If you're looking for budget-friendly team building ideas that are simple yet effective and that you can run from the comfort of your office, check out our series on Easy Office-Based Team Building Ideas. This week, we're taking a look at how a simple deck of cards can be used in a range of icebreakers and team builds - pick and choose from our list, or tackle them all for a fun, motivational afternoon.
- House of Cards - Give each person 10 playing cards, and divide the group into pairs. Each pair must try and build a house of cards within two minutes - the catch is, each person is only allowed to use one hand. The team that manages to build the most layers wins.
- Fruity Throwing - This one is great fun and is good if you want to get everyone giggling. Cut a watermelon in half lengthways and prop it up on a bookcase or filing cabinet, with the flesh facing outwards. Divide the group into two teams and give one team black cards and the other red. Everyone must stand 15 feet away, and should throw their cards in such a way that they stick into the watermelon, like darts. You could have people throw one at a time, but we prefer the added chaos of getting everyone to throw at once and adding up the cards still left in the watermelon at the end by colour. The team with the most cards still stuck wins!
- Say What You See - Divide the group into teams and deal one card per person. The teams must use the first letters of the numbers or suits to create a sentence. For example, if a team had a King, jack, one and five, their sentence might be; "Kangaroos jump over fences". Each team must show their cards to the rest of the group before acting out their sentence. If another team guesses it, both the team acting out and the team that guessed correctly get a point.
- Don't Blow It - Take 2-litre plastic bottle, fill it with around 100ml of water and place a deck of cards on the lid. Teams must blow the cards off of the bottle without it falling over - the catch is, the bottom card must be left in place. Set a time limit of three minutes - the team that has removed the most cards (without removing the bottom card) by the end wins.
- Pick a Card - Structure an icebreaker session by allocating categories to each card type, then asking individuals to speak on that subject. For example, hearts might be "Where I've travelled", spades "Careers I admire", Kings "My proudest moment" and so on. Ask each person to pick out four cards, and encourage them to speak for at least a minute or so.
- Pick a Card (with a twist) - For a more entertaining take on 'Pick a Card', allocate forfeits to some of the cards - for example, if someone picks a Joker, they have to tell their best one-liner, if it's a Queen they must say the alphabet backwards, and so on. Picking an Ace means you get the honour of choosing the next person to pick!
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