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Classify This

Creativity & Inner Work


This team builder requires participants to use their creative thinking skills to complete a task. It can be used with any team to lead a discussion on teamwork skills and creative thinking.

You present the group with 20 random objects and in small teams they must create 4 categories that they can divide the objects into. 

This exercise promotes teamwork and creative thinking, but it also encourages your team to rethink how they view everyday objects. They are forced to look for commonalities in otherwise unconnected objects. This leads to a discussion on how to work outside the box for solutions to problems that seem wholly unrelated.

Time: 30 minutes

You can use any assorted objects. Make sure there is a variety, but you can have some things that are similar. The goal is to collect items that at first glance, have no clear connections. Here are some examples:

  • Office supplies
  • Cutlery
  • Dishes
  • Jewelry
  • Toys
  • Game pieces
  • Snacks
  • Articles of clothes 

Also provide each group with a piece of paper and a writing utensil. 

  1.  Place all the objects on a table in the centre of the room where everyone can see them. If you have a sheet or blanket, you can cover the objects for a grand reveal.

  2.  Divide your group into smaller teams.

  3.  Instructions:
    • Reveal the 20 objects on the table.
    • Tell each team they must put all 20 of these objects into four categories.
    • Optional extra rule – no object can fall into more than one category.
    • Give each team 5 minutes and set a timer.
    • Encourage them to get creative!

  4.  When the time is up ask each team to select a spokesperson to reveal how they classified the objects and why.

  5.  Optional – add scattegories rules.
    •     Each team will try to create the most creative rules.
    •     If any teams have the same category names they are crossed off.
    •     The team with the most number of unique categories wins.
  •  Did you find that task easy or hard? Why?
  • What did you like about completing this task?
  • How did you feel you worked in your team?
  • What did your team do well? What would you do differently next time?
  • What skills did your team use to complete this task?
  • How does this activity connect to our work? 
  • How can we work outside the box to find solutions for __________?