Team Building Activities
Team building requires each group to invest in a reasonable amount of time to ensure that they are working effectively together, and feel comfortable with one another. This is time well invested and will pay dividends later on.
Below are a number of good ten to twenty minute team building games and exercises that you can use to build the team and periodically add extra excitement and involvement during a group meeting. Working in teams, kids learn how individuals contribute to the team effectiveness in accomplishing goals, and the loss of group effectiveness by leaving someone out.
This activity requires pens and paper. The group is divided into small teams of 3 to 5 people. Their task is to write notes on how team-work is needed to accomplish the group's goals. A person from each team then shares the team's ideas.
Next, teams write out a plan showing how they can achieve the goals. Again a person from each team then shares the team's ideas.
Lastly the ideas are consolidated into the group's plan of action to achieve the required goals.
2. Review Discussions:
Teams play various team-building games and then discuss and review various learning areas such as team-building, planning, organising, motivation, problem solving, communication and creativity. This provides good teaching and training opportunities for the group
3. Your New School:
This activity requires pens and paper. The teams must pretend that they are students at a brand new school. Their task is to be to extremely creative and choose the name, motto, uniform, rules and mascot for the school as well as create plans for an outrageous school event.
After brainstorming for ideas, teams must choose a spokesperson who will present their ideas to the group.
4. Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers:
Uncooked (raw) spaghetti lengths and marshmallow cubes are required for this challenge. Teams are given 15-30 minutes to build the highest structure in the room or the widest bridge or tallest arch. Teams build by sticking the spaghetti sticks into marshmallows. Award a small prize for the best structure and then have a marshmallow roast around a camp fire!
5. Liquorice Allsorts Bridge:
For this challenge, each team requires limited quantities of Liquorice Allsorts and tooth picks, pictures of engineering building principles (triangle, square, pyramid etc) and two bricks. Each team must design and build a bridge that will span two bricks set on edge 200mm apart. Test each structure with a large chocolate bar and award it to the team with the strongest bridge!
6. Paper Bridge:
This is a similar contest requiring A4 sheets of paper, glue, Sellotape, scissors, string, two bricks per team, plastic cups, sand, weighing scale. Again each team must design a bridge to span two bricks on edge set 200mm or further apart. Teams must build their bridge, and then test its strength by suspending a cup from it and gradually filling the cup with sand until the bridge collapses. The cups from each team are weighed to find the winning bridge that supported the most weight.
7. Newspaper Bridge:
This requires some Newspaper sheets, Sellotape, scissors and any suitable test weights or objects you can think up such as a shoe! Teams must plan and successfully execute a design problem. For example, construct a bridge with floor-standing pillars at each end (no Sellotape guy ropes!) and a horizontal span.
The winning bridge will have the longest span between the two pillars. There must be at least a 20cm clearance between span and floor. The span must support the shoe or an apple, chocolate bar or can of cold-drink, which must be placed (and not fixed with Sellotape) somewhere on the span but not touching the floor-standing supports. Time allowed for planning and building is 20 minutes.
Variations could be the highest tower that would support something for example a lemon or a book etc. Or a bridge between two tables that will support the greatest weight. Or the highest platform to support a person's weight. Or the longest horizontal pier from a table top, with or without newspaper struts to support it.
8. Car Building:
Materials needed include wheels and axles (purchased or salvaged from old toys), straws, thin wood strips and small wood blocks, paper, string, glue, Sellotape, and scissors. The team competition is to design and build a car from the given materials and then race it against other teams down an inclined plank.
9. Dressing Capers:
Materials needed Sellotape, scissors and much newspaper! Small teams of 3 to 5 people must dress one team member with paper clothes and / or hat. They are allowed 20 minutes to complete their creation. The competition could be for the funniest hat or suit of clothes, or theme clothes such as suit of armour, or a specified Bible character. Award prizes for the most original creation and for the best effort.
10. Wind Ship:
Materials needed include wheels and axles (optional), straws, wood strips, dowels and wood blocks, paper, string, glue, Sellotape, and scissors. Teams must design and build a ship and sails (optionally a wheeled ship) from the given materials and then blow it across a swimming pool or along a given course against the other teams. The winning team is the fastest ship, or the one that capsizes the least number of times, or the one that sank!
11. Team Body:
You need a dice, paper, and pencils for each team. Teams of five to ten people sit in circles and compete (like in a Beetle Drive) to draw and complete a human body by throwing a dice and then drawing body parts according to the list below. However, they cannot add arms and legs before they have a body, and they cannot add hands or feet before they have arms or legs respectively!
1 = Head
Afterwards the drawings are displayed and teams vote for the best, funniest and weirdest drawing. A variation could include drawing the body starting with a head, then a body, then arms, then hands, then and lastly feet. Another variation would be for teams to draw their body in order from the two feet upwards.
12. Human Machine:
You need at least five people on each team. Each person of a team must become one of the following body parts - body, eyes, brain, arms and legs etc. They climb onto or hold onto each other to form a Body Machine. Arrange a short obstacle course down the hall using tables and chairs.
Instruct the teams to perform a simple task, with each body part performing their own function. For example, the Human Machine must take a Bible through the obstacle course and place it on a chair. The winning team is the one that takes the least time and does not cheat!
Each human machine can only "walk" in a direction given by "EYES" who tells the "BRAIN" where they are and where they need to go. For example EYES can say to BRAIN, "I see the chair and we need take two steps left." BRAIN must then instruct LEGS, "Move two steps left."
The whole body must then work together to carry out this instruction. The same type of instruction must come from "Eyes" to "Brain" and then to "Arms" in order to pick up or put down an object.
Remind your human machines that each body part can only perform their own function when instructed by the "BRAIN". This might sound complicated so give the teams time to practice and they will soon get the hang of their Human Machines!
This game works great to illustrate how each member of a team is vitally important and that they must all work together or you will land up in a huge mess!
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