created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Activities for Transforming Teams
and Igniting Change
ATTIC is a collection of tools, games, and activities to inspire innovation, teamwork and engagement in health care settings.

Building Blocks

This activity develops descriptive and instructional skills as well as teamwork.

Download Activity Worksheet

  • 30-45 minutes
  • Groups of 4
  • 2 identical building block sets for each participating group

  • Source: Adapted from LiveStrong

What to do

  1. Organize attendees into groups of four.
  2. Each group member will choose one of the following four roles: the director, the runner, the builder, or the observer.
  3. The director and builder will be located on opposite sides of the room with their backs to each other, each with their own set of building blocks.
  4. The facilitator will ask the directors to build something with their blocks.
  5. The director must then give instructions to the runner, who must relay those instructions to the builder in an attempt to have the builder create an exact replica of the director’s blocks.
  6. The observer should observe the activities of the builder, runner and director without commenting aloud.
  7. The activity is limited to ten minutes.
  8. Once the builders have completed their structures, have the rest of the group come over to the builders’ side of the room for debriefing.
  9. Following the debrief, run the activity a second time, using the same method and team members in the same roles. Once the builders have completed their second structures, have the team come over to the builders’ side of the room for debriefing.


Based on the role you had in the activity:

  • What was the hardest part of this activity?
  • What was the easiest part of this activity?
  • As the observer in the activity, what suggestions would you make?
  • What did you learn as a team?
  • What communication strategies could be embedded into this activity to ensure greater success for the team?
  • How was the activity different the second time around?
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