5 Group Reflection Activities

“We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” -John Dewey

Reflection is an important part of team building. Reflection activities play an important role in helping groups understand, analyze, and gain meaning from the experiences. Here are 5 reflection oriented games you can play.

  1. Ship Drawing

Draw a picture of a ship and people in different roles on the ship: Captain, Lookout, People rowing in the lower part, and someone in a life raft.  Then have people look at the poster and decide where on the poster they feel they are in terms of the group dynamics.  Then, once everyone has silently written their name next to a role, have them discuss why they put themselves there.  Ask them if the current situation is working, or if they would move someone from their place and why.  Make sure the conversation stays constructive, with people using positive language.  This is helpful in seeing where people really view themselves in terms of how the group functions.

2. Blindfolded Appreciation

This is a favorite of everyone.  Someone even turned it into a weird kissing game.  But hey, it IS a nice way of showing love.  Everyone in the group comes to the activity with a sort of blindfold and sits with some space between them.  Once everyone is settled, ask people to raise their hands if they haven’t gone yet, then pick a small number of the group.  Then, tell them to “tap the shoulder of someone who….” And have a list of interesting things people could appreciate others for.  For example, touch the shoulder of someone you consider a great leader, someone you can trust, someone who always makes you smile, etc.  The activity should be silent except for facilitator.  Each round, people should get about 5 or 6 questions.  There are lots of fun opportunities for reflection here.  How did it feel when someone touched your shoulder? How did it feel if you knew you had that quality and weren’t recognized for it?  Did you realize that someone might have thought that about you, but it wasn’t their turn to tap?  What things do you think you need to work on because of this?  What topic surprised you when someone tapped you for.  Fun, warm and fuzzy.

3. Cross the Line

If you have a bullying situation, this can be powerful, but its powerful anyway.  Have a list of questions such as “Cross the Line if you like sports, if you have ever felt left out, if you have ever been on a boat, if you are etc.”  The activity is silent and set up in a quiet area with a long line drawn in the center.  After each round, ask people to cross back over the line.  The questions can be whatever you want, and a way for people to express themselves without having to talk.  I have never lead the debrief of this for adults.  It can get really intense.

4. Star Moments

Give everyone a star and ask each person to share a star moment they saw in someone else, when their “gifts were shining through” and have them place the star on the person after they tell them.  Make sure everyone gets a star.

5. Action Steps

Place footprints or markers on the ground.  Ask the group what is one thing they personally commit to do in the next session to help the group function better.  When they do, they take a step forward until everyone has gone.

Top Team Building Cooking Classes in NYC

Cooking classes are a super popular idea for Team Building in NYC. It’s easy to see why, you and your team learn some new skills, drink a bit of wine, and share some great homemade food!

Luckily for us, since they are so popular, there are more then a handful to choose from. From learning how to build the perfect New York Style Pizza, to an instructor that specializes in serenading your team as they cook pasta- there is something for every kind of team in the city.

Here are our Top Ten Cooking Class Picks:

1. My Cooking Party

All about fun! They want to make this a party- it is not just about skills, it is really about having a great time together.

2. Cooking by the Book

Cooking by the Book look specifically at your teams needs, and not just inside the kitchen. Their focus is really on working on your teams strengths and weaknesses, helping your team become stronger and better knit.

3. Rustico Cooking Class 

Oh let’s go Italian! These guys specialize in superb Italian food and wine, and the skills it takes to make tasty meals.

4. Brooklyn Wineries

Wine, wine, and more….wine! This is a classy spot, where your team can learn about blending, tasting and wine making, while getting a bit merry with each other.

5. Brooklyn Kitchen

Brooklyn Kitchen is all about fresh and local. High quality, local ingredients drive this cooking course- you won’t find anything else quite like this in the world!

6. ICE

Learn to do it like the the professionals. Institute of Culinary Education’s Cooking course are super diverse, and for people who are serious about learning how to cook well.

7. Natural Gourmet

Is your team a bit on the health conscious side? Natural Gourmet will teach you how to make wholesome, well balanced meals, and can cater to loads of dietary requirements.

8. Pizza School

New York Style Pizza is the best pizza in the world. We believe it, and so does A Casa Pizza School! They will teach you the art of dough making, topping and cooking a perfect pie.

9. Cooking A Cappella

Is your team up for some singing? The charismatic instructor Lawrence Rush creates a truly different cooking course, an evening full of music and good food, for the teams that love to be thoroughly entertained.

10. Food Fix Kitchen

For something more family and home oriented, you can either visit their kitchen in New Jersey, or they will come to you and create an easy, comfortable course for you and your staff.

There are a lot of choices, depending on the preferences and needs of your team, but either way combining some fun and finger-licking food is always a great way to bring people together!

Food Fix Kitchen Cooking Classes

What They Do: Chef Rachel works with your team in a more family, homey type of environment, teaching your team easy, but fantastic kitchen skills!

