Team building games

Today, our team decided to go to picnic together this Sunday. We also takes our girl friends and wives with us. I have an idea to organize some team work games for my team on this chance. So I go to google and do some searches. I found some interesting games for our picnic.

I’ve just posted them here to share with all of you. I think they’re very helpful for anyone wants to build a stronger /more efficient team.
I will update this post frequently whenever I found some new great games.
Enjoy!
Because of a stronger team.
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Index of games:

Teamwork Icebreaker Game

This icebreaker game requires everyone in the group to work as a team. It provides not only a quick energy boost, but also information about how well the team or teams can work together.

The main goal of the Teamwork Icebreaker Game is to get the group to complete a task within a specific amount of time, or if you have more than one team, to see which team can complete an assigned task the fastest.

Sample tasks to try:

  • Build a house of card using 10 cards.
  • Form a line according to height (tallest to shortest or shortest to tallest).
  • Think up and write down 20 words that start with the letter “T”.
  • Create and write down 5 questions that have the same answer.

After the icebreaker game ends, ask the teams to describe the strategy they used to work together and accomplish the task.

Candy Reach

A piñata, Easter egg hunt, and trick-or-treat; these are all great ways to get candy, but it’s every man for himself! People can become super competitive when there is candy involved, but in this game the more teamwork used the more candy you get!

Objective

To work together with your partner to problem solve and help each other to reach your goal.

Who

People who need practice working together with a partner to problem solve and who need practice offering help to others and accepting help from others. People must be able to be in a close space with other people.

Group Size

2 or more

Materials

  • An assorted bag of individually wrapped candy
  • A piece of cardboard, wood, carpet scrap etc. that is big enough for
    two people to stand on at the same time

Description

Set up the game prior to the activity by placing the board on the floor (make sure it won’t slide – maybe tape it down) and spreading the candy on the floor, all around the board. Put the pieces of candy far enough away that they would be hard to reach if you were standing on the board by yourself.

Ask the group to get into pairs. Challenge each pair to take a turn trying to get as much of the candy as they can by working with their partner and state the following rules.

1. Both you and your partner must be on the board at all times
2. No part of your body or clothing may touch the floor at any time
3. If you touch the floor you must go to the end of the line before trying again
4. You may not slide the cardboard
5. You must pick up the candy, not drag it
6. You may not use anything (i.e. belt, piece of clothing) to pick up the candy
7. What ever candy you pick up you and your partner may keep
8. Once you pick up one piece you may only try for ten more seconds before you go to the end of the line

Rule number eight is in place because once a team figures out a good way to get candy they may be able to get every single piece. You may wish to allow this and replenish the supply for each pair. It is a good idea to put some really good pieces of candy really far away to add to the challenge. Also for a shorter or taller pair you may need to adjust the distance of the board according to the group. To emphasize teamwork allow time for groups to come up with a plan and to practice before trying it out on the candy.
Hint: One person holds the other person who reaches out to get the candy.

Discussion Prompts

1. What did you and your partner have to do to be successful at this activity?
2. Could you have done this alone? Why or why not?
3. Are you ever in a situation where you must rely on others to be successful? Are you able to accept help from others? Why or why not?

4. When would it be good for you to accept help from others? Can you?
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Mega Mini Golf

Playing golf is an individual sport, but creating a golf course takes many different people working together to reach a common goal. In this activity each person can contribute unique ideas and listen to the ideas of others to make a great golf course.

Objective

For group members to be able to work with others in a group situation, by participating in group decision making.

Who

People who need to work on being a member of a team and getting along with teammates.

Group Size

4 to 16 participants

Materials

  • Large plastic cups
  • Hockey sticks or golf clubs
  • Whiffle balls or tennis balls
  • Any equipment that can be used to create mini golf obstacles (i.e. cones, basketballs, jump ropes, chairs, blocks, beanbags, tables, milk cartons, boxes, tumbling mats, etc.)

Description

Use a large field or open room. Place all the equipment (except for the hockey sticks or golf clubs and balls) in a pile in the middle. Break the group into smaller groups of two to four members.

Each group may use a few items from the pile to create an original mini golf hole. Each group gets one of the large plastic cups to use for the hole itself. Use the cup by tipping it onto its side so that the open end is the target at the end of the mini golf hole.

Using the selected items, the group creates an obstacle in front of the cup, with a designated starting point for the ball. Once each group has completed their mini golf hole, tour the golf course as a group, allowing each group to give an explanation of their hole to the rest of the group.

