Category Archives: Party ideas for teens

The price is right style party game for teenagers

the-price-is-right-party-game

If you are a parent of teenagers, as I am, how often have you used the phrase “Do you know what that costs?” Whether it is college education, a vacation, motorcar, iPod or some other item: the cost of everything keeps rising as does the teenagers desire (and/or need) for these items.

Without too much effort a game based on the popular TV show “The price is right”, can be incorporated into a teenage party and should prove as entertaining as it is educational for the participants.

There are many formats of this kind of price guessing game, including the auction party game format I have previously described. Here is a simple version that is easy to organize and should go down well.

First of all you need to prepare, by printing photos from the Internet of everyday and unusual items, examples include, a gallon of milk, Louis Vuitton handbag, a one-night stay at a five star hotel in London, one year of educational fees at Harvard etc. One of the elements for making this party game a success is the selection of the items, cost of wedding, bringing up a child, divorce etc. to suit the audience (I was thinking slumber party with the previous examples!!). For each item selected the approximate price should be noted.

During the party you can stick the items on a wall, with a short description, and have the party guests go around the room(s) writing down their guesses to the prices. An alternative format is to hold up each item, one at a time, describe it and have the guests write down their answer and then reveal them before moving on to the next item. The first method (sticking to a wall) works well as a basic party icebreaker as you can allow the guests to help each other (similar to a team event), as some guests might know the price of a given object.

This game is easily incorporated into a themed party event, such as “The Great Gatsby roaring 20’s party theme”.  One additional element added to this game, if the theme is vintage is ‘inflation’. The price of the items will be harder to research but, for example, the cost of a simple Ford motorcar, Model T, from 1920 can be found on the Internet. You can also give the guests a benchmark, for the items selected, by giving them the average cost of something (for example the cost of an average dinner at a restaurant) in the 1920’s, so they can use that to judge the price of the other selected items during that time period.

Appropriate items can also be selected for the other popular party themes, Princess Party theme (Diamond tiara, Limousine etc.) Cars themed party (Price of popular Cars), Pirates theme (Price of various Boats).

In any event, as the hostess, if you use your imagination in selecting the items for the given guests this activity should prove a hit, and maybe you will get an answer to the question “Do you know what that costs?, the next time you ask it, that is if the teenager doesn’t have some ‘listening buds’ in his or her ears!!

Mock dating party game for teens based on the Matching Hypothesis theory

the-dating-party-game

 

This party idea came from an experiment I read about regarding a person pairing up with someone who is as attractive as him or her. The theory, called matching hypothesis claims that people are more likely to form and succeed in a committed relationship with someone who is equally socially desirable.

Here is the party game based on the matching hypothesis. It can be played by any even number of people and if there are more girls than boys (or visa versa) some of the guests play the role of the opposite sex in order to balance the number equally.  Each guest is given a ‘number’, which represents an attractive rating that he or she does not see. The ratings are from 1 to the ‘number of pairs’, so that if there were 4 pairs the ratings would be 1,2,3,4.

When the game starts the party splits into pairs (boys and girls), it doesn’t matter the order. Each pair then shows the other person their rating but they do not see their own. At the end of this round the question is asked (by the hostess) do you want to pair with this person (when this question is asked the guest have their eyes closed) if a guest wants to pair he or she raises their hands. Every guest then opens his or her eyes. If both couples in the pair have raised their hands they pair off and leave the game.  The remaining guests then go to another person to form a pair and the activity repeats (with them showing each other their cards and being asked if they want to pair off). The game ends when the last pairs are formed, so that if there were 8 guests (4 boys and 4 girls) there would be a maximum of 3 rounds. During the 4th (in the example) round the couples have to pair off.

Everyone then looks at their cards and determines if they have paired off with the highest rating they could have.

Basic theory and strategy of the game: During the first round the guests will only see one card, if it is the highest (4 in the example), then most likely they will raise their hands to pair off. At the end of the round everyone see’s who has risen their hands and notes the person who they (the person who raised their hand) wanted to pair with. On the next round, the guests should realize that they are not rated a 4 (unless their previous ‘would be’ partner raised their hands) and so they should try to pair off with a 3 or wait to pair off with the person they believe is a 4.

