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5-minute activities for team building

People are showing three thumbs-up for a 5-minute team-building activity
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Teamwork is an essential component of any community that works together. Whether it’s in a school or workplace, 5-minute team building activities are a great way to build camaraderie and foster teamwork. However, as adults, you only want to engage in meaningful activities that will encourage collaboration.

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Thus, random children’s activities might not be effective in team building.

Here are 20 fun, dynamic, and effective team building activities you can play in your next session.

1. Never have I ever

Before you think this is silly, hear us out.

‘Never Have I Ever’ is traditionally a drinking game.

However, we think that it can certainly become an excellent quick team building activity for any kind of group.

Moreover, if the team works remotely, it’s also a good activity.

How it works

In this workplace activity, all group members will raise all of their 5 fingers.

Each member will say something they haven’t done in the workplace.

For example, “Never have I ever used my phone during a meeting” or “Never have I ever stole an office supply from my workplace”.

Whoever has done it will bring down or close a finger.

Whoever gets all 5 fingers down will be eliminated.

Make sure to make it clear that it’s a strict work-related activity.

Vulgar or inappropriate never-have-i-ever’s are not allowed.

2. Two truths and a lie

Two truths and a lie is another traditional game that can easily double as a 5-minute team building activity.

It’s also remote workplace-friendly.

Moreover, it doesn’t take up a lot of time either.

How it works

A group member will list down three things about him or her, one of which is a lie.

Then, the team will have to guess which one is the lie.

Just like the previous game, you should specify to the team that only work-related sharings are accepted.

The one who can guess correctly gets a point.

When everyone is done sharing their two truths and a lie, every one counts all of their points.

The one who gets the highest points will be the winner.

3. Would you rather?

Would You Rather is a great quick icebreaker for small to medium-sized groups.

As it is an icebreaker team building game, you are free to ask any kind of questions as long as it is workplace-appropriate.

It’s a quick game designed to get to know your colleagues better and enjoy their company. It’s a great 5-minute team building activity.

How it works

You can play this team building game in two ways.

If you’re doing it virtually, it is best to assign a facilitator.

He or she will draw a lot from a pool of questions.

Then, the facilitator will ask each team member a question.

Meanwhile, if you are playing in person, you can print out a bunch of would-you-rather questions and place them in a jar.

Then, each member will draw a question.

Some question examples are: “Would you rather have a bad boss in a great job or a great boss in a bad job?” and “Would you rather hire or fire an employee?”.

4. The paper tower

The Paper Tower is a classic team-building activity.

Although it might seem silly and childish, it’s a great way to encourage group collaboration, communication, and cooperation.

How it works

The group facilitator divides the group depending on the number of members.

Members can work individually or in groups.

Each group will receive a piece of paper that they will use to build a standing tower.

Note that no other materials should be used in the paper tower building.

After the five minute periods, the facilitator will measure the paper towers that will stand freely.

The one who has the tallest paper tower wins.

At the end of the game, team members can also share their strategy, the challenges they faced, as well as their learnings.

5. QuizBreaker

QuizBreaker is a virtual team building activity for those working remotely.

Especially nowadays, people have no sense of the workplace while working from home.

Thus, it’s essential to encourage collaboration and communication in a group.

How it works

QuizBreaker works in 5 easy steps.

First, you and the group will answer fun icebreaker questions.

Then, you will guess your team members’ answers to the icebreaker question.

This way, you get to know your teammates more in an engaging and fast-paced manner.

At the end of the game, you get to see a leaderboard and see who knows their team members best.

This is an awesome activity that can help members of a team to get to know more about each other on a personal level.

It’s a once-a-week easy and fun way to engage in a quiz game.

More and more teams have signed up to engage their members in this popular game.

6. Heads up!

Heads Up! is a fun five-minute game that others will surely love.

The mobile app game added a few twists to a classic game that makes it such a delight to play.

If you have a remote team, you can play it online, too!

How it works

Heads Up is essentially a charade you can play with your mobile phone.

You pick a category to play.

Then, a team member places the phone in front of his or her forehead and guesses what’s flashed on the screen.

He or she will tilt the phone forward if the answer is correct, otherwise, he or she should tilt the phone backward to pass.

You have the option of playing the traditional Celebrity Heads Up just for fun.

However, if you want it to be strictly work-related, it’s also possible.

You can improvise and make your version of Heads Up if you don’t want to use the app.

7. Keep the balloon up

It’s perfect for groups that are looking for quick huddle activities that are just fun and energizing.

