35 Exciting Team Building Games to Improve Collaboration

Overview

A team of talented individuals, no matter how skilled, needs strong connections to truly excel. This is where team building activities come into play. These activities are vital for fostering camaraderie, enhancing communication, and uncovering hidden leadership potential. They transform a collection of individuals into a unified, efficient unit capable of delivering exceptional results. Through effective team building, a group of people becomes a collaborative and high-performing team, ready to tackle any challenge together.

Why are team-building exercises important?

1. Improves Communication

Team-building exercises enhance communication among team members by providing opportunities for open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving. According to a study by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, successful teams communicate face-to-face or through videoconferencing 12 times more than less successful teams. This indicates that effective communication is crucial for team success.

2. Boosts Morale and Engagement

These activities can significantly improve team morale and engagement, making employees feel valued and more connected to their peers and the organization. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. This demonstrates the positive impact of high morale and engagement on overall team performance.

3. Enhances Collaboration and Teamwork

Team-building exercises foster a sense of collaboration and teamwork by encouraging members to work together towards common goals. A study by Deloitte found that companies promoting collaborative working are five times more likely to be high-performing. This highlights the importance of teamwork for organizational success.

4. Develops Problem-Solving Skills

These activities often involve scenarios that require creative thinking and problem-solving, helping team members develop these crucial skills in a low-stakes environment. Research by PwC revealed that 77% of CEOs find it difficult to get the creativity and innovation skills they need. This underscores the importance of developing problem-solving abilities within teams.

5. Identifies and Utilizes Strengths

Team-building exercises help identify individual strengths and weaknesses, allowing team members to understand how best to utilize their skills for the benefit of the team. A Gallup survey indicated that teams focusing on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. This emphasizes the value of recognizing and leveraging individual strengths for improved team performance.

Hoping that you’d have realized the importance and in the mind of looking for fun and engaging team building activities? Gear up, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, this list offers over 35 icebreakers, challenges, and bonding games to strengthen your team morale.

Team Icebreaker Games

Icebreaker games are short activities designed to help people warm up to each other at gatherings. They’re perfect for the start of meetings, team building sessions, or any social event where people might not know each other well. These fun games get the conversation flowing and warm up the crowd.

1. Two Truths and a Lie (Small-Large Teams, 5-10 Minutes)

How to Play: Each person shares three statements about themselves – two truths and one lie. The group guesses which statement is the lie.

Why it’s Great: Reveals fun facts and breaks down barriers in a lighthearted way.

2 Truths And A Lie

Source: klaxoon.com

2. M&M Personality (Small-Medium Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Provide a bowl of M&Ms with different colors representing personality traits (e.g., red – outgoing, green – creative). Players grab a handful and explain how the colors reflect their personality.

Why it’s Great: Sparks conversation about individual strengths and creates a fun memory.

M&Amp;M Ice Breaker Questions

Source: Teacherspayteachers.com

3. Human Bingo (Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Create bingo cards with squares containing descriptions like “Has been skydiving” or “Speaks a second language.” Players mingle and find someone who fits each description, getting their signature. The first to complete a row or bingo wins.

Why it’s Great: Encourages movement and interaction, revealing surprising things about teammates.

Human Bingo

4. Back-to-Back Drawing (Small Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Players pair up, sit back-to-back with one sheet of paper and two pencils. One person describes a simple image, and the other person tries to draw it based on the instructions. Reveal the drawings and laugh at the misinterpretations.

Why it’s Great: Encourages communication and teamwork in a lighthearted way.

Back-To-Back Drawing

5. Would You Rather? (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Pose “Would you rather?” questions that require interesting choices (e.g., Always be cold or always be hot?). Players discuss their preferences and reasons.

Why it’s Great: Sparks conversation, reveals interesting priorities and can be quite funny

Would You Rather

6. Name That Tune (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Hum a short snippet of a popular song or the tune. The team guesses the song title and artist. Award points for correct answers. Play multiple rounds with different genres.

Why it’s Great: Fun, energetic game that sparks musical memories and friendly competition.

Name That Tune

7. Desert Island Essentials (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Imagine being stranded on a deserted island. Each person gets 3-5 minutes to write down 5 items they’d bring. Teams share their lists and discuss the reasoning behind their choices.

Why it’s Great: Reveals personal priorities and encourages creative thinking in a collaborative setting.

Desert Island Essentials

8. Scavenger Hunt (Small-Large Teams, 20-30 Minutes)

How to Play: Create a list of items or tasks hidden around the office or a designated area. Teams work together to find or complete the tasks on the list within a time limit. The first team to finish wins.

Why it’s Great: Encourages teamwork, exploration, and problem-solving in a dynamic environment.

Scavenger Hunt

9. Team Jenga (Small-Medium Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Use giant Jenga blocks or create a similar structure with cardboard boxes. Teams take turns removing one block at a time without making the structure collapse. The team that causes the collapse loses.

Why it’s Great: Builds teamwork, communication, and a sense of shared responsibility in a low-pressure setting.

