Parties with teens can seem a bit challenging. After all, today’s teens are pretty sophisticated and apt to know more about video games than standard board games or “IRL” (in real life) party games.
However, there are many ways that teen games at birthdays, general parties or other events can be enjoyable, and even serve as bonding or icebreaker activities.
While it is fair enough to say that some of the easiest teen games are games that involve physical activities and simple props (think balloon games, races and ball games), there’s much more that they can do. Naturally, they should be fun games to play with friends, but party games for teenagers should also be stimulating and even something entirely new to them.
Here, we’ve assembled an array of games for teens and they are suitable for most ages, mixed groups of boys and girls, and leave a bit of room for parents and guardians to join in the fun!
Teen Games Ideal for Boys and Girls
Teen years can be awkward, so the teen games you choose cannot be the same as you might for younger years. Physical contact might make teens nervous or uncomfortable, so the following teen party games are sure to be a hit with mixed groups as well as all one gender.
Assassination by Wink
This is an iconic game and is great with small to large groups. It is also called Assassin, Killer and even Hawks and Doves. The way to play is simple:
- Use a large space as everyone has to walk around a bit.
- Have everyone stand in a circle singing something like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” loudly. As they do, you go around the circle whispering the word “No” to all but one player. They are the “Assassin” and you can whisper that in their ear.
- The Assassin will discreetly wink at everyone, and once they wink at that person, the “victim” has to perform a sudden death scene (dramatic or not).
- The goal is for the Assassin to get everyone before the group begins to figure out the identity of the guilty party.
- If a player suspects, they can shout “I accuse”, and if they do, another player can do the same. However, they cannot consult on who they both think is the Assassin (and the Assassin cannot bluff by raising their hand and accusing someone, either!). At the count of three, both point to whom they think is the killer, and if they are right, the game ends. If wrong, they must both die.
- If the Assassin works fast, they can get the last two before anyone accuses them!
Who’s the Boss?
Similar to Assassin is Who’s the Boss? It is another of the games for teens, ideal for a mixed group of boys and girls. To play, you:
- Have the group stand in a circle and the leader chooses one to be “It”.
- “It” leaves the room.
- The players then decide “Who’s the Boss?”. This is the person who will make gestures that everyone else must copy. Practice a few times before inviting “It” back into the room.
- The person who was chosen to be “It” returns to the center of the circle and watches the group as they begin to move like the leader.
- It will be difficult because they cannot see everyone at once or where everyone is looking.
- The goal is for them to figure out who the leader is, and once they do, the leader must replace them.
Fun Games to Play with Friends
On the other end of the game spectrum, there are also plenty of teen party games for groups of kids who are so familiar and comfortable with one another that even zany antics are not out of the question. As a prime example:
Junk Outta the Trunk
This is a simple teen party game that requires an empty tissue box, a belt and some duct tape, along with eight ping pong balls.
You need to convert the tissue box into a wearable “bum bag” by removing the tissues, cutting off the plastic shield at the opening of the box, and making two slits on one long edge to slip the belt through and reinforcing with the tape so the cardboard doesn’t tear inside or out.
The box is then worn by putting on the belt. To play:
- Set a timer to one minute.
- Put all eight ping pong balls inside the box.
- Tell the player that they have one minute to shake and jump in order to get all the balls out of the bum box.
- Hit the timer and be ready to shut it off the moment all eight balls are out. The player who does it fastest wins, but you can also give prizes for most unique moves, and so on.
Indoor Balloon Volleyball
A indoor game for teenagers is this one in which kids sit in a classic volleyball formation but must remain seated in a chair and use a balloon instead of a volleyball. Tie some rope across the space to eliminate challenges about where the net is and whether a ball made it over. Everyone takes off their shoes and takes a seat.
They cannot touch the ball with anything other than their feet (except when tossing the ball upward to kick and “serve” it). Play and score like regular volleyball.
Party Games for Teenagers Who Like Active Play
If you need teen games for an active group and you can head outdoors, the following games are some great options.
Catch the Baby!
This is a classic water balloon game and is great for groups of six or more. The game itself is incredibly simple and uses water balloons and fast action. To play:
- Fill the balloons quite full, but not so much that they burst too easily.
- Arrange the players in a circle with one person chosen as “It” in the center.
- Everyone is given a specific number (no two are the same), and they have to remember it to play. To keep things simple, provide a number range. If there are five players, number 1 through 5.
- The person in the center tosses the balloon into the air and says, “Catch the baby number “x” and shouts one of the numbers.
- That person has to dash into the circle and catch the balloon without breaking it or dropping it – if they do, they’re out. If they don’t, they head into the middle and take a turn calling out another player.
Orange You Dueling?
Another great and active party game for teenagers is this simple game using the egg-and-spoon idea, but with a twist.
Rather than running a race trying to balance an egg on a spoon, this game uses a spoon with an orange balanced on the spoon instead of an egg. The object of the game is simple – the players try to knock each others’ oranges off of their spoons without also knocking their own orange off in the process. When one wins, another pair duels, and the team with the most winners is the victor.
Silly Games for Teens
Not all teen party games have to be active or competitive. In fact, silliness is still quite popular with many teens. One great game that lets them be as silly and goof as they’d like is “Duck, Duck…Who?”
To play, just have everyone take a seat in a big circle and choose one person for the center (if it is a birthday, the birthday person can be “It”). Blindfold them, spin them and have everyone switch places as the spinning occurs. Hand “It” a wooden spoon.
Once “It” is properly spun and everyone has taken a new place, the game begins. The goal of the game is for “It” to figure out who someone is and say their name, but it’s tricky since everyone has switched places. They hold the spoon out and walk until they encounter someone. The person selected can quack like a duck or talk in a “duck-like” voice.
The person playing “It” has to try to guess who they are talking to. If they do, then the two swap places. If not, “It” tries again until they guess right.
Simpler Teen Party Games
Of course, teen games can be even easier than those already considered. For example, in our party games for kids article, we suggested using “icebreakers” for kids to get started in on party fun.
Games like “Celebrity Who Am I” (In which index cards with the names of celebrities are taped to each person’s back and then guests try to give each other clues so they can figure out their own celebrity identities) or “What’s the Real Lyric?” (A game in which alternative words are given instead of lyrics – i.e. “Little one, I am waltzing without the lights and you are hugged”, which is an alternative verse of the Ed Sheeran song “Perfect”) can also make perfect teen games.
Just think of the audience, how well they know one another and choose a few of the above teen games for a memorable event.