10 Group Games for Teenagers

Michele Meleen
group high five

If you're looking for a quick, fun group game at your next sleepover, youth group, club meeting, or another gathering these games are a great starting point. All you need to play are a few common materials and a positive attitude. With a few quick adaptations, most games can work for any size group in any setting.

Text Message Telephone

You've played the old-fashioned game of telephone where one person whispers a phrase to the next down a line. But, have you ever tried it with modern technology? Groups of any size can spread a message quickly, but can they get it right? This twist on a classic game is a great way to bring gatherings, like youth groups, into the modern age without compromising wholesome fun. The more players you've got, the higher the chances of messing up the original message.

What You Need

  • One cellphone with texting capability for each player
  • Piece of paper
  • Tape
  • Timer

How to Play

  1. Seat players in a line.
  2. Each player folds a standard piece of paper horizontally two times so they have a thick paper about four inches tall.
  3. The group leader writes a two or three sentence message on a piece of paper and hands it to the first person in line. This person has fifteen seconds to memorize the message before the leader takes it away.
  4. This first player writes a text message, trying to make an exact copy of the message they just read and sends it to the next person in line.
  5. Once the second person receives the message he has fifteen seconds to read it, then places the folded paper over their phone to cover that message. He secures the paper with tape.
  6. The second player now writes a text message, trying to make an exact copy of the message they just read and sends it to the next person in line.
  7. Repeat steps four and five until the last person receives a text message. This person reads the message out loud. Then the group compares their texts with the original message.

Make the game easier or more difficult by changing the size of the original message or the time limit for reading the message.

Ringtone Charades

The concept of Ringtone Charades is to use ringtones to exemplify an emotion. While it seems simple, portraying a feeling without words and gestures is anything but easy. Groups of any size can play, but if you've got more than five people, you may want to separate into smaller teams. The winners from each team can then compete in a championship round played in the same way.

What You Need

  • One cellphone with a variety of ringtones
  • Timer
  • Paper and pen
  • Bowl

How to Play

  1. Write emotions like love, sadness, frustration, anger, happiness, guilt, and embarrassment on separate pieces of paper.
  2. Make a score sheet with each player's name across the top in a separate column.
  3. Place all the slips of paper into a bowl.
  4. The first player picks a piece of paper out of the bowl and has two minutes to use up to three ringtones to get the other players to guess their emotion. Players can't make any gestures with their face or body or use any words.
  5. Other players shout out guesses for which emotion the player is portraying. If someone guesses the answer within two minutes, the actor gets one point. If no one guesses the answer within two minutes, the actor gets zero points. The person who gets the answer right is the next to act.
  6. Continue game play for your entire activity time. The teen with the most points in the end wins.

Guess That Picture

Can you get your teammates to guess an object based on a series of close-up pictures? That's what Guess That Picture is all about. This game is great for large groups because you can split into smaller teams who will compete to identify the same object using different pictures.

What You Need

teens with tablet
  • One camera or cellphone with built-in camera per team
  • Timer
  • Paper and pen

How to Play

  1. Separate the group into smaller teams of at least three players each. Create a score sheet with each team name across the top in different columns.
  2. Designate one person from each team as the photographer. This person will secretly take four close-up photos of an object chosen by the group leader. If you don't have a group leader, put the names of objects around the room in a bowl and pick one out for each round.
  3. While the photographer is taking pictures, all other team members must close their eyes and cover their ears.
  4. Once all photographers return to their team, the leader taps players to let them know they can open their eyes and uncover their ears then yells "Start."
  5. Each photographer can show only the first picture to their team in the first ten seconds.
  6. Teams have two minutes to identify the object. They can choose, as a group, to see the second, third, and fourth pictures at any time after the initial ten seconds. However, teams who guess correctly using one picture get five points, those using two pictures get four points, if they used three pictures they get three points if they used all four pictures they get two points.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 with a different photographer each time until all team members have a chance to be the photographer.
  8. Add up all the points and the team with the most wins.

