Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Editorial Team
Our ability to communicate and collaborate is the foundation of our entire existence as humans. Humans have been driven by this need for purpose and belonging for hundreds of thousands of years. Working with others to achieve and complete a task is an important personality quality.
Being a team player is essential for a person’s career and personal success. It has been proven that instilling talent at a young age is critical. Specifically, teaching youngsters cooperation skills through engaging in team-building activities aids them in developing emotional and academic character.
According to a study conducted by a group of psychologists, collaboration can help students improve their academic skills and get better job possibilities. As a result, teachers should frequently engage students in team-building activities in order to develop leadership and cooperative abilities.
This post will discuss some indoor and outdoor team-building activities for kids to help them prepare for the future.
The Essence Of Team Building in this age group
Team Building is the initial first step in a group of people successfully coming together and working towards a common goal. As illustrated above, most of the things we want to do in life, end up doing with other people. Sometimes out of necessity and other times out of the sheer joy of it, when people do come together, good team building can make the difference between an effective team or a haphazard and even disastrous one.
Since team building is so crucial, it helps to learn this practice as early as possible. Younger children ages 3-4 are taught to share their toys and play with other children, including their siblings, in order to become better collaborators and cohabitors. As they get older, forming a group and encouraging cohesiveness that turns it into a team becomes more complex.
This is why, around the ages of 10-12, more and more schools and teachers encourage group learning activities in the form of peer tutoring, and cooperative and collaborative learning. This is not only meant to encourage learning but also to increase the child’s ability to build, sustain, and work in a team of diverse individuals with different and sometimes even clashing perspectives and personalities.
As mentioned above, this age can be ideal for learning and inculcating new skills as the children are growing and are often open to learning from their own experiences as well as the adults around them. If the experience of building and working in a team is pleasant at this age, it is more than likely to lay a foundation for the individual to grow up into a collaborative leader who likes listening to and working with individuals who have different takes on things and knows how to make everyone feel included and respected.
Collaborative games to learn to work in a team
Just like a few activities can enhance team building skills amongst adults, like teachers, students too can benefit immensely from these gamification techniques. Your students are already occupied all day with studies and school learning. So, using the games mentioned won’t take their mind off their studies but will also inject the essential skills of team-building whilst providing them a chance of indoors or outdoors for some fresh air.
1. The Balloon Game
Distribute an empty balloon and a slip of paper to each participant. On their paper, ask them to write a get-to-know-you question, such as “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Do you have any animals? What was your favorite summer activity? Then, instruct them to place their question inside the balloon, inflate it, and tie the end.
Once everyone is ready, have them collect on the rug and toss their balloon on your command. Allow them a few minutes to bat the balloons before calling a halt. Allow each student to pick up one balloon and form a circle. Go around the circle and have children pop their balloons, read the question inside, and answer it one at a time. This is one of those team-building events that students will never forget.
2. Wrap The Hula Hoop
This practice can be done in groups of eight to ten children, each with one hula hoop, or as a complete class, using two or more hoops in rotation. Form a circle with the students and wrap a hula hoop over one of their arms; then, all pupils in the circle should link their hands. The pupils must figure out how to pass the hula hoop from one arm and torso to the next while keeping the circle intact.
By the end of the game, each hula hoop should have gone around the circle without anyone dropping their hands. This game makes children giggle, but it’s more than just goofy fun; it improves their listening and strategizing skills while allowing them to move and wiggle their bodies in entertaining and creative ways.
3. Hold on to the high chair
This entertaining game is similar to the game show Password. Divide your class into two groups and have them sit in groups facing the whiteboard or chalkboard. Then, one by one, place an empty chair in front of the class, facing the team members. These are known as “high chairs.” Select one volunteer from each team to come forward and sit in the “high chair,” facing their teammates and the board.
Make a list of vocabulary words for the game. Choose one and write it on the board. Each team will take turns putting a colleague in the hot seat and have them guess the term using synonyms, antonyms, meanings, and so on. Ensure that team members collaborate so that each member has an opportunity to contribute clues.
The student in the high chair observes their classmates and attempts to guess the word. The first high chair student to utter the term earns their team a point. Once the word is correctly guessed, a new student from each team takes their seat in the high chair, and a new round with a different word begins.
4. Be The Letter You Hear
This game encourages youngsters to be active and use their bodies in a fun way while also teaching them how to strategize and collaborate toward a common objective. This can be done in smaller groups or as a complete class, depending on class size. The teacher shouts out words one at a time for the pupils to spell together using their bodies to make letterforms.
Multiple students can work together to form a single letter; for example, if the teacher says “Hello,” two students can join hands by facing each other with their toes touching. After that, lean the body back and bend toward one another, arms outstretched and curled overhead. Teachers using Smartphones or digital cameras can add to the pleasure by photographing each completed letter or word so that the students can marvel at their work and build on it in the following round.
