Team building games for your classroom


Team building games for your classroom

Returning to school after the summer holidays can mean new environments for children and teachers alike, but how do you go about creating a welcoming and relaxed environment?

Team building games are great for introducing youngsters to each other, and for allowing them to get to know you as a teacher. If it’s a new classroom, or when pupils are transitioning into a new school, such games can act as an ice-breaker, enabling them to find out about their new peers in the process.

Here we explore a few of the team building games teachers can use to help foster a positive classroom environment and get the new academic year off to a great start.

Why team building activities?

The National Curriculum does a fantastic job of encouraging pupils to problem solve and there’s ample opportunities for youngsters to work in groups and get to know each other in class. But teambuilding activities go beyond that, allowing pupils to find out more about each other on a personal level.

Games help to teach core skills around working together and respect, all of which help to prepare pupils for life in education and the workplace beyond. In addition, many of the games we’ve looked at here put an emphasis on communication and creative thinking too, while fun activities can also provide a welcome confidence boost before the main learning gets underway.

It’s my birthday!

A good task for new classes, which involves pupils having to order themselves depending on when their birthday is throughout the year. It encourages communication as they’ll need to chat to each other to find out when the dates are, or you can encourage this task to be done in complete silence. This means pupils need to use gestures and be creative, and it will certainly raise a giggle or two, making it an ideal early year icebreaker! It can also be a great memory game for out in the playground later in the week, as you tell the class they have 30 seconds to get back in birthday order – a great way to see who was paying attention!

Navigate the minefield

With a focus on trust and communication, Minefield involves creating an obstacle course of ‘mines’ for teams of students to tackle. One member of each team is then blindfolded, and is guided through the obstacle course by their peers. There’s plenty of options to make it more challenging too, as you could limit what pupils can say, such as banning the use of ‘left’ and ‘right’. Alternatively, you could by introduce rules so that pupils can only communicate with noises not words, if you want them to get creative.

Be constructive

One for the creative pupils in the classroom, teachers can create challenges which require something to be constructed. Youngsters must work together in small teams to create their solutions, which may involve regular classroom items, such as pens and piles of books, or fun options such as wood, Lego and other toys. Some examples of challenges could include building the strongest bridge from string capable of supporting an egg, making the tallest tower to withstand having ping pong balls thrown at it, or using one sheet of A4 card to create the highest structure capable of supporting a book. There’s multiple solutions to every challenge and pupils could even work against the clock if you want to make things more challenging.

Class storytime

One for children of all ages as it can be made as simple or as complex as you like, class storytime involves sitting pupils down in a circle and giving each of them an easily identifiable emoji, logo or picture. As the teacher, you’ll kick of the story with an introductory line that mentions one of them, and you’ll then progress around the group with each pupil adding a line that features another one of the emoji’s or logos until everyone has taken part. It’s great for encouraging communication and it can also reveal some of the more creative pupils. For added complexity, split your class into two or three groups, and encourage them to recite the story from the beginning, each time it’s their go.


Easy to create, and one which gets pupils talking, this game involves creating bingo cards which have a range of different pastimes and characteristics on. It could be something as simple as ‘I have a brother’ or ‘I like spaghetti’ through to more niche ideas around sports teams, favourite subjects or favourite shops to go in. Pupils should then be given a card with the various ideas on, before moving around the classroom until they can tick off boxes when they match with someone else. They add that person’s name to the box and then continue until someone has completed a line to call a Bingo.

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