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The 20 Best Team Building Activities for Teens

The importance of team-building activities for teens

 

We all know how important team-building activities are for teenagers. They help young people develop social skills, build trust, and learn to work together. But let’s face it: not all team-building activities are created equally.

 

Fun and engaging activities

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of fun team-building activities your teens will enjoy. These activities are perfect for schools, youth groups, or any gathering where you want to promote teamwork and connection.

 

Building essential skills

Team-building games engage teens in activities that build communication, leadership, and teamwork skills. These activities are designed to be interactive, enjoyable, and effective in developing important life skills. They help teens communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and develop a strong team spirit.

 

The best activities for teens

If you are looking for the best team-building activities for teens or fun team-building exercises, this list has got you covered.

 

Benefits of fun team building activities for teens

 

Fun team-building games do more than fill time—they’re a fantastic way to help teens learn valuable life skills. These activities teach communication, leadership, and cooperation while having a good time.

Plus, they get teens off their screens and interacting face-to-face, which we could all use more of these days! When teenagers work together to solve problems or complete challenges, they build trust and form stronger relationships.

It’s all about creating an environment where they feel connected and supported.

 

Tips for working with teenagers

 

Teens are like most other (human) groups. They crave social connections and want to feel loved, valued and meaningfully connected. That said, there are some unique characteristics of teenagers you should consider in your program design and leadership:

 

Be active

Young people are hard-wired to move, so be sure that whatever team activities you plan will move their bodies. Sitting still and being quiet for long periods is the worst thing you can do when planning a team activity.

You need only look at a typical school classroom to understand why kids are often bored.

 

Go with the flow

You need a plan, but be flexible and prepared to change it. If something you or your group of teens say or do appears to fire them up, go with it.

Think on your feet to integrate their sudden interest in your program. For example, if skateboarding is their thing, discuss how trust and team skills show up in this activity.

 

Honour choices

None of us likes to be told what to do, and this is especially true for young people who desperately want to be treated as adults.

A powerful approach is to give teenagers more agency and a voice in what’s happening. Now, this is not a license for your group to take over your program but rather an imperative for you to create a safe learning space for these young people to interact and learn together.

The safer it is, the more willing and able they will be to participate.

 

Make it about them

If your group feels that the program is truly designed with them in mind, they will be more motivated to be involved. If they feel like they are the square peg being squashed into a round hole, you’ll be pushing them uphill all day.

Teenagers are still learning that the world does not revolve around them, so be interested in them, ask them how they are doing, and take a genuine interest in their welfare. The more interested you are in them, the more interesting you will appear to your group.

 

Challenge them

Yeah, we know, teens can sometimes appear as if they don’t care and don’t want to be pushed, but in most cases, this is just a facade they erect because they may feel threatened and out of their comfort zone. Work hard to create a positive and safe environment for your teens.

When I say ‘challenge’, I’m not just talking about sports. Sporting activities are great and suit some young people but not all. Instead, consider presenting a series of physical team-building activities, such as the group initiatives described below.

 

Be yourself

Finally, try not to take yourself or your program too seriously. Exert your leadership but in a genuine, authentic and fair manner.

 

 

Our Top 20 Activity Recommendations

 

The team building activities below aren’t listed in any particular order, and they all regularly appear in the top 20 most viewed or used activities inside the playmeo activity database.

Their continued popularity cements our confidence that these activities work extremely well and will help you achieve the team-building results you are after.

These team-building activities will engage your group, promote teamwork, and provide fun and practical team-building experiences. Whether your teams compete in a challenging task or collaborate in a team-building activity, these recommendations are invaluable for building strong, cohesive teams.

What team-building activities are listed in this post?

 

 

Encanto

A fun and active partner activity that focuses on sharing strengths. Participants form pairs and share their ideal superpower with each other. They then guide their partner to a secret location using “cooler/warmer” prompts. After finding both locations, pairs meet at a midpoint to share one real-life strength, fostering self-awareness and connection.

Recommended group size: Pairs (2 people)

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple
  • Fosters sharing
  • Builds self-awareness
  • Suits all group sizes
  • Partner activity

 

Name that Tune

The classic, fast-paced music guessing game. Participants, either individually or in small teams, listen to short snippets of popular and lesser-known songs and try to guess the song title and/or artist. Each correct answer earns a point, and the first to reach 10 points (or the highest score) wins. It’s a fun and playful activity that promotes friendly competition and collaboration.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very fun & playful
  • Friendly competition
  • Promotes collaboration
  • Many variations

 

Verbal Number Exchange

A simple problem-solving exercise to sharpen listening skills. Participants start by numbering off in a circle, then mingle and exchange numbers verbally with five different people, using no visual cues. After the exchanges, they reform the circle in numerical order based on their final number. This activity promotes collaboration, listening, and verbal communication skills.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Develops listening skills
  • Promotes collaboration
  • No props

 

Story Swap

This fun and thought-provoking exercise involves pairs sharing creative stories inspired by random images on We Engage cards. It’s a simple, non-threatening activity that promotes self-reflection and creativity and is an excellent icebreaker.

