our everyday life

Game Ideas for Teen Hangouts

by Erin Schreiner

If left up to their own devices, teens tend to spend their time together lounging around or surfing the web on their smartphones. If your teen is planning a party, encourage her to do something a little more creative by integrating some party games. With these games, your teen’s party can be more about getting to know her friends and less about laying around and updating their social media statuses.

Get to Know You

Provide a playful way for your teens to get to know each other. Suggest that your party guests play a rousing round of two truths and a lie. To play this game, each guests must utter three statements, two of which are true and one of which is a lie. Listeners guess which statements are true and which is a lie, learning about each other in the process. If your hangout is a spend-the-night, take advantage of the presence of sleeping bags and play sleeping bag swap. For this game, one party guest must leave the room while the rest of the guests hide in different sleeping bags, tucking their heads inside. When the exiled individual returns, she must feel each bag and guess who is inside.

Mess-Makers

Put a twist on the classic game, Twister, to make it more engaging for your teen party-goers. Lay down your Twister mat to use as a guide. Make the game messier by filling the circles already on the mat with a food. Fill the yellow circle with mustard, the blue with blueberry pie filling and so forth. Once you have food-ified your mat, let the teens play the game as they normally would. Make summer-time snowballs for your teen and her friends to toss. Grab an old pair of panty hose, and dump a cup of flour into one of the legs. Bunch the flour in the toe, and tie it off. Tie another knot to serve as the bottom of the next snowball. Continue in this fashion, making snowballs up the legs. Once you amass a sizable stack, give them to your teen party goers for some outside fun. While these snowballs aren’t as cold and wet as the real thing, they will certainly be messier.

Zany Challenges

Let your teen party goers show you what they can do with an uncommon challenge, like peanut push. To play this simple game, lay down two lines on your floor using masking tape. Line up a row of in-the-shell peanuts on the first line. Ask anyone brave enough to get on their knees and try to push one of the peanuts all the way to the next line. Make it a race, rewarding the person who finishes first. Get teens’ hearts thumping with a tag-style game. Blow up some balloons and, using string, tie them to the ankles of your party-goers. Tell participants to chase each other around the room, trying to pop each other’s balloons with their feet without popping their own. Declare the last remaining guest with an unpopped balloon the winner.

Dancing Activities

For many teens, dancing is all about looking cool. To play Ping Pong Dance, however, teens must let go of their inhibitions and give in to looking goofy. Play this game by strapping an empty tissue box around the waste of one of the participants, positioning it so the open side faces out from the teen’s back and the box rests right above her butt. Put two ping pong balls inside and start the music. Tell the teen that she must dance around until the balls come out of the box. Add some dancing to charades with a round of My New Dance. Have party guests write phases on pieces of paper and put these papers in a box. Let teens take turns drawing out the pieces of paper and making up dances that represent that phrase. For example, a teen who drew out the phrase, “college graduate,” would have to create a dance move that she feels embodies this figure.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images