Start of the year team-building activities for the classroom

Go Team!
Image used under creative commons licence

With the start of the year winding down I thought I would share with you some icebreaker activities I’ve done with my class to help build a sense of team this year.

Human bingo

Like bingo but instead alongside content questions e.g knows their 8 times tables backwards you can add in things like ‘went to the beach in summer holidays.

The human knot 

I find having a length of ribbon stops the ‘eww  I don’t want hold this person’s hand.’ Students stand in a circle shoulder to shoulder.  Have them put their right hand into the middle holding a ribbon. The kids then find another person’s ribbon across the circle to hold on to. You need to make sure that the kids are holding the hands of different people. Then the kids have to make a circle without releasing the ribbons. This activity works best with about 10-12 maximum and I start with small size groups to get the kids used to it. You could add challenges like no talking or having some of the group blind


The goal of this activity is to get the students to work together to try and fit into a set number of hula hoops. Start out with a large number of hula hoops and then gradually bring down the number. The class will eventually find they need to life some people up to get down to four or even three hula hoops. A great team building and spatial awareness challenge.


This can be an inter-class team. Class gets two gym mats and have to work their way from one end of the gym to other without any team members touching the ground. If someone puts a body part on the mat, then they must go back to the start. Winning team is the first to get their people to safety.

Marshmallow challenge

My students loved this challenge. Each team gets 6-8 skewers (or spaghetti pieces) and four marshmallows. They are then challenged with making the tallest structure possible in teams of 2-3. Hard part: kids wanting to eat marshmallows.

Time capsule

My class went digital with this. Each child is charged with interviewing another student about their first few days at school. We’ll take some photos of our visual mihis and ‘bury’ the time capsule until the last day of school.

What  activities did you do with your class to build a sense of team?

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