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TeamBonding by Sam Barnum - 4d ago

How long have you been with TeamBonding?

I have been working with Teambonding since January of 2009 (over 10 YEARS)! I won a logo design contest on crowdspring.com that David (Teambonding’s Founder) had posted, and the rest is history. During that time I have moved from America to New Zealand and back more times than I wish to count, and am so fortunate to have maintained my working relationship with Teambonding!

What is your most memorable TeamBonding experience?

One of my favorite (and most challenging/hair pulling!!) projects was designing the Teambonding vehicle graphics using our superhero mascot, Tim Bond. It’s always the tough ones that end up being the most memorable.

What do you do with your free time?

I’m a mama to a 4 and 6-year-old. What’s this thing called free time you speak of? Back in the day it was tennis, running, hiking, spending time outdoors/in nature and always cooking and eating. And when that free time is more than a few days, most definitely traveling. Preferably internationally!

What is your biggest fear?

Snakes and ticks. They really just shouldn’t exist.

What is your favorite food? (If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?)

Avocado. Hands down.

Something people may not know about you:

My dad was a meteorologist that spent two winters in Antarctica working for the government and even has a peak named after him in the Ohio Range in Antarctica. He also worked for NASA during the Apollo missions. My husband’s uncle played rugby for the New Zealand All Blacks!

The post Meet the Team: Sarah appeared first on TeamBonding.

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At TeamBonding we love having the chance to help our clients give back and helping their communities. It’s even better when we can help companies focus on their corporate social responsibilities and actually have an impact instead of creating vague initiatives. Part of the fun for us is coming up with new ideas and creating new programs to continue giving back. We have a variety of programs from our Charity Bike Build and Team Teddy Rescue Bear programs, Operation Military Care to provide care packages to our troops, all the way to Paws for a Cause where you make dog beds, pull toys, or cat scratchers for animals in shelters – among so many other charitable program options!

One of our newest programs is Hopefull Handbags – its name was changed from ‘Helping Handbags’ because we feel that the new name ‘Hopefull Handbags’ fits our overall mission better. Why? Because at the core, it’s the hope that gets us over the hump of hardship, the hope that makes our hearts and souls feel full, a hope that lets us envision a brighter tomorrow where everything will be ok, and it’s hope that reminds us that where we were is not where we have to be again.

Hopefull Handbags is a charitable team building program that aims to bring awareness to the struggles of women in shelters by filling both new and used handbags with items that will hopefully help them get back on their feet. You know how great you feel when you get a new or ‘new to you’ bag? Well, we believe that everyone deserves to experience that feeling, especially those who are dealing with hardships. Many of the women that receive these bags are moms caring for their children while also trying to find work. It’s amazing how having a simple purse they can bring to a job interview has the potential to change their lives.

Throughout the process of creating the bags, your team will learn about the equality challenges that women have faced over the years as well as engage in collaborative work as a team.

Give your team the chance to experience this rewarding and unforgettable charity team building event, because a team that gives together, grows together.

The post Giving Hope and Handbags appeared first on TeamBonding.

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Ice breakers and puzzle games have their place, but sometimes you just want to get together as a group, and play. Here at TeamBonding, encouraging play is what we’re all about! When you play as a team, you develop and strengthen social bonds, which makes working together a more rewarding experience all around. With this in mind, we’re excited to share a free game for you to play with your team the next time you need to relax and have some fun.

Introducing: MAFIA

Have you ever been to one of our murder mystery dinner shows? How about experiencing one of our live-action adventures? Well, this mafia-style game recalls the fun of interactive participation in a mystery or adventure hunt, without leaving the office. Set in a Godfather-esque mob town, the object of this game is to catch the mafia hit man offing towns people, before everyone else ends up sleeping with the fishes.

This mafia game download needs at least eight people, but it’s more fun when there’s more people playing, so gather everyone together and play as a team! This game can be played in a conference room, open concept office space or break room. The only requirement is that there is enough space that players can keep their cards hidden from each other.

So what’s the game?

