10 of the best team kits and team equipment options

1 February 2022

Developing team skills is a core component of building strong teams. Here are 10 team kits and team equipment options perfectly suited to developing team skills in the workplace and beyond.

In this article, we highlight purpose-built team kits as well as a handful of options for other team building equipment.

If you want to take a look at our team building equipment, check out the MTa Team Kit. More on this later in the article, too.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What are team kits? 

Team kits are specially designed collections of components that facilitate activities to develop specific aspects of effective teamwork.

“But what is teamwork,” you may ask.

Teamwork is a very broad concept with lots of components. If you’re looking to “improve teamwork,” you may actually be trying to do things like:

  • Increasing motivation to work as a team
  • Promoting cooperation
  • Identifying objectives
  • Qualifying standards
  • Planning before acting
  • Listening and considering different communication styles
  • Accepting and valuing other people’s ideas
  • Individual vs team success
  • And many more…

Working effectively with others is an important skill in the workplace, at home, in a competitive setting, or in myriad other contexts.

Team kits give you the tools you need to refine the individual skills and competencies that strengthen an individual’s ability to work in a team.

Team building activities with equipment from the office

If you’re looking for team building activities but don’t have the budget to invest in purpose-built materials, here are some things to try with equipment that’s easy to get hold of.

The Marshmallow Challenge 

Competencies developed: Prototyping and iteration, failing quickly, collaboration, sharing ideas

Facilitative approach to the Marshmallow challenge - 3 marshmallows

What list of team building kits and activities would be complete without the marshmallow challenge?! This task is so simple – build a freestanding tower with only marshmallows and spaghetti – but it’s captured the hearts of trainers and facilitators the world over.

Part of the appeal of the marshmallow challenge is how easy it is to run. In just a few minutes you can get people thinking about various aspects of teamwork. A facilitative approach can also unlock deeper insights around what it is about specific behaviours that help and hinder effective team working.

Just be aware: this activity has limitations if not facilitated properly, which often makes it less useful than facilitators might hope!

Office Quiz

Competencies developed: Team bonding, trusting others’ contributions

For a quick and easy team building activity that doesn’t require any equipment, why not do a quiz?

As well as briefly becoming our national sport during lockdown, quizzes are a good way to bring teams together. In a casual environment, participants have to quickly collaborate to reach an answer. They need to listen to others’ contributions, respectfully challenge them, and arrive at a decision together.

You could make the quiz about the company and the office (“what colour is the front door?”), or widen the questions out to any topic.

Lip Sync For Your Life

Competencies developed: Team bonding, trusting other team members

You can have a lot of fun with this one, and fun is an integral part of effective training activities.

At its core, this activity sees different teams competing to give the best faux-musical performance. You could give them 30 minutes to choose a song to mime to, practice, and perform. At the other end of the spectrum, you could give a week to prepare a full air-band performance with props and different air instruments.

Whatever you choose, encourage teams to have fun: the goal is to showcase that team bonding is an important aspect of good teamwork.

To add a competitive element, allow each team to cast a vote for the best performance. You could give a prize to the winner, and it’s probably best to disallow voting for your own team!

An Escape Room

Competencies developed: Collaboration, giving feedback, allocation of tasks, communication

OK, it’s not quite equipment you’ve got laying around the office, but an escape room could definitely fall under the umbrella of office social. So we’ve included it here.

These rooms are a good mix of constructive and fun: mixing a social element with a genuine need to work together as a team. They’re ready-built for you and there’s help on hand if your team gets stuck.

What’s especially valuable is the informal context, which may encourage team members to comment on others’ performance and contributions in ways they may not feel comfortable doing in the work environment.

Team building activities with toys

Hear us out here: we’re not suggesting getting a toybox out and playing house. The toys in this section are powerful tools that just happen to be marketed to kids, too.

Team building with Lego 

Competencies developed: Many, depending on the specific activity you go for. See below.

There are over 4000 different Lego ‘elements’ (that’s what the bricks are called, technically). This makes Lego an incredibly powerful team-building tool.

You could start with the Lego challenge: a quick and simple activity that develops communication. 

Or you can ramp things up with Lego Serious Play: “an innovative, experiential process. It deepens the reflection process and supports an effective dialogue for everyone.”

Our colleague Gemma has reflected on Lego Serious Play here. We’ve also written about some of the limitations once you hit saturation point with LSP activities, and how an MTa Team Kit can be the next logical step.

Team building with K’NEX

Competencies developed: Many, depending on the specific activity you go for. See below.

K’NEX sits in a similar vein to Lego. The components of K’NEX kits include rods and connecting pieces that enable the creation of elaborate machines and mechanisms.

K’NEX lends itself very well to team-building activities and, like Lego, you or a colleague may have a kit kicking around somewhere at home.

The K’NEX User Group have written a guide to team-building with K’NEx which you can see here.

Purpose-built team kits

If you really want to invest in team development, purpose-built team kits are your answer. These kits are built on the foundations of psychology and behavioural science and distil their insights down into fun team development activities.

Opting for a purpose-built kit lets you switch the piecemeal benefits in the activities above for long-lasting behavioural change grounded in science. 

MTa Team Kit

Competencies developed: Over 30 core and advanced team skills

The MTa Team Kit is our flagship product, and it’s trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world:

[Logos: MOD, Toyota, others?]

This team kit contains everything you need to deliver 16 experiential learning activities designed to develop interpersonal and team skills. Engaging and tactile components invite participants to get involved and have fun while completing activities that will lead to long-lasting benefits.

You can see a breakdown of the 16 team activities right here. If you’ve got questions about the MTa Team Kit, get in touch.

MTa Team Kit Expansion

Competencies developed: Over 30 core and advanced team skills

A core strand of the MTa ethos is deeper learning. We believe that facilitators using our kits should be able to deliver deeper learning to as many participants as possible.

The MTa Team Kit Expansion Pack is only available to people who have purchased the original Team Kit and allows facilitators to use these activities in larger groups (up to 12 more people per group).

MTa The Culprit Online

Competencies developed: Giving and receiving direct feedback, virtual collaboration, team processes, building trust, problem-solving

MTa Immersion is our groundbreaking virtual experiential learning environment, and we’re proud to offer The Culprit: a fun and powerful activity to develop self-awareness and team skills. 

In this team activity, groups of 4 to 7 people work to solve a murder mystery. Internal investigations are a fun and effective mechanism for participants to give feedback: a perfect opportunity to practice giving and receive direct feedback about others’ behaviour in a non-threatening context. 

MTa The Culprit

Competencies developed: Giving and receiving direct feedback, collaboration, team processes, building trust, problem-solving

If you want to stick to face to face team activities, no problem. MTa The Culprit is available in a physical format, too.

Four sets of cards are supplied, each offering a slightly different version of the activity. This is designed to keep things fresh and to allow up to four teams to operate in a single room at any one time. 

Conclusion

Ask most people their thoughts on ‘teamwork,’ and you’d probably get a lot of answers testifying to its importance.

But as such a nebulous concept, setting out to ‘improve teamwork’ without a structured team kit can lead to confusion at worst, and fleeting behavioural changes at best.

For real results, use specialist team kits to facilitate effective experiential learning activities that are designed to develop specific competencies. While this is less punchy than ‘developing teamwork’, we promise you’ll see longer-lasting and further-reaching behavioural changes.

If you’d like to discuss which kit would best fit your needs, get in touch with our team. We’re always happy to help.