Team-building activities for kids are just as important as they are for adults! Not only do they bring joy, but they can also improve self-image and social acceptance.
Researchers have found that team-building activities can improve children’s self-image and social acceptance, and may even bolster their academic and professional achievements. It also helps them get started making friends and feeling comfortable in new settings, for example in class at school, during a youth group gathering, or at a party.
Team-building activities for kids are especially useful for good group communication, developing better social skills, and building problem-solving skills. But what kind of team-building activities do kids actually enjoy? We’ve collected a variety of indoor and outdoor team-building activities, so you don’t have to.
The Best Team-Building Activities for Kids to Try Indoors
1. Try “silent line up”
This team-building activity is a great way to kick-start a gathering with a group of kids meeting for the first time. It is pretty simple and doesn’t take up much time. Simply ask kids to line up in the order of their month of birth (or another category) and give them a specific time frame to execute this task, for example around two minutes.
Here’s the catch — they can’t talk to each other. Instead, they can only communicate through gestures and other non-verbal cues. When the time is up, call out the children’s names and see how far they’ve gotten. This is a great way to activate their team spirit and help them get to know each other a little better.
2. Organize a newspaper fashion show
This activity for team-building is a great way to playfully introduce kids to upcycling. Simply ask them to bring along some old newspaper or bring some yourself. Next, divide the kids into two or more groups and hand out the old newspaper and duct tape. Challenge them to create a piece of clothing or an outfit from just these two materials.
After approximately fifteen minutes, let them present their designs. Rather than framing it as a competition, let them explain what design choices they took and what name they would give to this “look”. You’re sure to create some laughter and fun memories — both great for the bonding process!
3. Do some arts and crafts together
There are a variety of eco-friendly art activities for kids that are also great for team-building, whether you want to introduce the kids to potato printing, show them how to make crafts from egg cartons or make homemade finger paint.
To enhance the team aspect, it’s also a great idea to let the kids paint together on big canvases and let each of them contribute to a single artwork. This could be as simple as having everyone’s fingerprints on a huge white piece of paper.
4. Make vegan treats
If you are with a smaller group of children, cooking or baking something together is a great way to practice teamwork. At the same time, why not introduce veganism to the kids? Learning about the environment while playing is a great way to get them involved. Here are three kid-approved vegan recipes to try:
5. Practice yoga
Yes, you read right. While yoga is a popular adult sport, there are plenty of benefits of yoga for children. This is also a great team-building activity for kids during a break to keep them active and entertained.
6. Host a book club
Team building can also happen at regular intervals, for example through a weekly or monthly book club. Decide on a book for all the kids to read over a period of time. Depending on their age, this could be as simple as a picture book about the environment or as complex as books about climate change. Reading the same book and discussing their thoughts on it will make kids bond and perhaps even learn to effectively debate.
7. Play “What’s on your head?”
Let your group of kids each write something down on paper, whether that’s an animal, a place, or a character from a movie. Next, they can stick it to another kid’s forehead. That person then has to guess what’s written on the paper by asking yes or no questions to their teammates.
8. Play sports
Whether it’s dodgeball, soccer, badminton, or another activity, getting active together as a group is perfect for team building. Kids learn more about each other’s qualities and learn how to support each other. Pay special attention here that no one is excluded or discriminated against by others for their level of sportiness. This is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn that sports are not only competitive but also fun and ideal for group bonding.
9. Have a little dance party
Kids love to let loose and show off their weirdest dance moves. Just play some hits or even ask them to share their favorite songs with you and let them dance away. To make this a little more challenging, make a “stop dance” out of it. Whenever you pause the music, the kids have to freeze. Dancing together can make kids more comfortable with each other. Plus, it can lower stress levels and boost serotonin.
10. Write a story together
A great way to activate creative minds and let kids create something as a group is writing. Simply start by handing out a page of blank paper and let the first kid in the round begin a story with a sentence. The following child will write the next sentence. Then fold the paper so that only the last sentence is visible to the next child, while the sentences above are hidden.
The activity goes on like that until the page is full. In the end, let one kid read out the finished story. This is for sure going to end with laughter and bonding. At the same time, researchers have found that storytelling and writing can boost children’s creative learning capabilities and result in new perspectives, critical thinking and emotional intelligence.
11. Play “Sharks and Minnows”
If you’re looking for an active game that warms you up, Sharks and Minnows is a great choice! All you need is a large space (a gym hall would be ideal), seven to nine hula-hoops, some bean bags, and traffic cones to mark safe zones. But how does it work?
Place the hula-hoops all over the gym but not too close to each other. Place the bean bags inside of them on the ground. Now split the team up into two groups — one team being the sharks and one the minnows. The goal is for the minnows to run around and collect as many bean bags as possible without being tagged by the sharks.
12. Play “Balloon walking”
This activity is great for team-building with kids, as it teaches them the role of the individual in a group setting. Simply line up all participants shoulder-to-shoulder behind a designated starting line. Each of them receives a balloon, except for the last and first person in line. Next, ask them to put the balloon between their shoulders.
The goal is to hold the balloon there without touching it with their hands and reaching the finish line together as a group. If any balloon drops, they have to start all over again. Make sure to reuse balloons or choose eco-friendly ones when doing this activity.
13. Do the marshmallow and toothpick challenge
This is one of the most popular team-building activities for kids. Not only is it pretty simple, but most kids are also going to love it since they get to eat the marshmallows afterward. Try using gelatin-free marshmallows when possible, so everyone is able to enjoy them.
