32 Team Building Activities for Teens: To Improve Leadership and Teamwork Skills


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32 Team Building Activities for Teens: To Improve Leadership and Teamwork Skills


1. Push Push

This teambuilding game is a great way to reinforce the leading and cooperation.

Supplies Needed: None

Duration: This game last 1-2 minutes

Requirements: An even number of participants.

Instructions:  Groups of two starts by facing each other and placing their hands palms to palms. One person is told to push as hard as possible towards their partner’s hands. The other partner is told not to push back but to move their hand in a gentle swaying motion. The person swaying their hands will be leading the other person in the direction they want to go.

Desired results:  As one person pushed the other leads them by increasing pressure and changing the direction with their sway.


2. Things I Do Well

This teambuilding game helps to remind players of their strengths.

Supplies Needed: pen and paper for each participant

Duration: This game last 1-5 minutes

Requirements: An even number of participants.

Instructions:  Each player has 15 seconds to tell their partner a set number of things they do well. Their partner will write down the things they do well and give the list to their partner. This list is to be taken home and placed someplace where it will be seen and read every day to remind them of what they do great.

The list can be specific and include things you do well either personally or professionally.  

Desired results:  Seeing the list everyday will help the reader feel a greater sense of confidence, pride, and accomplishment.


3. Admire Others

This simple game teaches people they can be everything they admire in others and encourages people to be the best they can be.

Supplies Needed: Pen and Paper for each participant

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Requirements: Any number of participants.


Step 1.To begin everyone writes on a piece of paper the words, “I admire others who …”

Step 2. Instruct players to think of people they admire and why.

Step 3. Give the players one minute to finish that sentence. Ask them to use positive language; for example instead of writing, “I admire others who are not negative,” write “I admire others who are positive.”

Step 4.  Have a few of the players read what they wrote starting with the words, “I admire others who …”

Step 5. Now ask that they draw a line through the words, “I admire others who …” and insert these words: “I am powerful when I …” Ask players to read again, this time using the new words

Desired results: Hearing what other admire about you will give you confidence and it encourages others to be the best they can be. Some people will be surprised by what people admire about them.


4. Treasure Box

This teambuilding game will open player’s eyes to all of the positive things they have in their life.

Supplies Needed: Small box or bag, pen, paper

Duration: This game last 30 minutes to one hour

Requirements: Any number of participants.

Instructions: To begin each person writes everything they want in their life, things they have, and things they don’t yet have. Be sure to use a separate piece of paper for each thing they write. There is no limit on how many things they can write.

Players should spend about 10 minutes writing, ask players to pretend that when they are done only the things they wrote will be theirs for life. If they forget to write it down then they will never have it! Example: if you forget to write “good health” you will never have good health.

Once they are finished writing or when the time is up have them put all of the pieces of paper with things they have inside their treasure box.

For all of the other pieces of paper write an action on the back side that will help them get it in the box. For example if you wrote “I don’t have good health” you might write “start exercising and taking care of myself.”

Players keep the treasure box and work on trying to get all of the pieces of paper in the box once they achieve them. It is also recommended that players occasionally read over the items in the box to remind them of all the things they do have so they do not dwell on the things they don’t have.

Desired results:  Players will start to appreciate the things they already have and find clarity on how to acquire the things they want.


5. Walk This Way

This is a great teambuilding game to encourage risk.

Supplies Needed: Music

Duration: This game last – 10-15 minutes.

Requirements: Any number of participants

Instructions: Everyone will form two lines facing each other leaving enough space in between for someone to walk down. One at a time players will walks and dances from one end to the other. Each player must walk or dance in a different way than the previous players who have walked down the line.

Desired results: Players are encouraged to take risk and do something crazy in front of the group.


6. Purpose Mingle

This game is great for getting people to think about what they can provide to the team rather than what they can get from the team.

Supplies Needed: None

Duration: 1 minute

Requirements: Any number of participants

Instructions: Prior to a meeting or trip have everyone stand up and tell as many people as they can in one minute what they hope to contribute to the group. Offer up a prize for the person who talked to the most people or who hopes to bring the largest contribution to the group.

Desired results: Players will think about the group and how they can help the group the best.


7. A Game of Possibilities

The game aims at teaching the participants to solve problems.

Supplies Needed: Cloth napkins

Duration: 6 minutes  

Requirements: Break people into small, multiple groups.

Each of the groups is given a napkin. There should be about five to 10 groups

Each member of the group should be given a chance to demonstrate the use of the napkin.

Rules To Be Followed:

  • The person demonstrating should not speak
  • Demonstration should be unique and original
  • The demonstration must be done while standing

Objective:  the participants are introduced to several ways of using the napkins. Intuitively, they learn how to solve problems. It motivates a team and teaches them how to use resources.


