22 Warm-up Excercises & Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

22 Warm-up Excercises & Games for Team Building

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

IMPORTANT:

Strictly adhere and be mindful of cultural norms regarding physical contact. (refer #4.19)

22 Warm-up Excercises & Games for Team Building

8.1. Warm-Up

Warm-up exercise

In the first 10-15 minutes of the session (of 2 hours), it is necessary to get the blood flowing and prepare the “ground” for the upcoming part, with some activities that are less physical but with a greater emotional demand. The warm-up aims to mentally and physically prepare the group for collaborative games.

The warm-up encourages players to work together towards a common goal and seeks to relax them, create a good mood, and make them think of themselves as a team. Additionally, the warm-up creates the muscular tone (pulse of approx. 100 beats per minute) necessary to avoid accidents.

For the warm-up, simple and lively movements will be used – as different as possible from the classic ones known to the participants (from sports classes, etc.) and often boring. It is preferable for the exercises to be performed together with one or more partners, not individually. The instructor will demonstrate what to do, and the participants will copy and continue to repeat the same exercise until the command to stop or move to another movement.

Do not move to another exercise until all participants have finished the previous exercise.

Transition to another exercise is only done at the instructor’s signal! Teammates address each other only by their first names.

During warm-up exercises, but also throughout the session, each participant will encourage their partner, neighbour, or team, with a positive word of encouragement. Expressions such as:

  1. Very good!
  2. Splendid!
  3. You did great!
  4. You did better than me!
  5. You’re moving better and better
  6. Now you’ve succeeded!
  7. Good job!
  8. Wonderful!
  9. You learn fast!
  10. When you do it, it seems so easy!
  11. You worked hard today
  12. Keep it up!
  13. Just like that!
  14. That was the best!
  15. That’s how it should be done!
  16. It’s a great progress!
  17. You didn’t forget anything!
  18. Almost good. Try again!
  19. Look, you remembered!
  20. I knew you would succeed!
  21. It’s very pleasant with you!
  22. From now on, you can’t go wrong anymore!
  23. Everything’s going well for you today!
  24. No one does it better than you!
  25. You’re the best at this!

It is preferable for the instructor to speak throughout the warm-up to relax the participants and make them more easily accept (unnoticed) the unusually large effort for many of them (sedentary), but in reality quite small. Emphasis will be placed on the need for relaxation and breathing, meaning that movements should be made without tension, without holding the breath.

The warm-up can be directly commanded by the instructor, or the task can be delegated to the organizers (see #14.14). At a signal, the organizers come to the instructor located at the other end of the room or field, who will give them a list of exercises. The teams will follow the order indicated on the list, or will be allowed to change the order (as indicated on the sheet). If the sheet does not impose a specific order of exercises, it will be established by consulting the team.

The lists of various teams can be different. The organizer reads the list, shows the exercise – but WITHOUT WORDS, then everyone repeats it approximately 15 times.

Remember: use new, surprising, and fun exercises! Avoid repetition, boredom. But too much is not good: don’t cram all the exercises you know into one session; leave something for next time. There is a subtle difference between excessive curriculum and repeated curriculum.

Other warm-up exercises are indicated in [10].

Sometimes it is recommended to redo a part of the “warm-up” during the session, to invigorate tired participants, or those annoyed that they have been inactive for too long, since they cannot solve the problem of a game, etc. At the beginning of the session, it is not necessary for the students to sit in a specific formation, the only indication being to sit and relax, so you don’t hit each other.”


8.2. Jumping Exercises

Warm-up exercise

We start with simple jumps in place, with feet together (5-10 jumps). Then the exercise gets more complicated by describing geometric shapes, on the corners of which you land successively: a triangle with the point forward, with the point backward, a square, a star, etc.

Then we jump: with heels to the bottom; with knees to the chest; with legs alternately close together – apart, forward or sideways; with arm movements sideways and upwards simultaneously with the jump, etc. The weirder and more fun the movement (not difficult), the better. For example:

  • Crow jump: sideways, with legs together, landing farther and farther apart until maximum distance;
  • Scissor jump: jumps with mid-air changing of legs apart, sideways or forward (one scissor); with mid-air changing of position and landing with legs in the same position as at the start (two scissors);
  • Skier jump over obstacles: sideways, with legs together, knees to the chest, landing with increasing distance.

