An important part of childhood development is learning social skills, cooperation and the dynamics of working in a team. Children respond well to learning activities that involve fun and games. Team building games are an effective way to help kids learn the social interactive skills they will need through adulthood such as responsibility, appreciation for others and compromise. According to Alanna Jones, author of "Team-Building Activities For Every Group," team building activities promote camaraderie, cooperation while enhancing team cohesion.
"Mine Field" is a team building game for small or large groups of children that you can add your own rules, rewards or consequences to. The main object of the game is to have children work together to reach a goal, making it through the mine field. In a spacious area, create a make-believe minefield by placing random objects like cones, pillows, bowling pins or toys. Divide groups of children into pairs and allow them a few moments to discuss and plan their strategy. Blindfold one child from each pair and begin the game. The blindfolded children must walk from one end of the make-believe minefield to the other while being vocally guided his partner who is able to see the items. Because the blindfolded child is fully dependent on his partner he learns to rely on a team mate to accomplish a goal, while the child "guide" learns a lesson in responsibility and helping others.
"Human Sculptures" involves teamwork from beginning to end in a charade-like theme. By setting open ended goals, children learn to verbally consult with one another to come up with ideas to succeed as a team. Divide children into two teams and have each team choose a leader. Give each leader a pen and paper. Team leaders must collaborate to establish a category of interest that will be the topic of each round, such as celebrities, zoo animals or popular films. Have the two separate teams then collaborate to choose a related theme to use to create a human body sculpture, write it on a piece of paper, and return the paper to you. Each team will form a human body sculpture that represents the idea written on the paper, while the other team tries to guess what it is. For example, if the main topic is "cartoons" and a team chooses "King Of The Hill," team members may lay over each other in a hill-like pile while one team member climbs to the top to represent the "King."
To Be Or Knot To Be
This team building game promotes problem solving skills and encourages kids to work together to overcome obstacles. Assemble a group of 12 or more children and have them stand in a circle facing each other. Instruct them to close their eyes and extend their right hand. Each child must use their right hand to grab onto the hand of another. While retaining this position, the children open their eyes and use their left hands to connect with a different child. No child should be holding both hands of another. Each child must be holding on to two other children. Once all the children are connected by both hands and have formed a "human knot," they must work together to untangle themselves without letting go of one another's hands. You should soon witness considerable communication and strategy formulation among the children as they try to free themselves from the "knot."