Top 21 Fun Cooperative Games For Kids

✔ Research-backed

Cooperative games for kids help teach them the importance of teamwork and patience. Children can play co-op games with their friends or family members in a playground or even at home. The main objective of these games is not ‘winning’ but teaching them ways to work together towards achieving a common goal. These games also help develop your child’s communication, deduction, and planning skills.

Read on for a curated list of cooperative games we have listed in this post for children of all ages to have a fun learning experience.

In This Article

21 Cooperative Games For Kids

1. Tower building

Tower building cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Tower building is a cooperative game for kids that can be played by adults too. It teaches teamwork and develops your preschooler’s counting skills. Children as young as three years can play this game effortlessly.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A pair of dice
  • Blocks
How to play:
  • Make teams of two. If your child is young, pair them with someone older.
  • Keep the blocks in a common area accessible to all teams.
  • A member of each team rolls a dice.
  • The number on the dice is the number of blocks they must lift to build their tower.
  • The team with the highest tower after every team member rolls the dice wins.

protip_icon Did you know?
Playing tower building will help your children develop hand and eye coordination and strategic thinking skills.

2. Candy Land

Candy Land cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Candy Land is one of the oldest and easiest cooperative games. It doesn’t require any reading skills, and there is no strategy involved. Thus, even very young children with limited counting abilities can play this game.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Candy Land board game set (you can make it yourself at home, too)
How to play:
  • Candy Land comes with a set of cards with colored marks on them and a board with a colorful maze on it.
  • Each player has to pick the topmost card, check the color on it, and move their marker to the next square of that color.
  • If a card has two marks of one color, the player has to move their marker to the second occurrence of that color from their current location.
  • Some cards might have the name of a location. These locations are specified in certain squares on the maze. The player can directly move to that location.
  • The first player to reach the end of the maze is the winner.

3. Dragon’s jewel

Dragons jewel cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This cooperative game is best played as an outdoor game or in a large play area. It is a great game to teach teamwork and develop communication and quick-thinking skills. You can also develop your child’s gross motor skills with this game.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Football or basketball
  • Cones for marking
How to play:
  • Make a circle with the cones.
  • Place a ball at the center of the circle. This is the dragon’s jewel.
  • One player is the dragon.
  • Divide the other players into teams of two or three.
  • Each team takes turns to work together and get the dragon’s jewel. The dragon tries to tag them before they get to it.
  • If the dragon tags a player of a team, the team is out, and the next team continues the game.
  • If a team manages to capture the jewel, choose a new dragon for the next round.

protip_icon Point to consider
Have kids incorporate different types of movements, such as hopping, jogging or skipping when trying to get the jewel. It’ll make the game more exciting.

4. Bandido

Bandido cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Bandido is a popular board game for young ones who love mysteries and puzzles. This game makes your child think about their next move and improves their critical thinking skills.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Bandido board game set
How to play:
  • Each player has three cards, and each card has a piece of a tunnel — it could be a bend, a straight pass, a branch, or a dead end.
  • The first player starts with a card, and the other players add their cards.
  • The goal of the game is to prevent the imaginary prisoner at the start of the tunnel from escaping.

5. Airplane game

Airplane cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Try this game if you want to improve your child’s listening and speaking skills. Listening and speaking are essential components of effective interpersonal communication.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A cloth for blindfolding
How to play:
  • Blindfold a child. This child is the pilot.
  • Select another player as the navigator.
  • Make the other members stand in different places. They are the trees.
  • The navigator has to guide the pilot across the runway without letting the airplane crash into any of the trees. The navigator can give only one instruction at a time.
protip_icon Quick tip
Ask the members standing as trees to change their spots after every minute. It will make the game more challenging and stimulating.