Once the tour is completed, give each person a hockey stick and ball. Have the group play a round of mini golf with each small group starting the game at a different hole.

Discussion Topics

Did everyone in your group contribute to the creation of the golf hole? If not, why not? If so, what contribution did you make?

2. Would it have been easier or more difficult to create a mini golf hole by yourself? Why?

3.Was there any confusion about the explanation of the course once play started?

Variations

  • Depending on the size of the group and the amount of time allowed, each group may be allowed to create more than one golf hole.
  • With younger children it is a good idea to supply each group with a small pile of items that they must use when creating their golf hole. Also, use hula hoops for the hole

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Helium Stick

  • Deceptively simple but powerful exercise for learning how to work together and communicate in small to medium sized groups.
  • Line up in two rows which face each other.
  • Introduce the Helium Stick – a long, thin, light rod.
  • Ask participants to point their index fingers and hold their arms out.
  • Lay the Helium Stick down on their fingers. Get the group to adjust their finger heights until the Helium Stick is horizontal and everyone’s index fingers are touching the stick.
  • Explain that the challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground.
  • The catch: Each person’s fingers must be in contact with the Helium Stick at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed – it must rest on top of fingers.
  • Reiterate to the group that if anyone’s finger is caught not touching the Helium Stick, the task will be restarted. Let the task begin….
  • Warning: Particularly in the early stages, the Helium Stick has a habit of mysteriously ‘floating’ up rather than coming down, causing much laughter. A bit of clever humoring can help – e.g., act surprised and ask what are they doing raising the Helium Stick instead of lowering it! For added drama, jump up and pull it down!
  • Participants may be confused initially about the paradoxical behavior of the Helium Stick.
  • Some groups or individuals (most often larger size groups) after 5 to 10 minutes of trying may be inclined to give up, believing it not to be possible or that it is too hard.
  • The facilitator can offer direct suggestions or suggest the group stops the task, discusses their strategy, and then has another go.
  • Less often, a group may appear to be succeeding too fast. In response, be particularly vigilant about fingers not touching the pole. Also make sure participants lower the pole all the way onto the ground. You can add further difficulty by adding a large washer to each end of the stick and explain that the washers should not fall off during the exercise, otherwise it’s a restart.
  • Eventually the group needs to calm down, concentrate, and very slowly, patiently lower the Helium Stick – easier said than done.

How Does it Work?

  • The stick does not contain helium. The secret (keep it to yourself) is that the collective upwards pressure created by everyone’s fingers tends to be greater than the weight of the stick. As a result, the more a group tries, the more the stick tends to ‘float’ upwards.

Processing Ideas

  • What was the initial reaction of the group?
  • How well did the group cope with this challenge?
  • What skills did it take to be successful as a group?
  • What creative solutions were suggested and how were they received?
  • What would an outside observer have seen as the strengths and weaknesses of the group?
  • What did each group member learn about him/her self as an individual?
  • What other situations (e.g., at school, home or work) are like the Helium Stick?

Toxic Waste

  • Toxic Waste - in ActionThis is a popular, engaging small group initiative activity which always “works”, providing a rich teamwork challenge for about 30-45 minutes. Involves thinking, imagination, action, fantasy, risk and an attractive solution.
  • Can be done with adolescents or adults.
  • The challenge is to move the toxic waste contents to the neutralization container using minimal equipment and maintaining a safe distance within a time limit.
  • Moderately difficult – avoid using with groups who are still in the early stages of group development. Works best towards the end of a program and/or after the group has come together and dealt with basic teamwork issues.
  • Can be done indoors or outdoors; outdoors is more dramatic because water can be used as the “toxic waste” instead of balls.

Set-Up

  • Toxic WasteUse the rope to create a circle at least 8 ft in diameter on the ground to represent the toxic waste radiation zone. The larger the radiation zone, the more difficult the activity.
  • Place the small bucket in the center of the radiation zone and fill it with water or balls to represent the toxic waste.
  • Place the neutralization bucket approximately 30 to 50 feet away. The greater the distance, the more difficult the activity.
  • Put all other equipment (i.e., bungee, cords, and red herring objects (optional)) in a pile near the rope circle.

