Teambuilders are exercises designed for groups to work through together, for the purpose of building cohesiveness, raising issues in the group, and posing challenges to the team. They generally take longer than icebreakers and energizers, because of the planning, thought, and execution of the task. Facilitators should choose teambuilders that are challenging, but not necessarily impossible, for a group to perform, although there is value in processing a ”failed” teambuilder. Pick and choose from the following:
Blind partner tag: participants in pairs, with one partner of each pair blindfolded. One pair is ”it”, but only blind partner may tag someone (who also must be blind). Sighted partners may only guide by talking (no holding onto arm/elbow, etc.). When someone tagged, that pair becomes new ”it”. After a while, switch so everyone experiences being both blind and sighted.
Three Blind Mice: works best with group no larger than twelve, in three lines of four people. Two lines face each other and can’t move from spot; third line is blindfolded and can move around and talk. One of the two lines can’t speak but can use gestures and sign language to communicate with other immobile line, which has its back to the task area. Facilitator tells goal only to silent group, who then must signal to other immobile line, who can then relay instructions to third line (mobile, blind line). Set up is hula hoop or rope circle arranged with 3-4 items outside it. Object is to place the 3-4 items inside the circle.
Consensus: in three groups, each group must create noise and action to perform for other two groups. After each has demonstrated noise and action twice for other two, facilitator gives 10 seconds time for each group to huddle. Goal is for all three groups to be doing same noise and action together, without consulting one another. After huddle, facilitator counts to three and all three groups at same time must perform one of the three action/noise combinations (doesn’t have to be their original one). Keep rehuddling until all three groups doing same (consensus).
Acid River: whole group must get from one end of ”river” to other (mark off with lines, tape, or rope). Group gets half+1 as many ”islands” (stepping stones) as people in group (i.e., group of 12 or 13 gets 7 stones, 14 gets 8, etc.). Whole group must be off one shore and on to stones before anyone moves on to other shore. Facilitator can make penalties for anyone who dips in river (go back to beginning, whole group starts over, person is muted, etc.).
Jumprope: using a standard climbing rope (20 feet min.), can have either whole group of participants jump together (lined up along rope) or go through one at a time, without skipping beat.
Levitation: group of 10-15 divide into two lines, facing each other. Hold index fingers straight out across, so intersecting with person across. Tent pole is laid across ”ladder” of outstretched fingers. Participants may not curl fingers over. With entire group keeping both fingers on pole, object is to lower to ground. At all times, everyone must have two fingers on the pole.
Silent Birthday Line-Up: without talking, entire group must get in order by month and day.
Blind Count Off: group is in circle with backs to one another. Group must count as high as possible out loud, with only person saying a number at a time. There can be no planning, and no one can speak again until everyone has spoken at least once (i.e., if 10 people in your group, person who says ”1” can’t speak again until ”11” at earliest).
Concentration: two lines of 10 people facing each other. First group gets 30 seconds to study opposite line and then turns around. Second group then changes 10 things about them (switch jewelry, untie shoelaces, switch watch to other arm, etc.) as long as all are things in sight. First group turns back around and must identify the 10 changes. Then swap.
Web: group in circle, with ball of string or yarn. First person holds loose end of string and tosses ball to anyone else in circle that he/she wants to say something about (compliment, a thank you, an observation). That person holds on to string and tosses ball to next person, repeating process until a web is made between the entire circle, with everyone holding piece of web.
Paper Bag Notes: each group member puts name on paper bag. Each participant writes notes to any or all other participants expressing appreciation for something done or complimenting on something, to be placed in bag.