Team building activities for kids play a significant role in developing life skills. Plus, they are fun and create a positive environment for personal growth and friendship.
In the classroom, on a sports team, during an extracurricular activity, or at home, incorporate team building activities to encourage kids and teens to work together!
What are easy Team-Building Exercises?
I taught elementary school for 12 years. I consistently found that team building made the entire group stronger and more efficient while working toward a shared goal. Additionally, they feel a sense of belonging when working together.
These team building activities for kids and teens will:
- Build trust
- Boost collaboration
- Lead to better performance
- Improve communication and relationships
- Enhance problem-solving skills
- Improve social skills
- Increase self-esteem and confidence
Be creative and tweak as needed for your group size, space, and available materials. While these team building activities are geared toward kids and teens, many of them can be used for adults as well.
Outdoor Team Building Activities For Kids
Head outside where you have plenty of space to introduce these fun team building activities for kids.
1. Over, Under, Through
This game can be played with a hula hoop OR by just holding hands with 3 kids per group.
Two kids hold the hula hoop and the third child follows the direction that is called out.
- Over: Step over the hula hoop
- Under: Go under the hula hoop
- Through: Go through the hula hoop
Once kids understand the directions, call out a variation of the words.
Examples: “Under, through, over,” or under, through, through.” You don’t have to use all three directions each round.
An entire round is over when each child in the group has done the three directions. Kids have to work together to figure out how to get everyone over, under, and through, the fastest. The first team to finish and sit down wins! Switch up teams and keep playing!
2. Obstacle Course
Use whatever equipment you have and make a simple or more complex obstacle course.
- stepping stones
- things to climb over and under
- hay bales
Divide into teams and time the participants to see what team can make it through the quickest.
*Have kids work together to create obstacle courses for other teams too.
3. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is an engaging outdoor activity for kids to encourage teamwork and problem-solving.
Use this outdoor nature scavenger hunt printable tailored by age for preschool, elementary-age kids, and teenagers. Or, try this beach scavenger hunt.
Several team-building games can be played with only a parachute.
- While holding the parachute handles, roll the ball and keep it on the parachute at all times! (Try adding more than one ball.)
- Lift the parachute from the ground to overhead on the count of 3. Then, everyone crouches down quickly at once to create a mushroom effect with the parachute.
- Play parachute tag. Lift the parachute high overhead, call out a child’s name, and have them run to the other side before the parachute comes down and tags them. Or call out different colors of the parachute and the children holding those colors run and find a new spot.
5. Hula Hoop Pass
Have kids stand side by side in a line and hold hands. Place the hula hoop on the arm of the player standing at the beginning. Move the hula hoop to the end of the line without letting go of hands.
6. Balloon Walk Relay
Split kids into two teams. The object of this relay game is to walk beside another teammate holding the balloon between your shoulders to the end of the relay and back.
No hands are allowed! Can you do it without dropping or popping the balloon?
7. Three-Legged Relay
Divide into pairs. Attach a band to one of the legs of each individual in the pair. Make it to the end of the relay and back as quickly as possible while working together!
8. Wheelbarrow Relay
Divide the group into two teams. Each team will divide into pairs. One player is the wheelbarrow. The other player grabs the wheelbarrow player’s feet and they use their hands to walk toward the end of the relay and back. The first team to finish all players is the winner.
For a fun variation, have the wheelbarrow person pick up something with his/her mouth to take back to the starting line. (Make sure this object is not something that they can choke on!)
9. Create a Chalk Mural
Provide each team with colored chalk and a specified section of sidewalk to use as a canvas. Give teams a time limit and have them work together to create a mural. If needed, give a theme for the murals.
When all murals are complete, do a gallery walk to visit each mural and have the creators explain their ideas.
10. Treasure Hunt
Hide clues or objects around a designated area and challenge kids to use their problem-solving skills and teamwork to uncover them.
Another variation is to have one team create a map and challenge another team to find the treasure based on the map. The map could contain natural landmarks, compass directions, and other ways to pinpoint treasure.
11. Ultimate Nerf Battle
Gather up Nerf guns and darts to set up the ultimate Nerf gun battle. Create obstacles out of boxes and switch up the teams so everyone has a chance to work with one another.
12. Tug of War
For the ultimate team building and comradery game, grab a rope, divide into two equal teams, and play tug of war!
13. Rope Games
Grab a rope and try out these variations for team building fun:
- Knot rope game: Knots are tied about two feet apart on a rope. Everyone selects a knot and holds the rope beside that knot. The team must work together to untie all of the knots without letting go of the knot part of the rope they are holding. Each person must only use one hand to help out teammates and get their own knot untied.
