Team Building Games are Classroom Gamechangers
We all know how hard it can be to get to know people at work or at school, never mind trying to find a comfort level of familiarity. One way to foster cohesiveness and trust in the classroom is through team building games. These games are a fun, non-threatening way to encourage your students to bond.
Games for the beginning of school:
Blindfolded Animals: Write the name of several different animals, cows, dogs, chickens, pigs, etc., on slips of paper and hand out the slips randomly. When you say Go! students close their eyes and can only identify other members of the same animal group by the sounds. This makes for a cacophonous gathering.
Hospital Tag: Every student is “it” and has 3 lives. When you say Go! students try to tag others. Once someone is tagged, he/she has to put a hand where the tag was and keep it there for the next game. The next game proceeds the same way, only with 2 hands on the tagged spots. When tagged 3 times, they are out. Students get a kick out of seeing their classmates try to keep a hand on an ankle or shoulder.
Games for the middle of school:
Blindfold Birthday: Every student is blindfolded and then the whole class is given the task of lining up in order of birthdays.
Two Truths and a Lie: This familiar game where students tell two truths and a lie about themselves and others have to guess the lie always leads to some amazing information about other classmates.
Games for the end of school:
Essence Circle: Everyone sits in a circle and puts a slip of paper with their name into a hat in the middle. One person starts by drawing a name and then must describe the person without using the name or physical description but instead describes the person’s essence which is characteristics like “kind to everyone”. Once the person has been guessed, the next name is drawn.
60 Second Speech: Write different topics on slips of paper and each person picks a slip. They must make a 60-second speech in any way they want on the topic.
Games to encourage critical thinking:
Zoom!: Form students into a circle and give each one a picture of something. One person starts the story and must include what is in the picture as part of the story. Then the next person goes and continues the story but must include his/her picture as part of the story, and so on.
If You Build It: Teams can choose from a collection of various items like marshmallows, pipe cleaners, spaghetti, etc., to build the highest tower or the fastest tower.
Using active listening, questioning, providing clear instructions, and problem-solving, students must work together to accomplish the assigned task. These team building games not only help with getting to know one another but also learning to collaborate and communicate well, all life skills that transfer beyond the classroom environment. If you want to take the team building games further, try to incorporate some of the learning goals or assignment content into them.