The following are fun games that are easy to set up and can be used for team building or as an icebreaker.
Team Building Games
- Burst my Bubble
- Guess the Celebrity
- Lucky Sevens
- Peg Tag
- Clap Clap
Burst my Bubble Team Building Game
The Burst My Bubble game works best in smaller teams of 8-15 members. This activity is very similar to other tag games, with the exception that, instead of touching the person with your hand, you have to jump around and pop their balloons. This activity is fairly easy to set up and the only equipment needed is balloons and some string. Burst My Bubble is a fast pace and high energy game that is loads of fun.
Before the start of the game cut a length of string, between 40 to 60cm long, for each team member participating. Gather the team together and hand out a balloon and a peace of string to each team member. Each participant must inflate their balloon, tie off the ends, and attach one end of the string to the balloon. The other end of the string must be securely tied around an ankle of the team member. Some space must be left between the ankle and the balloon to ensure that the participants don’t stomp on each other’s ankles by accident.
When your team is ready, you can shout “Go” and everyone should be trying to stomp on and pop everybody else’s balloon. At the same time they must prevent others from stomping on their own balloon. When a team member’s balloon is popped, they are eliminated and must step aside from the game. You can place a time limit on the game or play until the last person with their balloon still intact remains standing. The winner is the last person remaining who has their balloon still intact.
As a variation to the Burst My Bubble game, you can have the participants attach two balloons, one on each ankle. This will give each team member two changes to survive, as they are then only eliminated when both their balloons are popped. You can also have all the participants stand in a circle and holding hands. If both the balloons of a participant have been popped, they are eliminated and must leave the circle. The rest of the remaining participants will reform the circle and continue with the game.
The following are some examples of debriefing questions you can ask the team after the game:
- Did you have any kind of strategy to avoid being tagged or in tagging somebody else?
- Were you eliminated quickly?
- During the game, were you aware of any collaborations going on with other members of the team? Why do you think this happened?
- How do you think the behaviour of all the team members during the game reflects on the team as a whole.
Guess the Celebrity Team Building Game
Guess the Celebrity is an audience-style game which encourages team members to use their creative and collaborative skills. This fun and playful activity is simple to play. It is suitable for larger teams and will encourage your team to use their critical-thinking skills.
Required props for the Guess the Celebrity team building game:
- Index cards or labels
- List of famous and/or celebrity names
- Sticky tape or hats
In preparation for the game, collect some blank labels or index cards and write some celebrity names on each of them. Add some lesser-known names to make the game more challenging. To start the game, get the team to sit together facing 4 chairs. Ask 4 volunteers to sit in the chairs facing the rest of the team. They will represent the first four celebrities or famous people. Take four cards with the celebrity names on them, and stick them on each of the volunteer’s foreheads without them seeing what is written on the cards. Make sure that everybody else on the team can see the cards clearly.
The objective of the Celebrity game is for each volunteer to uncover the identity of the person written on the card attached to their forehead. They must ask the audience a number of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to which they are only allowed to reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The first ‘celebrity’ will ask a question which the audience will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and then next celebrity will get their turn to ask a question. This will continue until one of the ‘celebrities’ can correctly guess who they are. You can then have the team member that guessed correctly swap places with someone in the audience and continue the game. Alternatively, you can wait until all 4 ‘celebrities’ guessed correctly before swapping them with 4 new players. You may want to limit the number of questions to 10 or less to ensure that the game does not carry on for too long.
For larger teams, you can increase the number of chairs up to eight chairs. You may also want to get hold of some caps or hats so that you do not have to stick cards directly to the participant’s forehead. If one of the participants gets a lesser known celebrity and is struggling, it is fine to add some clues to help them out.
The following are some debriefing questions you can ask your team after the Guess the Celebrity team building game:
- What was it like to know that others knew something you did not?
- As an audience member, what was it like to know something that others did not?
- Thinking of situations in your life, was there a time when you were left in the dark about something? Was there something significant you learned from the situation?
Lucky Sevens Team Building Game
Lucky Sevens is a fun and easy counting game that requires no props and will help improve your teams listening skills. It is a very effective team building ice-breaker game. Although this game will seriously test your math skills, it also involves a lot of fun and laughter.
