Indoor Team-Building Activities for Kids

Take a break from seat time with an indoor team-building exercise.
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The rainy season can cause serious classroom jumpiness if you don’t keep a stock of indoor games on hand. Being stuck inside for recess or simply needing a break from seat work, however, is a perfect opportunity to engage in team-building activities, so turn that lemon into lemonade with these fun, interactive, cooperative games.

1 Treasure Hunt

Everyone loves treasure hunts, and they’re best when shared. Pair kids up into small groups and pass out a list of clues that lead to different areas of the classroom. They will need to work as a team to figure out each clue, which should lead them from one place to another around the room. You may either leave new instructions at each site, or include instructions on the same sheet. Solving the last clue should lead to a fun reward.

2 Trust Games

Trust games are best played between two students who don’t know each other that well, so pair students up instead of allowing them to choose partners. Pass out pieces of string about 2 feet long and have students take turns closing their eyes and allowing their partner to lead them around the room without bumping into other students or objects. The point of the trust game is to encourage kids to develop faith in their partner when their eyes are closed, and to look out for their partners when they are leading them.

3 The Human Knot

A favorite among children, the human knot teaches both cooperation and respect for physical space, as well as spatial reasoning. Kids bunch together in the center of a cleared room, grabbing each other’s hands at random. Eventually every person will hold two other hands in a huge knot. Then slowly, kids have to untangle themselves by flipping around, ducking under other hands and rearranging themselves. At the end, you should end up in one large, unbroken circle.

4 Get Acquainted Sheet

This activity is best for early in the year, when kids don’t know each other that well yet. Make up a sheet of questions like “Who has blue eyes?” and “Who has been outside the United States?” with spaces next to each question where kids can write the names of classmates. Hand each child a sheet and tell them to put it on a clipboard and grab a pencil or pen, then tell them they’re free to move around the room for a specified period of time. Tell them to try to find a person to match each question within that period of time, preferably a different student for each category.

Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. She holds a master's degree in journalism.