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The 30 Most Effective Team Building Activities for Creative Teams

Jomo Merritt
Jomo Merritt
|
June 7, 2022

If you hadn't known this, team-building exercises are being used by creative teams all over the world to enhance their ability to work more effectively and efficiently.

In case you are gung-ho even a little about building cohesive groups to promote collaboration and teamwork, then this article is for you.

All that, combined with fun and engagement, will make for an entertaining team-building activity that will teach you to communicate, plan, solve problems, and resolve conflicts. 

Are you intrigued yet? Well, immerse yourself in our list of the 30 effective team building activities for creative teams.

Why is team building activities important?

In any team development exercise, the purpose is to encourage employees to work as a stronger unit to improve company culture.

Whether you're trying to scale your creative business while bringing together small teams to boost employee morale or to support team bonding, employee engagement through team building games is very successful.

There are also many benefits to team building activities. For example, it can improve productivity, enhance problem-solving abilities, motivate employees, facilitate collaboration, and foster trust and respect among your team members.

It can also be of benefit to your team members by helping them to develop their communication skills to the next level. Having your team members engage in fun activities that help people see each other in a different light and allows them to connect in a different setting.

Team building games can boost team bonding and maybe give your creative project manager some ideas to think outside the box to improve the product or service of your company.

30 team building activities that are fun and effective for creative teams

Below, are a mixture of icebreaker and team-building games for new teams in which members are still forming relationships with other colleagues.

You will have the opportunity to participate in over 20 fun, engaging, and fun team-building exercises as soon as your group is ready.

Team of people playing two truths and a lie.

1. Two Truths and a Lie

Curious about your mysterious creative teammates? Wondering what's fact or fiction about them?  The game of two truths and a lie is a great way to get to know your group in a fun and engaging way while building connections.

Moreover, it is a great exercise to build your communication skills through participation in the game. 

Play it in any setting, whether it is a board room, large or small group. Each participant will grab a sheet of paper and write down two truths and one lie about themselves. Everyone reads their list out loud, without revealing which lies they have told.

As the others try to figure out what's true or false, the suspense begins! The team member who correctly identifies the most lies wins!

2. The Agency

It is the perfect team-building exercise for creative teams if you are looking for a way to dive into some creative thinking and promote teamwork and collaboration. Everyone brings an object from their desk.

Each of them then creates a marketing strategy that includes a branded name, logo, tagline, and a goal. After that, everyone presents their plans to the group.

After each presentation, talk about why certain pitches worked and others didn't. The agency activity introduces a fun way to look at ordinary objects with a creative eye. Your team members will come up with original ideas and think outside the box with this entertaining game. 

3. Telephone Pictionary

In every creative team, it is essential to have a little bit of abstract thinking. The team building exercise of telephone Pictionary does just that and it can be played in larger groups or small ones. Sometimes, interpreting those you work with can be a real challenge. This game deals with this issue in a fun and enlightening way. 

Use strips of paper with phrases and lyrics written on them, such as "Ice, Ice Baby," or a famous quote, like "Crying over spilled milk." Each team member starts with their phrase. They write it out on the first page of their notebook as best they can.

All notebooks are passed to the left after 30 seconds. The person then has 30 seconds to interpret the drawing. The next person illustrates what the last person drew. The notebook is passed back and forth until it returns to its owner.

Owners of notebooks show each page once they are returned to where they began.

This is definitely a fun team-building activity for creative teams who don't mind committing a few hours. The exercise illustrates how meaning can be misinterpreted and how it’s important to explain things to others.

4. Six Thinking Hats

Does your creative team lack problem-solving skills? The six thinking hats activity is one of those fun team building exercises that can help determine why an issue is happening and how to fix it.

The late Edward de Bono created this unique activity aimed at helping people find solutions to everyday problems. In this game, members of the team must think from six different perspectives to find solutions

Hat Role Focus
Green hat Reasoning Facts and figures
Brown hat Positive outlook What's in it for you?
Purple hat Defending Risks and difficulties
Black hat Feelings Emotions and intuitions
Yellow hat Imagination (creative) Ideas and possibilities
White hat Administration Makes sure the hat guidelines are followed

So if you were assigned the admin hat, it would be your job to make sure everyone else has done their job right and within their limitations. This allows each creative team member to think from different perspectives and offer diverse viewpoints on the problem while bringing employee engagement.

