Some lovely teamwork ideas and games here from our various books. 101 Games for Social Skills by Jenny Mosley and Helen Sonnet is a great source for more ideas!
The Guardian and the Treasure
Aim: Use this activity to help with KS2 children with group cooperation, helping the class to develop concentration and listening, encouraging children to think about what they want.
Sitting in a circle, the children make up a story about treasure – what it is, where it is, who its guardian is, e.g. a pirate and his jewels, a magician and his spell book, a monster and his gold. The children then suggest some ‘obstacles’ that can be set up within the circle, e.g. upturned chairs, pieces of scrunched-up newspaper, with a chair in the centre for the guardian. The treasure (something that could be noisy like keys or bells) is placed under the guardian’s chair.
First a ‘Guardian’ is chosen, blindfolded and seated in the centre of the circle. The rest of the group has to maintain complete silence whilst the chosen ‘treasure-seeker’ tries to negotiate the obstacles – by climbing over or through them – in order to retrieve the treasure and get back to his/her seat without being ‘caught’. It is the guardian’s task to listen carefully and when he/she thinks they hear the seeker to the point to where they heard the sound and say ‘Stop’ loudly at the same time. The seeker has to freeze, and if the pointed finger is in their direction they have to return to their seat. The guardian is allowed only four attempts at stopping any seeker. If the treasure-seeker gets the treasure they receive a cheer and clap from the group and may elect the new guardian. (The guardian is also congratulated and thanked.)
Can I be You?
Aim: For KS2 to help develop empathy, expressing feelings without feeling threatened. Building group trust and support.
Sitting in a circle, the teacher or the children will identify an emotion to be explored that day, e.g. worry. Anonymously, children complete a written sentence such as ‘I am worried that some of the big boys will trip me up at lunchtime’ on a slip of paper. All the papers are then placed in a central container and the children take it in turns to remove a paper from the container, read it, then take a turn to talk about it to the group as if the reader were the writer of that sentence.
Find that Chair!
Aim: To help KS2 children feel what its like to belong to a group, and to help children empathise with children when they are not feeling like part of the group.
Explain that the following introductory game is being used for two reasons: that it serves a purpose of reminding us of the good feelings we get when we are part of a group having fun and the bad feelings we may get when we feel left out or different. Ask for a volunteer, explaining it is a difficult game to play. (Choose a popular member of the class.)
He/she stands in the middle and the rest of the group move clockwise, covering the seats with their bottoms as they move around. (Therefore there is always an empty chair but it appears / disappears as the group circle moves around.) The volunteer’s task is to try and sit on an empty chair, but as he/she dashes towards it the circle, as if with one ‘mind’, goes into action and moves round. As the game progresses, the moving group experiences great hilarity as a result of the movement and the success of thwarting one increasingly determined, wildly-dashing, volunteer. Afterwards you can discuss what it feels like to be the one trying to sit down.
The Sleeping Spell
Aim: To help develop powers of observation and cooperation and to be able to take on different roles with grace.
The children sit in a circle. A child is chosen to be the detective and leaves the room. Another child is chosen to be the magician, and the detective returns to stand in the centre of the circle. Without being seen by the detective, the magician winks at any child, who then ‘falls asleep’. This continues until the detective correctly identifies the magician. Different children are then chosen to play the roles.
Pass the Squeeze
Aim: For children of all ages to have fun in a group, to develop concentration
You and the children hold hands around the circle, sitting or standing. Squeeze the hand of the child on your left and tell him/her to pass the squeeze on to the child on his left. The squeeze is passed from child to child around the circle until it comes back to you. Tell the children that they must only give a gentle squeeze!
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