Posts Tagged ‘activity’

Team Building Games

Want to add some energy to your next meeting or company function? Sometimes, a good icebreaker activity or fun team building game can be just the trick. Below are a few of our favorite games and activities, and you can use them as an opening to your meeting a way to jazz up the group in between speakers.

    Simple Games to Divide Your Group into Smaller Teams

  • playing cardsTeam Building Poker: Just distribute playing cards out individuals and then ask them to make the best seven card stud hand. Don’t worry if many of your group members have no experience with poker or card games, because eventually, a team will need the card that each person is holding, and they will be recruited into a group. To setup the card so that you get an equal number of people on each team, divide the number of people in the entire group by seven and round up. For instance, if you have 30 people, 30 divided by seven is 4.28, so you’ll round that number up to five. Add royal flush sets for this many groups (in this case five groups). So, you’ll create a suited 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace for each team. Then add a nine of the same suits until you get to the total number of people in the whole group. In this case, you’ll add five nines to the stack of cards, because the original Royal Flush cards (five groups of five cards) will total 25 cards, and you have 30 people, you’ll need five additional cards so that every person receives a card. If you have additional people, add eights as well.
  • Groups InteractingA Numbers Game: This is a simple but effective game to divide up a big group (the bigger the group, the more fun and challenging this activity is). Setup is simple. Just divide the number of people in your group by the number of teams that you want to create and then create a group of numbers for each team and a table for each group to organize around. For instance, if you have 100 people, and you want 20 teams, you’ll have 20 tables, and you’ll create five separate number 1’s, five separate number 2’s, etc. until you have all twenty sets of numbers. Then just distribute a number to each person and ask them to group themselves by their numbers. The trick is to make sure that you don’t put the tables in numerical order. The more random the order and the more groups that you have, the more challenging the activity becomes. By the way, you don’t necessarily have to use numbers. You can use colors or any type of category to divide up the group.
  • BarnyardBarnyard Blitz: I have to admit that I was really resistant to this one until I actually saw it work, but it can be really funny. Similar to the the numbers game, each person will receive a card, but each card will have a specific barnyard animal on it like pig, rooster, goat, etc. Give the instructions for the group to divide themselves into teams based on the item on their card, but they have to do so without talking to each other and without showing anyone their card. Of course, the individuals will begin to make sounds and actions to describe their animal, and there will be lots of laughter throughout the room. Within just a few minutes, your group will lose all inhibition and begin to do crazy things to attract the attention of their team members. In fact, the less responsive the other team members are, the more aggressive and outgoing to individuals will become. This one is very funny!
  • Ice Breaker Games to Get the Group Moving

  • stacked boxesColumn Like You See ‘Em: Tie a series of ropes to a circular, elastic form like an inner-tube or you can also use the elastic workout bands that you have formed into a circle. Space the ropes equidistant apart with the number of ropes equal to the number of people on a team. So, if you have five people on a team, attach five ropes. Ask the teams to stock boxes using only the elastic bands. Teams will need to stretch the band using their ropes to make it big enough to fit over each box, and then slacken up on the ropes to grip the box. Then, the team must work together to stack each box without knocking over previously stacked boxes. You can number the boxes and ask the teams to stack the boxes in numerical order or stack the boxes by size. If you add some weight to each box, you can make moving them more difficult. To make the challenge more difficult, move all of the boxes into one general area and have each team stack their own boxes at the same time others teams are also stacking. Other groups will often try to sabotage each other if the other groups begin to get ahead. Offers good debrief material to what happens in the real world.
  • Cheer ContestCheer Contest: A cheer contest is a great way to get the energy up in a room, because the contest uses positive peer pressure to get individuals to really cut loose and have some fun. After the group is divided into smaller groups, have each of them elect a team captain, come up with a team name, design a team flag, and also create a team cheer. Give them a 15 minute time limit and bunch of arts and craft to create their flag and let them go. At the end of the time limit, each group will take turns delivering their cheer. Choose a few finalists and have a “cheer-off”. Let the finalists each do their cheer one more time for the entire group and let the audience decide by applause who the winner is. When most people organizing a meeting come across an activity like this one, their automatic reaction is to think, “Oh, our group is so introverted or conservative that they’d never go for something like this.” That is a big mistake, because the group will actually use positive peer pressure to ramp up each consecutive cheer, because each group wants to outdo the previous groups. The energy builds and builds throughout the activity.
  • Oct2008 046Have You Ever?: Start by putting place markers of some kind on the ground arranged in a circle or square. Have on fewer place markers than you have people, so if you have 30 people, use 29 place markers. Have everyone start at a different place holder with the extra person in the center of the group asking the first question starting with, “Have you ever…?” The question can be anything that a lot of people in the group will have in common such as, “Have you ever been to the beach?” or “Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?” When the people stationed at the place markers answer “yes” to the question, they must rush around the outside of the shape until they complete one full rotation, and then they can stand next to any place marker that doesn’t already have someone standing next to it. After every rotation, one person will be without a place holder, and that person will come to the center and ask the next question. This is a great exercise to let participants get to know each other a little better, because with every new rotation, they learn a little more about the experiences of their coworkers and what they have in common with each other.

We’ll add new games to this list every few months, so make sure and check back over and over for an updated list. Regardless of which game you choose, make sure and have some fun at your next meeting!

