What do you think when you hear the words “team building”? Do you think of cheesy trust falls and group activities that feel more like a punishment than anything else?
If so, it’s time to rethink team engagement. The truth is, effective team building can be fun, interesting, and rewarding for everyone involved. And the best part? It can be tailored to fit any age group.
In this article, we’ll take a look at three team building games that are perfect for adults. But before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at why team building is so important.
Why do we need team building games?
Many employees would agree that taking part in cringeworthy ice-breakers would be worse than doing nothing at all.
And that’s the problem with many team building exercises. They’re often seen as a necessary evil, something that we have to do in order to build better teams, but they’re not always enjoyable.
This is where team building games for adults can be so valuable. They provide a fun and engaging way for team members to get to know each other better, learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, and develop trust.
Ultimately, team building games help teams in the following ways:
They help team members learn more about each other.
Games put teams in a unique position where they’re forced to interact and communicate with one another in order to succeed. This can help team members learn more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which can be valuable when it comes to working together on projects.
They help teams develop trust.
Trust is essential for any team to function effectively, and in games where teams are competing against each other, trust is often put to the test. Winning teams are those that have learned to trust one another implicitly.
They help team members learn how to work together.
Team building games can be a great way for teams to learn how to work together effectively. By playing games that require team members to work together, they’ll learn how to communicate better, share information, and make decisions as a team.
Now that we know why team building is important, let’s take a look at some of the best team building games for adults.
Game 1: The Floor is Lava (with a twist!)
First on the list is an ice-breaker game — but don’t worry, there’s no need to stand up and give a fun fact about yourself. This game is all about friendly competition and teamwork.
To play, you’ll need a designated area (a large room or outdoor space is ideal) and some rope or visible tape. Here’s how it works:
- First, split your group into two even teams. One team will play at a time.
- Next, use the tape or rope to make a square around Team 1. This will be their ‘platform’.
- Team 2 will be in charge of gradually shrinking the size of the square by moving the tape or rope closer to the middle of the square.
- The goal is for Team 1 to stay on the platform for as long as possible. If a player from Team 1 steps off the platform, their team’s turn is over.
- The team that lasts the longest wins!
This game is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to see how well teams work together. You’ll be laughing and teasing one another in no time!
Game 2: Back-to-Back Artists
Next on the list is one for the artists (but artistically challenged folk can join in too!) This game is all about creativity, communication, and cooperation.
To play, you’ll need some drawing materials (paper, pens, crayons, etc.), and a timer. Here’s how it works:
- Split your group into two even teams. One team will play at a time.
- Two players from the first team will sit back-to-back. One player will have paper and drawing materials, while the other player will have a picture.
- The player with the picture will describe the picture to their teammate, who will then try to recreate it on paper in one minute.
- Team two will then do the same. The team with the most accurate drawings wins!
Describing an image in great detail is a lot harder than it seems, so this game is sure to test your team’s communication skills. It’s also a lot of fun to see how different people interpret the same picture.
Game 3: The Great Egg Drop
Our last game of the day is the Great Egg Drop — and yes, it’s exactly as it sounds! This game is all about teamwork, creativity, and quick thinking.
To play, you’ll need some real eggs (one for each team) and some craft or packaging materials. Think bubble wrap, tissue paper, newspaper, toothpicks etc. You’ll also need access to a rooftop or tall ladder. Here’s how it works:
- Split your group into teams of however many you’d like. Teams will be working together for 20–30 minutes, so you can even group people strategically. For instance, if there are some people less familiar with one another, put them on the same team.
- Each team will have one egg. In 20–30 minutes, they must construct a carrier for the egg that will be able to withstand a long drop. They can only use the materials provided.
- Once the time is up, teams will take their egg carriers to the rooftop or ladder and drop them. The egg that survives the fall intact wins!
This game is a lot of fun, and it really tests your team’s problem-solving skills. Will they be able to build a sturdy egg carrier in time? And will their design be able to withstand the drop? Only time will tell!
More quick game ideas for eager teams
Now that we’ve covered our top three games for team building, we’ve got a few more ideas to get your team excited and working together.
This game is great for groups of any size and gets everyone working together quickly. Everyone stands in a circle and grabs the hand of someone else in the group. Without letting go of anyone’s hand, everyone must untangle themselves from the knot. It sounds much simpler than it is, but that’s all part of the fun!
This game is best played with a large group (10 or more). Here’s how it works: everyone is given some building materials (like newspaper, straws, or pipe cleaners) and instructed to build a tower as tall as possible in five minutes.
Once the time is up, everyone measures their tower and the tallest one wins. This game is great for testing teamwork and problem-solving skills.
The Human Chain
If you’ve got at least 10 people, this game is perfect. Have everyone stand in a line and hold hands. Without letting go of hands, the group must move as one unit to a new location. This game is all about communication and cooperation, and you can make it as challenging as you like by adding obstacles or making the new location more difficult to reach.
For this game, have everyone sit in a circle. Choose someone to be the ‘detective’ and have them close their eyes. The rest of the group then chooses someone to be ‘murderer’. When the detective opens their eyes, they must try to guess who the murderer is.
The murderer can kill people by blinking at them (hence the name). This game is a lot of fun and can get pretty competitive.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from coming up with your own games and challenges. The key is to get everyone working together, communicating, and having fun. You could even install a dart board or ping pong table and use that for team-building exercises. The possibilities are endless!
What if your team is fully remote?
This is a great question, and one that is becoming more and more common as the workforce becomes more remote. Luckily, there are plenty of team-building exercises that can be done virtually.
This is a great way to start off any team-building activity. Simply get everyone in a group chat and introduce yourself. This will help everyone get to know each other and start working together.
If your team is remote, putting together a fun PowerPoint presentation to introduce yourself and your team is a great way to get to know each other. It’s also far better than the standard ‘team building’ exercises like icebreakers.
Did you know that escape rooms are available to purchase and download online? They come in the form of pre-written puzzles and challenges that you and your team can complete together, no matter where you are in the world.
Quizzes (like on Kahoot!) are a great way to test everyone’s knowledge of one another. You can either come up with your own quiz or find one online. This is a fun way to get everyone engaged and working together.
See? Remote work doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. There are plenty of ways for remote teams to come together and build strong relationships.
Now that you’ve got plenty of ideas up your sleeve, it’s time to get your team together and start building some teamwork skills. Remember, the key is to have fun and be creative. The more fun you have, the better the team will work together!