Team Building for Kids: A Complete Guide

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A Complete Guide to Team Building For Kids

A Complete Guide To Team Building Activities For Kids

Group games are fantastic for kids; not only are such activities fun and engaging for the children themselves, they’re also an opportunity to learn skills such as teamwork, cooperation and creative thinking. Team building activities also give kids the chance to build relationships with each other and develop their social skills.

In this guide, we’ll explain the benefits of team building games for kids and give tips on how to deliver group games for this age group.

You will learn:

  • How team building games can benefit kids
  • Types of team building activities suitable for kids
  • Tips for delivering team building games for kids
  • Safety during team building activities for kids
  • The 20 best warm-up games & team building activities for kids

How Team Building Games Can Benefit Kids

Kids under the age of 12 are filled to the brim with curiosity about the world and the desire to learn. It’s the perfect time to introduce important life skills such as teamwork, creative thinking and cooperation. At this age, they may be too young to grasp such concepts through theoretical learning so learning by doing is an excellent way to impart these skills.

Group games for kids are also great for building self-esteem. Through such activities, kids learn more about their capabilities and stretch themselves to achieve goals that they may have thought unattainable. The self-confidence that they gain through successfully completing team building games can transfer over to other aspects of their lives such as school, extra-curricular activities and family.

Another benefit of team building activities for kids is that they get to develop their social skills. Team building games typically require participants to work closely together to attain a desired result. Kids learn how to communicate, articulate their ideas and compromise with others during the course of a group game.

Types of Team Building Activities Suitable For Kids

When it comes to team building activities for kids, there are two key criteria: simple and fun. Save the more complex group games for older youth or adults who are better suited for challenging activities that can take them out of their comfort zone.

Why should team building games for kids be simple and fun? Children under the age of 12 have a much shorter attention span compared to older kids, so it’s important to keep them engaged during the activity. Using a fun group game keeps them focused and minimises the possibility that they will lose interest and simply refuse to participate. Because of their younger age, it is important that the activity and its end goal is easy for them to understand.

Simple and fun group games for kids can still provide a great learning experience. Experiential learning has a huge impact on children as they learn more effectively through engaging their senses, and interacting with others and with their environment.

Here are 3 types of team building activities that are well-suited for kids:

  • Communication

Team building games that encourage communication between teammates give kids the opportunity to pick up communication techniques and learn how to better share their ideas with their peers.

  • Teamwork

Group games on teamwork teach kids how to cooperate with each other. They learn how to respect each other’s point of view, interact in a positive manner and work together towards a common objective.

  • Trust building

Trust building activities allow kids to learn interpersonal skills. It also helps them to build relationships with their peers and allows them to better relate with each other through a shared experience.

Tips for Delivering Team Building Activities For Kids

Managing a group of rambunctious kids can be a challenge! The unique challenge of delivering team activities for kids is that you actually have to first capture their attention and interest. Kids are usually quite excited at the prospect of a game or a fun, physical activity. But before they can start the game, they first have to listen to the instructions.

You may need to employ some classroom management techniques to get the group’s attention. (If you’re a teacher, these tips are likely already in your arsenal of weapons!) Use a normal speaking tone when addressing a group of kids; raising your voice can often result in them raising their volume as well and that can lead to chaos! Instead, use gestures and non-verbal communication to get their attention and lower their noise level. Resist the urge to speak over them; only speak when they are quiet and attentive.

Keep the mood of the activity light and fun. Children typically do not respond well in serious or tense environments, so we recommend playing up the ‘game’ aspect of the activity and focus their attention on achieving a successful outcome.

Don’t shy away from reviewing the activity at the end. Ask questions that encourage the kids to reflect on their experience and what they learnt. Kids are often smarter and more insightful than we give them credit for. Get them to articulate their thoughts and feelings about how the game went and this will reinforce the learning.