Hot Chalk Build-A-Bike Team Building Event in Las Vegas, Nevada

Employees of the education technology company Hot Chalk gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada to get to know each other better and give back to the community by participating in a Build-A-Bike team building event.  Hot Chalk is an education-focused technology company that helps non-profit private universities get their degree programs online.  With offices in Campbell, California and Phoenix, Arizona, some of the participants in the team building event were meeting face to face for the very first time.  The 55 Hot Chalk employees from different departments and offices had a few short hours to get to know each other before the event began.

When the event started the employees were split into teams and given challenges to solve in order to get everything they needed to build a bicycle.  The challenges are designed to teach employees to work together efficiently and improve their teamwork and leadership skills.  During the course of the team building event the Hot Chalk employees saw firsthand evidence of how better communication and working together as a team, rather than individual departments, helped them to achieve their goals.  Hot Chalk has a great group of employees who had lots of fun working through the team building event, and got to know each other a little bit better in the process.

Of course the Build-A-Bike ® team building event wasn’t just about having fun.  Hot Chalk built and donated 8 bikes to the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas.  At the closing of the event the teams got to award the bikes to 8 lucky boys and girls.  Aside from teamwork and leadership skills, the team building activities also teach the value of giving back to the community.  The smiles on the faces of the boys and girls with their new bikes was a direct example of one of Hot Chalk’s core values of being focused on results.  

Hot Chalk president Edward Fields said, “I have done a lot of team building events over the years and this is the best team building event I have ever done.”

Thank you to all the Hot Chalk employees for making the Build-A-Bike ® team building event a great success!

Add Fun Team Building Events to Any Meeting

Fun Team BuildingBelow are a couple of quick things that you can do to add fun team building events to any meeting. Add Fun Team Building Events to Any Meeting.

Ask your team how they would describe most meetings around the office, and most likely (even if you are a really good leaders) you will still hear words like…
LONG and

It’s not your fault. We live in such a busy world that we often have to try to fit a bunch of information into a short period of time (or even worse, a long period of time). As a result, we begin to fall into what folks in the industry call “data dumping”. Below are a couple of quick things that you can do to add fun team building events to any meeting.

Add Fun Team Building Events to Any Meeting

  • Cut Down on the Content: A little content covered really well is much, much better than a lot of content that everyone forgets by the end of the day. I know time is short, but if you cover a little content in an energetic and fun way, you will create building-blocks with your team so that in future meetings, you can build on the past successes. If you cover a bunch of stuff, and your team only retains a small percentage of it, you will be frustrated as the retention drops over time.
  • Give the Team Free Time: If your team is booked for a convention or annual meeting, and they start at 7:30 AM and end at 9:00 PM, they will absolutely hate it (no matter how beneficial the content and the meetings are). If you have a jam-packed schedule, it doesn’t matter how many “fun activities” that you add to the agenda, they will hate the meeting. Instead of having every meal with the entire group, give them a per diem and let them get outside of the hotel. If you are at a resort, make sure and give them some time to enjoy the pool or the beach.
  • Speed Up Your Speeches: I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but the old tip to “slow down when you are in front of a group” is something you should always disregard. When you speak faster, you are pushing energy into the room. Think about the way that presenters on infomercials speak. Are they slow and methodical covering tons of data, or do they speak quickly and with energy and enthusiasm? The do the latter, because the faster speech and energy captures attention and holds the attention of the audience for longer periods of time.
  • Insert Professional Team Facilitators: The bigger your group, the more difficult it is to deliver a high-energy, fun team building event. So, it is a good idea to bring in a professional facilitor if the outcome is important. Limit the team activity to a couple of hours at most, and the group will be able to stay enthused throughout the entire time period. You’ll also want to schedule the fun event late afternoon and at the very end of your meeting if possible. If you schedule the team activity too early in the day, then anything that you do later in the day will seem pretty boring in comparison. If you schedule it too late, then the group will be tired and the energy of the event will suffer. Schedule the team activity as the last thing that you do, and your team will leave the event having the fun, high energy activity in the front of their minds. That warm feeling will transfer over to the entire meeting.

Do these things, and you will add fun and energy to any meeting!

Johnsonville Sausage Ace Race Team Building Workshop in Sheboygan Falls, WI

Johnsonville Sausage recently included an Ace Race golf team building workshop in an off-site team meeting in Sheboygan Falls, WI, not far from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Johnsonville Sausage has been around as a company since 1978 and is known for their quality meat products. They have around 1,300 employees, and now export their products to 30 countries around the world.

The workshop involved about 40 members of their MIS team. The goal was to give them a fun experience that got them up and moving from their normally more desk oriented jobs! The Ace Race Golf Team Event began with a couple of quick warm-up activities that get at some of the fundamentals of good team communication. The group shared some laughs and the competitive spirit was high! Moving into the golf event itself, each team created a mini putting green for themselves using non-perishable goods. Each green had a unique design and some included very tricky obstacles! All of the teams then had a race to see which team could get around the entire course first, making a hole-in-one on each green.

This group started out a little low-key, but very competitive! There was a lot of laughter and cheering as they created and then played their course. At the end of the event, they invited The Salvation Army to accept their donation of half a ton of food. While a representative was unable to attend the event due to a last-minute conflict, the organization was very grateful for the generous donation and will use it in the eight food pantries it helps supply around the greater Sheboygan area.

Team building workshops that are composed of activities that have a point, coupled with a lot of fun and the opportunity to give back to the community are a great way to get people having fun together. Consider including an Ace Race Team Activity in your next conference and give your team a memorable experience!

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