Directions

  • The challenge is for the group to work out how to transfer the toxic waste from the small bucket into the large bucket where it will be “neutralized”, using only the equipment provided and within a time frame. The waste will blow up and destroy the world after 20 minutes if it is not neutralized.
  • Anyone who ventures into the radiation zone will suffer injury and possibly even death, and spillage will create partial death and destruction. Therefore, the group should aim to save the world and do so without injury to any group members.
  • The rope circle represents the radiation zone emanating from the toxic waste in the bucket. Emphasize that everyone must maintain a distance (circle radius) from the toxic waste wherever it goes, otherwise they will suffer severe injury, such as loss of a limb or even death.
  • Give the group some planning time with no action e.g. 5 mins, then start the clock and indicate its time for action, e.g., 15 or 20 mins.

Facilitator Notes

  • Toxic Waste is not an easy exercise and most groups will benefit from some coaching along the way.
  • The solution involves attaching the cords to the bungee loop, then guiding the bungee with the strings to sit around and grab the toxic waste bucket. Then with everyone pulling on their cord and with good coordination and care, the toxic waste bucket can be lifted, moved and tipped into the empty neutralizing bucket.
  • If someone breaches the toxic waste zone, indicated by the circle, enforce an appropriate penalty e.g., loss of limbs (hand behind back) or function (e.g., blindfolds if a head enters the zone) that lasts for the rest of the game. If a whole person enters the zone, they die and must then sit out for the rest of the activity.
  • If the group struggles to work out what to do, freeze the action and help them discuss.
  • If the group spills the waste entirely, make a big deal about catastrophic failure (everyone dies), invite them to discuss what went wrong and how they can do better, then refill the container and let them have another go.
  • Ideas for varying the level difficulty of the activity:
    • Adjust timeframe
    • Adjust distance between the buckets
    • Include obstacles between the buckets
    • Include red herring objects in available equipment

Processing Ideas

  • There are invariably plenty of key communications and decisions during the exercise that provide for fruitful debriefing.
  • The exercise will tend to naturally expose processes and issues related to many aspects of teamwork, including cooperation, communication, trust, empowerment, risk-taking, support, problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership.
  • Can be videoed for subsequent analysis and debriefing.
  • How successful was the group? e.g. consider:
    • How long did it take?
    • Was there any spillage?
    • Were there any injuries? (Often in the euphoria of finishing participants will overlook their errors and seem unconcerned about injuries and deaths caused by carelessness along the way. Make sure there is an objective evaluation of performance – it is rarely ‘perfect’.)
  • How well did the group cope with this challenge? (e.g., out of 10?)
  • What was the initial reaction of the group?
  • What skills did it take for the group to be successful?
  • What would an outside observer have seen as the strengths and weaknesses of the group?
  • How did the group come up with its best ideas?
  • What did each group member learn about him/her self as a group member?
  • What lessons did the group learn from this exercise which could be applied to future situations?

Variations

  • Can be used a staff selection or group assessment exercise.
  • Can be used with large groups (with multiple kits and divided into small groups).
  • The toxic waste bucket can be used upside down, with a ball balanced on top.
  • The activity can be framed in many different ways, e.g., instead of waste, it could presented as a desirable substance, such as a life saving serum which needs be carefully transported (suggested by Rohnke & Butler, 1995, pp.178-179).
  • Divide the group into leaders and workers. Leaders can talk but not touch equipment. Workers cannot talk but can touch equipment.
  • Lends itself to being metaphorically structured and isometrically framed to suit specific training contexts (e.g., see “Computer Disinfectant” by Gass & Priest in Gass, 1995, pp. 151-154) and “Disseminating Raw Materials (Toxic Waste)”, activity #57 in Priest & Rohnke 2000).
  • For added drama, the toxic waste can be floated on a platform in a swimming pool (Priest & Rohnke 2000).
  • A chemical reaction can be created by putting baking soda in the neutralization container and vinegar in the toxic waste container. When combined, they froth.
  • Object Retrieval is a variation in which a group needs to retrieve a heavy object from the middle of a circle, without touching the ground in the surrounding circle (Rohnke, 1994).

