One of my favourite pastimes as a kid, and now, as an adult, was playing outdoor team building activities with my friends and colleagues.
Just being in the great outdoors and nature, in general, was so much fun and invigorating. I didn’t see it at the time, but as an adult, I have come to realise just how much doing team-building activities outside contributed to the development of me as a healthy young person.
This article will briefly explore the benefits of being in the outdoors, and share seven of my most successful group initiatives that are perfect for developing team skills outside in staff, employees and even young people.
Benefits of Outdoor Activities
There are so many physical, social, emotional and intellectual benefits to be gained from engaging in group activities outdoors. Here are some of the most important benefits:
- Relaxation – unplugging from our daily lives on a regular occasion helps us relax, clears our mind and refocuses our attention.
- Improved physical shape – yep, simply going for a walk around your local park is really good for you and so too are more adventurous pursuits such as rock-climbing, paddling and bushwalking.
- Better sleep – outdoor exercise stimulates the mind and helps you have a better sleep at the end of the day.
- Better productivity – if you regularly engage in outdoor activities, you can expect to be more productive at work and at school.
- Environmental awareness – just stepping out in nature will expand your understand and appreciation of our natural environment.
If you’re looking for outdoor team building activities for kids, many of the activities we share here work just as well with adults as they do with kids. For the most part, the only difference between adults and kids when leading group games is your language and the level of difficulty you may choose to pitch in these activities.
Outdoor Team Building Activities
When you consider all of these benefits, it’s no wonder so many corporations and schools enjoy taking their groups outside to experience a series of fun, team building activities.
If you’re looking for ideas to run your own team building activities for kids and adults, try some of these:
The bigger, more open your space, the better this activity gets. Imagine lots of running in a short timeframe, with a competitive edge thrown in for good measure. This is one of our most successful, fail-proof group exercises.
Play this fast-paced, fun partner exercise to raise the energy of your group, or engage your whole group at the same time and make it a competition.
3. Scavenger Hunt
Compile a list of objects which can be found in the outdoors, eg a red leaf, discarded trash, yellow flower, live bug/insect, etc. Divide into small teams and give them 30 minutes to find as many of these items as possible. Be sure to throw in some humorous and difficult objects too, such as a pink shoelace and a coin made in 1969.
This activity can only be delivered outside. All you need is a large open space and lots of sunshine.
You’ll quickly discover why this group initiative just has to be delivered in the outdoors. Expect tons of energy, not to mention ample creative team-building moments.
One of the most outrageously fun wide games I know that kids and adults absolutely love. Pick a spot that offers lots of wide spaces and ample hiding spots.
A gentle, yet powerful exercise for teams of two people that will heighten one’s senses of the outside world.
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