Have all the team members come together and form a circle. Explain to everyone that they must start counting from 1 to 100. Each person must say a number, to the next and so on. Moving to the left of each member in the circle. Every time they come to the number seven, or multiples of seven, they have to say the word ‘Lucky’ instead of the number. If a mistake is made the entire team must start counting from the beginning again. The team member to the left of the one that made the mistake must restart the game. You can play this game for about 10 minutes or you can try and see how far the team gets without making a mistake.
As a variation to the game, instead of saying the word ‘lucky’, have the team member clap their hands instead. You can also have the team change direction every time the word ‘lucky’ is said. O increase the difficulty level of the game, you can add another number, for example number 3. You can then also add another word for the additional number. To make it more of competitive exercise, you can have the team member that makes a mistake eliminated when they make a mistake, and last one standing is declared the winner.
Peg Tag Team Building Game
Another version of the ever popular ‘Tag’ style team building games, Peg Tag involves lots of fun and energetic running and swerving. The only prop needed for this activity is a big bag of clothes-pegs.
You will need enough clothes-pegs so that each member of the team will have four to eight pegs each. Hand out the pegs to each member of the team and instruct them to pin the clothes-pegs anywhere they like on their clothing. They must pinned somewhere that is accessible, preferably on the upper body, like the arms, the back or front of the clothes.
When you say ‘Go’, the participants must first remove the clothes-pegs from themselves and then attempt to fasten them onto another team member’s clothes. This has to happen one clothe peg at a time, all the other clothes-pegs need to stay fastened onto their own clothing and can only be removed once they have placed the first peg onto somebody else’s clothes. Make sure that everyone in the team must understand that the intention must be to fasten the peg to someone’s clothing, and not onto somebody’s body. Bring to everyone’s attention that when used incorrectly and attached in the wrong place, the peg can cause harm and hurt someone. If a peg falls to the ground, the peg belongs to the one attempting to fasten it to another member’s clothes.
The team members will soon discover that you can’t only concentrate on placing pegs on other participants, as other team members are cunningly looking to fasten pegs to your clothing when they least expect it. You can continue the game as long as you like. When the game is stopped, have each team member count the number of clothes-pegs still remaining on their clothes. The winner is the member with the least number of pegs attached to their clothes.
You can also divide the group into teams, and let them count the number of pegs each team has accumulated when the game is over. The winning team, is the team with the most pegs. The game can also be played in reverse, with the aim being for each person to see how many pegs they are able to take from other team members and fasten them on their own clothing.
Clap Clap Team Building Game
In this team game the challenge is to follow a sequence of different clapping movements. The movements increase in difficulty as a the game progresses. This activity is similar to the clapping games that school children used to play during their break times. The activity requires a high degree of coordination, but the objective of the game is not only about doing it correctly. You will find that this activity has many other benefits such as fun, enjoyment, cooperation and friendly competition.
To start the game, get your team to form into pairs. Ask the whole team to gather around so you can teach them all the moves. Arrange the moves into smaller section, starting with the first move then adding more. The moves involve clapping once, then twice and then three times, and then clapping down again, 3-2-1. Then you start all over again.
Perform only one section of the routine at a time, and then get all the other pairs to try it out. Explain and perform the movements a number of times, and allow the pairs to practice on their own. As soon as all the team members are completing the sections correctly, they can try the complete routine all at once.
Let the team try the basic moves out with no time penalties and once you are confident that most of the group have mastered the moves, you can begin the challenge. You can let all the pairs commence the activity simultaneously or they can perform individually. The performances can also be timed if you want.
The following are some examples of questions you can ask the team after the completion of the game:
- What was the most challenging part of the game?
- Was it difficult to master all the moves successfully with your partner?
- Do you think there is something you can learn from this game, as an individual, and as a team?
More Team Building Activities
The games we discussed are easy to set up and facilitate. For more complex team building activities where everyone can participate, we advise that you use an experienced team building facilitator. Our team building events can also focus on a specific outcome such as leadership, communication, creative thinking, cooperation, resilience etc.