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Team Building Exercises for Adults

author image James Patterson
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President's Cancer Panel and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports.
Team Building Exercises for Adults
Adults talking together at a round table. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Whether you’re putting together a company retreat or just trying to build team morale in the office, team building exercises are an efficient way to bring groups of people together. Team building exercises help reinforce the concepts of teamwork, communication and problem solving, as well as helping people who aren’t familiar with each other interact and get to know more about one another.

Egg Drop

In this exciting challenge, teams are given a pile of random materials—such as straws, string, Styrofoam cups and a cardboard box—and the challenge to make a contraption that will help an egg withstand being dropped from the top of a multi-story structure, such as a small building or parking garage. Team members must work together and use the materials to construct the device within a certain period of time. All teams then present their contraptions and explain what went into making them. Then, the moment of truth: each team puts an egg in their device and drops it to see if it will survive. To make the activity more competitive, teams can vote on their favorite contraption among the other teams, or can cast votes for the most creative. The device with the most votes that also protects its egg wins.

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Tower Build

Similar to the egg drop exercise, the tower build is a challenge in which teams have a certain amount of time to build a free-standing tower structure using random materials. Teams should be separated into different rooms so they are not able to see one another’s structures. At the end of the time limit, a judge will measure each structure to see which is the tallest. At the end of the competition, all the teams gather to discuss what group dynamics went on during the activity, how leadership roles were established and carried out, and how teamwork played a role in completing the activity.

Lost at Sea

For this activity, teams are given a specific scenario and asked to come together as a group and make a series of decisions. For example, teams must pretend their ship has sunk and they are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. The only remaining items from the ship are a smattering of different supplies, such as a shaving mirror, a roll of duct tape, shoelaces, a transistor radio, and so on. Teams must rank all the supplies in order of usefulness from most to least, and give an explanation for each decision. All the teams’ lists are then presented in front of the whole group. Participants then talk about group dynamics while ranking the items and how they resolved conflicts and disputes during the contest.

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