19 UNIQUE & INNOVATIVE TEAM BUILDING GAMES FOR TEENS

FEB 2024
05
19 UNIQUE & INNOVATIVE TEAM BUILDING GAMES FOR TEENS

Elevate teen engagement with creative, easy-to-setup team building activities.


Searching for team building activities that actually resonate with teens? 

You're not alone. 

Finding activities that truly engage and inspire young minds can seem daunting. 


But your search is finally over!

Team building games for teenagers

A group of teenagers engaging in team-building games.

Empower teens with engaging team building games designed for collaboration and fun.


Team building activities are essential for fostering social skills, teamwork, and leadership in an age dominated by screen time.

Engaging teens in innovative and unique activities that captivate their attention is crucial to pull them away from their phones and into real-life interactions. 


And our handpicked list offers just that - a collection of activities designed to be easily assembled anywhere, with minimal planning and supplies needed. 

These games promise to entertain and build lasting connections and teamwork skills among young individuals.

Human Knot with a Twist

Human Knot with a Twist adds an exciting layer of complexity to the classic team-building game Human Knot.

This adaptation challenges participants to untangle themselves while blindfolded, demanding even greater teamwork and communication.

What you need to play

Blindfolds for half of the participants.

How to play

  • Have the teenage participants stand in a circle and blindfold half of them randomly.

  • Each player reaches out to hold the hands of two people across the circle, ensuring they are not immediate neighbors.

  • The group then works together to untangle the knot without releasing hands, using verbal communication and teamwork, with blindfolded members relying on the guidance of their sighted peers.

Team building and other benefits

Enhances verbal and non-verbal communication, problem-solving, trust-building, and leadership skills, offering a complex challenge that fosters empathy and adaptability.


Searching for team-building activities in Chicago for your children? Choose from our guide on team-building options for Chicago teens.

Spyfall

Teens playing Spyfall to enhance team collaboration.

The ultimate game of mystery and teamwork for energetic teens.


Spyfall is a well-known card game with questions and secrets where quick wit meets keen observation.

Supplies needed

A deck of Spyfall location cards.

How the game works

  • Each player receives a card; most will show the same location, but one will simply say "Spy." 

  • Players take turns asking each other questions to deduce who the spy is without revealing the specific location.

  • The spy tries to guess the location while others attempt to identify the spy through the questions asked and answered.

Skills it boosts

Spyfall sharpens critical thinking and social deduction skills, enhancing a teen's ability to communicate effectively and observe subtly. 

It fosters strategic questioning and active listening, which are crucial for teamwork and interpersonal understanding.

Mystery Box Challenge

Teens exploring Mystery Box Challenge for team building.

Stimulate curiosity and teamwork with the Mystery Box Challenge for teens.


Unleash creativity and collaboration with the Mystery Box Challenge, where your teen and their friends transform random objects into a cohesive, imaginative performance.

Supplies needed

A box filled with random objects and a timer (optional, to limit preparation and presentation time).

How this game is played

  • Divide participants into small teams and hand each team a box filled with various unrelated objects.

  • Set a time limit for teams to plan and prepare a short skit or presentation incorporating every item in their mystery box.

  • Teams present their skit to the group, using all the objects creatively and cohesively.

Team skills this game enhances

Enhances creative reasoning, team collaboration, quick thinking, and adaptability, as teams must work together to use their items creatively.

Geocaching Adventure

Geocaching Adventure transforms the great outdoors into a thrilling treasure hunt, combining modern technology with the age-old excitement of discovery. 

This game invites teens to embrace adventure, exploration, and teamwork as they seek hidden treasures using GPS technology.

What’s needed to play

GPS devices or smartphones with a geocaching app installed.

How to play

  • Form teams and use the geocaching app or GPS devices to locate hidden caches in the area based on given coordinates.

  • Solve puzzles or complete challenges within the caches to move on to the next location or earn points toward winning the game.

Skills it can improve

This game boosts navigational and technological skills, promotes physical activity, and enhances problem-solving, teamwork, and decision-making abilities in a real-world setting.


Something else that invites players to embrace adventure - an escape room game!

Silent Charades

Teens playing Silent Charades to build non-verbal communication skills.

Boosting team bonds with Silent Charades—where actions speak louder than words.


Silent Charades takes the classic game of charades and amps up the challenge by requiring players to act out their words silently, pushing teens to think creatively and interpret non-verbal cues.

What you need to play

A bowl or hat for drawing words and slips of paper with pre-written words or phrases.

How the game works

  • Divide teens into two or more teams and have each team write down words or phrases on slips of paper, then fold and place them into a bowl or hat.

  • Players take turns drawing a slip from the bowl and silently acting out the word or phrase within a set time limit while their team tries to guess what it is.

  • The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins.

Team building and other benefits

Silent Charades hones non-verbal communication skills. It also fosters creativity and teamwork, as participants must work closely to guess and act out the words creatively and effectively.

Puzzle Race

Teens competing in a Puzzle Race to foster team spirit.

Fast-paced teamwork and problem-solving for teens.


Puzzle Race turns the classic jigsaw puzzle into a competitive team-building challenge, emphasizing individual expertise and collective strategy. 

This game is perfect for teens looking to sharpen their problem-solving skills while fostering a spirit of cooperation.

Game supplies

A large jigsaw puzzle (with enough pieces to challenge multiple teams) and space to assemble it.

How to play

  • Divide participants into teams and assign each team a section of the puzzle to complete.

  • Teams work simultaneously to assemble their sections as quickly as possible.

  • Once all sections are completed, teams collaborate to fit the sections together and complete the puzzle.

Skills it boosts

Puzzle Race enhances critical thinking, spatial awareness, teamwork, and communication skills, as participants must solve their section and work together to assemble the full picture.

Reverse Engineering

Reverse Engineering puts a creative spin on teamwork, challenging teams to replicate a structure based solely on verbal instructions without seeing the original.

Game gear

A completed object or structure for each team to replicate (e.g., a Lego construction or a complex drawing). And a barrier to prevent teams from seeing the original structure or drawing.

How the game works

  • One team member views the original structure and then describes it to their teammates without showing it, aiming to guide them in replicating it.

  • Teammates take turns being the observer and the builder until they believe their replica matches the original as closely as possible.

Team skills and other benefits

Reverse Engineering sharpens communication and listening skills, requiring precise verbal instructions and understanding. 


Can you guess why Fox in a Box is the ultimate team-building option in Chicago?

The Great Egg Drop

Teens participating in The Great Egg Drop team building exercise.

Creativity and collaboration in a thrilling team challenge.


The Great Egg Drop is an exciting challenge that tests teamwork, creativity, and engineering skills. 

Teams compete to construct a device that can keep a raw egg intact when dropped from a lofty height, making for a thrilling and educational experience.

Stuff needed to play

Straws, tape, newspapers, raw eggs, and a predetermined height for dropping.

How the game works

  • Divide participants into small teams and provide each group with equal building materials: straws, tape, and newspapers.

  • Set a time limit for teams to design and build a contraption that can protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from the specified height.

  • Drop each team's egg contraption from the height and observe which eggs survive the fall unscathed. 

  • Teams with unbroken eggs win, and you can discuss the successful strategies employed.

Which skills it enhances the most

The Great Egg Drop enhances problem-solving, innovation, and teamwork skills and introduces basic principles of physics and engineering in a hands-on, engaging way.


Did you know? Escape rooms are great for building team skills.

Survival Scenario

Dive into a thrilling test of wits and teamwork with Survival Scenario, where teens are “cast away” on a deserted island and must strategize to survive.

Supplies you need

A list of hypothetical survival items (e.g., water purifier, food supplies, shelter materials). And scenario cards detailing different survival situations.

How the game works

  • Present the survival scenario to the teams, outlining their predicament of being stranded on a deserted island.

  • Give each team a list of available items and ask them to prioritize the items based on their need within a set time limit.

  • Discuss the choices as a group, comparing each team's prioritization and reasoning behind their selections to understand different survival strategies.

Benefits you can expect

Survival Scenario cultivates critical thinking and decision-making skills as teens assess and prioritize resources in a crisis. 