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Mine Field

  • A popular and engaging game involving communication and trust. The task is very flexible, works for groups of various types and sizes, and can be adapted to youth, adults, corporate, etc.
  • Select an appropriate area. Go outside, if possible. Can be done inside, even in rooms with fixed furniture (which can become objects to be avoided).
  • Midnight Crossing (Product Description)Distribute “mines” e.g., balls or other objects such as bowling pins, cones, foam noodles, etc.
  • Establish a concentrating and caring tone for this activity. Trust exercises require a serious atmosphere to help develop a genuine sense of trust and safety.
  • Participants operate in pairs. Consider how the pairs are formed – it’s a chance to work on relationships. One person is blind-folded (or keeps eyes closed) and cannot talk (optional). The other person can see and talk, but cannot enter the field or touch the person.
  • The challenge is for each blind-folded person to walk from one side of the field to the other, avoiding the “mines”, by listening to the verbal instructions of their partners.
  • Allow participants a short period (e.g., 3 minutes) of planning time to decide on their communication commands, then begin the activity.
  • Be wary of blindfolded people bumping into each other. The instructor(s) can float around the playing area to help prevent collisions.
  • Decide on the penalty for hitting a “mine”. It could be a restart (serious consequence) or time penalty or simply a count of hits, but without penalty.
  • It can help participants if you suggest that they each develop a unique communication system. When participants swap roles, give participants some review and planning time to refine their communication method.
  • Allow participants to swap over and even have several attempts, until a real, satisfied sense of skill and competence in being able to guide a partner through the “minefield” develops.
  • The activity can be conducted one pair at a time (e.g., in a therapeutic situation), or with all pairs at once (creates a more demanding exercise due to the extra noise/confusion).
  • Can be conducted as a competitive task – e.g., which pair is the quickest or has the fewest hits?
  • The facilitator plays an important role in creating an optimal level of challenge, e.g., consider introducing more items or removing items if it seems too easy or too hard. Also consider coaching participants with communication methods (e.g., for younger students, hint that they could benefit from coming up with clear commands for stop, forward, left, right, etc.).
  • Be cautious about blind-folding people – it can provoke trust and care issues and trigger post-traumatic reactions. Minimize this risk by sequencing Mine Field within a longer program involving other get-to-know-you and trust building activities before Mine Field.

Variations

  • Minefield in a Circle: Blindfolded people start on the outside of a large rope circle, go into middle, get an item (“treasure”, e.g., a small ball or bean bag), then return to the outside; continue to see who can get the most objects within a time period.
  • Metaphorical Framing: Some set ups for minefield get very elaborate and metaphor-rich, e.g., hanging objects which metaphorically reflect the participants’ background and/or issues. For example, items which represent drugs, peer pressure, talking with parents about the problem, etc. have been used in a family adventure therapy program (Gillis & Simpson, 1994).
  • Participants can begin by trying to cross the field by themselves. In a second round, participants can then ask someone else to help them traverse the field by “talking” them through the field.
  • To increase the difficulty, you can have other people calling out. The blindfolded person must concentrate on their partner’s voice amidst all the other voices that could distract them from the task.
  • Be aware that some participants may object to, or have previous traumatic experience around the metaphor of explosive mines which have caused and continue to cause much harm and suffering. It may be preferable to rename the activity, for example, as an “obstacle course” or “navigation course”. Alternatively, the activity could be used to heighten awareness about the effect of land mines on the lives of people in countries such as Afghanistan and Nicaragua (see UNICEF information on land mines).

Processing Ideas

  • How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the start?
  • How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the end?
  • What is the difference between going alone and being guided by another?
  • What ingredients are needed when trusting and working with someone else?
  • What did your partner do to help you feel safe and secure?
  • What could your partner have done to help make you feel more safe/secure?
  • What communication strategies worked best?
  • For some more ideas, download Minefield in a Circle – Debrief (.doc)

Zoom and Re-Zoom

  • Zoom KitThis engaging group activity helps develop communication skills, perspective taking, and problem solving skills.
  • Based on the intriguing, wordless, picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai which consist of 30 sequential “pictures within pictures”. The Zoom narrative moves from a rooster to a ship to a city street to a desert island and outer space. Zoom has been published in 18 countries. The Re-Zoom narrative moves from an Egyptian hieroglyphic to a film set to an elephant ride to a billboard to a train.
  • Hand out one picture per person (make sure a continuous sequence is used).
  • Explain that participants may only look at their own pictures and must keep their pictures hidden from others.
  • Encourage participants to study their picture, since it contains important information to help solve a problem.
  • The challenge is for the group to sequence the pictures in the correct order without looking at one another’s pictures.
  • Participants will generally mill around talking to others to see whether their pictures have anything in common. Sometimes leadership efforts will emerge to try to understand the overall story.
  • When the group believes they have all the pictures in order (usually after ~15 minutes), the pictures can be turned over for everyone to see.

Facilitator’s Notes

  • Works with any age group, including corporate groups.
  • Can be done indoors or outdoors.
  • Once the challenge is finished, allow everyone to see the pictures and encourage participants to sort out any mistakes in the order (can be done on a table or the floor), then let everyone walk around view the pictures in sequence so they understand the full story.

