If you want an active way of engaging your team members with one another, you can use a variety of team building activities. Many of these activities are easy to facilitate and require a minimum of supplies, though time requirements might vary.
The Juggling Group
If you are pulling together a new group, this is one of the team building activities that will enhance your group’s communication skills and give them an opportunity to learn each other’s names. You will need some small objects that your team members can toss around, such as Frisbees, tennis balls or stuffed animals. Don’t use anything that might break or hurt anyone. Instruct your team members to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle and take a step backwards. The goal of the game is for the group to toss an object around the circle without anyone dropping it. Decide on a tossing order and let the fun begin, with the group attempting to juggle the ball around the circle. Once the team succeeds at juggling one object around the circle with no dropping, add another object. The team should set its own goal regarding how many objects they want to be able to juggle.
Building a Team Tower
This is one of the team building activities that will emphasize teamwork, problem solving and thinking strategies. Break your team down into smaller teams, and task each team with building a structure that can stand on its own, fashioned only out of aluminum foil, within a certain time frame. The structure must be a specified number of feet tall. Be sure to give the team enough time to complete the structure, but keep in mind that the allotted timeframe should also challenge them. The teams compete to see who can build the best tower.
My Life is in Your Hands
This activity will build your team members’ trust in one another, spur team confidence, and break down barriers among members. Instruct the group to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle. Have one member volunteer to stand in the center of the circle while all other members spread out a little with hands up and knees bent. They should stagger their feet one in front of the other. This is known as a spotting position. The member in the center of the circle will cross his or her arms over the chest in an X with palms facing in. The member should stay stiff to avoid bending at the waist. When the game begins, the member in the center will fall back, and the rest of the group will act as spotters, gently passing the member around the circle until each member has caught him or her. Be sure to acknowledge the risk to each person involved, and continue around the circle until every group member has had a chance to be caught by the group.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Team Building Activities
Whenever you complete one of the team building activities, discuss the activity with team members afterwards to determine how beneficial it was Ask questions that are open ended, and allow multiple team members to respond. As a facilitator, this will give you a good idea regarding what worked or did not work for any given activity.