Recommended group size: Pairs (2 people)

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Inspires creativity
  • Promotes self-reflection
  • Non-threatening
  • Simple props

 

Chopsticks

A fun partner game involving strategy and competition. Players face each other, each holding out two clenched hands with one finger extended on each hand. They take turns tapping each other’s fingers to add to the total number of fingers extended. If a hand reaches more than four fingers, it’s eliminated. Players can also transfer fingers between hands during their turn. The goal is to eliminate both hands of your partner. This playful game promotes critical thinking and can be played in multiple rounds with different partners.

Recommended group size: Pairs (2 people)

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Playful & fun
  • Promotes critical thinking
  • Partner game
  • No props

 

Paper Stone Stacking

A creative and mindful activity based on nature wellness. Each participant writes a hope or dream on five separate sheets of paper, crumples them into ‘stones,’ and then attempts to stack and balance the stones. This activity promotes mindfulness, focus, and patience while fostering a sense of connectedness. Suitable for all group sizes, it encourages participants to reflect on the value of the exercise and its connection to their personal aspirations.

Recommended group size: Solo

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Promotes mindfulness & focus
  • Develops patience
  • Builds connectedness
  • Adaptable to many topics
  • Suitable for all group sizes

 

Porcupine Progression

A very challenging engineering task for small groups. Participants are given a block of wood with one nail partially hammered into the center and 12 additional nails. The challenge is to balance all 12 nails on top of the vertical nail without any of them touching the wood or any other apparatus. This fascinating puzzle inspires creativity and fosters critical thinking, making it an ideal small-group initiative. Allow up to 30 minutes for participants to solve the problem, encouraging innovative and engineering-based solutions.

Recommended group size: Solo

Typical duration: 30 – 45 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Fascinating puzzle
  • Inspires creativity
  • Fosters critical thinking
  • Ideal small group initiative

 

Texas Big Foot

Texas Big Foot is a humorous and engaging circle activity for large groups. Participants hold hands with their neighbour and the group is asked to form a tight circle. The instructor then asks everyone to take a large step forward, and then another (if possible!). This game is an excellent icebreaker for large groups and gets everyone relaxed, laughing and interacting with each other.

Recommended group size: 10 – 30 people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Breaks the ice
  • Encourages laughter and fun
  • Suitable for large groups

 

One Up, One Down

A fantastic observation and lateral thinking exercise for groups. Participants sit in a circle and try to identify the ‘key’ to the game based on the position of people’s feet.

By predicting whether a person represents “One Up One Down,” “Two Up,” or “Two Down,” participants sharpen their critical thinking and observation skills. This simple yet challenging game encourages active engagement and offers a fun way to develop lateral thinking without the need for any props.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Promotes critical thinking
  • Sharpens observation skills
  • Simple What’s the Key? variation
  • No props

 

Upside Down

Upside down is a challenging, collaborative team-building activity for smaller groups. Participants are divided into teams of 2 to 6 people, each given a 2-meter length of PVC pipe.

The task is to fill the pipe with water and balance it vertically on one person’s palm. Teams must then carefully tip the pipe upside down two to four times, aiming to lose as little water as possible. The group that retains the most water wins.

This playful and physically engaging activity fosters collaboration and is perfect for summertime fun.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 10 – 15 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Promotes critical thinking
  • Sharpens observation skills
  • Simple What’s the Key? variation
  • No props

 

Ducks in a Row

This game playfully surfaces behavioural norms and is a great activity to include in a values-based group discussion. Using rubber ducks decorated to symbolise the group’s values, participants align the ducks in a row to represent their collective performance.

This metaphorical and physical representation fosters communication and helps put values into existence. By discussing which ducks (values) are out of line, the group can identify areas for improvement and commit to actions that align all their ducks in a row, enhancing their overall performance.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Powerful metaphor
  • Physical representation of values
  • Fosters communication
  • Puts values into existence
  • Simple reflection tool

 

Blind Maze

A team-based problem-solving exercise for small groups that promotes collaboration and effective communication. Participants navigate a maze created with ropes tied between trees while blindfolded, staying connected and following specific rules.

The goal is to find their way out of the maze without breaking the connection or opening their eyes. This activity encourages teamwork and offers multiple metaphors for overcoming challenges and achieving goals together.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 20 – 30 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Promotes collaboration
  • Focus on effective communication
  • Multiple metaphors

 

Pretty Darn Quick

A fast-paced, high-energy tag game for small groups. Participants form a circle, with one person nominating themselves as the leader who then assigns numbers to establish the order of play. At the leader’s signal, everyone jumps back and attempts to tag others’ feet while avoiding being tagged themselves.

Players are eliminated if their foot is tagged, if they move prematurely, or if they jump out of sequence. The game continues until only one person remains, who then becomes the leader for the next round. This energetic activity develops agility and fosters friendly competition.

