Team building activities are crucial for promoting healthy collaboration, team cohesion, and a strong sense of belonging. There are hundreds of team building activities out there, making it hard to choose the right one for your team. In this article, you’ll find the best free team building activities so that you can create a solid team without spending a single penny!
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Why Opt for Free Team Building Activities?
Team building activities allow your team to grow stronger while having fun. Weak teams create weak results and team building activities combat that.
Team building activities have many benefits. They improve employee engagement, and when employees are engaged, they are more productive, healthier, and loyal. Team building activities also allow employees to socialize and become familiar with others, which has been found to improve a team’s performance. Finally, 73% of employees surveyed in a recent study wished that their company would invest more in team building activities, so it’s incredibly likely that your employees do too!
However, we know that money isn’t always in abundance, and it doesn’t need to be either. Picking fun and free team building activities are a fantastic way to get your whole team working together on a budget. From simple brain teasers to sports days and team scavenger hunts, there are plenty of free team building activities available!
If you have a virtual team, we’ve got you covered. Find the best free remote team building activities here!
29 Fun Free Team Building Activities
We’ll save you the headache of trolling the internet to find good, fun, and free team building activities. Here’s a list of our favorite 29 free team building activities for workplace teams that you and your team must try!
1. Team Trivia
Team Trivia is a great free activity for team building that allows colleagues to demonstrate their knowledge, learn something new, and have a laugh together. To play trivia, create a list of questions that you want to ask your team. These questions can be general knowledge questions or questions that are related to the workplace. You then want to split your group into two or more teams, and whichever team calls out the answer first wins the point!
2. Scavenger Hunt
Creating a scavenger hunt is a fantastic, out-of-the-box way to engage a team since it’s a combination of socialization and friendly competition. To create a scavenger hunt, all you need to do is create a list of things that you want your team to collect from around the office. Good examples of items to be collected include pencils, coffee pods, staples, or hand soap. Give your team members 2 minutes to run around the office and gather the things on the list. The first person back is the winner!
3. Solve a Puzzle
Get your team involved in solving some fantastic brain teasers. To play this team building activity for adults at work, simply give your team a time limit to solve the answer to the brain teaser.
This free team building activity will require participants to work together, think aloud, and brainstorm as a group. It’s perfect for getting people to view things from a different perspective and understanding the strengths (and weaknesses) of their teammates.
4. City Hunt
This team building activity is a fantastic free way to get your team moving around your city and connecting. It’s also stress-free to organize and guaranteed to be fun, which is why we know you’ll love it!
All you need to do is pick memorable places in your city and send your team to find the places and take a group picture with them. To make it more competitive, you can give your team members a time limit to find all the places.
5. Team Sports Day
Whatever your age, exercise has been shown to improve your mood, prevent chronic health conditions, and make you more productive at work. As a result, it is a no-brainer that a team sports day is one of the best free fun team building activities.
All you need for a fun team sports day is access to a large green space that you can use for free. Once you’ve sourced this space, set up various sports day activities that your team can get involved with. For example, you could set up an egg and spoon race, a relay race, or a 400-meter sprint. Endorphins will run high as will the team bonds!
6. Penny for Your Thoughts
Designed to loosen up a team and get them to know each other a little better, this fun team building activity is a great way to get everyone to share something more personal than they might in normal office conversation.
Put some coins into a container. Then, get each team member to pull a coin out. They then must share a memory or significant event that happened in the year that’s on the coin they pulled.
7. Blindfolded Tent Build
All you need to complete this activity is a few old tents from your garage. They’re worth finding, as this free team building activity encourages problem-solving, listening, leadership, and teamwork skills like no other! In pairs, one player is blindfolded and must listen to instructions from the other player on how to put up a tent. You can turn this challenge into a competition by having teams race to finish first.
8. Group Timeline
Are you looking for a way to get everyone in your team feeling connected and like they know each other on a more personal level? If yes, then this free activity for team building is for you! It’s a great visual way to show the diversity of age and experiences within your team and encourages personal connections.
On a whiteboard, write a timeline that dates as far back as the oldest team member. Give your team members four slips of paper and allow them to mark down four important moments in their life and pin them to the timeline. Your team can then discuss their events and why they are important to them.
