13 Team Building Activities for Teens to Build Camaraderie

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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 13 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. 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:

  • Stay positive
  • Actively listen
  • Be authentic
  • Be relevant
  • Show, don't tell- teens get enough lectures
  • Make the activity about them
  • Let them take the lead
  • Practice fairness and inclusion
  • Learn from them
  • Be active
  • Give them a choice
  • Provide a challenge

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.

Steps:

  • Break up the group into even teams.
  • One teen plays the dragon, which is basically the judge.
  • The objective is for each team to line up in order from tallest to shortest while blindfolded as quickly as possible.
  • They may discuss the best way to accomplish this once the dragon says go.
  • When they've lined up in the proper order, they shout “Boo” to scare away the dragon.
  • The dragon judges whether or not they are in the proper order.
  • The first team to line up correctly wins.

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.

Steps:

  • Separate the group into teams.
  • Provide the instructions.
  • Using any of the materials provided, each team designs a hat.
  • Then, each team creates a character that will wear the hat in a specific situation like a birthday party. 
  • Next, each team creates a skit that includes the hat, the character, and the situation.
  • Finally, each team presents their skit to the rest of the group.
  • One final rule- Every member of the team has to participate in some way, whether it's collecting supplies, designing the hat, or participating in the skit.

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.

Steps:

  • Create teams
  • Go over the instructions
  • Provide materials
  • When you say go, each team designs and builds an egg delivery device
  • Place an egg in each container
  • One team member stands on a chair and drops the container with the egg inside
  • Everyone else watches to see if the egg breaks

Hopefully, there won't be too big a mess. If so, have everyone help clean it up.

Materials needed:

  • Enough eggs for every team
  • Newspaper or tissues
  • small cardboard boxes or cardboard tubes
  • plastic straws
  • rubber bands and clear tape

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.

Steps:

  • Place 4-5 small household items in a closed brown paper bag
  • Put teens in teams
  • Each team selects a bag
  • Then, they create a skit that has to use every item in the bag as a prop
  • Enjoy the skits

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.

Steps:

  • Have the teens stand in a circle and stretch out their arms
  • With their eyes closed, they have to hold the hand closest to them on either side
  • Closing their eyes makes the arms all tangled up like a knot
  • Then, they have to untangle the knot without letting go
  • To untangle the knot, they will have to weave under and over each other
  • You, as the leader, get to watch the fun as they have to contort themselves to get it done

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.

Steps:

  • Draw a straight line on the ground
  • Have the teens line up behind the line on the ground
  • The objective is for everyone to cross the line at the same time
  • When you say go, they can then plan and execute their effort

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

Steps:

  • Make a circle out of rope for each team
  • Put the circle on the ground
  • Have the team stand in a circle so that the edge of the rope is taut on their ankles
  • Team must hold their hands straight up in the air
  • They have to get the rope circle up from their ankles to their wrists while keeping their hands in the air the entire time

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.

Steps:

  • Choose the characteristic you want to use
  • Give the instructions
  • Be sure to emphasize that they can't talk

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.

Steps:

  • Each team will build a pyramid using their bodies in a specified time limit
  • Each teen will have to be on their hands and knees.
  • They will have to figure out how many have to be on each level of the pyramid
  • They'll also have to figure out who goes on the bottom to support everyone else

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.

Steps:

  • Place group into smaller teams
  • Explain that they are to build a free-standing tower out of their shoes in 5 minutes
  • Whoever builds the tallest tower wins
  • Remind them that free-standing means nothing, including hands, can be used to hold it up

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.

Steps:

  • Each team member will be responsible for writing or illustrating a section of the story.
  • They will have to collaborate to plan their story
  • For teens that may struggle with writing, they can illustrate or you can partner them up with a scribe
  • When their story is complete, they will bind it together with brads

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.

Steps:

  • Collect enough items for each team
  • Ask each team to pick an item from the pile you provide.
  • Then each team will have to pretend the item is an antique they discover 500 years in the future.
  • They have to make up a story about the item

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.

Steps:

  • Each team picks a person that creates a scene like school
  • They will do activities that define the environment, like teaching a class
  • The other team members position themselves as props in the scene
  • The main actor has to use the props in this impromptu scene

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.

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.

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13 Team Building Activities for Teens to Build Camaraderie