5-Minute Team Building Activities: 7 Inexpensive Ideas

5 minute team building activities

Introduction

Team building sessions are excellent avenues to practice various organizational skills including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity, and time management skills.

5-minute team building activities come in handy for a busy team. In fact, the most effective tasks are those that incorporate short, fun activities that will have everyone excited and engaged.

So how do you make your team building day as fun and educational as possible without dwelling on one specific activity for too long?

Below are seven 5-minute team building activities that you can try with minimal financial investment.

You can do these activities independently or use them as icebreakers for much longer team building activities.

5 minute team building activities

The Top Seven 5-Minute Team Building Activities

1.    Guess the Task

Targeted Skill: Creativity and Innovation

Objective: Encourage participants to be creative in problem-solving.

Materials Needed:  Photos of random objects on folded pieces of paper, placed in a jar.

The Activity:  Randomly ask participants to pick a paper and stand in front of the group. Let the participant illustrate the use of the item in the photo.

The rest of the team is supposed to guess what image the participant is trying to demonstrate.

Here, the participant should try as much as possible to be creative and offbeat in his demonstrations.

Transferable Skill: It prompts participants to find solutions to tasks quickly by accurately associating different processes in the workplace.

5 minute team building

2.  Wooden Planks Soldiers

Targeted Skill: Teamwork

Objective: Engage participants in a job that requires the full cooperation of all team members.

Materials Needed: Two light wooden planks per group and a pair of ropes for each team member. This activity works best outdoors.

The Activity:  Make groups of between three to six members. Place the two wooden planks on the ground in a parallel position, one foot apart.

Ask the participants to line up on the wooden planks facing one direction with one foot on each wooden plank. Ask the participants to use the ropes to tie their feet to the planks.

The participants should then hold each other’s shoulders for support and balance. Ask the members to take twenty steps forward, turn, and take ten steps back. The first team to finish the challenge wins.

Transferable Skill: These 5-minute team building activities encourage teamwork in the workplace through effective communication and coordination.

Employees will also learn to accommodate the contributions of all team members.

5 minute team building activities

3. Identify the Owner  

Targeted Skill: Avoiding Stereotypes and Prejudices in the Workplace

Objective: Challenge the participants to make decisions based on facts and not stereotypes or misinformed assumptions.

Materials Needed: Post-It notes or adhesive labels. 

The Activity:  Ask the participants to write the following on the labels.

  Participant’s job ID initials;

    One of their hobbies and;

    A skill that they have that they rarely use in the workplace (for example, a marketer may have coding skills, or a driver may write excel spreadsheets and have analysis skills, etc.).

Fold the papers and put them in a jar. Ask a group member to come and pick one paper. Let him/her try to pinpoint the owner of the sticker.

Ask the group member to explain why he chose the person.

Read aloud the Job ID initials and ask the owner to identify him/herself.

Transferable Skill: This activity helps participants to substantiate their actions with valid reasons instead of relying on myths and assumptions when performing tasks in the workplace.

team building activities

4. Things You Don’t Know About Me 

Targeted Skill: Orientation

Objective: Encourage participants to express themselves in a fun way.

Materials Needed: Toilet paper.

The Activity: Pass the toilet paper roll around, asking each participant to tear off a piece, from 3 to 5 squares long. Ask each participant to count the number of squares on the piece of paper that each has torn.

For each square counted, ask the participant to share a fun fact about them. The more the squares counted the more fun facts to be shared.

Transferable Skill: Encourages openness and a relaxed mood when orienting new staff.

5.  The Narrator Challenge 

team building

Targeted Skill: Positive Thinking

Objective: Encourage participants to see their past challenges as a learning experience.

Materials Needed: None.

The Activity: Ask participants to be in groups of two. Let one participant narrate to his/her partner a past unfortunate occurrence.

It can be a work or non-work related experience. Ask the other participant to step forward and tell the rest of the group about the occurrence, but only dwell on the positive aspects of the whole experience.

Ask the participants to change roles and repeat the exercise.

Transferable Skill: This activity helps team members to see the break in the clouds when they handle tasks that they struggle to accomplish. Any failure should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve.

6.   The Tower Challenge

5 minute team building activities

Targeted Skill: Planning, Tolerance, and Attention to Detail

Objective: Rearrange a tower of 6 dice.

Materials Needed:  6 medium sized dice per group.

The Activity:  Randomly arrange the 6 dice per group to form towers. Each group should have their tower built away from the other towers.

Ask the group members to rearrange the dice so that the tower displays the numbers in either ascending or descending order.

They can do this by pulling one die out and putting it on top of the tower. While pulling out the dice, no one should touch the tower.

The group whose tower crumbles is eliminated. A team whose members get angry or engage in arguments is also kicked out. The first group to rearrange their tower wins.

Transferable Skills:  Assist team members to practice precision and patience when handling their work.

7. The Presenter Challenge

5 minute team building activities

Targeted Skill: Brainstorming

Objective: Encourage participants to use their imagination in coming up with suggestions before a brainstorming session.

Materials Needed:  None.

The Activity: Quickly share with the group a topic that you will discuss later in the workshop. Ask the group participants to list three things they feel they will contribute to the discussion.

Randomly pick and ask a participant to share what he/she wrote.

Transferable Skill: Instills the habit of holding productive meetings through active participation and prior planning.

Conclusion

Before you undertake the above 5-minute team building activities, ensure you have adequately prepared your team for the sessions.

Select activities that your team will enjoy. Clearly explain the action you are about to take.

In addition, do a quick spot check to confirm that everyone understands the rules of the game. Run the activity with a timer in hand. 

And finally, debrief the action and find ways to reinforce what you have learned back on the job. Enjoy!

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