Here is our list of the best team building games and activities for kids.
Team building ideas for kids are games and activities that promote communication and develop relationships among children. For example, Cross the River, Stranded, and Circle Sit. These activities aim to teach kids essential skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Team sports, group projects, and work environments require teamwork, and children must practice these skills to be successful.
This list includes:
- Team building activities for the classroom
- Kid-friendly team building activities
- Team building games for children
- Virtual team building ideas for kids
Here we go!
List of team building ideas for kids
Teamwork is an essential aspect of childhood development. Whether kids are in school, on a sports team, or simply hanging out with friends, a group component requires social interaction. Here is a list of the best team building exercises for children.
1. Virtual Bingo for Kids
Sometimes kids must be remote, whether for social distancing reasons in school or for health issues. Whatever the case, virtual team building ideas for kids can help bridge the gap in relationships so often noticed in remote settings.
One of the best remote games kids can play is Virtual Bingo. In this event, a teacher or leader will share a Bingo board with each participant filled with prompts noticed during a virtual class.
As kids notice or complete these tasks, they mark off the spot on the board. Virtual Bingo is a creative way to get kids involved and keep their interest.
For more ideas, check out this online icebreaker Bingo generator.
2. Human Knot
Most adults are aware of the human knot. This game is a common activity in workplaces. The Human Knot also happens to be one of the most fun, kid-friendly team building activities. This event teaches communication and reliance on teammates. The human knot should also induce giggles from kids trying to untangle themselves.
To play this game:
- Ask five to eight kids to volunteer, or create small groups of the same number.
- Have the children sit together in a tight circle, touching their shoulders and legs.
- Ask all the participants to put their hands in the middle. Then, each child should carefully grab the wrist of another player in the group.
- Once kids form the knot, ask them to gently and considerately untangle themselves without letting go.
This process will require strategy and communication. If necessary, then a child can briefly let go of a wrist to untangle, yet should immediately grab the same wrist again.
To make this game a bit more challenging, ask participants to communicate without words.
Here is a guide to doing the human knot.
3. Protect the Castle
Any game where kids get to throw balls at each other is likely to be a hit. Protect the Castle is one of the best team building ideas for kids because it allows children to be physically active while developing skills and ideas necessary for life. This game is best when played in a gym or an ample open space, like a park.
To set up Protect the Castle:
- Use cones to create a small circle. The size of the circle will depend on the number of players.
- It is best to have four or five players immediately around the circle while the rest of the players, no more than 10 or 12, are farther away.
- The game’s goal is for the participants on the outside of the circle to throw soft, squishy balls and knock over all the cones.
- The players in the middle attempt to block and deflect throws to save the castle.
Once players knock all the cones over, you can switch around the teams and play again. The players trying to break down the castle must work together to find the best way in. Meanwhile, the kids protecting the castle will be more successful with a coordinated plan.
4. Puzzle Challenge
One of the easiest team building activities for the classroom is a puzzle challenge. This activity is great for when a teacher has limited time or budget. In this competition, students work in pairs or small groups to build puzzles in a race against the rest of the class. Puzzle building in groups requires communication and teamwork.
To set up this challenge, put students in groups of two or three. Then, give each group a puzzle to build. While all the puzzles do not need to be the same, they do need to be of equal difficulty and size. When all the students have a table and their puzzles, start the game and see who can complete their puzzles first.
Check out this list of puzzle games for team building.
5. Trust Walk
The trust walk requires clear and concise communication along with dependence on teammates. Depending on the number of children present, you can organize the trust walk in pairs or groups. You will also need an open space, like a park, backyard, or gym.
To set up a trust walk, set a start and a finish line with a few obstacles on the track. The more impediments there are, the more the teams must communicate. Then, place a blindfold on one teammate. For older kids, spin the blindfolded participant around to disorient them. The other part of the pair is the guide, and must only use their voice and clear instructions to help their partner get from start to finish.
Depending on the ages, consider setting strict rules for the types of clues allowed. For example, not allowing directional language makes the trust walk more difficult.
Here are more trust-building exercises.
6. Circle Sit
Circle Sit is one of the funniest team building games for children because it pushes participants out of their comfort zone slightly while teaching the importance of trust. This game is also silly, and kids usually get a good laugh out of it.
To play Circle Sit, ask a group of kids to stand in a circle facing each other. You need at least three to six participants, but you can add more if needed. Next, ask team members in the circle to rotate 90 degrees to their left. Now, participants should be staring at the back of the head in front of them. Be sure kids are very close to each other, then ask them to sit down. The circle supports all participants if everyone sits slowly and simultaneously. Each kid holds up the player in front of them.
In the end, encourage children to take caution standing up so that no one falls over.
7. Cross the River
Cross the River requires both teamwork and strategy. Children must work together to get across a pretend river using only the supplies given by the teacher or adult. To win, each kid must get across the river in a set amount of time.
