It is said that the best leader is also the one who is the best team member, since a team will do better working together than simply being led. For team-building activities, the same is true. The goal of team-building activities is not to win, but to learn to work together where everyone is helping to ensure success for the whole team. As most team-building exercises work best with props, balloons can be a part of some great activities.
Using balloons for a scavenger hunt is great because you can usually see them when you’re getting close, though they work best in larger areas like a park or even an office building. To set this one up, you should come up with clever clues that will lead your team from checkpoint to checkpoint where they’ll find another balloon with another clue written on it or attached to it. This will work best if you know a little about the team you’re sending out, so you can include personal details within the clues. This way they’ll have to pool their knowledge and work together based on what they know of one another to solve each puzzle. For instance, if one of your group members eats an apple every day, you might send them to an apple tree, or a refrigerator, or wherever they might know apples are kept in the playing field. This is a lot of fun and keeps people working as a team, and it can be as intricate as you like.
A blindfold hunt is the best way to exercise communication between players, as one team member will rely on a teammate's directions to get them through this activity. This team-building activity works best with helium-inflated balloons, in groups of two, where one person guides the other through a course in search of all of their color balloons. To set this one up, inflate different-colored balloons and put them together at each station. Then, without physically touching, one partner has to guide their partner from station to station to retrieve all of their colored balloons. This can be tricky when the blindfolded individual has to identify their own balloon string from the groups, and carry all of their balloons without them flying away. Optionally, you can either attach a weight to the bottom of the string, or give each team members a pair of scissors, being careful not to let the collected balloons fly away.
To effectively get your balloon through an obstacle course, you team must work together to ensure the survival of your balloon from the outside world. This activity works best with helium-inflated balloons without strings attached. If you’re playing at a park, you might require your teams to cross monkey bars, crawl through jungle gym equipment, or swing from a platform to another. This gets tricky when you are required to hold on to your balloon, and in some cases only works when you work as a team to pass the balloon from member to member as each completes the physical challenges.
Stephen Andrew Baldwin became a freelance writer in Seattle, Wash. after graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. Focusing professionally on web copy, Baldwin has been writing professionally for more than two years, and has been published on a number of websites including eHow.com.