It also enhances teamwork and communication, as participants must argue their viewpoints and reach a consensus on their survival strategy, fostering leadership and collaborative problem-solving abilities.

Paper Tower Challenge

Teens constructing a tower in the Paper Tower Challenge.

Fostering creativity and engineering skills with the Paper Tower Challenge.


Elevate team spirit and ingenuity with the Paper Tower Challenge, where teams race to engineer the tallest tower using newspapers and tape.

Supplies you need

Newspapers and one roll of tape per team.

How it works

  • Divide participants into teams, providing each with an equal stack of newspapers and a roll of tape.

  • Set a time limit for teams to construct the tallest freestanding tower using only the provided materials.

Skills it improves

The Paper Tower Challenge cultivates creativity, strategic planning, and teamwork, as participants must collaborate effectively to design and build a structurally sound tower, honing their problem-solving and engineering skills.


These games deeply engage your kids, helping to disconnect them from social media.

Memory Wall

Memory Wall is a deeply personal and engaging game that invites participants to share and connect through the stories behind their cherished photos or objects. 

This activity transforms individual memories into a collective tapestry of experiences.

Necessary supplies

Meaningful photos or objects brought by each participant, a large display area or wall, and adhesive for attaching items.

How to play this game

  • Each participant brings a personal photo or object that is special to them.

  • In teams or as a whole group, individuals present their item and share the story or associated memory.

  • The group arranges these memories on a designated wall or display area, creating a collective memory wall.

Its team building and other benefits

Memory Wall fosters emotional intelligence and empathy as participants share and listen to personal stories, building a deeper connection and understanding within the team. 

It also enhances communication skills, encouraging openness and storytelling in a supportive environment.


Great for building Windy City memories - top Chicago adventures for young adults.

Emoji Storytelling

Teens using emojis for creative storytelling.

Emoji Storytelling: Unleashing creativity and communication in teens.


Emoji Storytelling turns the digital language of emojis into a creative narrative challenge, sparking imagination and teamwork in every message.

Gear required

A set of emoji cards or a digital list of emojis for each team.

How your teens can play

  • Assign each team a random set of emojis and challenge them to craft a short story or skit that incorporates each emoji meaningfully.

  • Teams present their stories or skits to the group, using the emojis as the narrative backbone of their performance.

Skills it builds

This game enhances creative thinking and storytelling abilities, encouraging teams to communicate complex ideas and emotions with limited visual symbols. 

It fosters adaptability and collaborative creativity, as participants must negotiate and blend their ideas to create a cohesive narrative.


Did you know? Escape rooms are great for improving creative thinking.

Balloon Tower Construction

Balloon Tower Construction is a fun and challenging activity where creativity and stability come together in a race to reach new heights.

Game supplies

A large number of balloons and rolls of masking tape.

How it works

  • Divide participants into teams and distribute an equal number of balloons and rolls of masking tape to each.

  • Set a time limit for teams to construct the tallest tower using only the balloons and tape provided.

  • Measure the towers at the end of the time limit; the tallest standing tower wins.

Benefits you can expect

This game hones strategic planning and effective communication, as teams must plan carefully and communicate clearly to build the tallest tower. 

It also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and a solid foundation, teaching participants the value of collective effort and precise coordination.


If you prefer other activities, check out our list of Chicago’s top indoor team building options.

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Teens on an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt in urban settings.


Dive into the fast-paced world of the Alphabet Scavenger Hunt (Scavenger Hunt’s less well-known cousin), a game that combines quick thinking with teamwork as participants race to find objects for each letter of the alphabet. 

Gear required to play

A list of items for each letter of the alphabet and a camera for each team (optional for capturing found items).

How the game goes

  • Create and distribute a list to each team, with one item that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

  • Set a time limit for teams to find and photograph items corresponding to each letter.

  • The first team to successfully collect or photograph items for each letter, or the team with the most items when time expires, wins.

Team skills and other benefits

This game sharpens teamwork, quick thinking, and problem-solving skills, encouraging participants to collaborate effectively and think creatively under pressure.

