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15 Team Building Activities for Students

When it comes to breaking the ice in the classroom, team-building activities for students are the best way to quickly become comfortable with each other. These different games allow students to practice various problem-solving skills while learning how to work together. If your goal is to set the stage for a great school year, then taking the time to build a cohesive classroom environment is imperative.

15 Fun Team-Building Games for Students

Each of the activities chosen on this list allows you to build positive rapport with your students while having fun! I always play a handful of these games during the first week of school for two reasons: you get to know students in a whole different way when you add a competitive aspect to the environment, and you allow students to see you in a different light.

1. Escape Room

Creating an escape room in your classroom is a great way to promote teamwork in a challenging and fun way. Escape Kit has created the best Escape Rooms that will let students work together and learn new things while solving different riddles to escape from a room in less than 60 minutes. All this while they are having a wonderful time! This is an immersive activity that requires the skills of everyone!

Escape Kit offers an innovative and simple concept perfect for outdoor team-building activities. The idea is straightforward: first, select an adventure and download the Escape Room Kit onto your device. Once you have the kit, print the life-sized puzzle pieces. These can then be set up either in the classroom or in an outdoor space, allowing you to play and enjoy the adventure in a fun, engaging environment.

A complete Escape Room Kit to transform your space into a life-size Escape Room. To find the way out of the maze, students need to find the hidden items with the help of clues.

Solving a mysterious murder, finding a stolen piece of art, or even thrilling in a haunted house, all scenarios are possible with Escape Kit!

What You Need

  • Laptop (or any other device)
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors

2. Trash-ket-ball (Space Ball)

Space Ball is a fun classroom game for small groups, similar to Trashketball. To set it up, first, you should download the Trashket Ball (Spaceball) PowerPoint template. Then, place a trash can at the front of the classroom to serve as the basket. Next, mark three scoring lines at varying distances from the trash can, assigning 1, 2, and 3 points to each line, with the points increasing as the distance from the basket increases. Divide the class into teams and distribute blank paper sheets to each group. Begin by displaying the first review question on the slideshow, allowing the teams time to discuss and jot down their answers. Once the teams are ready, they present their answers. If a team gets the answer right, they can crumple their answer sheet into a paper ball and take a shot from one of the scoring lines, choosing their line based on the desired difficulty and point value. A correct answer gives them a chance to score, while an incorrect one means they miss the opportunity to shoot for points.

What You Need

  • Trashcan
  • Projector (to project questions)
  • Binder paper
  • Masking tape
  • PowerPoint game template

3. Play Card Games

There is a reason card games have been popular for hundreds of years, they are a great activity for family, friends, and students alike! Games like Solitaire, Hearts, Spades, and many more are available to be solved in a team-building setting or played in multiplayer for a bit of competition. These sites feature great team building card games in an engaging and dynamic gaming format.

What You Need

4. Friendly Feud

If you are looking for a dynamic and entertaining game, consider playing “Friendly Feud”, a classroom version of the popular TV show “Family Feud.” This game, which can be set up using a downloadable PowerPoint game template, is an excellent way for teens to engage in team-building activities.

Start by dividing your class into two teams. Each team selects a representative to answer questions on their behalf. The game begins with a face-off: you, as the teacher, ask a question, and the first student to raise their hand gets to answer. If their response is one of the listed answers, their team works together to uncover the remaining answers. They deliberate over each guess within a limited time frame but must be careful as they only have three chances to err. Should they exhaust these chances without successfully guessing all answers, the opposing team has an opportunity to snatch all the points by correctly guessing any remaining answer.

This interactive format not only encourages quick thinking and teamwork but also fosters a sense of healthy competition. The game proceeds in rounds until one team emerges with the highest score, claiming victory. Such an activity brightens the classroom atmosphere and strengthens bonds and collaborative skills among students.

What You Need

  • A computer
  • Projector or smartboard
  • PowerPoint game template

5. Red Solo Cup Tower

This team-building activity aims to work together cohesively to build a tower out of solo cups only using rubber band and string! Divide students into four teams (or five if needed) and ensure each team has ten solo cups. Tie four (or five) pieces of string to the rubber band and spread the cups out around the table.

You can set a time limit for this game or allow whoever finishes first in stacking their cups into a tower to be the winner! The hardest rule of all: students must not touch any of the cups with their hands.

This video will show you how this is possible:

Have your students stand when playing this game, as this promotes communication and working together. Lastly, talk around to each team to encourage students as they take on this challenge.

What You Need

  • Rubber bands
  • Twine or yarn
  • Red solo cups

6. Look, No Hands!

Divide students into groups of two and have each student turn their backs to one another. Have each set of students interlock their arms.

The common goal of this team-building game is for each student to keep their arms locked with each other and, from a sitting position, stand up together.

Many of your students will think that this is an easy feat. However, it will prove to be a challenge for them! Your students will have a fun time problem-solving with their team members and coming up with a plan to stand before the other teams!

What You Need

  • Just yourself and some kids!

7. M&M’s Color and Talk

The “M&M’s Color and Talk” game is a simple and interactive team-building activity. To play, you start by gathering a variety of M&M candies, each color representing a different topic. For example, red M&Ms could be assigned to talk about a favorite movie, blue for a dream vacation, green for favorite foods, yellow for favorite movies, orange for favorite places to travel, and brown for most memorable or embarrassing moments​. Students then select one to three candies from a bowl, and based on the colors they pick, they answer corresponding questions or share stories related to the assigned topics​.

