32 Fun, Creative, and Challenging Team Building Activities for Teachers and Students
For students and teachers, getting reacquainted and re-energized is a great way to kick-start a successful school year. Here’s how team building can help.
Updated July 4, 2023
We know what you’re thinking: the summer holiday just started! But as July gets underway, a brand-new school year is already right around the corner.
And with that in mind, it feels like a fitting time to shake off your social cobwebs, get reacquainted with your colleagues and fellow students, and have some fun in the process.
- 8 In-Person Team Building Activities for Teachers
- 1. Clue Murder Mystery
- 2. Code Break
- 3. Six Degrees of Separation
- 4. Team Pursuit
- 5. Collaborative Lesson Planning
- 6. Random Acts of Kindness
- 7. Trivia Time Machine
- 8. Friendly Feud Social
- 7 Virtual Team Building Activities for Teachers
- 1. Virtual Clue Murder Mystery
- 2. Virtual Escape Room: Jewel Heist
- 3. Virtual Time Machine Trivia
- 4. Virtual Team Pursuit
- 5. Water Cooler Trivia
- 6. Virtual Jeoparty Social
- 7. Virtual Escape Room: Mummy’s Curse
- 6 In-Person Team Building Activities for Students
- 1. Hollywood Murder Mystery
- 2. Newspaper Fashion Show
- 3. Wild Goose Chase
- 4. Shark Tank
- 5. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge
- 6. Play Some Icebreaker Games
- 3 Virtual Team Building Activities for Students
- 4 Team Building Activities for Frosh Week
- 4 Team Building Activities for the Holiday Break
8 In-Person Team Building Activities for Teachers
Socialization at school isn’t only reserved for students. If you’re like many teachers, socializing with your colleagues is a truly enjoyable part of your job.
It also helps build better rapports between faculty members, in turn supporting a stronger overall school or higher education institution.
Check out these four popular team building activities for teachers.
You and your colleagues can take a pause from being educators and instead channel your inner detectives with this team building activity that challenges you to crack the case of a deadly crime.
When a man named Neil Davidson is found murdered, it’s up to you and your fellow teachers to break out into teams, examine clues, and review case files as you work to determine who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime.
This team building activity for teachers will challenge you to exercise your problem-solving skills, think analytically, collaborate closely, and communicate effectively.
This activity is also available in a fully virtual format that uses video conferencing to host your entire team, regardless of where they’re located.
2. Code Break
Are you and your colleagues into cerebral activities? If so, you’ll love Code Break.
In this activity, you and your group will need to think outside the box, exercise your problem-solving skills, and leverage your unique strengths in order to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and trivia questions.
For each challenge you solve correctly, you’ll earn points. And whichever team has the most points when time runs out will named winners.
The key to this activity is that you’ll need to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and exercise your patience – making it a perfect activity to help hone some of your key skills as a teacher.
3. Six Degrees of Separation
One of our favorite DIY team building activities for teachers, Six Degrees of Separation, is based on making a list of things you have in common with your fellow educators.
Here’s how it works:
- Pair up with one partner (if you’re doing this virtually, you might want to try a platform like Zoom that allows you to go into “breakout rooms” and chat with people one-on-one for a predetermined timeframe)
- Make a list of five things you have in common with each other
- Move on to a new partner, searching for somebody who shares at least one of the things on your list
- Create a new list of five things you have in common with that person
The ultimate goal is to continue until everyone has at least one thing in common with every one of their colleagues.
4. Team Pursuit
Calling all high-energy educators: if you’re up for a fun activity where you’ll tackle mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, we’ve got just the thing for you.
With Team Pursuit, your group will break into teams and compete for points by completing challenges before time runs out. Not only is this a great way to put your energy to good use, it can also help you and your colleagues to learn new things about one another, discover your hidden talents, and strengthen your collaboration skills – all while having fun.
You can either jump into this activity in person or opt to do it online with Virtual Team Pursuit.
