Jack-in-the-Box Activity For Team Building Workshops

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.

Resources Needed

  • Craft supplies (see above)
  • Tables for teams to work at
  • Timer

Time Required

  • 10 minutes to explain activity and split into teams
  • 20-30 minutes for construction
  • 10 minutes per team for demonstrations and discussion

Ideal Participants

  • 5-30 participants
  • Best for established teams looking to improve collaboration

Facilitator’s Role

  • 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

Participant’s Role

  • Listen to activity instructions
  • Collaborate with team members on design and construction
  • Participate in demonstration and discussion

Debrief Questions

  • 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.