Tinker Toy Activities for Team Building

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Use tinker toys to teach team-building skills to students.
Use tinker toys to teach team-building skills to students.

Tinker toys are a trademarked brand of children's building toys produced by the Hasbro Company. These toys consist of wooden and plastic objects such as wheels, sticks, tubes, flags, couplings and pulleys. Use tinker toys in the classroom or workplace to teach team-building skills to students and employees. Team members will receive firsthand experience with skills such as communication, listening, creativity, cooperation, networking and leadership, as well as the importance of using these skills in the real-world classroom, workplace and family.

  1. Build a Bridge

    • This tinker toy activity encourages team-building skills such as cooperation, creativity, problem solving and networking. Divide the participants up into two groups and separate the groups from each other. Instruct each group to build one-half of a bridge with tinker toys. Bring the two teams together and have them connect their halves to form one bridge. The individuals on each team must learn to cooperate and work together to create a finished working structure.

    Line of Communication

    • Individuals learn the importance of listening and following the directions of their supervisor in this team-building activity. In order to be successful, each member must complete his or her tasks in a quick and orderly manner. Assign titles such as client, wholesaler, buyer and builder to each team member. The client looks at a constructed model and must explain to the wholesaler what the project looks like and what parts the team will need. The wholesaler must gather the needed parts and explain the project to the buyer. The buyer must transport the parts to the builder and explain how they fit together. The builder then assembles the parts. Reveal the model and compare it to the assembled piece. The group was successful if their piece matches the model.

    Blind Fold Building

    • Teams learn of the importance of communication, listening skills and leadership when they participate in this activity. Each team nominates a leader. All team members except the leader put on a blind fold. The leader looks at an object constructed from tinker toys. The leader must direct the blindfolded team members to recreate the object with loose tinker toys. The team members must listen intently to the leader's instructions to be successful.

    Architects and Builders

    • Students or employees learn the value and importance of each team member during this activity. Split the group into two equal teams. Separate the teams in different rooms. The members of the first team are the architects and must build a structure with the tinker toys. Each team member from team one meets with a member of team two to interview them about the structure. The members from team two must share what they learned from their various interviews in order to recreate the structure. Have the teams compare their structures at the end of the activity and share what they learned.

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