Variations

  • Use as a novel icebreaker by handing each participant a picture on arrival. When everyone has arrived, explain that each person is holding part of a story and that the group task is to find out what the story is by putting their pictures in sequence.
  • Use a time limit to increase difficulty and enhance focus on teamwork.
  • Team performance can be measured (e.g., for a competition) by counting how many pictures are out of sequence.
  • If there are a few more people than cards, then pair people up.
  • For larger groups, if there is enough people then have 2 or more groups running the activity at the same time or use a sequence of cards to suit the group size.
  • For smaller groups, try disallowing talking. This increases the difficulty and creates the need for expressive sign language. In general, allow large groups to talk because there is enough complexity sorting out all the pictures.
  • Another way to increase complexity with small groups is to give each person more than one picture.
  • To reduce complexity for young groups (e.g., pre-school), allow a small group to look through all pictures and organize the story from beginning to end.

Zoom Kit

Processing Ideas

  • There is usually much potential for debriefing and discussion.
  • Why was it hard to get the story together?
    (everyone had a piece, but no-one had the big picture)
  • What type of communication was used in attempting to solve the problem?
  • What communication methods might have worked better? e.g., Imagine if, at the outset, the group had taken the time to let each person describe his/her picture to the rest of the group. What would have happened then? Would the solution have been found faster? What prevented such strategies from being considered?
  • Did you try to “second position” (i.e., see one’s communications from the perspective of others)?
  • What kind of leadership was used to tackle the problem?
  • Who were the leaders? Why?
  • What style of leadership might have worked best?
  • If you were to tackle a similar activity again, what do you think this group could do differently?
  • What real life activities are similar to this activity?

References

  • Banyai, I. (1995).Zoom New York: Viking / Penguin.
  • Banyai, I. (1998). Re-Zoom New York: Viking / Penguin.

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All Aboard!

  • This activity requires working together in close physical proximity in order to solve a practical, physical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy, as well as issues related to physical self and physical proximity.
  • The activity can be run in many different ways.
  • Basic method: Ask the whole group to try to fit inside a small area which can be marked by:
  • When the group succeeds, decrease the area (e.g., changing platforms, shrinking the circle, or folding the tarp) and challenge the group again. How far can the group go?
  • Cautions: Obviously people are going to need to feel physically comfortable in order to get physically close and be supportive of one another. So make sure people are warmed up and preferably have removed excessive jewelry, watches, etc.

Variations

  • Tarp Flip Over: With a group standing on a tarp, challenge them to turn the tarp over without anyone touching the ground in the process. Can add a time limit e.g., 15 mins for this activity.
  • All Aboard!Framing, e.g.,”The group must work together to ensure everyone manages to get aboard the new management structure. As time goes by, the team must become closer to deal with shrinking margins and increased competition.” [www.bushsports.com.au]
  • Name game: The activity can be used as a name game by setting the rule that every communication to another person must include that person’s name.

Group Survival Scenario Exercise

  • A classic group communication and decision making exercise, with many variations.
  • Works for a wide variety of ages and purposes, indoors or outdoors.
  • There are two classic types of “paper & pencil” group survival scenarios (selecting equipment and selecting people). In each case:
    • Provide instructions & hand out materials
    • Set a time limit (~15-30 minutes)
    • Let the group go – answer questions, watch, & observe!
    • Debrief

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Survival Scenario Exercise

Scenario Type 1: Choose Survival Equipment

Your plane crashed…your group needs to choose the 12 most useful items to survive…

Choose / rank equipment items in terms of their relative survival value:

  • Participants choose/rank the items individually
  • Discuss choices/rankings in small group and come to a group consensus
  • Score answers against “expert” opinion
  • Possible scenarios:
    • Lost at sea or island survival (shipwreck)
    • Desert (plane crash)
    • Space or Moon

Scenario Type 2: People Survival Scenario (Who will be saved?)

A nuclear bomb has been dropped…a radiation-free shelter is available, but can only take 6 people; choose who will survive…

Choose / rank people in terms of who will get to live or die in situations with limited survival resources:

  • Participants role play characters (a bit like a Murder Mystery)
  • Survival Scenario Exercise - Lost at SeaCan lead to high emotions; people get intensely engaged, particularly when choosing who will survive, and none of the decisions are easy.
  • No right answers – any so-called “correct” answers are based on debatable values (e.g., ageism, sexism, racism)
  • Highlights individual’s dispositions, group processes and decision making
  • Possible scenarios:
    • Nuclear war shelter
    • Oxygen dwindling (space, moon, mars)
    • Lifeboat / Sinking ship (sea)

Variations

  • Appoint a time keeper in each group and encourage them to be the person who monitors the progress of the group towards achieving consensus within the time frame.
  • To emphasise individual versus group decision making, split the session into three parts:
    • Individuals make their own selections first, on paper (5-10 minutes)
    • Groups (or sub-groups) then discuss and create a group decision
    • Compare individual and group performances, e.g.,:
      • For equipment scenarios, group decisions are usually more accurate than individual answers, helping to illustrate the importance of collaborative group decision-making.
      • For people scenarios, score individuals according to how close the group’s decision was to their own selections of who is to live and die (an indicator of each person’s influence over the group).

