12 team building activities for students – One of the primary goals of education is to provide children with new, better and more inventive ways to succeed in the real world – especially crucial in an environment that’s more competitive than ever.
While schools provide fantastic skill-building in anything on the curriculum, from math to science, history to art, there’s plenty that teachers can do beyond the textbooks to prepare students for their future education and life.
12 Team building activities for students they’ll love!
So, what skills are essential for the modern student? Beyond just learning the basics, knowing the best ways to get along with fellow students and collaborate in groups are vital skills for any child. These skills aren’t taught through posters or memorizing information – instead, they must be gained through an active learning environment that fosters this development.
Through practice and engagement, students can soon develop and demonstrate skill in cooperation and communication. Team-building games are the ideal way to implement this strategy into the classroom, offering students the chance to learn through role-playing and problem-solving. Fun, educational and exciting, these activities offer children a new way to learn a much-needed skill. Let’s jump right into our list of: 12 Team Building Activities for Students.
A classic and well-known team-building game, Minefield introduces the concept of trust as well as communication into its game-play. An obstacle course is arranged to the students, who are then divided into individual teams to complete the challenge.
Once teams have been arranged, one student is chosen or volunteers from each to be blindfolded and navigate the created ‘minefield’. Other students in their group will attempt to guide them using instructions. For more challenging play, you can restrict their instructions to specific words or phrases.
2. It’s a Mystery
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? This game is based around the idea of students working collaboratively to solve a mystery of your own design. Students can each be given one, numbered clue, and from there they must work together to combine their clues and solve the case.
The mystery of the missing teddy, or the disappearance of a mascot, is the perfect way to incorporate a mystery into the classroom. Using communication, students can solve the case organically, and even work as a group to problem-solve after they move from one area to the next, uncovering clues along the way.
3. Keep it Real
Open-ended and ideal for problem-based learning, these activities bring communication into the real world by contextualizing them with actual issues or problems within a school or community. Setting a time limit and other boundaries can add further complication for more advanced session.
Students are asked to identify and then solve a problem cooperatively based on real-life events or issues. Your job is to decide a subject matter, and allow the students to work in groups or teams to solve the problem over time.
4. 4-Way Tug-of-War
A playground classic that can be easily transformed into a sportsmanship activity, 4-way tug-of-war is an inexpensive and simple way to develop your students’ team working skills. Adding an extra dimension to a standard game further requires fair play and working together.
Set up a 4-way game by tying ropes to allow three to four teams to play simultaneously. Teams can then choose to work as individual units, or work in collaboration, to eliminate other groups from the game. Entertaining and easy, this game can run across multiple sessions, from the initial rounds to the finals.
5. The Worst-Case Scenario
A game that involves more thinking and introspection as a group is playing the worst-case scenario. In this activity, students need to work collaboratively to problem-solve a solution to a complicated or even life-threatening problem.
Great examples of a worst-case scenario could include:
- Being stranded at sea
- Being lost on a desert island
- Being isolated on a mountain
In each scenario, students must work together to ensure they ‘survive’ or solve the imagined situation. This could be through ten items they can take with them, or thinking about the best way to safety. This activity also encourages voting as a team to ensure overall agreement within a group.
6. Don’t Wake the Dragon
A team-building game ideal for younger students, this task encourages children to work together silently to meet a specific requirement, without waking the dragon. Once they have completed the condition, the dragon can be woken by shouting ‘boo’. If the students have completed their task successfully, they will defeat the dragon.
Examples of tasks could be:
- Lining up in height order
- Holding hands in a circle around the ‘dragon’
- Working together to create a weapon to defeat the dragon
7. If You Build it…
A flexible, easy to use team-building game, this method of cooperation encourages children to work in teams to construct or create something. The challenge aspect of this exercise helps each team of students to push themselves further as a group.
This activity isn’t only an excellent choice from a development perspective. It also offers a dynamic way to implement team-building, as building challenges can be used multiple times with just a few tweaks to the challenge.
Examples of materials and challenges could include:
- Building the biggest castle out of cardboard
- Making the most stable bridge from pipe-cleaners
- Creating the tallest tower from marshmallows and toothpicks
Involving both communication and problem-solving, this game is a favorite among students, and an easy way to incorporate team-building into a classroom setting.
A classic, beloved cooperative game for the classroom, Zoom has long proven popular as a solution to team-building exercises. To play, students sit in a circle. Each student is given a unique image of an animal, object or anything else to participate in the game.
Once everyone has their picture, the teacher can start off the game by introducing a story. This story should incorporate the photo that is assigned. From this point, the next student can continue the story, including their own picture. Over time, the story will become more complex and involved – with every student playing their individual part in its creation. This game is ideal for promoting communication, as well as creative collaboration.
A popular game that requires excellent communication and cooperation skills, in Detective, one student is picked to be the detective and leaves the room. Another student then becomes the leader, and all other students must follow their activity; whether it’s tapping the side of their head, raising or anything else.
The detective must then try to figure out who the leader of the group is, with three chances to guess correctly. Once the game has been won or lost, a new detective and leader are chosen. This activity requires students to cooperate non-verbally to ‘fool’ the detective.
10. Save the Egg
A little more on the messy side, this team-building activity is perfect for older children who are able to follow the safety guidelines involved. Children are put into teams and then asked to work out a way to ‘save’ the egg if it is dropped from a certain height.
Encouraging problem-solving and creative collaboration, students will need to work together to devise the best solution to prevent the egg from cracking. This could be anything from a way to provide a soft landing, to working on something to slow the egg’s fall. Creativity is key.
11. A Shrinking Vessel
A game of strategy and teamwork, this activity asks students to work together to occupy a slowly shrinking space. Over time, students must try to maneuver to ensure they can all still fit within the area given. A problem-solving skill, students are encouraged to get as creative as possible to ensure they all fit.
This imaginary boundary can be created with rope, blankets or even a tarp, while something like small traffic cones provides a more adjustable space. Involving teamwork as well as problem-solving, students will need to work together to reach the best possible solution, and the most space saved.
12. Go for Gold
A similar concept to a building game, Go for Gold involves teams of students working towards one common objective, with free access to any materials they would like to use. By not restricting the groups, students are encouraged to be more creative.
An example project for an activity of this type would be moving a marble from point A to point B, using provided materials and gravity. This offers students a chance for problem-solving, communication and creative collaboration.
Summary of 12 team building activities for students
For school-age children, there’s more to learn than just what you can find in textbooks. These team-building activities provide vital communication and problem-solving skills; a must to help children succeed.
At TeacherFunder, we think teaching students the skills they need to do better in life is a vital part of a teacher’s job. That’s why we offer funding solutions to allow educators to do more – whether it’s team-building activities, educational events and more. Find out more about what we do online today.