5. Scavenger Hunt

Is there a team that doesn't want a bonding experience full of thrills, excitement, and adventure? That is why scavenger hunts are fun team-building activities for creative teams. Besides, these exercises can really improve your collaboration, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

Scavenger hunts combine fun with the adrenaline rush humans crave, so it is no surprise that they draw everyone's attention. You will feel the same rush as your creative team chases down clues, finds hidden items, and "solves a series" of mini-mysteries to reach the end goal.

This is a creative team building exercise that everyone would play at least once. It's just one of those fun activities that definitely promotes team bonding and works well in small or large groups.

6. Charades

Who doesn’t like a game of charades to promote employee engagement?  Especially if it can distract your creative team members from their work for a few minutes. Break the team up into groups of four or five. An individual from the team will show one random object (e.g., a pen, ruler, calculator) in private.

Their goal is to demonstrate how to use the object without actually showing it to their team. Everyone has 30 seconds to shout out the correct word (time can be adjusted according to difficulty).

It's now the other team's turn to step up and this goes on until every team member has had the chance to demonstrate an object to their team. 

This classic game is a nice way to break up a mentally taxing day promote employee engagement and get your team to do a creative exercise that isn’t work-related.

7. Mood Pictures

The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," certainly holds true in this case because playing with mood pictures can set the mood for a meeting or workshop by giving a creative, unexpected feel to the room

It is really quite simple to play. All you do is prepare a variety of images before playing time. Then, start collecting newspaper clippings, magazine cutouts, or postcards. If you don’t have any of those feel free to print out different images from the internet (Pinterest is a great spot). 

You want to make sure that the images should show landscapes, cities, people, shapes, or animals in a variety of colors and perspectives.

Next, lay everything out and ask team members to each pick one that resonates with their current mood. Once everyone has picked an image, ask them to share what they resonated with, how it makes them feel, and why they picked it.

This team building exercise works great for creative team members who have a hard time talking about their feelings to other people.

8. One-word Exercise

If you are looking for a simple creative group activity that doesn't require much preparation and gets you to think outside the box, then try this game. Playing this team building exercise is easy: just pick a phrase related to the meeting topic. Then, ask your group to write one word down on a post-it. 

Make a presentation or a whiteboard out of these words. Let's say you're hosting a meeting about the holidays. Each person responds with the first word that comes to mind. If the team is responding with words like frustration or tiredness, you might want to reconsider your process.

The reason this exercise is good: It provides a quick and easy way to collect opinions, thoughts, and feelings about a meeting. You'll get to see what's going on before diving in, and you may uncover some concerns and questions that help to make your meeting more useful.

9. Code of Conduct

If you want to start a fun, creative project right away, or just want your creative team to have a fun, entertaining morning, this exercise " Code of conduct" is an excellent option.

On a whiteboard, write the categories "meaningful" and "rewarding" and ask your group for ideas about how to achieve these two things for your workshop or project. This can be a number of things from “respect and teamwork'' to “trust and loyalty,” which could fall under either category.

Ask each person to suggest a meaningful and rewarding idea until you come up with a list. Use a shared tool to create a code of conduct for your next workshop or project. As an added bonus, the team will be reminded to uphold these values as a result of the list. 

In the end, it's designed to establish group norms and values early on and hold everyone accountable. It's a great way to build together as a team!

Illustration showing three people holding a flag to represent teamwork.

10. Your First Idea

Are you a fan of problem-solving games? A fun team-building activity for creative teams called "your first idea" awaits you. 

Particularly, if members of your team tend to overthink problems and solutions. Let's play! Start by asking everyone in your team to write down the first idea that comes to mind when they are presented with the problem. After that, compile the list together as a team.

An interesting way to spice up this activity is to ask everyone to share their worst ideas. After you talk with your team about them, you might even find out that some of those “bad ideas” may not be bad after all!

No matter what kind of problem you solve, real-life or fictional, your creative team members can collaborate to figure it all out together. 

In the end, by writing down the first solution that comes to mind, your creative team will be able to uncover new perspectives and solutions.

