15 Hybrid Activities & Games for Team Building in 2021

Home » Resources » Hybrid ActivitiesUpdated: September 15, 2021

You found our list of hybrid activities.

Hybrid activities are activities that consist of both physical and virtual elements. For instance, hybrid meetings involve some attendees gathering in the same room and others joining remotely via phone call or video conference. These activities might also include sending physical materials to online participants. The purpose of these activities is to support team building and community building.

These activities are similar to online classroom activities and make great virtual team engagement ideas.

This post contains:

  • hybrid team building activities
  • hybrid community building activities
  • hybrid classroom games to play with students

Let’s get to it!

List of hybrid activities

From desktop s’mores roasting sessions to work away days, here is a list of engaging hybrid exercises for employees, students or faraway friend groups.

1. Traveling Ted

Traveling Ted is a fun game for long distance communities to enjoy together from afar. To play, participants send “Ted” in the mail to each other. Recipients pose Ted in a variety of settings, take pictures, and share the photos with the group. This activity helps group members learn about other players’ surroundings and culture.

We made a template for Ted.

Traveling Ted Activity Template

Before starting the game, ask players to decorate Ted together on a digital whiteboard or a shared account on an online art program. Then, slip Ted into an envelope and send him on his way to a teammates’ house.

Flat paper cutouts are the easiest and cheapest Teds to mail, and feel free to use action figures or stuffed animals instead.

2. tiny campfire 🔥

tiny campfire banner

tiny campfire brings the outdoors indoors and online. The week before the event, guests receive a s’mores kit in the mail, complete with a tealight candle for optimal desktop marshmallow roasting. Participants then join an energetic virtual camp counsellor in a secure Zoom room for an afternoon or evening full of historic ghost stories, camp games, and remote team bonding.

Check out this guide on how to run your own virtual campfire, or learn about our hosted tiny campfire,

3. Cocktail Shakeup

Cocktail Shake-Up banner

Cocktail Shakeup is one of the best hybrid activities for adults. Attendees receive packages full of dry ingredients to make sophisticated mixed drinks. During the event a virtual bartender demonstrates how to whip up classy cocktails while also leading teams through an online “toast-off,” prohibition themed digital scavenger hunt, and a tasteful, work-appropriate drinking game.

Learn more about Cocktail Shakeup.

4. Tea vs Coffee

Tea vs Coffee is a virtual tea and coffee ceremony ideal for remote team building, online college clubs, or even distanced high school language or culture classes. Groups receive a package in the mail containing a variety of coffees and teas in intriguing flavors, then gather on a secure Zoom line with a knowledgeable host. During the event, attendees share thoughtful icebreakers, meditate, brew and taste beverages together. The end result is zen, knowledge, and stronger bonds.

Learn more about Tea vs Coffee.

5. Online cooking classes

Remote team dinners are good for team bonding, yet online cooking classes elevate the experience by giving attendees a mission. While ordering takeout and munching during a team call is fun, cooking together via video call occupies a longer span of time and gives participants a sense of accomplishment. Learning a new skill together creates a sense of common ground amidst the group and encourages personal development.

For inspiration, check out our list of online cooking classes.

6. Virtual wine tasting classes

Similar to online cooking classes, virtual wine tasting classes combine tasting and learning in a participatory online environment. Recipients either order tasting kits, or source wines locally. Organizers should note that certain states and countries prohibit mailing alcohol, so bring-your-own-beverage might turn out to be a more practical format for the event. A sommelier joins attendees on a video call, and the group sips wines together and discusses their impressions.

For suggestions, check out our list of virtual wine tasting classes.

7. Online art classes

Online art classes occupy attendees’ hands, which is great news for can’t-sit-still teammates and guests with social jitters alike. Often, class organizers send packages of art supplies or a shopping list of materials to participants. Then, attendees join an artist on a video call, and the class leader demonstrates how to create a piece of art. Or, participants can follow a pre-recorded online tutorial step-by-step.

Projects can range from paintings, drawings, jewellery, crafts, or even more out-of-the box ideas like woodworking, found-art-sculptures, or mold making. To recreate a paint-and-sip art class online, combine your digital art class with a virtual wine tasting.

For recommendations, check out our list of online art classes.

8. Digital scavenger hunts

Scavenger hunts are exciting. The adrenaline rush from running around on the hunt for clues and the thrill of competition keeps groups engaged and entertained. Digital scavenger hunts work best when they incorporate movement, for instance, asking video call attendees to fetch items from around the house.

Online scavenger hunts can also function as hybrid activities where one teammate relays instructions from “mission control,” or the main meeting base, while another teammate explores his or her surrounding environment to find clues or complete tasks.

To perform a digital scavenger hunt, curate a list of clues, split the group into teams, then set a time limit and watch teams scramble. At the end of each round or game, assign points accordingly and award the ultimate winners with prizes or recognition.

For tips and tricks, check out our guide to online scavenger hunts and this one with scavenger hunt clues and riddles.

Also, here is a list of scavenger hunt apps to try, and one with ideas for photo scavenger hunts.

9. Escape rooms

One of the best parts of escape rooms is that players can solve puzzles online, in-person, or a mix of both approaches. By tapping into free resources, you can easily create your own escape room experiences in your house or classroom or online. Dressing up and hiding clues within view of the webcam is one way to create an engaging online environment when solving puzzles via video call. You can also require participants to play games or solve puzzles through websites and video calls, or source objects from their own homes.