Then jumps are performed with students holding each other by the waist, in pairs or groups of four, etc.

After they start to pant, the participants will be praised for their “achievements,” clarifying that “those having trouble with breathing can stop for a few moments to recover, but then they must continue.” The tone used by the instructor should be benevolent and stimulating, implying, without explicitly saying: “Come on, you can do it, you’re not so weak as to stop now.”

Attention: the purpose of warming up is not for the students to discover how out of shape they are, nor to see how great the instructor is, but for everyone to warm up.

The instructor should also not overdo it due to enthusiasm, exhausting themselves prematurely and being unable to cope with the rest of the lesson!


8.3. Heel Clashing

Warm-up exercise

Jumping to the left and right with heel clashing (a classic dance step).


8.4. Entrechat

Warm-up exercise

Another step from classical dance: it starts with the feet crossed and the soles placed inversely on the ground: for example, the left foot over the right, the left sole to the right of the right one. Jump to the left (in the direction corresponding to the leading foot) and in the air, switch the crossing of the feet so that the landing is done with the right sole to the left of the left one. Repeat to the right and so on.

Once everyone gets used to this oddity, they will be asked to jump with their arms raised high, palms together above the head, and elbows slightly bent. Then they will execute entrechat holding each other two by two at the waist, or four by four, etc.


8.5 One-legged jumps

Warm-up exercise

Stand on one leg, with the other bent behind or held by hand, and jump in place, laterally, etc. (see above).


8.6. Combined jumps

Warm-up exercise

Jumps with twisting the body in the air at 360º, in both directions; with feet together; on one leg etc.

Attention: falling is possible! The exercise is done on a soft surface (grass, sports mat etc.).


8.7. Heel and Toe Clashing

Warm-up exercise

Jumps with knees together, and alternately clashing heels and toes.


8.8. Jumping with the Palms Touching the Toes

During the jump, the legs are extended and lifted apart, while attempting to touch the tips of the toes with the palms.


8.9. Jumps with Partner A  

Warm-up exercise

All the types of jumps shown above are performed while holding hands with a partner; both twist while jumping, to the left or to the right (360º and more), holding hands tightly to withstand the centrifugal force.


8.10. Jumps with Partner B

Warm-up exercise

Both partners solidify their stance by holding firmly with their crossed free ankles and free arms, maintaining balance, then they twist and jump on one leg, to the left or to the right (360º and more).

Note: Falling is possible!


8.11. Triple Jumps

The instructor invites two participants (those who are smiling, they won’t refuse) and arranges them in a line, one to the right and one to the left, then grabs them by the waist (and they grab him with one hand each). Then they start jumping together, simultaneously, on one leg.

After the group repeats a few times, until they synchronize their legs (everyone jumps on the same leg and lifts the other one), they move on to three successive jumps to the left, on the left leg, tapping the right one in front, then three jumps to the right, on the right leg, tapping the left one, and so on.

After the demonstration, the whole group divides into triads that repeat the jumps.

After the demonstration, the whole group is split up into groups of three to perform the jumps.


8.12. Group Jumps

After the triads manage to correctly perform the hops, the group is divided into two equal groups, which line up in two rows, facing each other at a distance of about 2 meters, holding each other by the waist. After the rows repeat several times and manage to execute correctly, all together, the three jumps to the right and left, all participants will gather in a circle and perform the jumps as a group. Attention is needed to ensure that the legs moving in the air avoid hitting neighboring legs.

As the group becomes more competent, the instructor gives them harder tasks: “Raise your legs higher! Higher! Above your head! With your knees straight! Lean on your neighbors! With a smile on your face!” and so on.