11. Create Your Own

This game of "create your own" would be awesome for those who like to come up with witty ideas and love to play their own games. For a team of 5-12 members, and if you don't mind spending 30-60 minutes, this would be a great activity. 

This is a fun and inspiring activity that encourages creativity and self-expression. Your team members can also show off their strengths by setting up challenges they are prepared to face.

In order to play, each team member will create an original problem-solving activity on their own. Once the procedure has been completed, the group will discuss it. It is your team's choice whether to challenge themselves physically, mentally, or creatively.

In the event that you have some spare time after everything's been said and done, feel free to play a few games!

12. Swift Swap

How about an ice-breaking team-building activity for creative teams that lasts 10 to 15 minutes to get the day started? You just need to divide your team into two groups and face them in opposite directions. 

Members of Team A have 15 to 30 seconds to observe the person in front of them and memorize what they can about them. Next, team A turns around, while team B changes everything about their appearance. 

Changes in line-up orders, as well as your hairdo and shoes, are fine. Feel free to be creative. Once you hit 45 seconds, team A gets 5–10 minutes to see what changed. If you have a big group, you can adjust the time.

Now, you're probably wondering what's the big deal about this exercise, right? A great thing about this game is that it's a fun way to end a long day and take everyone's mind off work for a short time. Another benefit of this “swift swap” is that the swapping phase will provide you with a chance to practice non-verbal communication.

13. Common Thread

If your team has ten or more members, this game will be a great opportunity for everyone to discover commonalities they may not have discovered otherwise. When your team seems divided within your workplace, sit everyone down and play Common Thread, which is an excellent way to bring people together.

Talking about shared interests and dislikes can help you bond with your creative team members.

It is just a matter of dividing your team into small groups of three to five people. Then ask your team what they all have in common. An example might be a favorite movie, a soft drink no one likes, or a shared hobby.

Look for common threads that aren't obvious or superficial. It would be great to find as much common ground among the group as possible! Bring everyone together afterward and let them tell their stories.

It's that simple! Enjoy!

14. Birthday Line up

It’s your birthday!  It's your birthday! Perhaps not yet, but this can be a great day to play the birthday lineup, which encourages your team to learn to communicate without words. Along with learning about everyone's birthday (which comes in handy later on as a topic of conversation), this is also a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know them better.

Ask your team to form a line according to their birthdays without talking. Encourage sign language, gestures, or nudges for other ways to communicate. Add a time limit to the exercise if you want to turn the heat up and make the exercise way more exciting!

Even though this activity can be challenging and frustrating, it helps you work together and develop problem-solving skills.

15. What Would X Do?

A simple game of What Would X Do is packed with team-building opportunities focused on building up their communication skills and problem-solving abilities. Playing the game takes an hour, but it's an hour filled with learning and fun.

Start by giving your team a problem and asking them to think of someone they admire or a famous person they are inspired by. You can choose from a celebrity, a business person, or someone close to you.

Your teammates should approach the problem in a way that makes them think as if they are that person and present their solution (bonus points if you are playing in character).

We all have moments when we get stuck in our own heads, and these moments can often prevent us from solving a problem efficiently and effectively.

Through this team building exercise, a team member may be able to step into someone else's shoes and find new solutions to those issues. You get to pretend to be someone else for a little while too!

16. Back of the Napkin

There are a thousand ways a napkin can come in handy! Using it as a fun team-building exercise for your creative team is one of them. You can use this short activity to get your creative juices flowing as you solve a creative problem.  Give your team a variety of open-ended problems to solve in groups of two to four. 

It may be work-related, hypothetical, or even environmental in nature. After all the teams have discussed the issue in the group, pass out napkins and pens to them for them to sketch or write their solutions on. All the teams will discuss these solutions together.

It has been said that some of the best ideas have allegedly been recorded on napkins (hey, sometimes you write on anything when you are feeling creative). Playing back of the napkin is the best way to promote collaboration between your team members while working on a creative problem.

17. Team Pursuit

Teamwork is the dream work! It's exactly why this game is so fantastic. In this event of team pursuit, everyone has a chance to show off their talents and shine. 

Starting out, have everyone form two to six teams that are going to compete in different challenges. A team pursuit package can be bought online or you can create your own game, which will take some time to develop. 

