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Hiring Advice Engaging your workforce 30 fun and low-cost outdoor team building activities (part 2)
30 fun and low-cost outdoor team building activities (part 2)

30 fun and low-cost outdoor team building activities (part 2)

Part 2 of this series will focus on 15 more outdoor games that will encourage employees to think outside the box and work as a team.

In Part 1 of this series we focused on indoor team building activities. Part 2 of this series will focus on 15 more outdoor games that will encourage employees to think outside the box and work as a team.

Outdoor / out-of-office team building games ideas

  1. Team sports

Team sports

Organise team sports events, such as basketball, football, or even paintball, with teams assembled either from members of the same division or comprising members from different divisions. In order to encourage participation, organisations can award a half-day leave to participants and the divisions involved, or if done on weekdays, provide lunch and transport. Organisations can even sponsor training activities in the build-up to the competition.

Benefits: Encourages organisational collaborating, bonding

  1. Zombie escape

Lock the team into a room and select a member to play the “zombie”, who will be tied to a rope in the corner of the room. Every 5 minutes or so, release a specific length of the rope that ties the “zombie” to the corner, and as time passes, the amount of length let out will enable the “zombie” to reach the team members. The team needs to solve a series of puzzles to get clues that will ultimately lead to a hidden key that will unlock the door before the “zombie” reaches them.

Benefits: Creative problem solving, collaboration

  1. Cat, rice, chicken

Cat, rice, chicken

Assign 3 team members to the roles of Cat, Rice and Chicken respectively. Have the team devise a plan to bring them across an imaginary river using a boat. The Cat and the Chicken cannot be placed to together, because the Cat will bite the Chicken; the Chicken and the Rice cannot be placed together, because the Chicken will eat the Rice. Only one item can be placed onto the boat to be carried over the river.

Benefits: Problem solving skills, bonding

  1. Pencil drop

Tie strings at the end tip of a pen / pencil and have team members pull each string in separate direction. Lift the pen / pencil only by holding the string and place the pen / pencil into the opening of a bottle. Members are not allowed to speak to one another and are allowed to communication via hand signals or sounds.

Benefits: Communication, team coordination, leadership

  1. Community service

This can be organised as part of corporate social responsibility programmes. It is a great way for team members, especially those who share the passion to help and serve others, to bond and develop teamwork. Through acts of kindness, members of the organisation get to see the kinder side of their colleagues, which may give rise to a higher level of empathy at work.

Benefits: Bonding, empathy

  1. Egg drop

Egg drop
Gather basic construction materials such as newspapers, plastic wrappers, balloons, rubber bands, rag cloth, straws etc. Divide the team into groups of 4 or 5 and have them construct something that using those materials to protect an egg safe from a single-story drop. Gradually increase this height until left with one winning group.

Benefits: Teamwork, creative problem solving

  1. Fill the bottle

Fill pails with water and place a bottle about 5 or 10 metres away. The objective is to use whatever means necessary, except to use items that are design that transport water, such as bottles, pails, cups, buckets etc., to fill the bottle with water. The first team to fill the bottle with water wins.

Benefits: Creative problem solving, teamwork

  1. Catch the balls

Blindfold a team member. Have other team members stand 10 metres away, behind a designated line. Have the blindfolded member throw tennis balls at the direction of other team members, who will attempt to catch them in a bucket / pail. Tennis balls must not bounce off the ground. Members can shout out instructions to the blindfolded member to increase accuracy or distance of his / her throws.

Benefits: Teamwork, covering for the weakness of other team members

  1. Move the balls

Gather 5 to 10 balls of different sizes, such as football, tennis ball, ping pong ball etc. Place them all at one area. Team members are to bring these balls to another designated area 5 to 10 metres away, without using hands and without the balls touching the ground.

Benefits: Teamwork, creative problem solving

  1. Half the bridge

Half the bridge

Separate the team members in equal numbers into two rooms that are next to each other. Provide basic construction materials such as paper, toothpicks, straws, tapes, glue and ice cream sticks. Both groups will try to build half a bridge, which upon completion, will be joined to the other half from the other group. They are not allowed to see each other’s designs and can rely only on verbal communication to describe the bridge’s designs.

Benefits: Teamwork, simultaneous planning and communication

  1. Blindfold tent building

Prepare instructions and basic materials for team members to build a tent. Blindfold all but one team member, who will be only reading and giving instructions but not touch any construction materials. Those who are blindfolded are to build a tent.

Benefits: Teamwork, leadership, listening and following orders

  1. Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunt

Print out puzzles, riddles and scatter them across the office. Ensure that the answer to a puzzle / riddle leads the team members to another puzzle / riddle. The team that finishes the hunt in the shortest time wins.

Benefits: Problem solving skills, teamwork, leadership

  1. Do what you see

Group the participants into teams. Show the team a simple video performing dance moves or acts / plays. Instruct the team to replicate the acts within a certain time frame, say 2 weeks or 1 month. The team with the most convincing replication of the act wins.

Benefits: Bonding, leadership, creativity

  1. Transporter

Prepare toothpicks and hexagon nuts. Line the team in a single file and have them bite onto a toothpick each. The objective is to transfer a specific number of hexagon nuts from the front of the line to the back, using only toothpicks the team members are biting.

Benefits: Bonding, coordination

  1. Stand up together

Stand up together

Tie a pair of team members together while sitting on the ground. They must stand up together while still being tied. Once completed, add more members and repeat the process.

Benefits: Support and communication

Through team building activities, employees get a more up-close and personal feel with one another than they usually would during working hours. They get to interact and develop closer bonds with each other, which ultimately translate into a smoother, stronger working relationship. Via games, employees indirectly pick their brains, which encourages creative thinking, problem-solving skills and nurtures leadership. Of course, it would be make it more enthralling should organisations throw in some goodies as rewards, such as vouchers, prize monies, trophies or even a simple team lunch.

The above are just simple examples of how these activities, if thoroughly and thoughtfully organised, can impact the organisation’s engagement level, motivation and spirit. Carefully planned team building activities will hone the specific skills and subtly encourage employee engagement; these could be the first steps toward the organisation’s success.

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