Management Tips··8 min read

7 Team Building Games (That Aren't Cringeworthy)

Team Building Games

You can only effectively build teams when you incorporate relevant and timely activities and team building games that address specific needs into your company's culture. You can carry out some once-off exercises, but they are not a shortcut to team-building success. The reason why your organization should invest in team building is so you can motivate your people to work together. This will help to develop their strengths and address any weaknesses that might exist within teams. Online team building games are a great way to achieve this. However, you must focus on corporate team building games that encourage collaboration rather than competition. Here are some team-building games that you can add to your list of team-building activities.

Dog, Rice, Chicken

This is one of the best team building games that will get your grey-cells supercharged with lateral thinking and planning. The dog, rice, and chicken game boosts creative problem solving within teams. To play this game, you must choose a single team member to give the role of a farmer, and the rest of the team will then act as villagers. During the game, the farmer should return home with three purchases which include a dog, rice, and a chicken. However, on his way home, the farmer must cross a river. The challenge is that as he crosses the river, he is only allowed to carry one item in the boat with him.

The farmer can not leave the dog alone with the chicken on one side because the dog will eat the chicken. On the other hand, he also can't leave the chicken with the rice for obvious reasons. So it's up to the team to figure out how the farmer can get all three items across and home safely. The game is quite simple if the team tries to figure it out together.

Talking in Circles

This is another fun and challenging team-building game. For this game, a lot of communication and coordination are required among teammates. The team should stand in a circle with a long piece of string tied at the ends of the circle. The idea behind the game is for the team to create shapes with the string. For instance, the team might be asked to create a square, triangle, and several other shapes.

To make the game a lot more challenging, the team might be asked to shut their eyes with blindfolds. To further complicate things, some of the team members may be required to remain quiet, and this will make communication a lot more challenging. The purpose of this game is to assess the level of leadership and trust within a team.

Two sides of a Coin

This is a game that allows team members to understand that situations are not always completely negative and some positivity can be drawn from even the most negative experiences. To play this game, a team of two people will come together and discuss a situation. For instance, if there are two individuals, the first will share something negative that happened in their life with the second. This might be a professional incident or a personal one. Ideally, the incident should be a real-life occurrence.

The same individuals must then share the same experience again. But this time, they must focus on the positive takeaways they get from it. The second individual will then help to shed light on the brighter side of the negative experience. After that's done, the two individuals will then switch roles. This is a very short yet effective game that helps team members see the good things in people. The game effectively challenges preconceived notions.

Truth and Lie Team Building Games

To play this game, each team member must be given four similar pieces of paper. Each individual is required to write three truths and a single lie. However, the lie must be believable to some extent. For instance, the member cannot write something like, "I've been to the Moon." Apart from that, the tenor of the truths and lie must not be offensive or crude. After everyone is done, the group members will then take turns to read out the truths and lie in random order. When a group member finishes reading from their papers, the group must discuss which they think are the truths and which one is the lie.

The purpose of this game is for team members to get to know each other. There might be some introverts in the group, and usually, these team members remain an enigma. This game will give them a chance to reveal facts about themselves. All members will also learn about others and themselves through finding out whether what they thought was a lie is the truth.

The Barter Puzzle

To play this game, the team must be broken into several groups with equal members. Each group must be given a different jigsaw puzzle of similar difficulty. Once each group has their puzzle, you must give them an equal amount of time to solve the puzzle as a group. You must explain to the groups that some pieces of their puzzles belong to other puzzles with other teams.

The idea behind the game is for groups to solve their puzzles before others. However, this can only be done by trying to convince other groups to relinquish the pieces they need. This can be done through barter or by exchanging team members. However, whatever the group chooses to do to solve their puzzle, it must be done as a group.

This is a time-consuming game, but it helps to foster creative teamwork on several levels. The team must work together to complete a puzzle. At the same time, they must also find ways to convince other groups to assist them. In other words, apart from solving the puzzle, they also face the challenge of acquiring the lost pieces.

Use What You Have

Like the puzzle games, for this one, the team must be divided into equal groups again. For each group, you must come up with a specific project with clearly outlined restrictions and a goal. For instance, a team can be assigned the task of creating a device that moves without electricity. However, you must pick practical challenges that are related to the skills of individuals in the teams.

You can then create a pile of supplies in the room for the teams to choose from. Also, give each time a specific time to complete their project. You must state that the teams can only use what is available from the pile of supplies to complete the project. The final step where the teams reveal their projects is a fun event. This game fosters problem-solving within teams. It also encourages team members to be highly creative.

Blind Drawing

This is one of the best free team building games. It requires anywhere from four to thirty people. For the game, you will need paper, writing utensils, and a selection of everyday items or photos. The idea behind the game is so an artist can draw an item based on how the team describes it. This game is in some way similar to charades but with a twist. To play the game, the team must be split into groups of 4-6. Each group should choose their own article and give them drawing materials. The artists will then sit with their backs facing the group so that they don't see the item the group will be describing.

From the collection of everyday items or pictures, the team should then choose a single item. To win, the group must successfully get the artist to draw the item in under three minutes. One of the rules of the game is that the group is not allowed to tell the artist what the item is. For instance, if the team picks a picture of a bee, they can only give vague descriptions like 'honey maker,' etc. Also, the artist is not allowed to ask questions. Once the three minutes are up, the teams will then compare their drawings. This is a funny game that highlights how it can be difficult to give instructions and why it is important to communicate clearly.

These are some of the best team building games for adults. There are a lot of benefits that you will get from including these games as part of your team building activities. If your teams are remote, you can also look into various virtual team building games.


What is a good teamwork game?

A good teamwork game is an indoor team building game like escape rooms, which fosters team collaboration and improves communication skills among team members.

What are the 7 C's of team building?

The 7 C's of team building include communication, cooperation, coordination, commitment, culture, confidence, and creativity, essential for enhancing team member interactions and performance.

What is the 30 second game for team building?

The 30 second game for team building is a great team building game that challenges team members to pitch a fun or innovative idea to the entire group within 30 seconds, promoting quick thinking and team bonding.

What is a team bonding game?

A popular team bonding game is "Two Truths and a Lie," which allows new team members to share interesting facts about themselves with other team members, enhancing mutual understanding and trust.

What are the big 5 of teamwork?

The big 5 of teamwork are trust, respect, adaptability, communication, and goal orientation, all crucial elements that team building activities aim to develop among team members.

How to bond a team together?

To bond a team together, organize fun team building activities like sports or problem-solving challenges that require all team members to participate and work towards a common goal, enhancing team bonding and effectiveness.

What is the 5 minute icebreaker activity?

A 5-minute icebreaker activity ideal for remote teams could be a quick virtual "Show and Tell," where team members share a personal item or story, helping the entire team feel more connected and engaged during a team building event.

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