Develop a set of challenges for your team, including cognitive challenges that test logic and intelligence, IQ tests, and puzzles that require creativity and innovative thinking (e.g., think of a new way to shake hands, film a fun video, etc.).  

The success of the team is dependent on the contributions of all members, regardless of whether they are good runners, analytical thinkers, or artists. Your team will grow closer together through this game and discover new sides of each other they may not have realized existed.

Group of people in an escape room adventure

18. Escape Room

When it comes to quenching your creative team's thirst for adventure and excitement, an escape room is a perfect activity to promote team bonding. Visiting an escape room is always a unique experience It's an excellent way to bond with your team. This type of activity is excellent since it encourages communication skills and some problem-solving skills.

Try to choose a theme that everyone will enjoy if you have multiple escape rooms in your area (e.g., mystery, horror, science fiction). If you're very inventive and have a lot of time and resources, you can put together an escape room yourself.

An escape room is an excellent creative team-building activity because you learn more about your teammates as you solve the mysteries of the escape room, foster communication and collaboration, build trust, and create a shared memory.

Illustration representing a board game

19. Board Game Tournament

There is nothing like a game that spurs your team members' competitive side without them having to go out of the office. A board game tournament is a good way to unleash that competitive spirit. 

No problem if there are too many team members. Just pick only one game, then arrange for one of the members to sign up for specific time slots when they are free to leave their desks and play the game.

You can play Boggle, Jenga, or even simple card games if you can't think of any other games with reasonable play times. In order to motivate your creative team members, consider awarding first, second, and third place prizes as well.

20. Karaoke Night

Are your creative team members shy? By getting them up and singing karaoke on a night out on the town, you might be able to get them to break out of their shells. 

For some added fun, there are even contests where you can have a karaoke session where you can see which creative team member can sing the best. Who knows, maybe this time you will get to demonstrate your musical skills!

Don't forget that character dressing can add some bonus points as well. However, this activity is best for an outgoing group, so if your team does not like to show off on stage, consider an idea on this list that will better suit their personalities.

21. Perfect Square

Who says you can't have fun in the office? In an activity like a perfect square, your creative team members not only get cute geometric shapes but also get strengthen their listening and communication skills. 

As you begin this indoor activity, divide your creative team into groups of four to six, and ask them to form a tight circle.  You will need to blindfold or close the eyes of everyone and give one person a rope.

To make a perfect square, the teams have to pass the rope around so everyone holds a piece and then forms the square. The team can then line up their square, take off their blindfolds, and see how well they did by laying the rope down. 

Because no one can see what they're doing, your team must communicate clearly while trying to figure out how to make a square out of rope. Apart from that, it's always funny to see how imperfect the squares are.

22. Barter Puzzle

Did you know that doing puzzles reinforces brain cell connections, improves mental speed, and improves short-term memory? With barter puzzles, creative teams can interact, build relationships, promote teamwork, and stimulate brain activity.

Organize your team into three or four groups and give each group a puzzle of the same difficulty level. They should complete the puzzle as a team. The twist: each puzzle is missing a few pieces that are mixed in with an opposing team’s puzzle.

By negotiating, trading pieces, or exchanging teammates, the teams need to get the pieces they need from the other teams. Every decision has to be made as a team. The team who completes their puzzle first wins.

A great thing about the game of barter puzzle is that it teaches your team to make decisions as a team, which will help their problem-solving skills, teamwork, and collaboration.

23. Turn Back Time!

If we could turn back time!  That’s not only a hit song from the 70s but a  team-building exercise that works best in a quiet atmosphere with everyone sitting in a circle. Silently ask your team to recall a memorable event in their lives.

Wait for a few minutes while they gather their thoughts. Ask each person to share their favorite memory that they would like to relive if they could rewind time.

Not everyone may be comfortable opening up at first, so be sure to lead with vulnerability and make everyone in the room feel safe about sharing their moment.

Why this exercise is great: This exercise is a great way to help your team members remember their priorities and bond on a deeper level. Sharing non-work-related highlights can create a feeling of togetherness in teams suffering from disconnection or stress. Even though the exercise doesn't take too long, it's best to do it in the evening so your team can reflect on what they heard.