9. The Code of Conduct
A simple, but incredibly meaningful activity, ‘the code of conduct’ sets the tone for all future team building activities. It is designed to build trust, and it helps your team to establish mutual group values.
On a whiteboard, write down the words “meaningful” and “pleasant”. Ask everyone to shout out what they believe will make this workshop meaningful and pleasant. Record each answer in the form of a mind map and then go over each answer and ask all participants how they can ensure that the idea can be carried out in the workshop. Record these answers on the whiteboards and all the ideas that are mutually agreed on as being pleasant and meaningful therefore making up the code of conduct for the group.
10. Say My Name Backward
Working best with new teams who don’t know each other yet, ‘say my name backward’ is a fun way to get your entire team engaging with each other. It injects a little humor into your team’s introduction, making it a great team building activity for new teams who are just meeting.
To play, get every team member to introduce themselves by saying their name backward! Other team players must then try to say their name the right way.
11. What’s My Name?
This is an excellent team building game to break down barriers and help your team members feel more confident when interacting with each other.
On name tags or labels, write down the names of famous people. Give these name tags to each player, tell them not to read the name, and instead stick the tag on their head. Your team must then mingle with each other where they will ask and answer questions about who they are. At the end of the mingling time (we recommend 5 minutes), bring your team back together so that they can use their detective skills to declare who they think they are!
12. Back-to-Back Drawing
Get ready to unleash your team’s creativity with this team building activity. Back-to-back drawing promotes problem-solving skills as well as focusing on every member’s verbal communication and listening skills!
Working in pairs, one player must carefully describe a shape without naming it. Their partner must then try to draw the shape as correctly as possible.
13. Chest of Hopes and Dreams
Designed to encourage creativity and problem solving, this team building activity will not only create a strong team but will also help them to figure out how they can efficiently reach their goals, hopes, and dreams.
Team members write down what they want to achieve from life on an index card. These cards are placed in a hat and pulled out at random by different players. The team must then discuss how someone can achieve what they have written on their card, whether that’s to become a millionaire by the time they’re 40 or to learn how to knit!
14. Musical Chairs
As a childhood classic, there is a reason why musical chairs have been played by generation after generation. It is a great way to keep a group of people engaged and bonding together.
The setup for musical chairs is very simple. Set up one less chair than the number of people playing in a circle formation. Your team members then need to walk around the perimeter of the chair circle and sit down when the music stops. The person who doesn’t find a chair quick enough is out. Remove a chair so that there is always one less chair than people playing and start again.
15. The Compliment Circle
Everyone likes to be told something nice about themselves, whether it’s a compliment about their hair, their personality, or their unique skill sets. Knowing what someone else likes about us can massively boost our confidence, create trust between team members, and develop a sense of psychological safety within a team.
Spend five minutes with your team sitting in a circle. Go around the circle and ask your team members to compliment the person sitting to their right. If you’re the team leader or the manager, you can start by saying something such as “Jane, I really like how confident you are when you close a sale”, or “Peter, you have excellent problem-solving skills and make me proud of our customer service”.
16. Team Volunteering
Volunteering as a team is a fantastic way to get your team bonding by giving something back to the community. Working with a local charity, your team can spend a whole day together outside of the workplace and bond over their ability and desire to help others.
Find a local charity that you’d like your team to volunteer with and arrange a day for your team to go down and volunteer together. This can be any charity you like, from a homeless shelter to an animal sanctuary.
17. Show and Tell
Taking only five quick minutes, a ‘show and tell’ team building session allows your team members to share their special experiences and form a deeper connection.
Every week, pick two of your team members to bring in an object that represents something significant to them, whether it’s a workplace achievement, sporting achievement, or a family heirloom. They then explain this object and the story behind it to the other team members. If you want to make this activity a bit longer, you can get all your team members to bring in their show and tell objects at the same time and do them in the same session.
18. Count to 20
The goal of this free team building activity is to get your team engaging with each other and understanding the moves of the next person. It will create bonds and a massive sense of achievement once your team gets to 20.