Anyway, try the game and see if everyone is able to pair off with their exact match (rating) which should be the outcome, although remember the goal for each guest is to pair off with the highest rating they can. It will not always work out that the guests pair off with their match, consider the situation where they all match their rating on the first round (i.e. 1:1 2:2 3:3 4:4), in theory only the 4s will pair and then the rest of the guests will not be able to pair with a match and some will pair with a higher (or lower) rating than their own.

Improvisation – Improv. party game ideas for teens

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Improvisation (Improv.) comedy has become a popular format for TV shows, both in the UK and US. The idea is simple and that is to give the players on the stage a situation in which they have to improvise suitable dialog or actions. The situations given can be elaborated or simple. In it’s simplest form the players are given an object, such as a tennis racket or a lampshade, and asked to improvise situations using the object. Examples are using the lampshade for a hat or the tennis racket as a frying pan accompanied by suitable dialog. The object is passed quickly between the players for a couple of minutes with each player trying to come up with a novel improvisation.

As a party game this type of improvisation activity has been popular for years.  Here is one improvisation game that has been played for years and would be suitable for a kids or teens party today.

If I were not upon this stage

This improvisation takes the form of a song and activity. I remember performing this party game over 40 years ago at my middle school in England. The game is played by first selecting a small group of the party guests to be the performers. The whole party can be split into teams of 4 to 8 depending on the overall size of the party and each team takes it in turns to perform, for a small party of 8 or less the whole party can perform it together. The improvisation begins with one of the performers singing this song:-

If I were not up this stage a Washerwoman I would be.

You’d here me all day long

A singing of my Song

Wash the shorts, wash the shirts, hang them out to dry.

Wash the shorts, wash the shirts, hang them out to dry.

 

The next person then sings the same song but with a different occupation and action line, for example: -

If I were not up this stage a Teacher I would be.

You’d here me all day long

A singing of my Song

Spank the girls spank the boys, leave them both to cry

Spank the girls spank the boys, leave them both to cry

As you might guess, school kids in England sang this version so making fun of teachers was expected.

Anyway after the second person has finished singing his\her piece they repeat the last line, during which time all the performers repeat their individual last lines together. Also as the last line is sang the performer mimics the action they are singing, hanging out clothes or spanking children. Note the last lines don’t need to rhyme with each other; they just do in the example. They do have to have the ‘similar’ timing, so example lines would be:-

Fisherman

Catch the cod catch the sole, haul them in my net

Policeman

Catch the robber catch the speeder, put them in my jail

The game repeats with each new performer singing what they would be doing if they were not on the stage and all the performers joining in with the last line singing over each other with their individual lines and performing their actions.

After about 4 performers have completed their songs the proceedings will get a little chaotic but the idea is just to keep going until all have finished.

If you are organizing this activity you should prepare some suitable occupations and songs then give them out to each guest, to sing and perform. If the party feels comfortable with the format they could come up with their own ideas.

What is your problem? Party Game for kids and teens

what-is-your-problem-party-game

This game is a variation on the popular charade style games where people have to guess an occupation or action from someone performing a mime or skit. The game needs to be played in small teams, 2 or 3 in each team is ideal. The team doing the ‘acting out’ needs to go out of the room and decide amongst themselves who has a ‘problem’ and what that problem is. For example one of the team members could have a problem that he or she cannot stop interrupting. The team then decides on a small skit to act out that will demonstrate this problem. For example the team could be in a launderette washing cloths and talking, with the problematic person continually interrupting. The team can only act out the problem and although they can speak they should not mention the problem, for example they can’t say, “can you stop interrupting”.

When the ‘acting out’ team returns to the main room they act out their skit and the other teams have to guess who has the ‘problem’ and what it is.  For older guests the problems could be more tightly defined, for example ‘this person talks a lot” is similar but not the same as “this person always interrupts”.

The problems could also be scratching, hopping, laughing or something bizarre like spinning around every time their name is mentioned. If the hostess thinks of example problems ahead of time, to make suggestions, then the party guests will get the idea and come up with their own. The guessing teams should keep quiet until the end of the round (skit) then get together in their teams and discuss, write down a guess. When all the teams have decided on what problem they just saw they reveal their answers and another team acts out a problem.

