Build a culture of trust in your elementary school classrooms with these fun activities! Help break the ice between your students and foster great communication skills. These trust activities take virtually no preparation time and tap into your team’s creative thinking potential. Whether you’re looking for a 10-minute warm-up or something for 30-45 minute classes, we’ve got all sorts of fun team-building activities for you to enjoy!
1. Get to Know You Balloons
Give each person a balloon and a blank piece of paper. Write an icebreaker question on the paper and put it in the balloon. Blow them up and toss the balloons around the room. When everyone has caught one, pop it and have them answer the question aloud.
Learn More: Darlington School
2. Line Up
Have your students get to know each other with this simple activity. The goal is to get them in a line arranged by their birthdays! It should take 5-7 minutes to complete although for younger students it may take a little longer.
Learn More: Ellen Senisi
Teach your kids all about non-verbal communication. Player 1 makes eye contact with player 2 who moves to take their spot in the circle. Player 2 looks at player 3 to convey the signal, “move out of the way”! Keep going until everyone is in a new spot.
Learn More: Mom Junction
4. Space Balls
A simple game to break up the day! Describe the weight, shape, and size of your imaginary space ball. Carefully pass it around the circle and make sure your students maintain the size and shape of the ball! Make it a toxic waste ball during the speed round!
Learn More: Elementary Matters
5. Relay Races
Relay races are fun games and great trust-building exercises! Students have to work together to pass the batons, complete sack races, or complete an obstacle course without dropping an egg!
Learn More: Kid Activities
6. Don’t Lose Your Marbles
Students will have to work together to ensure their marbles stay inside the plastic tubes. Create an 8-foot circle and have your students stand at different heights. Working together, they need to move the marbles around the circle without dropping them!
Learn More: S&S Worldwide
7. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Tag
Break into two teams and line up facing one another. When the team leaders say go, opposing members face off in a game of rock, paper, scissors. Whoever wins has to chase and tag the other team member before they reach home base!
Learn More: Playworks
8. Marshmallow Towers
Work on collaboration skills by having teams compete to build the tallest tower! Give each team an equal number of marshmallows and toothpicks. Give them 15-30 minutes to design and assemble their towers before measuring. Share the marshmallows afterward!
Learn More: JDA Learning Resources
9. Cup Stacking Challenge
Using cups, string, and rubber bands, have groups of 2-6 participants work together to stack the cups into a pyramid without touching them! Each person holds onto a string attached to a rubber band. They can then use that device to lift the cups into place.
Learn More: Nick Cronwell
10. Human Alphabet
Get your entire team up and moving! Spread out in a big space and lead your students in spelling letters with their bodies. Then, divide into teams to spell out short words!
Learn More: Alphabet Rockers
11. Hula Hoop Pass
Create team cohesion and work on listening, coordinating, and strategizing skills at the same time. Students will have to work together to get the entire circle through the hula hoop without breaking their hand chains.
Learn More: Meraki Lane
12. Fingertip Hula Hoop
For older students, rest a hula hoop on a circle of fingertips. No hooking their fingers around the hoop! Successful teams will be able to lower the hoop to the ground without dropping it.
Learn More: PAShehaqua
13. The Human Knot Game
This activity is best for groups of 4-12 people. Everyone stands shoulder to shoulder in a circle and puts their hands in the middle. Grab a random hand that’s not next to you. Then attempt to unknot the group without letting go of your partners’ hands!
Learn More: Icebreaker Ideas
14. Spiderwebs of Friendship
Grab a ball of yarn and toss it between your team members! Students can either give each other compliments or use the game to ask icebreaker questions at the beginning of the year. To untangle the web, pass the yarn ball in reverse.
Learn More: Fabulous Fabris
15. Straw Challenge
This activity takes 10-15 minutes. Form a circle and have your students hold one end of a straw with their right pointer finger. Crossing their left arm over, have them hold their neighbor’s straw with their other hand and attempt to do some movements without dropping the straws.
Learn More: GUIDE, Inc
16. Back-to-Back Drawing
Pair off your team for this fun game. Place a piece of paper on one member’s back and have them face a wall. As the second team member draws a figure line-by-line on their back, they attempt to recreate the image based on what they feel!
Learn More: Buzzfeed
17. All About Me Art Puzzles
Have your students decorate puzzle pieces to represent who they are. Colorful collages, funny cartoons, or bold graphic designs! Leave the connecting section blank and have students work together to make the colors on the puzzle pieces fit together!
Learn More: Art is Basic
18. Sneak a Peak
Build a small sculpture using Lego and hide it from the teams. Give one team member 10 seconds to look at the structure before returning to their peers. They only have 25 seconds to tell them what they saw and try to replicate it!
Learn More: We Are Teachers
19. Hot Seat
Split your class into two equally-sized teams. Send one member of each team to face their peers with their back to the board. Display a word and practice some communication skills to see which team can get guess it first using synonyms, antonyms, and definitions within the time limit!
Learn More: Games4esl
20. Paper Bag Dramatics
Break your class into small groups of 4-6 people. Hand each group a paper bag filled with random objects. They then have to create a sketch of 2-3 minutes in length using the objects. The group needs to write, practice, and perform their skits for the entire class!
Learn More: Elementary Matters
21. Recycled Materials Fashion Show
Unleash your students’ inner fashionistas with this team-building activity! Collect recyclable materials and lots of tapes. Then, let your students design. Break into groups of 3-4 people to create elaborate wedding dresses or Halloween costumes. When you’ve finished, put on a class fashion show!
Learn More: Mommy Lessons 101
22. Getting to Know You Bingo
A classic team-building activity that’s perfect to use if you’re aiming to build classroom trust! Personalize the bingo cards for your students. Then, give them 10-20 minutes to complete their cards. You can also create a remote team-building activity if your students are distance learning.
Learn More: Etsy
23. Positive Plates
Get your entire team involved in this positive reinforcement exercise. Tape a paper plate on everyone’s back. Everyone then walks around and writes positive, anonymous comments about each other. Once they’re done, team members can remove the plates and read what everyone wrote!
Learn More: Mis Clases Locas
24. I Say, You Draw
Break your class into pairs for this delightful drawing exercise. One person describes an object without using any words associated with it. No lines, directions, or shapes! Their partner then attempts to recreate the object. Once they’ve finished, switch roles.
Learn More: The Daring English Teacher
25. Just Listen
Encourage your students to build a culture of trust by listening to one another. Divide into teams of two. Talk about a random topic for 2 minutes per person. The listener can only listen. No questions, agreeing, or debates!
Learn More: Mom Junction
26. Cooperative Caterpillar
A fun, outdoor team-building activity! Get into groups of 4-6 people and give each student a hula hoop. Place a spare hula hoop in front of the “caterpillar” to move down the field. Set random objects along a course for each group to pick up as they pass the hula hoops along.
Learn More: Justin Cahill