You also won’t need a ton of props for this activity.

All you need is a balloon.

How it works

Decide how many members are in one group.

Each group will be given a balloon while everyone gathers around it.

The goal is to keep the balloon off of the ground by hitting it with their arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Once a member hits the balloon, he or she has to say his or her name.

The catch is that the same person can’t hit the balloon more than once.

You can create a twist by changing up the rules.

In the next round, once a member hits the balloon, he or she says another team member’s name.

That person then has to hit the balloon next.

8. Arrange yourselves!

This game is one of the best bonding exercises for team building.

If you’re looking for a quick way to get people to bond and get to know one another, this is the one to beat.

It’s easy and won’t take up much of anyone’s time.

Furthermore, you also get to know more about everyone.

How it works

The facilitator will divide the team into two to three big groups.

Then, the facilitator will ask the groups to arrange themselves according to various categories.

The first group who arranges its members correctly gets a point.

Some examples would be to arrange yourselves according to age, number of siblings, height, birth month, etc.

This way, the team members can get to know one another in a fun, non-awkward way.

9. Listen up!

It’s an excellent 5-minute team building activity that emphasizes the importance of communication.

It’s a simple listening game that truly tests how well someone listens and pays attention.

Moreover, this team building activity helps new teams know more about one another.

How it works

Team members draw a topic from a lot.

Then, he or she will talk about the topic for one whole minute.

The one next to him or her will then repeat what the previous one had said in the most concise way possible.

The key is to get people to listen intently and communicate properly.

If you’re cramped on time, you can lessen the speaking time to 30 seconds so the activity will be more fast-paced.

Moreover, the facilitator can get creative with the type of questions that will be drawn.

10. Scavenger hunt

The scavenger hunt is a fun and interactive team-building activity for all ages.

Different groups love this activity for its versatility.

You can specifically tailor it to various kinds of teams to make it more interesting and suitable.

However, you might be thinking about how this activity can be a five-minute game.

How it works

In this team-building task, you don’t even have to leave the workplace. Here are some fun work scavenger hunt ideas.

  • Take a picture with an employee who has been in the company for more than 5 years.
  • Take a video of your team jumping up in the air at the same time.
  • Find all persons in the office who were born in a specific month.
  • Gather all gold objects in the office.
  • Find a co-worker who knows someone who lives in your neighborhood.

The key is to get creative with the scavenger hunt list.

You can tailor the list to help team members get to know one another better.

No one has to leave the office at all!

11. What’s on your desk?

‘What’s on your desk?’ is a classic 5-minute team building activity that highlights everyone’s talents.

It challenges one’s brainstorming and communication skills.

Moreover, it’s a good way to keep everyone’s creative juices flowing.

How it works

Everyone gets to choose an object from their desk.

Everyone then has to treat the product as their own.

They have to give it a name, logo, branding.

Moreover, they get to promote it to the rest of the group.

If you aim to make it a five-minute activity, you can do it in groups.

This activity is also suitable for remote teams as it’s relatively easy to do online.

Instead of an office desk, you can ask team members to get an object from their homework desk.

12. Your worst/first job

Your worst or first job is one of the most commonly played 5-minute motivational games for team building.

It allows everyone to reminisce about their previous jobs.

Moreover, it also reminds them of how far they have gone since then.

This makes it such a quick and effective team building activity.

How it works

You can do it the traditional way or give it a fun twist.

You can simply have everyone share either their first or worst job.

However, if you want to make it more fun, you can ask everyone to write down their first or worst job.

Then, everyone gets to guess whose paper it was.

The goal is to learn more about your co-workers.

It’s just a fool-proof way to break the ice.

13. The egg drop

The egg drop is a silly yet effective activity to foster team building.

It isn’t as serious as the other activities but still reaches your objective.

How it works

The main goal of the game is to protect the raw egg from breaking.

Divide all participants into two to three groups (depending on the number).

Then, give a raw egg to each team.

In five minutes, they have to come up with a solution to protect the egg from breaking.

They can use any materials insight to protect the egg.

In the end, all groups will drop the egg from a certain height.

The usual height used is about 10 feet.

Then, everyone will check whose teams have eggs that are still intact.

If all teams’ eggs are intact, the team that used the least amount of materials wins.

14. Build a shelter

Team building is about collaboration and working in synergy with your team members.

With Build A Shelter, teams get to exercise their creativity and building skills, as well as bond with their teammates.

Moreover, it’s a good alternative for teams who are tired of question and answer or sharing activities.

