Team Drawing – Team Building Activity


Overview:  In this activity, participants will need to work together to complete a drawing.


  • Strings or cords (6 to 8 participants strings per device)
  • Oversized marker
  • Heavy tape

Space Required: Can be indoors or outdoors.

Group Size:  6 people maximum on each device

Total Time: 35 minutes

  • 5 minutes to describe activity
  • 20 minutes for the activity, including planning time
  • 10 minutes to review and debrief

Prerequisite: None

Set Up:

  • The device can be built with longer strings so that you can lengthen, or shorten, the play area.  Attach the strings/cords with heavy tape to the marker making sure the strings pull in the intended direction. You can you this activity outdoors or in a ballroom over rounds.  To avoid staining a conference tablecloth, you might want to use disposable tablecloths.

Running the Activity:

  • Objective:  For participants to recreate a given drawing by working together to move an oversized marker hanging from a pre-built device.
  • The device can have up to 8 strings/cords that octopus out from the middle.  At the center of the device is an oversized marker hanging vertically.
  • When participants pull their string, they will move the marker in their direction, leaving a mark on the paper below.
  • Make such to tape down your paper with masking tape so that it does not move while they are pulling the marker across it.
  • Give each table/team a simple drawing to recreate.  Or, give the team an object (giraffe) and they can create their own version.  If you are using a team-created object, they should pre-draw on a piece of paper the prototype of what they will attempt with the marker.
  • All team members should have their hand on a string/cord and they should be no closer than 3 feet from the center.  Do now allow the participants to simply hold the string near the center (close to the marker).
  • You can offer a planning stage separate from the implementation as an option.

Suggested Learning Outcomes:

  • Planning
  • Collaboration
  • Active Listening
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution

Activity Guidance and Notes:

This is a great experiential activity for a ballroom/conference room setting.  Team drawing requires all the participants to communicate, have clarity on their vision and collaborate – or it will look like scribble.  If they struggle initially, they may want a clear piece of paper to restart.  That is up to you.  You can do it in rounds as a process improvement exercise.  Do not allow team members to be downsized (kicked off their string).  If you find that one participant is dominating the movements or conversation, you may want to make them silent or blindfold them so that others will step forward into leadership.  If you use a permanent marker, make sure you protect tables, tablecloths, carpeting, etc.


Suggested questions to ask:

  • What did your team agree to in the planning stage?
  • What suggestions were made? Implemented?
  • Were there ideas that were dismissed or unrecognized?
  • How did leadership develop?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of working together?
  • Were you successful…and how are you defining success?
  • What did you feel you contributed to the team?
  • If you could start over again, and do one thing differently, what would that be?


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