Crate Stacking

Using crate stacking for team building is quite involved to setup, and requires guts and determination from team mates to work together under pressure.


As a team. a tower of crates needs to be built. Once it gets higher than head height, team mates have to

Purpose and Objective

The team is given a large amount of plastic crates. The aim of the crate stacking team building activity is to use as many, if not all, of the crates to make a tower. Two members of the team will have to use climbing harnesses and helmets for safety because they will need to climb up the stack to put the next crate on top once it gets above head height.

This activity is normally done at established activity centres where they have set up the appropriate safety harness system and belays for allowing the team to build a very tall stack of crates.

The rest of the team don’t get to stand around doing nothing. They will have to work out a way of passing the crates up to the pair of team mates standing on the top.


The crate stacking team building activity will develop teamwork, coordination, communication and also foster team bonding. Courage is a huge aspect of this team building activity. Team mates should be encouraged to be supportive of those who are brave enough to stand on top.

The debrief should include looking at the strategy adopted, and what approach could be tried next time. It is very important to congratulate all team members for the part they played.


Crate stacking requires strategy and planning. It helps the team members to bond and develop teamwork skills to adapt to situations as they happen, especially if they don’t go according to plan. Being a physical team building activity, the team will get immediate feedback as to how well they are doing.

You will need:

Equipment – 10 or more plastic crates, a climbing safety rig, rope, harnesses, helmets, long pole to pass up the crates.
Environment – Outdoors, usually at an activity centre
Space – 5m x 5m minimum, and 10 metres high
Time – 30 minutes to an hour
Number of people needed – more than 4
Preparation – Safety rig setup
Setup and Layout – Open space with an overhead safety rig for belaying climbing.

This team building activity requires preparation in advance of the safety rig. You do however need to think carefully about how the team members will respond to having to physically stand on the stack as it grows.

How to Run Crate Stacking for Team Building

When you brief the teams, you will need to make it clear what success looks like. Can they make a double stack, or does it have to be a single width stack? The activity supervisor will have to be very strict on safety, and give hints on how to do it.

The usual way is to build a double width stack, with the pair standing on top of one set of crates whilst they add a crate to the other stack. They then step across and continue upwards.

Complications and Things That can go Wrong

Safety is critical on crate stacking because the team members will be working at height. Make sure the safety rigging is set up and supervised by a qualified climbing instructor.

Make sure that the goal is reachable with the number of players in each team. Or, you could leave it to them to work out that the teams have to join together to get their prize.

Get more ideas for team building:

Team Building Activities List

Ice Breaker Games

Team Building Activities for Teens

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