It’s science: using creativity and fun for professional development can improve results. That means that it’s a great idea to use team-building games instead of boring training days and onboarding docs.

Games and icebreakers can get introverts and extroverts on the same page, encourage innovative problem-solving, and break up work cliques.

We at Brief are in the business of collaboration, and having a strong team is key to effective cooperation. So, we have identified our favorite games that will help you build a strong team.

The Barter Puzzle

Time Needed: 1 – 2 hours

Group Structure: 4+ small groups of equal numbers

Supplies Needed: Enough jigsaw puzzles for each group to have one, in different designs but the same difficulty level

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

How to Play: Give each group a puzzle with 1-2 pieces from other groups’ puzzles mixed in. Teams must figure out how to get the pieces from the others and make unanimous decisions on how to do so while assembling the puzzle Place a time limit to increase the challenge.

Benefits: This game encourages leadership but also an important of leadership: deferring to others’ input and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Blind Drawing

Time Needed: 10 – 15 minutes

Group Structure: 2+ 

Supplies Needed: A picture, pen, and paper

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

How to Play: Partners sit back to back, one with a picture, one with pen and paper. The one with the picture describes what’s on the page without explicitly identifying the subject, while the other draws what thee think is in the picture based on this description.

Benefits: This game improves communication skills and doubles as an icebreaker.

The Egg Drop

Time Needed: 1 – 2 hours

Group Structure: 2+ small groups

Supplies Needed: Assorted office, kitchen, or miscellaneous supplies, uncooked eggs

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

How to Play: Have the groups gather a set amount of office supplies from a central pile (have them all go out at the same time if you’d like), then instruct them to use the supplies they’ve chosen to create a contraption that will protect the egg when dropped. Give them a time limit, then test out the contraptions.

Benefits: This game touches on a bit of everything: leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills. Warning: may get messy. 

Game of Possibilities

Time : 5-6 minutes

Group Structure: One group or several small groups

Supplies Needed: Any random objects

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

How to Play: Each person in the group will have a random object, then stands up to mimic a possible use for the object — ideally, the stranger the better. The other people in the group have to guess what the demonstrator is doing.

Benefits: This game encourages creative thinking and helps break the ice.

Human Knot

Time Needed: 15-30 minutes

Group Structure: 8 – 20 people

Supplies Needed: None

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

How to Play: All team members gather in a circle, facing the center of the circle, shoulder-to-shoulder. Then, everyone grabs the right hand of someone across the circle with their right hand. Next, everyone does so with their left hand. Then, they have 5 minutes to untangle themselves without releasing any hands.

Benefits: This game improves both problem-solving and communication skills.

The Perfect Square

Time Needed: 15-30 minutes

Group Structure: 5 – 20 people 

Supplies Needed: Rope and blindfolds

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

How to Play: Team members gather in a circle, each with their hand on the part of the rope. Next, they all drop the rope, put on their blindfold, and turn away from the circle to walk a few paces. Then, they turn back and try to form a square around the rope. To make it more difficult, establish a time limit, and have some people (especially those big talkers) to be unable to speak.

Benefits: This game promotes communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

The Minefield

Time Needed: 15-30 minutes

Group Structure: small, equal numbered groups

Supplies Needed: Random objects, blindfolds

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

How to Play: Distribute the objects across an open space such as a field or parking lot. 

Benefits: This game builds trust and improves communication skills.

Purpose Mingle

Time Needed: 1 – 2 minutes

Group Structure: One large group

Supplies Needed: None

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

How to Play: As people are waiting for a meeting to start, have them mingle, and share with team members what they hope to accomplish at the meeting. Reward people with prizes for doing so, or for actually accomplishing what they’d like to.

Benefits: This activity encourages communication, forward-thinking, and leadership.

Scavenger Hunt

Time Needed: 45-60 minutes

Group Structure: 2+ small groups

Supplies Needed: Pen and paper

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor

How to Play: Give each group their assignments, which can and should include strange or potentially embarrassing tasks, such as taking selfies in strange places or dancing in public. The group that finishes their tasks first wins. Be sure to break out people in groups that don’t match working groups or cliques.

Benefits: This game encourages people to break out of their shell and think strategically. 

This is Better Than That

Time Needed: 15 – 20 minutes

Group Structure: Equal-numbered groups

Supplies Needed: Four or more objects

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

How to Play: Give each team one or more objects, then have them figure out how to deal with a ridiculous scenario (e.g., an alien attack) using that object.

Benefits: This game promotes teamwork and creative problem-solving.

You can use these games as icebreakers, to break up the monotony of staff meetings, or as part of training. Teaching these skills in fun environments is a great way to get them to sink in while helping your team bond and feel like a collaborative whole.

Did we miss something? Comment below with any questions!

5 (100%) 7 votes