Team Jenga

10 Never Have I Ever (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Players take turns saying “Never have I ever…” followed by an action they’ve never done (e.g., Never have I ever ridden a hot air balloon). Anyone who has done the action takes a step back or holds up a finger. The last person standing wins.

Why it’s Great: Reveals surprising things about teammates and creates a lighthearted atmosphere.

Never Have I Ever

11. Shared Stories (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Divide the group into pairs. Each pair takes turns sharing a story or anecdote from their life, with a twist: the other person has to guess a specific detail you haven’t mentioned (e.g., the location, a funny character). The group can guess along after each detail is revealed.

Why it’s Great: Encourages active listening, storytelling, and teamwork in uncovering hidden details.

Shared Stories

12. Word Chain (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Start with a category (e.g., animals, movies). The first person says a word related to the category. The next person has to say a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word and also belongs to the category. Continue the chain until someone stumbles or repeats a word.

Why it’s Great: Fun and fast-paced game that tests vocabulary and memory in a collaborative way.

Word Chain

13. Team Nicknames (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Give each team a random set of letters (e.g., “B-R-I-N-G”). The teams have a set time to come up with the most creative or funny team nickname using those letters. Teams present their nicknames and explain their reasoning.

Why it’s Great: Encourages creativity, team spirit, and a touch of friendly competition.

Team Nicknames

 

14. Remote Pictionary (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Using a video conferencing platform with screen sharing, one person from each team takes turns drawing a word or phrase chosen by the group. Their teammates guess the answer within a time limit. Teams can take turns drawing or use an online collaborative drawing tool.

Why it’s Great: Fun and adaptable for remote teams, encouraging communication, creativity, and a bit of laughter at artistic interpretations.

Remote Pictionary

15. Virtual Escape Room (Small Teams, 20-30 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Several online platforms offer virtual escape room experiences designed for remote teams. These interactive games require teamwork, problem-solving, and communication to solve puzzles and “escape” within a time limit.

Why it’s Great: Promotes strong communication, critical thinking, and collaboration in a more immersive and engaging way for remote teams.

Virtual Escape Room

16. Who Am I? Stickers (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Prepare sticky notes and pens. Write down interesting facts or achievements (not names) on the sticky notes. Players stick them on their backs without peeking. Everyone mingles and asks each other yes or no questions to guess what’s written on their back. The first person to guess correctly gets to remove their sticky note and read it aloud.

Why it’s Great: This lighthearted game encourages interaction and reveals hidden talents or experiences in a fun way.

Who Am I

17. Team Timeline (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Provide a long strip of paper and markers. Teams work together to create a timeline representing important milestones in the company’s history, significant events in their industry, or even personal milestones of team members (birthdays, graduations, etc.).

Why it’s Great: This collaborative activity fosters a sense of shared history and connection, prompting discussion and team building.

Team Timeline

18. Strengths Spotlight (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Each team member takes a turn sharing one personal strength and how they can contribute it to the team’s success. Encourage specific examples.

Why it’s Great: This activity builds self-awareness and appreciation for each other’s strengths, fostering a collaborative environment.

Strengths Spotlight

19. Virtual Coffee Break (Small Teams, 10-15 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Schedule a short video call specifically for casual conversation and team bonding. Encourage participants to have a cup of coffee or tea (or their favorite beverage) and chat about non-work-related topics.

Why it’s Great: This informal setting breaks down communication barriers and strengthens relationships within remote teams.

Virtual Coffee Break

20. GIF Sharades (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Use a platform like Giphy to search for animated GIFs (short video clips) that represent common phrases, movies, or actions. Split the group into teams and take turns acting out the GIF for their teammates to guess.

Why it’s Great: This energetic game adds a visual twist to traditional charades, promoting communication and teamwork in a fun and lighthearted way.

Giphy

21. Collaborative Drawing (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Using a shared online whiteboard or collaborative drawing tool, each person takes turns adding a stroke or element to a blank canvas. The goal is to create a cohesive image together without prior planning.

Why it’s Great: Encourages creativity, teamwork, and a touch of surprise as the final image emerges. Works well for remote teams.

Collaborative Drawing

22. Remote Team Scattergories (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Choose a category (e.g., things found in a kitchen) and set a time limit. Using a chat function or online whiteboard, each team member writes down words starting with a designated letter within the category. Award points for unique answers and subtract for duplicates within the team.

Why it’s Great: Fun and fast-paced game that promotes vocabulary, teamwork, and a bit of friendly competition. Works well for remote teams.

Remote Team Scattergories

23. Guess the Quote (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: The host shares a well-known quote (movie line, famous saying) one word at a time, with pauses in between. Teams guess the quote after each revealed word. The team that guesses the quote correctly first wins.

Why it’s Great: Tests knowledge and memory in a collaborative way. Can be adapted to specific themes or industries.

Guess The Quote

24. Virtual Talent Show (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Participants can showcase a hidden talent, perform a song or dance (even karaoke style), or share a funny anecdote. Encourage creativity and lighthearted fun.

