40 Best team building activities for large work groups

Organising a team-building event or offsite retreat for a large group is a massive undertaking.

And the bigger your group is, the more complicated the planning process becomes because more people lead to trickier logistics, bigger spending and a reduced margin for error. 

Those are some of the reasons why big companies like Google and Shopify ask Surf Office to do the planning for them—it allows them to focus on their workload while we put together a carefully planned event.

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to go it alone and plan your team-building event yourself, you might need some help choosing the best big group activities.

So, to help you find group activities that align with your team-building goals, we’ve put together this list of team-building activities for large groups.

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Outdoor team-building activities for large groups

At Surf Office, we’re huge advocates for getting out of the office for some much-needed team building. We believe there’s no better catalyst for building new relationships than the great outdoors. 

1. Extreme rock, paper, scissors

Extreme rock, paper, scissors takes the traditional playground game to a new level. This time, Instead of battling it out in pairs, your employees will attempt to overthrow the competition in teams.

Great for: Energization

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: Plastic hula hoops (approx. 15)

How to play:

2. Corporate Castaways

Corporate Castaways puts your employees’ ingenuity and teamwork skills to the test as they attempt to solve various group challenges.

Great for: Teamwork, communication

Duration: 2–3 hours

You’ll need: Various equipment depending on the games chosen

How to play:

3. Cardboard Boat Building Challenge

Your employees will work in teams to build the most durable boat using nothing but cardboard, sticky tape and their creativity. Whose will travel the furthest before it sinks?

Great for: Teamwork, creative thinking

Duration: 1–2 hours

You’ll need: Cardboard, tape, table tennis rackets

How to play:

4. Community service

Team-building doesn’t only need to be about silly games. Sometimes, you strengthen your team while contributing something valuable to your local community.

Great for: Company culture, company perception, job satisfaction

Duration: 2–3 hours

You’ll need: N/A

How to start:

5. Water balloon dodgeball

Water balloon dodgeball is a highly intense competitive game that’s guaranteed to get your group livened up at the start of your team-building event. Just don’t forget to remind everyone to bring a change of clothes beforehand!

Great for: Energization

Duration: 10–20 minutes

You’ll need: Two large buckets or bins, lots of water balloons, cones or rope for marking the field

How to play:

6. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt is an excellent opportunity for your team to escape the office while working on essential soft skills like teamwork, communication and problem-solving.

Great for: Teamwork, communication, problem-solving

Duration: 1–2 hours

You’ll need: A list of challenges for teams to complete.

How to play:

7. After-work running club

Recurring group activities like after-work running clubs are a great way of making team-building a regular feature in your team’s schedule. 

What’s more, healthy activities like jogging and yoga boost employee well-being, job satisfaction and company culture while giving employees a chance to bond outside of the office.

Great for: Company culture, job satisfaction, employee well-being, interpersonal relationships

Duration: 30 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to start:

8. Employee beach day

At the office, heavy workloads and busy schedules can prevent friendships from blossoming. Therefore, from time to time, it’s critical to leave the hubbub of the office behind and escape to the beach for some well-earned chill time.

Great for: Interpersonal relationships, stress reduction

Duration: As long as you like!

You’ll need: Various beach games like frisbee, volleyball, etc.

How to prepare:

9. Treetop adventure

Treetop adventures test your employees’ composure as they traverse various obstacles high up in the forest canopy. These high-rope courses are an effective way for your team to build trust and develop new friendships.

Great for: Building trust, interpersonal bonding

Duration: 1-2 hours

You’ll need: N/A

How to prepare:

10. Bubble football

Bubble football is a hilarious variation of The Beautiful Game in which players are half-enclosed within inflatable spheres that cover the body and head.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding

Duration:  1 hour+

You’ll need: N/A

How to prepare:

11. Water gun fight

A water gun fight is an opportunity for your employees to leave the stresses of the office behind them and enjoy some harmless fun. 

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, relieving stress

Duration: 30 minutes

You’ll need: An open space, various water guns (at least one per person)

How to organise:

12. Lunchtime picnic

Lunch breaks present an excellent team-bonding opportunity that many managers fail to capitalise on. By organising regular lunchtime picnics, you encourage your employees to spend time getting to know each other outside of the office.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, well-being

Duration: 30 minutes

You’ll need: N/A 

How to organise:

13. Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness is a mobile app that challenges your employees to perform as many good deeds as possible within a given time limit. This game is a fantastic way to get employees out of the office and interacting with the local community.

