Encouraging teamwork in outdoor play

Encouraging teamwork in outdoor play

Learning is an essential part of preschool, and much of this time is spent learning about the environment, math, language, and science. However, learning to interact with others is just as important, and teamwork is an aspect of that process.

Effective teamwork will help children throughout their education, forming study groups, completing group tasks, and then going on into their adult working lives.

It can also promote compassion and awareness of the emotional needs of others, making social interactions easier.

If children learn to work in teams from a young age, life will be easier when they are older.

Developing teamwork skills requires unique activities, so here are five activities that could help your children learn to play and work in teams well.

  • Marble In The Maze

In a cardboard box with the lid taken off, create a maze using straws or cardboard. Then tell your children that by working in groups, they must get a marble from one side of the maze to the other by tilting the maze between them.

This can be done in groups as small as two or as large as your whole class, depending on the size of the class and your maze.

  • Keeping The Ball In The Middle

This time, using a cardboard box or a parachute (a large fabric sheet), get a group of children to keep a ball in the middle by tilting, lifting, or lowering the parachute.

This is a fun game, and children love it. It is also a game that many children can participate in at the same time.

  • Murals

Create a large image for your children to colour in and get the group to complete it together at the same time. This encourages several skills, but communication is one of the most important.

You can add another aspect to this by giving each child a different colour to use or using paint with splashes, drips, and sprays.

  • Group Singing

A common way to encourage teamwork is by offering children time to sing and dance around a circle together. There are numerous songs to choose from, including “The Farmer and the Dell” and “A Ring a Ring of Roses.”

To add another stage to this teamwork exercise, have the children choose the song by group consensus.

  • Ribbons And Rings

Place rings on a ribbon that is tied to trees or posts in an outdoor space. Then ask your children to hold the rings together and move them along the ribbon. Place obstacles along the path to make it challenging to move together. This encourages problem solving, communication, and further teamwork.

You can time pairs and challenge them to improve upon their previous attempts for extra fun.


Teamwork is an important learned skill. You can support your children with several fun activities, such as those above. As their teamwork skills improve, so does their ability to succeed in adult life.

What are your favourite group-work activities? What challenges have you encountered when encouraging teamwork?

Let us know in the comments below.

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
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