Form small groups and hand out an equal number of marshmallows and toothpicks. Now challenge them to build a tower as high as possible. Make sure that within teams, kids take turns building the tower. In the end, look at all creations and let groups present their work and explain how they worked together as a team before devouring the marshmallow creations.
14. Find creative solutions
Choose four or more random objects, like a coffee can, a hat, a book, and a watering can. Now build small teams and assign them imaginary scenarios they have to conquer together — they can be silly, funny, or adventurous. One example could be “You are stranded on an island, how can these items help you to harvest coconuts?”. This team-building activity stimulates imagination and makes kids think out of the box together.
15. Make a puzzle
A puzzle is the perfect group activity for rainy days. Plus, it doesn’t require much preparation. It’s ideal for a smaller group of kids, but that also depends on the puzzle size. Choose the level of difficulty of the puzzle depending on the age of your group. This is going to help with building trust in a team, and developing spatial skills.
The Best Outdoor Team-Building Activities for Kids
1. Plant something together
How about familiarizing kids with nature during a team-building activity? You could make your own DIY seed starting mix or grow sunflowers. It will fascinate kids to watch their plants grow and will teach them a sense of responsibility, as well as love for our planet.
Volunteering is a great way of introducing children to social work while improving their emotional understanding and teaching them empathy. Having them volunteer as a group will start a conversation among them and help to create memories. Check out our article on volunteer opportunities for kids to find some ideas, including resources to find the right places to volunteer near you.
3. Familiarize kids with nature
An activity as simple as going for a stroll in the woods together can be a great team-building activity for kids. You could also familiarize kids with certain kinds of trees, birds, and other wildlife nature has to offer on your hike.
4. Go mushroom foraging
You could also try foraging mushrooms with a group of children. Most likely this is going to be an activity they are not familiar with yet, which automatically increases their excitement. It will also keep them entertained and provide them with a task they have to fulfill together as a group. Not only will this create a sense of adventure, butit will also boost team spirit and make curious minds happy.
5. Organize a community cleanup
Whether you want to participate in national cleanup day or just organize a cleanup together with your group of kids, organizing and executing such an event helps kids get familiarized with ways to combat climate change. Check out these earth day activities for more inspiration.
6. Go ice skating or sledding together
Outdoor activities are not only suitable for summer — there’s also a variety of fun winter activities for kids. Ice skating or sledding together means helping each other out and paying attention to those who are trying these activities for the first time or are a bit slower. In general, these activities will make kids explore their strengths and weaknesses and their skills as a group.
7. Organize a picnic or potluck
Food is always a great thing to share as a group and can also be a good way to learn about other kids. Especially in an multicultural group of children, this can be really fun. Have every kid (or their parents) bring a dish that is meaningful to them and encourage kids to try things they have never tasted before. If everybody contributes, you’ll get a good mix and a variety of flavors.
8. Group rope jumping
If you’re just in need of a quick team-building activity for in-between classes, rope jumping might be an idea. All you need is a big jumping rope. Now pair kids into groups of three, asking two kids to swing the rope from both ends and one to jump through it. Alternatively, you could also play tug of war with the rope and have kids distribute to the two ends of the rope, pulling it towards them as hard as possible.
9. Blind guide
If you’re in a yard or park, try this outdoor team-building activity for kids. Ask one of the children to volunteer to be blindfolded. This person is then led to a certain destination by the help of the other kids who give verbal directions. Because the child has to listen to the instructions of the other kids, this is a perfect opportunity to build trust within the team.
10. Organize a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are perfect for letting kids work collaboratively, as they have to communicate and make action plans on how to solve different tasks. This is also a good way to introduce strategic games to kids. Make sure to adjust the difficulty based on the age group you’re working with and provide enough clues along the way.
11. Go geocaching together
Geocaching is an outdoor adventure, where participants use a geocaching app or a GPS device to navigate to publicly hidden containers. In those containers, you can often leave a little lucky charm or even trade an object you find in there for something you brought.
There are some geocaches that are fairly easy and doable for a group of kids. Similarly to the scavenger hunt, they’re going to have to work together for this one. As a reward, they’ll get the feeling of having discovered something as a group.
12. Make DIY bird feeders
Another crafty activity for the team-building with kids is to make bird feeders together. All you need for this is old toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, and bird seed. You can also check out this easy bird feed recipe.
13. Visit a swimming pool or lake
If all kids in the group are old enough and able to swim, how about taking them to the lake or swimming pool? Especially on a hot summer day, when sporty games and activities are more of a dread, they’re going to love this refreshing activity. At the same time, playing in the water together is a great way to bond.
14. Go on a bike ride
A day that is sunny but not too hot calls for spending some time together outdoors. How about asking all the kids to bring their bikes and go on a little bike ride? You can cycle towards a rewarding destination, such as a miniature golf place or simply a playground. This gets everyone active and provides kids with a chance to chat to each other while passing by beautiful scenery. Make sure to check in advance that all kids can bring their own bikes, so no one feels left out.
15. Visit a climbing park together
Climbing is known to be a great team-building activity because it allows participants to feel a sense of accomplishment by reaching a common goal. It also forces kids to rely on each other, cooperate, and practice trust. Besides that, researchers have found that climbing as a team-building activity can increase self-esteem and relieve stress.
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