3 (FUN!) Teambuilders to Unite Any Group
Youth Volunteers always say that one of their favorite parts about serving with Youth Volunteer Corps are the fun activities incorporated into each project. Teambuilder games are always a hit because they can help turn a group from awkward silences to laughter and collaboration. With nearly three decades of experience incorporating these into YVC projects, we have built up quite the library of tried-and-true teambuilders.
A simple teambuilder game can be a crucial part of a service project, classroom activity or business meeting. Next time you need to take a group from individuals to team, try one of our favorites:
Supplies: A photograph that is full of action
Note: This activity is best done in groups of 4-8. If your team is larger than that, print off multiple photos and split the group into smaller teams.
This activity is like the game telephone except with a photo. Show the photo to one person for about 10 seconds. Instruct him/her to describe the photo to the next person for about 30 seconds, using as much detail from memory as possible. Make sure that no one else can hear the conversation. Ask the second person to describe the photo to the third person and so on. Once all team members have heard the photo described, have the last person describe what they heard to the entire group.
The description has most likely evolved from the original photo. Discuss this with the group:
- How did the description of the photo change?
- Was the last description given anything like the actual photo?
- How did communication break down?
One Way Communication
Supplies: Paper, pens for all
Draw a simple figure on a piece of paper (this could be a shape like a star or crescent or a very basic drawing) without letting the group see it. Still keeping your drawing hidden, describe to the group how to draw the same figure, using as much detail as you can, but without them saying what it is or using your body to describe it. For example, if you draw a star, you cannot say “draw a star…” but you can say “start your pens at the top center of your sheet and draw a line down and to the right…”). They are not allowed to ask questions. Once you finish describing your figure, ask them to flip over their paper and draw the figure as you describe it again, this time facing the group, answering questions, and using any movements necessary, but still not letting them see your drawing or looking at theirs and correcting them. Compare all the drawings to yours and discuss your communication strategies.
- Was it challenging drawing the figure initially? Why?
- What would have made your first drawing more successful?
- What does this exercise show us about the need to communicate?
Supplies: A long but lightweight rod like a wooden dowel, tent pole, etc.
Gather the team together on both sides of your stick. Explain that this is a magic stick filled with helium, so it floats up uncontrollably. The team’s job is to slowly lower the stick to the ground. Every member of the team must place only one finger from each hand to support the stick. Once all team members have contact with the stick, instruct them to slowly lower it to the ground.
This is much harder than it sounds, as the stick has a tendency to rise instead of lower because of the many fingers supporting it. The team must figure out how to get the stick to the ground. Once the team is successful, discuss with them:
- Was this activity harder than you thought it would be? Why?
- What strategy eventually led you to success?