Why it’s Great: Breaks the ice, promotes self-expression, and helps discover hidden talents within the team. Works well for remote teams.

Virtual Talent Show

25. This or That? (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Pose quick “This or That?” questions that require choosing between two contrasting options (e.g., Coffee or Tea? Early Bird or Night Owl?). Participants can use a thumbs up/down function or chat to indicate their preference. Discuss the reasoning behind the choices after each question.

Why it’s Great: Sparks conversation, reveals personality quirks, and creates a fun and interactive atmosphere.

This Or That

26. Virtual Museum Tour (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Many museums offer virtual tours of their exhibits online. Choose a relevant or interesting exhibit and explore it together as a team using a video call. Discuss what everyone finds most fascinating or surprising.

Why it’s Great: Provides a shared virtual experience that sparks conversation and encourages cultural exploration. Works well for remote teams.

Virtual Museum Tour

27. Emoji Pictionary (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Use emojis to represent words or phrases. One person from each team creates an emoji sequence, and their team has to guess the answer within a time limit.

Why it’s Great: A fun and creative twist on traditional Pictionary that works well for both in-person and remote teams.

Emoji-Pictionary

28. Would You Rather Debate? (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Pose a “Would You Rather?” question with more complex implications (e.g., Always be able to travel anywhere instantly or have the ability to speak any language fluently?). Teams have a set time to discuss the pros and cons of each option and then argue for their chosen side.

Why it’s Great: Encourages critical thinking, teamwork, and persuasive communication.

Would You Rather Debate

29. Brainstorming Challenge (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Present a silly or open-ended challenge (e.g., How many uses can you think of for a brick?). Teams have a set time to brainstorm and come up with the most creative or funny solutions. Teams present their ideas and the group votes for the most interesting one.

Why it’s Great: Promotes creative thinking, collaboration, and a fun break from routine discussions.

Brainstorming Challenge

30. Remote Cocktail Party (Small-Large Teams, 30 Minutes) [Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: Schedule a video call for a virtual happy hour. Encourage everyone to prepare their favorite beverage (doesn’t have to be alcoholic) beforehand. Play some background music, share recipes or cocktail stories, and simply enjoy some casual conversation outside of work.

Why it’s Great: Boosts team morale, fosters connection in a relaxed setting, and can be a fun way to celebrate achievements. Works well for remote teams.

Remote Cocktail Party

31. Kinect Charades (Small Teams, 10-15 Minutes) [Not Remote-Friendly]

How to Play: If you have access to a Kinect or similar motion-sensing device, this can be a hilarious take on charades. Players act out phrases or actions using only their body movements, and teammates guess the answer.

Why it’s Great: Promotes physical activity, teamwork, and laughter as players try to convey ideas without words.

Kinect Charades

32. Icebreaker Bingo (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Create bingo cards with squares containing icebreaker prompts like “Has been to a national park” or “Speaks more than one language.” Players mingle and try to find someone who fits each description, getting their initials in the corresponding square. The first person to complete a row or bingo wins.

Why it’s Great: Encourages interaction and reveals surprising things about teammates in a structured way.

Icebreaker Bingo

33. Improv Compliment Round (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Sit in a circle. One person starts by giving a compliment to the person next to them (e.g., “I love your sense of humor”). The next person compliments the person who complimented them, building on the previous compliment (e.g., “Thanks! You always make me laugh with your jokes”). Continue around the circle, keeping the compliments positive and building a chain of appreciation.

Why it’s Great: Promotes a positive and supportive team environment, fostering appreciation for each other’s strengths.

Improv Compliment Round

34. Group Story Writing (Small-Large Teams, 15-20 Minutes)

How to Play: Start a story prompt as a group (e.g., “Once upon a time, a team of superheroes…”). Each person takes turns adding a sentence to the story, building on the previous ideas. Encourage creativity and humor!

Why it’s Great: Encourages creative thinking, collaboration, and a fun way to see how different perspectives shape a narrative.

Group Story Writing

35. Association Chain (Small-Large Teams, 10-15 Minutes)

How to Play: Start with a word. The next person has to say a word that associates with the first word. Continue around the circle, keeping the chain going as long as possible without repeating words.

Why it’s Great: Tests vocabulary and memory in a fast-paced and interactive way. Helps identify connections and build on each other’s ideas.

Association Chain

Final Thoughts

Team-building activities are a great way to strengthen collaboration and communication. But don’t forget the power of everyday connection! The right collaboration software keeps your team aligned and engaged, regardless of location. Explore how NimbleWork can help in achieving it!

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Sai Prasanth M K

Sai Prasanth M K

Sai's journey spans consulting in Life Sciences & Healthcare, developing G2C products, and now exploring Product Management. His structured and analytical problem-solving skills are rooted in his strong educational background at NIT Trichy and IIM Udaipur. Beyond his professional endeavors, Sai enjoys engaging conversations about movies, music, and non-fiction books.

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