Safety During Team Building Activities For Kids

Safety is a key concern during group games for kids. As such, you may need more facilitators/trainers to keep watch, especially for any physically-strenuous activities. Be sure to conduct a proper risk-assessment of the venue you’ve selected and check that the activity area is clear of anything that could hinder the action or harm the participants.

20 Best Warm-Up Games and Team Building Activities For Kids

Kids have a boundless store of energy so active group games work best with them. The list below has a mix of warm-up activities and team building games which are simple, engaging and a lot of fun for the young ones.

1. Touch Blue

Group size: Minimum 6

What it is: Participants have to find an item in the room that matches the particular colour called out by the facilitator and touch the item (it cannot be on another person or on themselves). The game becomes more interesting when the facilitator calls out unusual colours or patterns

Why it’s great for kids: This fun game will engage the kids’ creativity and problem-solving skills.

2. Giants, Wizards and Dwarfs

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: This activity is a bigger version of rock, paper, scissors combined with tag. Each team decides on their action for the round and meet in the middle where they will perform the action on the command of the facilitator. The losing team has to run back to their safe zone without being tagged by the other team.

Why it’s great for kids: Magnifying a common children’s game into a group activity doubles the fun factor while they also learn how to communicate with their team members.

3. Traffic Lights

Group size: Minimum 8

What it is: Using traffic light commands (green for ‘run’, red for ‘stop, amber for ‘walk around’), the group has to follow the commands of the facilitator. Anyone who does the wrong action is out of the game. The difficulty of the game can be increased by the facilitator using other commands to ‘confuse’ participants.

Why it’s great for kids: This activity is a fun way to get the group moving.

4. Man the Lifeboats

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: The group has to react as quickly as possible to the commands called out by the facilitator. The last to react is out of the game.

Why it’s great for kids: This activity is perfect to harness the energy of kids and get them engaged and participating.

5. Body Parts

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: The group will walk around normally until the facilitaor calls out a body part and number (for example, 3 knees). Participants have to react and find others so that they fulfill the command. Repeat as many times as needed, and the last command should be the desired number of participants in each sub-team.

Why it’s great for kids:  It’s a fun game that encourages teamwork and better listening skills.

6. Categories

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: The facilitator calls out categories ,and participants have to arrange themselves according to that category.

Why it’s great for kids: This is a fun and easy way to kids to get to know each other better and it helps to encourage good communication.

7. Sharks

Group size: Minimum 12

What it is: Designate several circles which will serve as the ‘safe zones’. Get participants to walk around the area; when the facilitator calls out ‘Shark!’, they have to find a safe zone to avoid being eaten by the ‘shark’ (the facilitator gives chase to upon saying ‘Shark!’). As the game continues, reduce the number of safe zones so that they have to work together to keep everyone safe.

Why it’s great for kids: This game is a variation of tag which allows kids to learn teamwork. When there are fewer circles, they also learn trust as they help to keep each other safe within the safe zones.

8. Snakes

Group size: Minimum 12

What it is: Begin the activity in pairs. Get participants to lie on the floor on their stomach, with one of them holding onto the ankles of their partner. The aim is to move like a snake without letting go of their partner’s ankles. The difficulty of the activity can be increased by adding more people to each ‘snake’.

Why it’s great for kids: What can be more fun for kids than crawling along the floor? This game also encourages them to work together.

9. Body Part Twister

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: This activity is a twist on the popular game, Twister. The faciliator calls out a body part, and the group has to maneuver and work together to ensure that every member only has that body part touching the ground. To make it more interesting, the leader can include a number with a body part (for example, for a group of 10: 2 knees, 1 head, 4 feet, and 3 elbows)

Why it’s great for kids: This is a high-energy game that will get the group laughing while working together to complete each combination of body parts.

10. Dots

Group size: Minimum 10

What it is: Each participant is given a coloured dot that is placed on their forehead. Without talking, they have to find out what colour their dot is and find others who have the same colour dot.

