Team building and group projects are rarely the top goals on a teenager’s to-do list. At some point, working together in class becomes a chore and the un-cool thing to do. While they might be hesitant to take part on a team, it is an important way to learn how to work together, solve problems and build relationships. Some teenagers naturally get a chance to do team building when they play sports. For other teens, this is not an option. To get started on helping your teens work together, check out these 25 fun team building activities.
The Benefits of Team Building
There are a number of reasons why your teenager should take part in team building. In addition to being fun, this activity helps teenagers learn how to work together and communicate. Team building fosters relationships and helps them learn to communicate with each other. In addition to helping teens get to know one another, these activities help them learn how to accomplish a goal as a team. Along the way, your teenagers pick up leadership, analytic and communication skills.
Some people have an inner drive that urges them to succeed. Other individuals get motivation from the people around them. With team building activities, everyone becomes motivated to work together and they are motivated as a team instead of as individuals. This quality is especially important for sports teams who need to work as a team if they want to win the next game.
In order to be successful on a team, individuals must be able to communicate effectively with each other. By taking part in team building activities, teens learn how to talk to their fellow players and perform as one. They learn to depend on each other and what to expect in each situation. Team building activities also help non-athletes develop better social and interpersonal communication skills. They learn about cooperation, reaching goals, planning and flexible thinking. At the same time, these positive interactions help to boost their self-esteem.
3. Be Productive
Studies show that team building activities help to create a cohesive community and a productive environment. The team becomes a cohesive unit with the same goals and a stronger ability to communicate.
These team building activities can be one of four different varieties. Problem-solving activities help the team members learn how to plan, think ad organize as a team. With communication activities, team members become better at listening to each other and communicating their ideas. Trust-building activities help the team members become team players and trust one another. Meanwhile, adaptability or planning activities help teenagers learn how to flexibly adjust their plan if their first one does not work out.
25 Fun Team Building Activities for Teens
1. Human Knot
You do not need to have any supplies to do the human knot. To start out, just have all of the teens make a circle. They should put their hands in the middle. Without looking at anyone, they should grab two different hands from the other players. Once everyone has grabbed two different hands, it will basically create a giant knot.
Now that everyone is ready, it is time to untangle the knots. The entire goal is to do this without letting go of any of the hands. The teens have to work together as a team to untangle the knot. They may need to climb over their arms or duck under them to get untangle. If they do not work as a team and communicate well, the knot will only become more tangled. This is a popular team building activity because it requires no set up, is easy to do and is fun for the teenagers. It gives them a chance to learn from each other, listen and work as a group.
2. Drop the Ball
To play this game, you will need tape, straws and gold balls. While it is a team building activity for teens, it works better with a small group. You will give each group 18 inches of masking tape as well as 12 straws.
Once each group has been given the straws and tape, they have ten minutes to create a container. This container must be strong enough to catch a golf ball that will be dropped from ten feet up. One player on each team can be chosen as the ball dropper.
When the ten minutes are up, the ball dropper stands on a chair or ladder with the golf ball at their eye level. Meanwhile, a player on their team will put the container on the ground where they think that the ball will end up landing. Each team is given three to five attempts depending on how easy you want to take it. Whichever team can land their golf ball within the container the most times ends up winning the game. If you want a fun way to get your teens cooperating and competing together, this team building activity is a great option.
3. The Consensus Exercise
This game does not require anything to play it. It generally works best as an ice breaker before you switch to other team building games. You start the game by dividing children in to teams of three to four. Since some teens are naturally more confident, so try to divide the confident players among the different teams. Each team has a few minutes to determine a sound and an action to perform in front of everyone. When the time is up, each team performs their sound and action twice. Then, the teams have to try to remember all of the sounds and actions of each team in order.
4. Creeping Closer
This is another game that does not require any props or anything extra to play. To start with, choose one person from the group who will be the captain. This captain will face the hall on one side of the room. Meanwhile, the other players have to stand on one leg as they touch the opposite wall. The end goal of the game is to touch the captain.
The players in this game are required to be completely silent. When you say go, the players can start moving across the room. If the captain turns around, all of the players have to freeze completely. If the captain sees anyone who is still moving, then the entire team has to go back to the starting position and start again.
If you want to turn this into a competition, then you can divide the group in two teams who are competing separately to reach the captain. You can also mix it up at the end and allow each individual to compete on their own to touch the captain. The same rules apply. If someone is caught moving, they have to return to the start. This generally works best as a team building and competitive activity if you have two teams working together to reach the captain first.
5. Wheelbarrow Race
For the Wheelbarrow Race, you divide the group into pairs. One of the pair is the driver, and the other is the wheelbarrow. The driver holds the wheelbarrow’s feet. Meanwhile, the wheelbarrow walks along on their hands. When you say go, your drivers and wheelbarrows begin to race toward the finish line. This is a fun game to get teenagers moving and energized, and it also helps them learn how to work with their partner to reach the finish line.
