5 Minute Team Building Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Team building is always important, but that doesn't mean you necessarily have an entire afternoon to devote to it. These simple activities will give you some opportunities for quick team building.

Team Building

Whether in the classroom or the office, we will often have to work in teams. Despite this inevitable truth, many people find themselves uncomfortable in team situations. This is partly because very often we can get caught up in our own work and disconnected from the people around us. These simple activities are designed to be completed in any setting and with minimal distraction from your normal routine. These can work with most ages with minimal modifications.

Human Knot

Organize people into teams of 5-7 and ask each to form a circle. People in that group will grab the right hand of a person opposite them, introducing themselves to that person and telling each other one fun fact about themselves. They will then grab the left hand of another person, sharing fun facts about themselves. The job of the team is now to untangle themselves without ever letting go of hands.

  • Materials: Space for movement

Mini Escape Room

For this modified escape room activity, divide the group into teams of 4-5 people. Have them organize their chairs into a circle, then wrap a series of ropes (or chains, zip ties, etc.) between each chair, locking them together with number or letter combination locks. The number of locks must be equal to the number of clues you have prepared (three is good for a five-minute activity). Inform them that no one may leave their chair until the associated lock has been opened. Give the entire group a short presentation about something, then give them an envelope containing clues. These clues should draw on information from the presentation they just heard and should provide the numerical or letter codes to open the locks.

  • Materials: Ropes or similar materials, numerical or alphabetic combination locks, a short presentation on any topic, written clues in an envelope

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