Great Team Buildings Apps for less than $5

Great Team Buildings Apps for less than $5

(Disclaimer – the links provided here, link to the iTunes store but my understanding is that may are available for androids as well.)

goose chase

Goose Chase is a FREE app that allows you to develop a scavenger hunt for your team.

group games

Group Games is an app that puts 50 game ideas in your hands to build trust amongst team members.  It costs $0.99.  Note: If you get to the App Store and find an icon that has a white “X” with colored circles at the ends, you’ve found the right app (looks like they may have changed their icon recently).

trainer activities

Trainer Activities is a $1.99 app that puts 30 ideas to create positive group atmosphere.

scavenger hunt anywhere

Scavenger Hunt Anywhere is a FREE app that allows you to create a scavenger hunt for your team using their smart phones.

icreativity

iCreativity is another FREE app that allows teams to compete and find new ways to communicate, in a fun game atmosphere.

team quotes

Team Building Quotes is a FREE app that shares quotes about team building.

reverse charades

Reverse Charades is a FREE app that allows your team to act out words or phrases, while one person guesses.

heads up

Heads Up is a $0.99 game that allows your team to play the real charades from any iphone or ipad, with a variety of categories – and allows you to take a team photo at the end.

app of icebreakers

Icebreakers is a FEE app (also called “The Great App of Icebreakers”) that provides a variety of energizing icebreakers for your team.

free icebreakers

Free Icebreakers is a FREE app that provides a variety of questions that you can ask of your team (you may have to replace “family” with “team”, and some questions may be too personal for work.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ACTIVITIES

Here’s what my boss calls a “data dump” – the list of a variety of links that lead to descriptions of team building activities… have fun, get lost!

MOST HORRIFYING TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES

MOST HORRIFYING TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES

Wow – Some of these are just WRONG..but they’ll make you LAUGH too! (CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO GET THE FULL DETAILS).

But the moral of the story is to be sensitive and consider the limitations of the people in your team, when doing team-building activities.

Here are some take-aways from the website linked for this post:

  • Consider people’s dignity, personal space, and privacy – NO, it’s not appropriate to have to be naked with your boss!
  • Athletic-type activities can be very miserable for some.  For others art activities make them cringe and edgy.  Also, be aware of physical limitations (especially when they’re related to worker’s comp injuries)!
  • If the activity is competitive, be sure to split up groups fairly.
  • The top complaint about team building exercises is that they don’t relate to the work we do – so make it relevant and explain the importance of working as a team.  Be sure the team has buy-in – and at the very least, it’ll be a day away from the office.
  • Team building may not be able to repair morale or communication issues, that’s when personnel interventions are needed – and they take TIME!
Don’t choose activities that might violate people’s dignity, privacy, or personal space. Something you might enjoy with close friends isn’t always appropriate for the workplace. Realize that what’s fun for some people is miserable for others. This especially includes athletic activities and public performances. A top complaint about team-building exercises is that they have no bearing on how people spend their time the other 364 days of the year, so ask yourself whether the activity really relates to the work people are there to do. If the team-building is meant to fix a communication or morale problem, it’s probably not the right solution. Those issues require management to step in and take action. – See more at: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2012/07/06/the-10-most-horrifying-team-building-exercises/#sthash.WoVoLQ8b.dpuf
Don’t choose activities that might violate people’s dignity, privacy, or personal space. Something you might enjoy with close friends isn’t always appropriate for the workplace. Realize that what’s fun for some people is miserable for others. This especially includes athletic activities and public performances. A top complaint about team-building exercises is that they have no bearing on how people spend their time the other 364 days of the year, so ask yourself whether the activity really relates to the work people are there to do. If the team-building is meant to fix a communication or morale problem, it’s probably not the right solution. Those issues require management to step in and take action. – See more at: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2012/07/06/the-10-most-horrifying-team-building-exercises/#sthash.WoVoLQ8b.dpuf

My most horrifying team building experience was called “Land Mine”.  I had to work with a partner to guide my steps (while i was blindfolded) across a tarp covered in thumb tacks.  I made it through okay, but when we had to change partners, I could see the pain and anguish on his face when he would step on a tack.  OUCH!

