Updated: May 11, 2023

14 Last-Minute Team Building Ideas

You found our list of last-minute team building ideas.

Last-minute team building ideas are group activities that require little to no preparation. Examples of last-minute team building ideas include Two Truths and a Lie, paper airplane races, and group art. The purpose of these ideas is to provide interactive games that are quick to set up and easy to play.

Last-minute team building ideas are great options to mix in with 5-minute team building activities and quick activities for conference calls. Though these ideas work great at the last minute, you can also use them when planning more complex team building meetings.


This list includes:

  • no prep team building activities
  • quick and easy team building activities
  • last-minute team building event ideas

Here we go!

List of last-minute team building ideas

From raving about simple desktop items to having wacky footrace relays, here are some ideas for team building you can use for last-minute interactive fun.

1. Instant Icebreaker

With Instant Icebreaker, teams can make quick connections by sharing tidbits about themselves. In this game, no information is trivial.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. The activity leader calls out a topic, such as “What city were you born in?” and offers their answer.
  2. The player to the left of the activity leader then shares their answer.
  3. Play continues to the left until the cycle reaches the team leader again.
  4. The activity leader calls out the next topic for the next round.

Though Instant Icebreaker can cover practically any topic, it may be difficult for the activity leader to think of new options during the game. If this lapse happens, then other team members can offer new subjects.

Here is a list of icebreaker questions.

2. Impromptu Relay

There is no preparation required to challenge your team to an impromptu relay. You can engage your team for a quick race or two when energy is low and the crew needs a boost!

Here is how to play the game:

  1. The activity leader designates a 15-foot relay space either indoors or outdoors.
  2. Team members split into two smaller teams alphabetically by their first name initials.
  3. Teams line up at the starting spot chosen by the activity leader.
  4. The activity leader announces the team challenge. These prompts should be simple actions, such as,
  5. “Hop on one foot to the filing cabinet and back” or “Gallop like a horse until you reach the far wall, then fly like a bird back to your team.”
  6. Team members take turns fulfilling the challenge until the whole team finishes.
  7. The first team to complete the challenge wins the round.
  8. Play continues until the activity leader calls the relay finished.

Impromptu relays make great indoor games and outdoor activities when the weather cooperates. Because team members’ physical abilities vary, simple challenges will work best for this activity.

3. The Most Amazing Thing

With The Most Amazing Thing, common items become uncommonly delightful!

Here is how to play the game:

  1. The activity leader chooses an item randomly from the objects on their physical desktop.
  2. Rather than simply describing the item, the activity leader must upsell the object as if it is the most necessary and incredible item ever invented.
  3. Team members ask questions about this marvelous item for the activity leader to answer.
  4. Once the activity leader’s turn has ended, they choose the next player.
  5. Play continues until the whole team has had a turn.
  6. After all players take their turns, the team can vote on which item they think is the most amazing!

To meet the challenge of making mundane items seem spectacular, players should embellish the descriptions of their items as much as possible. Imagination is key, and creativity is crucial!

4. Sentence Builder

You can use no prep team building activities like sentence builder to encourage interpersonal communication among your team members. The only prop players need is their imagination!

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Player one begins a sentence with a word of their choice.
  2. Play continues clockwise. Player two adds a word to the first player’s word to begin building a sentence.
  3. Player three provides the next word to the sentence, taking it in whichever direction they think is best.
  4. Players continue adding words until the sentence circles back to the first player.
  5. Play continues until all players take a turn adding their word.

Sentence Builder invites open-ended imaginative play, which means a single game can circle around the room for several rounds. To keep track of the ever-growing sentence, you can write or type each word added and read back the hilarious results when gameplay ends!

5. First Letter, Last Letter

First Letter, Last Letter is a word game that challenges players to create an ongoing chain of related words. No preparation is required to play, providing last-minute team building fun for road trips or group lunches.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Player one begins the game by choosing the category of familiar objects. For example, the objects could be birds, fruit, or song titles.
  2. Player one chooses a word from that category. For example, if the category is birds, then player one might say, “Eagle.”
  3. Player two chooses a word within the category beginning with the last letter of player one’s word.
  4. For example, if player one chooses eagle, then player two might say, “Egret.”
  5. Player three chooses a word that begins with the last letter of player two’s word.
  6. Play continues until all players take a turn or players run out of ideas.

It is easier to play this game if the category chosen has a broad variety of possibilities for players to choose from. For instance, a category such as names of states might make gameplay too challenging.

6. Family Folklore

Sharing fun stories about family history is a great way to get your team interacting without needing added materials. With family folklore, workers can tell their teammates about their clan’s weirdest and wildest aspects. Similar to campfire stories, family folklore invites the crew to gather around a comfortable space and talk about strange happenings or colorful characters from their ancestry. While the emphasis is on fun in this activity, team members may learn valuable historical information or intriguing aspects of their coworkers’ histories as well. Team members also have a chance to spotlight how their families are special to them.

7. Word Search Puzzle Races

Having paper copies of word search puzzles can provide a last-minute team building activity to energize your group. You can find collections of word search puzzles online to print and photocopy within minutes. You can also stock up on puzzles for future use to make putting together an on-the-fly team building event even easier. To add a challenging twist, set a five-minute timer, and put some heat on your competitors!

Check out online word search puzzles.

8. A Round of Favorites

A Round of Favorites is a team building game that focusing on the team’s individual opinions. Players can reveal fun and exciting details about their favorites.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Player one chooses a category and shares their favorite item from that category. Familiar categories will work best with this game, such as favorite foods, bands, or colors.
  2. Player one then randomly chooses player two from the remaining team members to offer their favorite item within the same category.
  3. Player two chooses player three randomly as well.
  4. Play continues until all team members have shared their favorite item.