How They Do it: You and your team can either go to their fabulous and friendly kitchen space in New Jersey, or if that is too far a trek, they will come to your space and set up the cooking course for you and your team there!

What makes them Special: Chef Rachel is really family oriented, creating a real personable and comfortable building environment for team building.

Quotes from the Website:

“My teaching style is all about honesty, laughter, spontaneity and being at ease in the kitchen. I love cooking because you have to focus on the here and now—after all, knives and fire are involved! Whether peeling vegetables or stirring a pot or salting to taste you must tune into your instincts and senses pushing everything else you have to worry to the back burner. Pun intended!”

“We’ve developed some popular classes that are both challenging and delicious and fit a wide-range of skill levels. We can design a custom menu for your event, or  I’ll send you a selection of menus to see which whets your appetite, and then once you choose one, we can “tweek” it a bit to fit your’s or your guest’s food likes, dislikes, or allergens.”

Cooking A Cappella


What They Do: They offer cooking classes that will suit a variety of different tastes and needs, but with a bit of twist!

How They Do it: Lawrence Rush is a one man show, who will create a menu for you and your team, and then teach you how to make the meal, while being a humorous entertainer, ensuring it is a fun and fantastic event.

What makes them Special: This is no ordinary cooking class, this is a sing-a-long, kitchen cabaret!

Quotes from the Website:

“Learn skills that will lift your meals out of the ordinary! We bring everything and do all of the clean up…you just learn, eat and enjoy!”

“Cooking classes, especially ours, are a great way to get people working together to arrive at a common goal.The addition of singing in our classes adds another level of community building, as well. Stress-reducing and smile-inducing, our cooking classes and cheese tastings bring people together, creating team spirit and happy stomachs at the same time!”


How to cook Chilla with Lawrence Rush, The Singing Chef from Blue Bliss on Vimeo.

Who should you contact: http://foodielovefood.com/contact-us/

Visit the website here:http://foodielovefood.com/

Pizza A Casa Pizza School

What They Do: A really fun and fresh cooking class based around one of America’s all time favourite foods- the New York Pizza!

How They Do it:  From making the dough to eating the goods, they will teach your team the fine art of pizza-creation.

What makes them Special: Pizza is what they do. That is all they will do. They don’t get distracted by popular food trends and they don’t overcomplicate things. They teach your team how to make fantastic New York Style pizza, simple, fun and effective!

Quotes from the Website:

“Pizza a Casa Pizza School provides a thoroughly entertaining education paired with a gourmet bonding experience that your group will delight in attending and be buzzing about for a long time to come”

“Simply translated from Italian, “pizza a casa” means “pizza at home”.  But it’s so much more than that — it’s a social happening that brings people closer together, united in the love of creating and sharing good food. At Pizza a Casa Pizza School, fostering this spirit of culinary camaraderie has been our mission since day one.”

Who should you contact:

[email protected]

Pizza A Casa Pizza School

371 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Visit their website herehttp://www.pizzaschool.com/private

Natural Gourmet Cooking Classes

What They Do: They offer clean, fresh cooking classes for the more health conscious crowd, hosting events to teach your team how to prepare healthy, natural food.

How They Do it: They have a few set menus for groups sized 10-18 people. They offer a three course meal, and an atmospheric candle lit space to eat a healthy meal the team has prepared.

What makes them Special: They focus on whole, unprocessed, nutritionally well balanced meals- and can cater to lots of different dietary needs, depending on what your team is looking for. It’s great if you are looking for a deliciously healthy option!

Quotes from the Website:

“Our hands-on cooking parties are carefully orchestrated by a team of professionals who will work with you each step of the way to create your most memorable culinary experience.  Choose from a wide variety of menu themes, such as Italian, Mexican, Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, and many more; or create a customized seasonal menu with one of our chef instructors.  Your menu can also be tailored to any dietary restrictions (e.g, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free.) Whatever you choose, your menu will always include the finest ingredients: fresh, natural, seasonal, and organic as much as possible.”

“We believe that what we eat significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well being. We all have different body types, ethnic backgrounds, medical histories, stress levels, caloric needs and physiological responses to food; therefore, no one philosophy is right for everyone. Our approach empowers people to tailor their eating style to support their individual health needs.”

Who should you contact:

Mollie Berliss, Events Manager

212-645-5170, ext 106

e-mail [email protected]

Institute of Culinary Education Team Building Cooking Classes

What They Do:  They offer professional cooking classes, where you learn from the experts. Cooking is 100% the focus, but enjoying good food and drinking some lovely wine almost always makes for a fun event.

How They Do it:  They can teach classes from 12-60 in size. They have over 200 classes to offer, so there is no shortage of finding one that suits your teams preferences and desires.

What makes them Special: The Institute of Culinary Education’s cooking classes are for groups that want to learn the insider culinary tricks and tips. They are professional, and can host large teams, something not all the other cooking classes can offer. They also offer some special things, like a mixology course, celebrity chef classes, and an open bar!