Story Cubes Challenge

Unleash the power of imagination and teamwork with the Story Cubes Challenge, a game that transforms random images into a tapestry of creative tales.

Game supplies

A set of storytelling dice (Story Cubes).

How it’s played

  • Teams take turns rolling the storytelling dice to display a variety of images.

  • Using all the images rolled, each team collaborates to create and tell a cohesive story that incorporates each element.

Skills it promotes

This game enhances creative thinking, narrative skills, and adaptability, encouraging participants to weave disparate elements into a single story.


Like any other field, team building has some well-known myths that we’ve busted.

Human Scrabble

Human Scrabble brings the cerebral challenge of the classic board game to life, inviting players to physically form words on a grand scale, adding a fun and kinetic twist.

Game supplies you need

Large letter tiles (enough for varied gameplay) and a spacious playing area.

How to play

  • Scatter the large letter tiles randomly across the playing area.

  • Divide players into teams, and on their turn, each team quickly assembles members on the tiles to form words, with each player standing on a different letter.

  • Points are awarded based on the length and complexity of the words formed, with additional points for using designated bonus tiles.

Team and other skills

Human Scrabble enhances vocabulary and spelling skills, promotes quick thinking and strategic planning, and fosters team cooperation and communication as players debate and decide on the best words to form together.

Blindfolded Drawing Relay

Teens in a Blindfolded Drawing Relay, laughing and learning.

Enhancing trust and communication with a touch of humor


Blindfolded Drawing Relay turns drawing into a team sport, requiring blind trust and crystal-clear communication to bring a vision to life.

Game supplies you’ll require

Blindfolds, drawing paper, markers.

How the game goes

  • Divide participants into teams and blindfold one member from each team. The team decides on an object for the blindfolded member to draw.

  • The blindfolded player attempts to draw the object on paper based on the verbal instructions given by their teammates, rotating the blindfolded role after each round.

Skills it boosts 

This game sharpens verbal communication by demanding precise and clear instructions and reinforces trust among team members, as players must rely entirely on their teammates' guidance. 

It cultivates a deep understanding of giving and following instructions effectively, enhancing empathy and the ability to interpret and act on verbal cues.

Stepping Stones

Teens navigating Stepping Stones for effective teamwork.

A journey of strategy, balance, and team coordination.


Stepping Stones is a thrilling game that turns simple navigation into a test of teamwork, strategy, and balance.

Gear you need

Hula hoops or pieces of cardboard.

How to play this game

  • Scatter the hula hoops or cardboard pieces on the ground to create a "path" from one end of the playing area to the other.

  • Teams must navigate from the start to the finish line, using only the hula hoops or cardboard pieces as stepping stones. No one may touch the ground in between.

  • Team members must work together to move the stepping stones ahead as they progress, ensuring everyone can make it to the end without stepping off the stones.

Benefits you can expect

This game promotes strategic thinking, physical coordination, and enhances communication and trust within the team.

Whodunit Mystery

Dive into the intriguing world of "Whodunit Mystery," where each participant gets wrapped in a cloak of secrecy and deduction. 

This game transforms an ordinary gathering into a thrilling investigative experience, demanding sharp wits and keen observation, kind of like our escape room games.

Game supplies necessary

Character cards, clue cards, a scenario script, and optional props or costumes to enhance the experience.

How to play this game

  • Begin by assigning each participant a character role through the distribution of character cards and provide a brief backstory for the murder mystery scenario.

  • Teams or individuals gather clues by interacting with other characters, examining clue cards, and exploring the "crime scene" to piece together the mystery.

  • Conclude the game by allowing participants to present their theories on the culprit and then reveal the true solution.

Team building and other skills

Whodunit Mystery sharpens critical thinking and deductive reasoning, as participants must analyze information and recognize patterns to solve the mystery. 

It also boosts communication and collaborative skills, encouraging players to engage in detailed discussions and work together to uncover the truth. 

This game is a masterclass in observation and social interaction, making it a perfect blend of entertainment and intellectual challenge for teens.

So, which of these games caught your fancy?

Teens contemplating which team building game to play next.

Decision time!


