Desert Island Activity For Team Workshops

The desert island activity is a popular team-building exercise used in workshops. The purpose of this activity is to improve teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills. It requires participants to imagine they are stranded on a desert island and must choose items that are most crucial for survival.


To complete the desert island activity:

  • The facilitator divides participants into small groups of 4-6 people.
  • Each group is given a list of 10-15 items such as food, water, tools, etc.
  • The group must discuss and agree on choosing 5-7 items that are most essential for survival on the desert island.
  • Groups take turns presenting the items they selected and explain why they chose those specific items.

Cost and Resources

This activity requires minimal resources. The facilitator only needs to prepare the list of items for each group. There is no cost involved.

Time Required

30-45 minutes is needed for the full activity including discussion, selection, and debrief.

Number of Participants

Ideal group size is 4-6 people per group. Total participants can range from 12-30 people.

Best Suited For

The desert island activity works well for any team as an icebreaker or deeper team-building exercise. It’s best for colleagues who work together directly.

Facilitator’s Role

The facilitator divides people into groups, distributes the item lists, times the activity, and leads the debrief discussion.

Participants’ Role

Participants discuss which items are most crucial for survival and work together to select the agreed upon items for their list.

Debrief Questions

After the activity, the facilitator can debrief with these reflection questions:

  • What was challenging or easy about choosing the items?
  • How did your group approach decision making?
  • What strategies helped your teamwork? What could you improve?
  • How does this relate to collaboration at work?


The desert island activity teaches important skills like critical thinking, teamwork, and communication. It provides a fun and engaging way to improve collaboration that can be applied to real work situations. With thoughtful debriefing, it’s an impactful team-building experience.