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Top 18 Team Building Activities and Games for Kids and Teenagers
10/10/2022

Top 18 Team Building Activities and Games for Kids and Teenagers

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Top 18 Team Building Activities and Games for Kids and Teenagers
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By working as a team, teenagers develop important life skills like problem-solving, leadership, creative thinking, and listening. Nurturing group work skills develop high levels of confidence, self-esteem, and empathy. Below are 18 of the best team building activities for teens.

Why Are Team Building Activities for Kids Important?

Team Building Activities Important

No man is an island. Society relies on teamwork to function. Cooperation allows humans to solve problems that individuals, acting alone, can’t. Whether we’re with family, colleagues, or school peers, we need teamwork to get through life. Any time a child works within a team, they have the opportunity to build positive, long-term relationships.

The sooner they learn to work together, the better they are at navigating social dynamics. The life-long benefits fun team building activities for teens offer include:

  • Increased motivation due to group accountability.
  • Improved problem-solving, including strategizing.
  • Develops communication skills.
  • Helps build trust within the self and others.
  • Nurtures leadership capabilities.
  • Fosters awareness of others and their feelings.
  • Contribute to helping build long-lasting relationships with other people regardless of background.
  • Improve their productivity by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Teach them about cooperation with individuals they may not be familiar with.
  • Teach them how to receive feedback and constructive criticism to improve their performance.

Team building for kids that’s properly structured nurtures strengths and addresses weaknesses necessary for true character building.

Best Fun Team Building Activities for Teenagers

These fun group activities for teens and team bonding games build trust, mitigate conflict, encourage communication and inspire collaboration.

#1. Silent Line Up

This is a team building exercise where teens have to line up in a straight line according to predetermined characteristics, such as tallest to shortest or smallest shoe size to largest, for example. The catch is that they can’t speak and have to find creative ways to communicate with one another. Silent line-up tests communication and creative thinking skills and are great teen team building activities.

#2. Escape Rooms

team building activities for kids

Escape rooms, also called puzzle rooms or exit games, are one of the best kids team building games. A team of limited players must discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in one or more rooms in order to “get out” within a limited timeframe.

Teams range from four to ten people, and the game usually takes between 45-60 minutes.

Immersive puzzle rooms test lateral thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills because members have to pool knowledge to solve puzzles, substitution ciphers, riddles, and mazes.

#3. Murder Mystery

Known for their popularity at parties, murder mystery games also constitute fun team building games for kids. The players hear evidence and must solve clues to determine who is playing the murderer. In some styles, the murderer may be aware they’re the killer, and in other games, the murderer discovers this along with the other participants.

Some murder mystery games involve “murders” of guests throughout the game or may open with a “death” and use the rest of the time for the “investigation.” Murder mystery games are fun group activities that can be themed and even include a dress-up component.

#4. The Human Knot

For this game, players stand in a circle and hold hands with other players, creating a “human knot.” Then they attempt to unthread their bodies without letting go of each other’s hands. These teen group activities usually take 15 to 20 minutes but longer depending on the number of players.

The human knot is a common icebreaker game and excellent team building activity for teens to learn to work together in physical proximity. To increase difficulty, you can get the group to try to untangle themselves with their eyes closed.

#5. Creative Project

Almost any activity can be transformed into a team building activity that strengthens collaboration skills, whether it's baking, drawing, painting, or making music. For example, you could have your teens design comic books, do chores, learn origami or create dance routines.

Arts and crafts are excellent if you want to get them away from spending too much time in front of screens, and they’ll improve collaboration skills by working together to achieve a common goal. Setting up a friendly, competitive environment can also provide motivation and inspire robust group efforts for successful teen group activities.

#6. Paintballing or Laser Tag

Team Building Activities for Kids

Paintballing and laser tag are great teen team building activities and also constitute an excellent way to burn excess energy. If paintball is a bit too rough, you can let the kids play laser tag, as both games are excellent team building exercises for teens and provide a decent workout. This fast-paced combat game is played with guns that fire infrared beams in a low-light arena, specifically designed with vantage points and undercover sections.

