Team building is essential for a positive classroom environment. Children tend to enjoy school more when they have healthy relationships with their peers. The relationships enhance learning, and assists in helping the kids prepare for later on in life. In this article, you will read about various activities to promote team-building in elementary-aged children.
Zip Zag Zop
Place the children in a circle. One starts by saying, "zig" and looking at another child in the circle. That selected child says, "zag" while looking at another one. Now the third child says, "zop" while looking at another and pointing to them with a fully extended arm. Only the "zop" child has the arm motion. If one moves their arm on "zig" or "zag" they is out and must leave the circle. If the child does not move their arm on "zop" they are also out. For older children, the game can be sped up, and if one hesitates, they are out.
I'm Going on a Picnic...
Place the children in a circle. The first child starts by saying "My name is (their name) and I am bringing (food item that starts with the letter of their first name) The next child the their right does the same thing, then says the first child's name and what they're bringing. Here's an example: (first child) "My name is Emily and I am bringing eggs" (second child) "My name is Bobby and I'm bringing bananas and Emily is bringing eggs." (third child) "My name is Thomas and I'm bringing tomatoes, bobby is bringing bananas, and emily is bringing eggs" and so on until the circle is completed. If a child forgets one's name or object, they are out. At the end, kids can be called on to see if they remember all the circle's names and objects.
Let's Play Ball!
Get a ball, or another object with the children standing in a circle. The first child throws the ball to another, and this continues until everyone has gotten a turn, then the ball is thrown back to the first child. The order must be remembered, because the object of the game is to improve the time going in the same order every round.
Doing a Puzzle
Evenly divide two identical simple(or complex, depending on age) puzzles between two teams of children. Then set a stopwatch, and the children must work together to assemble the puzzles. The first team done wins.
Start with each child getting assigned a number. One child begins and throws the ball up into the sky as high as possible while yelling one of the numbers. The rest of the players run as far from the ball as possible, but the child whose number was called must catch the ball and then yell, "Team!" All the runners must freeze once this is yelled. This child now takes three large steps towards any of the frozen runners and proceeds to throw the ball at them. The targeted splayer is allowed to dodge the ball with any body part, but cannot move the feet. If they are hit, the earn the letter "T" from T-E-A-M and becomes the thrower. If the child misses, they get the letter and continue as the thrower until they don't miss. When a child gets all the letters from TEAM, they are out. The game continues until the winner is the only one left.
Never Have I Ever...
Place the children in a circle. Have them all hold all 10 fingers out. One starts by saying "Never have I ever (something they've never done)" Any children who have done this put a finger down. Any child who runs out of fingers is out.
Set up an obstacle course, and divide the students into pairs. One is blindfolded, and the other one must give verbal instructions to get the child through the course. The team with the fastest time wins.
Give each student a piece of paper, and blindfold them. Instruct them tyo fold the paper in half twice, then fold a triangle and rip off the remaining paper. Instruct them to take off the blindfolds and show their triangles. This activity represents how everybody is different.
Create Your Own Activity
Arrange the children into small groups. Intruct them to create a team building activity, and then bring all the children back togethert again and have the groups teach the others the activity. At the end, a discussion with likes and dislikes about each activity is advised.