Teens can be a tricky bunch to entertain. Most of them prefer to stay glued to their phones or play video games. This often affects their social role functioning. Improv games are the best way to engage them with their peers, friends, and family and keep them entertained.
The idea is to get the teens to improvise and explore different mock situations. This helps them bond, be creative, open up, initiate familiarity, develop team building skills, and, of course, get them off the couch! Scroll down for a list of 15 improv games for teens to help them overcome shyness through fun-play.
15 Best Improv Games For The Teens
1. Last Word, First Word
About The Game: This memory game encourages listening skills and helps develop team communication. The objective is to improvise a story collectively.
How To Play: The participants sit in a circle. Scribble some random topics in paper chits, put them in a hat or bowl, and place it in the center. One player picks a topic and starts the story by reading the note. The next player has to start their sentence with the last word of the first player’s last sentence. This continues until the story is completed. Players have to build a possible story, and they are free to make it as absurd, weird, and fun as they can.
2. Musical Dilemma
About The Game: This game helps build memory and initiates quick thinking.
How To Play: The first player sings a line or two from any song. They then pick any random participant to continue the game. The second player has to sing a song that starts with any word from the first player’s song. To amp up the fun, you can set a timer for the next player to start. This is great to get all the participants singing in chorus and spend an entertaining and musical evening!
3. Changing Actions
About The Game: This game tests the concentration levels and promotes memory retention.
How To Play: All participant sits in a circle with one player in the middle. The first player does some action, for example, clapping. The player then says “change” and does another action, like nodding. The moment the first player switches actions, the other participants have to repeat the previous action (clapping, in this case). The first player again switches action, and the rest have to do the previous action (nodding, in this case). Anyone who does the wrong action is out of the game. This continues until only one player is left. You can double the fun by choosing ridiculous actions like nose picking or ruffling the hair!
4. Number Words
About The Game: This game gets the participants off their seat and act a little. It helps widen their vocabulary and creativity.
How To Play: Divide the participants into two groups. Both teams pick random scenarios to enact. Write down the numbers one to ten on paper chits and put them in a hat or bowl. Each member of the team picks a chit. Now, each team enacts the scenario, and the participants create dialogues. The condition is, each sentence in the dialogue should have not more than the allotted number of words. For example, if you have picked five, your sentences should have only five words. It is hilarious because the sentences must make sense and connect the story.
About The Game: This game help teens to be expressive.
How To Play: Play a foreign language film and get each participant to improvise and speak out imaginary dialogues matching the scene playing on the screen. They cannot read out subtitles. It’s even more fun if the participants modulate their tones and try to enact the scenes themselves.
6. News Flash
About The Game: This game focuses on team building skills.
How To Play: Participants are divided into teams, and each has a “news anchor” and a bunch of “reporters.” Play any random video on the monitor. The anchor is made to stand with their back towards the monitor. The reporters have to describe the scene to the news anchor, giving clues without directly mentioning what is happening on the screen. For instance, a scene with polar bears can allow a sentence like “it’s pretty cold up there.” The anchor has to form a news flash with these clues and guess the scene.
7. Sound Effects
About The Game: This game has no rules and no winners or losers! It pushes the participants to get as creative as possible.
How To Play: This game involves acting. Participants can be divided into teams – one team for enacting a scene, another team for making sound effects, and another team to guess the scene.
The volunteer actors enact any random scenario, while the other volunteers provide sound effects to the scene. Now, here’s the twist – there are no limitations to the sounds one can make. For example, if the scene shows someone pulling a sword out, the sound effect could well be a “meow!” or anything unrelated to the action.
This makes the whole scene hilarious! It is an entertaining game to share some laughs.
8. Questions Only
About The Game: This game is best played in pairs and helps improve communication skills.
How To Play: Participants are paired up in teams and are given a topic for debate or to build up a conversation. The catch is – they can only use interrogative sentences and talk in questions, and the entire conversation has to make sense. Things can turn witty and hilarious!
9. Make Sentences
About The Game: We have all learned sentence construction in grammar class. This fun improv game takes it to another level of creativity.
How To Play: You will need a board or paper and a pen, and only one player gets to use them. The other players say random words, and the first player has to write them down. In the end, the first player has to form a sentence with all those words.
10. Prop Drop
About The Game: This is a team game and taps on your “out-of-the-box” thinking.
How To Play: This game needs two teams, and each team gives specific props to the other. A member from the team picks a prop and uses it for a purpose other than its intended use. The idea is to use the props in the most creative, fun, and humorous way. For example, if the prop is a toothbrush, the actor can use it as a walking stick!
11. Drop The Ball
About The Game: This game is an excellent icebreaker! It can help your teen to connect with others and have some fun.
How To Play: You will need a few cardboard boxes and ping pong balls. Tie the box to a player’s back and put the balls into it. The task is to drop all the balls within a stipulated time, without touching the box. The person can shake or jump to drop the balls. Whoever drops the maximum number of balls is the winner. But winning is not the fun part of this game… it’s watching everyone wriggle and jiggle!
12. Floating Feather
About The Game: This is an entertaining game to keep everyone engaged.
How To Play: You will need a few colored feathers and some plastic straws. The players have to blow the feather up into the air and then use the straw to keep it from dropping. The player who can keep the feather floating the longest wins. You can set a time limit for each player. However, ensure to avoid collisions.
13. Twisted Dumb Charades
About The Game: This is a fun and interactive game that demands the participants to express and emote.
How To Play: Divide the teens into two groups. One team gives another a proverb to enact. Like the classic dumb charade, the player uses signs and gestures to help the other team members guess the proverb. For each failed guess, the team gets an alphabet from the word “charades” on their scoreboard. The team which finishes the word “charades” first on their scoreboard loses!
14. Two Truths And A Lie
About The Game: It can be used as an icebreaker and engage the teens and other family members in a fun and interactive way.
How To Play: Each player makes three statements about themselves – two of them should be true, and one must be a lie. The other players have to guess the lie. Whoever identifies the false statement gets the point. This is an engaging family game and helps identify how much they know about each other. It is also an excellent way to bond with the teens.
15. Eye The Selfie
About The Game: How can you have an evening with teens without their phones or cameras? This game will require a phone or a digital camera or a polaroid.
How To Play: Each participant has to take a close-up picture of one of their eyes. The pictures are placed on a table in a sequence. You may take a print or place the mobile phone with the image on the screen. Every player has to recognize the eyes and write the person’s name as per the sequence. No one shares their answers until the end. The one with the maximum correct answers wins. To make it interesting, you can take the pictures from awkward angles.
Improvised games are an excellent way to encourage teenage bonding. Teenage is when kids transition into mature adults, and that is when insecurities, emotional changes, and complexes are rife. Therefore, it is crucial to help them get out of their cocoons, be creative and interactive, and gain confidence. The above list of improv games for teens can be great icebreakers and encourage them to improvise.