15 Team Building Activities for Middle School Students

Team building activities for middle school students.

In the exciting world of middle school, every day is an adventure and every classroom is a chance to make a difference. You know better than anyone that these years are crucial for our young learners – it’s when friendships bloom and team spirits soar. That’s where team building activities for middle school students come into play. It’s the best way to add a whole lot of fun and a dash of learning to the mix!

Think of these activities as your secret ingredient for a vibrant school culture. These team-building exercises aren’t just games. They’re opportunities for students of all ages to connect, collaborate, and step out of their comfort zones. Whether it’s solving puzzles together, embarking on team challenges, or simply sharing laughs, each activity is a building block for stronger, more empathetic relationships. So, are you ready to add some extra zing to your middle school with activities that teach, inspire, and entertain? Let’s jump in!

1. Human Knot

Get ready for some twisty fun with the Human Knot! This classic team-building activity is all about getting students literally tangled up in teamwork. Everyone stands in a circle, reaches across to grab a random hand, and then the group works together to untangle themselves – without letting go of each other’s hands. It’s like a game of Twister, but with a teamwork twist!

Objective: The Human Knot is perfect for teaching communication, problem-solving skills, and the importance of patience and collaboration. Plus, it’s a great icebreaker!

Materials Needed: Just your students and a space where they can stand in a circle.


    1. Have students stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.
    2. Each student reaches out to grab the hand of someone across the circle – making sure it’s not the person next to them.
    3. After everyone’s hands are connected, the challenge is to untangle the group back into a circle, without anyone releasing hands.
    4. Encourage students to communicate and work together to find a solution. There will be twisting, turning, and maybe some giggling!

2. Egg Drop Challenge

Ready to get a little messy and a lot creative? The Egg Drop Challenge is all about protecting a fragile egg from a high fall. Teams will use their wits and a variety of materials to build a structure that keeps their egg safe and sound. It’s part engineering, part art, and totally egg-citing!

Objective: This activity encourages creativity, engineering skills, teamwork skills, and a bit of healthy competition.

Materials Needed: Eggs, various building materials (like straws, tape, cotton, cardboard), and a high drop point (like a balcony or stairwell).


    1. Divide students into small teams and give each team an egg.
    2. Provide a range of building materials for the teams to use.
    3. Set a time limit for teams to build their egg-protecting contraption.
    4. Once time’s up, each team takes turns dropping their egg from the designated height to see if it survives the fall.
    5. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, and the different approaches each team took.

3. Treasure Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? This fun game turns your school into an adventure land where teams solve clues to find hidden treasures. It’s a fantastic way for the whole class to explore the school, work as a team, and challenge those brain cells!

Objective: Enhances teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Plus, it’s a great way for students to familiarize themselves with the school environment.

Materials Needed: Clues (riddles, puzzles, maps), treasures (could be anything from school supplies to a token), hiding spots.


    1. Hide the treasures around the school and create clues that lead to each one.
    2. Divide students into teams and give them their first clue.
    3. Teams follow the clues to find the treasures. Each found treasure leads to the next clue.
    4. The first team to find all the treasures or the final treasure wins!
    5. Debrief with the teams about their strategies and experiences during the hunt.

4. Blindfold Maze

Ready for a trust-building adventure? In the Blindfold Maze, one student becomes the navigator, and their partner, blindfolded, becomes the adventurer. The goal is simple but exciting: navigate through a maze using only verbal instructions. It’s like a real-life video game, but with trust as the main controller!

Objective: This activity strengthens trust, listening skills, and verbal communication. Plus, it’s a great way for fellow students to learn to rely on and support each other.

Materials Needed: Blindfolds, space to set up a safe maze (like a classroom with desks and chairs), and maybe some soft obstacles like plastic cones.


    1. Pair up students and decide who will be blindfolded first.
    2. Set up a maze in the classroom using desks, chairs, and soft obstacles.
    3. The non-blindfolded student must guide their team mate—the blindfolded students—through the maze using only their words. No touching!
    4. Once they reach the end, switch roles and go again!
    5. Encourage teams to reflect on the experience and discuss what strategies worked best.

Team building activities for middle schoolers - maze

5. Two Truths and a Lie

Want a super fun way to break the ice? Two Truths and a Lie is a classic get-to-know-you game where everyone gets a turn to share three statements about themselves – two are true, and one’s a fib. The challenge for the rest of the group? Guessing which one is the lie!

Objective: A great team building activity for improving camaraderie and getting to know each other. This game also encourages creative thinking and a bit of harmless deception.

Materials Needed: None! Just a group of students ready to share and guess.


    1. Have each student think of two true statements about themselves and one that’s not true.
    2. One by one, the next student shares their three statements with the group.
    3. The rest of the group then discusses and votes on which statement they think is the lie.
    4. Reveal the truth and enjoy the surprises and laughs that come with it!
    5. Rotate until everyone has had a turn.