Recently, we’ve seen a huge jump in the volume of schools and educators booking team building activities for teachers. So, if you think your group could benefit from some team building before the school year gets underway, get in touch with us.
5. Collaborative Lesson Planning
Get together with your colleagues in pairs or small groups to plan a lesson together. This activity promotes collaboration, communication, and the sharing of best practices among colleagues. It gives you and your fellow educators some quality time together and it also allows you to learn from each other, exchange ideas, and build stronger teaching strategies.
Feel like getting out and spreading some kindness to start the schoolyear off right? We recommend it! Doing good in the world is good for you. In fact, it actually builds team morale. Random Acts of Kindness fuses the scavenger hunt concept with a philanthropic twist. This team building activity gets teams racing against one another to try and complete as many good deeds as possible before time runs out.
Ready to connect with your fellow teachers for a trip down trivia memory lane?
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century , through the decades, and all the way to the 60’s.
This exciting, fast-paced trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your remote game show host will warm up your in-person participants with a couple of “table hopper rounds” and split you out into teams.
Within minutes, your meeting space will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
This activity is also available in a virtual format for remote teams.
Take a break from your work interactions and mix in some socialization with your faculty members!
Well, if you’ve ever wanted to take part in your own Family Feud-style competition, this is your chance! With Friendly Feud Social, you and your colleagues will break out into teams to compete through survey questions focused on culture and human nature.
And, as an added social element within the game, each round of questions will be followed by a guided social mixer where you’ll have the chance to take part in a group discussion and more deeply explore the survey questions from the previous round.
7 Virtual Team Building Activities for Teachers
While not all teachers and faculty staff can get together in person, that shouldn’t stop you from reconnecting with your colleagues and having some fun in the process.
If this sounds like your team, you might want to check out one of these virtual team building activities for teachers.
With Clue Murder Mystery, your team will need to solve the murder of a man named Neil Davidson by figuring out who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime. This is the perfect virtual game for folks who love problem-solving team building activities.
Curious how a virtual team building activity works? Check out the video below to see a Virtual Code Break in action.
There’s been a robbery! Someone has masterminded a heist to steal a priceless collection of precious jewels, and it’s up to you and your team to recover them before time runs out.
Together, you’ll need to uncover hidden clues and solve a series of brain-boggling challenges that require collaboration, creative problem-solving, and outside-the-box thinking. But be quick! The clock is ticking before the stolen score is gone forever.
Step into the Outback Time Machine and take a trip through time, from pre-pandemic 21st century through the decades all the way to the 60’s.
This exciting, fast-paced virtual trivia game, packed with nostalgia and good vibes, is guaranteed to produce big laughs, friendly competition, and maybe even some chair-dancing.
Your virtual game show host will warm up guests with a couple of “table hopper rounds” (breakout room mixers) and split you out into teams. Within minutes, your home office will be transformed into a game show stage with your very own game show buzzers!
Help your remote faculty get re-energized by tackling fun virtual challenges with their colleagues. In groups, your remote employees will tackle a series of mental, physical, skill, and mystery challenges, earning points for each one successfully completed. Whichever has the most points when time runs out will be crowned the winners!
If you’re trying to find fun and unique ways to keep your team engaged on an ongoing basis, Water Cooler Trivia is a great way to do it. Water Cooler Trivia integrates into your email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams channels and automatically sends trivia quizzes directly to your team members on a weekly basis. You can choose the trivia schedule and categories, and Water Cooler Trivia will write the questions, automate their distribution, and grade the results for you.
If your remote team is eager to socialize, have some fun as a group, and channel their competitive spirit, we’ve got just the thing for you! With Virtual Jeoparty Social, you and your colleagues will step into your very own virtual Jeopardy-style game show—equipped with a buzzer button, a professional actor as your host, and an immersive game show platform! Best of all, this game has been infused with an ultra-social twist: players will take part in a unique social mixer challenge between each round.
In this virtual escape room experience, your team will be transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. You’ll have to work together to uncover clues and solve complex challenges to lift the ancient curse.
