Team Building



Everyone at one end of the room, form a long line. The first player of the line steps into the room and starts miming an activity. As soon as the activity is clear, player 2 approaches player 1 and asks `What are you doing`.

The first player answers something that has nothing to do with what he`s actually doing. E.g. if player 1 is cutting someone`s hair, when asked what he`s doing he might say “I`m reading the newspaper”.

First player moves away, and the second player starts miming the activity stated by the previous player. A third player comes up to player 2, asks what he is doing, and so on.

Play until everyone has mimed something, and has answered the question.


You can also play this at super high speed, with 2 players. We mean super-super high speed. As soon as one of the players says ummm, hesitates, or uses an offer that was used before in that session, that player is replaced. Great for warm-up and energy! 


Use 4 chairs to build the interior of a car. One player starts driving the car, and another player becomes a passenger, needing a ride. The passenger has a particular character tick or emotion, which the driver takes over.

As new passengers are picked up, each with his/her own characteristic tick or emotion the driver and other passengers in the taxi take on the new passenger’s characteristic/emotion.  When the car is full, one of the players leaves the car to make room for a new passenger.

Notes: Don`t forget to justify leaving the car. 


Materials: Cut out enough construction paper circles for each team member, plus one.

Have each team member line up and stand on a spot; place the extra spot in the middle of the line. The goal of the game is to get Side A to Side B, and Side B to Side A, all facing forward. Rules: No moving backwards. A person can only move to an empty spot. No one can “jump over” their team mate. Only one person may move at a time. One spot per person, no sharing! If any of these rules are broken, the group must begin again.

You will Discover all kinds of communication styles and growth!

Key words: communication, planning and motivation.


Your team must make themselves into a machine, complete with as many moving parts (gears, cogs, levers, etc.) as they can devise. One member starts by repeatedly doing a movement, like shaking a leg and making a sound, another member joins in with his own motion, and so on.

Make it more challenging by asking them to move their machine across the room.


This is an exercise in giving and following directions, listening, and accepting others ideas. Have each student remove his/her shoe (if they have no laces then have them borrow one from a team mate who does. Then have them one at a time give the instructions to the others on how to tie a bow those following directions may not talk or ask questions the direction giver may not demonstrate. Discuss this with the students after all have had a turn. You may want them to practice their own methods before they have to give their directions.


Materials: Duct tape or string. One very large box. TV, computer or other large appliance box is ideal. Stack of newspapers Several rolls of scotch tape Roll of ribbon, string or twine long enough to be the ribbon on the package. One sheet of card stock Markers

Use duct tape or soft string to tape/tie each team member’s dominant hand to their leg. The idea is that team members will have only one hand to complete this activity. Older team members might like to try using their non-dominant hands.

Using the materials provided, the team must completely decide what the gift in the box is and who the recipient will be. They must gift wrap the box with newspaper, tie it with a ribbon or string and provide a greeting card with a sentimental (nice/thoughtful) message.

Privately, time this activity and watch how the team members interact. Don’t forget to debrief after the activity using these questions and any others you think are appropriate: How do you feel you did? How did you interact with each other to solve the challenge? How could you shave time off this activity? How could you be more creative as a team? Put this activity aside and give it to them again later in the year as an instant challenge.


Purpose: Teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.

Materials: 3 – 4 sets of building blocks (Legos).

Before team arrives build a small sculpture with some of the building blocks and hide it from the group. Divide the participants into small teams of 3 or 4. Each team should be given enough building material so that they can duplicate the structure. Place the original sculpture in an area that is an equal distance from all groups but hidden from view (inside a box). At the same time, each team sends one member up to look at the sculpture for 10 seconds and try to memorize it before returning to his team. After they return to their teams, they have 25 seconds to instruct their teams about how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s sculpture. After one minute of trying to recreate the sculpture, another member from each team can come up for a “sneak a peek” before returning to their team and trying to recreate the sculpture. Continue in this pattern until one of the team’s successfully duplicates the original sculpture.


Materials: Several inflated balloons.

Challenge: Stand in a circle. Toss a balloon in the air and call someone’s name and a body part. That individual must keep the balloon in the air with the named body part until he/she calls another person’s name and body part. This helps the team learn to listen to others.


Materials: A long thin pole such as a broom handle.

Challenge: Be sure to call the pole a “Helium Stick”. Place your group in two lines facing each other. Have each person hold the index finger of his right hand chest high. Place the helium stick on top of the outstretched fingers. The challenge is to lower the stick to the ground while keeping everyone’s fingers touching the stick. If anyone’s finger loses contact with the helium stick you must start again. At first the stick will seem to rise (hence the name Helium Stick). In fact, it is simply the upwards pressure of everyone’s fingers causing the stick to go up instead of down. Once everyone relaxes they can easily lower the stick to the ground. This usually takes ten minutes of laughter to complete.


Materials: 10 ft. rope tied into a circle.

