Free team building games ideas, exercises and activities for employee motivation, training and development, children's games and party games

НазваниеFree team building games ideas, exercises and activities for employee motivation, training and development, children's games and party games
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free team building games (1) (2)

free team building games ideas, exercises and activities for employee motivation, training and development, children's games and party games

Free team building games, free team building activities and free team building exercises for building teams and corporate employee motivation.

Many of these exercises can be adapted for young people and children.

Employee motivation benefits from team building games, exercises, activities, puzzles and quizzes. Use free team building games and exercises ideas to warm up meetings, training, and conferences.

These free team building games are also great ice breakers for training sessions, meetings, workshops, seminars or conferences.

Team building games and activities are useful also in serious business project meetings, where games and activities help delegates to see things differently and use different thinking styles.

Games, exercises and quizzes help to stimulate the brain, improving retention of ideas, learning, and increasing fun and enjoyment.

Most of these games can be used or adapted for children's development and education, or for kids party games.

We cannot accept responsibility for any liability which arises from the use of any of these free team building exercises ideas or games - please see the disclaimer notice below, and see the guidelines for creating and running teambuilding sessions. Always ensure that you have proper insurance in place for all team building games activities, and take extra care when working with younger people, children and if organising kids party games.

See also: Experiential Learning - guide to facilitating experiential learning activities.

New activities and exercises are now being added to the additional team building ideas page 2 on this website.

See also the Quizballs quizzes, especially the management and business quiz for aspiring managers and trainers, and anyone interested in managing people and organisations.


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team building games - are games appropriate?

Before you decide to use any team building games with a group of people, think about whether the activities are appropriate for the team members and the situation. Kirkpatrick's learning model is a good reference point for this assessment: team members should ideally enjoy the activity, learn something from it, which they can apply, and which will improve results.

See the Team-Building Activities Evaluation Form and Outcomes Notes (Excel file).

It's useful also when assessing any team development needs to refer to Bloom's Taxonomy of learning domains, which provides a useful template or checklist for designing and evaluating training and learning activities of all sorts.

Ensure that team-building activities comply with equality and discrimination policy and law in respect of gender, race, disability, age, etc.

Age discrimination is a potential risk given certain groups and activities. Team-building facilitators should be familiar with the Employment Equality Age Regulations, effective 1st October 2006, (UK and Europe).

Note that team building games are not necessarily the best way to improve team morale and attitude if there are problems in these areas. Workshops are often a better starting point for fragile or bruised teams, which need basic bonding, confidence and help to strengthen their sense of responsibility and purpose.

If using team building to develop mutual respect, care and compassion, etc., look at the love and spirituality at work section - it explains about bringing compassion and humanity to work and teams.

Effective relationships and behaviour at work involve the same principles as everyday life - respect for others, integrity, honesty, compassion, courage - all the good things that we all naturally possess deep down. Sometimes people have insecurities or stresses which create difficulties on the surface, to which others in the team then react. Emotional maturity, or Emotional Intelligence is a useful perspective. However, if you approach a behavioural problem head-on, or try to resolve it with a team building exercise, this can cause people to clam up and become defensive (just like we all tend to do when someone is critical or implies a weakness). Instead, ask the people what they'd enjoy and find helpful for their lives in general. Move the issue away from work and skills and 'team-building' per se. Help the person (and people) rather than treat the symptoms. If you help people with their life-balance and personal fulfilment they become more emotionally mature, tolerant, positive independent, self-sufficient, etc. When the person is okay, so is everything else, including their relationships and communications at work. Developing people involves more than behaviour, relationships, skills, knowledge and processes. It's often more about helping people feel better about themselves; helping the person to feel happy and fulfilled. A good leader can facilitate this. Team building doesn't have to involve games and exercises - team building might be better achieved by arranging other things which appear to be unconnected to work. Perhaps the sort of things that people would otherwise seek out at evening classes. Perhaps lunchtime yoga or reiki or relaxation sessions might be of interest? Maybe go bowling? Horse riding? Ask the people. In the Summer maybe play softball on the park? Or maybe ask if they would like to run a lunch-time barbecue for clients and suppliers. If you focus on the problem it will become a battlefield. Instead focus on fun, new positive experiences and self-fulfilment.

