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The Power of Play

Participating in a TV game show, creating an ice sculpture or building teddy bears sound like creative weekend activities, but they can also benefit your small business during the workweek.

No matter one's age, play is a great learning tool. In the office, it leads to increased self-awareness and a sense of trust among coworkers.

In operation for 20 years, morale-industry leader Teambonding specializes in creating activities that build community within your company. Founded by David Goldstein, Teambonding gives employees several ways to play, including scavenger hunts, game shows and culinary showcases. You name it, his business can create it.

According to the Teambonding, play has many benefits that have been evident throughout history. The ancient game of chess, for instance, has been played since the sixth century to hone analytical and military skills.

Many employees don't get the chance to get to know their colleagues beyond small talk by the water cooler, because of difficulty communicating or mounting job stresses.

Engaging in play, however, encourages cooperation and creativity and gives employees a chance to take risks without the fear of reprisal. It also gives employees a chance to try new ideas and experiences.

It's not all play -- companies in industries ranging from tourism to health, finance, legal, pharmaceutical and telecommunication have sought Teambonding's services. And Goldstein's ideas are successful; his company took in $2 million last year.

Teambonding has worked with big names such as Google (GOOG), eBay (EBAY), Pfizer (PFE) and smaller businesses including music company Machine Head, party-store chain iParty and specialty chemical manufacturer H.B. Fuller.

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