Game – Arrange Your Team

About | This game requires participants in the team to arrange themselves according to the criteria given. The catch however, is that nobody is allowed to speak!

Goal | Get to know team members better while promoting communication and cooperation

Emphasis | Ice Breaker, Cooperation, communication

Items | None

Size | At least 2 teams of 5 participants each

Setting | Open Space or a Meeting Room with sufficient space to move around

Time | 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 5 members each. You will need to have at least 2 teams in order to introduce the element of competitive fun.
  2. Get the teams to line up facing you as you give the instructions.
  3. Tell the teams that the objective of this game is for them to arrange their team according to the criteria you provide, as fast as they can.
  4. However, the most important rule of the game is, nobody is allow to speak! Teams will have to find alternative ways of communication.
  5. For example, give them a warm-up trial run by asking for a team arrangement according to HEIGHT – Shortest to tallest.
  6. When you say start, team members to scramble, reorganize themselves and get back into their line matching your criteria, all without uttering a word.
  7. Note the sequence of the teams completing the arrangement. Check if the arrangement of each team is correct. You can increase excitement by involving other teams to be collective co-judges as you verify the arrangements.
  8. The team that completes the arrangement correctly and fastest wins a point.
  9. Now that they get the idea, move on to other criteria. Make it harder and more challenging as you go along.
  10. Some criteria you can use are listed below. Think of others that might be suitable and fun for your group.
  • SHOE SIZE – Smallest to largest
  • HAIR LENGTH – Shortest to longest
  • BIRTH DATE (Day and Month only) – Earliest to latest in the year
  • FIRST NAME – Alphabetical order
  • YEARS OF SERVICE – Most to the least months/years

Debrief |

  1. How was the experience of arranging your team without speaking to one another?
  2. How did you communicate with each other in your team?
  3. Were there miscommunication resulting in wrong team arrangements?
  4. How could you have avoided the miscommunication or improve your timing?
  5. Can you identify real life experiences where you go through the same constraint and how can you do better in the future?

If there are any parts of this game you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

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Game – Finding Team Balance

About | This simple game involves physical movements as a team from a starting to the finishing line. However, team members will have to help and support each other to progress down the path.

Goal | Promote cooperation and interdependence between members in the team

Emphasis | Cooperation, Interdependence

Items | None

Size | Any from 4

Setting | Open Space

Time | 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of at least 4 members each.
  2. Prepare a starting line (it could be a tape or rope over the floor or an imaginary one) and a finishing line at some distance apart.
  3. Ask each members in the team to find something to balance on his/her head. It can be their wallet, a book, small rock, etc.
  4. The goal is to walk as a team and cross the finishing line TOGETHER as a team.
  5. Tell them it is not so easy as the following rules apply:
  • During the walk, no one may hold the item on their head in place.
  • The owner cannot touch his item. If it falls, someone else must pick it up and place it back on the owner’s head.
  • Items must be on everyone’s head when the team crosses the finishing line.
  • Everyone in the team must step over the finishing line at the same time.

Debrief |

  1. How was the experience of crossing the finishing line together?
  2. Can you relate this to the workplace or your team experience – people moves at different pace and with different skills and weaknesses?
  3. Are you used to helping others to complete their tasks?
  4. What else could you have done to help others to achieve the common team goal?
  5. Give examples of situations where you can help others to achieve a team goal.

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

Game – Go Team Walking

About | This game requires everyone in the team to move from one point to another as a team. The catch is each member is handicapped and they will have to work together to reach the set destination.