For a fun variation, player one can challenge player two to choose a new topic and cite their favorite item from within that category. Depending upon each team member’s interests regarding the player they choose next, A Round of Favorites can reveal many interesting details about the group.

9. Coffee Talk Sessions

You can schedule 15-minute coffee and conversation breaks for your workers to create a team activity that takes minimal work. These coffee talk sessions are excellent for connecting team members who may not interact regularly. Each employee can learn about an unfamiliar coworker and potentially create a new friendship.

For smaller teams with fewer than five employees, you can schedule a larger coffee talk session that includes the whole group. Teammates may be more familiar with one another, so guiding the conversation to lesser-known topics will provide similar opportunities as one-on-one coffee chats.

Here is a list of virtual coffee break ideas.

10. Group Art

Individual team members may not fancy themselves as creative, but as part of a group art project, they might discover hidden talents. This no-frills team activity will put teams’ imaginations to the test.

Here is how to host this activity:

  1. All team members receive a piece of paper and a marker. The markers should all be the same to keep the project consistent.
  2. Team members write their names in the upper right-hand corner of their papers.
  3. The activity leader creates a simple chart that lists a different facial feature next to the numbers one through six. For example, number one equals a face outline, number equals a left eye, and number three equals a right eye.
  4. The activity begins when the activity leader rolls a die and uses the chart to instruct all team members what to draw. For example, if the die shows the number three, then all team members draw a right eye on their paper.
  5. After drawing, team members pass their paper to the teammate on their left.
  6. The team leader rolls the dice again and calls out the facial feature corresponding to the chart’s number.
  7. Play continues until all team members have received their original papers.

Group art is an exercise in imaginative creativity rather than structured creativity. By sharing the task and following the prompts, there are unlimited possibilities for unique and entertaining drawings. For teams with more than six players, every drawing becomes an abstract work in the style of Picasso.

11. Improv Games

You can utilize improv techniques to provide team building activities that are quick, simple, and possibly hilarious. Improv requires a scenario like two friends sharing an Uber or a couple at the movies. The activity begins with a prompt such as an Uber driver whose music is unbearable or a moviegoer who will not share an armrest. Team members engaged in the scenario must communicate with one another about the situation in real time, creating an acted scene. For the scene to continue, each player must accept what the other says and add to the scene. This concept represents the “yes, and” or “no, but” rules of improv that allow each player to continue the scene. The activity ends when players run out of ideas for what to add next.

Improv exercises work best in groups of two or three to minimize confusion among the players. If your team is up for a challenge, then you can provide a scenario for larger groups of players to act out. As part of the fun, invite spectator team members to call out prompts during the scene that give the players new directions to follow.

Check out this list of group improv games.

12. Ultimate Rock Paper Scissors

You can add this childhood favorite to your list of quick and easy team building activities for a game the whole team will recognize.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. The activity leader pairs up all team members into groups of two. If there is a player without a partner, then they will play a final round after the two-member teams have finished.
  2. Players run through five quick rounds of Rock Paper Scissors, keeping track of who wins each round.
  3. The activity leader pairs the winners from the first heat to play five new rounds.
  4. Play continues until one winner remains.

The simplicity of this activity makes it a perfect choice for ending a weekly meeting or adding to a lunch-and-learn session.

13. Paper Airplane Races

All you need for a round of this aeronautical team building game are a few sheets of paper and some office or outdoor space.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Designate an indoor or outdoor airstrip with plenty of room for planes to fly.
  2. Challenge each team member to create their best version of a paper airplane from memory. Do not allow Internet research!
  3. Players line up at the starting point of the airstrip.
  4. On the count of three, all players throw their airplanes as far as possible.
  5. The plane that flies the farthest is the winner. If more than one plane lands in the same spot, then a second race will determine the winner.

Because paper airplanes can look similar, team members should write their names on their airplanes to identify their craft, which will help when figuring out which plane won the race.

14. Two Truths and a Lie

Last-minute team building event ideas like Two Truths and a Lie are great for bringing your crew together whenever the mood for team building strikes. By scheduling an online meeting for your activity, you can gather virtual and hybrid workers in a single session.

Here is how to play the game:

  1. Player one begins by sharing three facts about themselves, one of which is a lie.
  2. Team members try to discern which fact is untrue, which player one either confirms or denies.
  3. The player who guesses the lie accurately takes the next turn. If no player guesses correctly, then the activity leader reveals the lie, and the player to their left takes the next turn.
  4. Gameplay continues until all players have shared their two truths and a lie.

The real fun of Two Truths and a Lie might be seeing how creative team members can get with the lies they tell about themselves!


Last-minute team building ideas can be just as fun and rewarding as events that require a great deal of preparation. Having a selection of these quick and easy games to play with your team allows you to engage workers at a moment’s notice. To add more options to your list, you can invite your team members to contribute their favorite options to your group’s last-minute team building activity list. Your workers will feel even more invested in their team building opportunities if they are part of the creation process.

Next, explore ideas for office team building activities and free virtual team building ideas to help create connections among your workers.

FAQ: Last-minute team building ideas

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about last-minute team building ideas.

What are last-minute team building ideas?

Last-minute team building ideas are games and activities that require less preparation than standard team building ideas. These simple ideas allow you to create a team building experience on the spur of the moment.

What are some good last-minute team building ideas?

Some good last-minute team building ideas include A Round of Favorites, Family Folklore, and group art projects.

How can you use last-minute team building ideas?

You can use last-minute team building ideas as closing activities for team lunches and road trips or as games to warm up the crowd during virtual or in-person meetings.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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