13 Best Summer Team Building Activities in 2024

Engaged employees are the key to a successful team! Check out these 13 Best Summer Team Building Activities in 2024, including 4th of July ideas.
Kamely Vo
Kamely Vo
Content Writer
An empathetic Employee Experience Expert with a passion for positive changes, to create rewarding, engaging workplaces and shaping the future of work through unique perspectives.
October 30, 2023
min read

If you have a team, and it's summer, you'll want to keep them engaged through those sticky months.

Especially if you're working as a hybrid or remote team, this isn't always easy.

Luckily for you, I've organized a ton of employee engagement activities, so I've collected the 13 best summer team building activities.

13 Summer Team Building Activities (+ how to organize them)

Ideas for Social Wellness Month

This is the occasion when we come together to cultivate healthy social behaviors and foster meaningful relationships. It reminds us of the profound impact that genuine connections can have on our overall well-being and happiness, whether with family, friends, colleagues, or other social connections.

Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate Social Wellness Month with your colleagues:

1. Book Club Sessions:

A book club in the office can be the perfect opportunity to break down any communication barriers between people and teams. It will also help your (remote) team to feel more connected to each other. PLUS, we all get a bit smarter. What’s not to love?!

How to organize:

  • Decide what type of books you want to read.
  • Pick a date, and convenient venue (virtual or in-person, as long as it provides a safe environment for sharing.)
  • Spread the word, announce the activity, call for registrations, and ensure your team know about the Book Club session.
  • In the session, try to get the conversation going and get people involved. Here are some helpful tips to let you do that! Don’t forget to keep it light! This should be an opportunity to socialize and interact with your team in a more casual setting.

2. Mindfulness Moment with Body Scan:

Practicing mindfulness in the workplace can reduce stress, increase focus, and improve communication and collaboration among team members. The Body Scan activity is a simple but effective way to foster empathy among team members and boost happiness at work. It involves sharing your feelings with your colleagues and discussing how they can support you.

How to organize:

  • Download our Body Scan icebreaker template, follow the instruction
  • Encourage everyone to check in with how their body is feeling. Take turns sharing your reflections or experiences.
  • Recap the activity and share your team's insights. It's a great opportunity to create engaging social media content!

3. Host a Donation:

At the heart of social wellness lies the spirit of giving back. What could be more suitable to honor this value than a Donation Drive? This is our opportunity to contribute to society, and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

How to organize:

  • Find a local charity organization that can connect you with people in need.
  • Set up a designated method (online or in-office) in the company where employees can contribute donations.
  • Spread the word and encourage donations from your team. They can contribute essential items, clothing, or even monetary contributions if they work remotely.
  • After a week or two (based on your plan), pack up the donations in a big box.
  • Send the box to the local charity you connected with, ensuring it reaches those in need.
  • Lastly, share an update with your team, highlighting the total donations received and assuring them that their contributions have made a positive impact.

Summer Team Building Activities for World Chocolate Day (July 7)

World Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on July 7th and honors the very existence of chocolate. It’s suggested as a holiday to commemorate the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550, which historians believe occurred on the same day. ( “The 2009 Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide,” by Ginger Carter-Marks, references it on page 43.)

4. Chocolate Ice-Breaker Questions:

You can celebrate the date by simply having a fun ice-breaker session with your team.

How to organize:

  • Pick a question for an employee to answer. Go round-robin until the whole team participates.
  • You can easily customize the ice-breaker questions by using our AI-powered Ice-Breaker Generator and generate your icebreaker questions. Simply input the purpose "Celebrate World Chocolate Day".
  • Or use our suggested questions:
    - What is your all-time favorite chocolate treat?
    - Have you ever tried any unique or exotic chocolate flavors? If so, which ones?
    - Do you have any favorite childhood memories associated with chocolate?
    - If you were a chocolate bar, what flavor combination would you be?
    - Have you ever made homemade chocolate treats? If yes, what was your favorite recipe?
    - Do you have a favorite chocolate brand or chocolate maker?
  • Facilitate a fun and relaxed sharing session among the team. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Let everyone share what is authentic to them and enjoy some quality time together!
AI Icebreaker Generator

Ideas for Independence Day (4th of July)

Fourth of July is a federal holiday of the United States - Independence Day. It is a time when Americans celebrate the founding of their nation - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

As people reflect on these ideals, it reminds us of what's most important: fostering an environment where all people have the opportunity to thrive. 

The same principles apply in the workplace. When everyone feel empowered, trusted, and cared for, they are more motivated, productive, and engaged. 

With that in mind, here are some ideas to bond with the team for this special occasion:

5. American History Trivia

If your team loves learning new things and exploring exciting facts, putting together some quizzes around American history facts and hosting a competition could stir up plenty of chatting and friendly competition among teams.

