Team Building Exercise for Small Groups

Your small but mighty team will be closer, and more productive in no time after integrating a few of these fun team building activities into your meetings, conferences, retreats, or morning briefings! This list of activities is ideal for teams of 12 people or less and are perfect for office employees, volunteers, student staff members, and more!

Small group icebreakers encourage participants to build camaraderie, improve communication, establish or improve trust, and develop decision making strategies. The successful completion of most team-building tasks requires cooperation, listening to others, sharing of ideas or the willingness to try new approaches.

There are nine types of team building games in this list: communication, leadership, interpretation, problem-solving, teamwork, bonding, planning, collaboration, and creativity. Many of the activities have elements of more than one type, and are labeled so you can find the activity best suited to your group’s needs.

The Human Knot

Duration: 15 – 20 mins

Tools needed: None

Number of Participants: 5 – 12 people

Purpose: Communication

Rules & Description: All participants stand in a circle facing each other, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct everyone to put their right hand out in front of them and grab a random hand of someone across the circle. Then, tell them to reach their left hand out and grab another random hand from a different person across the circle. Then, within a predetermined time limit, the group is challenged to untangle the knot of arms without releasing their hands. This activity is best for small groups, but if the group is too large, have the group separate and form smaller individual circles.

Perfect Square

Duration: 15 – 30 mins

Tools needed: A long piece of rope tied together and a blindfold for each participant

Number of Participants: 5 – 12 people

Purpose: Communication and Leadership

Rules & Description: Have the participants stand in a circle holding a piece of the rope. Then instruct everyone to put on their blindfold and set the rope on the floor. Next, have everyone take a few steps away from the circle. When they have stopped moving, ask them to come back and attempt to form a perfect square with the rope—without removing their blindfolds.

We recommend setting a time limit to add a dash of healthy competition! To make it even more difficult, instruct some team members to stay silent. These different versions can be done one after the other to increase difficulty, or just choose one. Any way you choose helps to build communication and leadership skills!

Back to Back Drawing

Duration: 10 – 15 mins

Tools needed: A pre-done simple drawing, paper and pencil for each pair of participants

Number of Participants: 2+ people

Purpose: Interpretation and Communication

Rules & Description: Begin by pairing each participant with someone whom they have never worked with or talked to previously. Allow the pair to choose among themselves on who will be the illustrator and director. The game organizer will then hand over a simple drawing to the directors and hide them from the illustrators. illustrators will be given a blank sheet of paper and pencil.

The directors then tell the illustrators how to replicate the drawing, but using only verbal cues. The tricky part? The illustrators can only ask questions with yes or no answers! Once the drawings are finished, gather everyone in a circle and allow each of them to compare the drawings as well as discuss and debrief how they handled the task, and the process of giving and receiving instructions.

Egg Drop

Duration: 1 – 2 hours

Tools needed: Uncooked eggs, assorted office supplies (i.e. – tape, pencils, straws, plastic utensils, packing material, newspapers, rubber bands)

Number of Participants: 3 – 5 people

Purpose: Problem-solving and Teamwork

Rules & Description: It is time to relive those schoolyard days where everyone competed in the science class egg drop. This game involves building a package that transports an uncooked egg safely to the ground after dropping from a predetermined height.  

To start, split everyone off into groups of three to five people, and give each group an uncooked egg. Put all the office supplies in a pile for the teams to “shop” for materials. They have 15 to 30 minutes, or any predetermined time limit, to use the supplies to build a contraption around the egg that will keep the egg from breaking when dropped. After designing the package, each team should share with the rest of the group what is unique about their package, and why it could possibly save the egg from breaking when it hits the ground. Once everyone has shared their ideas, it is time to put them to the test! Drop the eggs, and see who’s survives the fall!

Tarp Flip

Duration: 20 – 30 mins

Tools needed: A tarp or blanket

Number of Participants: 3 – 8 people

Purpose: Teamwork and Communication

Rules & Description: Personal space is not an option in this fun small group team bonding activity! To begin, take your tarp (or blanket) and fold it so that it provides enough space for everyone to stand on it with both feet. Remember: the smaller the tarp, the more difficult the activity. Ask the participants to stand on the tarp, then challenge them to flip half the tarp over without stepping off and onto the surrounding ground. At the end of the activity, each participant should be on top of the underside of the tarp, which will be approximately half the size it was at the start.