To set up this game:
- Use tape or chalk to create two parallel lines for the edges of the river. The larger you make the river, the harder the game will be.
- Give kids some larger pieces of cardboard to use as rafts. Of course, you need to have more kids than rafts to encourage creative thinking.
- Place rules on raft use, as well. For example, an unattended raft will float away, or a raft with more than two players will sink.
- Set a timer for participants to get all kids across the river.
To create a challenge, divide kids into groups and see who can get their team across first.
8. Floating Hula Hoop
Team building activities for the classroom require special planning, as there is not always ample space for games. However, Floating Hula Hoop is perfect for a classroom because it only requires three or four kids along with a hula hoop. During this event, participants must work together using clear communication.
To play Floating Hula Hoop, have players stand in a circle. Then, give participants a hula hoop they must hold up between them using only the fingertip of their index fingers. The group must lower the hula hoop from eye level to the ground in unison. If the players do not work together, then the hula hoop may fall. This event builds chemistry as they must read the body language of teammates as well as listen to each other.
9. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fantastic team-building activity for kids because participants must work together to solve various clues and puzzles to find items. Kids can play this game indoors or outdoors, and it is excellent for larger groups. A scavenger hunt takes some planning to prepare, but the results are worth it.
To plan a scavenger hunt for kids, consider clues and puzzles easy for younger players to solve. Also, be aware of the number of participants and the ages when choosing how many items players must find. For older kids, you can include group tasks like performing a certain dance together and filming it. For younger kids, it is best to stick with more concrete tasks, like finding a red fruit.
As kids work together to complete the scavenger hunt, they will have to work together while communicating clearly.
Check out this list of photo scavenger hunt ideas.
If you are looking for a game that teaches resourcefulness and teamwork, then Stranded is the answer. In this game, children must work together with only the supplies around them to save their friends from a deserted island.
To play Stranded, tape off a corner of the room. This area will be a deserted island. Two or three students are stuck on this island and need the help of the rest of the group to get off. Then, tape a line 10 or 15 feet away as the ship. All the other children must work together using only items from their clothes and desks to create a line to toss to the stranded kids. For example, rescuers can use shoelaces, jackets, and paper. Once the line is long enough to reach from the ship to the island, the rescuers will try to pull the stranded kids to safety.
11. Do Not Wake the Dragon
In this creative game, kids must solve a problem or task without verbal communication. Because you are adding a fun element, namely not waking up a sleeping dragon, kids are extra aware of their actions. When there is an intense consequence, even though it is silly in this case, the game becomes more fun, and kids try harder.
To play Do Not Wake the Dragon, an adult or child pretends to be a sleeping dragon on one side of a room. On the other side of the room, the other kids are villagers and must perform a task silently, so the dragon stays asleep. This task can be to line up in a particular order, like from oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest, or group by birth month. Once the villagers complete their task, they must yell to wake up the dragon and scare him or her away.
12. Group Jump Rope
Finding an activity that combines teamwork with physical activity has double benefits for children. Organizing a group jump rope session is the perfect solution. In this activity, kids must work together to stay in tune and not come in contact with the swinging rope.
For this game, you need an open space, a very long rope or jump rope, and two adults to swing the rope. After the adults get the rope moving, ask one child to jump in. Once they get the rhythm, another kid should jump in. The goal is to add as many jumpers as possible and see how long they can go. As children join in, they must work together and stay in sync.
13. Lego Challenge
Legos are a longtime favorite of kids and adults alike. These interlocking bricks are also great for team building. In this challenge, children must work together to build a specific design in a set amount of time. Kids will practice clear communication and teamwork in this event.
To set up a lego challenge, divide your group into teams of two to four. Then, give the groups directions on what to build. For example, you can ask teams to build the most creative house or bridge. Or, show builders a picture of a pre-built design and ask them to recreate it. To make the challenge harder, you can briefly show participants a model and then ask them to build from memory.
14. Virtual DIY Craft Challenge
One fun virtual activity is a DIY Craft Challenge. There are multiple ways to complete this activity, all of which require basic items participants should find at home—for example, paper, straws, cardboard boxes, markers, or toilet paper rolls.
The first way to play this game is to have kids build the same craft with step-by-step instructions. All team members work on the same design and can ask each other for help.
Or give each player a list of items they can use. Then, set a time limit for participants to develop the most creative design using only the available supplies. After the time is up, kids can show off their creations, and everyone votes on their favorite.
For inspiration, check out online group art classes.
Kids must develop certain skills to be successful on teams. Most teachers, coaches, and parents would describe a successful team or group of kids by the level of satisfaction and fulfillment along with skills learned. When kids learn how to work as part of a group at a young age, they will have an easier time as adults in the office. If you can make team building games for children fun, then they will have a blast while learning essential and lifelong skills.
We also have a list of take your kid to work day ideas.