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Best Games for Team Building Are Still the Classics

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 2.39.51 PMI am often asked what I think is the best game for team building.  If you ask me, you’ll know that I give really vague answers.  My stock reply is “it depends.”  It depends on your goal, budget, group, timeline, climate, location, etc.

If I were locked up in jail and not allowed out to get out until I answered the question, I would have to say the best games for team building are still the classics.

So, if you had to describe – in general – the following games to a stranger, how would you do?

  • Clue
  • Monopoly
  • Whose Line is it Anyway?
  • The Newlywed Game
  • Bingo
  • Risk
  • The Game of Life
  • Scavenger Hunt

How well did you do? If you are under the age of 40, give yourself bonus points. Although all these games are still active today, they had roots decades ago. They have become classic games around the world.

These classic games are some of the best games for team building and are used by sales teams, boards of directors, committees, seniors, cruise lines, girls night out, and so many other groups.

One advantage these games have in common is their ability to scale up or down to accommodate small or large groups. They all also have the characteristic of being adaptable. For instance, I know of a sales trainer who reverently guides his sales team through The Newlywed Game but adapts it to pair up people who just happen to work together. It’s hilarious and is a memory builder or reputation destroyer, depending on who is telling the story.

Scavenger Hunt has been used over and over and is still today one of the best games for team building. It too is adaptable and can scale up or down to accommodate any size team. This game is fun to design and fun to execute. Years ago, when I was a pre-teen, my parents designed a scavenger hunt game for their friends. The game clues sent participants all over town solving clues to find the next clue which would ultimately take them to the final prize. My assignment one year was to stand by the flagpole of the local elementary school and hand out the next clue to the game players as they found me. To this day, I remember their excitement.

At a family reunion, my sister set us up for a picture scavenger hunt game. We were all asked to find a variety of things on a list and photograph them to show the judge. The items we were to photograph were hysterical and teased our quirky interpretations.

Little girl wearing pink
Bald man
Purple van
Cardinal
Straw

If you have a quirky imagination like my family does, you will come up with crazy ideas to hunt down and find anything that remotely resembles the items on this list. (we are still apologizing to the bald man).

Although I don’t usually advise people to fall back on using the classic games as their team building activity, the games have such staying power! If I must generalize, the best games for team building are still the classics.

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