Team building games and activities for kids rock. They have the potential to elevate fun to the next level while also sneaking in some subtle lessons in communication, collaboration, sharing, and problem-solving.
They can be rewarding, and the feedback will be in-your-face love it or hate it, so you truly know what works or doesn’t. We know you want team building games, activities, and exercises which leave you grabbing all the brownie points, leading to the "best day ever," and also meeting your objectives.
So that’s what we’re serving up right here.
We've pulled together a whopping-good collection of games and activities that are epic when it comes to team building for kids. But, then, we've split them into the biggies: the days out, paid-for experiences, and things which need a bit more time, and the littlies: the whip-out activities that can be done in the classroom, at the start of club night, or on the hoof, and don’t cost anything more than the few resources they need.
All of our team building games and activities are generally aimed at the middling kids: that golden age where they can 'do stuff' with some degree of independence and haven't yet turned into cynical hard-to-please teens.
So, unless otherwise stated, these games, exercises, and activities are ideal for 6-12-year-olds.
The biggies: team building activities for kids
Here we uncover the best things you can organise for team building for kids. Of course, these things take a bit more planning, a bit more diary time, and involve hands being dipped into pockets. However, full-fledged activities will always bring more significant benefits and smash free activities out of the park in terms of fun and memories.
Did you know that our Detective Days can be aimed at groups of kids? We're not just reserving the fun for the adults! Indeed, we reckon that the small people make the best detectives.
Kids are never afraid to question something; with eager eyes and bundles of energy, kids make the best private eye sleuths. Safely exploring a new area and engaging with each other and the world around them in the process, Detective Days are a big hit when it comes to team building activities for kids.
Take to the water in kayaks
Better suited for older children (and definitely ones who can swim well), take them to the local lake or river for some kayaking fun. The trick here isn’t to expect a leisurely meander of well-mannered paddlers enjoying the journey. Instead, lead the kids in chaotic kayak games like Fruit Salad. Expect a splash-tastic time where friendships are forged, fun is had, and the group works together in different ways.
Slumber at the museum
Oh, to be a kid again! Lots of city museums and attractions offer groups of kids the opportunity for the most awesome sleepover EVER.
You can be sure that your group of kids will bond brilliantly and have memories for life if they enjoy a slumber party together in the shadows of dinosaurs, on board a battleship, or nestling alongside Egyptian mummies.
Sleepovers are excellent team building activities for kids anyway, as it's a chance to get away from the parents in a fun and boundary-pushing way while also encouraging independence and camaraderie amongst the group.
Bounce over to the trampoline park
Trampoline parks spring into action where team building for kids is involved. Again, you can book a leader to engage the kids in various trampoline and foam pit games. Rather than simply running amok, these games can help kids join in competitive fun that increases their teamwork skills.
Knights & Princesses in the Castle
Hopefully, there isn't a castle too far away from wherever you are. A trip to a castle remains a firm favourite for little people. It's a real-world imaginary feast. They can step back in time and enjoy a wonderful experience together.
What's great is that many castles have dedicated programmes for visiting groups of kids. So they will be entertained and educated along the way, and it's all much easier from a group leader's point of view.
Be free in soft play
Kids love nothing more than being able to visit a soft play centre with a group of mates. It elevates it to the next level and can even get the 'too cool' gang to get excited again.
Sometimes the simplest team building activities for kids simply involve giving them an opportunity they don't usually get, and this is it. If you want to add more structure, then there are plenty of soft play team games that can be enjoyed to get everyone collaborating together.
Go wild with bushcraft
Kids love having a chance to learn outside of the classroom, and bushcraft is an excellent way to do this. In the process of building shelters, sharing campfire stories (and treats!), and being in the outdoors, kids get fantastic opportunities to work together as a team and form strong friendships.
Organisations such as Cubs and Scouts have long known the importance of bushcraft for team building, but there's nothing to stop other groups from learning from their example.
Have inflatable fun together
More and more inflatable parks are opening up, and they can provide brilliant team building activities for kids. From obstacle course team races to competing against each other in wipe-out style games, there are lots of ways that teams can come together safely and enjoyably.
Set challenges for your teams so they have to help each other.
Take to the skies with high ropes
There are many high ropes courses designed with the smallest monkeys in mind. These offer valuable opportunities for kids to enjoy being a team together. They'll gain their own confidence but also discover it's essential to encourage your friends so that you can all have fun together.
There’s also the fact that they’ll all be on a natural high together after flinging themselves down a zip wire or two!
Enter the big top with some circus skills
Who didn't want to run away and join the circus?! From trying tightrope walking to proving skills with a diablo, there's a lot to be gained from circus skills for the kiddos.
Circus skills classes always have something for everyone. If one kid loves playing with the silky-coloured ribbons and another wants to have a go on a unicycle, everyone is catered for.
Nevertheless, there should be plenty of opportunities for the group to come together, and they may even be able to put on a joint show.