6. Tower Building

It’s time to bring out the inner architects and engineers with the Tower Building Challenge! Teams compete to build the tallest, most stable tower using simple materials. It’s a perfect blend of creativity, strategy, and a bit of friendly competition.

Objective: This activity combines the best of team building activities for middle school students: teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving. Students will work together to construct their architectural masterpiece.

Materials Needed: Straws, tape, paper, and any other lightweight building materials you can find.


    1. Divide students into small teams and provide each team with the same set of building materials.
    2. Set a time limit for the tower construction phase.
    3. Teams work together to build the tallest tower they can within the time limit.
    4. Once time is up, measure the towers to see which team built the tallest one.
    5. Discuss the different building strategies and what made some towers more successful than others.

7. Spider Web

Let’s get tangled in some fun with the Spider Web game! This activity turns your classroom into a giant spider’s web made of strings. The challenge? Students must pass through the web without touching the strings. It’s a thrilling mix of strategy, flexibility, and teamwork, as each student finds their unique way to traverse the web.

Objective: This activity presents fun ways for teaching problem-solving, physical agility, and teamwork. It encourages students to plan, communicate, and support each other in overcoming obstacles.

Materials Needed: String or yarn to create the web, a frame to attach it to (like a doorway or a freestanding frame), and some classroom space.


    1. Create a web by attaching strings across a frame or doorway at various heights and angles.
    2. Divide students into teams.
    3. The goal for each team is to get all members through the web without touching the strings.
    4. If a student touches a string, the team must start over or receive a penalty.
    5. Teams must strategize the best way for each member to pass through, considering different sizes and abilities.
    6. Once a particular section of the web is used, it can be declared ‘closed,’ increasing the challenge for subsequent team members.
    7. After the activity, discuss the strategies used, the challenges faced, and the teamwork involved.

8. Photo Scavenger Hunt

It’s time for some photo fun with a twist! In the Photo Scavenger Hunt, teams race against the clock to complete a list of photo challenges. Each challenge requires creativity, teamwork, and a good eye for details. Perfect for capturing memories while hunting for the next great shot! It doubles as a great game to play during the first week of school, when the students are new to the campus.

Objective: Promotes teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking, as teams must decide how to best capture each challenge within the time limit.

Materials Needed: A list of photo challenges, cameras or smartphones for taking pictures, and a timer.


    1. Prepare a list of creative and fun photo challenges. These can range from simple tasks to more complex ones that require some thought.
    2. Divide students into teams and give each team the list of challenges.
    3. Set a time limit for the scavenger hunt.
    4. Teams must complete as many challenges as possible and take photos as evidence during the set amount of time.
    5. After time’s up, review the photos together and share the fun moments captured.
    6. You can even award points for creativity and teamwork!

Team building activities for middle schoolers - treasure hunt

9. Balloon Keep Up

How long can your team keep a balloon in the air? It’s time to find out with Balloon Keep Up! This energetic activity is all about teamwork and coordination, as students work together to keep balloons from touching the ground. It’s simple, fun, and surprisingly challenging. This challenge also works well for younger students, too.

Objective: Encourages teamwork, coordination, and strategic planning. Plus, it’s a great way to burn off some energy!

Materials Needed: Balloons – lots of them!

  • Instructions:
    1. Divide students into teams and give each team a balloon (or multiple balloons for a bigger challenge).
    2. On your signal, teams must keep their balloon(s) in the air using any part of their body – no holding allowed!
    3. If a balloon touches the ground, that team is out or gets a point deducted.
    4. Keep the game going until only one team remains, or for a set time, and see which team can keep their balloon up the longest.
    5. This activity is great for some laughs and can be played in rounds to allow for different strategies.

10. Tug of War

Ready to test your team’s strength and strategy? Tug of War is a timeless outdoor game that’s all about pulling together – literally! It’s not just a test of muscle; it’s a lesson in teamwork, strategy, and determination. Whether on grass or sand, this game is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.

Objective: Strengthens teamwork, physical endurance, and strategic planning. It’s a great way for students to learn about collective effort and unity.

Materials Needed: A sturdy rope and a marker (like tape or a flag) to indicate the center of the rope.


    1. Divide students into two teams, trying to balance the strength and size on each side.
    2. Mark the center of the rope and lay it on the ground. Each team takes one end of the rope.
    3. On your signal, both teams pull the rope, attempting to bring the center marker past a predetermined point on their side.
    4. The game continues until one team successfully pulls the other over the line.
    5. Encourage teams to strategize and work in unison to maximize their pulling power.

11. Trust Fall

How much do you trust your teammates? The Trust Fall is a classic activity that puts this question to the test. It has been used for years in corporate team building and will work just as well in team building activities for middle school students. One student falls backward, relying solely on their teammates to catch them. It’s a powerful moment of trust and a real adrenaline rush!

Objective: This activity is all about building trust, learning to rely on others, and understanding the responsibility of being trustworthy.

Materials Needed: A soft surface like a grassy area or mats for safety.