Challenge: Team stands in a circle facing inward and each team member grabs onto the rope with both hands. No part of the rope should touch the floor. Try to accomplish each task without letting go of the rope.

1) Square, triangle, diamond, pentagon, a six-point star, hourglass.
2) Without releasing the rope, move the rope so it is outside the circle around the team. With the rope outside the circle and the team inside, make a triangle, a rectangle, and other shapes.
3) Without releasing the rope, move the rope back inside the circle and tie a knot in the rope.

Debrief: What was the hardest part of this activity? Did you get better from one task to the next? How well did your team work together?


Form a circle large enough to see each other without having to turn too much. The first team member begins as he looks at a person across the circle, makes sure to get eye contact, and says, “ZIG”! The ZIGGER must stand relatively still as he says ZIG. The person to whom the ZIG is directed (the ZIGGEE) then looks to another person and says, “ZAG”!, being sure to remain still. The ZAGGEE then gets eye contact with another person steps forward, claps his hands, points at the person and says “ZOG”! The ZOGGEE then starts the cycle over again. This should continue until there is a smooth flow of ZIG, ZAG, ZOG around the circle or the entire team is totally lost due to laughter. The ZIGGER and the ZAGGER may not do the ZOG movements. If they say the wrong sound or make a ZOG movement, the team must start over.


Challenge: Name creative actions and demonstrate the opposite. 

Your team is to present a display of contrasts. During your presentation, one team member should name a creative action. A second team member should then demonstrate the opposite action.  For example, the first team member might say, “Smiling.” The second team member would then frown. Team members should continue to alternate naming creative actions and demonstrating opposite actions until time ends.


  • Bring a 50-piece puzzle and divide the pieces from into small bags – one for each team member.
  • Ask each team member to pick a bag of puzzle pieces. Explain that they are going to put a puzzle together with their teammates, but they have to follow instructions closely:
  • For the first 2 minutes, they should begin putting their puzzle pieces together by alternating turns. They are not allowed to talk or touch one another’s pieces.
  • For the next 2 minutes, they should continue taking turns putting pieces in without talking, but they may begin touching one another’s pieces.
  • Finally, they will have 5 minutes to finish putting the puzzle together in any way they would like. Talking will be permitted during the last 5 minutes.
  • After the final 5 minutes, stop the puzzle making. Ask participants for observations and feedback. Deliver the message that we often find ourselves doing things in isolation without involving one another.
  • When we involve one another, using all of the pieces and communicating in many different ways, we have a greater chance for successful completion of a project.


This is an effective activity that builds up creativity and cooperation among kids. Ropes of different lengths – five feet, ten feet, fifteen feet and twenty feet are required. Tie the ends of each rope forming a circle. Ask an entire group of kids to get inside the circle formed by the rope, without a single body part being outside the circle. Start the game with the twenty feet rope. Once they have achieved that successfully, ask them to get inside the circle formed by the fifteen foot long rope, and so on, until they get to the smallest circle. As the circles get smaller, it gets increasingly difficult for them to get inside, and they will need to get creative and cooperative to complete the task.


In an open area, use tape, chalk, or Carpet squares to make a railroad with 7 spaces, Line up 6 members of the team in groups of 3 with the groups facing each other with an empty space in between. (See diagram)The two groups then attempt to switch positions, following these rules:

  1. No one may pass a teammate from his/her group of three, When the Challenge is completed each threesome will be in the order in which they began.
  2. A person may move into an open space immediately in front of him/her.
  3. Backward moves are not allowed.
  4. A person may not step around someone from the opposite threesome to move into an open space.
  5. Only one person out of the entire group should be moving at a time.
  6. Stepping around a group of two or more people from the opposite threesome to reach an open space is not allowed it may require several attempts before solving the Challenge. Younger students may become frustrated while trying to solve the Challenge.


Object: all the team members are to make physical contact with an empty pop can without making physical contact with one another. One person’s nose must be touching the can. Hair more than 4 inches from the head, does not count as a point of contact.


Give the group 4 plastic gym markers (or carpet squares with loops of tape on the bottom to prevent skidding) and ask them to physically cross a basketball court as quickly as possible (timed).  Allow 2 – 3 minutes of planning time before the start.


  1. Only the markers can be stepped on.
  2. No one may touch the markers with his/her heels – balls of feet only.
  3. If someone inadvertently touches the floor, he/she must return to the start, and anyone touching him must also return.


  • Try to emphasize efficiency and group cooperation in debriefing.
  • Try different combinations of gym markers and group sizes.


This activity is to show students that some things depend on how one looks at something not just in doing the task. Initially expect a wide variety of answers. Start with each student working separately. Give them a limited time then start having the work in pairs or trios then as a whole group. As they begin working together, have them brainstorm on how they can use visual aides to solve the Challenge.

Give each student a copy of the multi-shaped polygon below. Ask them to count the number of triangles they find in the polygon. (The maximum number is 38) Use their answers to discuss how people see solutions. Talk about how each one came up with his/her answer. Remind them that no negative remarks or actions will be allowed during the discussion. Use this to begin brainstorming about solutions to the team’s Destination Imagination® Challenge.