Quotes from the Website:

“Our Chef-Instructors are experienced professionals, and have a comprehensive knowledge of virtually all cuisines, along with the experience to make cooking fun and entertaining. As one of the leading culinary education centers in America, the school’s atmosphere and professionalism are geared for a fun learning experience. These events are ideal for corporate team building and entertaining, as well as personal celebrations including birthdays, showers, or dinner with special friends!”

“The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City is home to the largest program of hands-on recreational cooking classes, baking classes and wine classes in the world. Over 26,000 people a year enjoy 1,500 classes learning techniques, skills and experiencing flavors from every corner of the culinary world. Our recreational cooking classes are offered day and night, 355 days a year. Located in the heart of Manhattan, ICE has 14 state-of-the-art kitchens – the same as the pros use -filled each day with cooking, learning, tasting, and fun.”

Who should you contact: http://www.ice.edu/serequests/serequests.aspx

phone at (800) 543-8834

email: [email protected]

Visit their website herehttp://www.ice.edu/special-events/hands-on-cooking-events

The Brooklyn Kitchen Team Building Cooking Class

What They Do: They offer fresh and localized cooking classes for groups up to 12, in three fantastic locations in New York.

How They Do it: Brooklyn Kitchen uses fresh, local ingredients, high quality cooking equipment, and technique based training.  They have a very large range of interesting classes, depending on what you and your team is looking for.

What makes them Special: The focus on local, they are truly a unique cooking course for New York City. Also, they can customize an event based on your needs, and will work closely with you to create an event that will really suit your team.

Quote from the Website:

“Our menus focus on delicious, sustainable, seasonal foods that show off the best of Brooklyn’s farm-fresh, community-inspired cuisine. The Meat Hook’s meats and charcuterie, beers from Brooklyn Brewery, chocolate from Mast Brothers, house made vinegars, and produce from NY, NJ, and PA are just some of the local products we use in our everyday cooking here at the Brooklyn Kitchen.”

“We offer a variety of classes aimed at home cooks and ranging from basic knife skills to pig butchering to vegan tamales to mini cupcakes to Persian dinners. We also host several classes in DIY food skills, such as canning and brewing beer at home. Taught by skilled professionals in their respective fields, we aim for a diverse mix of regularly scheduled and seasonally appropriate classes.”

“Are you hosting a PR event, leading a brainstorming session, or just have a vision for a totally unique event? Our event staff can help you plan out the details of your event…just let us know what you’re thinking!  Contact us to tell us more about your event.”

Who should you contact: [email protected]

The Art Studio NY Art Adventures

What They Do: They give art classes to small to medium sized groups, to learn a bit more about art, and then create something special.

How They Do it: The Art Studio will work closely with you to come up with an event that is well suited for your team, and what you are looking to get achieve. They are big on detail. Your team will get to spend some time together, getting creative outside the office. There might also be wine involved.

What makes them Special:  They have been rated as one the best Art Studios in New York, and they really work to give your team a unique experience. This is probably for the more creative teams, but something everyone could enjoy.

Quote from the Website:

“We welcome every age and artistic level in our New York City art classes, and we specialize in Manhattan art classes for total beginners. Everyone needs to express themselves. Our expert creative art class team specializes in drawing out the artist from within you. Our mission is for you to relax, be your true self, feel inspired and genuinely express yourself in our caring, encouraging creative art sanctuary! We care about every single person who walks through our art studio doors, and we treat our students like family.”


145 West 96 Street, Suite 1B, NYC

Email: [email protected]

Lucky Strike Team Bowling

What They Do: They supply you with a great atmosphere for your team to relax and have a good time, with a classic game of bowling!

How They Do it: The space! The lighting! The All-American menu! Balls and pins! Fantastic bowling experience…check! They are a little more hands off when it comes to promoting team work- but sometimes that is exactly what a team needs- to just relax and have a bit of fun!

What makes them Special: The space they have created is great- just a fun place to unwind, and loosen up. They have a plush private area, so that your team can feel comfortable, just hitting some pins.

Quote from the Website:

A healthy competitive bowling-based team building exercise can work for your hard-working team. Let Lucky Strike New York provide positive reinforcement of teamwork in an energetic atmosphere.”

“Nobody wants to sit and listen to some high-priced guru’s theory of teamwork. Our method is a unique hands-on-get-out-of-your-chair and have FUN approach that will have everyone engergized and laughing from the beginning. It’s low impact and low stress.”

“They have the spirit and competitive nature of college drinking games (only without the drinking). And in a fun, non-threatening way, we quickly get everyone involved at the same time.”

“Our philosophy is that, if we can get you on your feet, laughing with each other, working together AND having fun, the next day when you enter the office, you’ll see your fellow co-workers in a whole new way.”

Contact Info: 

Phone: 818.933.3752

Email: [email protected]