Possible Debrief Questions

  • How were decisions made?
  • Who influenced the decisions and how?
  • How could better decisions have been made?
  • How was conflict managed?
  • How did people feel about the decisions?
  • How satisfied was each person with the decision (ask each participant to rate his / her satisfaction out of 10, then obtain a group average and compare / discuss with other groups’ satisfaction levels)
  • What have you learnt about the functioning of this group?
  • How would you do the activity differently if you were asked to do it again?
  • What situations at work/home/school do you think are like this exercise?

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Great Egg Drop

Variation

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Warp Speed

  • Warp Speed is a Group Juggle spin-off activity to focus on problem-solving and teamwork.
  • Extends the common Group Juggle icebreaker/name game to a team building exercise by asking participants how fast they can pass the ball to everyone (including saying names). Groups can tender a time and then try to deliver. Push them to go even faster.
  • Use the set up & instructions as for Group Juggle, but probably not emphasizing names.
  • Challenge the group to see how fast it can juggle one ball around the whole group. Time the group, and ask them to “tender” for how fast they think they can really do it.
  • Explain that the tender is like a business tender – they must put in a really good bid, but they must be able to deliver.
  • Allow time for discussion and planning.
  • Then ask them what their tender is & then ask them to deliver it.
  • If they make it, then ask them to think again, because they undersold themselves. Ask them to come up with a new tender which better reflects their capabilities as a group.
  • If they don’t make it, then ask them to discuss what went wrong, and say you’ll give them a second chance to make their tender.
  • Generally requires debriefing.

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Multi-Way Tug-of-War

  • Fun, finale-type activity. Physically exhausting and emotionally climaxing!
  • Works for kids through to corporate programs. Ideal for adolescents and possibly youth at risk. Especially with older adults, be careful with this activity, especially if they are unfit or if overexertion is contraindicated (e.g., heart problems).
  • Use for any size groups, indoor or outdoor. Ideal is large group outdoors.Multi-Way Tug-Of-War Pick a soft location e.g., grass/beach.
  • In traditional 1 on 1 tug-of-war it is mostly strength that wins, with a few tactics.
  • In multi-way tug-of-war it is mostly tactics that wins, with some strength.
  • Lay out the ropes, etc. as shown in diagram below.
  • Participants should prepare appropriately e.g., watches and hand jewellery off.
  • Divide into groups and make sure the groups appear to be of similar strength.
  • Brief group on normal tug-of-war safety rules, basically:
    • no wrapping or tying rope around anyone or anything – only hold rope with hands
    • watch out for rope burn on hands – let go if rope is moving through hands
    • watch out for rope burn on body – let go if you lose footing
  • First command from the Tug-of-War master is “take the strain”. This is only to take up the slack, that’s all. The Tug-of-War master makes sure the centre ring is stable and centered. This needs strong leadership because teams are always keen to add extra strain!
  • Second command is “Go!!”
  • Teams attempt to pull the center ring or knot over their finish line. This can rarely be achieved by strength alone and instead will require guile. Teams can swivel to cooperate / compete with other teams, then switch directions, etc.
  • Conduct several rounds. Continue, say, until one team earns 3 victories and the Tug-of-War title.
  • Allow teams plenty of time to physically recover and debrief/plan after each round.
  • Team building groups may wish to discuss what the secrets to success were in this activity – and whether these lessons apply elsewhere

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  1. Srividhya

    Nice games. I will be using them in my team building training. Thanks for the games…

  2. yassin arief

    Hi…
    I my self is an outbound training facilitator in East Java, Indonesia. it’s a nice game you’ve got here. Do you have more teambuilding games to share with me…coz i’m kind a lack of ideas up here. My customer want to try something new…Mhhh anyway thx

  3. There’s a lot of game more. When I have free time, I will update this post and share more to you.

  4. Justin

    Thanks for the great team games ideas!

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