How to organize:

  • To get started, prepare your US History Trivia Questions. You can design your game with Mentimiter or SlidesWith trivia templates.
  • Choose the most convenient time and announce the activity to your team, don’t forget to hint a surprising award or gift for the winner.
  • You can choose to play the game either solo or by dividing team members into groups. Start it and have fun with your team!

To spice up the trivia session, mix history questions with lighter topics with fun questions such as general fun facts, common foods or entertainment preferences of the occasion.

6. Red-White-Blue Custom Contest

Yes, America-themed outfits for the US Independence Day! You can liven up the typical workday by organizing a costume contest to see who can best express their creativity through fashion.

How to organize:

  • Choose a suitable date and time for the contest and send out an invitation to your team members. Remember to detail out the dress code instructions if you want to make this session a showtime. 
  • Create a voting board where everyone picks who shows off the best costume. You can come up with some fun titles (and prizes!) to make the contest more interesting, for example, the "Best Dressed," the "Freedom Fashionista," the “True Red Hot Patriot,” the “Stars & Stripes,” etc.
  • Don’t forget to capture these one-time-in-a-year moments and share them to your team channels.

7. Photo-Sharing Your Holiday 

If you're looking for employee engagement ideas to bond with your team after the holiday, try this activity. It sounds simple yet never fails to spark lively discussions and let everyone to learn more about each other's experiences and interests.

How to organize:

  • Before the session, make a copy of our Photo Collage icebreaker template, share the link with your team and ask everyone to add their moments during the holiday.
  • Run the sharing session and encourage your team to share their stories in turn and let conversations flow. 
  • Facilitating tip: Some background music and traditional American snacks would lighten the team mood and spur the engaging conversation ahead.
  • Capture the slide and share your team’s photo collage to your Slack channels or on social media (probably with a cheerful note!). It's a unique way to celebrate the holiday and showcase your team's collective experiences.

Idea for International Self-Care Day (July 24)

Established by the International Self-Care Foundation in 2011, this day serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of self-care in our lives. The celebration of International Self-Care Day on July 24 (24/7) emphasizes the advantages of self-care that can be felt at any time within 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

8. Self-Care Channel:

In honor of International Self-Care Day, why not establish a Self-Care Sharing Channel in Slack or Teams where members can come together and exchange valuable tips on how they prioritize their well-being? Whether it's sharing mindfulness techniques, promoting physical fitness, discussing mental health strategies, or exploring hobbies that bring us joy, the Self-Care Sharing Channel is a treasure trove of inspiration and motivation.

How to organize:

  • Set up a new channel and let the team know about it.
  • Share some ground rules to foster a positive environment, such as being respectful, supportive, and up-lifting.
  • Take the initiative to start sharing and actively participate in conversations to keep the mood upbeat
  • For an added element of fun, you can gamify the experience by offering small prizes like spa vouchers. Consider rewarding the employee who shares the most tips or has the most popular tip.

Ideas for World Emoji Day (July 17)

This fun-filled World Emoji day was brought to life by the creative mind of Jeremy Burge, the founder of Emojipedia, back in 2014. It all started with a spark of inspiration, influenced by the calendar emoji displayed on iPhones. 📅

To make this World Emoji Day genuinely unforgettable, we have three exciting ideas that will ignite your imagination and showcase the power of emojis:

9. Built it with Art (Emoji):

Use emojis to tell a story from the pre-made 23 questions of the template (or you can make your own). Let your imagination run wild, and share your stories with colleagues.

How to organize:

  • Go to the Miro template, and duplicate your own.
  • Select questions that inspire storytelling.
  • Unleash your creativity and bring the story to life using emojis.
  • For added excitement, challenge your colleagues to guess the answer before you reveal it!

10. Guess the movie from Emoji:

Put your movie knowledge to the test with this entertaining game. Challenge your colleagues, have friendly competitions, and see who can correctly identify the most movies through these delightful pictorial puzzles.

How to organize:

  • Go to the Butter template, and duplicate your own, follow the instruction on Butter.
  • Use the platform's built-in video calling feature (no need to use additional platforms like Zoom) to have fun with your team.
  • Take a guess at the action based on the set of emojis provided!

11. Share your Favorite Emoji:

Online communication is great until a coworker sends the 🙂 emoji. Does she mean what it means? What does it mean anyway? You will never know until you play Favorite Emojis and give everyone a chance to share what they try to express with their emojis.

