Online Training and e-Coaching Tips

8 Team Building Exercises Used with Great Success

January 28, 2016 16:04 by

Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

Team building exercises are the meat and potatoes of many training sessions. We have selected 8 exercises that trainers all over the world are using with great success.

1. Shipwrecked, or Lost on A Deserted Island

You are marooned on a deserted island. You, as a team, get to take 7 items with you (or more, depending on the team size). Which will they be? To simplify things, the trainer could provide a long list of items to each team to choose from. Each team writes down their list of items and gets to present and defend their choices. This exercise brings out the team’s core values in the open and provides an insight into the problem solving modes of each team.

2. Building A City


Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

Split your team into smaller groups. Each group makes a drawing of a building (school, post office, fire department, etc.). Then present the entire group with a huge sheet of paper which they have to use to put together a whole city. This exercise lets a team work together towards a common goal.

3. Puzzle Mania

Each team has tabletop puzzle what they must solve first to win a prize. However, unbeknownst to the teams, they all have a piece of another team’s puzzle. The teams have to cooperate in order to win. This makes for a great debriefing session.

Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

4. Towering Spaghetti

Each team builds a tower out of (uncooked) spaghetti, using tape or elastic bands (or both). The team with the tallest tower wins. After the first round, encourage the teams to reconsider their design and make another attempt. In the debrief, examine the reflective practices of each team.

5. Back-to-Back Drawing

Divide the group into pairs. Each pair stands back to back. One person has a picture of geometric figure or a relatively simple shape, but they are not allowed to name it. The other person has a sheet of paper and a pen. The person holding the picture must describe it, while the other person makes a drawing. After a limited time, compare the outcomes of each team.

6. Magic Carpet


Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

The team (about six members) stands on a (small) carpet. The objective is to turn over the carpet completely, without stepping off the carpet, without leaning on furniture or against the wall, etc.. If one person touches the floor, the team has to start over again. All teams start at the same time, they all get 5 minutes to plan, before they can start moving (they’re not allowed to lift the carpet during these 5 minutes). The team that finishes first wins a prize.

7. Minefield

Create an obstacle course in an empty room or hallway, using chairs, plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, etc.. Divide the group into pairs. One person is blindfolded, the other must verbally guide the blindfolded person through the “minefield” from the sideline.

Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

Photo credit: Natasha Vasiljeva, published under CC.

8. Egg Drop

Each team has a set of construction materials such as plastic wrap, balloons, rope, paper, rubber band, tape. Their objective is to create a protective vessel or carrier for an egg. The teams drop their eggs from the second floor. If multiple eggs survive, increase the height until one winning team is left.

Have fun! 


Validated in a discussion of trainers on LinkedIn.

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