This mafia-style game takes place during two stages, “day” and “night. At the start of the game, The Godfather is selected. The Godfather acts as the narrator of the story, painting mental pictures for the players and keeping track of everyone’sroles. Once a Godfather is selected, they tell the townspeople to “go to sleep,” at which point all other players must close their eyes. The Godfather then hands out player cards, which will assign the different character rolls. A Hit Man, a Doctor and a Detective are assigned, while everyone else are given townsfolk cards

Over the course of the game, it’s the job of the Hit Man to try and “kill” all the other players, the job of the Doctor to try to save them, and the job of the Detective to try to root out the Hit Man. This download also includes some other special character cards, who can be added to the mix for bigger groups. The game ends when the Hit Man is killed, or the rest of the townspeople are dead. The game can go fairly rapidly, so consider playing more than once, allowing multiple people to take on the roles of Hit Man, Doctor, and Detective.

Get playing

This mafia game download includes everything you need to get playing right away. In it you’ll find a more detailed overview of the game, and instructions for all of the different character types. It also includes player cards, one sheet of special characters and one sheet of townsfolk cards. Just print the townsfolk sheet as many times as you need so everyone can have a card. (We recommend printing on heavier paper if you have it, so players can’t see through the backs of other people’s cards.)

Once your cards are cut up and everyone’s read the instructions, you’re ready to play as a team. Have fun with this game, it can get wacky and ridiculous, and can be memorable for everyone involved!

Download the game HERE

The post Games to Play as a Team | MAFIA appeared first on TeamBonding.

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Mention team building and you’ll see a lot of eye rolls. Mention that you’ve planned a team building event and the room will fill with groans. To a lot of people, team building feels like a corporate buzzword synonymous with forced participation, uncomfortable interaction and just a means to an end. Some think of it as purely a waste of time, taking them away from work they could be doing.

But if companies are spending billions on team building activities then there has to be something more to it, right?

The truth is that while many team building exercises can have value and improve a team’s performance, they more often than not fail because they are run poorly. That’s why it’s not only important to choose the right activity for your team, but also keep in mind the goals you want to achieve with it. 

Goals

The first step for making your team building efforts effective is to clearly identify what you want to improve. Team building can include any number of activities and each serve different purposes, so choosing the right type of event or activity is very important. To do that, you have to know why you’re team building in the first place.

Think about what your goal for the team building is? What qualities do you want to focus on making stronger? Maybe you want to change some habits?

The reason team building doesn’t work as it’s intended to most of the time is because the person planning the event can’t answer those questions. Chances are they think  “trust falls improve teamwork” and believe it, but they don’t know how it does it and or if it’s right for their team.

I think when people first hear the term “team building” they immediately go with the eye roll, yawn, and zombie walk to wherever their employee has scheduled it. I have seen and heard this too many times to count.

However when any program is delivered with passion, energy, purpose, FUN, and a little comedy it turns into an experience.

Those pieces when correctly delivered are what turn everyone in the room, including the zombies into active participants. Those participants than have a shared experience to look back on and feel connected with their coworkers.

– Paul Giroux, Director of Facilitator Training.

Think about whether there are problems between certain members, are they not fully utilizing their strengths and skills, is the communication between/within teams weak, are you working as a team or not?

Carefully thinking through these considerations let’s you know the kind of activities that you should look into to address those problems you’ve identified.

Keeping these considerations and goals in mind, narrow down the top team building activities you think would benefit your team the most, but would also engage them. After all, if you choose the best team building program, but it can’t capture anyone’s attention then it still won’t work.

All for one and one for all?

Now, team building is usually broken down into two categories: competitive and non-competitive. It seems rather contradictory to have a competitive team building event when you’re trying to create a more cohesive, communicative team. But if that’s true, then why are there competitive team building activities being offered to companies at all?

Some argue that competition can bring a team together. When you’re on a team, you’re driven to win and by association you work better with your team in the hopes of bringing the whole team to victory. Others say that competition does nothing besides teach people to compete and that defeats the purpose of the exercise.

I think most people will agree that the results of a competitive team building exercise largely depends on the specific group doing it and how well it’s facilitated. The key to having a competitive event is the facilitation for it and whether the activity can be tailored correctly for your team, as well as whether you’re team is ready for it or not. After all, you wouldn’t want to pit teams that are already having issues with communication and working together, against each other. 