Why it’s great for kids: This non-verbal activity is a lot of fun and a great way to warm up the group!

11. Blind Retriever

Group size: 8 to 24

What it is: Each sub-team has to direct a blindfolded team member to retrieve an object. The sub-team that is the first to do so wins.

Why it’s great for kids: Blindfold games are always fun for kids, and this activity helps to build trust and improve their communication skills.

12. All Aboard

Group size: 8 to 15

What it is: The team has to fit everyone within a designated circle for a minimum of 10 seconds without anyone falling out of the circle. With each successful attempt, the circle gets smaller and they’ll have to work together to complete the challenge.

Why it’s great for kids: The game can be especially fun for kids if you set up a scenario that engages their imagination (for example: “You’re stranded on an island and you’re waiting to be rescued by the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, the island is slowly shrinking and there are sharks in the water! Work together to make sure that none of your team members get eaten by sharks!”). This activity teaches kids cooperation and teamwork.

13. Hole Tarp

Group size: 8 to 16

What it is: The team has to keep a ball on a tarp. The catch? The tarp has holes on it, so they have to work together to ensure the ball doesn’t fall through any of the holes! The goal is to have the ball moving on top of the tarp for as long as possible.

Why it’s great for kids: It’s a fun challenge that promotes teamwork among the kids.

14. Human Shapes

Group size: 8 to 12

What it is: The team has to form shapes (letters, numbers, etc) using their bodies.

Why it’s great for kids: This is an irresistibly fun game for kids as they get very physical during the game. It also helps them improve their communication skills as they work together to form the correct shapes.

15. Through The Loop

Group size: 8 to 12

What it is: All team members have to pass through a loop. After their first attempt, challenge them to complete the activity in a faster time.

Why it’s great for kids: While this is a simple activity, it’s a good way to encourage kids to display teamwork. Plus, they will love the challenge of trying to complete the game more quickly!

16. All Tied Up

Group size: 4 to 12

What it is: Give the team a task to complete. Sounds simple? The catch is that everyone is tied together by their wrists.

Why it’s great for kids: This game can be a barrel of laughs for youngsters as they try to do a simple task while connected by their wrists. The activity teaches them the value of teamwork and the need to communicate well.

17. Team Shield

Group size: 3 -4 in each sub-team

What it is: Each sub-team is tasked with creating their own team shield (this can be based on any topic that you would like to focus on).

Why it’s great for kids: Kids loving making things so this artsy activity is a fun way to promote teamwork and creative thinking.

18. Lava Flow

Group size: 8 to 12

What it is: The team has to cross a ‘lava flow’ using only the ‘platforms’ provided. Each team member is given one platform to use in the crossing and participants must stay in contact with each platform or else they will be ‘swept away’ by the ‘lava’.

Why it’s great for kids: This imaginative game gives kids the chance to be creative and pick up problem-solving skills. As the success of the activity depends on all team members crossing safely, the activity also promotes teamwork and cooperation.

19. Leaky Pipe

Group size: 8 to 12

What it is: Using only limited resources, teams compete to see who can retrieve a ping-pong ball from a pipe that is leaking with water. The first team to do so wins!

Why it’s great for kids: This is a water-based challenge so kids will instantly be excited about the prospect of getting wet during the game! The leaky pipe allows kids to practise teamwork and cooperation, and use their creative thinking to reach the goal of retrieving the ping-pong ball.

20. Move Tennis Balls

Group size: 3 to 10

What it is: Without using their hands or arms, the group has to move tennis balls from one bucket to another.

Why it’s great for kids: This activity encourages creative thinking as kids try to think of new and different ways to complete the task. It also teaches kids how to better communicate with their peers.

Conclusion: Keep it simple for kids!

Team building games for kids can be a lot of fun! Use simple activities with attainable goals and play up the fun factor in the activity to ensure that the kids are participating and engaged.

 

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