6 In-Person Team Building Activities for Students
It’s been a long time since students have had that beloved school experience–and we’re not necessarily talking about books. Students have been missing that social element of their education for a long time.
But now’s your chance!
So, whether you’re a student who wants to book something fun for you and your friends or the student of a parent with the same idea, we think you’ll love these four.
An up-and-coming actress has been found dead in her hotel room the morning after an awards show. Now, you and your team need to channel your inner detectives as you review the evidence, assess potential suspects, and determine the method, motive, and murderer in the crime.
2. Newspaper Fashion Show
While this activity might cater more to art, design, and fashion students, it can also be a great way to have a laugh with your friends no matter what your interests are.
Here’s how it works:
- Split up into teams of six to eight people
- Set yourselves up with some newspaper, tape, and scissors
- Assign your group a time limit (we recommend 45 minutes)
- Design and create a clothing item out of newspaper
If you’re up for it, you could also designate one person per team to be the model and put on your own runway show. And if you ask us, this is a great way to kick off a party!
If you love to get out into the great outdoors, explore, and have fun, then you’re going to love this.
One of our most popular team building activities for students, Wild Goose Chase, is a scavenger hunt that will get you outside to explore and tackle photo and video challenges with your friends.
Each challenge will be worth a certain amount of points. And for each challenge you complete, you’ll get to watch where you stand against other teams on a real-time leaderboard.
You might bump up against challenges like:
- Take the Stage: Search for a stage (or similar) and record a 5-second video of your team performing a popular song on stage
- If By Land or by Sea: In water or on land, in a slip or in a moat. Take a photo of your whole team standing in a boat or on a bridge above water
- Every Day I’m Jugglin’: Find a friend from another team who can juggle 3 or more objects and record a 5-second video of them in action
- You’ve Got Balls: Snap a photo with at least three different types of sports balls in it, somewhere outside in a public place such as a sports field or playground
Believe us when we say that this can get a little competitive!
4. Shark Tank
Have you ever watched an episode of Shark Tank (or saw a version of the popular new Shark Tank meme) and thought you could get the Sharks to buy into an idea that you’ve got?
Well, if so, you’ll love this activity.
Whether you’re in a classroom setting or at a party with your friends, host your own episode of Shark Tank:
- Split up into teams
- Come up with a product, brand name, logo design, and marketing strategy
- Present the idea to a “panel” of your friends
- Ask for feedback on your idea
This is a ton of fun – and also offers you the benefit of getting creative and working on your presentation and public speaking skills.
Split into teams and create a cardboard boat made out of just the materials provided: cardboard and tape. Team members will have to work together to engineer a functional boat that will float and sail across water without sinking. Once teams have finished making their boats, they will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best, before putting their boats to the test. The final challenge will have teams racing their boats to test their durability!
6. Play Some Icebreaker Games
Want to share a few laughs and get to know your friends and peers better? Icebreaker questions are a great way to do it—and you might even learn something new and outrageous about the people you thought you knew well!
- If you could turn your belly button into a real button that you could push once a day and it would do whatever you wanted, what would you make it do?
- If you could go back in time 10,000 years ago and make a cave painting to confuse everyone in the future, what would you draw?
- What was the worst injury you ever had?
- What’s the weirdest thing in your fridge right now?
- If you were setting off to Mars and could take only one luxury item with you, what would it be?
- If you could become a supernatural creature at night, what would it be, and why?
- Which fictional character would you want by your side during a zombie apocalypse?
- If you were a cocktail, which one would you be?
- If your home was packed full of golf balls, how would you remove them?
- Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?
- Would you rather speak all languages or be able to talk with animals?
- What would you do if you came home and found a penguin in your freezer?
- What takeaway food represents you today and why?
- If you could invent a holiday, what would it be, and what would you call it?
- If your car had vanity plates, what would they say?
- What is the best bird?
- Do you have a favorite dinosaur?
