Tinkertoys are a trademarked brand of children's building toys produced by the Hasbro Company. These toys consist of wooden and plastic objects such as wheels, sticks, tubes, flags, couplings and pulleys. Use Tinkertoys in the classroom or workplace to teach team-building skills to students and employees. Team members will receive firsthand experience with skills such as communication, listening, creativity, cooperation, networking and leadership, as well as the importance of using these skills in the real-world classroom, workplace and family.
Build a Bridge
This Tinkertoys activity encourages team-building skills such as cooperation, creativity, problem-solving and networking. Divide the participants up into two groups, and separate the groups. Instruct each group to build one-half of a bridge with Tinkertoys. Bring the two teams together, and have them connect their halves to form one bridge. The individuals on each team must cooperate and work together to create a finished working structure.
Line of Communication
Individuals learn the importance of listening and following a supervisor's directions in this team-building activity. To succeed, each member must complete the assigned tasks in a quick and orderly manner. Assign titles such as client, wholesaler, buyer and builder to each team member. The client looks at a constructed model and must explain to the wholesaler what the project looks like and what parts the team will need. The wholesaler must gather the needed parts and explain the project to the buyer. The buyer must transport the parts to the builder and explain how they fit together. The builder then assembles the parts. Reveal the model, and compare it to the assembled piece. The group was successful if their piece matches the model.
Teams learn the importance of communication, listening skills and leadership when they participate in this activity. Each team nominates a leader, and all team members except the leader put on a blindfold. The leader looks at an object constructed from Tinkertoys. The leader must direct the blindfolded team members to recreate the object with loose Tinkertoys. The team members must listen intently to the leader's instructions to be successful.
Architects and Builders
Students or employees learn the value and importance of each team member during this activity. Split the group into two equal teams, and put the teams in different rooms. The members of the first team are the architects and must build a structure with the Tinkertoys. Each team member from team one meets with a member of team two to interview them about the structure. The members from team two must share what they learned from their various interviews to recreate the structure. Have the teams compare their structures at the end of the activity and share what they learned.
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