5-Minute Team Building

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Have you ever watched Minute to Win it?  What a great concept, and it’s easy to do!  This is a great energizer activity to get people motivated for the day ahead…  Here are just a few ideas…

And for those who need a bracket chart – here’s a sample that can be downloaded here: http://www.baggo.com/pdf/bracket.pdf

 

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More Philanthropic Team Building Activities

So, what a neat concept, although there are team-building events that can get quite competitive, when it ends with a charitable donation, everyone wins.  Here are some similar ideas, similar to the bike-build idea (from a previous post).  All of these have teams work together to assemble products to later be donated to a charitable organization.  Here’s a link for some more information on these ideas: http://www.teambuilding-unlimited.com/charity.html

  • Rocking Horse assembly
  • Red Wagon assembly
  • Tricycle assembly
  • School backpack assembly & decoration

Here’s some other variations on the same concept…that may be a bit more fun and creative:

  • Collect non perishable food items before your team build activity.  Challenge teams to create a put-put golf hole using the food products they are allotted, then donate the food products to a local food bank.  Give prizes for the most creative, or add a theme element.
  • To encourage teams to examine their creative genes, give teams several blank canvases where they can paint groupings of paintings.  Then donate these groupings to a local charity to auction off at a fundraising event.
  • Have your team explore the mission of a local charitable organization, ask them to develop a pillow-case sized representation of their vision.  Have the pillowcases sewn together to create a mural project.  The local organization can hang the mural in their lobby or conference room as a decoration.

Best Corporate Events and Team Building – Bike Build Donation

Here’s a charitable team-buidling event: The Best Corporate Events and Team Building hosts a bike-build challenge. Using iPads teams are developed from the organization to answer challenging questions and then are tasked with building a bike, riding it on an obstacle course, and then the bikes are donated to a local charitable organization.

Biography in a Bag

Brown Bagg’n It!

Here’s a great get-to-know-you team building exercise.  Coming in as a new manager or after you’ve been with the company for a suitable amount of time where you can begin to get a little more personal…

Either ask your team in advance to prepare for the assignment, or you begin by doing this as a manager on your own…so that the team can get to know you.  Bring in at least 5 personal items that describe your background, interests, representations of who you are, hobbies, passions, etc. 

A fun variation of this is to ask people to do this on the fly with what they’ve brought with them to the meeting (i.e. purses, wallets, key chains, lanyards, laptops, etc.).

The Simple Stuff

 

Team building can be as extravagant as a week-long retreat and as simple as a 5-10 minute activity.  Today, I’d like to share some simple, quick, and cheap activities:

This is an easy icebreaker for a meeting; toss the ball to everyone in the room, they read the saying that their thumb landed on out loud and answer the question.  The one featured below is the “Meet and Greet” thumball.

They have a variety of other thumb balls – things to get creativity flowing – “Describe It” Thumball; as well as “Best, Worst, First”; and “Virtues and Values”.  And, as a coffee drinker, I’m quite excited about the new product, the “My Favorite Things” Thumb Ball Cup (shown below).

 

And for retreats, or trainers, they have a Thumb ball series they produce every year!

 

  • JUST THE FACTS – Using a grease board or butcher paper to brainstorm about a topic you wan to address.  Go around the room and ask each participant to name a fact about the subject; continue until you run out of facts and participants begin to assert opinions instead of facts.  As group members begin to insert more opinions, encourage group members to call them out by saying “Just the Facts”.  This works great to brainstorm and get the creative juices flowing.  A simple example is “A carrot” – Facts could include: it’s orange; grown in the dirt; contains vitamins; a non-fact would be it tastes good.
  • ME TOO! – Have everyone stand up in from their chairs.  Begin with the person on your left and ask them to state a fact about themselves,  (e.g. “I love chocolate.”).  For all those that also love chocolate, they can say “Me too” and take a seat silently.   Continue until everyone is standing or only one person is standing.  You may want to repeat the activity a few times to get to know more people, depending upon the size of your group.