    1. Organize students into small groups of about 6-8.
    2. One student stands up, with their back to the group.
    3. The group positions themselves to catch the falling student.
    4. The falling student must keep their body straight and fall backward, trusting their team to catch them.
    5. Each student in the group gets a turn to fall, and the roles of catcher and faller are rotated.
    6. Discuss the feelings and lessons learned after everyone has had a turn.

12. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower

Who knew spaghetti and marshmallows could be the ingredients for a towering challenge? In the Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower activity, teams compete to build the tallest tower using only uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. It’s a sticky, fun-filled, and creative engineering challenge!

Objective: Encourages creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork. It’s a great activity to explore basic engineering principles and collaboration.

Materials Needed: Uncooked spaghetti, marshmallows, and a flat surface for each team to build on.


    1. Divide students into small teams and provide each team with equal amounts of spaghetti and marshmallows.
    2. Set a time limit for the tower construction phase.
    3. Teams work together to build the tallest freestanding tower using only the provided materials.
    4. Once time is up, measure the towers to see which team built the tallest one.
    5. Discuss the various designs and strategies used by each team, highlighting the importance of planning and collaboration.

Team building activities for middle schoolers - tug of war

13. Human Shapes

Ready for a twist on the classic game of charades? In Human Shapes, teams work together to form letters or shapes using their bodies. This activity is like human puzzle-making – each student becomes a piece of a larger picture. It’s a blend of creativity, physical coordination, and teamwork!

Objective: Enhances teamwork, communication, and creative thinking. It’s a fun way for students to learn about cooperation and non-verbal communication.

Materials Needed: None! Just a group of students ready to twist and turn into different shapes. This is one of our most resourceful team building activities for middle school students.


    1. Divide the students into teams.
    2. Assign each team a letter, number, or shape to create with their bodies.
    3. Give teams time to plan and practice forming their assigned shape.
    4. Teams then present their shapes to the rest of the group.
    5. You can make it more challenging by timing the teams or asking them to interpret more complex shapes or words.

14. Friendship Bracelet Making

Let’s get crafty with Friendship Bracelet Making! This activity is all about creativity, sharing, and, of course, friendship. Students will create colorful bracelets to exchange with their classmates, fostering a sense of camaraderie and artistic expression.

Objective: Encourages creativity, fine motor skills, and the value of giving. It’s a wonderful way for students to express themselves and create a classroom community with their peers.

Materials Needed: Embroidery floss or yarn in various colors, scissors, and tape or safety pins to hold the bracelets in place while working.


    1. Provide each student with different colors of embroidery floss or yarn.
    2. Teach them basic patterns for making friendship bracelets, such as braiding or simple knotting techniques.
    3. Allow time for the students to create their bracelets.
    4. Encourage students to exchange bracelets with their classmates, promoting sharing and appreciation.
    5. You can also integrate lessons about different cultures and the significance of friendship symbols worldwide.

15. The Floor is Lava

Jump, hop, and balance – but don’t touch the floor, because it’s lava! The Floor is Lava is an energetic game that turns an ordinary room into a lava-filled obstacle course. Students must navigate from one end of the room to the other without touching the floor, using only furniture and objects as safe zones.

Objective: Promotes physical agility, strategic thinking, and teamwork. It’s an exhilarating way to encourage students to work together and think on their feet.

Materials Needed: Objects to serve as ‘safe zones’ (like mats, chairs, or cushions).


    1. Set up a course in the classroom or gym using the safe zone objects.
    2. Students start at one end of the room.
    3. On your signal, they must cross to the other side without touching the floor.
    4. Add variations by making some objects movable, requiring teamwork to navigate.
    5. Ensure safety by supervising the game closely and using soft, stable objects.

Closing Thoughts on Team Building Activities for Middle School Students

As we bring our exploration of team building activities to a close, remember that the heart of these exercises lies in fostering a sense of community and cooperation among middle school students. To make the most of these activities, here are a couple of overarching strategies to keep in mind:

Firstly, create an atmosphere of inclusivity and safety. This means choosing activities that cater to a variety of abilities and interests, ensuring everyone can participate and feel valued. Make sure to keep the age of your students in mind, for example. Encourage students to embrace each other’s differences and work together, reinforcing the idea that every individual brings something unique to the table. Also, don’t forget the power of reflection. After each activity, a brief discussion about what worked, what didn’t, and how students felt can provide valuable insights and deepen the learning experience.

Secondly, the role of the facilitator – that’s you – is crucial. Lead with enthusiasm and positivity, setting the tone for collaboration and fun. Be adaptive and patient, ready to tweak activities to suit the dynamics of your group. And most importantly, keep the focus on learning and growth. Celebrate successes, provide constructive feedback, and encourage students to recognize not just what they achieved, but how they achieved it.

In the end, the goal is to make team building a fun, engaging, and meaningful part of the middle school experience. By applying these strategies, you’ll help your students develop not just as individuals, but as integral members of a supportive and dynamic community.