6. Spot the Difference
For this game, you will need paper and pens. The group will be divided into two teams. The first team faces the second team. The second team will have a certain amount of time—generally, one or two minutes—to memorize the appearance of the other team. When the time is up, the first team leaves the room and changes ten things about their appearance. These have to be noticeable things, so they can’t just slip a pen into their pocket or do something invisible to the naked eye.
Once the second team returns, the first team has to figure out the changes and write them down. They have another minute or two to write down all of the changes. Afterward, the teams switch sides and play again. This team building activity helps to improve the team members’ focus and observation skills.
7. The Game of Responsibilities
To play this game, you need some cloth napkins. You will divide the group into multiple teams, or you can play with everyone on one team. Each group of 10 is given a cloth napkin. One player on the team demonstrates what the napkin is for without being allowed to speak. They must create something original for the napkin’s use, and they should stand up as they demonstrate it. This can be a fun game to play as long as the kids are creative about how it is used. The other players can call out what they think the napkin is being used for and keep creating ideas until they guess the right use.
8. Seated Basketball
For this game, you will need a laundry basket, a basketball and several chairs. You will play the game over different rounds. All of the participants are divided into two teams. When round one starts, the players have a short amount of time to put their chairs into position. Once they have put the chairs into position, they cannot move from the spot. When the time is up, the teammates have to pass the basketball from each other without being intercepted by the other team. The goal of these passes is to get the ball into the laundry basket. The team that is able to make the most baskets is the winner. For the team to be successful, they must work together to pass around the other team and communicate with each other.
9. Balloon Frenzy
This is a fun team building activity for teens. You need to have balloons available in two different colors. The entire goal is to knock down or pop the other team’s balloons without your balloons falling out of the air. You can have as many balloons or as few as you want depending on the strength of the teams.
Start by dividing the group into two teams. Given a balloon to each player and have them blow up the balloons. Each team should have a different color of balloon. Once they have blown up the balloons, the teams should be sent to opposing sides of the room. When you say go, the players launch their balloons into the air. The goal is to keep the balloon in the air. If the balloon falls to the ground, it is eliminated. The first team to knock all of the opposing team’s balloons out of the air will win the game. Since this game goes pretty fast, it is generally a good idea to play it over three rounds or more. If everyone is having a lot of fun, you can even play it for more rounds.
10. The Mute Organization
To get started with this game, have the teenagers line up in order of their birth date. The trick is that they are not allowed to talk while they do it. When the players have lined up, you ask them what their birthdays are and see if they were right. You can also play this game again using things like their shoe size, height or birthday month.
If you want to keep playing, you can try another game that revolves around the same idea, make slips of paper with numbers on it. The teenagers will have to arrange themselves in numerical order without showing the slips of paper or showing the number on their fingers. They can use sign language, but they cannot directly show the numbers on their fingers. This type of game will make the teams resort to incredibly creative sign language and communication to figure out where they should be in line.
11. Hot Lava
This is a fun team building activity to play with teenagers. The game revolves around an imaginary stream of lava. The team members have to cross the stream without falling in. Each team is given three rocks that they can use to cross the lava stream safely. They can stand on furniture or anything else, but the floor is magma. If they step n the floor, they are out. They also cannot stay still. They can move furniture pieces to cross the magma, and you can even set up obstacles to make this game more difficult. In addition to being a lot of fun, this game will help teenagers learn how to work as a team to solve a problem.
12. Red-Hot Poker
To play this game, you need a red-hot poker or something similar. The red-hot poker is placed within the center of the room. All of the teenagers stand around the poker as they hold hands. Then, the teenagers try to dray or push the other players toward the red-hot poker. If a player touches the red-hot poker, they are out of the game. They leave the circle, and the players on either side hold hands instead. The game continues until every player has been disqualified except for one person.
13. Truth and Lie
This is an easy game to play, and you do not need any props to do it. To start the game, have every player introduce themselves with their name, one truth and one lie. Once they have introduced themselves, the other players can ask questions about the two statements. The player is supposed to convince all of the other players that the lie is the truth. Once the questioning is over with, the other players get to vote on which statement is the truth and the law. Each time they guess correctly, they get one point. After the voting is done, it is the next players turn to say their name, a truth and a lie. This team building activity helps teenagers learn how to interact and communicate better.
14. Four on the Couch
For this game, you only need a couch to play. The entire goal is to get four people from a team onto the couch. Once you have created two teams, the players write down their own names on a slip of paper. Then, they draw the names out of a hat. This is the player’s game name, and it must remain a secret. Now, have the player to the left of the couch call out a name. The player with that slip of paper comes up to slip on the couch and they exchange their secret name for the name of the player who called out a name. This way, the names rotate and no one is sure who the couch player is now. This game keeps going, and the players try to figure out the secret names of their team members so that they can get four of their team members onto the couch at once.
15. Trust Me
For this game, you need a scarf or bandanna to blindfold the teenagers. You also need a stopwatch as well as a number of different objects to make some obstacles. This game can be played with pre-teens or teenagers.
