Seeking a fun group activity? Find out why ten pin bowling is a good team building choice. Compare it with heaps of other ideas like paintball, bollywood dancing, 4WD-ing and more.
A few years ago, I was captain of a field hockey team where the ages of team members ranged from 14 to 40+.
Thinking of team building ideas that would suit this team wasn’t easy.
There weren’t too many activities we could think of, which young and old could enjoy together, and which didn’t cost a fortune.
Money was an important consideration. Many of the team were students or not working for other reasons.
So we arranged a ten pin bowling night. This proved to be a really successful and fun group activity:
We had nearly 100% participation,
it was really easy to organize, and
it was a memorable evening out for the team.
Particularly as a new modern bowling rink had opened up in my city that was more like an entertainment venue with a bar, snacks, mood lighting and music!
I’ve also seen ten pin bowling work successfully as a corporate team building activity.
Imagine two different work teams of about 6-8 people in each…. Mostly guys aged 30s to 50s.
A history of a bit of friction between a couple of people and a few new staff in each team.
Add into the mix, some changing business requirements. Meaning the two teams needed to adopt some different processes in the work they did together.
The other team leader and I had a chat about what we could do.
We had no budget for formal team building. We also didn’t want to make the issues seem bigger than they really were.
We just wanted a fun group activity that we could use to create a relaxed environment. And an opportunity to do something a little ‘out of the ordinary’ to help the groups understand each others’ needs, and work together effectively.
So we decided to leave work early one afternoon and go ten pin bowling together.
Before we started the bowling and fun part of the afternoon, we got together in a meeting room at the bowling alley.
The other team leader and I facilitated a discussion about what each person’s role was, what they wanted from the other team members, what was working well and what wasn’t etc.
We could have had this discussion at work.
But I believe taking it away from the office really helped us have the conversation in a way that was more effective.
In a more relaxed setting, where people are anticipating some pure fun and recreation together, barriers get lowered a little.
The conversation was open and constructive, and overall I think it worked well for the two teams.
And then we went on to eat, drink and bowl together, in a positive and fun atmosphere.
So of all the fun group activities available ,why choose bowling? Here are my thoughts:
Borrow a Wii game unit and you don’t even need to leave the office. I got this idea from reading an article about choosing a fun group activity for people with disabilities.
Like all Wii games, you hold a ‘control unit’ and just pretend to bowl. The game unit registers your arm movement and keeps score of how many pins you ‘bowl over’.
This can even the playing field … which might be important if you have some talented bowlers mixed with complete beginners or employees with physical challenges.
What if your group is too big, or you don’t even have the budget to go bowling?
Or maybe there is no bowling alley handy?
As someone who grew up in a little town without even a cinema, I know this might be a situation you face.
Well, make your own! All you need is some open space where you can mark out some fake alleys, a blow-up beach ball, soccer ball etc and something to use as skittles/pins to knock over. Here’s the chance to test your team’s creativity!
Maybe you could take over the local community hall for an evening. Or set it up at your work facility if there’s room.
For a really fun group activity, make it a themed event and go wild with decorations.
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Get your team to create its own story in photos. Or set some team challenges and capture the results on camera!
Play, laugh and interact together with some fun team- based games and activities.
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