If you read or study any advice or information about team building activities you are likely to discover that they point to desirable outcomes, such as better communication within your team, a greater level of trust between them, and the goal of everyone within the team feeling valued.
Any team building activity which can achieve these is valuable, but in order to get there, the activity has to be based upon certain principles and contain certain essential elements. One which is often overlooked by team leaders organising their own team building activities, is fun.
Regardless of its settings, its purpose, and the team it is meant to build, unless a team building activity is enjoyable for those taking part, the outcome will be diminished compared to one which is fun for all. Think of this…as children, we learned more when we were enjoying an activity, and that stays with us into adulthood, therefore teaching a team to trust and work for each other is more achievable when fun is involved.
So, if we want our team building activities to be fun, let us look at some which are proven to get results for team leaders and their teams.
The Marshmallow Tree
Split your group into teams and supply them with a roll of sticky tape, 3 feet of string, 20 sticks of spaghetti, plus one marshmallow. Put 20 minutes on the clock and tell them each team has until the clock reaches zero to create the tallest possible tree, which must have the marshmallow on top when it is complete.
This is fast becoming a hugely popular pastime, and in fact is now a competitive sport. Take your team to an axe throwing centre where they can compete, and obviously have fun as they throw axes at targets with a view to securing the highest score.
You could make it a team competition to add an extra level of competitiveness to the day. This is also a great way for the team to mix socially as many axe throwing centres offer food and drink.
For a team who are happy to leave their normal surroundings behind, and do not mind getting wet, white water rafting is an activity which everyone should enjoy. The shared experience as everyone tries their best to stay afloat is a great bonding exercise, and of course, it is fun too.
Truth or Lies
This is a great game where you prepare a large list of themes and subjects that everyone should be able to relate to and also tell a story about. The game is played with everyone sitting in a circle and each person telling either a true story or one they make up based on the theme they are given. The rest of the team have to decide whether they are telling the truth or not by asking the storyteller one question each.
One of the benefits of this activity is that it helps to bring down some barriers as the team learns more about each other, and often some remarkable and noteworthy facts about each other too.
The clue is in the name whereby your team is locked in a room and have to work together in order to solve clues, puzzles and challenges which will enable them to escape from the room. Lots of fun, and critically, your team has no option but to work together and communicate in order to escape.