The subjects on this website increasingly feature ideas for developing the whole person. In the same way, you are not restricted to providing traditional work skills development. Explore everything, and show your people that you have a broader view about development - they'll have lots of ideas of their own if you let them see it's okay to think that way. Team building games are just a part of a very wide mix of learning and and development experiences that you can explore and facilitate for your people - try anything. If it helps your people to feel good and be good, then it will help your organisation be good too.

On which point, see:

abstract images for feelings, challenge and change

love and spirituality in management and business - bringing compassion and humanity to work

buddha maitreya's japanese garden and meditation centre

the Sales Activator® games system for sales training and development - a remarkable sales training and team building system

free quizzes - questions and answers - trivia, general knowledge, management and business quiz

role playing process and tips for role play games and exercises

fantasticat - the Fantasticat ideas for motivating, teaching and developing young people - grown-ups too..

team building games ideas and theory, which explains about preparation, organization and training for team building games and exercises

free puzzles (and free answers) for quizzes

free tips on running teambuilding workshops


free team building games (1)

free team building games - warm-ups, quick games and exercises, ice-breakers, exercises and activities

These free team building games and exercises generally last less than one hour, and can be adjusted to create longer team building activities, depending on team building, ice-breaker, training development required. The development forum gameshow activity is an example of a sophisticated activity that ideally takes two hours or more, but can be adapted to fit into an hour if session time requires this. Ensure exercises are clearly explained, and where appropriate - mostly - that a review takes place afterwards. Review and discussion are often useful and helpful after exercises which have raised relationship issues, or changed people's perceptions. Plan and practise all unknown aspects of the activities before using them. Logistics, facilitation and especially how you split the group into the numbers of team members per team are factors which have a big effect on how the exercises work and the experience for all. See the team building activities guidelines for tips and techniques.

free games, exercises and activities (1) (more teambuilding games 2)


alternative christmas and new year exercise (new year ice-breaker, creative thinking, social values and true life priorities)

An exercise for any group size and creative thought-provoker for the New Year.

See the Alternative Christmas and New Year Exercise on team building games page 2.

mobile phone game (time management, use tools - don't let them use you, manage your environment, communications, addictions to technology and gadgets)

Demonstrates how mobile phones and emails disrupt effective working, time management and organisational efficiency.

See the mobile phone exercise on team building games page 2.

the CRITWATNF game (warm-ups, icebreakers, and for demonstrating that things are rarely as crucial as they seem)

Simple icebreaker or discussion session to look at the difference between objective critical decision-making, and decision-making driven by emotion.

See the CRITWATNF game on teambuilding games page 2.

passion to profit exercise (process and template for enjoyable rewarding work and independence, career change, business start-ups, self-employment, redundancy and outplacement support)

It took Google ten years to achieve world domination from a standing start.

Your own meaningful enjoyable career change, successful self-employment, or new business would take much less time than that.

What's stopping you?

See the passion to profit exercise on team building games page 2.

quick paper tower icebreaker (warm-up, creative thinking, and/or teamwork, skills and process analysis)

A quick simple variation on the old newspaper tower activity.

For individuals or teams, as an icebreaker or more complex exercise to review the nature of tasks, skills, process and team-working, etc.

See the quick paper tower icebreaker on teambuilding games page 2.

tree swing games (awareness and cooperation between teams, departments, divisions, corporations, nations, planets, etc)

A flexible creative exercise (aren't they all?..) for looking at expectations and delivery - and the gap which usually exists between the two - in a very different way.

See the tree swing games ideas on teambuilding games page 2.

poetry activities (team games with poems, creativity, icebreakers, johari awareness, thinking outside of the box, fresh perspectives)

Thursday 9 October is National Poetry Day in the UK, although you can be anywhere in the world to enjoy poetry.

