Team Architect

A team-building, icebreaker, non-contact game for large groups

How To Play Team Architect

Materials Needed

Will depend on what style of game you chose.

Team Architect is a fantastic team-building activity where you get each team to build something with very little amounts of strange materials. After the allocated building time is up, all the groups come together and the structures or inventions are tested. Ensure you know what is being tested - the strength, the design, the team-work, the creativity etc. - it can be as simple or as complex as you'd like.

The building challenge can be anything you'd like but we've listed some ideas here to help get you started:

Pop-stick Bridge
Materials: packet of pop-sticks, roll of sticky tape
Challenge: build a bridge which will support a heavy book.

Newspaper Egg Support
Materials: a few sheets of newspaper, some string
Challenge: make an egg support to stop the egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height

Packing Peanut Tower
Materials: packing peanuts, toothpicks (optional)
Challenge: make the tallest tower

Tissue Paper Prom Dress
Materials: tissue paper, feathers and duct tape
Challenge: create a prom dress

Newspaper Tower
Materials: newspaper, stick tape
Challenge: build the tallest tower that can also support a gold ball sitting at the top

Read the discussion below for lots more great ideas!

*** Have you got any ideas as to what the team needs to create other than what's listed here? Please share in the comments section! Thanks!

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on 19 September 2007


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I've done this with tissue paper, feathers and duct tape to create prom dresses . . . and results are fantastic and fun. I've done it with pairs or small groups, and not really a contest but a fashion show at the end.

Also done this with coffee stirrers (wooden) and tape or gum or marshmallows, creating towers. Depends on the time of year.

Posted by Cat 3 years ago

My recommendations:

I like to group the students in teams of 4, give them 45 minutes, and the team with the tallest tower at the end wins (I make everything a competition).

1) one roll of scotch tape
2) 15 popsicle sticks
3) 25 marchmellows
4) 4 pieces of white construction paper
5) 25 paperclips
6) 25 plastic straws
7) 1 pair of scisors
8) 1 glue stick

Theological implications:
I like to do this game and then relate it to 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, where Paul talks about how the church is comprised of many members, but each having different gifts, each using them to build up the body. The students in this game have to work together to build up the structure, and God's church is also called to work together in unity and not division. It's a great team builder as well! There's a lot more details in terms of how I teach on this section though which I will not get into on this forum, however in summary I hold to the Reformed position, and in particular to the Westminster Confession of Faith, in the PCA denomination). It's important in our day and age to interpret Scripture carefully and thoughtfully!

Posted by Robbie 4 years ago

We made towers ith balloons and masking tape. Lots of fun. Be careful not to break your balloons!

Posted by saltayre 5 years ago

This was a great game idea perfect for our incoming Youth Camp where 5 different Youth ministries will participate ... Gotta try this!!

Posted by Thaia 5 years ago

There is a similar game i know, you give them any kind of things. Using those, they will present a thing that looks like the thing you require them. For example, you want them to build an umbrella, they can use a thing they have that looks like umbrella or form an umbrella using things they have (ex: chair, hat, cloth, stick, books, etc). the group who presented a thing is closest similar to umbrella, wins.

Posted by Glory Ann 5 years ago

Great ideas here - thanks! Another good version of free-standing newspaper towers - winner is tallest one that can support a golf ball. Each group gets one newspaper and a roll of sticky tape. Tape cannot be used to stick structure to table/floor/wall etc or to the golf ball. 10-15 mins.

Posted by AndyH 5 years ago

I am trying this activity for the first time as a fun working together activity for Take Your Child To Work Day as an ice breaker. I am using the paperclip and pipecleaner version. How many are usually in a group for this game?

Posted by Kristine Merckx 6 years ago

I played building a bridge/table to support a book. we were given 15 min to discuss, but were not allowed to speak during construcion phase of 15 mins. materials were newspaper and sticky tape.

Posted by Shehnaz Zakirhussain 6 years ago

I used biodegradable packing peanuts made from corn starch and wet sponges. You can usually find bags of these peanuts at a UPS store. The two teams had 15-20 minutes, (or until they ran out of peanuts) to build the tallest structure that could stand on its own. Each team got a piece of cardboard to build on, a damp sponge, and equal number of packing peanuts, (the more, the better). When the peanut is touched to the wet sponge, it activates and will then stick to paper, or to other peanuts instantly. Pretty fun! The cool thing was that the quickest team seemed to be winning until they realized their foundation was poor and wouldn't hold. The slower, but better built tower ended up winning because the foundation was strong and held up under the weight. Great analogy!

Posted by Molly 6 years ago

I used this activity for a team building game. The materials that I use for each group is Straws and paperclips. Try that for an activity.

Posted by teeh 6 years ago

We had 10 balloons and sticky tape (nothing else). The group that makes the highest tower wins. Its a fairly quick and rewarding team game.