8. Drop The Ball

The game intends to teach the players how they can overcome relational issues.

Supplies needed: straws, tape and golf balls.

Duration: 12 minutes

Objective: to teach employees about corporation

Instructions:  Each of the group should receive about 12 straws and should be given 18 inches of masking tapes. Also, they have about 10 minutes in which they should be able to build a container to be used to catch a ball dropped 10 feet from the ground.

Each group must select a ball dropper. One person should stand on a chair hold the golf ball while each member should place the container on the floor where he anticipates that the ball will land. Each of the group should be given three attempts.

The group that will manage to get the ball into the container is declared a winner.

Desired results:  Teach team members how to overcome problems such as relational issues.


9. Winner/Loser

The game intends to teach participants how to let go of bad baggage

Supplies needed: None

Duration: 5-6 minutes

Objective: Negative to positive perspective

Requirements: Partner up all participants

Instructions: Each of the participating partners tells the other about a bad thing that happened to them. This could be personal, or could be work related. It may have occurred a few days, weeks or a few months ago. It may have happened many years ago.  However, he must have fully recovered from it.

He should then repeat the same story but this time round he should tell about good things that came from it. The listening partner should explore and contribute to the good thing that came from it.

Desired results: Participants learn how they can let go negative attitude and emotional baggage.


10. Ten Different Ways One Can Use To Kill a New Idea

The game intents to teach members how to offer positive suggestion

Supplies needed: Markers and poster paper

Duration: 2-3 minutes

Objective: to help the participants remain positive

Instructions: Here, lists of negative words or phrases are posted in the meeting room.  As the meeting progresses, anyone who uses the negative phrases or words puts a quarter dollar in the Nega jar. The collected money can then be used to buy the team some lunch.

Desired results: Team members are taught how to offer suggestions but in a positive way.


11. Mission Statement

Supplies needed: paper, pens, and team requests

Requirements: Everyone’s participation

Objective: To create focus, group buy-in and passion

Instructions:  Everyone completes the sentence ‘’My Vision of the team that works is…..’’ . Each of the team should then be used to create a statement or a visual renting the total of each of the visions contributed by members.

Desired results: The team is willing to cooperate because they find some commonality of the purpose.


12. Lifeboat Game

Supplies needed: A list of 15 people probably in a yacht

Requirements: one group or several small groups

Objective:  Discover how the success of any negotiation is influenced by emotions

Instructions: Each team should be given a list of 15 people on a yacht. The people should then be informed that the yacht has developed a problem and is leaking and sinking fast.  Available is just a single lifeboat that can accommodate nine people only. There are no life jackets or boats within the vicinity. The group should then agree which of the 15 people should go into the lifeboat.  The people to be saved must be listed in order of importance. This is because the less important people will be dumped overboard if they run out of water and food. This is the most difficult problem that must be solved.

Special instructions: make the list of 15 people controversial. It could include: a priest, a rabbi, a minister, a pregnant woman, an ex-convict, a political lobbyist, leaders from major political parties, and people of different ethnicities.

The Participants must be given some time to look for a solution to the problem.  The problem should attract a heated discussion but should only last between 6-10 minutes. The discussion should be in depth, and must involve every member of the team. Some of the questions you should facilitate include:

How was the problem solved?

How did you feel the issue?

Was the method used to solve the problem the best way?

How else could the problem be resolved?

What was the root cause of the problem?

How does this impact on your day to day relationship?

What are the similarities between your experience and the negotiations at the work places or in the home?

The teams should then be asked to reconvene and asked about three things they would do differently given the amount of knowledge they have gathered from the discussion. Remind them that this is a follow-up exercise, which has nothing to do with the lifeboat or any one on the boat. It is about the negotiation process.

Desired results: The participants should understand that the reason why participants want to get his way is that he must learn the needs and the intentions of his friends.  It is intended to foster the spirit of understanding and agreement.  The things learnt should then be used to determine what has been learnt and should be used in future meetings and understanding.


13. This is my life

Supplies needed:  picture cards

Duration: 20 minutes to 1 hour

Requirements: Everyone’s participation

Objective: should be used to learn about personal backgrounds

Instructions: The cards are used to represent different stages of life i.e. Queen –teen. Jack- childhood, King- Adult.  Ace means now.  Each participant is allowed to draw a card and should also tell a story about the period of their life that corresponds to the cards.

Desired results: The teams should discover their common interests and should open some dialogue.


14. Recall Game

Supplies needed:  Pen and paper for each group

Duration: 20 minutes  

Requirements: Break everyone up into small groups

Objective: To test knowledge acquired from training  

Instructions: Split everyone into teams of 5 to 10 people. Each group is given 10 minutes to list facts and skills they can remember from the training. The team representative should then read the list and point out all the correctly remembered facts.  The other teams should be given a chance to challenge some of the raised points.

Desired results: The instructor is able to learn what each group learnt and retained from the training. The groups are able to take a test that is not just fun but also engaging and one capable of encouraging cooperation among the team members.


15. Cartoon Character

Supplies needed:  None

Duration: 2 to 3 minutes  

Requirements:  Partner up people in the group

Objective: creative introduction

Instructions: all the members of the group should introduce themselves to each other as the characters (cartoons) they would be if they were not who they are.

Desired results: to create a relaxing atmosphere


16. Theatre Excellence

Supplies needed:  Dependent on what each group chooses

Duration: a half or full day  

Requirements:  Divide everyone into small groups of people

Objective: to enhance learning and develop solutions as a result of learning together in a non threatening environment.

Instructions: Each group is given a title depending on the play and the challenges and the issues they have to deal with. Each team is given a certain amount of time to gather props, write music, play and rehearse their play.

Desired results:  gives the employees an opportunity to act out challenges and find solutions in an environment that is not threatening but full of fun.


17. Relate to People

Supplies needed:  paper and pens

Duration: 2-3 minutes

Requirements:  Everyone’s participation

Objective: to enhance learning and develop solutions as a result of learning together in a non threatening environment.

Instructions:  The team is given a list of characteristics and instructed to find people who have characteristics that differ from what they have. For instance they should consider differences in gender, height, marital status and weight.

Desired results:  learn more about co-workers: breaks and perceived barriers.


18. Airplane Caper

Supplies needed:  paper

Duration: 1- 2 minutes

Requirements:  Everyone’s participation

Objective: to re-energize the participants and lighten up the day

Instructions: The group is split into two teams on the opposite side of the room and instructed to make airplanes. Each team begins to throw his/her airplane to the colleagues on the opposite sides. The objective is not to let the plane hit the floor.


19. Animal Game:

Supplies needed: None

Duration:1- 2 minutes

Requirements: Have everyone grab a partner

Objective: to communicate in new ways and break from the ordinary

Instructions: Each partner tells the other the type of animal he would have wished to be if he were an animal.


20. Hit the mark

Supplies needed: marker, piece of paper, tape, prizes

Duration: 10 minutes

Requirements: Have everyone grab a partner

Objective: To relieve stress and demonstrate the power of teamwork.

Instructions:  A poster is placed high on the wall.  One person is allowed to run across the room, engage in jump ups and place a mark at the highest point he can reach. He is then told to try and place it even higher. This should continue until it is clear that the highest height has been attained.  The team should then be informed that they will be rewarded if they can encourage the person attain a higher mark without being helped with a jumper, a chair or a booster.  They should only be encouraged to do this.


21. Flower garden Gift

Supplies needed: water, plant food, fertilizer, digging tools, seeds, flower garden and various other items

Duration: a half a day or a whole day

Requirements: Entire team’s participation

Objective: to do something that changes the life of others

Instructions: Identify a site where flowers can be planted.  It could be outside the building, at school, a nursing home, community center, a playground or at the community centre.

Gather the required materials including water, plant food, fertilizer, digging tools, seeds and make a flower garden. The game may entail painting the room, serving food, decorating the walls or anything else that the team can participate in.

Desired results: Uplifting one’s spirit by giving without expecting something in return.


22. Dress up

Supplies needed: Dependednt on participant

Duration: The whole day

Requirements: Entire team’s participation

Instructions: Every member who wishes to play this game should be requested to dress up in their best ‘’Monday’’ outfits. Organize for a small celebration including coffee, or tea during the break and take the picture of the group. Ensure that you have a parade and give prices for the longest skirt, the brightest color and sleekest tie.

This should only be done occasionally. It can be done after every 3 months or twice per year. This makes the event unique.

Desired results:  It makes the team feel better on Mondays. They get energized and develop new interest


23. Ready, Set, Relax!

Supplies needed: None

Duration: The whole day

Requirements: Any number of participants

Objective:  to get some time off your desk


Repeat each of the following while in seating position:

The shoulders should be hunched up to the ears, they should than be rolled forward and down while making large circles.

  1. Bend the neck and move the ear towards the right shoulder. Ensure that you straighten and move the left ear towards the left shoulder. Tilt the head until it is just about to touch the chest and straighten the head back so that it looks at the ceiling.
  2. raise your right arm over  your  head  and ensure that you bend your elbow so that the right hand  is behind the head.  Bend yourself towards the left as much as possible. Repeat this using your left arm, the side as well as your hand.