Helpfully in 2008 the theme of National Poetry Day is WORK.

See the poetry activities ideas on team building games page 2.

the 'what did you learn yesterday' game (icebreaker, self-development, life attitude, self-awareness, discussions about what learning and development means)

Simple and potent activity or quick icebreaker. Very adaptable.

See 'What did you learn yesterday?' on the teambuilding games page 2.

tactical team shove ha'penny (icebreaker, teamworking, tactics, strategy)

A simple very flexible competitive game for icebreakers or more complex tactical exercises, which also helps teamworking and team problem-solving.

See the team shove ha'penny activity on team building games page 2.

ageing society exercise (icebreaker, ageism, trends, predictions, creative thought, demographics)

An icebreaker or bigger group activity to demonstrate and develop proactive complex creative analytical forward-thinking, compared to reactive shallow thinking.

The basic idea can easily be adapted into different activities for your own situations, teams and trends.

See the ageing society exercise on teambuilding games page 2.

political qualification game (job skills, training, competence - and many other issues relating to competence and suitability)

An exercise to develop appreciation of job competence and profiling for determining suitability, training and qualifications.

See the political qualifications game on teambuilding games page 2.

positive behaviour exercise (understanding positive behaviour/behavior concepts, karma, law of attraction, etc)

A way of exploring positive behaviour without getting embroiled in issues of religious or spiritual or universal opinion.

See the positive behaviour exercise on teambuilding games page 2.

('Behaviour' is UK-English. 'Behavior' is US-English.)

'moneygram' activity (creativity, teamworking, expressing and sharing perceptions about organizational structures and markets, etc)

A flexible exercise for any ages and all groups. For creativity, developing team working and mutual understanding, especially about organizational or market structures.

See the moneygram activity on the teambuilding games page 2.

new world exercise (icebreaker, or bigger exercise for leadership roles, team roles, multiple intelligences, life skills, analysis and reaction - a context for using new models and tools of management and leadership)

A flexible and fascinating scenario-based activity for groups up to 12 people. For all ages.

Larger groups can be split into teams to add a competitive/diverse aspect to the exercise.

See the new world exercise on the teambuilding games page 2.

helium stick games (team building, assumptions, organising tasks, problem-solving)

Ideas and variations for one of the classic teambuilding games. Great for icebreakers.

See the helium stick basic exercise, plus lots of variations ideas on the teambuilding games page 2.

david davis resignation speech

The remarkable 12 June 2008 David Davis resignation speech provides a wonderful unfolding case study for all sorts of teaching and training areas.

See the discussion examples, tips and clip on the training clips page.

secrets of success exercises (ice-breaker, success factors, differences between skills, attitudes, knowledge, experience)

A quick easy activity for any groups interested in success, teaching, training, etc.

Especially useful for emphasising the importance of attitude, above skills, knowledge, and experience.

See the secrets of success exercises on team building games page 2.

change exercises (demonstrating and experiencing the effects of change on people)

Simple fun exercises for working with features and effects of change.

See the change exercises on teambuilding games page 2.

charades icebreaker/exercise (communications, creativity, icebreaker, conveying messages simply and clearly, non-verbal communications)

Simple activity to help people think about the importance of identifying central themes and key messages and how to convey them, especially the value of non-verbal methods.

See the charades activity on the teambuilding games page 2.

seasonal factors icebreaker (warm-ups and discussion-starters for various issues)

A quick simple and flexible activity for groups of four and over.

The exercise prompts thinking and discussion about the need to predict and adapt to changing circumstances.

The activity itself can be adapted for any function or area of interest and development.

See the seasonal icebreaker on teambuilding games page 2.

dice exercise (sales training, effective selling, time management, planning, maximizing efficiency and return on effort)

One of the best simple quick exercises for demonstrating the value of good planning, for sales and selling especially, but for everyone with responsibility for making best use of their time.

