Team-Building Activities & Survival Games

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Team-building activities help group members learn to collaborate and communicate.
Team-building activities help group members learn to collaborate and communicate. (Image: team image by Andrey Kiselev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Team-building activities and survival games are a great way for group leaders, teachers, managers or directors to bring people together--whether at a training session or conference for work, or at a youth group or camp. Instead of using costly materials that must be purchased, access these activities for free on the Internet where they have been contributed by other leaders who have tested them out.

Teampedia

Teampedia is an online encyclopedia of over 100 team-building activities and resources that are available free for team leaders. The site has a variety of options for users to explore. Users can view the activities by category, such as Collaboration, Communication, Circle Games, Table Games, Team Strategy or Diversity. Activities can also be sorted by group size, such as small, medium or large groups. Finally, users can also use the search function on the web site to search for a particular activity or key word. Each activity contains a list of the specific objectives, the group sizes it is applicable to, any required materials and setup and detailed instructions for the team leader. Many activities also have a section titled Variations, where leaders will find additional ways to conduct the activity, as well as a section of debriefing questions to help participants understand the purpose of the activity and reflect on what they have learned. There is also a section called Facilitator Notes where important and helpful tips are provided to the team leader about the type of activity; for example, trust activities will have a reminder for instructors to pay close attention to participants’ physical and emotional safety. Instructors can click on these tips to read about each term more thoroughly.

Sigma Nu Team Building Activities

This web site provides an extensive list of free team-building activities created by Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. While they are designed by a fraternity, they can be used for any type of group. One type of activity is called Icebreakers, which are short activities that help unfamiliar people get to know one another and become comfortable interacting as a group. A second type of activity is Energizers, which are designed to engage people and break up a long monotonous day of training by giving individuals a break and getting them moving. Finally there are Initiatives, which are longer, more challenging activities that require the group to work together to solve a problem. All of the activities can be opened as PDF files. There is also a section for team leaders with tips and ideas on how to help participants process what happened during the activities.

Desert Survival

This survival activity is designed to encourage group members to work together as a team to solve a problem and cooperate effectively. The activity is available as a Word document that leaders can save to their computers and print as needed. It begins with a scenario that team leaders should read out loud to the group. It instructs group members that their plane crashed and stranded them in a desert. The group must decide which salvaged items they want to take with them on their trek across the desert to safety, and rank the items in the order of how important they are. The website also lists instructions for the team leader to help the groups process the activity after it is finished and share their ideas with other groups.

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