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by Brittany Zerr

Team Building Activities for Small Teams

An illustrated red canoe, two axes, and an Instant Pot

A strong and connected team works better together! Having great relationships strengthens our communication and collaboration. Corporate team building is often looked at as dull and ineffective, but it doesn’t have to be. (Boring team building events? No thank you.)

Our digital marketing team has seen changes over the years, but that doesn’t make us feel any less united. Our team has been as small as 3 and as large as 18 (which is still fairly small). Team building has been an important part of reinforcing our brand values:

  • Vocal — team building helps us feel comfortable with one another, allowing for us to be able to speak bluntly (e.g. “I don’t think that client is a good fit for us”).
  • Intelligent — team building can make your brain work in new and creative ways. We’re always learning from new experiences!
  • Collaborative — team building makes us feel closer together, and gets us working with people that we don’t work with as often or in different ways.
  • Ambitious — team building brings out our competitive side (sometimes) and gets us excited to try new things.
  • Reliable — team building gives us the opportunity to support one another in different ways and learn about our strengths and weaknesses.

Since we started doing more than just going for tacos all the time, we’ve tried to balance the following questions when planning “team things”.

What’s the right balance between a cooperative activity and just pure joy?

What do we want to feel when we finish an activity?

Do we talk about clients and projects?

Is there an underlying theme or message that guides the activity and conversation?

What should these things even be called? A Group Hang? A Party? Team Event? Team Building Time? Mandatory Extra Long Meeting?

We haven’t really answered any of these questions with certainty yet, but that has ended up being half of the fun. The simple intention of planning an activity for everyone where we go somewhere and do something together is often enough of a theme. It’s not like at summer camp when nearly every activity was meant to make you have an “Aha” moment about working together as a team. We go, we laugh, we relax, and one time we nearly died on the North Saskatchewan River. That was a pretty bonding journey.

One thing is a given: there’s always food. We care a lot about food.

Here are 10 Kick Point approved team building activities in Edmonton. (They’re A++!)

Get Cooking

Get Cooking offers team building cooking classes which are perfect for small teams. Our team is very food motivated, so cooking together (and drinking wine) was a lot of fun! We enjoyed it so much that we’ve done two cooking classes at Get Cooking. The first time we savored an Italian feast together — crostini with arugula and walnut pesto, asparagus risotto, insalata caprese, chicken thighs roasted with potatoes and porcini mushrooms, and limoncello ice cream with biscotti. In the end our stomachs were full and we walked away with recipes that we could make at home. The second time around we learned how to make Christmas canapés, which was equally delicious.

Food brings everyone together — enjoy a tasty team building experience with Get Cooking! You can choose from a variety of cuisines to learn such as Italian, Japanese, Moroccan, Indian, and much more.

Jen stirs mushrooms in a pan, smiling in a black apron and black and white plaid shirt

Go Axe Throwing

Have you ever thrown an axe? No one on our team had before, so we decided to try it! We went to Axehole Axe Throwing and threw axes at spruce log targets until our arms were sore! An experienced trainer will teach you how to throw axes and give you tips, so you don’t need to be an axe-throwing expert before you go.

Channel your inner lumberjack and give axe throwing a try!

Two axes on two targets

Play Laser Tag

You’re never too old to play laser tag. We went to Laser City (when it was located in downtown Edmonton) and worked up a sweat running around and shooting each other with lasers. We got a bit competitive, but in the end we were all winners because we had so much fun, right?

Laser tag can teach you so many things — strategy, tactics, and how really out of shape you are. You can bond over how sore you are the next day!

Kick Point team playing laser tag, illuminated by their glowing vests and laser guns in a dark room

Learn How to Segway

We learned how to operate a segway with the help of our guide and then went on an adventure around the river valley! For some of us, it was a fun and delightful trip. For others, it was a bit terrifying. We booked our tour with River Valley Adventure Co. and (most of us) had a blast zipping around. If your team loves Edmonton’s beautiful river valley and wants to experience it in a different way, this team building activity is for you.

How fast can you make a segway go? Find out!

Emma taking a selfie with the Kick Point team riding Segways in a line in downtown Edmonton.

Organize an Instant Pot Lunch

It’s winter for 8 out of 12 months in Edmonton, so it’s important to keep your stomach full and happy. Buying an Instant Pot can help you with that — it can easily create a hot and delicious meal for the whole team to enjoy together. This isn’t a fun outing like most of the other team building ideas you’ll read here, but it is something that you can plan once a month to make the chilly winter months a bit more bearable.

You can get the whole team involved by deciding on the recipe, buying ingredients, preparing food, and eating together as you reminisce about the nice, warm summer days.

Here are a few instant pot recipes we’ve enjoyed:

Delicious chicken shawarma in a foil wrap

Celebrate The Holidays

Is there a holiday that your team really gets behind? For us, it’s Halloween and Christmas! This year we decorated spooky Halloween houses. This let us flex our creativity and celebrate Halloween in a unique way. If your office enjoys Halloween, you could also host a costume contest or carve pumpkins.

For Christmas, we typically do a gift exchange (secret santa or white elephant), play party games, eat a lot of food, and play Rock Band. A Christmas party is a nice way to end the year, as it allows us to connect before we break for the holidays and return in January.

Halloween gingerbread houses made by the Kick Point team, an illuminated BOO sign at the centre of the table

Make Terrariums

Since only a few people on our team have green thumbs, we went to Cory Christopher’s studio and made succulent terrariums! Cory’s workshop got us thinking about design and colour theory — it also made us wonder how long we’d be able to keep the succulents we chose alive. They’re hardy and don’t need a lot of water, but some of us have a talent for killing plants.

Cory has everything you need to create a beautiful terrarium — all you need to bring is your imagination!

Six terrariums built by the Kick Point team are shown in a grid, three on top, three on the bottom.

Canoe Down the North Saskatchewan

Edmonton Canoe will drop your team off at the boat launch at Voyageur Park in Devon. From there, you’ll canoe (or kayak!) down the North Saskatchewan river and see a completely different side of the river valley. It’s an all-day trip, so pack a lunch and find a spot to eat along the river. The lazy current takes you downstream, so you’ll eventually make it back home even if you don’t paddle very hard. We highly recommend taking your team on scenic canoe trip during the summer!

The Kick Point team canoeing down the North Saskatchewan River, four team members split evenly between two yellow canoes

Go to a Board Game Cafe

Cozy drinks. Snacks. An endless selection of board games. What’s not to like?

Our team had a great time at The Hexagon Board Game Cafe! 10/10 we highly recommend.

Take a Pottery Workshop

Getting your hands dirty is fun! Get step-by-step instructions from an artist and get creative. We weren’t experts at throwing clay before this (and still aren’t), but we all walked away with unique mugs! Check out the pottery workshops at Viva Clayworks.

We hope that our experience with team building will help you pick an event that’s right for your team.

If you’re ready to do better marketing, check out our case studies and contact us. Our teams are stronger together!

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