We hope our chosen team-building games for teens sparked your imagination and excitement. 

These activities are designed to break the ice, foster teamwork, and create memorable experiences - all with minimal setup and resources. 


Now is the perfect moment to step up your planning game and bring these engaging activities to life. 


And if you’re in Chicago, you can book escape rooms with us as well - another option to instill team spirit and other crucial life skills in your teenage children!



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19 UNIQUE & INNOVATIVE TEAM BUILDING GAMES FOR TEENS

Elevate teen engagement with creative, easy-to-setup team building activities.


Searching for team building activities that actually resonate with teens? 

You're not alone. 

Finding activities that truly engage and inspire young minds can seem daunting. 


But your search is finally over!

Team building games for teenagers

A group of teenagers engaging in team-building games.

Empower teens with engaging team building games designed for collaboration and fun.


Team building activities are essential for fostering social skills, teamwork, and leadership in an age dominated by screen time.

Engaging teens in innovative and unique activities that captivate their attention is crucial to pull them away from their phones and into real-life interactions. 


And our handpicked list offers just that - a collection of activities designed to be easily assembled anywhere, with minimal planning and supplies needed. 

These games promise to entertain and build lasting connections and teamwork skills among young individuals.

Human Knot with a Twist

Human Knot with a Twist adds an exciting layer of complexity to the classic team-building game Human Knot.

This adaptation challenges participants to untangle themselves while blindfolded, demanding even greater teamwork and communication.

What you need to play

Blindfolds for half of the participants.

How to play

  • Have the teenage participants stand in a circle and blindfold half of them randomly.

  • Each player reaches out to hold the hands of two people across the circle, ensuring they are not immediate neighbors.

  • The group then works together to untangle the knot without releasing hands, using verbal communication and teamwork, with blindfolded members relying on the guidance of their sighted peers.

Team building and other benefits

Enhances verbal and non-verbal communication, problem-solving, trust-building, and leadership skills, offering a complex challenge that fosters empathy and adaptability.


Searching for team-building activities in Chicago for your children? Choose from our guide on team-building options for Chicago teens.

Spyfall

Teens playing Spyfall to enhance team collaboration.

The ultimate game of mystery and teamwork for energetic teens.


Spyfall is a well-known card game with questions and secrets where quick wit meets keen observation.

Supplies needed

A deck of Spyfall location cards.

How the game works

  • Each player receives a card; most will show the same location, but one will simply say "Spy." 

  • Players take turns asking each other questions to deduce who the spy is without revealing the specific location.

  • The spy tries to guess the location while others attempt to identify the spy through the questions asked and answered.

Skills it boosts

Spyfall sharpens critical thinking and social deduction skills, enhancing a teen's ability to communicate effectively and observe subtly. 

It fosters strategic questioning and active listening, which are crucial for teamwork and interpersonal understanding.

Mystery Box Challenge

Teens exploring Mystery Box Challenge for team building.

Stimulate curiosity and teamwork with the Mystery Box Challenge for teens.


Unleash creativity and collaboration with the Mystery Box Challenge, where your teen and their friends transform random objects into a cohesive, imaginative performance.

Supplies needed

A box filled with random objects and a timer (optional, to limit preparation and presentation time).

How this game is played

  • Divide participants into small teams and hand each team a box filled with various unrelated objects.

  • Set a time limit for teams to plan and prepare a short skit or presentation incorporating every item in their mystery box.

  • Teams present their skit to the group, using all the objects creatively and cohesively.

Team skills this game enhances

Enhances creative reasoning, team collaboration, quick thinking, and adaptability, as teams must work together to use their items creatively.

Geocaching Adventure

Geocaching Adventure transforms the great outdoors into a thrilling treasure hunt, combining modern technology with the age-old excitement of discovery. 

This game invites teens to embrace adventure, exploration, and teamwork as they seek hidden treasures using GPS technology.

What’s needed to play

GPS devices or smartphones with a geocaching app installed.

How to play

  • Form teams and use the geocaching app or GPS devices to locate hidden caches in the area based on given coordinates.

  • Solve puzzles or complete challenges within the caches to move on to the next location or earn points toward winn