- You’ve been chosen to represent your country in a global competition. What sport or activity are you doing?
- Tell me an embarrassing story about yourself.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
- If you could add a word to the dictionary what would you add and what would it mean?
- The zombie apocalypse is coming. Who are three people you want on your team?
- If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why?
- Teleportation or flying?
- If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
- If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why?
- If you had to lose all your memories, which one would want to lose last?
- What are your biggest phobias?
- If you were left on a deserted island with either your worst enemy or no one, which would you choose? Why?
- What would be the most surprising scientific discovery imaginable?
- If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore who would it be and why?
- If someone offered you a million dollars to give up your smartphone forever, would you do it?
Looking for even more ideas? Check out our list of 430+ icebreaker question ideas you’ll love.
3 Virtual Team Building Activities for Students
We know that not all students will be able to get together in person this year. So, if you’ve found yourself in this boat, don’t worry. There are a ton of fun virtual team building activities you’ll love.
What’s more fun that having a trivia night with your friends? If you’re like us, you love the high-energy atmosphere that a good game of trivia creates.
And with Game Show Extravaganza, you can take this concept to a whole new level. You’ll get to channel your inner game show contestant and take the “stage” to face off against one another.
With your friends, you’ll break out into teams. Then, you’ll compete against other teams to answer trivia questions ranging from pop culture to sports, world history, politics, and more.
If you want to do this entirely on your own, you can try our self-hosted Game Show Extravaganza where you’ll only need our app and your group of friends to do the activity.
Get to know your schoolmates and build better connections with this ultra-social virtual team building activity for remote groups. You and your friends will learn fun facts about one another as you tackle a series of themed challenges together and engage in exploratory conversations.
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean the fun has to be! Luckily, Captain Furling has room for you and your schoolmates on his virtually chartered yacht. Come aboard and channel your “inner Cancun” for a tropical online team building adventure.
Captain Furling’s chartered yacht welcomes online guests aboard his luxury vessel and quickly takes them out of their homes to a gorgeous beach in Cancun.
With ocean soundscapes and delightful vacation destination footage, your travel companions will compete with their knowledge ofc travel destinations, vacation-themed movies, summer pop hits and even a cabana-wear contest. Your yacht captain gives guests a playfully immersive experience for a virtual team vacation from your workday that your colleagues truly deserve.
4 Team Building Activities for Frosh Week
The pandemic is behind us and you know what that means! Frosh Week can once again take place, either in person or virtually, and it’s time to have some fun and celebrate responsibly.
Check out these three awesome team building activities for frosh week.
This student-focused team building activity is an instant classic and a favorite among students from coast to coast.
Campus Goose Chase is just like Wild Goose Chase but it’s entirely focused on getting you out to explore your local campus, get out of your comfort zone, and have a ton of fun.
The challenges are also campus-themed, making it a perfect tie-in for your frosh week celebrations. It’s perfect for students who are social, energetic, and competitive.
If you love to get outside, you’re going to love Picnic Party Games. Our recommendation would be to pair this activity up with a BBQ or picnic to make it extra exciting.
In this activity, your group can split up into teams, pairs, or individuals. Together, you’ll compete through an array of fun and high-energy challenges, collecting points for each one you complete. You can make this as competitive or as light-hearted as you’d like.
Some of the challenges you might get include:
- Balancing Act: Have one teammate lay on the ground, place an uncapped bottle of water on their forehead, and record a 5-second video of them trying to stand up without spilling
- Photo Booth: Collect whatever props are available and stage a photo booth beach shoot in the park, then position the image of the beach scene in the shot and snap a creatively posed team photo
- Brain Freeze: Record a 5-second video of a teammate getting a brain freeze by drinking a cold bottle of water as quickly as possible.
- Head Rush: Snap a photo of a teammate doing an unassisted handstand or head stand.
This is a great way to take your outdoor time up a notch.
Hamish’s legendary happy hour trivia features two rounds of trivia questions, featuring four themed categories of your choice. With 20 category options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the perfect themes for your team’s happy hour trivia.