Goal | Demonstrate that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the way to success is by complimenting and supporting each other

Emphasis | Cooperation, Communication, Trust

Items | Blindfolds and ropes in 2 feet lengths (Get a large piece of dark coloured cloth and cut it into smaller pieces to make the blindfolds and ropes equivalent)

Size | 6 onwards

Setting | Go Outdoors

Time | About an hour

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of 5 to 12 people. If the group is small, make it just a team.
  2. Have each team line up in a single file at the starting point.
  3. Tell them that their mission is to walk to the set destination together as a team.
  4. However, they have to get into the following team setup: Bind one hand (at the wrist) of the 1st to the 2nd member’s. Then bind one leg (at the ankle) of the 2nd member with the 3rd’s. Next bind the 3rd member’s hand with the 4th’s and the 4th’s leg with the 5th and so on. Once they are done, blindfold the 1st and every other members in the team!
  5. Now that they are ready, let them start walking as a team to the set destination.
  6. You can create some obstacles along the path which you want the team to traverse or use the outdoor terrains and trees to add fun challenges to the walk.
  7. The first team that reaches the destination together first AND safely (no casualties or complaints) wins.
Debrief |
  1. How is the team setup similar to actual team characteristics and members’ strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Was the team walk easy or difficult? How was your individual experience?
  3. How did you manage to walk as a team to the set destination with the different handicap imposed on your team members? (Answer: cooperation, communication, tolerance)
  4. What are the important elements of communication in this activity, especially for those who were blindfolded? (Answer: clear instruction & need trust)
  5. What can you learn from this team walk which can be applied to actual team seating?

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

Game – Human Knot Puzzle

About | This activity requires coordinated physical movements between team members in order to solve a human chain entanglement.

Goal | Encourage team members to communicate and lead-follow to solve a problem together.

Emphasis | Energizer, Communication, Leadership

Items | None!

Size | At least 8, the more the merrier

Setting | Open Space

Time | 15 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Have the team stand around closely in a small tight circle.
  2. Ask everyone to lift up their right hand, then grab and hold-on to the right hand of any person across the circle.
  3. Next, lift up their left hand, grab and hold-on to the left hand of another person across the circle.
  4. Tell them not to choose the hands of the person next to them and not to grab both hands of a same person.
  5. Now that every hand is engaged, ask the team to untangle to form a circle, WITHOUT letting go of each others hands at any time.
  6. If the group is big, divide them into two or more teams with equal participants and have them compete to untangle at the fastest time.

Debrief |

  1. Did all the people who made suggestions get listened to?
  2. Was there a leader and did others listen and follow?
  3. How did you hinder one another?
  4. How did you help one another?
  5. What can you learn from this exercise?

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.

Game – Pass It On

About | This game involves passing water on paper plates over each others heads. Fast pace and exciting, but expect to get very wet!

Goal | Show team members that communication is a two way traffic and why trust is important to a team

Emphasis | Communication, Trust

Items |1 – One Pail and Bottle (about 1.5 liter volume). 2 – Disposable paper/plastic plates for each participants

Size | 6 onwards

Setting | Go Outdoors

Time | At least 30 minutes

Instructions |

  1. Divide the group into teams of 6 to 12 people. The more there are in a team, the more challenging it will be.
  2. Have each team line up in a single file from front to back all facing you.
  3. Once they are all in line, get everyone to squat or if they prefer, sit.
  4. Place the pails (fill up with water to about ¾ full) in front of the first person of each team.
  5. Place the empty bottle in front of the last person of each team.
  6. Everyone in the team is given a disposable plate.
  7. Participants are to transport the water down the line from the pail in front to the empty bottle behind by using the disposable plate.
  8. The water on the disposable plates must be passed over the participants’ heads.
  9. Participants must maintain their heads looking straight front without turning sideways during the water transfer.
  10. Let the participants know that they have 10 minutes to fill up the bottle to a level.
  11. Play until the bottle at the end of the line is filled to a predetermined level or stop once the time set is up.
  12. The first team that achieve the predetermined water level or has the highest water level wins.

Debrief |

  1. Was it easy to transfer the water to the person behind you without getting wet?
  2. What did you do to ensure that more water get into the plate instead of the head?
  3. What are the important elements of communication in this activity? (Answer: two-way & need trust)
  4. What did you learn about communication between team members?
  5. What did you learn on trust between team members in achieving the objective?

If there are any part of this instructions you want to clarify, leave me a comment.