5. Cross the Lake
Cross the Lake is one of the simplest and most enjoyable team-building activities for youngsters to play for general personality and skill development. To begin the game, participants must first draw two parallel lines on the floor with chalk, marker, or masking tape.
Second, the participants must use cardboard to construct three to six rectangle-shaped rafts. Finally, the players must form teams once all the game’s props are ready. The game’s final goal is to cross the lake as quickly as possible with the help of cardboard rafts.
The game’s monitor or host establishes specific guidelines for disqualifying players. For example, if the raft is left unattended, it sinks; it can only accommodate two to three players; the raft must always be raised approximately one foot over the ground; and so on. The squad that crosses the lake first is named the game-winner. The game assists participants in developing a healthy competitive spirit and the capacity to work flexibly as a team.
6. The Path Of Trust
Another interesting team-building game that preschoolers can play to strengthen their personality development skills and interactions with one another is the Path of Trust. The game can be played in groups of more than two persons or pairs.
Path of trust is typically performed in open areas such as a park or a sports field. The track, starting point, and endpoint of the game are all determined by the game’s host. One of the game’s participants is blindfolded and gently rotated around. A player or a group of players serves as the blindfolded player’s guide.
The game’s primary goal is to walk on the designated track or path and traverse the distance between the starting and ending positions. The guide cannot directly take the player onto the track from the start point to the endpoint using words and directions.
He/she may only give indications to the blinded player, such as locating the tree and moving in the direction of the wind, following the cheering noises of the players, and so on. The game teaches players to trust one another, relieve tension, control anxiety, and form strong interpersonal ties.
7. Do Not Disturb The Dragon
Do Not Disturb The Dragon is a fun game that youngsters can play to strengthen their teamwork skills and general personality. In the game, players typically take on the role of peasants living in a town. The village is thought to be haunted by a fire-breathing sleeping dragon.
The basic goal of the game is to complete a specific assignment without waking up the dragon. In most cases, the task offered to the participants is to make a straight line in a given amount of time. The straight line produced by the participants must be in ascending or descending order based on their height. After accomplishing the task, i.e., after forming the line, the players must all cry “Booo” simultaneously, slaying the game dragon.
The players are not allowed to talk to each other during the game and must communicate quietly with hand gestures or body language. The game allows players to improve their personality traits, such as excellent verbal and nonverbal communication, relationship-building ability, inventiveness, coordination, and collaboration.
Can inculcating team building during school years be beneficial?
Claire Halsey chartered clinical psychologist and parenting adviser says, “Getting along and engaging with others is the building block of many things in life.” “From a young age, children need to learn how to give and take, share, take turns, play to their strengths, and draw in other people to fill the gaps. It’s a core social skill that helps to develop important abilities such as:
1. Communication Skill Development
Teamwork necessitates the capacity to “speak and listen.” “Talk” refers to contributing ideas during talks in order to be a responsible part of the group. “Listen” refers to receiving other teammates’ suggestions, absorbing that information, and addressing their points constructively.
2. Problem-Solving Growth
We seek other humans to assist us in solving issues and completing tasks. The capacity to look at a situation objectively and think about a practical solution is valuable. Thinking beyond the box will give you an advantage over others in general, but working with like-minded people is where the magic happens for us as humans.
3. Gained Experience (Wisdom)
Activities that challenge a team to execute a challenging task jointly provide the people in that team with firsthand knowledge of the work they completed. When someone succeeds or fails at a task, they will remember what it required to achieve and/or why they failed.
4. Leadership Skills Development
Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment that comes from leading others. Children who can harness their natural leadership talents when they are younger are more likely to succeed when they are older. It is extremely useful to a child’s confidence to practice leading other children during team-building activities.
To be effective team players, children must learn specific abilities. Therefore, most instructors, coaches, and parents define a successful team or group of children based on their level of satisfaction and fulfillment and the skills they have mastered. Team-building exercises, in particular, are critical for preparing your children for a brighter tomorrow.
These activities help kids become better leaders, listeners, communicators, and self-assured individuals. When children learn to operate as part of a team at an early age, they will have an easier time as adults in the workplace and will not feel the void of isolation.
As a result, make sure to incorporate these team-building activities into your curriculum. We hope your child receives the assistance he or she requires to improve their teamwork skills and become a confident little leader.
- Ekimova, V., & Kokurin, A. (2015). Students’ Attitudes Towards Different Team Building Methods. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 186, 847–855. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.157
- Tannenbaum, S. I., Beard, R. L., & Salas, E. (1992). Team building and its influence on team effectiveness: An examination of conceptual and empirical developments. In Advances in psychology (Vol. 82, pp. 117-153). North-Holland.
- Tolmie, A. K., Topping, K. J., Christie, D., Donaldson, C., Howe, C., Jessiman, E., Livingston, K., & Thurston, A. (2010). Social effects of collaborative learning in primary schools. Learning and Instruction, 20(3), 177-191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2009.01.005
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn