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Subject: Good teambuilding games for group of 5-8 boys, ages 11-13 rss

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Jake S
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Hello BGG! I'm new to the forums so please forgive me if this is not the right place for this topic modest

I am working as a social work intern at a middle school and have been assigned a group of boys - two 6th graders and four 7th graders - to play games with for about an hour twice a week. The primary purpose of the group is to help these students develop better social skills, chief among them being team-building and collaborative problem solving skills, and my job is to facilitate this through the medium of gaming!

I've been given a $50 voucher to pick out a new game, or games, for the group (currently we're surviving on Pictionary, Connect 4, and Uno) and thought I'd come here first to get some ideas for games from the tabletop gaming community, before I started doing google searches for "teambuilding boardgames to play with middle schoolers".

So far I've come up with one game - The Resistance - which looks pretty great and retails for about $15, an ideal price for my budget.

Any ideas?
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Harv Veerman
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Castle Panic might be a nice place to start, played fully coop.

Perhaps something like Codenames if splitting into two groups is an option.
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Moon Flower
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Forbidden Island (2-4 players, $15 new) and/or Forbidden Desert (2-5, $22 new) if you're willing to have the group split up. They are great cooperative games for kids. Also check out Pandemic (2-4, $25 new). Do a search for cooperative games and you will find more games that would be great for team building and group problem solving.
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PJ Cunningham
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From the sound of the reviews, the Escape the Room games seem like they'd be perfect for this, though I've not played them.
Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor
Escape the Room: Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat
 
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TTDG
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Within the limits of BGG's quirky advanced search, here are all co-op games for more than 5 players: https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=rank&advsear... But I don't see particularly good choices there (cheap & good games).

I'll 2nd Forbidden Island as a cheap enough co-op game that you could get 2 copies.

Uno is a take that game, which is not really team building. Also, your choices are fairly limited and often just the question of hurting someone now or waiting to hurt the person on your other side later. If it was not clear, I'm not recommending Uno for your purposes.

Uhh, Connect 4 is simple, barely a step beyond tic-tac-toe. I'd kind of recommend against it too.

https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=rank&advsear... is a list of all PNP games that are co-op. You might be able to find something there to stretch your $, if you print it yourself.

Hmm, you might be able to make a custom version of Time's Up! Title Recall! to fit the knowledge base of the youngest boys (just a stack of cards). The game would pit teams of 2 against each other. Within each pair, they'd develop communication.
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Jake S
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Re: Codenames suggestion - brilliant. There are definitely times where splitting the group up will be preferable, and the price on this is definitely right. Thanks for the tip!
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Me nah play no 'ide and seek
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I'd say The Resistance, either normal or Avalon, would be good for getting kids to talk and work as a team. The lying could be an issue, but each game is short enough that, in my experience, everyone just laughs about the lies and duplicity after each game.

Also, I'd recommend both Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert, both excellent cheap co-ops, and the variety would be better than 2 copies of either.
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Lynette
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a cooperative game, plays up to 6 and is about firefighting. Sells for about $25 on Amazon.



Sounds like a great project... good luck.

Also your screen name is hilarious. I am gifting you some GG for an avatar. Welcome to the community!
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Bwian, just
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Several good suggestions already, so I'll take off on a slight tangent. At a slightly higher price point (but still under $50, I think?) you can get some games that involve spaceships: generally a popular subject with the demographic. Space Alert and Space Cadets are fully cooperative, but for the lower end of your player count. Space Cadets: Dice Duel divides the group into two teams, but can handle up to 8. (10 with the expansion, but that will take you over budget.)

If you have a computer lab to play with, Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator does a very similar thing with most of the mechanics handled by the computers.
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Jake S
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Excellent additions to the already great list (thank you everyone!!!) - I love having this dynamic range of options (lots of variations in price, play time, complexity, mechanisms, etc) and might even make the selection process for the game(s) into a game itself...
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Jake S
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New York
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Thank you!!! I'm grateful for the help

Yeah - there was a stretch of time between like... late 2013 and early 2015 where 1 out of every 4 or 5 people I'd introduce myself to would respond:
"You said your name is Drake?"
Or they'd hear Jake and say:
"From State Farm?"
Never had the guts to say "I'm Drake from State Farm" but maybe I'll do that for Halloween
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