The aim of laser tag is to shoot opponents as many times as possible, whether competitors are playing in single or team mode. Laser tag is 100% safe and can be enjoyed by kids ages 6 and up. It’s an excellent game that combines physical activity with strategic skills.

#7. Cross the Line

If you are looking for team building activities for youth that require minimal equipment, Cross the Line may be just what you have been looking for. Cross the Line is a powerful game that helps identify and eliminate barriers between people that preserve prejudice or unkindness. Teens are divided into two groups. Each group stands in a row, facing each other, about eight feet apart, divided by a line made from string or masking tape.

The game facilitator calls out a statement, and anyone for whom the statement is true crosses the line into the middle. When a teen crosses a line, they silently make eye contact with other people in the middle, acknowledging a shared experience. These types of team bonding games for teens illustrate that people aren’t alone in facing insecurities, fears and challenges and that everyone has shared similarities and differences.

#8. Survival Games

These teamwork games for the teens test group and individual strategy and logic. You can choose any theme like the moon, an island, the desert, or the arctic, for example. Then create a list of 15 items that players need to rank in order of importance to survive.

Each individual should rank their items and then re-rank them together as a group. This comparison helps teens see the value of individual and group contributions. It also improves communication and strategic thinking, as the individuals will have to justify where and why they think items should go in an attempt to convince others. Survival games tend to develop leadership qualities in children too.

#9. Obstacle Course Relays

One of the best team building challenges for teenagers is an obstacle course relay. The first team with all members to complete the course wins. A range of activities can be set up that require teens to work as a team or individually. Obstacle courses teach teens to work together and how individual contributions can help achieve a common goal. Despite the rigorous nature of an obstacle course, the social skills learned through this team building activity for teens can inspire motivation and cultivate a sense of belonging.

#10. Group Jump Rope

team building games for teens

From China to Egypt to Greece, jump rope games have existed for centuries. The sheer number of available game variations makes it one of the most versatile team building exercises for kids that makes them break a sweat. One popular group game that makes for one of the best team building exercises for teens and older children is Helicopter, Helicopter!

One player (the helicopter) grabs one rope handle, bends down, and lays the rope in a straight line in front of himself. The rest of the kids stand around “the helicopter” as the kid turns in a circle, swinging the rope low enough for the other kids to jump over. When a kid fails to jump over it, they’re out. The last player standing becomes the next helicopter.

Snake is also another fun jump rope exercise for younger kids. Two players hold the ends of the rope close to the ground and move it back and forth, so the rope “slithers” like a snake as the kids jump over it. This game helps smaller children develop the coordination required for more advanced jump rope games.

#11. Relay Races

From Egg and the Spoon to Three-legged Races, the Wheelbarrow, and obstacle-course activities — there are so many fun ways to get kids to work collaboratively with relay races. Some of these school-age team-building activities require props, while others don’t, and almost all can be adapted to suit different age groups. Be inventive with the props at your disposal to create team games for kids.

#12. Green Light, Red Light!

This is a great game to get kids moving while developing their listening and concentration skills. The classic version involves an adult or kid standing at the head of a room, intermittently shouting “red,” “yellow,” or “green.” The kids have to stand on the opposite side of the room. They can run forward on “green,” must stop on “red,” and can walk slowly on “yellow.”

The person standing at the head of the room, AKA the “traffic light,” must shout the commands with their back to the group and then whip around. When they do, the other kids should freeze. If the “traffic light” detects movement from a player, they’re disqualified.

Kids can play this individually, or you can split them up into groups and make it a team challenge. The first kid or team to reach the “traffic light” wins, and it’s then their turn to call out “red,” “green,” or “yellow.” The point is to teach them that it’s not always the fastest who wins, but rather those who are steady, careful listeners.

