What do you do over long winter and summer breaks when your teenagers are too old for “toys,” too young for jobs, and too obsessed with their phones and tablets? You no doubt start looking for ways to occupy them, right? Whether you’re dealing with a small group of besties who came over to hang or a large chunk of teens all in one space for a birthday party, there are solutions. We can’t help you figure out how to use “yeet” in a sentence, but we can still make you the parent with all the fun up their sleeves.
Entertaining a clique
1. Truth or Dare
You’ve played this, right? Who hasn’t? This game is best played with close friends for a chance to let them get closer with their truths. It’s also not a bad idea to only consider suggesting it if you trust your teens not to go too crazy with dares. Have a list of suggestions in case they seem to be struggling. (Or, if you’re not allowed in the room, give it to your kid to “cheat” from.)
2. Never Have I Ever
This doesn’t have to be a drinking game. Deal out some candies to each of your teens. They can each take turns saying, “Never have I ever…” followed by something they’ve never done. If you’re around, it’s going to be things like, “rode a horse” or “swam in the Pacific Ocean.” Expect things to get a little more personal if you give them privacy. Anyone who has done the action in question gets to eat a piece of candy.
3. Would You Rather
Would you rather fight 10 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck? Would you rather kiss Kate’s brother or Sara’s brother?
4. Two Truths and a Lie
Players take turns telling their friends two truths and one lie about themselves. Their friends have to guess which is the lie.
5. Who Am I?
Let each player secretly write down the name of a celebrity or historical figure on a sticky note, then stick it to another player’s forehead. Players will take turns asking each other questions about the person on their sticky until they can accurately guess who they are. (This will be similar to The Office scene, but hopefully less awkward.)
Party Games for teens
Warning: This one is pretty physical.
7. Wink Assassin
Sit your teens in a circle and close their eyes while a selector (probably you) walks around the circle and selects an assassin. (Do this by tapping them on the shoulder.) Everyone else is a detective. Have everyone open their eyes. The assassin will as secretively as possible make eye-contact with various people and “kill” them with a wink. If a player is winked at, they must play dead. The object of the game is for everyone to pay close attention to their friends and try to figure out who the assassin is. Once a detective thinks they know, they can stand up, point at the alleged assassin and say, “I accuse!” If the detective is right, they win. If the detective is wrong, they’re out of the game. The game continues until the actual assassin is found.
8. Honey, If You Love Me
Select one person (probably your funniest) to go around to party-goers at random and ask, “Honey, if you love me won’t you please just smile?” If the person smiles, they become “it.” If, however, “it” must move to the next person if the selected player can keep a straight face and answer, “Honey, I love you. But, I just can’t smile” The game gets funniest as it goes on longer and “it” begins to ad lib their request.
9. Orange War
Give two players a plastic spoon with an orange on it. Without using their hands (because they’re holding the spoon), they must try to dislodge the orange from the other player’s spoon. Whoever loses their orange first is out and must pick the next player to “fight.” The winner is the last person standing with their orange.
10. Human Pretzel
Have your teens stand in a circle and grab the hands with two other people. They can’t grab a hand that’s next to them and they can’t grab two hands from the same person. Once everyone is properly knotted together, challenge them with trying to untangle without letting go.
11. I Went To Camp and I Brought…
Whomever starts will say, “I went to camp and I brought…” followed by something one might bring to camp. The next person will repeat the original person’s packed item and add their own. You can have them follow along with the alphabet, choose items that matches up with the first letter of their name or have them gain syllables with each round. If anyone loses their place, they’re out.
Have your teens stand in a circle with their heads bowed. At the count of three, everyone should lift their heads. If two players find themselves making eye contact, they must scream and play dead. Repeat and until only two players are left.