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Resources: Culture & Communications: Top-Notch Teams
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Teambuilding Activities

Ready,Set, Draw

Materials Needed: Chart paper, marker, and a die for each team


  1. Divide participants into teams of 3-6 people.Give each team a piece of chart paper, a marker, and a die.
  2. Instruct teams to take turns rolling the die and drawing the pumpkin in the order below. The person must have the correct roll of the die before he/she can draw, and the team must go in order of the instructions.
    Roll a 1 - Draw the circle for the pumpkin face.
    Roll a 2 - Draw the stem.
    Roll a 3 - Draw one eye.
    Roll a 4 - Draw the other eye.
    Roll a 5 - Draw the nose.
    Roll a 6 - Draw the mouth.
  3. The first team to complete the drawing wins!
  4. For an extra fun challenge, designate one member of each team as the artist. The artist is blindfolded, and then draws the pumpkin based on the instructions from the other team members who have to roll the die as indicated above.
  5. Debrief and discuss how time pressure and urgency affect teamwork and communication.

Draw the Line

Materials Needed: Overhead projector or white board


  1. Divide participants into equal teams of 5-6.
  2. Instruct teams that they will be given a problem to solve. When a team knows the answer to the problem, they should shout out, "GOT IT!”
  3. Draw VII on the overhead or white board where the whole group can see it. Instruct the group to change it to the number 8 by adding only a single line.
  4. All of the teams should quickly and easily guess the solution – XIII.
  5. Instruct the teams that the second problem has more than one solution. The goal is to see how many solutions the team can identify.
  6. Draw IX on the overhead or white board where the whole group can see it. Instruct the group to change it to the number 6 by adding only a single line.
  7. Have teams share their solutions. Correct answers include adding an single curved line in front to make SIX or adding a single curved line at the end to made IX6 (Hint: 1 times 6 = 6!).
  8. Debrief and discuss how creativity helps people to view things from different perspectives and find multiple solutions.

Blind Square

Materials Needed: 12 bandanas, 40-50’ piece of rope


  1. Tie the loose ends of the rope together to create a continuous loop.
  2. Clear a large area of any furniture/barriers, and place the rope on the floor in a large circle.
  3. Have 12 participants stand on the outside perimeter of the rope and facing inward to the circle. Instruct them to pick the rope up and hold it loosely in both hands. Other participants will be observers.
  4. Once all 12 participants are holding the rope, use the bandanas to blindfold each participant.
  5. After the participants are blindfolded, instruct them to make the best possible square they can. They may talk to one another, but are not allowed to let go of the rope with either hand at any time. When the team has reached consensus that a square has been made, instruct them to lay the rope on the floor and to remove their blindfolds.
  6. Debrief with the participants holding the rope, as well as the ones observing the activity. How did the group reach consensus? Did everyone express an opinion? What communication styles were used? Did anyone get frustrated? What would have made the process work better?

Stay the Course!

Materials Needed: 3-4 foot piece of rope, hula hoop, cones, chairs or other large items that can be used as boundary markers, 4-5 bandanas/blindfolds, timer

Advance Preparation:

  1. Construct an obstacle course using the piece of rope as the starting line, the cones/chairs as obstacles, and the hula hoop as the finish line.


  1. Divide participants into teams of 4-5; grade level teams are ideal.
  2. Have each team selected a seer. The seer’s job is to provide verbal instructions enabling the team to navigate the obstacle course and reach the finish line with all team members standing inside the hula hoop.
  3. Each team will be timed while navigating the obstacle course. The goal is for the entire team to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.
  4. Instruct the seer from the team to stand at the finish line.
  5. The remaining team members should gather at the starting line. Instruct the team members to hold hands in a straight line, and then blindfold each team member.
  6. Start the timer and instruct the seer to begin providing verbal directions. All other meeting participants should verbally attempt to distract and confuse the competing team.
  7. Debrief with all participants discussing the importance of a common vision, the challenges of distractions and obstacles, the frustration when everyone does not hear the same instructions.
  8. Note: Rearrange the cones/obstacles between each team!
  9. Variation: Instead of holding hands, each member of the team can go his/her own way, but the seer has to still direct all team members to the finish line.

See, Run, Do

Materials Needed: A completed poster, blank poster board, scissors, glue stick, markers/crayons, and construction paper

Advance Preparation

  1. Prepare a poster with shapes, drawings, etc. The poster can be utilized to communicate/illustrate a specific concept/project or can just be a collection of random things.
  2. Prepare supplies needed for each team to reconstruct a replica of the poster you made.