6. Outfoxed

Outfoxed cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Outfoxed is one of the best cooperative games that can be played by children and adults alike. If your child loves playing detective, they will take to this game in no time.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • Outfoxed game box
How to play:
  • One of the foxes in the game has stolen a pot pie. The players have to find the culprit.
  • Slip a card with the name of the culprit into the special contraption provided for this purpose.
  • Each player rolls the dice and decides whether they want to collect clues or reveal the answer.
  • Each wrong answer brings the fox closer to escaping.
  • Every right answer gets the player a new clue of the culprit or two new suspect cards.
  • The player who gets the right culprit or eliminates all of the suspects but one is the winner.

7. All over

All over cooperative games for kids

Image: IStock

This game is great for sleepovers and family holidays. The more the players, the more enjoyable the game.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Big, softballs according to the number of players
  • A rope
How to play:
  • Divide the players into two teams and make them stand on two sides of the rope.
  • Once the leader shouts, “All Over!” the players throw, kick, or roll the ball towards the opposite team.
  • The players of each team have to catch the incoming balls while launching their respective balls.
  • Once the passing stops, count the number of balls caught by each team. The team that catches the maximum number of balls wins.

8. Pandemic

Pandemic cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

If your child often imagines emergency situations and rescue missions, this board game is perfect for them. Pandemic is the right choice for a family game night or a rainy afternoon to engage your children for hours. You can also use this opportunity to teach your children about the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Age group:

8 years and up

You will need:
  • Pandemic board game set
How to play:
  • Each player is out in the world as a part of a disease-fighting
  • All the players work together to prevent the outbreak of diseases and keep the world safe.
  • They travel across the board to different countries, treat infections, collect cures, and build research stations within a stipulated time, that is, before the diseases spread beyond recovery.

9. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

Ghost fighting treasure hunters cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This is another very popular board game that includes treasure and ghosts. Children love finding treasures and are curious about ghosts, so this treasure hunt game is a great co-op game for kids.

Age group:

6 years and up

You will need:
  • Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters board game set
How to play:
  • The aim of the game is for the players or treasure hunters to find all the treasures in a haunted house.
  • If there are three ghosts in a room, that room is considered haunted.
  • If six rooms are haunted before the players get the treasures, all of them lose.
  • You can go together or separately, fight the ghosts, or run back with the treasure. Each step needs planning and strategy for getting the treasure before the ghosts get you.

10. Assassin

Assassin cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

If you have a group of children, this game is a good option for you. Prepare to spend a few hours laughing with your children as they enjoy playing this game.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Make the children sit in a circle with their heads down.
  • One person (preferably the adult) should walk around the circle and tap one child on the head. This child is the assassin. No other player knows who the assassin is.
  • The child looks at the others and assassinates them by winking at them.
  • The other players can play this guessing game by guessing who the assassin is but are out of the game if they make a wrong guess.
  • If the assassin is successful in assassinating every other player, they are the winner.

Making new activities for kids is also fun; you can improvise it as per your needs. Heidi, a teacher, made up a class activity for her students to maintain some control and discipline in her class. She calls the game ‘The Don’t Say a WORD Game.” She says, “This is a game that I made up one year when I had a particularly “chatty” and social class. Every time we came into the classroom, (or lined up to go out,) they were very noisy, and the only thing that stopped them was negative consequences, which I hated!” She further describes that the game rules include the entire class being rewarded with an extra five minutes of playtime if everyone enters and exits the classroom without uttering a single word. Heidi continues, “To make this work, I sometimes gave the extra playtime minutes to those that were quiet, rather than take the reward away from the whole class. Unfortunately, some kids actually seemed to enjoy the “power” of being able to derail this activity, although I can’t really figure out why (i).”

11. Iceberg

Iceberg cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This game is fun, especially for younger children. It involves a bit of quick thinking and is best played in large groups.

