Games

Simple teambuilding exercises are a great way to teach youth about trust, communication skills, and working cooperatively with others. All of the following activities can be done inside or outside with very minimal supplies needed. Since young people are full of energy, all of these teambuilding games encourage active, physical participation.

young people holding hands

The Human Knot:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 10 to 30 Minutes
People Needed- 6 to 12

Arrange the group members into a circle. Have them stand shoulder to shoulder. Tell them to each raise their right hands into the air and join hands with another person across the circle. Then, have them raise their left hands and join hands with a different person from across the circle. They should not be holding hands with anyone next to them. Then, have the group members untangle themselves to make a circle, without letting go of their hands. If someone breaks the chain, have them start over. For variations, you can put a time limit on the activity. If there are multiple groups, have them compete against each other to see which group can untangle themselves the fastest. This activity can be done with communication, or you may prefer to have them complete the activity in silence for an added twist.

Silent Line-up:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 5 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 10 to 20

Tell the youth that they must arrange themselves into a line based on their age. Groups must do this activity in complete silence. For smaller groups, you can give them more specific requirements, such as lining up by the actual day of their birthday, by month, and by year. You can also add variations, such as lining up by shoe size, by height, or in alphabetical order by middle names.

Duct Tape Maze:
Materials Needed- Duct tape, Cheat Sheet
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 5 to 10

Before playing the game, make a 4 by 4 square grid out of duct tape on a flat surface. Each square should be big enough for someone to stand inside; there should be 16 squares total. Next, draw a 4 by 4 square grid on a piece of paper. Map out a pattern from one side of the grid to another with X’s. This is your Cheat Sheet. Do not let the participants see it. Have the first group member step into any outside square on the duct tape grid. If you did not mark this square with an ‘X’ on your Cheat Sheet, let out a buzzer noise to tell them their choice is incorrect. Then, the next group member must try. If they choose the correct square you’ve marked with an ‘X’, then they can try to choose another correct square in the pattern. If they step on an incorrect square, let out a buzzer sound, and they must go to the end of the line, and it is another player’s turn to try. Group members keep trying until the pattern you’ve drawn on your cheat sheet is discovered.

Group Juggling:
Materials Needed- 3 to 10 tennis ballsTime- 5 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 5 to 25

Arrange the group into a circle. Starting with one tennis ball, have the first person throw to another group member and say the name of who they threw the ball to. That person who catches the ball then throws the ball to another person and says that person’s name. The ball is thrown around the circle until all members have each had the ball once. The last person to receive the ball finally throws the tennis ball back to the first person. Then, the first person starts over again throwing the tennis ball to the same person they threw it to the first time and also repeating their name again. The tennis ball is tossed in the same order, to the same people as before. After a few tosses have gone by, the first person can add another ball into the game, again following the same pattern of people and also repeating names. The first person continues to add balls into the pattern until all balls are in motion. If someone drops a ball, start over. Challenges can be to see how many balls the group can handle juggling at once.

Human Chair:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 5 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 20+

Have the group stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Next, have everyone turn to the right and put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Tell participants to move as close as they can to the person in front of them. At the count of 3, everyone should sit down. If done correctly, each person will sit on the lap of the person behind them. If done incorrectly, the entire group will fall like dominoes. They can either do this activity in silence, or the facilitator may allow groups to communicate. Keep trying the activity until it works seamlessly and the group can hold the pose for at least 5 seconds.

We’re All in This Together:
Materials Needed- Duct Tape
Time- 3 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 6 to 20

Duct tape a square on the floor. Depending on the size of the group, you could try a 2 foot by 2 foot square. Larger groups may require a bigger square. The participants must all try to fit themselves inside the square without any of their other body parts touching the ground outside of the square. Once the group has found a strategy to fit everyone into the square, they must be able to hold themselves inside for at least 3 seconds. Each time someone touches the ground outside the square, the entire group must start over.

I Like Everyone!
Materials Needed- Chairs
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 20+

Before playing, make a circle with enough chairs for all participants, except one. Have participants sit in the circle of chairs. The player without a chair stands in the middle and says the statement “I like everyone, especially people ________,” filling in the blank with a description, such as “people wearing glasses.” Then, anyone sitting down that is wearing glasses must get out of their chair and find a new chair. The person from the middle should then try to sit down in one of the seats left empty from someone wearing glasses. Inevitably, one person will always be left without a chair. That person then begins the next round with the same statement, just changing the second part: “I like everyone, especially people wearing a blue shirt.” As before, any participants sitting down that have a blue shirt must get up and find a new chair, and the person who was standing in the middle should find an empty seat and sit down. Rounds can be played over and over until the group starts getting bored. Make sure to add the rule that when participants have to find a new seat, they must move at least two seats away from their previous one.

Hot Lava:
Materials Needed- Paper Plates, Duct Tape
Time- 10 to 30 Minutes
People Needed- 4+

Before playing, use duct tape to make a small line on the ground as the group’s starting place. Then place another duct tape line on the ground about 30 feet away (depending on the size of your room) for the finish line. Tell the players that their group must get from the starting line to the finish line; however, in-between the two pieces of tape is a “boiling lake of hot lava,” so they absolutely cannot touch the “lake” with any parts of their body. Next, provide the group with 3 paper plates. Tell them that these are “magical stepping stones” that can be used to help them cross the lava lake. When the leader gives the signal to start, the participants must find a way to get their entire group across the LavaLake, using the magical paper plate stepping stones to step on. If any group members touch the ground with any part of their body, the whole group must go back to the starting line and start over.

Bridge Crossing:
Materials Needed- Duct Tape
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 10 to 20

Have participants line up facing the leader. Tape a long, straight line of duct tape on the ground in front of them. This is “The Bridge.” Make the bridge line wider by adding one or two more strips to your duct tape line. Divide the group in the middle, into two halves. These are now two separate groups. Have them step onto the bridge line of duct tape, staying in the same order. Instruct the participants that the groups must now switch sides on the bridge, keeping their same order. If any players touch the ground off of the bridge, everyone must go back to their original starting positions. This game can also be played using a log or board for the bridge instead of duct tape.

Minefield:
Materials Needed- 10+ Paper Plates, Duct Tape, Blindfolds
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 2+

Before playing, tape two parallel lines on the ground about 3 feet apart. The length of the lines can be anywhere from 10 to 20 feet, depending on your preferences and amount of time for the activity. Next, place the paper plates in random spots in between the tape lines. This is your “minefield,” and the plates are the “mines.” Have your group divide up into pairs. One partner puts on the blindfold, and the other partner must guide them through the minefield using only verbal communication. If the blindfolded partner steps on a paper plate mine, they must start over. Once half of the group is finished, allow the other half to go through the minefield and the other partners guide them through using verbal communication only.