Updated: December 01, 2023

14 Best Collaboration Games & Activities for Teams

Here is our list of the best collaboration games and activities.

Collaboration games and activities are interactive events where players work together to solve a task and achieve a common goal. Examples include Build A Bridge, Improv Olympics, and Deserted Island. The purpose of these activities is to help players learn the value of cooperation and constructive communication, both of which are essential for a team’s success.

These exercises are similar to virtual collaboration activities. These exercises build collaboration skills and improve team cooperation.

collaboration-games

This list includes:

  • collaboration games for students
  • collaboration games for work
  • team collaboration games
  • collaboration activities
  • virtual collaboration games

Let’s get started!

Collaboration games for work

Collaboration activities are great for engaging employees in fun activities while promoting teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills in the workplace. Here is our list of some of the best games that promote workplace collaboration.

1. Toxic Waste

Toxic Waste is a fun and interactive game for employees to encourage collaboration and problem-solving skills.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Divide the group into small teams of three.
  2. Give each team a bucket of water filled with various small objects representing radioactive waste, such as tennis balls, blocks, and clips.
  3. Place a smaller bucket on a table a few feet away from each team.
  4. Participants must only use a rope with a square knot to transfer radioactive waste from the larger bucket into the smaller one.
  5. The team that completes the task first, or transfers the most objects into the smaller bucket in a given time frame, wins the game.

You can make the game unique by changing the materials or adding navigation obstacles. This game allows employees to work together, communicate effectively, and build problem-solving skills through collaboration.

2. Deserted Island

Deserted Island is an interactive game that promotes teamwork and creativity in the workplace.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Divide participants into teams of three to five.
  2. Give teams pens and paper for note-taking.
  3. Have members sit in groups and display a deserted island map on the board or projector.
  4. Set the stage by telling participants they are stranded on a deserted island and have limited resources. The available resources are a water purifier, food supplies, a radio, and a compass.
  5. Allow some time for each team to brainstorm and discuss ideas on how to use the available resources to survive and escape.
  6. After the brainstorming session, each team should present its plan to the rest of the group.
  7. Ask the teams to explain how they will use the available resources, what obstacles they anticipate, and how they plan to overcome them.
  8. After all the teams have presented, have a group discussion to evaluate the different plans, identify the strengths and weaknesses of each plan, and come up with a final strategy that incorporates the best ideas from each team.

By playing Deserted Island, your team will learn valuable lessons about communication, problem-solving, and the importance of workplace collaboration.

3. Memory Wall

Memory Wall is an engaging activity that encourages members to share positive experiences at work.

Here is how to conduct the activity:

  1. Use a whiteboard or a separate wall in the office.
  2. Make three or more categories for themes and write them on the board or wall. Some category examples are traveling at work, office parties, the first day at the office, and payday.
  3. Split employees into pairs.
  4. Then, provide each pair with a sticky note.
  5. Members can choose any category, write a story associated with it, and paste it under the category on the board or wall. The story will be a combination of the shared experiences of both partners.
  6. Participants can also write their stories on more than one theme.
  7. In the end, ask all members to look at the memory wall.

You can also ask participants to share their stories and shared experiences by coming on the stage and speaking out loud. As members walk by the memory wall, they will read funny and inspiring stories of their fellows, creating a positive sentiment.

4. Collaborative Puzzle

Solving a puzzle can be a great way for teams to work together and improve communication and problem-solving skills.

Here is how to host the activity:

  1. Split players into teams.
  2. Give a puzzle to each team. You can also look for one online.
  3. Set a timer for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the difficulty of your puzzle.
  4. Then, players will work in teams to solve the puzzle while communicating and collaborating to develop solutions.
  5. The team that completes the puzzle in the least amount of time wins.

Working in groups to solve the puzzle will ensure employee communication, boosting their confidence and promoting camaraderie.

Team collaboration games

Team collaboration games help members develop their communication skills, improve their ability to work together, and enhance their problem-solving abilities. Here is our list of some of the best games that encourage team collaboration.

5. The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is a popular game that requires players to work together to complete various tasks and challenges.

Here is how to play:

  1. Choose teams, and assign team leaders.
  2. Create a list of challenges that require teams to solve puzzles, perform physical tasks, or navigate obstacles.
  3. Provide each team with clues that lead them to solve each challenge.
  4. Start the race, and give teams a set amount of time to complete as many challenges as possible.
  5. Encourage teams to communicate frequently and work together.
  6. Award points for completing each challenge, with bonus points for teams that finish first or complete more difficult challenges.