- Rope race: Make tag harder by including a rope. Connect rope in circles, squares, or lines. Someone is chosen to be the tagger. They must chase people only on the rope lines and there is no pushing or passing.
- Helicopter: One person stands in the middle with the rope. Other players stand 5-10 feet away in a circle around the center person. The player with the rope on the ground starts to swing the rope in a circle on the ground. Other players have to jump over the rope to stay in the game.
14. Outdoor Minute To Win It
Minute to Win It games are quick challenges that kids can complete within a minute. Here are a few examples:
- Fill an empty tissue box with ping pong balls, strap it onto your waist, and shake out as many balls as possible.
- Blow up a balloon and use the air to blow over 10 plastic cups in a line.
- Stack as many pennies as possible in one minute using only one hand.
- Pairs of team members stand 8 feet apart while one holds a plastic cup and the other has Skittles. Teams see how many pieces of candy one player can toss to the cup held by the other player.
15. Egg Spoon Race
Divide up the group into two teams. Each team needs a spoon and an egg. The goal is to carry the egg to the end of the relay and back without dropping the egg.
Each time the egg is dropped, the player must start back at the beginning. Don’t break the egg!
Indoor Team Building Activities For Kids
Next, kids build comradery and collaboration skills with these indoor team-building activities.
16. Shrinking Game
Divide the group into teams of 4-6 players. Each team is required to stand within a certain section of the room. Use ropes or string to set boundaries.
Keep shrinking the boundaries of each group as they figure out how to keep everyone on their team inside those boundaries. The team who manages to stay inside the shrinking space last is the winning team.
You can also start with a blanket and fold it up to become smaller and smaller.
17. Silent Ball
Have kids stand in a circle and pass a ball without talking. This requires students to make eye contact with the person they are passing to instead of saying their name aloud. See how many times the ball can be passed without being dropped.
18. Name Line Up
Challenge kids to line up in a straight line as quickly as they can in alphabetical order of their first name. Try out these fun variations too:
- Students line up silently. No talking allowed!
- Line up by birthdays from youngest to oldest.
- Line up from tallest to shortest.
19. Fingertip Hula Hoop
Have kids stand in a circle and raise their arms with only their index fingers extended. Then, place a hula hoop so that it sits on the tips of the kid’s fingers. They must have an extended fingertip on the hula hoop at all times, and they may not hook their finger around it.
The goal is to lower the hula hoop to the ground without letting it fall off anyone’s fingertips.
20. Spaghetti & Marshmallows
Gather uncooked spaghetti and large (or small) marshmallows. Divide the group into teams and challenge the team to make a creation using their materials. Kids work together to make the highest self-standing creation or a creation with a certain theme.
I used this team building activity often in my classroom and the kids had a blast working together to make a piece of playground equipment! Anything goes!
21. Team Trivia
For a fun and informational team building game, try out trivia. Divide the kids into teams and have them work to answer these kids trivia questions.
Trivia questions and answers for teens are great for older kids. Also, look for seasonal and holiday trivia plus more types of trivia that will help your group connect with one another.
22. Family Feud
You’ve seen it on TV, now play it together for a great team building game!
Have an adult read the survey. One team gets the chance to guess all the answers before earning three strikes. Then, the other team has a chance to guess a remaining answer.
Check out Family Feud Questions For Kids & Teens to find the rules, questions, and everything needed to play!
23. Puzzle Competition
The first team to complete the puzzle, wins!
Puzzle choices include jigsaw, crosswords, sudoku, logic puzzles, and What am I riddles.
24. Human Knot
Kids form a circle and reach out their hands toward the center to grab the hands of other kids. Then they must untangle the knot without breaking the chain of hand-holds.
25. Cup Stacking
Using sturdy plastic cups and a pre-determined time, see how many cups a team can stack into a tower. The cups must stand on their own without falling.
A harder variation includes attaching four or more pieces of string to a rubber band. Manipulate the rubber band by pulling on the strings to pick up a cup with the rubber band. This allows the cups to be moved from one place to another without touching them with their hands.
26. Paper Chain: Kids Team Building Activities
Players are divided into teams and given paper, scissors, and glue/tape. The goal is to see how long of a paper chain can be made in the time given.
27. Beat The Clock
Assign a task (or series of tasks) to a team. Complete the task within a certain time frame to “beat the clock”. Tasks can include jumping jacks, math problems, relays, etc..
