathered ‘bird’ in the air for twenty-one hits, using a variety of techniques, including: playing with one hand, standing on only one foot, clapping three times after hitting the bird, high five a neighbour after each hit, etc.
3. Raccoon Circles
With this simple prop you can facilitate over 200 different activities, from icebreakers to team challenges to unique debriefing activities. Some of my favorite Raccoon Circle activities include: Wrapped Around My Finger, My Lifeline, Twice Around the Block.
4. The Bobsled Team
Teams of four people form a line and trade places based upon three commands from their coach (facilitator). Change (the first person in line moves to the last position). Switch (participants in position two and four change places). Rotate (everyone turns 180 degrees). As the game continues, the commands get more complicated.
5. Match Card
This version of the memory game inspires groups to complete the game and then discuss the words of character written on the cards in what can be a profound reviewing session. Include 12 word pairs that have meaning for your group, such as: teamwork, leadership, communication, trust, respect, cooperation, safety, appreciating diversity.
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6. The Story of Your Name
This activity invites everyone to share the story of their name and creates an atmosphere of respect.
7. Walking & Talking
This active icebreaker invites partners to link elbows and walk together as they find three things they have in common.
8. Bull Ring Candelabra
Using a metal ring with twelve strings attached, groups transport a tennis ball and eventually place it on a PVC candelabra with other groups. An amazing activity to finish your teambuilding program.
9. Sunny Side Up
Participants use a standard plastic tarp or table cloth to toss a tennis ball into the air, turn over the tarp, and catch the ball on the way back down. Timing, teamwork, communication and problem solving are all required to do this successfully.
10. The Virtual Slideshow
This debriefing/reviewing activity uses a clicker (or TV remote control) to ‘show’ imaginary images of the day’s program while participants narrate what they see in the pictures they present.
Jim Cain, Ph.D.
Teamwork & Teamplay
468 Salmon Creek Road
Brockport, NY 14420