See the dice exercise on the team building games page 2.

shoe-wear (icebreaker ideas, personality types, discussion and activity)

This is a simple idea which can prompt a lot of discussion and ideas about personality, self-awareness and mutual awareness.

See the shoe-wear icebreaker activity on teambuilding games page 2.

'a senseable friend' cards activities (icebreakers, problem-solving, creative thinking, hidden issues, johari, etc)

Unusual and intuitive tool for icebreakers, problem-solving and more.

See 'A SenseAble Friend' on teambuilding games page 2.

'sell a region' diversity game (diversity awareness, teambuilding, presentations, research, understanding other cultures)

For teams, including conference situations, to promote understanding of diversity issues and good team-working.

See the 'sell a region' game on the team building games page 2.

animal perceptions exercise (self-image, influence of others, self-awareness, aspirations, johari-type development)

A fun exercise to stimulate reflection and discussion about self-perception and who we want to be.

See the animal perceptions exercise on team building games page 2.

christmas quizzes

Free Christmas quizzes - Quizballs 48 (30 questions and answers) and last year's Quizballs 29 (20 questions and answers)

listening games (listening skills, interpretation, team working, communications)

Very flexible activity for listening skills and more besides - see the listening game on teambuilding games page 2.

money exercises (taking a wider view, re-examining priorities, seeing and understanding other people's issues)

Simple quick ice-breaker and point-maker for opening our awareness and being less focused on our own narrow priorities.

See the money exercise/ice-breaker on team building games page 2.

conkers and acorns ideas (various themes - especially for young people)

Seasonal obviously, although other links between nature and learning can be found through the year.

See the conkers and acorns ideas on the teambuilding games page 2.

competitor-partner exercises (collaboration v competition, with all that this implies for organizations and teams)

For market and competitor strategies, and for team-building and team-working.

See the competitor-partner exercises and grids on the teambuilding page 2.

This is the age of collaboration - what are you doing about it?

questioning games ideas (demonstrating open and closed questions, developing questioning skills)

Use puzzles and fact-finding scenarios to show and practise the use of open and closed questions.

See the questioning exercise on teambuilding games page 2.

diversity quiz game (teaching and developing diversity awareness, addressing local diversity issues)

Flexible exercise for groups of all sorts to focus on diversity in an entertaining and enjoyable way.

See the diversity quiz game on team building games page 2.

causes and solutions exercises (discussion or illustration of problem-solving, dispute resolution, crisis management and avoidance, solutions-focused thinking)

Flexible activity - easy to set up - for discussion and teaching of problem-solving, crisis-management, solution-focused thinking.

See the causes and solutions activity on the team building games page 2.

quiz public survey game (all and any aspects of communications, plus lots of other applications)

Imagine a cross between a quiz and a treasure hunt... this is it.

See the public research quiz game on the team building games page 2.

bin toss game (ice-breakers, competition and motivation, fun)

You can probably guess...

See the bin toss game on teambuilding games page 2.

bricks in the wall

An exercise for goals and objectives planning.

The importance of components and process in realising aims and changes.

See the Bricks in the Wall exercise on the teambuilding games page 2.

the ampersand exercise

Quick easy idea for ice-breakers, with potential to adapt and develop for more complex learning.

Good for explaining difference between knowledge and skill, and why skills and knowledge need developing differently.

See the ampersand activity ideas on the teambuilding games page 2.

seasonal team games

See the Seasonal Team Activities Ideas on teambuilding games page 2.

christmas quiz

See Quizballs 29 - twenty questions and answers for parties and team games.

cartoon and celebrity role-plays (quick character profiles and scenarios for role-playing)

Do you struggle sometimes to find or compile case-studies for role-playing activities?

Easy quick ideas for enjoyable role-plays - for appraisals, interviews, counselling, discipline, coaching and more.

See the cartoon role-play ideas on the teambuilding games page 2.

obituaries (personal destiny, life goals, getting control of direction and purpose)

For encouraging a deeper review of personal potential and life purpose.

