A great team building activity is the spaghetti marshmallow tower. In this activity, students build a tower made out of spaghetti sticks and marshmallows in order to assess their performance and communication skills in a team situation.
To build the tower, the students must “buy” their materials (spaghetti = 10 ¢, large marshmallow = 25¢, small marshmallow = 5¢). The tallest tower wins, the cheapest breaks a tie. The rules are that the tower must (a) support a ping pong ball at the top, and (b) stand freely long enough to measure. Often the groups get competitive with each other, which makes the activity entertaining and messy.
To debrief, we discuss anything from what roles and rules developed in the group, to problem-solving steps, to process vs. product, to whatever the topic is for the day. Nearly any learning outcome related to group communication is relevant for this activity.
The business communication students this semester built the tallest towers yet. Both were over 25 inches, if memory serves. They were solid structures, too. It was impressive. One of the students took pics and posted them on our class Facebook page. So here they are: