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Are you trying to bring teens together in a positive way?
Maybe you’re an educator, a youth leader, a mentor for teens, or a parent. If so, you understand that providing teens with positive interactions is vital.
If you haven’t already considered teamwork exercises for teens, you should. Teamwork is necessary for healthy relationships.
In this post, I’ll not only share 21 team building activities for teens, but I’ll get into the specifics of how they work.
What are Team Building Activities for Teens?
Team building activities for teens are activities that require teens to work together to accomplish a goal. (Learn more about goal setting for teens in this post.) As they work together, they learn to interact with others in a positive way. For example, they will have to share the workload.
Moreover, teens will have to support and encourage their teammates to accomplish the task. This will develop empathy. In addition, this can help teens overcome anxiety when being around others.
Overall, a positive atmosphere surrounds the group.
Plus, it’s fun and engaging!
Tips for Working with Teens
Before I share these powerful teamwork activities, I want to take a moment to discuss working with teens.
The teenage years can be a confusing time because of all the physical, emotional, and social changes they experience. Because of all this change, it’s important for those that work with teens to offer support and encouragement.
Also, teens need positive role models. This is a crucial time in identity development.
Therefore, here are some helpful tips for working with teens:
If you follow these tips, you’ll create an environment that teens will want to be in. Then, they’ll want to participate and have fun.
Most importantly, have fun. Teens deal with serious subjects enough. Provide them with a space where they can let loose and be themselves.
Team Building Activities for Teens
You can apply the tips listed above to any of these activities. I have included a description, steps required, and a materials list if any materials are required.
So let’s dive in to these team-building activities that work great with teens.
1. Boo the Dragon
Now, this is a really fun activity that works well with a large group that can be broken down into several teams.
The object of this exercise is to get the teams in order of height while blindfolded. It requires collaboration and some imagination.
In this activity, the teens pretend to be villagers that have to protect their village (team) from a dragon attack.
Materials needed: blindfolds for every member of each village.
2. Hat Shop
For this exercise, your teens will have to rely on several different skills and roles. Also, it allows their creativity to shine.
In essence, they’re designing a hat and creating a skit that uses the hat as a prop or costume.
Materials needed: paper plates, plastic bowls, napkins, newspaper, and other such items that can be used to create a hat.
On top of showcasing the teens’ creativity, you get to show yours in the materials you select. Have fun and be creative.
3. The Egg Drop
This one can get messy, but that’s part of the fun. Right?
Basically, they have to create a device that will keep an egg from cracking when dropped from high up.
Hopefully, there won’t be too big a mess. If so, have everyone help clean it up.
This list of materials is just a suggestion. One of the great things about this activity is that you can use whatever materials you want. The only limit is its ability to keep an egg from breaking.
4. Grab Bag Skits
This is another activity involving a skit.
Materials: Small items you find around the house and brown paper bags
Plus, each team is going to have to supply the creativity.
It’s amazing to see what your teens will come up with as they work together to create the skit. Who knows? You might discover some hidden acting talent among your teens.
5. The Human Knot
This activity is a classic. It’s been used by teen groups for years to build relationships. In fact, I learned this as a teenager myself at a youth camp.
Plus, it’s so easy to set up. There aren’t any required materials.
To untie the knot, they will have to think strategically and communicate with each other effectively.
6. Photo Finish
For this activity, the only material you’ll need is chalk or something like it to draw a line on the ground.
It may take a few tries. If they work together, they’ll eventually be able to do it.
Since it’s called photo finish, you might want to take pics or a video. The results will look amazing. Plus, they will get to see what their teamwork accomplished.
7. Rope Challenge
For this activity, teens will have to coordinate their movements to move a rope circle up their bodies without using their hands.
Materials: a rope long enough to make a circle big enough to encompass your team
To accomplish this, they’ll have to take turns moving. Only by working together will they be able to do it.
8. Silent Line-Up
This is a simple activity that requires your teens to think outside the box.
During this activity, they’ll have to line up according to a specific characteristic you give them. It could be height or shoe size.
Now, for the hard part. They have to line up in complete silence.
You won’t need any materials for this activity.
Do you want to add even more difficulty? Use birthdays as the characteristic. It’ll be interesting to see how they use nonverbal communication to line up according to birthdays.
9. Human Pyramids
This exercise requires collaboration and physical strength. Also, it’s probably best to do this activity outside.
As for what the teens have to do, the name says it all. Each team will build a pyramid out of themselves.
Since they’re kneeling on each other’s backs, this will build trust.
10. Leaning Tower of Feetza
In this activity, the only materials you’ll need are the shoes your teens are wearing.
Yes, you read that right. They will be building a tower out of their shoes. The goal is to build the tallest, free-standing tower of shoes that they can.
