There are many occasions when team building exercises are perfect for fostering a group environment among children. While some games serve as ice breakers, others help to develop leadership and trust in children. Team building exercises are also a fantastic way for teaching children how to work together as a group and build on each others skills or talents. Have a look at some of the great games and activities below for ideas on how to implement some team building exercises with your own group!
1. Straw and Pea Relay
- Dried peas
- Straws (one for each student)
To start, split the group into small teams. There should be two bowls for each team. On one side of the room is a row of bowls full of dried peas. On the opposite side is a line of empty bowls. Each player has to use their straw to suck a pea to it and transport it over to their team's empty bowl. If a pea falls, the player is allowed to pick it right away. The team to finish transporting all their peas first is the winner.
2. The Birthday Game
- Chairs (for all players except one)
At the start of the game, one player is appointed to be "it". The other players sit on the chairs in a circle. "It" has to walk around the other players. Each person says aloud their birth month. When "it" declares a month, people of that birth month swap seats. "It" can declare more than one month if they wish. When "It" says "Birthday Party!" everyone scrambles to find a new seat. The person left without a seat is the next "it".
3. Bridge Builders
- Shoebox (one for each team)
- Bowls of water (one per team)
- Popsicle sticks
- Glue or putty
- Other similar building materials
All players are divided into three to four teams. Each team receives one bridge shoebox kit, as well a bowl. The aim of this activity is to build a bridge over the water bowl in under thirty minutes. At the end of that time, the judge can test the bridges by placing small stones on the bridge. The team whose bridge can withstand the most number of pebbles wins.
4. I Am Beautiful
Each player starts this exercise separately. They receive a pencil and paper and have to jot down the phrase "I am so beautiful because" several times on one side of the paper. On the other side, they can then write down positive descriptions of themselves. When everyone is done, the group gets together and shares their lists aloud.
5. The Dog Wash!
- Crayons or paints
- Money box
- Dog shampoo
- Dog brushes
- Kiddie pools
- Garden hoses
- Dog treats
Instead of the typical bake sale or car wash, kids can get together as a group to offer a dog wash service to their community. Start by creating large banners to hang up in public areas to advertise the dog wash. On the day of the dog wash, create little washing stations with two to three people at each one. Don't forget to appoint one person to collect and handle money.
6. I Like You Because
All players sit around in a circle and they each write their name on a piece of paper. The leader collects the papers and redistributes them randomly to the group. Each student then writes down an aspect they like about the person whose sheet they receive. The leader collects and redistributes the papers again. Continue this five or six times. Finally, the leader distributes the papers to the respective owners. Each student reads out their paper aloud.
7. What's that Taste?
- Jar of jelly beans
For a quick game, have the students sit in a circle. The person whose turn it is has to close their eyes. Someone gives them a jellybean to eat, and they then have to guess the flavor. The person who guesses the most number of correct flavors is the winner.
8. Grabby Things
The leader of the group makes a list of common items that most of the students might have in their bags or pockets. Two people are designated "runners". When the leader reads out an item on the list, one of the runners has to charge towards the group and retrieve the object. Whoever completes this task first receives one point. The goal is to get the most number of points possible.
9. Balloons Away!
- Inflated balloons
The group is placed in a circle and their goal is to keep throwing a balloon up in the air. During the first round, they have to make sure the balloon doesn't touch the floor. To do this, anyone from the circle can run into the center and throw the balloon while also yelling out their name. Each person is only allowed one turn. In the second round, each player has to say another person's name instead. When that person's name is declared, they have to run into the circle and continue likewise.
10. Tower of Marshmallows
- One bag of marshmallows
- One pack of spaghetti
The group should be divided into two teams or even more, depending on the number of people. Each group has to build a tower of marshmallows, using spaghetti sticks as supports. The towers should not only be high, but also very stable. The team to accomplish this best are declared the winners.