We’ve all heard the clichés, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” “Together Everyone Achieves More.” As adults, we know how much of an integral role that teamwork plays in our everyday lives; in our friendships, relationships, and most certainly in the work place. Teamwork is supporting each other and working to achieve a common goal. But what does that mean to children, and how can we teach them from a young age to be team players?
Here are a few ideas and activities that promote teamwork skills, and good sportsmanship in your day to day routine with young school-age children:
- Allow your children to plan a meal together or with you, depending on age. Have them plan it from start to finish; making the grocery list, preparing the meal, setting the table, serving, and washing the dishes.
- Play games that encourage teamwork and problem solving. Organized sports or even a neighborhood game of tag will help them learn how to work with others.
- Model teamwork by helping them with a chore or helping another family member get something done that they were working on.
- Play a chain reaction game. Give them a card with a silly task to do once someone else does a silly task. For example, one of the cards could read “once someone claps their hands three times, get up and turn off the lights.” Then the next card would read “when someone turns off the lights, bark like a dog.” And so on. This will help put into perspective how much of what we do is dependent on others.
- Make up a story together. Create an imaginative masterpiece by taking turns and collaborating on a work of fiction. Bind the book with ribbon or binder rings and keep it to read together often. You could even create a story out loud. Alternate sentences and see what silly story can come out of working together!
- Create a piece of art together. Start with any materials you have lying around the house. Use paper or canvas and take turns adding something to the art piece. Display in their room when you are done.
- Put together a puzzle. Pick one out together and work to complete it.
These are just a few of the many team building activities for kids that can help develop important social skills that they can carry with them for a lifetime.