Great for: Company perception, well-being, interpersonal bonding

Duration: 1 hour

You’ll need:  One smartphone per team with the Random Acts of Kindness mobile app installed

How to play:

14. Paintball

Paintball is a physically demanding team-building activity that encourages your employees to work together as a team to overthrow the enemy in a series of game modes. 

Note: This activity isn’t for the faint-hearted—getting hit by a paintball can hurt!

Great for: Teamwork, interpersonal bonding, leadership skills

Duration: 2–3 hours

You’ll need: N/A

How to organise:

15. Field day

A corporate Field Day is a chance for your employees to relive their youth in a series of silly outdoor games like tug of war, beanbag race and slip and slide!

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, communication, teamwork

Duration: 2–3 hours

You’ll need: Various items depending on the game you choose

How to organise:

16. Bigger and Better

Did you ever hear about that person who traded a paperclip for a house? Well, now it’s your employees' chance to do the same with Bigger and Better! In this fun team-building game, your employees must work together and leverage their sales skills to obtain more valuable objects through trade.

Great for: Communication, teamwork, energization

Duration: 45–60 minutes

You’ll need: Small “invaluable” objects such as paperclips or pens

How to play:

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Indoor team-building activities for large groups

You won’t always have the time or budget to organise a big outdoor event. Therefore, it’s often necessary to organise team-building activities inside the office.

Here are some of our favourite big group team-building activities that you can play without venturing too far from home.

1. Keep up the balloons

What was the second-best thing about having a birthday as a child? Playing balloon keepy-uppy with the day after! Keep up the balloons is a light-hearted energization game that’s perfect for large groups.

Great for: Energization, teamwork

Duration: 5–10 minutes

You’ll need: Balloons in a variety of colours

How to play:

2. Where Do You Stand?

Where Do You Stand? Is a simple energizing game that’s perfect for large groups and easy to set up. All you need is an open space and a handful of ‘this or that’ questions.

Great for: Energization, session icebreaker

Duration: 10–15 minutes

You’ll need: Cones to divide the room

How to play:

3. The desert island game

The desert island game is a straightforward getting-to-know-you icebreaker game that works brilliantly with large groups. You won’t need any props or materials—all your group need is some imagination.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, energization

Duration: 15–20 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to play:

4. Company Potluck

Not every team-building activity needs to be carefully choreographed. Sometimes, organic bonding activities like Company Potluck build stronger relationships.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding

Duration: 1–2 hours

You’ll need: N/A

How to organise:

5. Painting workshop

A painting workshop is an opportunity for your employees to get to know each other while unleashing their creative side.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, creative thinking, relaxation

Duration: 2–3 hours

You’ll need: Painting materials (brushes, paper/canvases, paints, water, etc.)

How to organise:

6. The Marshmallow Challenge

The Marshmallow Challenge puts your employees’ engineering, teamwork and communication skills to the test as they attempt to build the highest tower using only dried spaghetti, masking tape and string.

Great for: Teamwork, communication, problem-solving, leadership

Duration: 30 minutes

You’ll need: Marshmallows, dried spaghetti, masking tape, string, scissors, measuring tape

How to play:

7. Egg Drop

The classic team-building game Egg Drop works just as well with large groups as it does with small ones. In fact, when working in larger groups, your employees will be forced to delegate more tasks and come to decisions quickly—even when not everybody agrees!

Great for: Problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, leadership

Duration: 30 minutes

You’ll need (per team): A raw egg, 1 piece of cardboard, 1 meter of duct tape, 40 plastic (bendy) straws

How to play:

8. Scheduled coffee breaks

Team building doesn’t need to be a one-off event. Sometimes, it can be as simple as incorporating organic and meaningful interactions, like scheduled coffee breaks, into your employees’ schedules.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding, company culture

Duration: 15–20 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to organise:

9. Office FM

Office FM is an ongoing team-building activity that boosts morale and encourages employees to collaborate.

Great for: Company culture

Duration: N/A

You’ll need: Access to a music streaming service (Apple Music, Spotify, etc.)

