Chapter 9

Outdoor Team Building Activities

Check out our handy guide to the 10 best outdoor team building activities that you can run safely outside. All the weather types accounted for!.

One of the best ways to get everyone to start bonding and getting to know each other on a personal level is to provide a change in scenery.

When we constantly see someone is the exact same context and situation every single time, it’s very easy to fall into the mindset that the person is defined solely by their role and responsibilities.

Just think of the first time you saw a teacher outside of school and were utterly shocked that they actually had a life outside of school grounds.

With this in mind, here are some fun team building games for the great outdoors.

1. Egg drop

Objective: Creative Problem Solving & Improving Collaboration

Duration: 20 to 30 minutes

How to play: Everyone loves throwing stuff out of a building, if they say they aren’t interested then they’re a liar. A schoolyard classic, this is a fun game that tests everyone’s problem-solving and collaborative skills, and you get to throw things off the roof!

Prepare by gathering a carton of eggs and simple building materials like newspapers, balloons, string, cardboard, masking tape, styrofoam etc. Once you have everything, divide everyone into small groups of three to five people and evenly distribute the materials to every group.

The challenge is for every group to construct a carrier in 20 to 30 minutes that’ll allow for an egg to be dropped off the roof of the building (or a two-story window if you work in a skyscraper) without breaking.

Make sure you avoid this activity on a hot day as no one enjoys the smell of rotting egg in the parking lot.

2. Team sports

Objective: Communication Skills, Team Bonding, Confidence Building & Improving Collaboration

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

How to play: One of the simplest and most straightforward team building activities out there is playing a sport together.

Whether it’s indoor soccer, volleyball or even dragonboat racing, a little friendly competition and physical activity is a great way of encouraging communication and collaboration between your great team members. All you really need is a large enough space to play your sport of choice and it’s game on.

Make sure you take into consideration the type of sport you choose, as well as the physical abilities and personalities of your group.

Some people who are aren’t naturally athletic might feel at risk of feeling embarrassed or humiliated, and others who are extremely competitive can make it uncomfortable for everyone involved.

3. Charity events/social work

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Duration: Anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of weeks

How to play: Supporting a charitable cause is not only good for the community, but studies have shown that acts of charity provide a variety of benefits to the individual.

Getting everyone together to volunteer at a local charity together is a great way to give your team the opportunity to give back and learn more about each other in the process.

Whether it’s spending a few hours at a soup kitchen, helping out a nonprofit, or reading to kids at a hospital, volunteering not only helps your team feel more connected with each other but to their community as well.

To help you look for volunteering work that you and your team can get behind, make sure to check out sites like Idealist, All for Good, VolunteerMatch and Catchafire.

4. Scavenger hunts

Objective: Team Bonding, Improving Collaboration & Creative Problem Solving

Duration: 2 to 6 hours

How to play: Another classic team building activity, depending on the size of your team and the resources at hand, you can create a simple scavenger hunt around the office or go all out and get your team exploring the entire city!

A very simple way to hold a scavenger hunt is to divide everyone into small groups and give them a list of random objects that they have to take a picture of.

You can make it even more engaging by throwing in a few extra mini-games or objectives that people have to complete like solving a riddle, answering some office trivia, or even get high-tech with geocaching!

5. Team tic-tac-toe

Objective: Improving Collaboration, Decision Making, Confidence Building & Communication Skills

Duration: 15 to 30 minutes

How to play: Often used as a warm-up drill for sports teams around the world, this activity also has the side benefit of being an excellent team building game that gives everyone a chance to shine while working together as a team.

All you need is are eight bean bags in two distinct colors, and nine cones or hoops. Divide everyone into two equal lines and set up the cones in a three-by-three grid a few yards away from the players, you might need to set up another two cones so people know where the “starting line” is.

The objective is to play a game a team game of tic-tac-toe by each player placing their team’s respective bean bag on the cone. The first player at the start of the line runs up to the cones and places a bean bag and then runs back and tags the next person in line who places their bean bag, and so on so forth with the game-ending until one team wins.

Run as many rounds of this game as you’d like and feel free to mix it up by adding in an extra challenge like having to dribble a soccer ball for example.

6. Hole in many

Objective: Communication Skills & Improving Collaboration

Duration: 30 minutes

How to play: A very simple team building activity that can involve up to a dozen people, this game involves getting a large tarp with multiple holes cut out in the middle and a tennis ball.

Instruct everybody to grab a corner of the tarp and stretch it out between them so everyone is in a circle, then place the tennis ball in the middle of the tarp.

The aim of the game is to keep the tennis ball from falling through any of the halls for as long as possible. This is a great game that requires everyone to effectively communicate with each other in order to win.

To make it even more challenging, you can cut a few more holes in the tarp or add a few more tennis balls as the time limit goes by.