21 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 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:

  • 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

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.

Materials Needed:

  • A list of questions (you can use the ones in our template below)
  • 5 blank pieces of paper or index cards for each participant
  • A timer (optional)

Steps:

  • Each participant gets a set of questions and 5 blank pieces of paper or index cards.
  • They must write down their answers on the papers without talking to anyone else.
  • Once everyone is finished writing, they will pass them into the center so that no one can see what anyone else wrote down.
  • The participants then take turns reading out their answers, one at a time. Each person will read only the answer they wrote, not what other people wrote.
  • Each participant must try to guess who wrote each answer based on how they responded to it. For example: If someone says that they love playing video games, you would know that this is probably not your sister or mother’s answer (unless of course, they do).
  • After all the answers have been read aloud, each person should write down their guesses for each question on the back of their paper so that everyone knows who guessed what.

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.

Materials Needed:

  • Blocks of varying heights and sizes
  • A group of teens who are willing to work together
  • A flat surface (preferably a non-plush carpeted floor)

Steps:

  • Divide the group into pairs and have everyone choose their partner.
  • Each pair should then take turns stacking blocks on top of each other until they've built a tower that's at least 6 blocks high.
  • Once all the towers are complete, let your teens take a few minutes to walk around and look at their peers' creations.

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?

17. Rollercoaster

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.

Materials Needed:

  • Wooden sticks
  • Plastic pipes
  • Zip ties
  • A plastic ball (like a ping pong ball)

Steps:

  • Teams are to use the materials provided to construct a roller coaster that not only stands, but runs efficiently.
  • Teams need to decide who is going to do what, such as pushing the cart up the slope or connecting both cars so that they stay on track.

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.

Materials Needed:

  • A large area (a soccer field is ideal)
  • Small obstacles such as cones, potato sacks, jump rope, hurdles, or balance beams that are easy to move around as you play the game
  • A timer or stopwatch

Steps:

  • Lay out the obstacles in a large area.
  • Divide your team into two groups and have them line up on opposite sides of the field.

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!

Materials Needed:

  • Pen and paper

Steps:

  • Determine the number of players that will be in your group and write down two facts (truths) about each person. These facts can be anything: personality traits, things they like to do for fun, embarrassing moments from their past – anything!
  • Write down one lie for each player. These lies should be outlandish enough that there's no way they could possibly be true.
  • Once everyone is done writing down their statements, read over them with everyone else and make sure no one has any duplicates or repeats themselves (i.e., if someone said “I love pizza” as their fact twice).
  • Draw numbers out of a bucket or hat to figure out who goes first!
  • Each player takes turns guessing each person’s truths and lies.
  • If someone guesses correctly after hearing all three statements from the same person (their truth then their lie), they win!

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.

Materials Needed:

  • A small beanbag, orange or tennis ball

Steps:

  • Divide your teen group into two teams and set each team at opposite ends of the playing area.
  • Hand each team a different object, such as a ball or beanbag. This is their “clap” that they must pass around the circle without letting it touch the ground.
  • Using normal hand gestures (fingers spread apart or together), give each team instructions for how to pass the clap. For example, if you want them to throw their clap overhand and then underhand with alternating hands, have one person from each side demonstrate how he/she would do so before sending them off with their teammates to practice passing it around once or twice.
  • Offer players constructive feedback on what else needs work before starting play!

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 *:

  • 2 Easels
  • 2 Large Pads of Paper
  • Colored pencils, markers or crayons.

* You can also substitute for two white boards and markers, with an eraser.

Steps:

  • Partner Pictionary is played between two people, or teams, each with their own paper or board.
  • One person draws something while the others guess what it is.
  • Then they switch roles until time is up or someone guesses correctly.

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.)

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21 Team Building Activities for Teens to Build Camaraderie