Recommended group size: 3 – 8 people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very active
  • Competitive
  • Develops agility
  • No props

 

Walk & Stop

An active game to inspire good listening and reflex skills. Participants spread out in a large open space and respond to commands to walk or stop. After practicing, the meanings of the commands are swapped, with “WALK” meaning stop and “STOP” meaning walk.

Additional commands like “NAME” (say your name) and “CLAP” (perform a clap) are introduced and their meanings are also swapped. This game develops communication, sharpens listening skills, and emphasises integrity through quick, accurate responses.

This activity is not as easy as it sounds and is a laugh-out-loud energiser for large groups.

Scroll above to learn how to present Walk & Stop in the best possible way.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple, but not easy
  • Develops communication
  • Sharpens listening skills
  • Focus on integrity
  • No props

 

Around The World

Around the world is an active, fun, mathematical group energiser. Participants stand in designated areas representing different cities or countries they’d like to visit.

Each person aims to travel clockwise to every location within two minutes by winning quick games of Your Add against others in the same area. Winners advance to the next city, while losers stay and play again. The person who completes the most rotations within the allotted time wins.

This high-energy game promotes healthy competition and can be adapted for small or large groups.

Click play above to catch all of the action.

Recommended group size: 30+ people

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Very active
  • Healthy competition
  • Small or large groups
  • Multiple variations
  • No props

 

Longest Shadow

A much loved outdoor group activity! Participants work together in a wide open space on a sunny day with the challenge to cast the longest continuous shadow possible, starting from a common line. Only bodies can be used to create the shadow, with no props or clothing allowed.

The group has 10 minutes to make multiple attempts, and the longest shadow is measured and recorded. This simple setup fosters creativity and collaboration while taking advantage of natural sunlight.

You can watch teams in action in the video above.

Recommended group size: 8 – 15 people

Typical duration: 15 – 20 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple to set-up
  • Inspires creativity
  • Fosters collaboration
  • No props

 

Knee Tag

A great group energiser, Knee Tag is an entertaining, high-energy tag game for pairs and large groups. Participants form pairs and stand facing each other with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on their own knees. The goal is to touch the unguarded knee of their partner to score points. After 20 seconds, the person with the most points wins. This simple, highly interactive game can be repeated with new partners or variations for continuous fun.

Click play above to watch our Knee Tag energiser in action.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration:2-5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple
  • Very energetic
  • Highly interactive
  • Partner activity
  • No props

 

Leaning Tower of Feetza

This is a quick problem-solving activity for large and small groups. Participants form small teams and are tasked with building the tallest free-standing structure using only their shoes. Each team has exactly three minutes to complete the task.

This simple setup promotes teamwork, inspires creativity, and is highly interactive. The tallest structure wins, making it a fun and engaging activity for all, just as you will see in the video above.

Recommended group size: 3 – 8 people

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Simple set-up
  • Quick execution
  • Promotes teamwork
  • Inspires creativity
  • Highly interactive

 

Human Spring

Human Spring is a dynamic trust-building exercise that is done in pairs. Group members find a partner and stand facing each other 60cm apart with feet shoulder-width apart. Both partners then raise their arms above their heads with palms facing each other.

Slowly leaning in until their hands meet, they then gently push away to spring back. The aim is to achieve a comfortable, rhythmic leaning and springing motion.

This physically challenging activity can be repeated with different partners to promote trust within the group.

Take a look at the video below to see how Human Spring works.

Recommended group size: Pairs (2 people)

Typical duration: 2 – 5 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Exciting
  • Challenging
  • Promotes trust
  • Partner activity
  • No props

 

Jump In Jump Out

A hilarious energiser game for large groups. Participants form a circle, holding hands and facing the centre.

The leader instructs the group to “SAY WHAT I SAY, AND DO WHAT I SAY” and practices commands like “JUMP IN,” “JUMP OUT,” “JUMP LEFT,” and “JUMP RIGHT” for 20 seconds. Then, the leader switches to “SAY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I SAY, AND DO WHAT I SAY,” continuing the commands for another 20 seconds.

This is a really fun game that is simple to explain but difficult to accomplish, triggering tons of laughter and energy.

Watch all of the fun in this active energiser in the video below.

Recommended group size: 15 – 30 people

Typical duration: 5 – 10 minutes

Why it’s great:

  • Hilarious energiser
  • Triggers tons of laughter
  • Simple to explain, difficult to accomplish
  • Circle game
  • No props

 

Create an unstoppable team spirit!

 

Team-building activities are an invaluable way to help teenagers develop essential life skills while having fun. Handy! From boosting confidence with games like Encanto to fostering creativity with Story Swap, these activities encourage teamwork, communication, and problem-solving in an engaging and enjoyable way.

So, why not try these team-building activities and see how they can bring your group closer and help teens build stronger connections with those around them?

Our online activity database features hundreds of cool team-building activities for teenagers.

If you like what you see, consider becoming a member of playmeo to unlock 530+ fun group games & activities suitable for teens and adults alike.

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