“But team building is so boring!”

While there are plenty of unique team building experiences that you can look into for your next team meeting, and they’re surely fun, don’t count on them always improving your team dynamics or building them at all. When an event is too focused on fun, they don’t incorporate lessons on how to work together, achieve goals, or focusing on an individual’s strengths. They just promote a shared positive experience between your team, which to be fair could improve relationships within your team, but not necessarily building teams. The issue is that programs that only focus on providing fun, don’t provide the needed tools to do your work better or more efficiently which is a big goal of team building.

In fact, a lot of people don’t even like these fun activities. While they like fun, they might not be entirely comfortable with improv or spotlight driven games. This could actually damage the work environment when you force people to participate in situations where they didn’t sign up for it or aren’t comfortable with it at all. This could make already existing gaps between people larger – the opposite of what team building is intended to do.

Be diligent in making sure that the team building exercises you choose include an element of teaching and providing skills that can apply to the job, not just something fun.

It always seems that our programs defy and exceed initial expectations.  People are braced for some “mandatory fun” with something like trust falls and are relieved to discover that our programs are actually fun and give them a chance to interact with colleagues in new and energetic ways and even compete in fun ways.

– Christian Galpin, lead facilitator.

Remember that proper team building depends on the honest cooperation of the participants. If employees or management start to feel like the whole thing is a joke or not worth their time, then they won’t accept the experience and it won’t have the same positive effect it would’ve otherwise. It’ll just be a bit of fun with no real effect overall.

The TeamBonding Difference

Team building doesn’t have to be elaborate, or anything completely out of the norm. You don’t need to take your whole office on a week-long fancy retreat to center yourselves. Effective team building can be done right in your office or local venue of your choice.

Most importantly, implement team building exercises that contribute toward your goals. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve or improve, do the best activity for it. If you want your team to communicate better then play communication games, in the same vein if you want them to be more creative than play a game rooted in creativity.

The best team building is about turning play into an experience and that’s the TeamBonding difference. When you make those experiences is when people stop on the way out and comment –

“I hate team building, but this was awesome..”

“I normally hate these things, but you made it fun..”

“I’ve done hundreds of these, but nothing like this..”

It’s about turning play into an experience and that’s the TeamBonding difference.

– Paul Giroux.

The post Does Team Building Work? appeared first on TeamBonding.

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Team building brings people together by encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Fun activities that help people see each other in a different light allow them to connect in a different setting.

One of the most powerful reasons for team building is to get results. Through a series of planned team building events that are both fun and motivational, teams build skills like communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Team building ideas that work can help facilitate long-term team building through fostering genuine connections, deeper discussions and processing.

Below we have listed the best team building activities you can complete in your office today!

#1 Like It. Pin It. Own It.

For this activity you need:

  • Enough small pins for everyone in your office  
  • Sharpies/Magic Marker  
  • A Basket

Our idea for this icebreaker is that when everyone first walks into the office in the morning, they choose a pin from the basket. Beforehand, someone would need to organize the pins and write on them statements that people can identify themselves with.

For example, a pin that reads: I’ve read all 8 Harry Potter Books, or I am the Top Chef, etc.

Once a pin has been chosen, you wear it for the remainder of the day.

This way, when people come up to your desk or see you in the kitchen area, they notice which pin you have chosen to wear and can strike up a conversation with you about your pin. At the end of the day you put your pin back and take a new one the next morning. This way, you can also see if anyone else chooses a pin that you have worn in the past!

#2 Agree or Disagree

For this activity you need:

  • A Large Whiteboard Hung Up
  • Whiteboard Markers

On a daily or weekly basis, have a different office member write a statement on a whiteboard that people can either agree or disagree with.

For example, written on the whiteboard one day can be: The Patriots are the best NFL team, and then split the whiteboard in half with Agree or Disagree.

When people walk by the board, they can sign their names under either side depending on whether they agree or not. Try not to get too political with your statements however, a friendly rivalry could take a turn for the worst…fast.