24. Earth-ball  

It might seem unusual that a simple ball could foster relationships among creative teams and build trust, but Earth-ball does exactly that. 

You will need a beach ball, an inflatable balloon, or a volleyball to play this game. Keeping the balloon or ball in the air as long as you can in a circle will help you develop your coordination. The ball cannot be touched twice straight to make it a real challenge. This game is more fun with a large group of creative team members!

Your team will have a great time with this challenge. Feel free to think of ways to improve your time if you're having trouble keeping the ball up.

Illustration of an egg drop contraption.

25. Egg Drop 

Assign your team to groups of two or three people and provide them with raw eggs (make sure you have extras in case one break). Make it easy for the teams to build a structure that will protect the raw egg from falling out of a window by providing supplies like tape, straws, rubber bands, newspapers, and balloons. 

Your structure has to be done in 60 minutes. After the timer has expired, collect your eggs and egg cages to drop out the window. The winner will be determined based on their cage design.

As a result of playing egg drop, your creative team members would construct a cage that challenged and assisted their problem-solving and collaboration skills. It doesn't get much better than that!

26. Mind Field

Playing this game will let you take your listening and communication skills to the next level.

In order to make a mind field, items such as balls, cones, and bottles need to be strewn randomly throughout a parking lot. Give each member of your team one blindfold. After that, someone else must guide their blindfolded teammate through a minefield only using their words. 

If a blindfolded person stops moving or steps on anything in the minefield, they will be eliminated. You have to make it across the minefield on the other side. Another blindfolded person will then be guided through the field on their return journey. Additionally, you can distribute pieces that the blindfolded person must collect on their way through the field.

Having fun with mind field lets you improve your ability to listen and communicate while building trust with your teammates.

27. Penny Thoughts

Been thinking about pennies?  This classic game of penny thoughts requires a box of pennies (or other coins) with years no older than your youngest team member (don't show off your 1940 collection. Not now, anyway). 

Each team member should draw a coin and share something significant that happened to them that year. Your life-changing event can be anything from learning how to tie your shoes to graduating from college.    

It is a simple and fun icebreaker activity that gives everyone the chance to share their own personal stories with their creative team. The stories can be repeated if they are short or you can allow team members to elaborate more on their experiences.

28. Office Trivia

Who knows your office the best? Nothing like a game of office trivia to find out. Think of 25-30 questions about the small details that can easily go unnoticed at your workplace.

“Which movie star is featured on the wall poster of the conference room?”, “Where is the water cooler located?”, “How many people in the company have names that start with a K?“, “How many people use a Mac or a PC?”, etc. 

The game of office trivia is a team building exercise that will test your team's observation skills at the same time as making them laugh.

Be careful not to ask questions that are too personal and would put a team member in an uncomfortable position, like “Who gossips or talks too much on the team?”.

29.  M&M Arm Wrestle

Who says a candy M & M and an arm don't mix?  Together, they lead to a good ole game of M&M Arm Wrestling. Pair your creative team members up and have them battle each other.

It doesn’t matter if they stand on the floor or on a table. Players must pin down the arm of their partner to score a point. Usually, 10 seconds remain before the game is over, so you need to earn as many points as possible.

After you observe everything, you'll notice people tend to compete and throw themselves at each other (Win-Loss situation), rather than cooperate and win points for both sides (Win-Win situation). Let them play a few more rounds so that they can make their own decisions.

The lesson to learn is that winning at all costs is harmful, even to the interests of co-workers. What do M&Ms have to do with it?

Participants will be rewarded with an M&M candy for each point earned. You might think of it as the perfect reward for dessert lovers!..

30. Sales Exercise

You're in for a treat with this exercise if you're in sales or marketing. You can enjoy this activity as part of a team-building activity for creative teams because it is a good way to promote creative thinking.

In this building exercise, each group is given an item, from the ordinary to the bizarre. Each team is given five minutes to come up with an advertisement. 

The team with the best advertisement at the end of the round wins. Have fun and don't forget to show off your creativity!

Takeaway

There you have it!  We have just covered some of the best team-building activities for creative teams that are both fun and effective. Hope these ideas inspire you to try one or all of them.

Looking for more tips to help create a great team culture? Then you might want to check out our blog on 12 Ways to Improve Team Accountability [Remote & Onsite]