How it works

For this activity, you will need at least 10 stacks of newspapers per team and a bunch of tapes.

Ideally, the team should have around 4-6 members.

However, anything less is also fine.

The goal is to create a shelter out of the newspaper.

Everyone should fit inside the make-shift shelter at the end of the session.

Remind everyone that they only have five minutes to build the shelter.

At the end of the team building activity, team members can share the challenges they encountered when making the shelter.

It’s also a good way to measure everyone’s time management skills.

15. Pirate’s treasure

The Pirate’s Treasure fosters team building and alertness in a suspenseful and fun manner.

No maritime skills are required in this team-building contest.

How it works

Select a captain from your team.

The captain will sit on a chair blindfolded in the middle of a circle.

Beneath the chair is the treasure.

Then, the rest of the team will run in circles around the chair.

The facilitator will point to someone around the circle to become the pirate.

He or she has to retrieve the treasure as silently as possible.

If the blindfolded captain senses the pirate and points to him or her, then the pirate is out of the game.

However, if the pirate succeeds, he or she will switch places with the captain.

16. Game of possibilities

If you’re looking for a fun 5-minute team building activity for events, the Game of Possibilities is a great one.

It takes about five minutes to finish the game.

Thus, no one gets bored and everyone is energized.

Moreover, it’s an effective icebreaker, too!

How it works

The facilitator assigns an object to a group.

Then, every member of the group has to present an object’s function.

The twist is that they have to do it by demonstrating and not speaking.

The rest of the team has to guess what function is being demonstrated.

17. Hello, my name is…

Team building begins in getting to know the people around you.

Thus, this activity is one of the best initial 5-minute activities for team building.

Apart from just getting to know each other’s names, everyone also gets to know a little bit more about everybody.

How it works

In this activity, the participants must use all letters of their first name or nickname as an acronym.

For example, if a participant’s name is Anna, she will come up with words beginning with A, N, N, and A to describe herself.

She can use adjectives or sentences beginning with these letters.

Another spin of this game is just coming up with one adjective that has the same first letter as your name.

Then, the next participant has to recall yours, and so on.

For example, “Hi, my name is Amazing Anna.”

Then, the next one would say, “Hi Amazing Anna, I am Stylish Sarah.”

The third one would go. “Hello Amazing Anna and Stylish Sarah, I am a Dancer Diana.”

18. Count to 20

Count to 20 is another blindfolded game that tests communication and cooperation skills.

People of all ages can play.

Moreover, it doesn’t take up a lot of time which makes it ideal for quick team building sessions.

How it works

Members of the team stand or sit in a circle blindfolded.

The goal is to count to twenty.

One team member can begin counting then another team member continues.

If two people speak at the same time, the team has to start counting from one again.

It might sound too easy but you’ll be surprised how difficult it can get.

To create a twist, you can ask the team to count backward.

This will add to the difficulty of the game.

The team that counts to 20 in the least amount of time wins.

19. Messy desk

The messy desk game is one of the best five-minute energizers for remote teams.

When we are in our normal office jobs, we feel compelled to always keep our desks as tidy and organized as possible.

However, when we are working remotely, the motivation to have a spotless desk is just not there.

How it works

In this short icebreaker game, you get to share a picture of your work desk.

No one is allowed to clean up or change something on their desks.

No matter how messy and chaotic it is, everyone has to out themselves.

Team members can also talk about the unusual objects found on their desks.

This activity is a fun and quick way to get to know everyone on the team.

A person’s desk surprisingly says a lot about a person.

You get to find out if someone thrives in chaos or thrives in cleanliness or organization.

20. The electric fence

The Electric Fence puts a nice spin on the traditional limbo.

This 5-minute activity is ideal for quick team building events that aim to bring teams together and energize them at the same time.

Moreover, this activity allows everyone to brainstorm quickly while working with others.

How it works

Create an imaginary electric fence using ropes or shoelaces.

It must be around waist height.

The team must cross the electric fence without going under it.

The challenge is to do it all at the same time.

Thus, everyone should hold hands as they cross the electric fence.

There’s a reason why companies, schools, and other institutions are always holding team building seminars and activities.

This is because these activities offer a lot of benefits to the team’s morale, productivity, and efficiency.

Moreover, it simply creates a positive atmosphere for everyone.

The five minute activities for team building listed above are all great for your next team building.

Some of them actively try to bond team members together.

Meanwhile, some activities simply encourage everyone to get in touch with their playful child self while cooperating with others.