FREE Team Building Activities
Free Team Building Activities are great for those who have staff available to plan and coordinator activities or those operating on a relatively low budget. Team Building Activities don’t need to be overly created. They can be something quick, easy and enjoyable.
What is the main objective of your team building activities? Is it to reduce tension in the work place, improve collaboration skills, build relationships or is it to help develop a positive work culture? Having an end goal in mind will guide you on what type of activity to run. Gaining insight from peers on what they would like to develop is invaluable and will only help to contribute to the activity.
Team Building Activities can be ran at the start of the day, during a meeting or at the end of the day before a socialising event. They can be simply 10 minutes to 2 hours long. One main mistake my clients tend to make is that they want to build programs over 2 hours long. This is a no-no. Even with the most carefully designed programs, you will lose audience engagement and have an adverse effect on your targeted outcomes. Instead, focus on high impact in a short amount of time. To give you an example, the Titanic was a wonderful movie. But the first time I watched it, I fell asleep.
Now to the free team building activities….
1. Game of Possibilities
Time: 5-6 minutes
Number of Participants: One or multiple small groups
Tools Needed: Any random objects
Rules: This is a great 5-minute team building game. Give an object to one person in each group. One at a time, someone has to go up in front of the group and demonstrate a use for that object. The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating. The demonstrator cannot speak, and demonstrations must be original, possibly wacky, ideas.
Objective: This team building exercise inspires creativity and individual innovation.
2. Human Knot
Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Number of Participants: 8 – 20 people
Tools Needed: None
Rules: Have everyone stand in a circle facing each other, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct everyone to put their right hand out and grab a random hand of someone across from them. Then, tell them to put their left hand out and grab another random hand from a different person across the circle. Within a set time limit, the group needs to untangle the knot of arms without releasing their hands. If the group is too large, make multiple smaller circles and have the separate groups compete.
Objective: This game for team building relies heavily on good communication and teamwork. It also results in a lot of great stories for the water cooler chat in the workplace.
3. The Perfect Square
Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Number of Participants: 5 – 20 people
Tools Needed: Long piece of rope tied together and a blindfold for each person
Rules: Have your coworkers stand in a circle holding a piece of the rope. Then instruct everyone to put on their blindfold and set the rope on the floor. Have everyone take walk a short distance away from the circle. Next, ask everyone to come back and try to form a square with the rope without removing their blindfolds. Set a time limit to make it more competitive. To make it even more difficult, instruct some team members to stay silent.
Objective: Focuses on strong communication and leadership skills. By instructing some team members to be silent, this game also requires an element of trust across the team, allowing team members to guide each other in the right direction.
4. The Mine Field
Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Number of Participants: 4 – 10 people (even numbers)
Tools Needed: Various handheld objects, several blindfolds
Rules: Find an open space such as an empty parking lot or a park. Place the objects (cones, balls, bottles, etc.) sporadically across the open space. Have everyone pair up, and make one person on from each pair put on the blindfold. The other person must lead their teammate from one side of the open space to the other without stepping on the objects — using only the verbal instructions. The blindfolded person cannot speak at all. To make it more difficult, create specific routes the blindfolded team members must walk.
Objective: This game focuses on trust, communication, and effective listening. This activity makes a great team building beach game as well.