#3 Office Bingo: Unknown Facts

For this activity you need:

  • An organizer  
  • An unknown fact from each person in the office  
  • A bingo sheet  
  • Bingo markers

Take a midday break and organize an office bingo event. On bingo cards, have each bingo participator write down every one’s name in the office in a random order. No one bingo card should look the same. For reference, number each bingo marker and number each unknown fact. Once everyone’s bingo cards are set up, begin reading off the Unknown Facts and the number of the unknown fact.

For example: #15 This person hates dairy products, especially yogurt.

If people know who this person is, they can take the #15 marker and place it over that person’s name on the bingo card. Once someone has a row filled up, they read off the name and the number that they have marked, and the delegate can reference whether or not those name and numbers correspond.

#4 Coffee Pot

For this activity you need just a few co-workers.

The game “Coffee Pot” is a fun, lunchtime game that can get the brain juices flowing, while also creating laughs among co-workers. For this icebreaker, one person comes up with a verb in their head. The other people must try to guess which verb that person is using by asking questions. However, the person with the verb in their head must not use the verb; instead they use the word “coffee pot.” This game is set up to resemble 20 Questions. You can also use a different word instead of Coffee Pot, in fact using your company name is a great idea.

For example: If my verb was “run”

Co-worker: How do you get to the grocery store?

Me: Well, I drive to the grocery store

Co-Worker: What do you do for exercise?

Me: I go to the gym, but I also coffee pot when the weather is nice.

#5 Yes And. . .

For this activity you will need just a few co-workers working in pairs.

The basic idea is to partner the players and ask them to decide who is A and who is B. Ask A to make a statement (“The lunch today was great”). B is to reply with “Yes, and. . .” and make another, somewhat related statement.

For example

Partner B: Yes, and we got to eat two desserts!

Partner A: Yes, and then I had tons of energy from all the sugar.

The participants should continue this exercise for an allotted period of time. This is not a game that anyone should be trying to win. The goal is to practice communication.

Possible Specific Debrief Questions at the end:  

  • What are the obstacles to agreement?  
  • How does it feel to be consistently agreed with and consistently agree?  
  • What was it like to unconditionally listen so intently to someone? To be listened to?
  • Was it easy or difficult to build upon what each other was saying?  
  • How can this technique be helpful to you in your working with others?

We hope these activities have gotten your team on the track to success! If you are interested in more team building activities please feel free to check out our events page or contact us here at TeamBonding so we can help plan your next event!

The post Best Free Team Building Activities appeared first on TeamBonding.

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We have an exciting year of trade shows lined up! From ice sculpting demonstrations to battling with bows & arrows, our team is ready to bring the fun to these events across the country. Will you be in attendance at any of these shows?! If so, be sure to swing by our booth and say hello!

PERKS New York City

When: Thursday, April 18

Where: Metropolitan Pavilion

We’re bringing the ice to New York City! Meet our star ice carving event facilitator, Mark, and experience the satisfaction of ice sculpting!  Learn More

PERKS Boston

When: Thursday, May 2

Where: Hynes Convention Center

PERKS Boston is their longest running show so it should come as no surprise that this will be a big event! In fact, you can expect over 1,200 professionals from the New England area to be in attendance.  Learn More

ATD 2019 Washington, D.C.

When: May 19-22

Where: Washington, D.C.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the headlining speakers at “the world’s largest talent development conference”. Need we say more? Not to mention that renowned entrepreneur Seth Godin and Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre will also be speaking. Do we have your attention yet?  Learn More

PERKS Los Angeles

When: Thursday, September 12

Where: Magic Box @ The Reef

PERKS Los Angeles focuses on west coast employers of all sizes to showcase the many ways to improve the overall well-being of your employees. This event is held at Magic Box- an easily accessible event space in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.   Learn More

Perks Chicago – Date Not Announced

The post On The Road: 2019 Team Building Trade Shows appeared first on TeamBonding.

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Are you planning some outdoor team building activities? Plan ahead and be successful without the stress that comes with preparation.

Before you get started, consider the following:

1. What are your goals for the day’s activities?

What do you want to accomplish? Does your team need to brush up on their communication skills? Do you have new hires that are trying to get acquainted? Figure this out so that you can choose the team building activities that will be most beneficial for your team.

2. What is your budget?

Finding a free space outdoors might be easy for some but for others, a challenge. A suggestion would be to research public parks in your area with enough room to fit your team. Keep in mind you may need to spend a little for equipment that may be needed for your activity. Also, food and water might be something to consider. Stay under budget and stay away from stress!

3. How does your team plan to stay “bonded” once the activities are over?

Don’t let this be just one day of fun. Take your new skills back to the office to maximize results. In addition to this plan more activities for the future. Try not to stop your team building efforts!

Once you have answered the essential questions above, you can move on and plan the day! Your Team Building Checklist…
1. Where will it be?

A very important question in all of this is: where are your team activities going to take place? You need to put some real effort into finding a sufficient space for participants. Keep in mind that you need enough room for everyone to be comfortable because too little a space could ruin the activities. Too much space wouldn’t hurt but make sure you have the budget to cover it. Being outdoors can also send other challenges your way. Have a rain date!

2. Who is going?

Who is interested in participating in these activities? Is it mandatory everyone goes? Plan for this ahead of time so that people won’t be left out. Make sure that you have enough people willing to join so that teams are fair and have enough members. Team building activities with a small crowd won’t be as beneficial as everyone being there together.

3. When is it?

Timing is everything. Set a date and figure out how long the activities run for. This will depend on which ones you choose. If you plan to go out on a lunch break make sure that proper coverage will be available.

4. How will you get there?

Transportation plays an important role here. Will you be walking, driving, or taking public transportation? Make sure that whichever method you choose, it will accommodate everyone joining.

5. Equipment for activities?

Depending on which team building activities you choose, you may need some equipment. Being outdoors gives you the freedom of an open area so take advantage of this! Bring items that are easy to transport and to ensure fast clean up.

6. What about…

Food/water? Being outdoors in some parts of the country might make for a hot day. Designate someone to bring snacks and water to stay nourished and hydrated if you expect to be in true summer weather.

Bathrooms? You’ll want to make sure you have access to at least one rest room. Everyone will thank you.

Shade? A suggestion would to be have a shady cool spot to rest, if you can! You can use this space for a break if you are doing an all day event. This is also an ideal spot to gather and talk about the activity before you start and after to recap.

Use this checklist again and again and share with others who might need to kick start their outdoor team building activity! Remember: “Teamwork makes the dream work” -John C. Maxwell

Header image credit: Ames247

The post Team Building Checklist: Outdoors Edition appeared first on TeamBonding.

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When it’s summer time, head outside to enjoy the rays and blue skies. DYI (Do it yourself) outdoor team building is a great way to learn new activities while surrounded by fun company and building strong bonds.

Beach activities such as building a sand castle or kite building can create a great team effort and build long lasting relationships. As far team building among employees is concerned, these activities are very beneficial. Everyone from your team is all together in a more relaxed environment. Building a kite with designs relevant to your company’s image connects everyone in terms of how they identify as a team, but the strategies each member uses highlights individual strengths during a fun day of interactive bonding.

5 Benefits Of DIY Outdoor Team Building:
  • Deeper connection to the things that keep us alive and well
  • Appreciation for the simple things
  • Opportunity to use your hands and brain
  • Connection to other people
  • Path to freedom

We’ve even got some tools available to help you do it yourself! A DIY sand sculpting kit will give you all the tools you need to make the mind-blowing sand castles of your very own. It also includes an instruction guide on how to get the perfect sand castle out of your beach trip.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Looking for something with a bit more substance? We facilitate events customized to fit your needs, like building chemistry among employees. The sand castle build is always a fun outdoor team building activity. There are only two pieces to this event: demonstration and building.

Your team will have the opportunity to view one or two pre-made sand sculptors, which will feature your company’s themes or brand. The fun all starts when the employees are divided into teams to start replicating the original masterpieces. Our excellent staff will make sure everyone is on track. Who knows, your creation could end up in company ads!

What outdoor team building activities do you have planned for the summer? Need some inspiration?

The post DIY Team Building | Get Outdoors Get Some Sun And Build Some Bonds appeared first on TeamBonding.

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The workplace can be stressful at times and it’s important for employees to step outside the office to recharge. With summer generally considered to be a more carefree time, it’s a perfect season to host a company outing. Summer outings can be entertaining, but also establish a more interactive and positive workplace. Summer is right around the corner, and this is a great time to consider your outing plans!

Benefits Of Hosting A Summer Outing

When your employees are able to develop meaningful relationships and connect with colleagues, it can have a profound affect on the workplace.

Building a cohesive team is a never ending process and it is important to consistently make sure your team is working well together and reaching goals smoothly. Employees interact everyday at work, but a summer outing can be a catalyst for more team chemistry.

Parallel to the old saying “all work and no play”; everyone needs time off to relax outside the office. Summer outings provide fun and festivities to reduce employee burn out. Once it’s time to get back to the everyday grind, everyone should feel renewed. Outings can create more energy in the workplace, leading to happier teams!

A report from RedBalloon/AltusQ found that companies with high employee engagement levels were up to 10 times more likely to see an increase in sales and profit than those with lower engagement.

3 Things To Consider When Planning A Summer Outing #1 Know Your Employees

Is your office predominately male or female? What do you think your employees would enjoy doing outside the office? Do your employees have families – would you consider inviting children or spouses?

#2 Evaluate The Importance

Are you planning an outing for team building or for your employees to meet across departments? Would you consider a weekend long retreat or a Friday afternoon barbecue?

#3 Don’t Settle For “Nice” When You Want “Fun”

You can have all the “tools” (location, games, and food), but how you use the “tools” will make all the difference. Develop a goal to create an event where everyone is actively involved and enjoying a memorable day.

Ideas for Your Next Summer Outing #1 Volunteering

Spending time helping others, isn’t just good for the soul, but also supports healthy team bonding. Place-based volunteering opportunities include a weekend retreat with Habitat for Humanity, soup-kitchens, or organizing a book drive for local school libraries. Need some help planning a philanthropic event? Check out the Do Good Bus.

#2 Barbecue Or Picnic

Everyone loves great food and eating a meal together can improve employee relations. Try to think outside the box from the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad menu. Have your event catered and advertise it as a mystery meal to keep people interested! Better yet, check out the various Team Cuisine menus that your team can enjoy!

#3 Laser Tag

What better way to get your adrenaline pumping then a fun game of laser tag? Not only is laser tag fun, but it will allow your employees to use their logistical and strategy skills, as well as teamwork! Want something even more interactive? Check out Live-Action Adventures & Escape Games.

#4 Kayaking Or Canoeing

This is a great activity if you work with adventurous people. Spending time on the water is a great way to relax on a beautiful, summer day. Many public rivers have boathouses with rentals, encourage your employees to tandem with someone they do not know! Step it up a notch with Corporate Survivors.

Many people live in places that they have never toured.  Embrace your city! Why not take a Duck Boat tour or Segway around? it will be fun to act silly and you might even learn something new about your city!

Your Next Summer Outing Should Be Fun And Incorporate Team Building Activities Everyone Will Enjoy. 

The post Get a Jump Start on Planning Your Summer Outing appeared first on TeamBonding.

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The Chain Reaction program was inspired by a Rube Goldberg machine, a mechanical device that works in a complex way to achieve a simple task.

You will design your very own Rube Goldberg inspired machine that will perform one simple task in a very complex fashion. This program can work in two different ways: competitive or collaborative. First, you can be divided into smaller teams to create individual Rube Goldberg machines. You can also, however, choose to collaborate as a larger team to create one BIG contraption.

This program requires some serious cooperation and communication skills among co-workers in order to create these innovative chain reactions. Participants will have the opportunity to build communication, cooperation, and troubleshooting skills as they work together to build a seamless contraption.

Annual events, corporate mergers, product launches or international teams integration events are the perfect opportunity for the Chain Reaction program. Participants can range in number from 10-1000+ and the program usually runs 2-3 hours.

Cooperation is the KEY to success in this team building program whether you take a competitive or collaborative route. Chain Reaction is a great way to strengthen relationships, get your creative juices flowing and put your strategic thinking to the test.

Have you ever created your own Rube Goldberg machine? What did you use to make it?

Chain Reaction Tabletop Team Building Activity - Vimeo

The post Team Building with Chain Reaction appeared first on TeamBonding.

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