Team building activities for teens are proven to help raise self-esteem, as they make each person a worthwhile member of a group and teach teens that everyone has something to contribute.
The idea behind team building activities is that everyone is equal - it doesn’t matter what you are wearing, how you style your hair, whether or not you are clumsy or deft, outgoing or shy! A level playing field is paramount to helping teens loosen up and get over their natural self consciousness.
Workshops that utilize free team building activities have a high success rate for raising self-esteem and creating a healthy self image. When everyone works together as a team, no-one gets left behind and each person has a chance to shine in their own way - whether as a leader or a facilitator. Teachers and counselors who work with teens understand this and use various non-threatening games and activities to encourage everyone to participate without fear of ridicule.
Sports activities for youths in many cases focus on stiff competition - even in so called ‘team’ sports! True team building activities for kids give as much recognition to the one who blocks an opposing player as to the one who scores the goal, and passing off a shot to help the team as a whole instead of putting the emphasis on personal glory is encouraged. Most games and activities that help build self-esteem concentrate on teamwork either in groups or as pairs, to build trust and self confidence. When a team is being formed, the emphasis should be placed on finding the best qualities in each player or participant. In sports, this may mean emphasizing one player’s speed and another’s dexterity and a thirds ability to look ahead and make intuitive calls. There can be much glory in an assist as in scoring the actual goal, provided the efforts are recognized - which is why team building efforts should concentrate on positive reinforcement.
In other activities, different skills and creative slants take the foreground - for example, if a group is assigned to prepare a presentation, you can find out which teen is the budding public speaker, which one has artistic talent to make posters for visual aids, and a third who is cool under pressure to do the actual hands on demonstration.
There are many online resources that feature team building activities for kids; this website is one of them. Here you can find examples of free team building exercises to help increase self confidence and self-esteem as well as trust. There are literally hundreds of variations, and you can adapt or expand the activities depending on the size of the group and the space available.
Team building activities for teens that are less competitive are a way to encourage personal growth and social skills in a safe and non-judgmental setting. This is a good practice not only for shy teens or those with low self esteem, but for overly confident and overbearing teens who can benefit from an atmosphere where the focus is on cooperation and team building.
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