This game is an effective team-building activity as it encourages open communication and sharing personal interests and experiences, which helps students to build connections and understanding. I like this game because it is flexible and can be adapted with different questions or topics, which makes it suitable for fun review activity.

What You Need

  • Individual packages of M&M

8. TP Mummy

This challenge will get your students laughing uncontrollably.

I have played this game in my classroom and as a party game for my children’s birthdays. However, watching someone get wrapped up in toilet pay for the fastest never gets old!

First of all, this team-building activity doesn’t require anything super expensive. Purchase the cheapest $.88 toilet paper you can find at your local supermarket and use this for this game.

Split your students into groups of two or three, and have each group create a cool team name. Then, announce, “On your marks, get set, GO”! Each team of students will have one person who is “the mummy” (aka, the person who will be wrapped in toilet paper) and must wrap up their mummy as quickly as possible.

This creative game will certainly get your students laughing from the bottom of their bellies. The prize? Whichever team wins gets to keep all the toilet paper—just kidding!

What You Need

  • Cheapest toilet paper
  • A timer

9. Marshmallow Tower

I love team-building activities that include students’ problem-solving, and two, I like any games that involve eating yummy things at the end. In this particular game, students must work together to build the greatest marshmallow tower with their given tools.

Give your teams a time limit of anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to construct their building. You will be surprised by your students’ creativity and ingenuity within their groups.

For this game, groups of 3-5 are best. Help students think harder by walking around the classroom and asking about their structure. This also allows you to prompt those who may be trying to fall into the background.

What You Need

  • Toothpicks or spaghetti
  • Mini marshmallows
  • A timer

10. Mystery Box

In this game, the first team starts by choosing a box from the home slide, then tries to answer the question linked to that box. If they answer correctly, they face a strategic decision: keep the box for themselves or pass it to another team. However, they should be cautious because each box holds a surprise – it could contain either positive or negative points. Making the right choice is crucial! If their answer is wrong, the opportunity passes to the next team, who then gets their chance to answer and make the same decision about the box. This adds an element of suspense and strategy to the game, as students must not only know the answers but also think tactically about whether to keep or pass their box.

I like this game because it encourages teamwork and quick thinking. Teams have to work together to answer questions and make decisions, which helps them learn to communicate and trust each other.

What You Need

11. Team Building Trivia

Trivia games and activities are such a fun way to see your students get competitive. One of my favorite online trivia programs is Kahoot. This online program is free and has many different trivia challenges that can be tackled as a group or as individual students.

First, you will need to access the Kahoot website and set up a free account. Then, click the “discover” button and begin searching for whatever topic you want to quiz your students.

Each student (team member) will then put the given link in on their phone with the game pin and begin playing. While this game is a great way to promote a fun environment and play a game together, it is also a fantastic tool for the teacher in that it can be used for lesson topics.

What You Need

  • A computer
  • Projector or smartboard
  • Account with Kahoot

12. Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie Team Building

These team-building activities are so much fun because students get a laugh out of trying to figure out the truths and the lies! For this game, I would have students position themselves in a circle around the room so that they can see you (the teacher) and the faces of all the others in the class. Challenge your students to pay attention closely to how each person says their different “truths” to help solve what is real and what isn’t.

What You Need

  • Just yourself and some kids!

13. Jigsaw Puzzles

Puzzles are a challenging activity that allows for communication and working together! Jigsaw puzzles are fun team-building activities for students and can also be used during the school year as an extension activity for when students are done early with their work.

Another thing that I love about jigsaw puzzles is that they can be done as a group or as a one-student activity. In this particular case, when starting the school year, I like to put students into groups of three to four and have them work together to solve the puzzle. The group of students that finished the fastest wins the prize!

What You Need

  • Jigsaw puzzles (50 pieces or less)
  • Some kids!
  • A timer (if you want to set a time limit)

14. Find the Colored Kernel!

activies with kernels in bowl

My school did this as a team-building skills game with all the teachers as an ice breaker during our professional development time before school actually started for the students. This game was so much fun, showed lots of teamwork opportunities, and was most certainly a challenge! When I played with my students, they felt the same way!

Divide your class into groups of four to five, then assign each team color (blue, green, red, or purple). The goal of this game is for each team to retrieve five-colored kernels out of the full bowl without spilling ANY of the kernels.

If one team (or all) spills any kernels out of the bowl, they must put all of the color kernels found so far back into the bowl to find them again! Students love this game and always find a way to figure out how to get all the kernels out as a group competitively.

What You Need

  • 3-4 small bowls (cereal bowl sized)
  • Paint
  • Lots of popcorn kernels

15. Fly Swatter Golf

This team-building game allows students to work on those put-put golf skills! Separate your students into four teams. The goal is for each student on the team to hit a ping pong ball into the solo cup using only the fly swatter.

This creative game is another great way to promote communication between your students in a competitive environment. If you have one group that is larger than another, allow for there to be a general amount of “holes in one” they need to get. I find that having each group hit four ping pong balls into the cups takes plenty of time.

What You Need

  • Solo cups
  • Ping Pong balls
  • Fly swatters
  • Tape

Final Thoughts

Team building is such an important piece of building a cohesive classroom of students. No matter what course you teach, there are many creative ways to build positive forms of communication among those in your classroom. Our goal with these activities is to promote a sense of teamwork in the classroom because each and every teacher has the goal to provide the very best environment for learning!

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