Team Building Activities for Students That Promotes Critical Thinking and Collaboration

Critical thinking, solving problems, making good decisions, and working collaboratively are some of the most important skills teachers can teach their students. What is the best way to teach these skills to a class full of elementary students?

Teamwork building activities and games are a fantastic tool to help students develop essential thinking skills. Such activities and games will help them to learn how to listen carefully, work together, think creatively, and communicate their thoughts clearly.

Furthermore, team building activities for students give them the chance to get to know each other better. Such activities will help them build trust together as part of a community, and of course, learn to have fun as they work.

Group activities and games are incredible for kids. They are engaging, educative, and fun at the same time. In this article, you will learn some of the best team building activities for students. Similarly, it explains the benefits of the activities and some tips on how to deliver them.

How Do Teamwork Building Games Benefit Students?

Students, particularly those under the age of 12 are brimming with curiosity. They are curious about the world and wish to learn. With their ever-curious mind, the childhood is the perfect time to teach kids essential life skills such as creative thinking and teamwork.

The challenge, however, is that they may be too young to grasp these concepts if you introduce them through theoretical learning. That being the case, the best way is to teach the concepts through learning by doing, meaning through group activities and games.

Teamwork Building Activities Help to Build Self-Confidence

Teamwork building activities for students are fantastic for building self-esteem. With these activities, the student can learn more about his capabilities and push themselves to attain the goals they might have previously thought to be impossible to achieve.

The self-confidence the students gain by completing a team activity can also transfer to other aspects of their lives. It can help them not only in school but in extracurricular activities and at home as well.

Teamwork Building Activities Help Develop Social Skills

When kids work together to complete an activity or game, the collaborative spirit also helps them develop social skills. After all, teamwork building activities require the participants to work together closely to achieve their desired result.

As they work together, the children learn to communicate. They also learn to express their ideas while also compromise with others. From working collaboratively to complete a project, they can learn how to collaborate with each other in social situations.

Types of Teamwork Building Activities for Students

Teamwork building activities for students, particularly elementary students, can be either simple or fun or both. You should leave the more complex group of activities to the older age group or those better suited to these challenging activities. Simple and fun activities are best for kids because they have a shorter attention span.

For that reason, it’s crucial to introduce them activities that are engaging. A fun activity will keep them entertained and focused, limiting the chance of them losing interest and refuse to participate. On the other hand, simple activities are essential since children usually have not the capability to understand complex concepts yet.

With that, introduce to them activities where the end goal will be easier for them to understand. Even though the team building activities are fun and straightforward, they will still offer a fantastic learning experience. The lessons are in the experience as what they felt during the activity will have a huge impact on their learning capability.

The main types of teamwork building activities suitable for elementary students are those focused on communication, teamwork, and building trust.

• Communication
These types of group activities will encourage the teammates to communicate with each other. Along the way, they can learn communication techniques and express ideas better with their peers.

• Trust-Building
This type of activities helps children to develop interpersonal skills. While completing the activities, the participants build relationships with their peers. The shared experience allows them to relate to each better.

• Teamwork
This type of activities helps children to learn how to cooperate with each other. The lessons imparted during the activity include respecting each other’s perspective. Similarly, the teammates positively interact with each other as they work towards a common goal.

Best Teamwork Building Activities for Students

If You Build It…

It is a flexible team-building game where you divide the children into teams and given equal amounts of materials. Next, provide the participants with something to build then provide them with a challenge. For instance, you can challenge them with which team can create the tallest structure or which team can make them fast.

Touch Blue

In playing this game, the participants need to find an object inside the room with the same color as the one called out by the facilitator. The participant has to touch the item to win the game. Remember, however, that the item must not be on themselves or another person. It will be more exciting and fun when unusual colors are called out.

Traffic Lights

This fun game involves using traffic light commands. For instance, green is for a run; red is for stop and amber or yellow for a walk around. The group must follow the commands of the facilitator. If a participant does the wrong action for the command, they are out of the game. The facilitator can also increase its difficulty by calling other commands thus confusing everyone.


It is a simple enough game for younger children. Group size could be 10 children at a minimum. In this game, the facilitator or teacher calls out categories. The children work on arranging themselves based on the category said. It’s an excellent activity for the children to get to know each other and encourage communication. Do not limit the categories to physical traits like hair colour and height.

Save the Egg

This activity may be suited to older children since it can get messy and requires following safety instructions when at work with raw eggs. The goal is for the team to find a way together to “save” the egg, like the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, from being dropped from a certain height. In this game, you probably need to find a spot for a soft landing, create a device, etc.


It is a classic teamwork building game. The idea is to form the students in a circle, each of them given a unique picture of an animal, object or whatever you fancy. You start the story using your assigned photo then the next student continues it using their own photo, and so on until the last student does.

It’s a Mystery

Who doesn’t enjoy a good mystery? Children sure do, and this game is perfect for them. Design a good mystery that the students can solve cooperatively. Each student must be given with a numbered clue, and for everyone to solve the mystery, they have to work together. If possible, you can devise the activity in such a way the participants move from one area to the next.

Applause, Please!

Group the students together. One person from each group will be the finder and steps out of the room. The rest of the group then picks an item inside the classroom and hid them for the finder to find. The finder tries to find the item guided by claps. Each time the finder gets close to the object, the claps get louder. Each time the finder gets far from the object, the claps become softer.

Hey, Me Too!

It is an excellent game for the students to learn more about each other. Before the start of the game, the students create auction puddles of emoji plates and a huge Popsicle stick. The class sits on their desk while the teacher calls out a trait, like freckles or black hair. Everyone who has the trait raises their paddle while the rest takes notes or tally who has what trait.

Marshmallow and Toothpick Challenge

In this game, you will have to divide the students into equal numbered groups. Each group will be given a same number of marshmallows as well as wooden toothpicks. Using the toothpicks and marshmallows, challenge the groups to create the largest, tallest or most creative marshmallow structure given a set amount of time.

Tips for Conducting Teamwork Building Activities for Students

Kids, as mentioned before, have a short attention span. It can make managing them a bit of a challenge. The key to managing them effectively is first to capture their interest and attention. When you tell them they will play a game, they can get a little too excited. Before starting the game, however, make sure to have them listen to the instructions.
For teamwork building activities, you will need to utilize some classroom management techniques. For teachers, you probably already know a few of them. One tip is to talk to the kids in normal speaking tone but firm voice. Don’t raise your voice or things can get out of hand. Instead, communicate with non-verbals and gestures while keeping the activity light and fun.

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