Bobbing for Twinkies

Bobbing for Twinkies is a hilarious take on the traditional game Bobbing for Apples and works great at outdoor gatherings. In this fast-paced game, teens are challenged to pull all the Twinkies from a bin filled with balls and decoy snacks. If you're prepared to get really messy replace the balls with water, milk, or grape juice. Since you'll need a bin and supplies for each person, this game works best with small groups.

What You Need

  • Toy balls like Ping-Pong balls, tennis balls, and bouncy balls
  • Large bin
  • Pre-wrapped snack items like Twinkies, granola bars, and crackers
  • Blindfold for each player, use scarves if needed

How to Play

  1. Set up one bin for each participant. Fill each bin with a variety of balls then add in five to ten Twinkies, each in its plastic wrapper. Add in about five decoy snacks like the granola bars, also in their wrappers.
  2. Blindfold each player and set them in front of their bin.
  3. On "Go" players must try to pull out only the Twinkies using nothing but their mouths.
  4. The first player to pull out all the Twinkies wins.

Cereal Table Hockey

Make your own mini gaming table when you create a Cereal Table Hockey game. Using O-shaped cereal, bendy straws, and a tabletop you can create the next craze in gaming. With up to three players per team, one game can include a maximum of six players. If you've got more than one tabletop larger groups can run multiple games at the same time.

What You Need

  • "O" shaped cereal to use as the puck
  • Long straws that bend near the top to use as hockey sticks
  • Tape
  • Table top or kitchen island
  • Timer

Preparation

  1. Use pieces of tape about four to six inches in from either end of the table to create horizontal goal lines at each end.
  2. Create a line down the center of the table horizontally as the center line.
  3. Bend a straw for each player so it's shaped like a hockey stick.
  4. Set players up with one goalie for each team who stands behind the goal line and one player on the left and right side of the table behind the center line on their goal end. Players cannot move from their spot during the game.

How to Play

  1. Set the timer for three periods, each lasting three minutes.
  2. Start the time and drop a cereal "puck" on the center line.
  3. Players hit the puck with their straw sticks trying to fling it past the other team's tape goal line. If the cereal goes over the tape goal line, the other team scores one point.
  4. If the puck goes off the table, not over a goal line, a new puck is dropped on the center line. After each score, a new puck is dropped at the center line.
  5. After each period teams switch sides and can change player positions on their own side of the table.
  6. The team with the most points after the third period wins.

Sock Puppet Scavenger Hunt

Classic scavenger hunts with a twist can be a lot of fun. Divide teens into groups of five or six and give each team a sock puppet as their mascot. Challenge groups to complete a scavenger hunt by seeking out specific objects or locations and snapping a picture of their mascot with the team by each item.

What You Need

  • One clean sock for each team
  • Craft decorations - optional
  • Camera or cellphone for each team
  • Scavenger hunt lists and pens

How to Play

  1. Allow time for each team to customize their sock mascot with craft decorations if desired.
  2. Give each team a list of items or locations. For example, an outdoor hunt during school hours might include playground slide, tennis net, hurdle, bleachers, home plate, handicap parking sign, classroom number on a window, yellow flower and a ball. Aim for about ten to twenty items depending on how long players have to complete the task.
  3. Each team must take a picture of their entire team and the sock puppet with each item on the list.
  4. Once teams find all the scavenger hunt items, they return to the group leader who checks all their images.
  5. The first team back to the leader with all correct images wins.

104 Card Treasure Hunt

messy cards

Take the classic prank game of 52 Card Pickup, where one person dumps out an entire deck of playing cards and the other has to pick them all up and make it an interactive group game. All you need are three decks of playing cards and an open space. While this game seems simple, it's best for teens because it involves the potential for injuries as players scramble to find the winning card from a pile on the floor. To adapt the game to larger groups, add in more decks of cards and a larger playing area.