8.13. Group Running

All participants run together for 3-5 minutes following a leader, at a pace suitable for everyone, on an improvised route, preferably outdoors. The first leader is the instructor, to demonstrate both the pace and the obstacles that can be imagined along the way: stairs, fences, circling around trees, jumping over benches, short sprints, various formations (holding hands, the side shuffle step), etc. Every 20-30 seconds, the “leader” touches the next colleague – who becomes the new “leader”, so that all players take turns leading the run.


8.14. Let’s pass the bottles

Preparation:

Bring 10 (or more) 2-2.5 litres empty plastic bottles to class.

Procedure:

Materials needed: empty plastic bottles of 2-2.5 liters – 10 pieces.

Game rules: The group sits on the floor in a circle, with their feet towards the center. The first task is to pass a bottle around the circle, using only the feet. Then, the task becomes passing two bottles in opposite directions.

Next, all available bottles are introduced into the game, possibly even one for each player. The duration of the circle traversal by a marked bottle (for example, the one with the X-colored cap) is timed.


8.15. Volleyball

Materials needed: one ball.

Rules of the game: The game takes place outdoors, in a wide space, without obstacles. The rule is to pass the ball as many times as possible without letting it fall to the ground.

Variations: Depending on the participants’ level, additional rules can be added to make the task more challenging. For example: the ball can only be hit with the right hand and the right foot; or: all players must balance on one foot; or: the ball can only be hit with the feet, etc. Optionally, introduce a scoring system where hitting with the hand earns one point, with the foot earns two points, with the head earns three points, etc.

Instructor’s guidance: Get excited and congratulate each new “record” of the group with great joy.


8.16. Extreme Volleyball

Materials needed: one ball (or a plastic bottle).

Rules of the game: The principle is the same as in Volleyball (#8.15.), meaning to achieve as many passes with the ball before it hits the ground, but the way points are scored differs: for each successful pass (meaning the ball was received and passed by a player), one point is awarded only if the group sings loudly in unison “One” and so on.

After passing, the player kneels on the ground, so only those who haven’t touched the ball and continue to play remain standing. After all members of the entire group have touched the ball in turn, everyone stands up and the game resumes.


8.17. Everyone Catches

Materials needed: None.

Game rules: This is a variation of the classic game of tag, where now all players can catch anyone. The caught player kneels on the ground and no longer participates in the game. They can be released from the obligation to stay (“enchanted”) if someone else jumps over them. Each player has the freedom to catch, release from enchantment, or do both – as they choose.


8.18. Dragon’s Treasure

Materials needed: a scarf, or a clean cloth.

Rules of the game: The participants form a circle, with an arm’s length distance between them. The instructor is the “seven-headed dragon” and stands in the center of the circle, guarding their treasure, which is a scarf placed nearby on the ground. The dragon is not allowed to step on the treasure.

The “dragon” shouts out a characteristic (for example: a shoe color, or “born in November”, or “who has a cat at home”, etc.), and the players who meet that condition rush to steal the “treasure” and return it to its place in the circle. The dragon defends their treasure by touching the thief (tagging them). Whether the thief has taken the treasure or not, if touched by the dragon, they return to the circle. The thief who returns to the circle with the scarf before being touched by the dragon becomes the new dragon and guards the treasure, while the dragon takes their place in the circle.


8.19. Let’s cross the hula hoop!  

Materials required: 1-5 wooden or knotted rope circles with a diameter of 1-1.5 m.

Rules of the game: Players gather standing in a circle, facing towards the centre, holding hands. The instructor separates two hands and inserts a circle, after which the hands are reconnected. The task is to move the circle along the entire line of players without letting go of hands until it returns to its starting point. On the second pass, the instructor introduces another circle, and so on.


8.20. Thieves and Guards

Materials needed: Several caps.

Game rules: The game takes place inside an area with well-defined/visible boundaries, large enough but not too large to avoid very long distances. Players group in pairs and throughout the game, they will hold hands. One pair becomes the “guards” – either volunteering or being chosen by the instructor. The two guards receive caps (coloured) and will try to touch another pair (of thieves) to transfer the task to them. Running is not allowed, only walking as quickly as possible. The pair of “caught” thieves (touched) receives the guards’ caps. The game can be played indoors or outdoors.