See the obituaries exercise on teambuilding games page 2.

telephone chatting activities (team-building for home-based staff, telephone skills exercises, remote teams relationships)

Home-based staff and remote teams miss out on the valuable social contact normally available to office-based teams.

Personal interaction between staff (typically chatting and engaging in the canteen, elevator, lounge areas, etc) is crucial for developing relationships and mutual awareness among teams, so if teams do not meet frequently then the leader must devise ways to enable this personal interaction to happen.

More background and some ideas in the chatting exercises on the teambuilding games page 2.


Ideas you can develop and have fun using. See the quickies on the teambuilding exercises page 2.

visualisation exercises (lifting limits, identifying personal potential, direction)

A simple activity for groups or teams of any size - individuals too - for visualising and imagining doing something different and special with our life.

See the visualisation exercise on the other team exercises page 2.

stress reduction techniques (stress reduction ideas and understanding, for self or others, or teams)

The quick stress reduction techniques on the stress management page aren't teambuilding activities as such.

However they can provide interesting ideas for dealing with stress and helping and teaching others about stress reduction.

The ideas can also be used to reduce tension in certain types of teams and meetings, for ice-breakers or diversions, to demonstrate aspects of mind-body connection and its relevance to attitude, frame of mind, self-control, and also aspects of NLP, positive visualisation, lateral thinking, lifting limits, and no doubt lots more too.

The chief effect of these very simple exercises is to change the environment and atmosphere, and thereby the 'mindset', which is a basis for all sorts of development, quite aside from the benefits of reducing someone's stress levels.

The 'I am' page helps to illustrate and explain the power of positive visualisation and 'self-talking' which is a strong element within the second of the three stress reduction ideas.

team skipping (team-building and just about anything else)

Looking for something very different, lively and flexible?

With lots of fun and team-work and interaction?

See the team skipping activities ideas on the teambuilding games page 2.

isolation and intuition team exercises (relationships, bullying and harassment, diversity, intuitive demonstrations)

Two team exercises for groups of any size exploring intuition and isolation, which can be used to support learning about relationships and feelings.

The isolation and intuition activities are on the other teambuilding games page 2.

Both activities are highly flexible and can be adapted for local circumstances.

age diversity exercises for teams (age discrimination training, ageism awareness, diversity development)

With the introduction of Age Discrimination legislation, (UK October 2006, and consistent with European law), there is an increased need to raise awareness and to teach people about ageism and age discrimination.

Ideas for activities and exercises to highlight Age Discrimination and Diversity issues are on the other team-building games page (2).

We all, irrespective of age, race, religion, gender, disability, etc., have our own special capabilities and strengths, and it is these capabilities and strengths that good organisations must seek to identify, assess, encourage and utilise, regardless of age or other potentially discriminatory factors.

shot at dawn discussion (morality, leadership integrity, etc)

An emotional subject which enables a variety of discussions about morality, ethics and integrity in institutions, the pressures on people in authority which cloud decisions, and the need for us all to take an interest in the humanitarian and ethical conduct of leaders.

See the 'Shot At Dawn' lessons discussion and ideas on the other team-building activities page 2.

corporate globalization debate activity (exercise and warm-up ideas for exploring corporate globalisation issues)

An entertaining and stimulating way to start any meeting or session involving or relating to corporate globalisation and/or the influence of the modern digital age and the worldwide web.

Corporate Globalization Debate Exercise and Ideas are on the other teambuilding games page 2.

speeches exercises (warm-ups and ice-breakers, presentation skills and public speaking, motivation, inspiration and leadership)

A very flexible activity to develop understanding and confidence for speaking to groups, which can be adapted for many different situations. See the speech exercises on the other team-building games page (2).

corporate life-cycle exercises (organisational understanding for selling, management, own-organisation awareness)

Simple quick exercises ideas for explaining and developing understanding of how organisations develop and change.

