Here are some simple indoor team building exercises:
A Great Day for Hats!
Give each participant a donut-shaped piece of felt or other material approximately 18 inches in diameter. Tell participants to form a hat with the material. Participants should have enough time to make their hat. At the end of the team exercise, allow each person to explain the hat they created. You can also put people on teams and have some friendly competition between the groups on who can come up with the most creative hat.
Letters and Names
Give each person a few moments to think of an adjective starting with the same first letter in his or her first name (e.g. “Great Greg”). Begin by modeling it yourself. Then go around the group asking each person to state their name/adjective combination. During various points of the exercise, or at the end, ask volunteers to remember and repeat each of the names and adjectives volunteered so far. Provide prizes to those who do the best job.
The Napkin Game
Ask participants to form equal size groups. Give each group a napkin and ask them to fold the napkin as small as possible. However, it must be large enough for members of the team to place their toe on the napkin.
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Give everyone a blank 8 ½-by-11-inch sheet of paper. Tell them the following: “We are going to do something that will show us some important things about communication. Pick up your sheet of paper and hold it in front of you. Close your eyes and follow my directions—and no peeking — you cannot ask questions.”
Then tell them the following. “Fold your sheet of paper in half. Now tear off the upper right-hand corner. Fold it in half again and tear off the upper left hand corner of the sheet.
Fold it in half again. Now tear off the lower right-hand corner of the sheet.”
After the tearing is complete, say something like “Now open your eyes, and let’s see what you have. If I did a good job of communicating and you did a good job of following my directions, all of your sheets should look the same!”
Hold your sheet up for them to see. It is highly unlikely any sheet will match yours exactly.
Ask the group why no one’s piece of paper matched yours. You will probably get responses like “You didn’t let us ask questions!” or “Your directions could be interpreted in different ways.” Then, lead them in a discussion about the need for effective communication.
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