Variations:

  1. Each pair of guards establishes the rule for contact between the members of the thief pairs, instead of holding hands, for example: knee to knee, or back to back, etc. The rule also applies to the guards.
  2. The pairs of thieves stick together not by holding hands, but by holding between partners an empty plastic bottle or a balloon, without touching it with their hands. The pair of thieves that drops the balloon or breaks it becomes the “guards”.
  3. A pair of touched (caught) thieves joins the catching pair, and together they all become guards; gradually, the guards form a longer and longer chain as they incorporate other pairs of thieves. It should be noted that only the extremes of the guard chain have a free hand to touch (catch) another pair of thieves. This variant requires a larger playing area.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.


8.21. The Eagle and the Pigeons

Materials needed: an empty plastic bottle – this will be the “enchanted ball.”

Game rules: the game takes place on a well-defined surface, large enough, but not too large – to avoid very long distances. A “eagle” is chosen – either a volunteer or a player appointed by the instructor, who stands in the center with the ball in hand. The eagle will throw the enchanted ball while staying in place, trying to touch a pigeon. The pigeons, meaning the other players, try their best to avoid becoming eagles (being touched). The pigeon that is touched becomes the obligatory eagle and will collaborate in transforming the pigeons into eagles. For this purpose, eagles can pass the enchanted ball before throwing it to a pigeon, but the eagle holding the ball is obliged to stay in place. Because at some point it becomes unclear which players are eagles and which are pigeons, the instructor will occasionally shout: “eagles!” Upon hearing this shout, the game stops, each player freezes in place, and all eagles raise their arms. Or the instructor will shout: “pigeons!” Upon hearing this shout, the game stops, each player freezes in place, and all pigeons sit down (curl up). At the instructor’s signal, the game resumes. The game ends when all pigeons have become eagles. The game can be played indoors or outdoors.


8.22. Replacement of the Opposite

Materials needed: various small objects, one for each player; a circle or a bicycle tire inner tube; optionally cards with names of animals etc. or ways of greeting (details and necessary quantity see below).

Game rules: the number of players must be even; otherwise, the instructor participates in the game. Each participant takes an object, then all organize themselves in a circle, keeping a distance of approximately one arm’s length from their neighbors. Players mark their spot by placing the object on the ground to their right. In the center of the large circle, the bicycle tire inner tube is placed on the ground, which will delineate a circular space.

At the start signal given by the instructor, each player looks at the player diametrically opposite and establishes visual contact. Immediately after, both start moving towards each other to exchange places. When they reach the center, both have the obligation to step simultaneously with one foot inside the space delimited by the bicycle tire inner tube (the central circle) and hold hands, after which they continue running towards their new spots. Even if everyone were to run simultaneously to change places, only one pair is allowed to step inside the central circle marked by the bicycle tire inner tube; the next pair can step in only after the space is vacated.

The instructor times the duration from the starting signal given by him until the last player reaches their new spot. The action plan will be discussed, players will seek solutions to reduce the total time needed for the whole group, then the game will be repeated to check the effectiveness of the new strategy.

The game can be played indoors or outdoors.

Variants:

  1. Instead of forming pairs based on consensus with the player opposite, the instructor specifies other criteria:
  2. Consensus (and eye contact) between partners with names starting with the same letter, or with letters close in alphabetical order; or:
  3. Each player chooses from a bag a card on which is written the name of an animal, bird, etc. The same animal’s name appears on 2 or 4 cards. After taking their places in the large circle, the instructor gives the starting signal and the players mime the animal whose name is written on the chosen card and look for a partner who mimes the same animal; after the two establish eye contact, the game proceeds as before.
  • Inside the circle bordered by the bicycle tire inner tube, cards specifying various greeting methods are placed, for example: hug, pat on the back, both touch palms with fingers up, rubbing noses, etc. The pair stepping inside the bicycle tire inner tube chooses a card, reads and performs together the greeting specified on it, then leaves the card aside – but next to the tire, and moves on.

The rest of the rules are the same as in the basic version.


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