For ideas, check out our articles on digital escape rooms and free DIY escape room puzzle ideas.

10. Virtual field trips

Virtual field trips enable participants to explore potentially far-off destinations from the comfort of home or the classroom. When leading a group of students on an in-person field trip, you can use video conferencing platforms to take at-home students along for the tour. One nice touch on hybrid field trips is to give remote attendees the option of picking activities or mapping out the route so that they feel more involved.

Or, the entire group may visit a museum, zoo, or national park virtually. The best of these programs offer live chats with a guide, park ranger, or zookeeper so that students can ask questions and interact throughout the experience, an approach that holds attention much better than a lecture format.

For inspiration, check out our list of virtual field trip examples.

11. Twins & opposites

Twins & opposites is a remote learning activity that helps groups spot similarities and differences. To play, ask participants to find objects within their homes or immediate vicinity.

Samples of prompts may be as follows:

  • Pet
  • Snack
  • Treasure
  • Heirloom
  • Ball
  • Family

Players grab a physical object to show off onscreen. Participants then compare and contrast the items. The meeting host can assign attendees into breakout rooms in pairs or small groups to discuss the objects, bond over similarities, and learn through differences.

Twins & opposites is an engaging game for students or geographically diverse teams, enabling participants to learn more about each other, expand horizons, and make meaningful connections.

12. Spirit days

Spirit days brighten up an ordinary remote school week or workweek. Either host a week-long stretch of spirit days, or pick one day every week or month to celebrate. Simply assign a theme to particular days, and ask participants to show up to video meetings or classes in costume or with props.

Spirit day themes might include:

  • Sports
  • Beach day
  • Pajama Day
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Music
  • Superheroes
  • Time travelers
  • History
  • Decades Day
  • Holidays
  • International
  • Villains
  • Carnival

Feel free to choose any theme that sparks attendees creativity and imagination, but try to cater to materials that folks might already have in house or can obtain easily.

Participants can also customize the virtual meeting background to suit the theme, too.

Here is a list of ideas for spirit days.

13. Hometown tours

Hometown tours enable remote colleagues or students to show off their immediate neighborhood. First, task participants with an assignment to record videos, take pictures, or collect websites that represent their hometown or current city. Then, instruct attendees to compile the materials into a slideshow presentation to share while on a video conference call.

To make the event more interactive, ask participants to lead a tutorial teaching an activity that relates to their hometown. Examples of activities might include a cooking tutorial on a regional dish, a demonstration on how to play the town’s favorite sport, or a local language lesson explaining a unique dialect.

Participants can show off their current city, birthplace, ancestral background, or even a destination they one day hope to visit. Allowing for flexibility gives participants the option to speak about the places they are most passionate about.

Once every member presents, compile a collage with snippets from each group member’s special tour.

14. Pen Pals

Receiving physical mail tends to be more personal than receiving email. Pen pal programs are one of the simplest hybrid activities for team building, classrooms, or groups of friends alike.

To launch a pen pal program:

  1. Collect names and addresses of willing participants.
  2. Pair participants and exchange information.
  3. Instruct writers to send letters and small packages.

You should set a minimum frequency, for instance, once a month or every other week. Either assign themes for the letters and packages, such as favorite snacks, animals, or travel, or leave the subject up to the writers.

There are many existing pen pal programs to choose from, or you can launch your own.

Access to unique perspectives and insider information about distant locations makes pen pal programs great hybrid teaching activities, with the added advantage of encouraging relationships along with learning.

15. Work away days

Working from home does not have to mean working at home. Sometimes, a change of environment can help students or workers refocus or consider new perspectives. Declaring work away days motivates home-schooled students or telecommuters to explore a brand new workspace such as a coffee shop, bakery, library, co-working space, or relative’s house.

Of course, bad weather, a lack of transportation, or other unforeseen circumstances might prevent participants from actually travelling. A change of scenery does not necessarily have to mean a change of location. If students or employees cannot leave their typical building, then encourage them to work from a new room like the kitchen or garden.

When starting work away days for home-school students, incorporate elements of the new surroundings into the lesson. Planning exercises relating to or corresponding to the environment, for example, a science experiment in the garden or a Dewey Decimal scavenger hunt in the library, makes for more immersive, purposeful hybrid class activities.

Conclusion

One of the common complaints towards distance learning or telecommuting is that too much screen time makes it hard to concentrate and connect with peers. However, the hybrid model of work and teaching enables virtual attendees to participate in tactile activities together from afar, engaging the audience and often cementing a new skill or resulting in a memento that makes the activity more memorable, inclusive, and high impact.

For more ideas on how to make online learning or remote working more fun, check out our article on online team games and this one with digital team building activities.

We also have a list of ideas for team building outdoors.

FAQ: Hybrid activities

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about hybrid activities.

What are hybrid activities?

Hybrid activities are events, games, and exercises that consist of both online and offline elements. These activities might involve some participants gathering physically and others joining online or via phone,  or may send materials to remote attendees to make for a more tactile experience.

What are some good hybrid activities?

Some good hybrid activities include virtual campfires, online tea tastings, Traveling Ted, and Hometown Tours.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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