Whether you are a corporate supervisor trying to instill a sense of community among your project employees or a Girl Scout troop mother trying to get her troop to all be better friends, your group could benefit from bonding exercises played at a team gathering, like a dinner. These exercises, many of which are table games, help everyone present learn more about each other's personalities, unique traits and valuable skills.
Three Truths and A Lie
Each team member must write down four statements about themselves on a piece of paper. Three must be truthful facts and the other a made up lie, but reasonable enough to convince the others at the table that it could be true. Take turns around the table reading the statements. The other guests must try to pick out the false statement from the true. If you are concerned that some of the guests' faces may give away the false statement, have the host read the cards. Focus the game on team building by requiring the statements revolve around a related subject to your project, such as their previous work experience.
Divide the group into teams of four and give each a bag containing the same number and shape of legos. Ask each team to build a free-standing tower and provide a time limit. The team with the highest tower at the end of the time wins. Challenge teams who seem very successful very quickly with communication issues they must overcome. For example, make one of the team members unable to use his voice.
Miming Life Story
Give each dinner attendee two or three minutes to tell their life story using no words. Each must mime out the major points of her life with her body and props available in the room only. This activity will allow others to sense the creativity of fellow group members as well as providing a way to learn more about each other. Allow each team member two minutes at the end of her mime skit to verbally explain her story.
One Line at a Time
Give each guest a piece of paper and a pencil. Ask them to write down one line of a story, any story, that they have made up in their heads. Ask each guest to pass the paper to his right hand side. Ask the guests to read the line of the story that has been given to them by their neighbor and then write one line to continue on with the story. Continue this trend of passing the paper until the original papers end up in the hands of the ones that started the story on that page. Go around the table and have each guest read the story that was created. Open discussion for team building purposes about why each writer wrote what they did.
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Bailey Richert is a 2010 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and hydrogeology, as well as a master's degree in systems engineering. After several years in the environmental consulting industry, she is now attending MIT for graduate school. An accomplished traveler, she has visited 23 countries and published her first book about international travel in 2014.