What You Need

  • Three full decks of standard playing cards
  • Large, open floor space

How to Play

  1. Combine two full decks of cards by dumping all the cards upside-down on the floor and mixing them around with your hands until you have a pile about four feet by four feet.
  2. Assign one person as the Caller who holds onto the third deck of cards.
  3. The rest of the players are Treasure Hunters who line up around the floor card pile.
  4. The Caller selects a card from the third deck at random then calls out the number and suit.
  5. The first Treasure Hunter to find the right card and hand it to the Caller becomes the Round Champion.
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 two more times for a total of three rounds.
  7. In the fourth round, the three Round Champions face off in the bonus round. During this round the Caller selects five cards, calls off all the numbers and suits one time, then the champions have to remember all five cards.
  8. The winner is the first player to present all five cards correctly to the caller.

Directive Dice

Use a pair of standard six-sided dice and some creativity to get your teammates from one end of the room or field to the other. Directive Dice is a fun indoor or outdoor game for groups of any size. Get creative with your directions and the game gets even more fun.

What You Need

  • Two standard six-sided dice per team
  • Large, open space like a living room, gymnasium, or field

How to Play

  1. Start by splitting the group into two or more teams of up to seven players on each team.
  2. Designate one player from each team as the Roller who will roll the dice for the entire game.
  3. Next, you need to write or print out directions for types of movements that correlate with each number on one die. For example:
    • 1 = Army crawl
    • 2 =Hop on one foot
    • 3 =Give one other player a piggyback ride
    • 4 =Crab walk backward
    • 5 =Walk on your hands
    • 6 =Forward rolls
  4. Line all players except the Rollers at one end of the room. Assign numbers to each player on the line so each team has players numbered one through six. If you don't have enough lined up players to assign all numbers from one to six, give some players two numbers.
  5. Each Roller, at the same time, rolls both dice. The die on the Roller's left indicates which player from their team gets to move. The die on the right indicates how that person can move for a count of three seconds.
  6. As soon as the dice are still after a roll, the Roller yells out "Player Number (whatever the left die says)" followed by the movement directions then immediately starts counting to three using the one, one thousand method. For example, if a Roller gets a one and a four, the number one player on their team would crab walk backward.
  7. The moving player has three seconds to move toward the finish line using the directed movement only. When the three seconds are up, the moving player stops and the Roller rolls the dice again.
  8. Gameplay continues until all members of one team make it to the finish line on the other side of the room.
  9. The team who gets all their players to the finish line first wins.

Tumbling Towers

In Tumbling Towers teens race to build the tallest tower out of random household objects. You'll need small groups of three or four for each team but can have as many teams as your space allows.

What You Need

  • One coin per team
  • Large Assortment of square and rectangular household items like books and boxed pantry items
  • Large open space free of breakables

How to Play

  1. Place all the building materials in the center of the room.
  2. Give each team a coin. On "Go" each team flips their coin for directions. Heads means they must place one item horizontally and tails means they place an item vertically.
  3. Players on each team take turns flipping the coin and following the matching directive.
    1. If two players in a row flip tails, the team must remove the top item from their tower.
  4. The team with the tallest tower when the materials run out wins. In case of a tie, replace all building materials in the center of the room and repeat gameplay for the tying teams.

Kitchen Sink Badminton

This hilarious game uses a bunch of household items, essentially everything but the kitchen sink, to re-imagine a game of badminton. Since you'll be creating teams similar to the game of Badminton, larger groups work best.

What You Need

  • Something to use as a "net" like a line of tape, jump rope, or line of sock
  • Wad of paper to use as the ball
  • Any household item that can be used as a racket, each player must use a different item for their racket like a frying pan, fly swatter, rolled up newspaper or wrapping paper tube

How to Play

  1. Create a line down the center of your playing area and place an equal number of players on each side of this "net."
  2. One player starts by serving the paper wad across the net with a hit from their "racket." If the wad doesn't cross the net, the other team gets to serve. If the wad crosses the net, the other team tries to hit it back to the serving team.
  3. Each team gets one point for every time their team gets the wad across the net, regardless of whether it gets returned or not. This includes serves.
  4. The team with the most points when the time is up, wins.

Fun Starts With Imagination

Group games help pass the time and create bonds among teens in any kind of group setting from classrooms to siblings home on a snow day. Take inspiration from common recreational games and create your own fun using whatever materials and space you've got.

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10 Group Games for Teenagers