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The dog-days of summer are here, and finding ways to engage employees can be tough. If your team-building exercises are getting a bit dry, try spicing them up with some of the following activities from Quantum Workplace.

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Spice it up
Provide salsa fixings, and hold a team salsa-making contest. Create multiple awards, and let people vote across teams to select the winners. For a fun twist, bring in a local taco truck for lunch to add to the fun. Here are some ideas for awards:

•tToo Hot to Handle
•tBest Mild Salsa
•tBest Green Salsa
•tMost Creative
•tBest Fruit Salsa
•tTastes Like My Favorite Restaurant

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The runway challenge
Two words: Unconventional Challenge. For those not familiar with Project Runway's Unconventional Challenge, here's a rundown: Contestants have a limited time frame and budget to purchase unconventional materials from a store and turn those into an outfit. Though your team is most likely less skilled than the designers on Project Runway, this challenge can foster creativity and problem solving. Here are a few unconventional locations to get design supplies:

•tHardware Store
•tOffice Supply Store
•tFlorist
•tParty Supply Store
•tCandy Store
•tJunkyard
•tUsed Book Store
•tGrocery Store

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Culture on the green
Take the opportunity of a nice summer day to take the team outside to soak in sun and culture. Most communities host a variety of outdoor entertainment in the summer. Bring picnic baskets and blankets, and take in some local community theater or a concert.

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Creative happy hours
If policies allow for drinking, put a spin on the tried and true happy hour. Some unique ways to kick it up a notch include touring a local brewery, a wine tasting class or a cocktail mixing class.

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Amazing race
Create an Amazing Race-style challenge, sending teams around the city to accomplish various tasks. Include pit stops, roadblocks and detours, and make sure your challenges require a variety of strengths and skills, so everyone has the chance to shine. Put a celebration at the finish line — happy hour, team dinner or whatever celebration makes sense for your team.

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Cake wars
Split teams into a bake-off challenge, tasked with conceptualizing, baking and decorating a cake. Everyone is a winner when it’s time for the taste test. Award ideas include:

•tMost delicious
•tMost creative
•tBest decorated
•tBest Pinterest fail

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MTV
Make a music video. Whether you lip sync or write an original song, making a music video can be a fun way to collaborate and test your team’s creativity.

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Community service
This is a win-win opportunity. Give back to the community while also helping with team building skills. Options include helping at the local food bank, stuffing and labeling fundraising mail or building a house with Habitat for Humanity.

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Stomping of the grapes
Contact a local winery and see if they have grape picking days. Many do and they often look for volunteers to help pick and maybe even help stomp the grapes. This activity definitely has the makings of a new and different experience for your team.

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Ropes course
Ropes courses are a challenging outdoor activity for both personal development and team building. High ropes courses are typically geared toward achieving personal goals and confronting fears, so you’ll want to select a low ropes course for your team building event. Low ropes courses focus on group interaction, problem solving, leadership, risk taking and cohesion.

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