Whether you are coaching a youth sports team, or you lead your child's scout troop, getting kids to work together as a team can be difficult at first. Spending time together as a group helps foster relationships and builds trust amongst the kids. Team-building activities can also help kids learn how to work together and strategize to find successful solutions. Choose activities that allow the children to learn team-building skills while also giving back to those in need.
Team Park Clean-up
Contact your city government to see if there is a neglected park in your area that your team of kids can help to clean up. The kids can pick up trash, repaint benches and perhaps plant flowers. You can divide the kids up into small teams to accomplish different tasks and turn it into a little competition to see which team can work together best to get their tasks done first. You can also have a fundraiser if the park needs major improvements or even just minor improvements like more trash cans. Give the kids the responsibility of coming up with a fundraising plan, encouraging them to work together to develop the best idea.
Food Shelter Support
Work with a local food pantry or shelter in need of food supplies. Divide the kids into teams to get donations of canned and non-perishable food items from the neighborhood. They should spend at least a week working on getting as many donations as possible. Older kids can come up with their own strategies for getting donations, including going door to door with an adult, asking for donations from local grocery stores and having a drive at school. Younger kids may need more adult guidance. At the end of the week, the team with the most donations wins recognition, but if all teams successfully worked together, everyone should be recognized. You can also turn this into a team challenge, with teams racing to fill up the most boxes to take to the food shelter.
Team Obstacle Courses
For a cool fundraiser that also requires a lot of team work, have the kids create an obstacle course using any type of materials they can procure, from cardboard boxes to tables to plastic hoops. You can either have the whole team work together on the course or divide the kids up into smaller teams to work on different courses. Have the kids test their courses to make sure everything works right, then invite other kids to try out their obstacle course, for a donation of any amount. Ideally the course should be made so that adults can go through too, which will likely be the source of larger donations. They can time participants and keep record of the top times. That way, kids can encourage their parents to donate and participate. If the obstacle course is in an indoor location, try to keep it up for a while to maximize the amount of donations possible.
Tasty Team Building
Work with a local senior center or other charity that will accept donated baked goods. Have a cupcake decorating competition where small teams have to fill a cupcake tree with cupcakes that have been neatly decorated with frosting. Have the prepared cupcakes and the frosting ready so that the kids only have to squeeze the frosting onto the cupcakes from a pastry bag. One adult should be assigned to each team to make sure all cupcakes look decent. The team who gets done first wins. They should then help the other teams finish, which also demonstrates that they have the ability to work together in the larger group, as a team, for the common goal. Make enough so that the kids can have at least one before donating the rest. You could also have team bake sales, with teams coming up with the best advertising strategy to get people to buy their cupcakes.