The Amazing Race is a fun and engaging way to promote teamwork and communication within a group.

Check out this list of DIY Amazing Race ideas.

6. Recycled Art Showdown

The Recycled Art Showdown is an exciting and creative activity to ensure team building.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Divide participants into teams.
  2. Provide each group with recycled materials like paper, plastic, and cardboard.
  3. Each team has to create a unique and creative art piece in the given time. The objective is to use as many of the provided materials as possible.
  4. Once the time is up, each team presents its creation to the others.
  5. Judge the art pieces based on creativity, teamwork, and the use of the provided materials.
  6. The team with the highest score wins.

This game is an excellent way to promote teamwork and creativity while raising awareness about reusing and recycling materials.

7. Improv Olympics

Improv Olympics is a team collaboration game that can help different teams in an organization come together and work in a fun, interactive, and creative way.

Here are the steps to play the game:

  1. Divide participants into different teams.
  2. Assign a leader to direct the team’s performance.
  3. Provide a topic to make a story or skit on. You can also provide a product and ask participants to promote it.
  4. The team will develop a skit or performance that showcases their creativity and improvisational skills.
  5. Set a time limit for each performance.
  6. ​The goal is to earn points from the judges based on creativity, collaboration, and effective improvisation.
  7. The team with the best score will win.

Playing Improv Olympics encourages collaboration among team members and improves creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Here is a list of improv games.

Virtual collaboration games

Virtual collaboration games are online activities that improve remote teams’ communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Here is our list of some of the best interactive collaboration games to play online.

8. Scattergories

Scattergories is a fun game that members can play on Zoom.

Here are the steps to play:

  1. Invite your friends and family to join a Zoom call.
  2. Share your screen, and navigate to a virtual Scattergories generator tool. Swellgarfo is a great example.
  3. The tool will randomly generate categories and provide a letter.
  4. Players will fill out each category with words starting with the given letter in a separate chat.
  5. After the timer runs out, players reveal their answers one by one.
  6. Any matching answers do not receive points. Only unique answers will score points.
  7. ​The player with the most points wins!

This game is an excellent tool for bringing remote teams closer and building stronger relationships while having fun.

Learn more about Swellgarfo.

9. Virtual Jeopardy

Playing Virtual Jeopardy is a fun way to build teamwork and knowledge within a group.

Here is how to play:

  1. Choose a platform to host the virtual game, such as Zoom.
  2. Create categories and questions based on topics specific to your work, such as company history, industry trends, or product knowledge. Include a range of difficulty levels, and consider incorporating multimedia elements like videos or images to keep the game exciting.
  3. Next, divide your team into groups.
  4. ​Let each team choose a category and difficulty level.
  5. Ask the associated question, and set a time limit. Teams can also discuss answers in breakout rooms.
  6. ​If teams answer correctly, then award points.
  7. ​If teams answer incorrectly, then the opposing teams get a chance to steal.
  8. Play continues until teams answer all available questions.
  9. Keep track of scores, and have a grand prize for the winning team at the end of the game.

You can add unique questions or modify existing rules to create a customized game version. Virtual Jeopardy is a great way to break up the monotony of team meetings or as a fun group activity after work hours.

You can also play Virtual Jeopardy by downloading the app. The app will provide categories and questions, making it easier to host the game.

Learn more about Virtual Jeopardy.

10. Think-Pair-Repair

Think-Pair-Repair is a group learning activity that encourages discussions and improves problem-solving skills.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Invite players to a Zoom call, and make teams.
  2. Send teams to breakout rooms.
  3. Assign a problem or scenario to each group to work on independently for a set period, typically five to ten minutes.
  4. After the time is up, have the teams come back together in a virtual group setting to share their ideas and solutions.

Some examples of scenarios are:

  • You were assigned a task, but you delayed it and did not complete it on time. When the boss asks, how will you cope with the matter using your communication and problem-solving skills?
  • Your colleague made a minor mistake in the project, but they worked hard the whole day. After submitting the work, the coworker is ready to leave immediately. What will you do?
  • The company asks you to hire a new employee in your place since you are resigning. What skills would you look for, and what questions would you ask in the interview?

Asking such questions will boost participants’ problem-solving skills as they work in groups and provide unique and creative solutions.

Collaboration activities

Conducting collaboration games is an effective way to engage students and promote teamwork. These games help students develop stronger relationships with their peers and improve their academic performance. Here is our list of some of the best engaging student collaboration games.