#13. Hula Hoop Pass

teen group activities

Hula-hoop pass is one of those working-together games for kids that relies on the whole group to complete the activity, making them perfect for team building activities for youth. Have the team form a circle, holding hands. The goal of the activity is to pass the hula-hoop completely around the circle as quickly as possible without breaking hands. If there are a lot of kids, you can split them into two teams.

#14. Forehead Dots

Used as an ice-breaker communication game, Forehead Dots is great for organizing smaller groups and works well with older kids. Fix a colored dot on the forehead of each kid. Ask participants to stand up and walk around the room in silence. The goal is for them to find out what color dot they are without talking. Once they’ve figured out what color their dot is, they have to join others with the same color.

There’s another version for older kids where they’re given a label of a famous icon or character or object, and they have to ask other questions to determine who or what they are. “Characters” may take on a group theme, so, for example, “things used in the kitchen,” movie stars,” or “different sports.”

#15. Birthday Line Up

As a popular children's team game, this is best deployed if you need a group of kids to quiet down and focus. It’s almost impossible for kids to get this right after the first round, so the game can be played numerous times, using different variables. As the instructor, you can tell kids to line up according to their birthday, hair length, height, house number, etc., without talking.

The game illustrates the power and importance of communication and can be used as an ice-breaker if the kids aren’t familiar with one another. Line-Up works best in a large open space where participants can move around freely. This engaging activity can also be used to pinpoint natural leaders who emerge as the game progresses which makes it one of the best team building activities for youth leadership.

#16. Trust Ball

How Does Physical Activity Improve Academic Performance

This is another one of those silent bonding games for children that promotes communication and team-building skills. Get the kids to stand in a circle and try to pass the ball to each other without using words or sounds. The aim of the game is to get the ball to everyone without literally “dropping the ball.” If the ball drops, then the group has to start over.

Each student should hold up a finder to represent how many times they’ve had the ball to ensure everyone in the group is awarded a turn. Healthy competitions can be held between teams if you have a huge group, the idea being that the team that passes the ball the most wins. Trust Ball can be played at the beginning of a session to get kids to focus or at the end to get them to quiet down.

#17. Trust Walk

Trust Walk is one of those classic trust-building games for kids that can be played in pairs or groups. One kid is blindfolded, gently spun around, and moved a few steps away from their initial position. Another kid comes over and acts as a guide. They have to get the blindfolded kid back to their original position through verbal cues. This game can be multiplayer to make it more of a challenge.

A variation of the game involves pairs working together as one participant closes their eyes and is led through a playing space by another participant. The goal is to create an emotionally and physically safe experience for the partner who can’t see. This game challenges verbal and physical direction, spatial awareness, and collaboration.  You can also create safe obstacle courses to increase difficulty levels and truly test communication capabilities.

#18. Fingertip Hula-Hoop

This bonding game for children seems simple but requires intense group collaboration, making it a favorite among team building games for teen teams. Using only their fingertips, kids have to raise and lower a hula-hoop to the ground without dropping it. Like all games, you can increase the difficulty by prohibiting verbal communication and increasing the number of times the hula-hoop needs to be raised.

How to Keep Teams Engaged During the Team Building Activity

Although team building activities for kids can be a lot of fun, it is not always easy to manage a group of teenagers and keep them engaged throughout the game. Teenagers are notorious for having difficulties interacting with peers they may not be familiar with, especially if they share different backgrounds. Here are some tips to keep children and teenagers interested in physical exercise and bonding activities for kids.

  • Choose activities with the appropriate level of difficulty: fun team building activities for kids should be challenging enough to keep them active but have an attainable goal to avoid disengagement.
  • Act as a cheerleader and foster an encouraging and safe environment for all participants.
  • Clearly explain the rules, especially for more unusual teen group activities.

Conclusion

As much as team building activities benefit teens, they also offer immense value for adults too, especially in the workplace. At Hot Ground Gym, we conduct team building activities for teens, children, and adults in a safe environment that’s fun and builds camaraderie. Contact us today to find out more about our enjoyable team building sessions!