It’s no surprise that the phrase ‘back to school’ elicits mixed reactions. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or student, starting the school year is a big deal. There’s preparation to be done by parents and teachers. If you’re a student, you’re probably wrestling with a mix of feelings ranging excitement to dread. Kids are dealing with a lot when they begin a new school year. A new year level, higher expectations, meeting a new teacher, making new friends, and navigating the social dynamic. You could argue the managing the social aspect of school is perhaps the trickiest part! Some kids thrive more than others. You could also argue that social skills are the most important thing you learn at school. As an adult you might not be able to remember the life cycle of a frog or remember how to use the Pythagoras theorem, but you probably have some strong memories of your school friends, group work, camps, and sporting activities.
No matter what age group, the start of the school year sets the tone of the social dynamic. One of the best ways to kick off the year is with some sort of ice breaker. The ideal ice breaker will crack through awkwardness, and help kids come out of their shell, reveal their personalities, boost their confidence, and improve their social skills. Getting kids laughing and working together is a fantastic way integrate groups of kids, foster new friendships, set the tone for the year, all laying the foundation for awesome classroom dynamics.
These are some of the top benefits of having a back-to-school event:
- Improve inter-personal skills: In the age of social media and electronic devices, any time away from a screen is a win. Team building activities encourage listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, collaboration, and leadership.
- Decrease bullying, build friendships: Being part of a team helps kids feel a sense of worth. Kids that know how to work together and value others will build stronger, more inclusive friendships.
- Creative thinking and problem solving: Team building activities will challenge kids to think laterally and rely on each other to complete challenges.
- Bridge the gap between teachers and students: This is a prime opportunity for teachers to get involved and establish connections with the class. Rather than just watching and calling out instructions, teachers can jump in and demonstrate the skill set that you want to see in the kids, and hopefully have a laugh at the same time.
- Break the routine: Getting out of the classroom is exciting. A fun event will have the kids talking about it for the next week (or three)!
Set a goal for what you want the kids to get out of the activity or the day. You might want to focus on a particular theme, such as friendship, perseverance, or kindness. You might want to highlight how fun it is to make new friends, demonstrate how important it is to recognize the strengths of others or foster leadership qualities in your students. Whatever it is, Team Bonding can work with you to tailor the activity to your school’s needs!
A back-to-school ice breaker activity could be anything! You might run a pizza lunch or a BBQ. You might have a hip-hop class, inflatable obstacle course, garbage bag fashion contest, sporting activities (such as our famous Mini Olympics), talent show, trivia competition or school camp. You might even combine a few ideas. The age group will give you a steer on what activities are best, but the key is to mix the kids up and find and activity that encourages them to collaborate and work together.
At Team Bonding, we are experts at creating dynamic, engaging events for any group size and for any age group. We have a range of indoor and outdoor events: The Amazing Race, Lego Legends, Minute To Win It, Mini Olympics, or a Game Show. So, whether you’ve got primary school students or high schoolers, we guarantee that one of these events will be the best way to start the school year!