With pub soundscapes, visual surprises, and warm-hearted humor, Hamish McDuff makes your guests feel like they just had a memorable happy hour with friends in a real pub, while at work! Sorry, HR!
This pub trivia game experience is guaranteed to produce plenty of laughs and lift team “spirits.” It might even include a few special surprises.
The summer holiday might be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean your vacation has to end so soon! You can kick off Frosh Week with some “fun in the sun!”
Invite your team to hop aboard Captain Furling’s chartered yacht and transport them from your office directly to a gorgeous beach destination in Cancun.
Beach Staycation is loaded with delightful vacation destination footage, ocean soundscapes, and highly engaging social activities and trivia-style challenges.
4 Team Building Activities for the Holiday Break
The holiday break is a great opportunity for students and teachers alike to unwind, relax, and celebrate with their loved ones. It’s also a great opportunity to partake in fun and light-hearted holiday-themed team building activities with colleagues and friends. So, if you’re looking for a few ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Here are four options you’ll love.
If you and your team love a high-energy group activity, then Holiday Hijinks is perfect for you.
Celebrate the holidays with this festive holiday-themed team building activity that’s all about working collaboratively to tackle a variety of holiday-themed physical, cerebral, and skills-based challenges.
In this activity, your group will split into teams. Each team will race against the clock and try to outpace the competition as they earn points for completing challenges, such as:
- Cookie Conundrum – Luke made 42 holiday cookies. He brought half of them to his office. He ate one third of the cookies that were left. Then he gave 8 cookies to his neighbor. He left the rest of the cookies out for Santa. How many cookies did Santa get?
- Elf Yourself – Each team member needs to create the most unique gift you can using only the items available to you. Snap a photo of everyone showcasing their gifts.
- Junk Yard Jingle – Record a 5-second video of a teammate creating the beat to a holiday song using objects found around your house or office. Be sure to practice getting your notes right as the instrumental version has to be in tune!
You’ll need to be mindful, though. Each challenge is worth a different number of points based on its level of difficulty, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the leaderboard and tackle challenges strategically if your team wants to be crowned Holiday Hijinks Champions!
Looking for a way to ring in the holiday season with your team while exercising communication and collaboration skills, having a lot of laughs, and creating bonds with your colleagues?
Then Yuletide Showdown is the perfect activity for you.
In this fast-paced and high-energy virtual team building activity, you and your colleagues will race the clock, competing to unlock six different challenge categories: Sounds of Christmas, Holiday Trivia, Holiday Characters, Holiday Pictionary, Festive Scavenger Hunt, and Holiday-Style Who-Dun-It.
Then, you’ll need to strategically complete challenges, keeping a close eye on the real-time leaderboard and staying one step ahead of the competition.
As the holidays get underway, sometimes all you and your colleagues want to do is celebrate the season and spend quality time together. And with Elf’s Virtual Merry Mingler, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
Set in a venue in Santa’s North Pole village, this virtual holiday team building activity is made up of a series of social mixer activities that are all about sharing a laugh, creating some positive festive energy, and letting teammates enjoy each other’s company—regardless of the geographical distance between them.
The holiday season is all about coming together and celebrating! So, in Frost’s Virtual Holiday Trivia, you and your team will be invited to join the Frosts in the lounge of their brand-new ice hotel.
While you’re there, you’ll compete through three rounds of holiday and winter-themed trivia questions, earning points for each one answered correctly. But the fun doesn’t stop there! You’ll also become better acquainted with your colleagues as you take part in a round of Frost’s Icebreaker Questions.
Whether your school will be going virtual this year or you’ll be heading back to classes when the school year gets underway, one thing is for sure: staying connected during these challenging times is important for teachers and students alike. And with team building activities for teachers and students, you can make staying connected fun and easy.
Learn More About Team Building Activities for Teachers and Students
For more information about how your group can takeFor more information about how your group can take part in team building activities for teachers and students, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.