Age group:

3-10 years

You will need:
  • Bedsheet, tablecloth, etc. for the surface
How to play:
  • Divide the children into two teams. Give each team a bedsheet or a tablecloth.
  • Spread the sheet on the floor. This is the surface for the game.
  • The whole team should stand on the surface. Anyone standing outside the surface is eliminated from the game,
  • Next, ask the players to step off and fold the sheet in half. Stand again on the sheet.
  • Continue in this fashion till there is no space for all the players to fit on the sheet.
  • The team that makes the maximum folds while accommodating the most number of players wins.

12. Race to the treasure

Race to the treasure cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Here’s another cooperative board game that requires strategic skills but offers loads of fun. This is a great co-op game for the whole family, even if your children are very young.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Race to the treasure board game set
How to play:
  • The players take turns to draw cards..
  • If you draw a path card and not an Ogre card, you move further in the race.
  • Retrieve three keys on the way to get the treasure.
  • The aim of the game is to reach the treasure before the Ogre does. If he does, you all lose.

13. Band-aid tag

Band-aid tag cooperative games for kids

Image: IStock

It is one of the most engaging cooperative outdoor games you can teach your children to play. Besides playing together, this freeze game tests and develops your children’s flexibility.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Select one person as “It.”
  • The person must run behind other players and tag them.
  • The tagged person must hold their hand (the band-aid) over the part where the “It” tagged them.
  • When a person runs out of band-aids (gets tagged two times), they freeze.
  • Two other players have to come over to the frozen player and unfreeze them by counting to five.
  • Continue playing the game, changing the “It” from time to time.

14. Rope circle

Rope circle cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

If your child loves outdoor sports, this is a cooperative game kids of all ages will enjoy. It is best played when there is a large group of children. Adults can play it at gatherings, too, for a good time.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Jump ropes
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of two players each.
  • Tie one wrist of each partner with the jump rope – the left wrist of one person and the right wrist of the other person.
  • Then tie a second jump rope joining the other wrist.
  • Make sure the ropes are not tied very tightly.
  • The players should attempt to free themselves from one another without actually untying the ropes or breaking out from the circle.

15. Barnyard

Barnyard cooperative games for kids

Image: IStock

If you want to teach animal names and sounds to your children, play this game with them. This game is perfect for sleepovers and birthday parties when there are many children.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pen
How to play:
  • Write various animal names on the pieces of paper. Include four to five pieces of paper for each animal name.
  • Ask each child to pick one piece of paper. The child is the animal mentioned in the paper. No other child must know what animal another child is.
  • Next, ask the children to scatter over the play area.
  • Once the game starts, each child wanders over to other children and tries to determine the similar animals like them.
  • Children who find all the members of the same animal are the winners.

16. Ball builders

Ball builders cooperative games for kids

Image: IStock

This is a game that children of all ages love. It teaches children the value of teamwork and develops their communication and gross motor skills.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • Tennis balls
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of two or three.
  • One player in each team will be the holder, and the others will be the builders.
  • The builders start handing over tennis balls to the holder.
  • The aim is to see how many balls the holder can hold without using their pockets or other clothing. They cannot hold the balls against any other surface other than their own bodies.
  • Each ball must be held for at least 10 seconds.
  • The players can take turns doing it.

17. Bedsheet ping pong

Bedsheet ping pong cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This is a great game for family game night. As versatile as this game is, it is also very simple. You can use household items to play the game.

Age group:

3 years and up

You will need:
  • A bedsheet
  • Ping pong balls or even crumpled balls of paper will do
How to play:
  • Divide the players into two teams.
  • Each team holds the opposite sides of the sheet.
  • Put the balls in the middle of the sheet.
  • Each team has to raise or lower their end of the sheet. The aim of the game is to get the balls to fall on the other side of the sheet.
  • The players must take care not to launch the ball during play.

18. Crossing the river

Crossing the river cooperative games for kids

Image: IStock

Crossing the river is a cooperative game for kids that can come in handy in actual life too. This game is excellent for developing their communication skills.