The left arm should be lifted over your head and move it forward, back and down while drawing a circle. This should be done using the left arm.

The face, the mouth, the eyes, the cheeks, should be squeezed tight and the mouth opened as wide as it is possible.

Desired Results:  To relieve tension so that one can feel good.


24. Nerf ball Break

Supplies needed: a Nerf ball

Duration: Seconds to minutes

Requirements: Any number of participants

Objective: team energizer and stress reliever

Instructions: The nerf ball should be thrown at a player who may choose to respond or not.  You may have one ball per team or allow everyone to have a ball.

Alternatively, the ball may be thrown only to signal a particular event.  

Desired results: It lightens up people, adds fun and makes them connect to the team members.


25. Walk this way

Supplies needed: Music

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Requirements: All should be allowed to play at the same time. Alternatively, you may allow one person to play at a time

Objective: To encourage taking risks.

Instructions: Every participant must stand in a room while leaving a path in the middle of the group.  Every participant should be allowed to walk and dance through the path from one end to the other. Every member of the team should have the opportunity to walk and dance through the path.  However, each walking or dance step taken must be different from the one used by others.

Desired results:  to make one behave better after making mistakes.


26. Tailgate Party

Supplies needed: food, sports paraphernalia, playbill, Frisbees, truck

Duration: more than an hour

Requirements: All members

Objective:  to reward people for a job well done

Instructions: You can have a party in the parking lot using the tailgate of a truck. Provide music food and sports equipment.

Desired results:  To enable members to relax and regenerate both physically and mentally.


27. Contract Run

Supplies needed: markers, 1-3 flip charts

Duration: 30 minutes

Requirements: can be played by everyone including teams of 5 to 10

Objective: to expend the extra energy

Instructions: Small groups should be taken one at a time; each person should shout adjectives that can be used to describe them. The adjectives must range from neutral to positive ones.  For instance, I am persuasive, smart and an effective engineer. Alternatively, one can use adjectives such as I am warm, happy. In each case, the highest level of energy may be required.

If the group believes that the speaker is sincere, the entire team should run as a unit to the other side of the room and write on a flip chart all they said and sign against their names.

The group should then take to the next person and repeat the action. This should continue until everyone has had his/her opportunity.  The critical issues here are speed and energy.

The contracts are then presented to each person at the follow-up meeting. It should then be hung in cubicles so that it can remind the world of who they are.

Desired results:  allow them to participate in physical exercise and have fun.


28. Time out

Supplies needed: None

Duration: 3 seconds

Requirements: can be played by everyone including teams of 5 to 10

Objective: Change attitude

Instructions: If a person makes a negative comment, a timeout is signaled using hands. However, you must remain happy and smile as you signal the timeout.

Desired results: It is an effective way that can be used to keep the conversation positive.


29. Hula Hoop Fortune

Supplies needed: None

Duration: less than a minute

Requirements:  All participants

Objective: to stimulate creativity

Instructions: The participant should pretend that he has inherited a warehouse and write a story about it. This should take 30 seconds before the details are shared out. After which, the participant should turn to the problem being solved.

Desired results:  to break up tension and allow members to think.


30. Whaddyaknow?

Supplies needed:  a list of queries

Duration: a few seconds

Requirements: any number, but one person at a time.

Objective: Reinforce knowledge and make a meeting lively.

Instructions: Bring a list of questions to the meeting. They could be questions about the business, people who have been served. Things that your team should be aware of … All you need to do is to pop a question to individuals or a group and every correct answer is rewarded with a candy bar.

Desired results: In this game, the employees learn about the business they are doing.


31. Wear Your Attitude

Supplies needed: attitude buttons

Duration: a few seconds

Requirements: Everyone’s participation

Objective:  The game is meant to encourage everyone to be conscious of their attitude.

Instructions: let the buttons or the cards be laminated with a variety of attitude ranging from happy, friendly, sad, excellent, generous, angry, worried etc. Allow all the participants to pick the attitude they like displaying. Those who pick negative attitudes may be avoided while those who pick the pleasant ones are encouraged and given a positive attention.

Participants are allowed to change the button any time.

Desired results: To let participants learn about moods and the results of displaying them in public.


32. Purpose Mingle

Supplies needed: None

Duration: 1 minute

Requirements:  Every one scheduled to attend the meeting

Objective: to attract the attention of the participants before the start of the meeting.

Instructions: Everyone should stand up and tell their friends what they actually plan to contribute in the meeting. They should list as many points as possible. Offer some reasonable prize for the most contacted people and bigger prize for those who contribute generously.

Desired results: Allows players to internalize and think about what they will share out in the meeting and not necessarily what they will gain from the meeting. It encourages people to contribute and participate in the meeting.