How to organise:

10. Office Escape

If you’ve ever been to a professional escape room event, you’ll know just how effective they are at improving essential skills like communication and problem-solving. With Office Escape, you can recreate the drama of an escape room experience without leaving the office!

Great for: Problem-solving, creative thinking, communication, leadership

Duration: 1–2 hours

You’ll need: A storyline with a final objective, a series of problems and challenges

How to organise:

11. Memory wall

A memory wall is a space for spreading good vibes and positivity in the workplace. Here, you’ll create a collage of good memories that your team can appreciate every time they pass by.

Great for: Company culture, job satisfaction

Duration: N/A

You’ll need: Paper, various coloured pens

How to organise:

12. Laser tag

Laser tag is paintballing’s pain-free relative. It’s an activity that lends itself perfectly to corporate groups, encouraging employees to work together to defeat their opponent in a series of electrifying game modes.

Great for: Teamwork, communication, interpersonal bonding

Duration: 1–2 hours

You’ll need: N/A

How to play: 

13. Minefield

Minefield is a fun energization game that improves communication and listening skills. All you need is an open space and a bunch of soft-edged objects.

Great for: Listening skills, communication, energization

Duration: 10–15 minutes

You’ll need: Various soft objects like balloons, foam blocks, plastic cups, etc.

How to play:

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Quick team-building activities for large groups

The following list of quick team-building games are perfect for when you’re short on time, but they’re equally effective when used as icebreakers before a big event.

1. Paper Plane Parade

Here’s a creative team-building game that’s easy to play and get’s your employees fired up for the rest of the session.

Great for: Teamwork, creative thinking

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: A4 Paper, sticky tape and scissors

How to play: 

2. Word Association

Word Association is a quick team-building game that’s easy to play and doesn’t require any probs or materials.

Great for: Energization, creative thinking

Duration: 5 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to play:

3. Caption This

Caption This is a light-hearted team-building activity that encourages your team to get creative in thinking up captions for various images.

Great for: Energization, creative thinking

Duration: 5–10 minutes

You’ll need: A collection of silly/thought-provoking images

How to play:

4. Stop-Walk

Stop-Walk is a fun group activity that forces players to listen carefully to commands. This is a fantastic game for maintaining engagement during a long day or energizing groups early in the morning.

Great for: Listening skills, energization

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: An open space

How to play:

5. 3-Question Mingle

3-Question Mingle is a simple game that enables your team to get to know each other a little better. It’s easy to play and doesn’t require many materials.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: Paper, pens

How to play:

6. Blind Drawing

Blind Drawing is a fun team-building game that tests your employees’ abilities to both convey and interpret verbal instructions.

Great for: Communication, listening skills

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: Pens, paper, reference images

How to play:

7. Paper Tower

In Paper Tower, your employees must work together in teams to create the highest tower using only A4 paper.

Great for: Communication, leadership, decision-making

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: Sheets of A4 paper

How to play:

8. Who am I?

The classic party game Who am I? works perfectly as an energizing team-building activity. Simply collect a bunch of names on sticky notes, hand them out and watch your employees try to figure out which famous person’s name they have written on their forehead.

Great for: Communication, energization

Duration: 5-10 minutes

You’ll need: Sticky notes, pens

How to play:

9. Classification

Classification is a great way for your employees to find hidden similarities between them and their colleagues. It’s also a great way for groups to come up with team names before a longer activity.

Great for: Interpersonal bonding

Duration: 10 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to play:

10. Copycat

Copycat is a simple team-building activity that teaches the importance of clear instructions, and how miscommunication has a domino effect that can easily derail a project.

Great for: Communication

Duration: 5–10 minutes

You’ll need: Various sets of matching office items, an object that can be used as a barrier e.g. a flipchart.

How to play:

11. Bucket list

Bucket List is a simple team-bonding game that allows your employees to discuss their dreams and aspirations outside of the office. 

Great for: Interpersonal bonding

Duration: 5 minutes

You’ll need: N/A

How to play:

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Try your favourite large group games at your next team-building event

Thanks for reading our list of large group team-building games—we genuinely hope it will help you plan a more purposeful offsite retreat for your team.

Don’t forget to take note of your favourites and bookmark this page so you have a reference for future events.

Alternatively, (if you want to save yourself a bunch of time) you can always reach out to Surf Office and we can organise your event for you!

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