28. Hot Seat
Divide a group into two. Have them sit together in teams facing a whiteboard. Take an empty chair for each team and put it at the front of the class facing the team members. These chairs are the “hot seats.”
1. Choose one volunteer from each team to sit in the “hot seat” and face their team with their back to the whiteboard.
2. Choose a word to write on the board. Each team will take turns trying to get their teammate to guess the word using synonyms, antonyms, definitions, etc.. The team to get the word first gets a point.
29. Balloon In The Air
Blow up a balloon and see how long a team of kids can keep the balloon from touching the ground.
Make this more complicated by adding more than one balloon or designating the body parts they may use to touch the balloon (elbows, shoulders, feet, head, etc..).
30. Spider Web
For this team building activity, start with a ball of yarn and have students stand in a circle. The first student will hold onto the end of the yard and toss the ball of yarn to another student in the circle that is not directly beside them.
Then, that student holds onto the string and passes the ball of yarn to another student. Play continues until there is a spider web of yarn. No one can let go of their piece or the web will be destroyed.
Students could also answer a question before they toss for more team building and connection.
31. Back To Back Drawing
Two kids sit back to back on the floor. One child makes a drawing or is handed a simple drawing. They then explain how to draw the picture to the other student without telling them what the drawing is a picture of. The other student tries to re-create the drawing through the instructions.
32. Lego Challenge
Teams are given a bag of Lego blocks and a game objective of something to create.
- Make something that floats.
- Make something that flies.
- Make something heavy.
- Make something tall.
- Make something round.
- Make a house.
- Make a bridge.
- Make a robot.
- Make a vehicle.
- Make something to eat.
- Make an activity you like to play.
Kids charades is another fun team building activity that includes acting out words or phrases and having other players in the game guess what it is.
Divide into teams and draw as your team races to guess the word first!
The game of Pictionary promotes team building, encouragement, and collaboration.
35. Build a Boat
Using only recycled items, let teams build the best boat they can that they think will float. Then set up a kiddie pool and race the boats to see who is the winner.
36. Build the Tallest Tower
Divide your team into groups and have them try to build the tallest tower with materials of your choice. The tower must be able to stand totally on its own to be declared the winner.
37. Circle of Compliments
Have the group sit in a circle and take turns saying a genuine compliment about the person to their right. Practice both giving and receiving compliments to aid in developing social skills.
38. Learn a Dance
Have the group learn a Tik Tok dance and then perform together.
Every year students would learn something together for a school-wide talent show. We brainstormed and came up with our talent, had to design it, and then worked together to learn and perform it. We did a school rap, played sound pipes to the school song, wrote a school poem, etc..
39. Body Parts
Players walk around until the host calls out a number and the name of a body part. (3 hands, 4 heads, 2 knees, etc..) Then players begin to form groups based on the call.
- If “4 thumbs” is called: a group is formed with 4 thumbs touching together. This can be done with 2 people using both of their thumbs or four people touching one thumb together with the group.
- If “3 feet” is called: 3 people can touch their feet and form a group. Or 2 people can use three of their feet to form a group. Any variation counts to make it work, but the body part called out must touch with the group.
40. Acid Lake
Begin by making a circle with a rope. In the middle put a small object. The objective is to cross the “Acid Lake” without touching the ground, while at the same time retrieving the item from the middle.
41. Playdough Creation
Give each small group 3-4 containers of Play-Doh. Have each team build a creation that meets the prompt/theme given. Teams work together with a limited amount of Play-Doh to complete their creation in the time frame allowed.
All players move around the room. The leader calls out a number. The group must then make clusters of players to match that number.
Variations can be made with sock color, same eye color, shirt color, etc..
43. Meter Stick
In this game, the group is only allowed to touch a meter stick with one stretched-out finger. The meter stick can be lifted and lowered while the group tries to make it through an obstacle course. A referee watches over the proceedings to check that all group members remain in contact with the stick
44. Turning The Cloth
To begin, everybody has to stand on the cloth. Then they have to turn the cloth around, but nobody is allowed to step on the floor.
If the group is large and the kids do not have much space to move, this is not easy. If someone does step on the floor accidentally, then the cloth has to be returned to its original position and the kids start all over again.
If you want, the team leader can come up with an additional task for the kid stepping off the cloth. For example, he has to do 5 push-ups.
Classroom Team Building Activities
Team building activities are always an awesome way to build cooperation skills at school. These are great classroom specific team-building activities for kids and teenagers.
45. Take Care of a Pet
There is nothing quite like a pet to bring everyone together! Students work together to share all of the responsibilities that come with a class pet.