To play, ask your team to sit in a circle and explain that the goal is to count to 20. The catch: only one person can speak at a time, you can only say one number at a time and no two people can say the same number at the same time, otherwise the game goes back down to number 1.
19. Campfire Stories
This informal, yet fun, free team building activity will encourage your team members to share and establish their common experiences. Team members can learn exciting new things about each other and relive old memories, which ignites trusting relationships.
To play, sit around a fake campfire (or make a real one… just make sure that you’re outside) and create post-it notes that contain ‘trigger words’ to kickstart the storytelling. Examples of great trigger words include “first day”, “work travel” or “lunchtime memories.” Team members must then pull out a post-it note and explain a story they have that relates to the trigger word.
20. Group Lunch Hour
A timeless way for a team to bond and connect is to enjoy a meal together. Arrange a time for your entire team to bring in their lunch and eat it together. To make this even more special, your team could all bring in a packed lunch with a common theme, such as Italian food, Asian cuisine, or a party food platter.
21. Company Mission Statement
To build a strong and respectable brand, you need your employees to know what you stand for. A great way to reinforce this is to ensure that they know and understand your company’s mission statement.
Divide your team into groups of three and ask them to fill out the blanks in the company’s mission statement. Give them a time limit to do this, and once that is up go over the mission statement and the deep meaning behind it to ensure that everyone is up to scratch with it.
22. Listen Up
This free team building activity allows your team to practice good listening and encourages them to be open-minded. Studies have shown that open-mindedness in a team has many positive outcomes, such as increased knowledge sharing and improved performance. As a result, this team building activity is not one to be missed.
On an index card, write a controversial topic. In pairs, one person must speak about the topic for three minutes. After their time is up, the other partner must summarize what they heard without debating their points or agreeing with them.
23. Paper Tower Challenge
Looking for a creative way for your employees to use their problem solving skills and work together in friendly competition? Then this team building activity is for you. Split your team into small groups and give them three minutes to build the largest freestanding tower possible. The only catch – they can’t use anything but paper! Award a prize to the team whose tower is the tallest and still standing at the end of the game.
24. Hide and Seek
Although hide and seek sounds simple, this team building activity is an exciting way to get your team problem solving and developing their memory skills!
Find a space large enough for your whole team to play hide and seek. Team members must then hide in places and wait to be found by the designated ‘seeker’. Once they are found, they can join the ‘seeker’ on the hunt for the rest of the team!
25. Two Truths and a Lie
Designed to get your whole team interacting with each other and understanding each other on a far more personal level, Two Truths and a Lie creates trust and team bonds that will last forever!
All you need to do to play this fun team building activity is go around the room and get members to say two truths and one lie about themselves. The other team members then need to guess which is a truth, and which is a lie.
26. Office Book Club
Reading books provides us with a sense of escapism and allows us to take a break and relax. To ensure that your entire team has the opportunity to feel these things, create an office book club. Every couple of weeks, people who’d like to participate can get together to choose books and discuss what they’ve read.
27. Simon Says
This team building activity needs very little explanation, as most people played it as children! It’s a great way to get everyone up and moving about and creates energy and laughter within the team.
To play, when you say “Simon Says” followed by an order, your team must obey the order. For example, “Simon Says stand on one leg” or “Simon Says touch the floor”. However, if the caller does not say “Simon Says” prior to giving an instruction, those who do the action anyway are out! Last person left wins.
28. Birth Right
Research has found that the order in which we are birthed into our family can affect our academic performance, earnings, and social attitude. Put the theories to the test in this fun free team building activity.
In the four corners of the room, label each one for birth order. For example, oldest, middle, youngest and only child. Team members go to the corner that applies to them and discuss what they have in common with the others who share the same birth order.
29. Me, Myself, and I
We are all the center of our own universe, so what better way to get your team bonding than to get them talking about themselves? Me, Myself, and I allows team members to get to know and understand each other on a deeper level.
Playing in pairs, one partner must speak about themselves nonstop for 3 minutes. The other partner must then summarize everything they said, before doing the same thing.
We hope you have enjoyed our list of the 29 best free team building activities. These activities will undeniably provide your team with fun ways to connect, unwind, and just have some fun!
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