Begin by diving the group into teams of five people. Then, let the kids go wild creating one or two obstacle courses. When they are done, blindfold the rest of the team. One person from the team will not be blindfolded because they will be the guide. When you start the stopwatch, the guide has three minutes to get their entire team safely through the obstacle course. The team who can get their members across the obstacle course fastest, wins. This game helps the teenagers learn how to trust each other, communicate and work on a team. After each round, you can switch up who is the guide for the team. If you want a different variation on the game or have a smaller group, you can also have everyone compete in pairs instead.
16. Pass the Hula Hoop
This game is played with hula hoops. The teenagers stand in a line. One teen has a hula hoop over their arm. Now, all of the teens hold hands in a circle. The goal is to get the hula hoop over their shoulders, legs and arms to reach the next partner. Working as a team, the goal is to get the hula hoop around the circle without breaking the chain.
17. Helium Stick
To play this game, you need some rods. Put the children into two teams and line them up. They should be shoulder-to-shoulder with one of their hands facing palm up with the pointer finger straight out. The rod should be placed on each player’s fingers. When you say go, the team members have to place the rod on the floor without dropping on it.
18. Three Ball Soccer
For this game, you need two goals as well as three different colored balls. Create a soccer field with the goals and divide them into two teams. One soccer ball is for the boys, one for the girls and one for both. Make sure the players know which is which. If a player touches the wrong ball on purpose, they are out of the game for two minutes. Now, you play this unusual soccer game according to normal soccer rules. The teams are both co-ed, so it will make it even more fun and challenging for teams to remember who on their team they can pass each ball to.
19. Lap Sit
In this game, you will want at least ten players. Have them sit in a circle facing counter-clockwise.
Each player must meet the participant back in front of him or her.
Now tell the players to put their right leg in, towards the circle.
Now tell them to move in and shrink the size of the circle. The players have to keep moving closer until each player is touching the other player’s side.
On a count of three, the players have to put their hands on the shoulders of the player in front of them.
Then tell them to sit down slowly. If the kids do it correctly, they will end up sitting on each other’s lap.
For this game, you need a rope and two teams. Each team gets an end of the rope. Mark out two lines on the ground beneath the rope. The rope needs to be knotted in the middle. This knot goes between the two lines. Each team lines up on either side of the rope and starts pulling when you say go. The goal for each team is to pull the knot across the line on their sign. If they do this, they win. When you play this team building game though, make sure that you divide the group so that the stronger and weaker players are balanced on both signs.
21. Cups And Downs
You need at least 20 cups to play this game. The cups should be placed within the middle of the room. Half of the cups should be facing up, and the other half should be facing down. The group of teenagers is divided into two groups. One team gets the “up” cups and the other gets the “down”cups. The up cup has to turn the up cups down, and the down team has to turn the upside-down cups up. The teams get a set amount of time to do this. When the time is up, count the cups. The team with the most flipped cups, wins.
22. French Versus English
You need 20 or more bowling pins or similar items for this game. Divide the group into two teams and make three divided lines on the floor or ground. Then, make sure an equal number of objects are behind all the baselines. The goal is for each team to steal as many objects as possible. Players have to go across the other team’s baseline and steal the object without being tagged. If tagged, they are sent to “jail.” A player can either steal an object at a time or release a captive teammate by tagging them, but not both at once. If the teammate is tagged, then they have to wait behind the other team’s baseline until rescued. If all of a team’s players are captive, they lose. If the team can get all of the other side’s objects, they win.
23. Scatter Ball
All you need is a Nerf ball to play this. It is like dodge ball and requires at least 10 people to play. Each player puts his hand on the ball. Then, throw it up into the air. If someone grabs the ball, they take two steps. After the second step, they have to throw the ball to someone else. If the ball hits the player, then they have to sit down. They can still play, but they have to remain seated. If someone catches the ball, the thrower has to sit down instead. Sitting players can still get the ball and play, but they cannot leave their spot. Obviously, the sitting players should work to get the standing players out. The game ends when just one person is left standing.
You need pens, a giant dice, paper and play-dough. This game is kind of like charades. Make a list of words that are easy to act, sculpt and draw. Make four teams and give them all paper, pens and play-dough. Each team chooses a leader. The leader gets the giant dice and rolls it. 1 or 2 mean charades, 3 and 4 mean Pictionary and 55 and 6 mean scultionary. After rolling the leader gets a word from the list. They go back to their group to act, draw or sculpt the word. If their team guesses the word, they get to roll the dice and play again. The team that guesses the most words is the winner.
25. Egg Rocket
This game uses tape, eggs and paper. Make two or more teams. Each team gets paper, tape and a single eggs. They have to make an Egg Rocket that can be dropped from a ladder without breaking. This could rocket could actually look like a rocket or they could make it in another shape. All eggs are dropped from the same height, and the eggs that survive the fall best, wins. If all eggs are fine, try dropping from a higher spot. This is a fun team building activity for teens, and it also gets them to work together to solve the problem as they look for the best Egg Rocket design.