11. Build a Story
While the other activities have focused on being active, this one requires more brain power. During this activity, teens will be creating a story for kids.
This is a great activity for a rainy day when you can’t get outside for other activities.
I like this activity for several reasons. For one thing, it uses writing and drawing. Secondly, it involves the imagination. Finally, it produces a finished product.
What do you do with the finished story books? You can donate them to some kids that need a good story.
12. Antiques of the Future
Here’s another indoor activity that utilizes creative thinking.
Materials: Items from around the house like broken watches, cracked mugs, or cardboard tubes. You want items that appear “weathered” and useless.
The team has to collaborate to create an interesting backstory for their item.
13. Human Props
For this final activity, you won’t need any materials. The teens will be using their own bodies as props.
14. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is an activity that requires participants to find and collect a list of items in a given period. The items could be anything, but they must be specific.
For example, finding someone who works at the grocery store and asking them what kind of vegetable they would recommend for baking… or taking a picture of something interesting from the top floor window of your office building.
When running a scavenger hunt, it’s important to keep track of all the clues so you can assign points for each completed task. You can also add additional challenges along the way that will earn extra points if completed successfully.
This can help encourage teamwork, as well as increase competitiveness among players. As an alternative to running your own scavenger hunt, many online games offer similar experiences!
15. The Listening Game
The Listening Game is a fun way to get your team to open up and share their thoughts and feelings. You’ll find that this activity helps your crew bond, as well as learn more about each other.
16. Build a Tower
This is a great group activity for encouraging teams to work together… with a pinch of skill required and a bit of suspense expected.
After everyone has had a chance to see the towers up close, have each pair take their blocks back and build another tower. This time around, have your teens try to build a taller tower than they did in round one. When time is up (or when everyone has run out of blocks), see which pair’s tower is the tallest!
Once everyone is done building, ask your teens to take a few minutes and reflect on what they learned from this activity. Were their towers significantly taller in round two than they were in round one? Why do you think that happened? What did they learn about how the blocks worked together when they made the second tower?
This activity incorporates creativity and skill as teams build a rollercoaster with dips and slopes (highs and lows). The challenge is to move the ball from one end of the coaster to the other. Teams need to work together to get the rollercoaster moving efficiently.
When one team member is struggling or needs help, other teammates need to be ready and willing to assist. In this challenge, communication is key, as teams must discuss their plans for starting up the coaster and how they will get it moving again if it stalls.
Teams should also be creative in finding solutions if something goes wrong with the ride’s mechanics or other factors outside of their control (like another group sabotaging them!). Finally, this task requires innovation because every team has a different approach that must be tried when faced with challenges such as these!
18. Obstacle Course
The obstacle course is a fun and challenging game for all ages. It can be used as the basis of a team-building activity, but it’s also great just to have some fun!
An obstacle course can take place indoors or out, depending on your time and space constraints.
The goal is for each group to get through all of their obstacles without touching them and then back to their starting point before time runs out. First team to complete the course wins that round!
19. Two Truths and a Lie
For this game, you’ll need to have a predetermined number of truths and lies prepared. It’s about seeing how well kids know each other… or think they do!
20. Pass the Clap
Pass the Clap involves using our motor skills to pass an object along without having them drop. If it does, they lose! It also requires critiquing one another in a positive way.
21. Partner Pictionary
This is a great team-building activity for teens because it relies on communication skills and creativity. It’s also easy to set up and play.
Materials Needed *:
* You can also substitute for two white boards and markers, with an eraser.
Final Thoughts on Team Building Activities for Teens
As you can see, each of these activities provides a great opportunity for teens to work together. As they complete the activity, they build trust and strengthen relationships. This is accomplished by having to work together to complete the task.
These activities provide ample practice for real life situations in which teens will have to work well with others. As they work together, they’ll have to be considerate of their teammates. Also, these team building activities for teens will develop other skills, such as problem solving in a positive, supportive environment. These skills will help them grow into healthy adults.
For more team building activities, here’s our roundup of the best team building problem solving exercises, a few more for the outdoors, and some great ones for kids.
If you’re looking for other ideas for helping teens develop good habits and a positive outlook, read 25 Hobbies for Teens that are Fun and Motivating. Also, if you’re looking for fun activities with teens, consider these 103 Fun & Clean Would You Rather Questions for Teens and also these 99 Fun Two Truths and a Lie Game Examples & Ideas. These movies about teamwork are also a great additional resource.
If you’re looking for some background music to play while doing these activities, check out our list of of best songs about teams and teamwork.
Finally, if you need help with building habits, then check out this nine-step blueprint that walks you through the entire process of creating lifelong habits.)