11. Watch Your Steps

Watch Your Steps can help students learn teamwork and communication and enhance their problem-solving skills.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Create a minefield of objects that students have to navigate through.
  2. Divide students into pairs, where one is blindfolded and the other acts as their guide.
  3. The guide has to give verbal instructions to their partner on navigating through the minefield without touching any objects.
  4. Encourage students to communicate and work together to navigate through the minefield.

You can also introduce variations to the game, such as adding time limits, increasing the number of obstacles, or changing the players’ roles after each round. You can play this game indoors or outdoors, and it is a great activity to build group trust and communication.

12. Build A Bridge Challenge

Build A Bridge is a challenging game that promotes teamwork and collaboration.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Divide the students into groups of five.
  2. Provide materials for building a bridge. These materials could include wooden blocks, glue, and popsicle sticks.
  3. The challenge is to work together to build a bridge that can support a certain weight while considering design, stability, and safety factors.
  4. Students will communicate to share ideas and provide solutions.
  5. At the end of the game, groups will present their bridges to the class and test them by putting weight on the bridge.

To make this challenge unique, you can change the type of materials or add restrictions to the design. Playing Build The Bridge can help students develop critical-thinking and collaboration skills for success in school and future careers.

13. Helium Stick

Helium Stick is a fun and engaging collaboration game that will challenge players to work together as a team.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Divide your group into teams of five to ten.
  2. Provide each team with a long, thin rod or stick, such as a PVC pipe or a thin wooden dowel.
  3. Ask each team to stand in a line beside each other with their hands outstretched and one finger out. For larger teams, you can make some group members stand opposite the others.
  4. Place the stick horizontally onto their fingertips so all team members touch it.
  5. Each team must work together to lower the stick to the ground.
  6. The catch is that no one is allowed to let go of the stick. The stick will rise rather than go down as participants lift their fingers higher.
  7. Encourage players to talk, strategize, and work together to find a solution. The players may need to adjust their hand position, pace, or finger strength to control and lower the stick smoothly.
  8. The game will be over when the stick reaches the ground.

Helium Stick is a great collaboration game that promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills.

14. The Human Knot

The Human Knot is one of the best collaboration games for students.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Gather a group of students, and have them stand in a circle facing each other.
  2. Have each student reach their right hand across the circle and grab another participant’s hand. The students cannot hold the hand of the player standing directly next to them.
  3. Have each student reach their left hand across the circle and grab a different player’s hand.
  4. The players will create a complex structure with hands in different directions.
  5. As time starts, players will untangle themselves without breaking the hand-holding chain. Participants cannot let go of each other’s hands during the game.
  6. The students can step over each other, duck under their arms, or twist their bodies in any direction to untangle the knot.
  7. The game ends when the group has untangled themselves and formed a circle again.

You can make the game more unique by adding blindfolds or time limits. Playing The Human Knot game helps develop students’ collaboration skills while fostering teamwork and communication.

Learn more about how to do the human knot.

Conclusion

Collaborative games and activities have several benefits, including promoting teamwork, communication, problem-solving skills, and creativity among participants. These activities are essential for building trust and relationships among coworkers, especially in team-based work environments. However, defining clear objectives, providing clear instructions, and ensuring folks actively participate and contribute throughout the activity is essential. Proper facilitation can also ensure that participants benefit most from these activities.

In summary, collaborative games and activities can be a fun, effective way to improve teamwork and communication, but they require careful planning and execution to be successful.

Next up, check out these collaboration tools and this guide to collaboration.

FAQ: Collaboration games & activities

Here are answers to questions about collaboration games and activities.

What is the purpose of collaboration games and activities?

Collaboration games and activities create a sense of teamwork and encourage individuals to work together toward a common goal. Such games also enhance social interaction and help build relationships between team members. This aspect is particularly valuable in the workplace, where teamwork and collaboration are essential. Collaboration games and activities develop teamwork skills and foster an open mindset.

What are some good collaboration games?

Collaboration activities promote communication, cooperation, creative problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.

Here are some good collaboration games:

  • Memory Wall
  • Deserted Island
  • Amazing Race
  • Virtual Jeopardy

By participating in these games, individuals can learn how to recognize different work styles and develop strategies for working with different approaches.

What kind of activities encourage collaboration?

Collaboration games and activities serve multiple purposes, primarily cultivating teamwork and building social connections. Roleplay, competitive games, problem-solving activities, games in pairs, and creative-thinking games are examples of collaboration activities. These games and activities also improve communication skills.

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Author:

People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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