  1. Post the poster you made in a location where the participants cannot see it. Example: In the hallway outside the meeting location.
  2. Divide the participants into teams of 4-5 people.
  3. Instruct each team to identify one person to be the "seer.” This person will be the only one allowed to see the poster you constructed. The seer’s job is to look at the poster you constructed and provide verbal instructions only for replicating the poster to the runner.
  4. Instruct each team to identify one person to be the "runner.” The runner’s job is to run back and forth between the seer and the remaining team members. The runner may run back and forth as many times as necessary to get instructions from the seer.
  5. The remaining team members are the "doers.” The doers’ job is to replicate the poster based on verbal instructions only from the runner. The runner may repeat the instructions as many times as necessary.
  6. Once all teams have identified the seer, runner, and doers, specify a time limit (e.g., 5 minutes) and let the race begin!
  7. When the time limit is reached, the team which did the best job replicating the original poster wins.

Tag! You're It!

Materials Needed: Stick-on name tag for each participant; several markers


  1. At your next faculty/staff meeting, have each participant write his/her name on a name tag. Tell them not to peel and stick!
  2. Have participants make a circle, standing close enough together that their hands are touching the people on either side of them.
  3. Have participants close their eyes.
  4. With their eyes closed, instruct participants to pass the name tags to the right 11 times, then pass to the left 8 times, then to the right 3 times, and to the left 7 times. At all times, each participant should be holding only 1 name tag.
  5. After the passing is complete, have participants look at name tag they are now holding without revealing the name or looking at the person whose name they are now holding and remember the person's name.
  6. Collect the name tags.
  7. Instruct participants to observe the person whose name tag they ended up with an be able to share something positive about that person at a time you designate (e.g., at the end of the current meeting, at the next faculty meeting, at a special get-together, etc.). The time period needs to be short!
  8. At the designated time, have participants circle up again. Pull a name tag and call out the person's name. Have the person who was holding that person's name take the name tag and stick it on the person whose name is on the tag and say, "Julie is an important member of our school team because . . . "

A Sure Catch

Materials Needed: One large skein of yard wound into a large ball; 3-4 inflated balloons; marker


  1. Instruct participants (ideally 15 or more) make a circle, standing close enough together that their hands could touch the person on either side of them.
  2. Ask participants to identify some of the major challenges on your campus. As they identify a challenge, record it on a balloon. Write each challenge on separate balloon. Set the balloons aside.
  3. Give the ball of yarn to one person in the circle and ask that person to share a strength/talent which he/she brings to the campus team. After sharing, instruct the person to hold on to the end of the yarn and toss the ball across the circle to another team member. Repeat this step until everyone in the circle is holding onto the yarn and has shared their strength or talent. The yarn should have made a big web.
  4. Once the web is created, instruct participants to pull the yarn taut.
  5. Toss one of the balloons onto the web to illustrate that when everyone is using their strength/talent, the challenge is support and caught in the web. Repeat this until all of the balloons have been placed on the web.
  6. Now instruct every other participant in the circle to continue holding on take one step forward, creating slack in the web. One, if not all, of the balloons will likely fall to the floor illustrating that when everyone does not utilize their strengths, the challenges are more difficult to manage.
  7. Finish by instructing certain participants to drop the yarn they are holding, again creating slack in the web. Debrief noting that it takes the entire team to build a good web.

Holiday Pictionary Relay

Materials Needed: Chart paper and markers for each group; answer form and pen/pencil for each participant


  1. Divide participants into teams of 10.
  2. Give each participant in each team a slip of paper with a number from 1-10 and the name of a holiday song written on it. Instruct the participants not to let anyone see the name of the song. Use the same 10 songs for all teams and order them with the same numbers for each team. For example: #1 Winter Wonderland, #2 Deck the Halls, #3 The Little Drummer Boy, etc.
  3. Give the participants an answer form to record answers. The answer form should be numbered from 1-10 with blanks for recording the names of the songs.
  4. Instruct the participants that when their number is called, they will have 30 seconds to draw the song for their team members. No words or numerals are allowed - only pictures. Team members should record the name of the song next to the corresponding number on their answer forms. When the 30 seconds are up, call the next number until all 10 numbers have been called.
  5. Provide the answers in the correct order and allow participants to check their answers. Each team members receives one point for each correct song. The teams should total their points, and the team with the highest number of points wins.
  6. Note: This activity will work for other holidays or genres of music.


Motivational Quotes

Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. ~ Jack Welch

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ~ Warren Bennis

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. ~ Author Unknown

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there. ~ Virginia Burden

None of us is as smart as all of us. ~ Ken Blanchard

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. ~ Coach Phil Jackson

Coming together is a vision. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~ Henry Ford

A life isn't significant except for its impact on other lives. ~ Jackie Robinson

How wonderful it is to know that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank

The wise person understands that his own happiness must include the happiness of others. ~ Dennis Weaver

People are not interruptions to my work; they are my work. ~ Unknown


Inspirational Videos and Websites

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