Teamwork is an important lesson taught through classroom team-building activities. Moreover, primary school team building activities enable younger students to start practising important life skills such as communicating, socializing, and problem-solving early on in life. Especially, when navigating unknown and uncertain situations that involve different kinds of challenges. All in all, team-building activities help mould a child into a successful adult.
Important Lessons Learnt During Classroom Team Building Activities
The most important lesson students can learn from working together as a team is how to effectively communicate with others. Social skills are useful in almost every situation and can help children succeed and conquer any life situation as they grow up. Primary school team building activities hone communication skills by teaching these two important life skills:
How To Listen
Children who are part of a team, first have to listen to their coaches to learn how to perform their assigned roles. Next, they have to learn how to listen to each other to function as a cohesive unit. Last, they have to learn how to listen to their opponents. This is a different type of listening that involves picking up on social cues and navigating complex situations.
How To Speak
Now we are aware that the students already know how to talk, but speaking is entirely different. Speaking is about connecting with an audience. Which involves reaching out to others in a meaningful way. As we know that how people speak demonstrates their understanding, respect, and EQ — crucial traits acquired through classroom team-building activities.
Other Benefits Of Classroom Team Building Activities
Teamwork Improves Self-Confidence
During primary school team building activities, even a shy member of the team feels encouraged to participate, which helps boost their confidence. Also, as more members of the team start participating, the team starts performing better. Thereby making its members feel more valued and respected, leading to a significant decrease in each team member’s insecurity, which further encourages more effective and open communication. It’s a self-sustaining cycle where participation in team activities improves social skills and helps a student become less insecure.
Teamwork Reduces Bullying
Teamwork can dramatically reduce the effects of bullying. Being a member of a team that cares and supports its members, can give the students a sense of worth. So much so that the acts of a future bully have no effect. All in all, by providing students with a support system, teams can help them deal with any conflict/difficulty confidently and peacefully. In addition, students will also feel positive to help others deal with the effects of bullying. Where because of the increased understanding and social skills imparted through teamwork, students are better equipped to stand up for others. Also, teamwork imparts the value of respecting others, which makes it easy for a student to communicate and vocalize their support.z
Teamwork Builds Successful Adults
There are very few career paths that don’t involve working closely with at least a small group of people. An adult with good social and communication skills usually works happier as a member of such groups. Moreover, employers also prefer employees with good interpersonal skills. Since employees who work well with others are happier and more productive in their jobs creating a positive cycle where happy and productive employees work better, leading to better pay, more promotions, more happiness, improved productivity.
Back To School Team Building Activities For students
This team-building activity is designed to help the members of the class express their comfort level by performing different tasks. At start, students have to stand in the outer circle where the innermost circle represents being comfortable with a given task. The middle circle represents a feeling that a task is challenging. And the outer circle represents feeling fearful of completing a task. Students are then asked to act out different scenarios and express how they feel while performing a task. During this activity, the students gradually move from the circle of discomfort to the comfortable inner core, as they learn to process and gauge their weaknesses, strengths, limiting mindsets, and underlying emotions. Making this one of the most insightful back-to-school team-building activities for students.
The Empty Chair
This team builder is designed to help students improve their communication skills with the other group members. Where the chairs are spread out, and each student has to make their way to an empty chair in the opposite end of the room, by walking slowly. However, if another student beats them to it then they need to find another empty chair. The catch here is that once a student stands up from their chair, they are not allowed to sit on it again. This means that if two or more students stand up at the same time, they have to communicate and negotiate about who gets the next empty chair. An added kicker is that students are not allowed to speak. This encourages the students to find innovative ways to communicate. Thereby improving their non-verbal communication skills. While working towards the common goal of keeping the other student from getting to the empty chair.
The Ball Game
Students usually love this fun, yet challenging, team builder. For this activity, students stand in a circle and one student is given a tennis ball. Their task is to throw the ball to another person in the circle and say their name as they throw it. The person they throw the ball to, then throws it to another person in the circle, after calling out their name. Once all students have learned everyone’s name and mastered this step, it is time to step it up.
Now, instead of saying the name of the person they are throwing the ball to, the students need to call out the name of the person who has to get the ball next. For example, if Student A throws the ball to Student B, they will call out the name of Student C. This team activity helps to build agility, alertness, and sharpen memory skills.
Crossing The Line
This team builder is designed to help students learn more about their classmates and feel more comfortable sharing personal information about themselves. Where a line is created using tape in the middle of the room. Then the students pick some topics/categories that they are curious to learn about each other. For each topic, the students give a yes or no answer by crossing the line. For example: if the topic is video games, the students are asked if they play video games for more than 4 hours each week. If the answer is yes, the students cross the line. As students begin to get more comfortable with the activity, the questions tend to get deeper and more personal. One example would be, “Do you ever doubt yourself?”. However, when asking deeper questions, it’s important to make sure to give students more time to process the question and then decide if they want to cross the line. This activity helps all the students in the class feel more comfortable with one another and builds real intimacy.
The Trust Fall
The Trust Fall is designed to help students increase their level of trust with their peers in class. To begin, students are paired up after which one student stands with their back towards their partner and the other student stands with their one knee out and arms outstretched. After that, the person in the front closes their eyes and just lets themselves fall out of balance backward, into the arms of their partner. Usually, the partners start at just a short distance apart and increase the distance as they start to get more comfortable. After a few rounds, students are to switch positions, so the person who’s falling is now the one to catch. This activity, as the name suggests, helps build faith and trust among the teammates.
Final Thoughts On Team-Building Exercises For students
When we incorporate team-building activities into a classroom, it’s amazing how well the students learn to communicate and collaborate. However, please note that it’s important to ensure that quality instructions are given by facilitators of such activities. A malleable child’s mind needs proper guidance along with a fair amount of compassion and patience.
Note that communicating with respect has a tremendous impact on how well students learn from team-building activities and how quickly results from participation in a team are visible. This is why all team activities must be led by qualified and trained professionals like the ones at Urban Quest.
Lastly, primary school team building activities involving more complex and high-risk interactions, such as negotiations or having to hold the hands of other people — as seen in some popular team building activities such as the Human Knot, Impulse, and Bodypop Wave — help young people develop high levels of respect, tolerance, empathy, and compassion.