What are Some Team Building Games?

Malcolm Tatum

Team building games are simply exercises or games that help to increase the ability of a group of individuals to work together as a team. These games for team building can be utilized in any situation where there is a need to build a sense of camaraderie, trust, and communication among people who are brought together to achieve common goals. The main goals of any team building game are to elevate the level of commitment of each member of the team and increase productivity by inspiring people to work together.

Some companies include extreme sports like paintball during a team-building workshop.
Some companies include extreme sports like paintball during a team-building workshop.

It is possible to make use of team building games as part of a weekly program to help keep team members fresh and connected with one another. The games can also be used to great effect at weekend retreats, where co-workers can get to know one another in a setting that is outside the office. The best team building games usually are configured to provide an element of fun even as they help to create commitment and a sense of teamwork among the participants.

Team building games are tasks that encourage a group of individuals to work together as a team.
Team building games are tasks that encourage a group of individuals to work together as a team.

One example of a simple but effective team building game involves using two buckets and a bungee cord. One bucket is filled with water; the bungee cord is then attached to the bucket. The goal is to empty the contents of the first bucket into the second bucket by using a team effort to position and tip the bucket so that no water spills on the floor during the transfer. While the activity is a lot of fun, it also encourages team members to come up with creative strategies to achieve the goal and also work together to identify the best solution to the problem.

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Many team building games encourage the development of trust as part of the work environment. A classic game that is used to great effect is to divide the team members into groups of two. One group member is blindfolded and given a sack. Items are scattered around the area that must be collected in the sack. It is the responsibility of the other group member to guide the blindfolded individual through the area and pick up the items one at a time. During the game, the blindfolded partner has to rely completely on the direction of his or her partner to move in any direction, including stooping to pick up an object. Along with developing trust in the judgment of other members of the team, this particular game also encourages strong communication between the group members.

Various team building games challenge people to work together in order to overcome obstacles, identify strategies and to combine talents in order to effectively complete a task. Most of the games are structured to only last for a few minutes, and are followed by a time for the participants to share what they learned from the exercise. Team building games can help to bring out hidden talents, resolve conflicts within the team, and in general make it possible for everyone to function as one cohesive unit. When this happens, employment within the team and the company overall becomes a positive experience that makes the completion of important tasks much easier for everyone.

Co-workers sometimes participate in team-building retreats.
Co-workers sometimes participate in team-building retreats.

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Discussion Comments


Honestly, I always hated the team building games and activities. I always thought that people at my work got along well and collaborated with each other very well. I felt like the games were actually an example of the disconnect between upper management and the employees. Our team leader knew us all very well and did a great job of keeping us productive and working together. We had established everyone's strengths from the beginning, and organized our work to play off peoples strengths. New additions to the team were quickly brought on to how the team operated, and everyone was like able enough. Sometimes I think that team-building exercises are simply a waste of time.


Rather than having team building exercises and games, we would have team building activities. a couple times a year we would take the day off and go out for a day trip with a casual lunch. I used to work for a winter sports equipment company, and we used to go for day trips to the local ski resort for a ski and ride day. It was a day filled with cheap beer and Pizza, and included a free pass and rental at the resort.

During the summer months, we would go to the lake for a day of barbecuing, water sports, and beach volleyball. These days were always fun, and it really helped build personal relationships amongst the team, thus building trust and making it easier for team members to communicate.

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