Lay a 4 – 8 foot long board on the floor.  Have the students line up of the board.  Then ask them to remain on the board, “plank” and line up according to their birth dates without touching the floor or the sharks will eat them.  This requires the students to cooperate and try to build a strategy prior to moving.


  • Ask them to perform the above task non-verbally.
  • Only allow one team member to move at a time.
  • Ask the group to line up non-verbally and blindfolded. Start as a blindfolded cluster.
  • Change ways to line up – – alphabetically, height, color of shirts, street address, etc.


Ask the whole group to try to fit on a small tarp or blanket. When the group succeeds and they are all standing on the tarp, challenge them to turn the tarp over without anyone touching the ground in the process. Can add a time limit e.g., 15 minutes for this activity. Cautions: Because they will get physically close make sure they have removed excessive jewelry, watches, etc.


Challenge: To create a living machine.

The team stands in a line with each person representing a part of a machine.  The first person begins a machine like motion.  The next person integrates his own mechanical motion with the movement of the first.  The rest add their motions in turn until the entire group is moving  as a machine.  The speed of the machine may be increased or decreased by any member of the group.

Make speed changes gradually.  The activity ends with the machine slowly grinding to a halt.  Sound effects are permitted.  This may also be done in a circle so that there is no distinguishable beginning and end.


Objective: To work together to accomplish a difficult task.

Materials: At least 10 feet of rope tied into a circle.

Activity: Lay the rope in a circle on the floor and have the team members sit around it and grab onto it.  Then have them all (as a group) try to stand up by pulling on the rope.  If anyone falls, the Group must start over again.

Debrief:  What was needed from the team members to accomplish this task?

Remind the team that there is no I in the word “team”.  It takes many types of skills and talents to get a well-rounded solution.  The TEAM develops the solution.


Have the team stand holding the rope with both hands and then instruct them to make different shapes with the rope without letting go.  Do this with everyone outside the rope then with everyone inside the rope.

Have the team tie a knot in the rope without letting go.


Objective: To work together to accomplish a difficult task.

Materials: One deck of playing cards.

Activity: The team’s task is to build the highest tower of cards they can.  When building the tower, each person may use only one hand and must place the other hand behind his/her back.  The team must start over each time the cards fall.  It is a good idea to set a time limit for this activity.

Debrief:  What was needed from the team members to accomplish this task?

Was anyone frustrated at any time – how was it handled?

How important would your teammate’s help have been if you all could have used two hands?

Variations: Start with both hands, then halfway through switch to one hand and compare the difference. Use your dominant hand part of the time and your other hand part of the time and compare the two.


Promotes gentle, fun physical movement, people getting to know one another, trust and working together.

Challenge participants to keep all balloons (1+ per person) in the air.  This gets the group moving and cooperating. Once they’ve got the hang of it, make it harder by adding in more balloons or placing restrictions e.g., no hands to keep balloons up.  Ask participants to keep juggling the balloons, but to sort them into colors (works best with large groups).


This is a negotiation activity in which work to find complete cards.  The purpose is for them to learn to see other perspectives before they can influence and persuade.

Cut 9 cards diagonally into 4 triangles each.  Mix the triangles well and place 18 triangles in two envelopes.  Divide the team into two groups and give each group one envelope of triangles.

Give them 2 minutes to examine their triangles and plan their strategy.  Then give them 4 minutes to barter with the other group to complete their cards.  This can be done with more teams and more cards.


Give the team a bag and instruct the to find 26 items(1 item that starts with each letter of the alphabet) and put them in the bag.  After this ask each person to select one item from the bang that they feel represents who they are as a person and share this with the team.  Then have the team select an item that they feel represents the whole team.


Objective: To work as a team. Materials: Bandannas or cloth strips.  Have team members stand in a circle facing each other and hold out their arms.  Tie the group together so that each person is tied to both neighbor’s wrists.  When the group is “all tied up” give them a task to do together. Task Suggestions:

  • Make root beer floats for everyone.
  • Wrap packages with gift wrap, bows, & card
  • Make a snack
  • Create an art project
  • Pour a cup of water for each team member.


(This activity will help your team to begin to feel more comfortable around one another and for everyone to give input when in group discussion.)

Materials: Any odd objects you can find, Paper, Pens or Pencils.

Select an odd object that can have many uses (the more unique the better) and place it in a paper bag. Divide the team into half and give each group a paper and pencil.  Pull the object out of the bag and instruct each group to make a list of all the things that it could be used for – and be creative! Give a time limit.  At the end of the time have the groups come together and share their lists.  You can give points for original ideas or no points at all and just laugh at all the crazy ideas.


Materials: 1 or 2 Hula Hoops

Have the team stand in a circle and hold hands.  Hang the hula Hoop on one team member’s arm before all the hands are clasped.

The objective is for them to pass the hoop(s) around the circle without letting go of anyone’s hands.