22 Fun Team Building Games & Activities for Kids

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Teamwork is a very important aspect for kids to learn, especially as it pertains to sports and other kids activities. Below we break down 5 super fun team building activities for kids that can be done in any place: summer cap, school, the park, or your backyard. But before we review our favorite kids team building activities and games, we’d like to quickly discuss their importance:

Why are Team Building Activities Beneficial for Kids?

Kids between the age of 7 and 13 are starting to discover that they have a real curiosity about the world, with an understand that they have some independence as well. In order to fuse together these two notions of curiosity and independence, kids need to learn skills. And because kids are often with other kids, they need to learn how to do activities with other kids. Call it a team.

Any coach or parent knows that in order for a team to succeed (measured by satisfaction, fulfillment, and skill learning for kids), it is important to attain chemistry. Kids need to learn how to play with each other, how to help each other, how to have fun together, and how to learn skills together. That is why team building activities for kids is an important aspect for kids development. Without further ado, we break down our 5 favorite kinds team building activities and games:


7 Classic Fun Team-Building Activities & Games For Kids of All Ages

Here are a few awesome team-based activities and games that your kids will both enjoy and learn a lot from:

1) Group Jump Rope

Image from Flickr, used with Creative Commons License

One might think that a jump rope is a solo sport or active activity for kids. In reality, however, it can be used as an awesome team kids’ building activity. First, you’ll need a really large jump rope, and ideally two adults or teens. Each adult and/or teen then holds the end of each side of the jump rope. The kids (depending on the length of the jump rope) then stand in the middle and jump together as the adults/teens swing the jump rope! It’s a great game because it is super simple, but also requires coordination and symmetry between two kids. It probably makes sense to start small with just two kids. And if there are many kids, then you can try competition, and score each pair of kids on how many successful jumps they land, or how long they can last without getting tangled up.

2) Human Knot Kids Version

The famous human knot game is often tried with adults in co-working environments, but it is actually quite a fun and useful kids team building game and activity. Basically, have a group of kids sit together in a circle, ideally a minimum of 5-6 kids. Have each kid randomly grab (lightly!) someone else’s wrist and hold onto it. Once everyone’s wrists are accounted for, instruct the kids to try and untangle themselves, but without letting go of anyone’s wrists! This is a really fun game which borders on strategy and chaos. Obviously it is important to warn the kids to play this game slowly and gingerly, so that no one gets hurt. In some cases, it might be preferred to allow kids to release a wrist in order to properly untangle themselves. This is a great team building game for kids because it forces kids to work together toward a solution that everyone is aiming toward.

To make this kids game even more of a team building activity, you can instruct the kids that they cannot speak – thereby forcing them to strategize with body language, which likely increase the team chemistry that the game sets out to teach.

3) Traffic Lights!

This is a classic team building kids’ game which can be modified to increase the chemistry and team building between kids. The classic version involves an adult standing at the head of a room, intermittently shouting out ‘RED’, ‘YELLOW’, or ‘GREEN’. The kids stand at the opposite side of the room, and can run forward on GREEN, must stop at RED, and can walk slowly on YELLOW. The kids’ twist is to have a kid become the traffic light. And if there are enough kids, then they can be broken up into two separate teams. And the team that completes the Traffic Lights challenge first, by getting all kids to their side first, wins! The team building aspect here is that the traffic light representative is on the other team, and the kids trying to race across the room are not racing against each-other, but rather collectively, in order to beat the other team of racers. This way instead of competing with each-other, they must collectively defeat the traffic light, and the other team.

 

4) Forehead Dots

This is a really easy activity game to set up, but really hard for kids to solve! That’s precisely why this is a great team building activitiy for kids. Each kid gets a colored dot, which is then lightly taped onto their forehead. Each kid must then figure out what color dot is on their forehead, but obviously without asking any other kids for help. Depending on the number of kids, there will be only a few colored dots (so a few kids will have the same color). This is a great team building game, because it forces kids to communicate non verbally. The first team that arrives together (with the correct colored dots on their heads) is the winner!

5) Birthday Line-Up

You may have noticed a theme with our team building for kids activities: the fewer words spoken, the more effective the game. And that is no different for Birthday line-up, in which kids are assembled into a group and must line up according to the order of their birthdays. Obviously it would be very difficult for kids to get this 100% correct on their first try, but it would not be outrageous for kids to get a sense of a general idea of each other’s birthdays by moving toward certain areas on the line. To make the game more compelling, give kids 1 minute to line up the first time, then observe the final line-up and tell them which kids are out of place, then give them an additional minute to fix the positioning.

6) Trust Walk

This is a classic kids’ team building activity which can be done in either pairs or groups. The ideal playing area is a safe, enclosed outdoors area (like a backyard or small park), in which there is a start area and finish area. One kid is blindfolded and spun around (not too fast – we don’t any kids getting dizzy!). Move the kid around a few steps so that he isn’t in the same exact position as he was before. Then have another kid come over and act as a guide. The guide must get the blindfolded kid to get to the finish area – but he can’t touch him, and can only give verbal cues. To make the game more difficult, (and meaningful in terms of building team chemistry and such), the guide can’t use any directional language. So instead of simply saying “go forward 5 steps, then go left five steps”, the guide can only say directives such as “walk until you step on a branch”, followed by “now head toward the tree”, and the kid will be guided by the location of the voice of the guide. This game can be mixed up a bit to include multiple players, making it trickier and more competitive.

7) Finger Tip Hula Hoop

There are a number of awesome hula hoop games which really pushes kids to work together and build chemistry. Our favorite is the helium hoop game, in which kids must work together as a group in order to lower the hula hoop to the ground. Every kid must only use their index fingers to lower the hoop (in unison) to the ground. Check out this great video below which shows how the finger tip helium hula hoop game is a great way to build team chemistry for kids:

Indoor Team Building Games for Kids

Raining outside? Stuck inside for whatever reason? No problem – there are plenty of awesome and fun indoor team building games for kids. The games listed above may apply here, but if you’re looking for games and activities that are exclusive for the indoors or a gym, then here are 3 great choices:

  1. Cops and Robbers: This classic gym game is also an underrated team building game that kids will almost always love! The kids who are labeled as cops must work together to corral all the robbers behind the cones. Teamwork at its finest!
  2. Protect the Castle: Though not as well known as Cops and Robbers, this fun kids team building game makes kids coordinate amongst each-other in order to successfully knock over all the targets. Read the instructions here.
  3. Sink the Ship: The indoor team building game for kids requires a gymnasium, but is a highly entertaining game which requires teamwork and working together. See the tutorial video here.

Outdoor Team Building Games for Kids

Things are always more fun outside, whether its the sunshine or the cool breeze flowing through a park or a field. Outdoor activities are always more fun and adventurous. Often times, sports provide the best team building exercises. Get your kids together for these awesome outdoor games which should help with teamwork and team building chemistry and rapport:

  1. Basketball passing lanes: If you can secure an outdoor court, have your kids line up on opposite ends of the court, and then instruct the kids to start running in the same direction. The premise is for each kid to pass the ball and to never hold it for more than 1 second. This forces the kids to constantly be looking for teammates, and to securely pass them the ball.
  2. Soccer passing lanes: This game is the same premise as above, but replace the basketball with a soccer ball. This is obviously trickier, since catching a soccer ball with legs is harder than catching a basketball with hands. To improve the quality of play, have the kids stand closer to each other so that the passing goes off in a simpler format.
  3. Tag with a twist: Set up a normal game of tag, but instead of one kid being “it”, there will be a two kids who will be “it”. This forces the pair to chase other kids together, and in order to tag someone, both of the pair must successfully tag the target. This forces the pair to work together and build chemistry and rapport.

Team Building Activities for Pre-Schoolers

Pre-school kids have all the fun in the world – no class, no homework, and tons of fun activities! Pre-school officially starts at age 2 1/2, which is around the time your toddler starts to grow into a kid. This formative age can definitely benefit from team building activities for pre-school level toddlers and kids – check out 3 great choices below:

  1. Duck Duck Goose: No pre-school activity list would be complete without Duck Duck Goose – a classic game that every toddler needs to play. Though this game can get chaotic pretty quickly, it plants the seeds for early team building development among toddlers and kids.
  2. Group Juggling: Though it is likely that your pre-schooler isn’t truly able to juggle, that is okay. This game will enrapture kids – learning to juggle for the first time, and having to work together, creates a very valuable and fun educational scenario where kids are learning new skills but must work together to succeed.
  3. Three Legged Race: Another classic pre-school game that helps create teamwork among kids. By attaching kids at the ankles, they must work together to succeed in what ends up being a fun and funny scenario.

Team Building Activities for KS2 Middle Schoolers

Middle school, also known as KS2, is a ripe age for team building activities and games, in that kids can benefit at a rapid pace, because they are experiencing critical thinking for the first time. If you’re a teacher, educator, or parent looking for interesting games or activities which will help develop chemistry, collaboration, rapport, and team building among middle school or KS2 students and kids, then take a look at these below:

  1. Minefield: There is a lot of freedom and creativity that can be employed here by the teacher, but the basic premise is to divide students into two teams, in which they must navigate an obstacle course while blindfolded. Teamwork is crucial here, as teammates must help guide eachother in order to successfully navigate the obstacle course.
  2. Treasure Hunt: As with Minefield, there is no shortage to the creative direction that a teacher can mold this game. The great thing about Treasure Hunt is that any item at home or in the classroom can be used, and hidden, and allow for middle schoolers to team up and work together in an effort to find all the treasures.
  3. Hot Seat: This kids game is more for the classroom, and is better for smaller class sizes. Hot Seat is a great team building middle school game because it teaches vocabulary, but also allows for plenty of excitement in a musical chairs-style format for kids to get their energy going in the classroom. Check out the rules here.

Team Building Exercises for Siblings

Siblings spend a lot of time together as it is. And yet, as a parent, you might still feel the need to strengthen your kids relationships with each-other, which is why team building activities for siblings can be both fun and effective. These activities will provide for some healthy competition, but also strengthen the bonding between kids.

  1. Freeze Dance: This is a uniquely fun game for siblings to play at home. Simply turn on the music and let the siblings dance. Then turn it off suddenly, and the kids must freeze – whoever doesn’t freeze gets a point! The reason this is a great sibling game is because kids are more comfortable to let loose while at home among just family. This dance game will increase bonding and comfortability among siblings and family.
  2. Scavenger Hunt: A home is the perfect place for a scavenger hunt! This is because there are many nooks and crannies that only a resident would be able to figure out. Have the parent hide a few treasures around the home, and have the siblings work together to figure out clues to locate where the treasures are buried!
  3. Puzzles: This more of a niche than a specific game, but puzzles are very beneficial toward kids learning to work together as a team. And if it’s a rainy day at home, then a large puzzle is a great activity for your kids to sit around and play. The slow pace of the puzzle forces your kids and siblings to work together for long stretches, with patience, until they finish.

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