The littlies: team building games and exercises for kids
Much as we love the biggies, they can't happen as often as you need team building opportunities for kids. Here we've got our favourite selection of freebie and low-cost quick-fire team building games and activities for kids.
Grab a bunch of coloured sticky spots sticking them one each on a child's forehead. When you say "go," their mission is to group themselves according to colour.
No talking! Watch as their non-verbal communication skills power up, and they figure out how to cooperate when they can't talk.
Steal the keys
Set up this game by placing one chair in the centre of the room. Under the chair, put a metal bowl and put a bunch of keys in it. One child sits on the central chair, blindfolded, armed with a rolled-up newspaper (or a pool noodle works well). This kid has the task of defending the keys.
If he hits another child attempting the steal, they are out. Soon, the thieves discover that they might need to work together to create diversions and distractions to succeed with their heist.
Hula hoop pass
Form the kids into a giant circle. Grab a hula hoop and place it over one child's arm, then get everyone to join hands with the person next to them so that the circle is closed.
The goal is to move the hula hoop around the circle, back to the beginning, without anyone unclasping their hands. It's one of the trickier team-building games for kids but teaches essential team skills like strategizing and coordinating.
Of course, they'll feel hugely satisfied when they succeed too!
Cat and mouse
Brilliant fun with a large group of children, Cat and Mouse involves all except two forming a circle. The gaps between the children in the ring should be big enough that another child can get through, but the children on either side of the space need to comfortably hold hands.
One of the two children not in the circle is designated the mouse, and the other is selected to be the cat. Channelling his inner Tom, the cat must try to catch the mouse inside the circle.
Every time little Jerry runs through a gap, the players on either side close the gap to the cat by holding hands. Gradually the holes get closed. If the mouse manages to close all openings so that the cat is stuck in the centre, they win. Or, if the cat catches the mouse beforehand, they win.
Marshmallow toothpick constructions
Split your group into equal numbers. You want about 3-4 kids per group. Arm them with some mini marshmallows (bribe them not to eat them by saying they'll get some later!) and lots of wooden toothpicks.
Give the kids a set amount of time to meet a building challenge. It could be the tallest structure, most creative structure, or biggest. Tell each group they must take turns with the building if you don't want architectural battles and grouching grumps.
Sit the kids in a circle and give each a post-it (make sure they are super sticky or use some sticky tape). On their post-it, the child needs to write down the name of a really famous person. It needs to be a name that anyone in their group will have heard of.
So it could be someone as renowned as The Queen, or it could be someone familiar to them like their headteacher. They then stick the post-it on the back of the child to their left.
Then everyone mingles around the room, racing to figure out who they are. The kids can only ask one question of each person in the group. And only 'yes' or 'no' answers are allowed.
LEGO copy cats
LEGO has so much potential when it comes to team building for kids. Increasingly, LEGO is being used to aid with social communication for children with neurodiversity, but there’s plenty of scope for everyone to benefit from this LEGO team building exercise.
Divide the group into small teams of 3-4 kids. Create a reasonably simple structure from LEGO. One team member (The Engineer) gets to come and look at the model for around 30 seconds. Then, they return to their group, instructing The Supplier to find the needed bricks from their supplies before explaining to The Builder how to build the structure.
They then see how close they were to the real thing before switching roles, so everyone gets a turn. This is great for aiding communication and collaboration.
Set up so that there's a whiteboard behind one chair and the remaining kids are facing the whiteboard. One child is nominated to take the hot seat. On the whiteboard behind, the group leader writes a word.
The main group of kids needs to help the one in the hot seat guess the word without using the word itself. Encourage the children to take turns and make sure they build on what others have said.
Want to level it up? Add some words that the kids can't use to help with their clues. For example, if the word is 'dog,' then maybe they can't use 'cat,' 'bone,' and 'walk.'
The paper cup challenge
This is one of those team building exercises for kids that will leave you in awe of their ability. This works pretty well for kids age 8+ and teens.
Split the group into teams of 3-5 players. Give each team 6 paper cups (you can use more in later rounds if they prove to be pros). Then give them an elastic band with strings tied on it (you’ll need the same number of strings as there are kids in the team).
The challenge is to build a pyramid of cups without touching them, using only the elastic band/string contraption.
It takes coordinated skill, patience, and perseverance to meet the object. The kids will feel so proud of themselves when they succeed.
Spider web is a sedate game that has many variations, but it's all about the common thread – quite literally.
To play, the kids sit in a circle. One child has a ball of string. They tell a tale according to their theme, e.g., share a funny thing that happened to you. When they have finished their story, they hold onto the end of the string and then throw the ball to another player.
This player tells their account, then holds onto the yarn before passing on the ball, and so on. The result is a spider web of connection.
We aren't born knowing how to get the best from being in a group or team. Team building games for kids help them learn the skills they need to function well in these groups throughout their childhood and their life ahead.
What's more, kids' team building activities and games mean they aren't even aware that they are learning these vital life skills. It just seems like great fun and a fantastic way to spend time with others.