Trust-building is one of those activities that is mainly associated with corporate team building. However, classroom games on this list are also super-important as they can profoundly impact their development.
Here are five trust-building games for kids and teenagers:
#1 Trust Fall
There is a pretty good chance you’ve seen this trust exercise in a movie, TV show, or maybe experienced it in a corporate retreat. It is a classic trust exercise that is still used to build trust and confidence, not just among adults but also among children and teenagers. But, because it requires catching, it is not recommended to be practiced with young children.
First, the group is divided into pairs. Then one of the partners will stand facing away from the other one. After giving the signal, the partner standing in front of the other one will fall backward. The partner standing behind the one that falls backward need to catch him/her and make sure that it doesn’t hit the ground.
At first, they are close to each other. The next time they try the exercise, they can increase the distance between them. Later they can switch roles; the one that is falling backward can be the catcher and vice versa.
#2 Wind in the willows
This exercise is similar to trust fall. The difference here is that one child stands surrounded by a group of other children. The child in the middle stands straight, eyes closed, arms crossed across the chests, and feet together.
The surrounding children form a circle around the child in the middle and have their hands up. Once the child in the middle starts to fall sideways, forward, or backward, the group needs to push it back to a standing position gently. Again, the idea is for the child in the middle not to fall.
#3 Believe in the Leader
Split the group into two teams and assign a leader to each team. Each team needs to line up behind its leader. Each team member needs to place one hand on the teammate’s shoulder in front of him/her. In the meantime, the facilitator of the game needs to set up the cones.
Then it is up to the leaders to navigate their teams through the cones. The leader needs to ensure that every team member goes through the maze of cones without hitting one. The team that finishes first wins the game. Ideally, each team member assumes the role of team leader at least once.
#4 Draw a Twin
Split the group into pairs. First, one of the members draws a picture on their own while the partner looks away. Once finished, the partner needs to draw the same picture. The trick here is not to see the original drawing but only to receive instructions from the team member. After they are done, they can compare pictures.
#5 The Knot
Make everyone stand in a circle, close their eyes, and put their hands forward. Their hands need to meet in the center of the circle, and everyone needs to find a hand to hold. Once everyone grabs a hand, they can open their eyes. Next, they need to try to untangle without letting go of the person they are holding.
Trust-building games at school or school excursions present a unique opportunity to ignite trust among teens and children. The key here is to ensure that no one feels any pressure or nervousness while conducting these games/exercises. After a while, trust and bonds between children and teens will strengthen. Just make sure that everyone is genuinely involved and feels comfortable about all that.