The 4 Main Reasons Why Teamwork Activities for Preschool are so Important
Wouldn’t you agree that working collaboratively on ANYTHING in preschool is a challenge?!
We want to teach our kiddos exactly how they need to work together to solve problems or work through challenges, however, teaching this is usually easier said than done.
We often need some help coming up with teamwork activities for preschool children which are engaging and help teach our young learners the benefits of teamwork and why teamwork is so important. This blog post not only gives you the ‘whys’, it is also loaded with ways you can include teamwork activities for preschool into your classroom!
Before I jump right into the main reasons why teamwork activities for preschool are so important, you might find my Conflict Resolution Freebie useful when teaching how to work through conflict when working in teams. Click on the image below to download your freebie!
What does teamwork in preschool mean?
Teamwork in early childhood is about working together for a common goal and for young children, it’s learning to listen to each other and take on others’ ideas first, making the preschool classroom an essential puzzle piece in the teamwork puzzle.
Teamwork means children need to cooperate and learn skills that will help them with problem-solving, listening, creativity, communication, and self-esteem. You may witness awesome opportunities for practicing teamwork at many different preschool classroom centers like the sensory bins or dramatic play areas. When little learners are working at centers they are going to have to listen to each other and sometimes they may need to let their peers take the lead and play their way!
Teamwork does not come naturally to a preschooler and the skills used for teamwork are taught and developed inside of the classroom. We have to give our little learners as many chances to practice teamwork skills as we can. This does not mean you need to constantly be grouping them or partnering them up. But, having centers and activities that allow them to listen to one another, problem-solve, and build their self-esteem will help them become better members of a team.
Another important concept of teamwork is sharing, and this is something that is often introduced at home but reinforced in the preschool classroom, and we work on this skill to help students develop teamwork. Giving students as many opportunities to share with their peers inside the classroom as we can. Being able to share their toys, their crayons, their games, and their ideas is one of the first steps in helping them really develop the concepts needed to work as a team with their peers.
Altogether, teamwork in preschool means reinforcing and introducing essential skills that will allow students to work with their peers, understand, help others when needed, and know what working together looks like and means.
Why teamwork is so important?
There are many reasons you want to help your preschoolers develop teamwork. But here are four I think are the most important!
- Builds a sense of community
When you help your students learn about teamwork and reinforce these skills, you are showing your students how the classroom is a community, and we need to treat each other with respect. It will allow them to build relationships with their peers, teachers, and others they come in contact with.
- Perspective Taking
Perspective is a tricky thing for young learners. They often see the world as “my way or the highway,” which is fine at first! It can be difficult for them to understand that not everyone wants to play the same way or do things like them. When you develop teamwork in the preschool classroom, you are helping your students learn about other people’s perspectives and how their perspectives may not be the same as everyone else’s. Still, to solve problems and work together, we sometimes have to accept other people’s ways of thinking.
- Builds Empathy
Empathy is another concept preschool teachers are often tasked with helping their students learn and develop. Empathy is important, and preschoolers will learn and work with the concept for most of their life. When you add teamwork into the mix, you hit on the development of empathy, and students will be able to work on the concept while they are working with peers who have similar and different views and interests as them!
- Learn from each other
When students work together, whether at centers or in a group teamwork activity, they learn from one another and are helping each other develop important social and emotional skills. Learning from their peers is an excellent way for children, especially preschoolers, to learn about the world around them, different perspectives, and understand people’s differences and similarities.
How to promote teamwork in preschool
If you are looking to help develop teamwork in preschool, you want to make sure you include a couple of essential pieces in those lesson plans!
First, you want to make sure your students understand what good teamwork looks like. They need to understand the qualities of good teamwork. Some qualities that make good teamwork are communication, organization, focus, and fun. These teamwork qualities would all make great mini-lessons for preschoolers too! Having some teamwork activities planned and ready to go is a great starting point!
You also want to discuss when teamwork is a good thing and sometimes better to work independently. Sometimes preschoolers learn all about teamwork and work as a team for everything, which isn’t always necessary or optimal!
Teamwork activities for preschool
There are plenty of activities in the preschool classroom that will help promote teamwork and help students understand precisely what teamwork is and how it works!
- Classroom jobs
Assigning each student or a group of students a classroom job is a great way to show students how even when they are working individually, they are still working as a team to make the classroom run smoothly and look great!
- Teamwork Games
Having games and activities around the classroom that require teamwork is always a great idea. Simple activities like puzzles, parachute games, and scavenger hunts can easily be added to your school day if you are looking for specific teamwork games for a team building day or afternoon. You can try adding three-legged races or tug of war into the mix!
- Collaborative Artwork
Having students work on a collaborative piece of artwork is a great way to help them understand the benefits of teamwork. Have students create a quilt or a large piece of artwork where they each work on a specific piece and add it all together at the end.
- Helping Others
Another great way to help students understand the benefits of teamwork is to help others—brainstorm ways to help others in your community. Maybe your students would like to collect food for a food pantry or items for a homeless shelter.
Teamwork is a great concept to teach at an early age, and there are so many easy ways to help your students promote teamwork in the classroom or their own life. Teamwork activities are a great way to get your students started on the right foot, and there are plenty of them!
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