By working as a team, teenagers develop important life skills like problem-solving, leadership, creative thinking, and listening. Nurturing group work skills develops high levels of confidence, self-esteem, and empathy. Below are 11 of the best team building activities for teens.
Why Are Team Building Activities Important?
No man is an island. Society relies on teamwork to function. Cooperation allows humans to solve problems that individuals, acting alone, can’t. Whether we’re with family, colleagues, or school peers, we need teamwork to get through life. Any time a child works within a team, they have the opportunity to build positive, long-term relationships.
The sooner they learn to work together, the better they are at navigating social dynamics. The life-long benefits fun team building activities for teens offer:
- Increased motivation due to group accountability
- Improved problem-solving, including strategizing.
- Develops communication skills
- Helps build trust within the self and others
- Nurtures leadership capabilities
- Fosters awareness of others and their feelings
Team building for kids that’s properly structured nurtures strengths and addresses weaknesses necessary for true character building.
Team Building Activities for Teenagers
These fun group activities for teens and team bonding games build trust, mitigate conflict, encourage communication and inspire collaboration.
This is a team building exercise where teens have to line up in a straight line according to predetermined characteristics, such as tallest to shortest or smallest shoe-size to largest, for example. The catch is that they can’t speak and have to find creative ways to communicate with one another. Silent line-up tests communication and creative thinking skills.
Escape rooms, also called puzzle rooms or exit games, is a game in which a team of limited players discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in one or more rooms in order to “get out” within a limited timeframe.
Teams range from four to ten people, and the game usually takes between 45-60 minutes.
Immersive puzzle rooms test lateral thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills because members have to pool knowledge to solve puzzles, substitution ciphers, riddles, and mazes.
Known for their popularity at parties, murder mystery games are where players hear evidence and solve clues to determine who is playing the murderer. In some styles, the murderer may be aware they’re the killer, and in other games, the murderer discovers this along with the other participants.
Some murder mystery games involve “murders” of guests throughout the game or may open with a “death” and use the rest of the time for the “investigation.” Murder mystery games are fun group activities that can be themed and even include a dress-up component.
The Human Knot
For this game, players stand in a circle and hold hands with other players, creating a “human knot.” Then they attempt to unthread their bodies without letting go of each other’s hands. Playing time is usually 15 to 20 minutes but maybe longer depending on the number of players.
The human knot is a common icebreaker game and excellent team building activity for teens to learn to work together in physical proximity. To increase difficulty, you can get the group to try to untangle themselves with their eyes closed.
Almost any activity can be transformed into a team building activity that strengthens collaboration skills, whether it's baking, drawing, painting, or making music. For example, you could have your teens design comic books, do chores, learn origami or create dance routines.
Arts and crafts are excellent if you want to get them away from spending too much time in front of screens, and they’ll improve collaboration skills by working together to achieve a common goal. Setting up a friendly, competitive environment can also provide motivation and inspire robust group efforts.
Paintballing or Laser Tag
If paintball is a bit too rough, you can let the kids play laser tag, as both games are excellent team building exercises for teens and provide a decent workout. This fast-paced combat game is played with guns that fire infrared beams in a low-light arena, specifically designed with vantage points and undercover sections.
The aim of the laser tag is to shoot opponents as many times as possible, whether competitors are playing in single or team mode. Laser tag is 100% safe and can be enjoyed by kids ages 6 and up. It’s an excellent game that combines physical activity with strategic skills.
Cross The Line
Cross the line is a powerful game that helps identify and eliminate barriers between people that preserve prejudice or unkindness. Teens are divided into two groups. Each group stands in a row, facing each other, about eight feet apart, divided by a line made from string or masking tape.
The game facilitator calls out a statement, and anyone for whom the statement is true crosses the line into the middle. When a teen crosses a line, they silently make eye contact with other people in the middle, acknowledging a shared experience. These types of team bonding games for teens illustrate that people aren’t alone in facing insecurities, fears and challenges and that everyone has shared similarities and differences.
These teamwork games for teens test group and individual strategy and logic. You can choose any theme like the moon, an island, the desert, or the arctic, for example. Then create a list of 15 items that players need to rank in order of importance to survive.
Each individual should rank their items and then re-rank them together as a group. This comparison helps teens see the value of individual and group contributions. It also improves communication and strategic thinking, as the individuals will have to justify where and why they think items should go in an attempt to convince others. Survival games tend to bring natural leaders to the fore and develop their confidence too.
Obstacle Course Relay
One of the best team building challenges for teenagers is an obstacle course relay. The first team with all members to complete the course wins. A range of activities can be set-up that requires teens to work as a team or individually. Obstacle courses teach teens to work together and how individual contributions can help achieve a common goal. Despite the rigorous nature of an obstacle course, the social skills learned through this team building activity for teens can inspire motivation and cultivate a sense of belonging.
As much as team building activities benefit teens, they also offer immense value for adults too, especially in the workplace. At Hot Ground Gym, we conduct team building activities for teens, children, and adults in a safe environment that’s fun and builds camaraderie. Contact us today to find out more about our enjoyable team building sessions!