The piece of tape hung in the air, three feet from the ground. The small group of children stared at it.
“We have to get all of us over that? Without touching it!?” they exclaimed. All at once they burst into a number of conversations, each trying to speak over the other. The smallest among them stepped into the circle and quietly said to the rest; “I know how we could do this; but I need your help.” Slowly and patiently, he explained how it might work. Another child contributed her ideas and soon enough, they were all helping one another over the tape.
Teamwork has always been an important social skill for children. As educational systems are adapting to include a larger component of group work, mirroring the work environment of today’s economy, now more than ever, children need exposure to team-building skills at a young age.
Team-building and teamwork are integral life skills. Children stand to benefit from acquiring these skills; by learning how to work in a team they develop self-confidence and improve their communication skills. Working in a team setting, whether competitive (team sports) or recreational (after school programs, birthday parties etc.), children benefit from experiential learning by having a platform in which they can interact positively with one another. These benefits include:
- Learning about leadership abilities
- Practicing decision making processes
- Improving communication skills
- Developing conflict resolution methods
Collective challenges are a great setting for bringing a group of children together by encouraging them to work together. A popular challenge for young children (that’s safe and fun to do at home) is to have a number of children stand on top of a durable fabric (a tarp, or old towel). There should be very little extra room around their feet. The challenge: flip the fabric onto its other side, without letting anyone’s feet touch the ground. Hint: Holding hands help.Written by: Gabriel Gosselin, Children’s Recreational Programmer,
Dynamix: Team-building for Kids and Teens, since 2002.
Picture taken from Google Images, source: http://rlv.zcache.com/teamwork_kids_poster-r98a4b07cbc7646238022a77c8653d2a3_a640t_8byvr_512.jpg