When you need to keep your team building activities limited to a small space or prefer to have groups remain seated, use table top exercises as an alternative. Select activities that require very little movement and few supplies. Your team building games can be get-to-know-you games or challenges that bond your group together.
Lose Your Shoes
For a quick and easy icebreaker or to be used before or after a break, ask all members from each table to place their shoes in a box that corresponds with the table's number or name. As the people return to their tables, place the box of shoes in the center of each table. Have each group attempt to match the individuals to their rightful shows by describing the personality of the shoe owner.
Power of Words
Challenge teams to form words out of letters written on index cards. Keep the same number of people per team if possible. Hand each table an equal number of index cards and some markers. Have everyone write one letter of the alphabet per index card without showing their teammates. Give the entire group one minute to complete. Allow everyone to start forming words within an allotted amount of time; it could be 15, 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the length of time you want for the game and the number of cards you issue per person. When you call time, the team with the most words formed wins. You can also determine winners by asking teams to form a sentence from the group of words or give extra points to teams that form longer words.
What Color Is Your Day?
To get your teams together to see things through each other’s eyes, play the easy game of What Color Is Your Day. Choose whether the team will be divided into small groups or if all will work together. The purpose of this game is to show the entire group how similarly and differently they all think and allow them to discuss how they may approach different situations when working together. Give each participant a notepad and pen. Simply ask everyone to close their eyes. When everyone’s eyes are closed and they are quiet, ask them to think of the days of the week. Ask them what color each day is. Give them a second or two to think, and then ask them to open their eyes and immediately write down what color each day is to them. Allow the group to work on this project for about five minutes before going around the room to discuss everyone’s color choice and theory behind why they chose the color to represent each day.
Crystal Green is a marketing and event management consultant specializing in non-profit organizations and small businesses. Green spent the last seven years working for a statewide education association directing their trade publications, writing articles for programs' training teams and other event-related freelance projects. Green hold a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, and is currently working on advanced degrees.