Before starting the game, make sure everyone is comfortable enough to be in close proximity to each other.This is a great activity to promote communication and collaboration in problem solving within your team!

Scavenger Hunt

Duration: 1+ hours

Tools needed: Scavenger hunt list items printed and/or sent to participant’s smartphones

Number of Participants: 2+ people

Purpose: Teamwork and Bonding

Rules & Description: The tried and true, classic scavenger hunt activity is always a hit—and for good reason! Prior to the start of the scavenger hunt, make a list of goofy tasks for each team to complete as a group. Some ideas for tasks can include: taking a selfie with a stranger, taking a picture of a building or object around the office, finding a pen with a hotel logo on it, etc. To begin, break your group into teams of two people or more and give the list to each team. Also, set a with a deadline by which they must complete all the tasks. Whoever completes the most tasks the quickest, wins! A great way to spice this activity up is to create your own point system according to task difficulty level.

If you want CityHUNT to do all the work for you and create a totally epic team building scavenger hunt, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!

Get Over the Electric Fence

Duration: 15 – 30 mins

Tools needed: Rope

Number of Participants: 5 – 12 people

Purpose: Planning and Collaboration

Rules & Description: Don’t touch the fence! In this activity, teams will be challenged to get everyone over the electric fence without touching it in the process. You will need at least two people for this activity; a slightly larger group is better. This game can also be played in the water if you have access to a rec pool. To set up, tie a rope between two objects at about waist height. Tying the rope between two trees will works well. Consider planting something nearby that could be used as a step, but do not make it obvious. Also, if outdoors, be sure to check for items such as broken glass or poison ivy.

To begin, ask participants to stand on one side of the rope “fence.” Challenge them to get every team member over the waist high fence, without touching it! Another way to add to the fun is if someone touches the rope, the entire team has to go back and restart. If you have enough people, this activity can be turned into a healthy competition!

This game requires planning and collaboration which can be translated back to the workplace. Teams come up with all sorts of crazy ways to get over the rope!

Pass the Can

Duration: 20 – 30 mins

Tools needed: A large can and a ball, ball, or other object to place inside of the can

Number of Participants: 5 – 12 people

Purpose: Creativity and Teamwork

Rules & Description:  There are so many variations of this game, so it can be as easy or as difficult as you want, and it can be played for as long or as short as you please!

To begin, tell a story about the object inside the can to establish its great importance and immense value. Then, assign constraints to each individual person, or on the entire group. These limitations can include not being able to use hands, arms, legs, sight, or speech.

Once the limitations have been assigned, direct the group to stand in a circle and pass the can around clockwise or counterclockwise until it passes completely around the circle. If the can or the item in the can drops to the ground, the entire group must start the activity over. If the group completes the task quickly, assign greater limitations, or switch up the limitations between the participants.

After the activity has ended, ask the participants to discuss how they worked around the constraints and limitations placed on them, and how these compare to the obstacles they face in their lives and in the workplace to wrap everything up.

These team building games for small groups will not only help participants see how they can apply their newly learned or honed skills and techniques to their work, but also how to use them in everyday life situations. Understanding your co-workers, how they think, why they think the way they do, and what makes them tick can make communication and collaboration much easier. Quick team building activities bring groups together in a casual setting without a lot of pressure to ensure that everyone has a great time learning a bit about themselves and their team!

Have us do the work for you!

CityHUNT offers a wide array of team building activities and we pride ourselves on our flexibility to all group sizes and locations. We are here to fit your needs – we listen to our clients before we begin the process of creating an event.

These team building games can be incorporated into an epic event for your organization that you will never forget! If you are even a little curious about what we offer, or are ready to commit to changing your team for the better, call us at (1-877)-HUNT-FUN or fill out our risk-free contact form to simply start the conversation today! When you fill out a form, you are taking the first step in making your employees, students, or volunteers even more awesome.

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