11 team building activities that can be organized for under $99

7 min read
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Let me be blunt – don’t have team building activities for the sake of it.

Organize it only if you feel it is worth the effort. Most employees will find haphazardly organized activities to be awkward and boring. It reflects poorly on your organization and will not serve any purpose.

Team building activities, when organized well, can help lighten up the work environment. It gives employees a chance to have some fun and get know more about each other. When team members are able to get along easily, teams will start working to their full potential.

Looking to improve your team’s productivity? The first step is helping them communicate effortlessly. Know more.

If you haven’t been able to organize team building activities effectively owing to a lack of funds, then don’t worry! Not all team building activities require you to spend bucket loads of money. 

Here are 11 such inexpensive team building activities that can be organized for a budget of less than $99.

1. Picture pieces


Materials required: paper, color pen or pencil, rulers/tape measures.

Cost: under $25

Team size (per team): six to ten

How is it done

This is a fun activity where teams are asked to reproduce a particular painting or diagram on a larger scale. The facilitator will have to divide the painting into smaller portions and assign them to each member of the team. They will have to go ahead reproduce it on a larger scale. Finally, you can bring it all together like a mosaic to see the enlarged version.

Why is it done

1. To improve your team’s communication skills.

2. Help them learn how to divide bigger tasks into manageable parts and get it done together.

What do you need to know

1. You have to be specific about how enlarged the end product should be. For example, if you say x20, then the length and width should be 20 times bigger.

2. Give a time limit of 5-30 minutes depending on the complexity of the image and the magnification level.

3. If you want to make this team building activity more challenging, you can choose not show the whole original picture until the end of the activity.

2. Build a replica structure

Team building activities _ building set


Materials required: three-building sets (assuming two teams are there)

Cost: under $50

Team size (per team): four to six

How is it done

This team building activity is guaranteed to take your teammates back to their childhood. It requires the facilitator to build a structure with the building set, hide it from everyone. Then, ask one member of each team to come forward and have a small peak (10 seconds). They have to go back and pass on instructions to build a replica. Then after one minute, another member of the team has to come forward and do the same. The pattern repeats till a team successfully manages to replicate the structure.

Why is it done

1. To improve team communication and collaboration.

2. To help team members solve problems as a group.

What do you need to know

1. Make sure the timer has a buzzer. This ensures transparency and that everybody knows what is happening.

2. Give all the teams the same building set. This will ensure consistency.

3. Be specific about things like color, height, length. Make sure to announce before starting the game about how similar of a structure are you looking for.

3. Logo making with coins

Materials required: coins, pencil, few sheets of paper

Cost: under $5

Team size (per team): two to four

How is it done

This is a fairly simple team building activity: ask your colleagues to take out coins from their wallets or purses, and use it to create a logo for their team in less than 10 minutes. The logo should represent the group as a whole, at the same, it should tell something about each of its members as well.  

Why is it done

1. To help your employees know more about each other on a personal level.

2. To help your employees develop a shared sense of belonging to a group.

What do you need to know

1. You have to make sure each and every member of the team feels represented.

2. Ask individual team members to come forward and talk about their part in the logo.

3. Ask the team leader to come forward and talk about their group’s identity.

4. Cartoonize yourself

Requirements: chart paper, color pen,

Cost: under $15

Team size (per team): five to ten

How is it done

This is a fun activity where team members have to involve in a bit of self-deprecating humor. Give every team a piece of chart paper and ask them to come up with their own cartoon. It should reflect their roles (both formal and informal) in the office and how they contribute to the organization’s overall goals.

Why is it done

1. To help reaffirm a sense shared purpose among team members and between teams.

2. To ensure everyone in the organization know and respect what others do for the organization.

What do you need to know

1. Every team member should be represented.

2. Make sure the picture represents how the work done by a team member is connected to everyone else’s.

3. Ask the team members to make their sketches funny and personal.

5. Hole tarp

Requirements: a sheet of tarp, tennis ball

Cost: under $25

Team size (per team): four to twelve

How is it done

This a really fun and interesting activity. Firstly, you need to create a five circular hole in the tarp, then ask a team to come forward, lift it up, and start moving. Once they have started moving, place the ball in the tarp. The goal of the activity is to stop the ball from dropping down through the hole. Whichever team manages to keep the ball on the trap for the longest time wins.

Why is it done

1. To develop coordination between team members.

2. To get the team to work as one to achieve the objective.

What do you need to know

1. Make sure the hole is not too big or too small.

2. The number of holes can increase or decrease based on the size of the tarp.

6. Improv

Improv _ team building activities


Requirements: paper, pen

Cost: Nil

Team size (per team): three to eight

How is it done

Improvs are fun because it is spontaneous and simple. As the facilitator, you should write down random words on few bits of paper, then ask a team leader to come forward, and pick one piece of paper. Then, their team will have to act out a made-up story build around that word in 10 minutes. Every team that succeeds will have to do the same, but they have to ensure their story is a continuation of the previous one.

