Whether you're planning a little teamwork exercise for your teen's birthday, or helping her to arrange an extracurricular event with her peers, you can help them learn a little about team-building while having plenty of fun, too. You can use the activities to help a new group get to know each other better or help your teen's group of friends create some special memories.
Help your teen with her teamwork skills by organizing a more grownup version of a childhood scavenger hunt. Instead of searching for pine cones and leaves, this scavenger hunt will have your teen's teams racing to capture some silly moments on film. Compile a list of wacky ideas for the hunt, such as snapping a photo of the group crammed into a bathroom stall, shaking hands with tourists, dancing together in front of a statue or the guys trying on skirts in a department store while the gals fashion ties and top hats. Assign a point value to each item on the list, set a time limit and send your teams off on their hunt. The team with the most points wins the game. You can modify the activity if your groups don't have camera phones or digital cameras; compile a list of things to find in the local shopping mall or around the city, such as a discarded newspaper and bus transfers.
Help your teens work together to spot a fib in a game of “Two Truths, One Lie." Divide the group into two teams and have one teen list two truths and one lie about themselves. The other team must try to figure out the lie -- but they only get one guess. Continue until everyone has had a chance to try to stump the other team. One point is awarded for each correct guess and the team with the most points wins the game. You can also have each team compile a list of facts about themselves, such as one team member likes woodworking and another loves to bake -- the clues shouldn't be too obvious. One third of the team keeps their facts while the remaining two-thirds mixes them up between team members. The teams take turns reading out the facts while the opposite team works together to guess to whom the fact belongs; the team with the most correct guesses wins the game.
Get your teen and her group giggling with a game of “the human knot." Just have the teens stand together in a circle, put their hands in the center and grab onto other hands randomly. Now the group must work together to find away to untwist the “knot" without letting go of each ether's hands. Make the game more challenging by blindfolding half the group to encourage teamwork through verbal guidance. If your teen's team is an energetic bunch, you can rent an inflatable obstacle course to flex their teamwork skills. Divide up the group and blindfold one member of each team. The blindfolded teammate must try to navigate the obstacle course while his teammates guide him with verbal direction. For a memorable team-building adventure, take the group to a high ropes adventure course and divide them into two teams. The first team to make it across wins the game.
Have your teen and her friends turn trash into treasure as they hone their team-building skills. Clean out the garage and storage room to find odds and ends for the activity and spend a little time at yard sales and in discount stores to come up with an eclectic mix of wood, plastic bottles, tin cans, ribbons, cardboard, garden wire, picture frames and anything else you can add to the pile. Divide the mix into several piles -- one for each team of 3 to 4 teens -- and have them work together to turn the pile of odds and ends into something new. You can award a prize to the team with the most imaginative creation or award the whole group with a pizza lunch for their efforts. If you have a fashion-loving group, make it a fashion-themed event to have each group come up with the most creative new article of clothing from every type of scrap clothing you can find.