  • Start by downloading our toolkit from here. It includes a template that you can easily copy and share with your team.
  • Ask your team members to share their favorite emoji and what it represents to them. It's a great way to learn more about their interests and personalities.
  • Run the activity by giving everyone a chance to share their emoji stories. It can be funny, personal, or even a little quirky!
  • Once the meeting is over, spread the joy by sharing our emoji collage in your Teams channel, Slack workspace, or simply send it via email. It's a visual representation of the wonderful stories and connections made during the activity.
Your favorite emoji

Summer Team Building Activities for International Chess Day (July 20)

International Chess Day is celebrated annually on 20 July, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.

The idea to honor this day as International Chess Day was proposed by UNESCO, and since 1966, it has been celebrated with great enthusiasm. Interest in the game surged following the release of the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” in 2020.

To commemorate International Chess Day, let’s fuel the love for the game with two exciting ideas:

12. A Chess Tournament:

These activities bring about an opportunity for your team members to challenge themselves, and make new friends through the shared love of chess.

How to organize:

  • Get ready by setting up a chessboard either virtually on platforms like Chess.com or physically with a physical chessboard.
  • Announce the activity to your team and make it exciting by offering small incentives. It's a great way to create a healthy and competitive atmosphere 😉.
  • Keep track of the results as people engage in friendly chess matches. Remember to encourage fair play and a sportsmanlike spirit among participants.

13. Quiz about the History of Chess:

Are you ready for a fun quiz that will boost team spirit and knowledge?

How to organize:

  • Prepare the questions for the quiz. You can use the quiz available at Chess.com or create your own.
  • Choose a convenient time for everyone to participate in the quiz. Make sure to announce it to all employees so they can join in.
  • Activate the quiz and ensure that everyone competes fairly. Remember, the focus is on having fun rather than intense competition.

The Secret Sauce to Employee Engagement Success

Want your activities to be a hit? Follow these critical ingredients for success:

Align with Employees' Interests and Needs:

To ensure higher participation and enjoyment, take into account the preferences of team members which can be gathered by employee surveys. By customizing activities according to their interests, you can guarantee their active involvement.

By bringing together groups of likeminded people, you're more likely to create a real sense of culture. As explained in Priya Parker's "The Art of Gathering," this is why it's important to exclude people, to the benefit of those who will join.

Embed Your Organization's Core Values and Culture:

By connecting your activities to your company's values and culture, you can help people understand the relevance and purpose behind the initiatives. This creates a stronger sense of connection and fosters a deeper understanding of the company's mission.

Foster a Sense of Belonging and Interaction:

Create engagement initiatives that encourage collaboration and equality. Broaden the choices and guarantee equal chances for all to join in. By doing so, team members feel a greater sense of unity and build stronger bonds.

Final Thoughts

Employee engagement is all about how much employees care about their work and the company.

It's more than just being satisfied with the job. It's about feeling connected and invested in what they do.

Why Employee Engagement is Important

When team members are engaged, they're excited and motivated to help reach company goals. They have a sense of purpose, know their role, and will go above and beyond. Engaged teams are more productive, creative, and committed.

In today's competitive business world, employee engagement is crucial.

It leads to job satisfaction, well-being, and better business performance. By providing a positive work environment and building strong connections, you can unlock the full potential of their workforce and achieve long-term success.

We estimate that low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion. That’s 9% of global GDP — enough to make the difference between success and a failure for humanity.
- Gallup,  State of the Global Workplace report 2023

How Fun at Work Boosts Employee Engagement

It's great to engage employees through impactful activities as a part of your employee engagement strategies. Whether it's company-wide events or team-specific activities, adding a touch of fun can have a significant positive impact:

  1. Strengthen relationships amongst colleagues, creating a sense of trust and camaraderie within teams.
  2. Encourages teamwork and collaboration, leading to better communication, cooperation, and synergy.
  3. Stimulate creativity by providing a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, allowing people to think outside the box and share innovative ideas.
  4. Alleviate stress and promote overall well-being, creating a positive work environment that supports mental and emotional health.
  5. Fosters a positive work environment that everyone enjoys being a part of, shaping and reinforcing the desired company culture, reinforcing shared values, and a sense of belonging.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your teams engaged is an ongoing process. So, it's important to stay consistent with your company's core values and continuously optimize the employee experience. To do this, be open to diverse engagement ideas. Adapt them to your team's unique dynamics. This way, you can create a thriving and engaged workforce that feels motivated and connected.

So, gather your ingredients, mix them with intention, and let the magic of well-designed activities unfold!

Find more ideas to engage your team at:

101 Ways To Appreciate Your Employee

6 Unique Team Bonding Ideas with Food and Drinks

11 Virtual Icebreakers

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Engaging hybrid and remote teams is a new muscle for many of us to train. Let's work it out together!