Posted by Tanya 6 years ago

We just did the spaghetti and used miniature marshmallows tower game two weeks ago. They will come up with whatever time you give them. I think we gave them 7 minutes and I counted down every minute or so. This was a high school church group. They did really great!

Posted by Becky 6 years ago

How much time should be allocated to complete the spaghetti and marshmallow idea??

Posted by Danielle 7 years ago

We did this game with a variety of things. They had to make a bridge that a small toy car could glide up onto and down on the other side....and it had to hold the car on top of course. We also built the tallest towers... the longest free standing nose built on a member of the team, etc. I usually give each team the same things... a strip of masking tape, popsicle sticks, a sheet of newspaper, a paper cup, all kinds of craft tings you can buy at the dollar store.
for and added twist you can do this where they have to buy the stuff they want. give them limited stuff and then have a person called the BOSS, "pay" them every ten min or so with play money.. then they buy more stuff at the store that they need. We rented out the scissors and the measuring tape so they could see how big things were.
The Boss can pay extra if someone does something cool.
We also turned off the lights one evening and said the power is out, you have to work in the dark, and we told them one of their members got sick and now had to sit out.... tell them they cant talk for 5 min.... so many great ideas.
Its fun, great for team work and they learn !

Posted by Benji 8 years ago

We played a game once using a variety of different coloured and sized garbage bags and 1 metre of tape. We got split into teams of three, and one of the three people becomes the model. The teams job was to make the best outfit out of the garbage bags and tape; super funny!

Posted by Kel 8 years ago

We did a game like this when i first started coming to my youth group (im now a student leader), except we used spaghetti sticks and marshmallows, it was really cool

Posted by Cory 9 years ago

I actually did a version on this one at youth camp not long ago. I'd done it last year too with the egg capsule version (build an egg chamber that will protect it when dropped from a certain height), but this year we had them make platforms. They were giving newspapers and tape, and 7 minutes to build a platform of at least 20 cm tall. After the 7 minutes each one would be tested to see which one could bear more weight, so we had about 6 of those huge chemistry books that you use in college, and start stacking them one by one... if a platform started to shrink and drop below the required height that team was out. They had a lot of fun

Posted by E.M.V, 10 years ago

newspaper table is fun too...create a table that can stand more than 2 500ml bottle.
every group get 2 stack of newspaper and tape.

Posted by 10 years ago

I have done this where each group had to build a hole for a mini-golf game, and at the end, they all got to play a round of golf.

Posted by KH 11 years ago

you have a whole lot of diffent things on differnt tables they get to choose what table they want then get them to recreate the allocated part of the bible out of it

Its really fun we did it at youth though our mountain made of balloons didn't win :(

Posted by Alison 11 years ago

popcicle sticks with scotch tape, whoever can make the tallest wins!

Posted by joshie 11 years ago

Give the kids a balloon and any other random recyclable materials. They need to make a boat that will float on water. They get more points if it can move by itself. (This can be done with a sail or by using the balloon as a motor*.)
* To do this firmly attach the balloon to the boat, Blow up the balloon then let it go preferably under the water. If they let it go in the air it will fly around the room.

Posted by Danielle 11 years ago

We gave our Scouts recycled objects, like boxes, cardboard, toilet paper rolls, paper, tape, milk jugs and had them create a marble maze run... It was very interesting to see what different ideas they had!

Posted by Lisa 12 years ago

Sorry the straws need masking tape and the team gets 10-15mins to build the tower.

Posted by Anon 12 years ago

straws and buid the tallest building that can stand air from a fan

Posted by Anon 12 years ago

I have done something similar that we called "Paper Towers." Each group gets 3 sheets of standard computer paper, and 3 regular paper clips. They may not get more paper or clips--that's it, and although tearing is okay, no scissors! Using these materials, they try to build the tallest freestanding paper tower. Our rule is that it must stand on its own for at least 5 seconds (and knocking over others' towers deliberately is against the rules). The tallest I have seen was 117cm! It's funny, because at first, people are just trying to get the towers to stay up, but once the measuring begins, kids have a "goal" to beat, and then suddenly, they can beat just about any number you give them.

Posted by Kat 12 years ago

i am preaching at a random church of jr. high and high school kids and they are not very Godly but, i might just try this game and see if they may like it or not. i think i may have them build something out of pudding and blocks. maybe just grapes and toothpicks?!?!!??!?!? maybe i wil!!!!! thanks youth group i will post next time after i preach and tell ya if they liked it and which one was there favorite!!!! :)

Posted by mykah 12 years ago

I liked that game. Actually, when you first read it, I sound sort of boring but I have played the game so I know it turns very funny. I love the fact that it makes each person participate!

Posted by Kiara Paredes 12 years ago

Tallest tower out of Spaghetti and Marshmallows is fun

Posted by Josh 12 years ago

I would like to get more examples

Posted by indu 12 years ago
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