young children working together in the classroom

The word “teamwork” brings so many thoughts to mind: sports teammates, professional colleagues, neighbors banding together, families working on a project together. But how do you teach that concept to a child? It’s woven into such an array of scenarios and aspects throughout life, that we may take for granted what it means and how to understand it.

In its simplest form, teamwork is “people helping people.” As we share this lesson with children, there are a variety of examples that we can use to help teach them not only what teamwork is, but also how to participate in and exemplify it.

Teaching Teamwork

Once children begin to grasp the idea of teamwork, this can translate into a skill they can apply at school, at home, on the playground, on the field and at work, when the time comes. 

Here are some practical, accessible and age-appropriate ideas to teach teamwork to children:

  1. Lead by example
    When kids see adults successfully working together, this can be one of the most effective examples of teamwork because you are modeling the behavior you are endeavoring to teach them. While you are in the moment or immediately thereafter, talk with kids about how you are partnering to achieve a common goal.

  2. Play to win
    When kids see that participating on a team is about so much more than just the score at the end of the game, it sets a lifelong perspective toward helping those around you succeed. Whether it be through their own sports teams or favorite professional or college teams they like to follow, examples of teamwork about both on the field and off. Coaching children along the way throughout their own journey affords many opportunities to talk about what is learned and what is gained by being part of a team and being a good teammate – and what winning is really all about.

  3. Get involved
    When kids see that working together can be fun, it’s easier to get them involved. Organizations like Scouts, band, theater and volunteer groups are all hands-on ways for children to participate and contribute toward a larger cause. These opportunities show them how, when they come together, what they can achieve is rewarding and so much more than they could accomplish on their own.

  4. Read all about it
    When children see, or hear, that their favorite books feature characters who work together to solve problems, it can show them the value of teamwork. The story doesn’t have to end there though, because those lessons can be helpful reminders for kids as they encounter similar challenges.

Need Supplies to Help Teach Teamwork?

Sometimes it can be helpful to have a little extra motivation when teaching teamwork to children, so occasionally passing out a trinket to reward great teamwork may be another option to keep them engaged and invested. GEDDES has you covered with novelty, favorite character or team and seasonal items to have on hand for just the right teamwork incentive. Shop online at Raymond Geddes or contact us today to learn more. School supply catalogs are available to browse ideas as well.