Team Bonding Games for High School

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Whether you're overseeing a high school sports team, cheer squad, team trivia competitors or some other after-school activity, building a sense of community and friendship will help to ensure the group works as a cohesive unit. In order to foster a sense of teamwork, your high schoolers can engage in a number of team bonding games that will help break the ice, make them comfortable around their teammates and create a synergy in the group.

1 The Toxic River

This game involves both physical interaction and communication skills, making it ideal for cheer or sports teams, as well as theater/drama clubs. In a closed room, gather everyone on one side of the room. Down the middle of the room, measure a strip of floor five feet wide (this is the "toxic river"). The goal is to move everyone from one side of the "river" to the other, with haste. The rules are as follows: 1) You can't cross without wearing "magic boots," which are invisible. 2) Each person can only wear the boots once. 3) The boots can't be thrown back across the "river" when one person makes the crossing. To get everyone across, your students can carry other students, but the same student can't cross the river more than twice.

2 The Human Knot

Also known by the name "To Be or Knot to Be," this game is simple to play, but sometimes hard to solve. Using only an even number of students, everyone stands in a circle and takes the hand of someone else. This creates a knot that can be untangled by the students, using communication skills to direct the movements of others (such as stepping over the hands of the other students.) The students must attempt to unravel "the knot" without letting go of the other hands they are holding. The game is over when everyone is standing in a large circle, side by side, with everyone holding hands.

3 Never Have I Ever/I Never Did That!

This game is easy to play, and works very well as an icebreaker. It can help the people involved get to know each other better and jumpstart friendships within the group by sharing experiences. Every player gets 10 pieces of candy. Sitting in a circle, one person at a time reveals something they have never done, such as "I never traveled to Canada." Anyone in the circle who has been to Canada (or done the thing that was named) gives the speaker a piece of their candy. The game lasts until every person has spoken twice, at which point the winner (the person with the most candy) is declared.

4 Ropes Courses

With a little searching, you should be able to find a certified ropes course in your area. This outdoor facilities include zip lines, climbing rigs, tight-rope walking and more. By challenging individual fears of heights, the group bonds closely together to support each person as the push themselves to the limit.

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.