See the Corporate Life-Cycle Exercise on the other team-building page. Based on the Adizes model.

world cup/major event exercises (debating, presentation, understanding strategy, management, etc)

If delegates want to discuss the state of football and England's performance, or the aftermath of any major sporting or entertainment event, here are a few quick easy ideas for directing team members' enthusiasms towards useful outcomes for learning, development and team-building, etc.

See the World Cup Antidote Exercises on the other team-building activities page.

See also the Football quiz questions and answers.

baking foil construction exercises

See the ideas for working with this simulating material in the baking foil games on the other team building page.

Look also below at the newspaper construction games which provide other ideas for using baking foil.

triple bottom line exercise (understanding and developing ethical organisations)

See this empowering profit-people-planet activity on the other team-building page. This activity can also be used in development workshops. It is a very flexible exercise and will help bring to life the increasing rhetoric (at last) about ethical organisations, 'Fairtrade', sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and well-being. It sounds great, but how do you make it happen? Start by understanding what it all means.


This idea is so good that it deserves a section all of its own. See the Fantasticat page.

development forum 'gameshow' activity (beyond team-building games - alignment and development of people and organisation - powerful change enabler)

This might be the most powerful activity for people in organisations on this page. Perhaps ever. Try it and see. It contains some radical and innovative organisational development principles. These ideas will be too much for many organisations to handle, not to mention certain CEO's who will pooh their pants at the very thought of it all. It goes way beyond team-building games and pure team-building activities. See what you think:

The activity is particularly ideal for conference or auditorium situations. Big company gatherings to 'motivate' everyone. You know the sort of thing... The CEO says to the HR department, "Guys, we've got this conference coming up. All the staff will be there. I'm going to open it up and give everyone a great big bollocking, I mean pep-talk. Yes, Pep-talk. Get everyone motivated and focused on the new challenges ahead. The need for everyone to learn new skills, to be more customer focused, more joined-up, to be more committed and to adapt to all the changes that we need to make, including the ever-increasing risk of redundancy (so that I can float this baby in a couple of years and make a bloody fortune/so that headquarters/central government can meet its efficiency gains and targets)..."

"Go on.." says the HR team, (thinking, "Is he in the real world?...")

And predictably the CEO continues: "So, after I've warmed them up - an hour or so should do it - it's over to you guys to put together some activities which will get everyone involved and focused on the changes they need to make, so they can all improve their skills, increase service levels, save time and money, take the burden off their managers, and generally come up with some ideas for becoming more effective. Empowerment they call it don't they? I want to empower them all to be more productive. And to stop all the whingeing and moaning. That would be good too. Oh, and by the way we've got no money to spend on it; the hotel is costing us a bleeding fortune as it is."

And then it's over to you.

And here's what you do:

First resist the temptation to leave the company. The people need you. And you like a challenge. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, remember.

Second, think about using this activity and then discuss it with your CEO. If he/she likes the idea you've half a chance that they'll allow you to go through with it:

the development forum 'gameshow' activity

It's for a large group - especially at a conference or corporate presentation - group size between about 50 up to 250 people as an ideal maximum, although double this is possible with some organisational and logistical tweaks. Eight teams of fifteen people, ie, 120 people is an example of a workable team structure. Other team sizes and combinations are perfectly possible. The activity can take between two and four hours, although less or more than this is possible with careful facilitation and structuring.

The object of this activity is to engage the participants in:

  • thinking deeply about their own development and how to optimise it, and

  • working together to suggest how the organisation can improve.

The activity, and the planning leading up to it, will hopefully help the CEO and senior managers to understand more about their responsibilities for their people and their organisation, and perhaps to reappraise their leadership philosophy and purpose.

Important outcomes of this activity will be that:

  • people begin to align more closely with the organisation, and crucially: vice-versa

  • people start to think differently about the organisation - "it can be more than a job if you want it to be.."

  • the organisation gets to hear and see what its people are truly capable of

  • the organisation hears how its people can and want to help improve themselves and the organisation

  • the organisation (and
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