By Bluma Gordon, Lubicom Staff
Have you been glued to your BFFs this summer?
The Three Weeks is the perfect time to expand your social circle and polish those relationship skills!
These team-building, inclusive activities for the Three Weeks can be adapted for families, camps, and the workplace. They’re easy to implement and basically cost-free, too boot.
1. Puzzle jumble
Get everyone involved and in touch with their creative selves with this collaborative puzzle game. It’s got a fresh twist, so you’ll love it even if you already did every jigsaw in the bungalow colony.
- A picture
- Construction, canvas, or other heavyweight paper, cut into squares
- Drawing and coloring supplies
- Glue (optional)
Find or print a picture, divide it into even squares, and cut them out. Give every group member one square cutout of the picture and one square of the heavyweight paper. Have them copy their cutouts in a larger version onto their heavyweight paper squares. Then, have your group work together to assemble all the parts into one big picture. You can even write down everyone’s name on their square and glue the puzzle together.
Add a twist: Give each member varied coloring supplies and styles – like watercolor paints, charcoal, and glitter – for a Picasso-inspired look.
2. Group journal
Boost your group’s team spirit with a shared memory journal. This activity works well as a one- or few-week long project and creates a lifetime of memories.
- A notebook
- A box of random craft supplies: colored glue, crayons, stickers, googly eyes, glitter, etc. (Need inspiration for crafts? This Mega Art Supply Jar’s got all the basics.)
- Blank papers
- A bottle of glue
Sit your group in a circle and plunk down your handy crafts box in the center. Give everyone a blank paper along with a word related to friendship (think: fun, friends, kindness, etc.). Encourage everyone to decorate their paper with positive group memories associated with that word. Glue the pages into the notebook until it’s chock full of feel-good moments.
Add a twist: Create an “About the Authors” page in your journal with a picture and bio of each group member.
3. Blind minefield races
Up for a challenge? This game for the young – and young-at-heart – encourages communication and teamwork.
- A scarf for blindfolding
- Thick tape
- Obstacles for your minefield (garbage cans, street cones, etc.)
Set up a makeshift minefield by closing off an area of the floor with tape. Divide your group into pairs, and blindfold one member of each pair. The partner who’s not blindfolded is challenged to direct the blindfolded partner through the obstacle course and help him avoid bumping into any “mines.” The pair that’s fastest to get through the minefield “safely” wins.
Add a twist: Up the drama by adding squeaky toys and water balloons to your minefield.
4. Dress Humpty Dumpty
In this brainstorm challenge, all the king’s men (that means you!) join forces to protect Humpty Dumpty’s shell from the big fall.
- Raw eggs
- A chair or high stool
- Bottles of glue
- A mix of supplies (Don’t be afraid to get zany! You can use materials like pipe cleaners, newspapers, straws, socks, and plastic bags.)
Divide your group into teams. Give each team an egg, a bottle of glue, and an identical assortment of supplies. Allow each group some time to brainstorm how to protect the egg’s shell before dressing it. When the eggs are packaged, stand on a stool or chair and drop one egg at a time. Will there be any survivors?
Add a twist: Divide your teams into groups based on categories like favorite foods, shoe size, place of birth, or birthday months.
5. Construction brain teaser
Each team member gets a chance to lead in this fast-paced memory game.
- Lego or wooden blocks
- A stopwatch
Divide your group into teams, and take turns being team leader. Each team member, when acting as leader, gets 10 seconds to look at a structure built of blocks and memorize it. Have the leader return to her team and instruct them how to replicate the building from memory. Everyone in the group gets a chance throughout the challenge to be a leader and view the structure again for 10 seconds before directing their team. The team that gets it right first wins.
Add a twist: Add to the challenge by blindfolding everyone in the team besides the leader and tying the leader’s hands behind his back.
6. Guess Who’s behind me
This creative version of Guess Who spurs interaction among everyone in the group.
What you’ll need:
• A marker
Write names of famous personalities on each paper and tape a paper with a different name on every person’s back.
For example, Rachel has “Abraham Lincoln” taped onto her back, but doesn’t know it. To help Rachel find out her identity, other members give her helpful clues, such as “He died in 1865” or “He lived in a log cabin.”
The game ends when every group member guesses the name taped on her back.
Add a twist: Instead of names of famous personalities, use the names of people in your group! For example, Rachel has the name “Baila” (another group member) taped onto her back. To help Rachel figure it out, other members give her helpful (and complimentary) clues about Baila, such as “She is always ready to help” or “She has awesome shoes.” This game is guaranteed to make every participant feel awesome about themselves.
While some of these interactive challenges may push you out of your comfort zone, do them anyway!
We guarantee you’ll be rewarded not only with fun memories but with the newfound friends that come along with sharing a new (and sometimes scary!) experience.