Non-Competitive Team-Building Activities for Elementary School Students

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier Google

    Learning social skills and teamwork is essential for elementary school students. Non-competitive team-building activities help students learn how to work together and create a positive learning environment. Activities that encourage children to accomplish something as a team foster listening skills, spark creativity and help children bond with one another. Team builders can be used to reinforce school subject areas or as a energizing break from the regular school day.

    Group Mural

    A group mural provides elementary school students with an opportunity to work together and express their feelings and knowledge about a topic. Put a large sheet of banner paper on a wall or in an open area on the floor. Make sure the paper is large enough to accommodate the entire class. Provide a box of markers or crayons and ask students to create a group mural. The mural can represent a current classroom topic or individual aspects of each child. When it’s finished, ask the children to reflect upon the experience and hang the mural in the hall or classroom.

    Make a Move

    Use a non-competitive team builder to energize your elementary school students in the middle of the day. Form a circle with enough chairs for all but one of your students. Have one student stand in the middle of the circle and make a statement. For example, everyone wearing the color red, make a move. All students who identify with the statement must move to a new chair. The student left standing has the opportunity to make a new statement. Continue the process until everyone has had the chance to be in the middle of the circle.

    Double Line

    Help your elementary school children develop interpersonal communication skills with a high-energy team builder. Divide the class in half and have them form two lines facing one another. Instruct them to introduce themselves to the person they're facing. Create a list of interesting questions. Include topics such as favorite food, television show or animal. Announce one of the questions and ask them to discuss it with their partners. Next, have one student from one of the lines run down to the end of the line. Encourage the class to give them high fives as they run to their new spot. The lines should adjust so everyone has a new partner. Repeat the process until all questions have been answered.

    Personal Flags

    Help your elementary school students celebrate their special gifts and talents with personal flags. Give each student an 11-by-17 piece of paper and various art supplies. Ask them to create a flag that represents who they are. Tell them to include family background, interests, talents and things that are special to them. Give each child the opportunity to discuss their flag with the group. Hang the flags around the room to celebrate the unique composition of the class.

    About the Author

    Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

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