Age group:

4 years and up

You will need:
  • Rope (optional)
How to play:
  • Divide the players into groups of two to five players each.
  • Each team joins hands, touches legs, or uses a rope to get across the “river”(the play area) around 20-30 feet across.
  • Each group must move to the other side without losing contact.
  • If a player loses contact with other players, the team must start over from the beginning.

19. Birthday line-up team building

Birthday line-up team building games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

When you have a large group of children with you and want them to get along with each other, this game is an excellent option for you. It acts as an ice breaker and gets your group to mingle with each other easily.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • A group of children
How to play:
  • Once the game starts, the players shouldn’t talk until you permit them.
  • Make all the children stand in a line.
  • Next, get them to stand in a line based on their height, in silence.
  • You can give them different challenges, such as lining them up by birthday month, the initials of their names, etc.

20. Shipwrecked

Shipwrecked cooperative games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This is another game that you can play when you have a lot of children with you. It is a great game to develop teamwork in a fun way.

Age group:

5 years and up

You will need:
  • Large hoops
How to play:
  • Divide the players into teams of 8-10 players.
  • Give a hoop to each team. This hoop is their spaceship.
  • Once the game begins, each team should grab their spaceship and race to the finish line.
  • All the players of the team should be in contact with the spaceship at all times.
  • Once they cross the finish line, they put down the hoop, call out “Shipwrecked,” and try to get within the hoop.
  • The first team to get all the players into the hoop is the winner.

21. The human knot game

The human knot game is a fun way to build teams and make new pals. Perfect for babysitting or camp fun, all you need is a group of excited players and some space. It is easy to set up, and the result is lots of fun.

You will need:
  • An open space
  • Participants
How to play:
  • Create small teams with at least six kids, ensuring an even number and fostering inclusivity for newcomers.
  • Arrange teams in circles, facing each other.
  • Players extend their right arms, linking hands with someone across the circle while avoiding those adjacent.
  • Extend their left arms, linking with a different person than on the right.
  • Instruct teams to progress one move at a time, allowing players to step over, under, or through linked hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is tug of war good for kids?

Tug of war can be a fun and healthy physical activity for kids if played safely and with appropriate supervision. Tug of war can help kids develop strength, coordination, and teamwork skills. However, it is important to ensure that the game is played on a safe surface and that the rope used is appropriate for the age and size of the children. In addition, children should be supervised at all times to prevent accidents and injuries.

2. Can cooperative play be taught?

Cooperative play can be taught by modeling cooperative behavior, encouraging sharing and taking turns, promoting teamwork, and using positive reinforcement. These techniques help children develop social skills such as communication, empathy, and collaboration. In addition, encouraging children to play together in a supportive and inclusive environment is an important aspect of promoting cooperative play.

Cooperative games for kids are the best way to teach them leadership skills, teamwork, and patience. Tower building, Candy land, Dragon’s jewel, and Bandido are some of the most exciting team games for children. You may choose a game appropriate for the age of children and other participants. These games can also be played with adults at family nights and parties. You may let the children take charge of the team and decide how to win the game. Team games also boost a child’s ability to engage and communicate.

Key Pointers

  • Building a tower is a cooperative game for kids that teaches teamwork.
  • Race to the treasure is a board game that helps children develop strategic thinking skills while having fun.
  • Bedsheet ping pong, All Over, Bandido, and more interesting games as you scroll down.
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Infographic: Fun Cooperative Games For Kids

Cooperative games help kids understand that coordinating and playing with friends can be fun, rather than just contending to win over them. So, we bring some easy yet exciting games that familiarize your children with social bonding and aid their overall development.

games for bonding and overall development (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


Explore a fun and exciting cooperative game for kids. Players work together to help the owls get home before the sun rises! Join us to learn how to play this exciting game!

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Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri, popularly referred to as ‘The Celebrity Shrink,’ is an award-winning neuro-psychiatrist and mental health advocate with over 15 years experience.She is the medical director and psychiatrist-in-chief at Pinnacle Medical Services.

Read full bio of Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri