Aristotle famously said –
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
Outdoor experiential learning activities allow your team to come together in an unfamiliar territory and allows them to flex their individual skills. Not only are they placed outside their comfort zone, but their team dynamics is also put to test.
The various challenges mentioned below can help your team re-discover their collaborative skills, while giving them a chance to have fun and make memories.
Presenting a list of 20 engaging team building activities for your next team adventure –
1. Jungle survival
An adventure experience like no other, this one’s not for the faint hearted. It requires teams to act as one cohesive unit to survive the challenges of living in a jungle.
When done right, it can be a great camping experience for the entire team. You can choose to run it either as a competitive challenge or enable collaborative leadership, depending on your team’s needs.
2. The Cook-Off Challenge
There’s something very cathartic about cooking together. A fun team challenge that can be run as both, indoor or outdoor activity, this one should not be missed.
The teams are required to cook up a 3-course or even a 5-course meal, depending on the available time. Each team has a limited pantry and is required to come up with innovative dishes, at the drop of a hat.
This activity can be used to teach the importance of teamwork, and also enable a better cross-functional understanding.
3. The City Race
A team challenge that takes you on a fun trip through a new city? Who can say no to that.
Come together as team to explore a new city while having the time of your life. Each team will be given a set of clues at the beginning of the race and then left to explore and win. These clues will take them to various pit stops, spread across the entire city.
The team that reaches the finishing point first, after solving all the clues, wins. It provides many wonderful opportunities to make your team think on their feet, while highlighting the importance of time management. All this, coupled with the joy of exploring a new city together is truly unforgettable.
4. Trust Walk
A rather simple, but highly effective team engagement activity, this one will have your team in splits.
Get your team members in a straight line, with each one placing their hands on the shoulders of the person in front, while being blindfolded. The leader then has to guide the team through obstacles mainly through verbal cues.
This activity helps build trust among team members. It also will leave your team members with unforgettable memories.
5. Build Your Raft
The path across rough waters is one of the most relevant metaphors to reflect a team’s journey to peak performance levels. Always unpredictable and ever changing, market conditions often throw a team off its course. With current rarely on their side, it Is important for teams to strategise and work together to utilise the resources available at hand.
The Build Your Raft challenge allows for teams to get together to build a raft out of scratch. These hand built rafts then are used to engage in a competitive, fun, and engaging race. A great option to make unforgettable memories while shining a light on the organisational values like collaboration, communication, and impactful team work.
6. Soapbox Racing
Back in 1933, a newsman named Myron Scott from Ohio found inspiration in a group of young boys racing their home made cars. He launched a racing program called ‘The Soap Box Derby.’ A whole crowd of kids showed up with homemade cars built of orange crates, sheet tin, wagon and baby-buggy wheels.
And before we knew it, India had caught on to this whack, fun team activity. The first official Soap Box race was conducted in India by Redbull in Mumbai, in the year 2012.
In the experiential version of the same, teams have to work together to build, design, and race their very own, unique, patented versions of the Soap Box. And what’s more is that each team gets to create its own unique merchandise and collaterals.
In no time at all, as it seems to the teams – the whistle blows and the line-up for the final race is decided by the super talented panel of judges.
The activity can be used to drive multiple points home. Some of the most popular insights include horses for courses,’ creativity, leadership, and the importance of every single person in a team throwing their weight into a given task.
The activity also shines a light on the importance of doing a quality job and reminds people of the, often underrated, aspect of the importance of having fun while working.
7. Treasure Hunt
If you’re on the hunt for a dynamic, unique team-building program, if your team wants to be stimulated, challenged and inspired in the outdoors – The Geocaching Challenge is the activity for you. With the use of handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and objective-based caches, the Geocaching Challenge! makes for a fun and engaging team experience.
Teams are equipped with GPS devices and set off on a pre-set trail that has them solving puzzles and overcoming different challenges – all within a given time. This challenge addresses key values like collaboration and effective communication, effectively.
8. Tic Tac Toe
The ageless game with an experiential twist!
Instead of playing It the traditional way, with a paper and pen, let’s gives it a fun makeover. Team members play it on the ground, using hula hoops. And, as an additional element, another team member will be responsible for the said person.
The only difference is that each move is played by a different team member. This will help shine a light on the importance of effective teamwork, team understands that one wrong decision can result in a loss for the entire team.
9. Spin the web
A fan favourite, this one will have your team members in splits. The activity requires team members to cross a rope spider web without touching the web. It enables team members to stay focused and collaborate effectively. This activity also promotes strategic thinking, planning and execution.
10. Egyptian Pyramid
Built during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world, the pyramids— are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history. Their massive scale can be estimated by the fact that approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone (averaging about 2.5 tons each) had to be cut, transported and assembled to build the Great Pyramid. It took 20 years to build and required the labour of 200,000 men!
And now you can also relive this challenge with your team through The Egyptian Challenge!
In this engrossing team experience, large teams are broken up into smaller units, who are then challenged to build their own small pyramids. A game of innovation, creativity, and team acumen – this one is a definite winner!
11. Happy Feet
“There is perhaps nothing more universal than the drive to move our bodies in sync with music. Studies show that dancing at parties and in groups encourages social bonding, whether it is a traditional stomp, a tango or even the hokeypokey. Many researchers have argued that people experience a blurring of the self into their groups thanks to the synchronization that occurs while dancing...”– Scientific American, May 2016
This activity offers the team members a chance to learn not to judge themselves, to stop seeking approval, and to dance without caring about others’ opinions. Or, as we like to call it –
“dance like no one is watching.”
The joy and freedom of expressing their being will be more powerful than not expressing themselves and worrying about being judged. The real magic though is in what happens to a group of people who go through the experience together. When inhibitions drop, when people learn to “mirror” and “shadow” each other and something subtle and wonderful happens. Team members begin to feel comfortable with each other like never before.
12. Team Olympics Challenge
Nothing gets people as excited and charged up as pure, unadulterated sports!
Add to that mix a generous dose of fun and some healthy competition – and you have a winner in hand. The team olympics challenge is a fast-paced, action packed team engaging activity that never disappoints.
Get the team excited about the event well in advance by asking them to choose their uniforms and a creative slogan. From rituals and high energy music to live scores – this activity will keep your team on their toes. Sprinkle a handful of super enthusiastic cheerleaders from among your team and you have the recipe for an electric atmosphere.
13. Paintball Army
A team activity that will get the adrenaline pumping and hearts racing. A real-life war zone, it brings forward the importance of collaboration, quick thinking, and staying present in the moment.
Teams form army troops to take down enemy troops with paintballs. This activity is also great for strategic thinking and teamwork. Make sure that you double check on safety measures before opting for this one.
14. Blindfold Tent pitching
Calling all the explorers out there – time to experience nature at its best.
An outdoor activity that requires teams to collaborate efficiently, while having the time of their lives. The main challenge is to pitch a tent, from scratch, in the minimum time possible. The only condition is that all team members will be blindfolded. The team that pitches a tent in the fastest possible time, wins.
You can convert your next team off-site into an adventure trip and make memories that will last forever.
Zip-lining is one activity that is bound to bring out the adventure-seeker in everyone. For a thrilling and exhilarating day, ziplining is highly recommended.
This activity can be outsourced to any of the adventure sports providers in the area of your choice. The joy of sharing such an adventure sport together can help break the ice between cross-functional teams, easilly.
16. Water balloon toss
The stage is set. The weapons are ready. Your soldiers are eager to get started – and the whistle finally blows.
The game begins by two people gently throwing the water balloon at the person standing opposite to them, back and forth. Every time they both catch the balloon, each takes a step further back. This continues till one of them drops the balloon. And, the last two people standing win.
17. River rafting
River rafting is a thrill most people wish to experience, at least once in their lives. As a team challenge, it is something everyone is bound to love. The very fabric of teamwork is what holds a safe and fun river rafting experience together. Thus, a day spent river rafting is bound to boost inter-personal relationships and leave your team with unforgettable memories.
18. Beach Olympics Challenge
Whether it is splashing around in the water, rolling in the sands or playing games under the open sun & sands – beaches tend to be an ideal release, especially for stressed up executives!
The right mixture of sand, sun, and teamwork is a great way to shine a light on values like teamwork, strategic thinking, as well as sportsmanship. Unforgettable fun is just an added bonus.
19. The Celluloid Challenge
There are few things more magical than the silver screen of celluloid. What if you could combine the timeless charm of the tinsel town with team building?
The Celluloid Challenge offers you the best of these two worlds. A team challenge that allows your team members to explore their creative side and combine forces to tell a visual story, it’s unforgettable in its execution.
With an unique movie as the mission, teams are handed props, costumes and a handy cam. As the clock ticks away, teams are faced with a series of decisions to make. Who will be the actors? Who is going to direct? And what about the camera operator? What props and costumes to choose? Which story-line to go with?
Who will be the choreographer, singers and dancers? Which locations to shoot at? Effective teamwork will be essential for success this time.
20. The Elixir Challenge
What is a team party without a few drinks and a lot of laughter?
The Elixir Challenge gives your team members to explore their creative side and bring the elixir of team bonding to life. Watch the sunset with a bunch of your favourite co-workers, and a few handmade cocktails (or mocktails )
A team engagement activity that requires your team members to donn the hat of a mixologist for the day. Watch them get creative with simple, daily use ingredients to come up with signature drinks for themselves and the rest of the gang. As they learn to mix, shake, chop and stir up unique and creative cocktail combinations, they also get a chance to have uninhibited interactions with each other.
21. The City Race Challenge
A fast-paced team building challenge, it’s all about the action. Teams come together to race against each other, as well as time. The entire activity involves a host of engaging tasks spread across various check points within a city.
From solving whacky clues and completing fun challenge stations too accomplishing collaborative team tasks – it has got a little of everything. Highly customisable, the City Race Challenge works well with any form of transport. In fact, it can even be made to suit on-foot action.
22. The Sand Fortress Challenge
This intriguing activity gives your team a chance to visualise the dreams they have for the organisation. Using sand as their ink, they paint creative and innovative masterpieces reflecting the future. Filled with beach fun and collaborative moments, it makes for a memorable team experience. The activity brings focus to values such as ownership, creativity, and accountability.
23. The Celluloid Challenge
In this challenge, the entire team is turned into full film production units and they are challenged to produce their own unique versions of Bollywood classics. The challenge moves through the different stages of film making – ideating, scripting, shooting and editing. You can also customize the content to incorporate your company message, corporate focus or offsite theme. The Celluloid Challenge is ideal for group sizes up to 50 people.
24. The Beach Olympics Challenge
“Ocean breeze puts the mind at ease”
Spend a day with your team at the beach and watch the inhibitions go down. Destinations like Goa, Kerala, and even Mauritius – make an ideal setting for the Beach Olympics Challenge. This challenge comprises a series of fun-filled group challenges From outdoor sports to introspective activities, all of it can be fine-tuned to organisational values like coordination, teamwork, communication, planning, and creativity.
25. The Social Chef Challenge
A super flexible and interesting team challenge, it can be customised to suit your team’s convenience. The challenge faced by each team is to strategise how to utilise the limited non-food resources available to create masterchef meals.
26. Mobile Learning Activities (MLA)
Engaging mobile activities, these can be set up anytime anywhere for your team. This is especially suitable for those teams who don’t have time for an offsite but want to do some engaging activities in a conference room or within the campus. These fun-filled activities include Turning Point, Key Punch, Mine Field, Blindfold Square, and Mouse Trap.
We hope these ideas come in handy, the next time you’re planning a team engagement session. Do let us know in the comments section, which is your favourite.