The ability to communicate directly affects personal successes in school, work and relationships. You want to help your teen develop those skills and succeed as an individual and you can do this by incorporating communication-building games into activities with family and friends. Not only will it help your teen be a better communicator, it's an opportunity for everyone to have fun together and strengthen relationships.
Have your teen and his group pair off into interviewer and interviewee. The interviewers will ask questions about the person and try to learn more about him. Have the pairs switch rolls so everyone gets a turn. You can change it up by limiting the questions to three and having the interviewee give two true answers and one false one, which can be as outrageous or subtle as he wants. Everyone can come back together and guess which answers are false. In a larger group, you can give everyone a piece of paper, have them number 1-10, and send them around the group conducting one-minute interviews with a different person for each number. They can be as creative in their questions as they want, but the goal is to get to know each other better and talk about themselves. If it's a smaller group, just lessen the number of interviews.
You can set up an obstacle course and have the group pair up. One person will be blindfolded and the other will guide her through the obstacles in a race against other teams. Change this up by creating a circle with a variety of things in the middle and have lists of items to be retrieved. Have the “seeing” person direct the blind-folded person to remove the items from the circle one at a time. They'll have to navigate the other “blind” people to get their items. Have each “seeing” teen describe the item instead of name it to make it more challenging. Alternatively, guide the person in accomplishing a task, such as building something small with blocks or rearranging furniture.
Prepare information cards with questions, such as favorite animals and extracurricular activities, and have everyone answer them when they arrive, keeping the answers private from each other. When you’ve collected each teen’s question cards, read out the answers and have the group guess which person gave which answer. You can do this individually or split them into teams to compete for the most correct guesses. Alternatively, blindfold half the group, and then pair them with a person who is not blindfolded, without revealing who they are. Give them 1 to 2 minutes to talk or ask questions from a list that you've prepared. After, the blindfolded person must guess who her partner was. Have the partner disguise her voice to make it challenging. Write questions blocks, assemble a tower and have the teens answer the question on the blocks they take from the tower. Make them interesting personal questions or add a dare for whenever extra pieces are knocked off the tower.
Get your teen and her friends talking with a beach ball game. Write questions all over the ball, such as what flavor jelly candy would you be, favorite fantasy vacation or what your favorite mythical creature is (i.e., vampire, werewolf or unicorn) and why. Have your teen group toss it around and answer the question their thumb lands on. Alternatively, encourage communication and quick thinking with any small ball. Have the teens toss it around quickly, throwing out descriptive phrases when they catch the ball, such as “pink canary" or “polka-dot dress." Once everyone is comfortable with the speed, have them tell a flowing story. The first person might say “the black dog" and the next person could say “went for a walk." Keep up the speed and see what comes out. Next, toss a ball around the group and each person has to reveal a tidbit of truth or tell a convincing lie about themselves. The first person to guess whether the information is true or false gets the ball next.
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