Summary

  • No more awkward or forced icebreakers at freshman orientation
  • Mix up your mixers and allow students to authentically interact
  • Build connections through movement, creativity, and competition

Remember those first few weeks of college and all the pre-planned activities that, in many cases, were pretty awkward and forced? 

Of course, the people who plan these activities mean well. Colleges need to make the best first impression on students. After all, their satisfaction, academic performance, and retention hinges on a school’s ability to create a sense of community through orientation, extracurricular activities, support services for first-generation students, and more.

Many colleges struggle to engage students and keep retention numbers high, but it is possible to flip the script on traditional team-building activities for students interested in connecting to peers. You can foster friendships through large groups, small groups, and one-on-one breakout sessions. 

See how Baldwin Wallace University has utilized Mixtroz for their first-year  orientation the past three years>>

In this blog post, we will help you mix up your mixers with various team-building activities for students that allow them to interact and build connections through physical movement, creativity, and competition.

Team-Building Activity #1: Meet Someone Who …

In this activity, each student receives a bingo card with short phrases that illustrate unique talents, experiences, or characteristics. The list can be written on a physical sheet of paper or simulated using the Mixtroz platform

Some examples phrases include:

  • Never left the country
  • Has dyed their hair a unique color 
  • Loves Thai food
  • From the South
  • Reads books daily
  • Performed on stage

Event organizers set a timer for 10-15 minutes. In that time, students travel around the room to find one person who can respond “yes” to each phrase. Students record their names next to the statement that best describes them.

What are the benefits? 

Connecting to peers! Students will feel a sense of belonging when they get to say, “You too?” or “Me too!” This activity also offers students opportunities to build more meaningful relationships, even after the event has concluded. With Mixtroz, students can easily exchange contact information to make it easy to stay in touch

Team-Building Activity #2: Student Shark Tank IRL

In this activity, students replicate this famous TV show. 

To begin, break up students into small groups of four or five. Then, give each team 30 minutes to create a brand new product that they will pitch to a board of “venture capitalists (VCs).” The product pitches can be open-ended, themed, or a solution to a specific problem. Students are encouraged to have fun and think outside the box with silly, weird, and innovative ideas. After each group presents, the VCs vote to determine the winner. And you can use Mixtroz to break them into teams based what roles they’ve chosen for the activity, such as CEO, Marketer, Sales, etc. 

What are the benefits? 

Students get to work on their collaboration and communication skills while also being expressive and competitive. For this activity, a good sense of humor goes a long way! 

Team-Building Activity #3: Get Schooled with Charades and Pictionary

In this activity, break students into large or small groups using the Mixtroz platform to act out or draw pictures of words or phrases for teammates to guess. To make these team-building activities specific to students, make the games themed to your college with prompts like:

  • Places around campus
  • Sports trivia
  • Popular student majors
  • Famous college alum

What are the benefits? 

It gets students moving and encourages clear communication. Plus, students get to learn more about their school, campus, and major offerings.

Team-Building Activity #4: Relay Races That Will Have You Rolling

This one is all about being active and a bit silly. It will have your students rolling, both literally and with laughter. 

Choose an open space on campus, such as a soccer field, the quad, or a nearby park. Have the students play the following activities: 

  • Three-legged race
  • Egg and spoon race
  • Build a human pyramid 
  • Complete a maze in a blindfold (with verbal instructions from teammates)

What are the benefits?

These activities encourage strong communication and peer support while giving students a chance to be competitive and active. Plus, studies find that even a minimal amount of time outdoors has extensive benefits for college students who spend much of their time indoors studying or attending classes. 

Team-Building Activity #5: The Amazing Race on Campus

Last but not least, this activity, modeled after The Amazing Race, is one of the most exciting team-building activities for students. 

To start, break students up into small groups. Hand each group a list of things they must find or activities they must participate in around campus, such as running to the football field, checking out a book at the library, or taking a picture with their RA.

For each activity, students will take pictures and upload them to social media with hashtags to promote future orientation activities.

What are the benefits? 

Students connect with peers and experience the excitement of high-energy competition while also giving Student Affairs a social media boost. Plus, it gives students a chance to learn the locations of different facilities on campus.

Team-Building Activities for Students Made Easy 

Mixtroz takes the stress out of team-building activities for students so you can focus on fostering a sense of community. These activities help students have peer-to-peer interactions, build connections, and make great first impressions. 

Mixtroz can also gather data about how students create community at your college so you know which activities would work best for your unique student body.

Make connecting to peers easy for your students. Demo with Mixtroz today!

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