The jack-in-the-box activity is a fun and engaging team-building exercise often used in workshops. The purpose of the activity is to promote communication, collaboration, problem-solving, creativity and teamwork. It requires participants to work together to build a simple “jack-in-the-box” toy using limited materials.
- Gather materials – cardboard/poster board, markers, tape, scissors, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, string, and other craft supplies. Provide 2-3 boxes of supplies per team.
- Split participants into small teams of 4-6 people.
- Explain that each team must use the provided materials to create a jack-in-the-box that “pops” open when cranked or triggered.
- Teams have 20-30 minutes to design and build their jack-in-the-box. Encourage creativity and collaboration.
- After time is up, each team demonstrates their jack-in-the-box and explains their design process.
- Budget $5-10 per participant for supplies. Craft materials can often be sourced for free or cheaply.
- Craft supplies (see above)
- Tables for teams to work at
- 10 minutes to explain activity and split into teams
- 20-30 minutes for construction
- 10 minutes per team for demonstrations and discussion
- 5-30 participants
- Best for established teams looking to improve collaboration
- Explain activity goals and rules
- Divide participants into teams
- Distribute materials to each team
- Keep time and let teams know when time is almost up
- Facilitate demonstrations, discussion and debrief
- Listen to activity instructions
- Collaborate with team members on design and construction
- Participate in demonstration and discussion
- What challenges did you face during the activity? How did you overcome them?
- What strategies did your team use to collaborate effectively?
- How did you utilize each team member’s skills and strengths?
- What could you do differently next time to improve teamwork?
The jack-in-the-box team activity teaches collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and communication in a hands-on and engaging way. With proper facilitation and debriefing, it provides an impactful and fun team-building experience. The simple materials required make it easy and cost-effective to run this activity with groups of various sizes.