Great class pets include:
- Hermit crabs
- Guinea pig
46. Falling Trees
Students stand in a close circle with one student in the middle. The student in the middle of the circle is a tree and makes his body stiff. Next, that student has to fall from the middle towards a person in the circle. That student(s) has to catch the tree and push it to the other side of the circle. The tree may not fall!
This game pushes kids out of their comfort zone and helps build trust.
47. Geography Challenge
A geography challenge is an excellent way for kids to learn about the world. Divide students into small teams and give each group a map, a list of countries, and a set of clues (such as capitals, flags, or landmarks). Teams collaborate to match the clues with the correct countries on the map.
This activity not only fosters teamwork but also helps kids improve their knowledge.
48. Science Experiment
Kids love science experiments! Challenge your students using recycled or household materials to create:
- A volcano that erupts
- The strongest magnet
- Ice cream in a bag
- Balloon powered car
- DIY iPhone Speaker
- A catapult
49. Create a Mural: Kids Team Building Activities
Using a very large piece of paper, have teams of students create a mural or collage to hang in the classroom or hallway. All team members must contribute to the mural.
50. Write a Story
A group of 3 or 4 kids starts with a simple story starter. Each takes a turn writing down the next sentence of the story until their story is complete. The goal is to collaboratively make up a meaningful story.
51. Math Problems
To practice teamwork and multi-step math problems, have students take turns completing a step of the problem. Team members can help one another to correctly complete the problem.
52. Body Words
Put students in groups of 3-5 (depending on word length) and give them words to spell out with their bodies. Have the other groups guess the words of the other groups. Use themes like animals or food to make it easier to figure out.
Give teams of students simple task prompts such as “How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” Students work together to write out the directions.
Then, only using the directions given (even if they are not specific enough), another team (or teacher) completes the task.
Other prompts ideas:
- How to solve a long-division problem
- How to tie a shoe
- How to scramble an egg
54. Classroom Party
Who doesn’t love a party? Let your students organize one! They are responsible for planning and implementing decorations, games, food, and drinks. Split your kids into different committees and start planning!
Team Building Activities For Teens
Next, teenagers will enjoy these team building activities.
55. Get on the Chair
Provide a chair for each teenager. All the chairs should be lined up in a single line. Each student stands on a chair.
Then, the leader calls out a command. For example “I want you to organize yourself in alphabetical order by last name.” Students have to change places without touching the ground or pushing someone off their chair!
Fill an area with “mines” or obstacles such as cones. Teammates then guide a blindfolded teammate through the area with only verbal instructions. The goal is to make it through the minefield successfully.
57. Classroom Escape
A team is “locked” in the classroom and must solve puzzles together to escape within a set time limit.
See this complete Escape Room Game where teams have to work together to solve puzzles and find hidden clues. It’s a race against the clock!
58. Egg Drop Challenge
Place kids in teams and work together to create a protective structure for a raw egg. Then drop it from a specified height without breaking it.
This is similar to a scavenger hunt, but instead of looking for a list of items, a team uses a phone’s GPS to track down treasures and containers with random items. Geocaches are well-hidden and will take teamwork to find them.
60. Two Truths and a Lie
Form small groups. One person writes down three statements about him/herself made up of two truths and one lie. They then share their three statements. The other players in the group try to pick out the lie before the player reveals the answer.
Check out Two Truths and A Lide Ideas and Tips
61. Over the Electric Fence
Tie two chairs together with rope. The string should be about 3 feet off the ground. Students are in groups of 3 or 4. Give students a set amount of time to figure out how to get over the electric fence while staying connected.
The objective of this game is to transport an object from one location to another using a set of tubes or pipes. Teens work together to create a continuous pipeline while keeping the object moving (and preventing it from touching the ground).
Find this Pipeline Game Kit.>>
63. Fish Bowl Game: Teens Team Building
Fish Bowl combines Taboo, Charades, and Password into one game.
Split players into two teams. Each player takes three strips of paper and writes a word on each paper. They place these into the fishbowl. Once all the papers are in the bowl, teams take turns in one-minute intervals to try to guess which words are written.
Look here for ways to play fishbowl.
64. Create A Sculpture
Give each group a bag filled with the same items. Groups collaborate, plan, and create the most creative sculpture they can with the items given. Then, they present their sculpture to the larger group.
65. Debate Topics For Teens
Divide students into two teams and use these debate topics for teens to encourage kids to think critically. Students get a chance to work with others, listen to varying points of view, and express themselves within a team setting.
