When it comes to skills based learning there are so many fun activities that you can do to be really building up and practicing these skills. There are many activities for collaboration that are hands on, fun and engaging. This is one reason why I am enamored with skills based learning. It is a great thing, not only for my girls but all other children as well.
WHAT IS COLLABORATION?
Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. In other words, it is teamwork. This is not always easy for children. Working with others can be hard. Sometimes it is tough to be able to present ideas, make compromises and then work together to make a final product. We all probably have horrible memories of group projects at school and how they were the bane of our educational experience. But part of that is because we haven’t been taught collaborative skills from an early age.
The ability to collaborate with others has become one of the most sought-after skills in both education and the workplace. And to make it easier, we need to be taught it and given opportunities to practice. Collaboration helps children to discover their own, and each others’ strengths, interests and capabilities.
ACTIVITIES FOR COLLABORATION
Let’s look at some different activities that you can do to teach and practice collaboration. Of course there will be cross-over with other skills as they do not operate in isolation. These are all fun activities – ones which can be done in your family, with friends, as part of a co-op.
TEAM STUFF CHALLENGE
I really had no name for this activity, but this best describe the activity. This is where you break the group up into teams of 2-3 (no more than 4). You give each team a box of “stuff” – things you find around the house like craft items, or spaghetti noodles, marshmallows, etc. and they have to use the stuff to make something, like a bridge, or a representation of something, or anything at all. Set a time limit and let the teams create!
Obstacle courses are fun and are easy to make. You can do them inside or outside. They can be as easy or as complicated as your children’s ages and abilities allow.
Here are some ideas for younger children.
Ever done this at school? It was always a fun activity. You need an egg (or more) and some materials that could prevent breakage. Break up into teams and try to create a way to stop the egg from breaking when you drop it from a decent height (like a second floor window). The great thing is that you can do this over and over to try different methods. And you can mix up teams. Working in teams for this means that your children are working on getting across ideas and learning how to compromise.
Scavenger Hunts are great as a team effort. I have used these for years to help build up team work in a fun way. In fact, I have been known to have fun by making sure all the team members are tethered to each other. They HAVE to work together to make sure they can move as one group.
Check out my post on scavenger hunts here.
Charades is a game where you have to “act out” a phrase without speaking. Your team members try to guess what the phrase is as quickly as possible before time runs out.
Need some ideas for charades? We often pick an object to “act out” at home. Part of this is a tired mom hack – I get to be a stick or something that lays there while they have to guess! But here is a list of other ideas.
ESCAPE ROOM CHALLENGE
Escape Rooms are a great way to work together as a team. You don’t have to go to a professional one, you can make your own for home. Here is a great blog post on how to create your own. Rainy Day? Party? Just because? Make it as difficult or as easy as you like. Want a snack? Create an escape room challenge so they can get the code to get into the fridge or pantry.
These are just a few ideas on what you can do to help teach and practice collaboration. It is an important skill and you don’t need to wait until your children are teenagers – start early, start young!
The next blog post is on activities for problem solving.