Why is it done

1. To spark the team’s creativity.

2. To get the team to work as one to achieve the objective.

3. To promote active listening.

What do you need to know

1. Write only simple objects that everybody will know about.

2. Don’t allow any extra time for preparation to any of the teams.

7. Treasure hunt

Requirement: pen, paper, name tags

Cost: $25

Team size (per team): four to six

How is it done

Who doesn’t like treasure hunts? It is one of the most popular team building activities. But, if you are worried about funds, you can keep it in your office or a nearby park itself.

Create a list of items that groups must collect or tasks that they have to complete. They could be anything, as long as it’s possible to complete. Some examples are: ‘take a selfie with somebody from another department’ or ‘finish a puzzle or ‘answer a few quiz questions’. Set a checkpoint for people to meet when they finish.

Why is it done

1. To get the team to work as one to achieve the objective.

2. To promote quick thinking.

What do you need to know

You can have a changing theme for the activity. For example, as the new Star Wars movie is releasing soon, the theme of the hunt could be Star Wars. Even the gifts could be related, like merchandising, tickets etc.

8. Minefield

Requirements: an empty room, plastic or paper cups, soft toys, blindfold

Cost: under $25

Team size (per team): more than two

How is it done

This is a really fun and testing activity. Firstly, you need to empty a room in your office. Place the cups on the ground to create a pathway, make sure there are a couple of U-turns in the between. Then, place the soft toys randomly on the pathway. Those are your ‘landmines’.

After the course is set, blindfold one member of the team, and ask them to walk along the path. A teammate of theirs will be tasked with directing them through the minefield by giving verbal instructions. If they hit an object or a cup, they must start over. The first team with all members across the minefield wins.

Why is it done

1. To foster trust in teams.

2. To help members that are resistant to collaboration become more open.

What do you need to know

1. Make sure the soft toys are not slippery or have rough edges.

9. Barter Puzzle

Requirements: five sets of jigsaw puzzles

Cost: $50

Team size (per team): two to six

How is it done

This is a very simple activity to organize. Firstly, combine all the pieces from different puzzles, then randomize it. Then, give each team a portion of the assortment. Explain that other teams may have the pieces they need to complete the puzzle. Members have to strategize, assign roles and barter with other teams to get pieces they need to complete their puzzle first.

Why is it done

1. To promote interaction between teams.

2. To promote strategic thinking.

What do you need to know

1. Make sure the number of pieces given to one team is the same as another.

2. Make sure there aren’t a lot of pieces from one particular puzzle in a bundle.

10. The Domino Challenge

Requirement: dominos set, pen, paper

Cost: one dominos set on average comes around $10

Team size (per team): more than four

How is it done

Creating a dominos art piece is a really fun and challenging team building activity. The participant teams will be asked to create a domino effect art piece inside your office. Give them one hour of time to complete. Allow them to use various objects in the office to make the challenge more interesting. The more complex and longer the display is, the more points that team will receive.

Why is it done

1. To spark creativity.

2. To get them to work as one.

3. To help them brainstorm and plan better.

4. To help them learn the importance of with precision and excellence.

What do you need to know

1. Make sure you give the same kind of dominos to all the teams.

2. Allot a specific an area for teams to build their exhibit.

11. Catch the Beanbag

Requirement: small bean bags, a timer

Cost: under $15

Team size (per team): six to twenty

How is it done

This is a really fun and simple activity. Here, the team members will be asked to toss and catch a beanbag. Each person in the team must catch the beanbag and the last person will complete the round by tossing the beanbag to the first person. The aim is to improve the time taken to complete a round. Teams must remember the sequence in which the beanbag was tossed. The same must be repeated in the subsequent rounds.

Why is it done

1. To improve teamwork.

2. To improve team communication.

What do you need to know

1. This activity is ideal when you have more than two competing teams.

2. If somebody drops the bag or misses the sequence, ask the team to start from the beginning.

3. Make sure everyone receives the bag and throws it only once. The first person being the only exception.

Wrapping up

There are many more team building activities you can try. But, if you are not ready or don’t have the money to spend on team building activities, you can start with the above-listed activities.

As the facilitator, everytime you conduct an activity, it is crucial that you make note of all the learnings, achievements, obstacles, and issues. Doing things over and over again without any assessment will reduce the effectiveness of these team building activities.

Striving to make your team more productive? Hiver lets your team collaborate like never before! Know more.

Sucheth is a content marketer at Hiver. He is a marketer by day and an avid reader by night.