66. Idea Show and Tell
Break students into teams of 3 or 4. Then, have each team plan and design a new idea or invention.
67. Plan a Community Service Project
- Clean up a park or neighborhood area.
- Host a carnival to fundraise for a charity.
- Plan a charity run in your neighborhood.
- Organize and gather donation items for a local animal shelter and spend the afternoon helping there.
- Plan a school service project.
- Host a food or clothing drive.
68. Random Act of Kindness
Have a group come up with a list of random acts of kindness. Then have them choose a random act, plan it out, and implement it!
69. Go Camping (Kids Team Building Activities)
Set up camp, make a campfire, and cook your own food during the ultimate team-building overnight experience.
This involves navigating from one checkpoint to another using a map, a compass, and natural landmarks. Take your group to a natural area and have them find their way back as a group.
This would be a great team building activity to add to a camping trip!
Check out Questions To Get Teens To Talk & Critical Thinking Questions For Teens
Kids Team Building Activities For Sports
71. Ultimate Frisbee
Grab a frisbee and take it to a large open field. Two teams of seven players compete to get their frisbee down to the end zone first. No running with the disc is allowed! Players pass to move the disc down the field to their end zone.
72. Capture The Flag
Each team receives a flag to hide from the other team. The first team to capture the other team’s flag (without losing your own flag) wins.
73. Protect The Castle
Players are divided into two teams. Each team builds a “castle” out of objects in the middle of a circle of cones. Half of the players from each team stand in the middle of the game area while the rest of the players stand outside the castle circle to protect the castle.
Players on each team then throw balls toward the other team’s castle in an attempt to knock it over.
74. Water Balloon Catch
*Easy and fun game
Have kids partner up and start a few feet apart from one another. Toss the water balloon without dropping or breaking it. For every successful toss, have one partner take a step back.
The pair that goes the farthest is the winner.
For adventurous groups, divide into two teams and come up with a strategy to win a round of paintball. Switch up the groupings to encourage teamwork with a variety of individuals.
76. Play Human Foosball
Players form teams and stand in lines facing each other. This example uses PVC pipe that all players hold.
Then, like a foosball table game, each person tries to gain control of the ball while only being able to move within their immediate area. Teammates move the ball from person to person toward the opposing team’s goal line.
77. Bubble Soccer
For this fun twist on soccer, players wear giant inflatable balls while kicking a ball toward the goal. Check out an inflatable soccer company to rent equipment for this low-impact game.
Also, check out Open-Ended Questions For Kids & Teens.
Amazon Team Building Activities For Kids Ideas
78. MindWare Twangled Team Building Activity
Everyone will enjoy playing this outdoor tangled-up cooperative game to develop communication, problem-solving, and listening skills.
*One game is for 4 to 8 players which makes it perfect for a small group.
79. Straws and Connectors STEM Building Toys
Find out what a group can build when they work together using these interlocking straws and connectors.
80. KINDEN Teamwork Games Playing Run Mat
This racing game requires teamwork and coordination!
81. Chitidr 2 Set Hole Tarp Team Building Game
*Great for kids and teens!
This is a great team building activity for a larger group. Players pass the balls from one side to the other and avoid the holes in the tarp.
There are many variations on this fun game!
82. 4-Legged Race Band
Build teamwork, cooperation, and have fun with this 4 legged race band!
83. Inflatable Basket Heads
Laugh together while playing catch with these inflatable basket heads. This is perfect for a smaller group or to use in a team building activity day!
84. Find & Seek Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Pass out these cards to teams and challenge them to find the items in this indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt card game for kids.
85. Icebreaker Games As Kids Team Building Activities
If you are looking for some fun get-to-know you activities to go along with team building for kids, check out these icebreaker games that are quick and easy.
Choosing Team Building Activities For Kids
Before selecting team-building activities for kids, take key factors into account to ensure the experience is both effective and enjoyable.
Consider the size of your group. Many of the kids team building activities mentioned can be broken down into smaller groups and teams.
Whether indoor our outdoor, consider the available space, weather conditions, and accessibility when choosing activities that suit the location.
Some activities require additional equipment which can be more expensive. Be mindful of the cost, and choose activities within your budget. Borrow materials when possible!
Lastly, consider the skill levels and physical abilities of the team members. Opt for inclusive activities that cater to varying abilities and enable everyone to participate equally. This ensures that everyone has an opportunity to contribute and build relationships.
Kids learn teamwork through practice. Providing students with team-building activities that require them to work together improves communication, problem-solving, and essential life skills.