How to be together—one of the best lessons we can ever teach our kids.
The good news is, team building activities for kids don’t have to feel like a chore.
They can actually be fun for everyone involved.
And the skills these activities teach us are vital.
This study, conducted over a period of 20 years, shows there is a significant link between social-emotional skills in kindergarten and life as an adult, affecting everything from your future work to your mental health.
The bottom line is, team building matters—and the effects of starting young are seen way down the line.
But where do you even begin?
What are some group activities for kids that really capture their attention and make them feel like they’re part of something greater?
Let’s take a look.
What activities are good for team building?
When deciding on great team building activities for kids, these three L’s can come in pretty handy:
- Listening: One of the greatest reasons to involve kids in group activities is to get them to practice their listening skills. This means not only listening to instructions from adults but also listening to each other.
- Learning: Kids are curious. They want to learn new things. If an activity engages their minds and imaginations, they are more likely to stick with it. But there’s a balance to strike here. If the task appears to be too hard, they might give up before they start. The Goldilocks Principle is good to follow here—not too hard, not too easy, but just right.
- Loving: The plan is to come out with a greater sense of friendship and unity than when they went in. If an activity teaches kids how to love each other, then that’s a win.
So what game teaches kids to work together?
Well, there are many that might work.
And not to worry, you’ll know pretty quickly what’s working and what’s not.
Kids generally don’t like to keep these things a secret.
Here are our favorites.
20 teambuilding games for kids
Inside or outdoors, there is much fun to be had.
10 team building games for kids indoors
Scavenger hunt. Create a list of items. You can keep it really general—something green, something that starts with the letter B, something that has a number on it. The kids’ job is to find something for every item on the list. (This game can be played indoors or outdoors.)
Hot seat. Divide the kids up into two teams. One kid in Team One sits in the hot seat. Give the rest of Team One a word. (You can write it down for them or whisper it in their ears.) Without saying the word or spelling it out, the team has to give clues to the kid in the hot seat until they can guess the word.
Silent line. Get the kids to arrange themselves according to an order that you give them, for example, tallest to shortest, alphabetical order, or according to their ages. The real challenge? They have to arrange themselves without speaking.
Puzzle pros. Cut up a picture into smaller pieces and rearrange them. Get the kids to work together to get the picture back to its former glory. For an added challenge, get them to do it silently.
Memory madness. Tell the kids you are preparing for a picnic. Everyone has to bring something. The first person in the circle has to bring something with an “A.” The next person has to bring something with a “B,” etc. The real challenge? Everyone has to remember what the previous people are bringing and say each item aloud before they get to tell you what their contribution is.
Writing with their bodies. This one is great for kids who are learning their letters. Get them to spell out a word with their bodies, each kid as one letter in the word.
Story chain. Cut up a comic strip or pictures that look like they could be part of the same story. Each kid gets a picture. One kid starts the story based on their picture. The next kid follows, based on theirs. Together, they form a story chain.
Common threads. Divide the kids up into pairs. Ask them to interview each other. Each pair has to find a list of three common threads that they share with their partner.
The artist’s guide. Divide up into pairs. One part of the pair has to instruct the other how to draw a specific object—without saying the object’s name.
Karaoke. Always fun—and you don’t need a fancy set up. There are so many videos online of well-known songs. 🎶
Here are some more ideas for indoor fun.
10 outdoor team building activities for kids
- Knot it up. Getting yourself out of the famous human knot requires expert collaboration. It goes like this. Have the kids stand in a circle. Everyone gently takes hold of someone else’s wrist, but not the people right next to them. By the time everyone has hold of two other people, a tangle will have formed. Now they have to untangle themselves—but without letting go. They have to work together.
- Be each other’s eyes. Pair up. One of each pair has to close their eyes. The other has to be their guide through whatever space they’re in. They have to go slowly and carefully and try not to bump into anyone or anything.
- Protect the castle. Create a small “castle” out of objects. (Cones and/or bowling pins work well.) Divide up the kids into two teams. One team has the job of protecting the castle, the other of trying to knock it down. The protectors have to work together to keep the castle safe.
- Don’t drop the ball. Stand in a circle. Pass the ball to anyone who is not directly next to you. See how long you can keep the ball going. The trick? You cannot speak.
- Obstacle course. Take a team building spin on an age-old favorite. Create an obstacle course that the kids have to get through as a team. They have to help each other up and around and in and out. They have to all get through to be successful.
Here are some other fun activities to do together that help with some serious bonding:
- Three-legged races 🦵🏾🦵🏾🦵🏾
- Gardening 🥕
- Hiking 🥾
- Learning a dance together 🕺🏾
- A team sport like soccer, basketball, or softball 🏏 🏐
And you can head here for more ideas.
And then, join the conversation on Peanut and see what great ideas other mamas have come up with.
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