Some ideas for ‘problems’ are: -

Argumentative
Always calls people by their wrong name.
Only speaks in questions
Cannot say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, only ‘maybe’ or ‘I suppose that’s correct’ or ‘it is possible’ etc.
Never looks directly at the person he\she is speaking to.
Has to ‘tweet’ or send text messages when someone talks to him\her.

This party activity can also be incorporated into a themed party; in that the skits could be related to the overall theme, for example the guests reenact a scene from Cinderella or a popular movie but with one of the ‘players’ having the ‘problem’.

Hold the Front Page – Party Game for teenagers

newspaper-reporter-party-game

This idea comes from a popular game where you (or a team) are given a picture and you need to think of a funny caption for the picture.

The idea of the Newspaper party game is to give out pictures of well-known celebrities or other interesting pictures, which could include pictures of other party guests. The guests then have to work in small teams to arrange the pictures in a newspaper front-page format with suitable headings and a short description of a fictitious story. Each team could be given a large board or a large piece of paper and then with some glue and a sharpie they can assemble a newspaper front page.

The pictures can be ‘photo shopped’ ahead of time, by the hostess, so that images of the party quests going to prison, meeting the queen, playing in a famous rock band etc. can be printed and given to the guests.

At the end of the activity, which is done in small teams, each team presents their Newspaper to the hostess, who is playing the role of the newspaper editor. The idea is that the party guests are ‘pitching’ their stories for publication.

The pictures given out to each team could be sets of the same picture or each team could get different pictures.

For younger guests a variation of this game is to give out pictures of famous children’s stories (or nursery rhythms) and have the kid’s think of alternative headings or storylines for the pictures. Basically they just write down what they think is going on in the picture, this could be true to the story or something made up. The kids then arrange the pictures on a large board, as a craft project, to form a Newspaper front page.

Another variation is for the hostess to search the Internet for actual news items, either current or historic. The hostess should choose items that are not well known to the guests and print these out ahead of time. The guests then have to guess what is going on in the picture and come up with a suitable caption. This variation is suitable for teenagers and adults. The guests could produce a Newspaper front page, as per the regular game, or they could just present their answers verbally to the other teams at the end of each round.

Team building games for teenagers – Perspectives

teen-team-building

Recently I spent an enjoyable week as a chaperon at Yosemite with my 14-year-old son’s middle school science camp. During this time several team-building activities were organized with groups of 15 teenagers. The following describes one of those activities and would make an entertaining party game (outdoors) for kids of all ages.

The theme of this game is ‘perspective’ and the idea is that the party is split into small groups of 3 and each member of the small groups has a restriction, i.e. one cannot see (blindfolded), one cannot talk and the third shouts instructions in order for the blindfolded person to retrieve an object.

The basic set up goes as follows: Have one person blindfolded (person 3), and then have another (person 2) with his back to the blindfolded person (this person is the ‘voice’ and can never look around at person 3). Have the other person (person 1) stand in front of person 2 looking at person 2 and able to see past person 2 to person 3. Person 1 is the ‘eyes’ and can see everything but can never speak and only communicate by gesture to the ‘voice’, person 2. Person 1 and person 2 cannot move and they are about 6 feet apart looking at each other. Person 1 can see person 3 but person 1 can only make signs\gestures to person 2 who then has to shout instructions (left, right, forward etc.) to person 3 (blindfolded) who has to find an object that the host has placed on the ground.  Person 3 (blindfolded) moves around and just obeys instructions, from person 2 (the ‘voice’), until he\she finds the object or someone from another team finds the object first.

The game starts by the 3 team members standing in line (as described above) and the host then quietly places an object (i.e. a ball) on the ground,. Only person 1, from each team, can see the ball. All the teams play together so there is a lot of shouting as person 2 (the ‘voice’) tries to give person 3 instructions, based on the gestures he\she sees from person 1 (the ‘eyes’).

A good strategy is to have person 1 and person 2 agree signs\gestures, for example move forward 5 steps, stop, turn around etc. If the game is played a few times the teams should work out a suitable strategy.

Comic or horror shadow theater party sketches

shadow-theater-party-ideas

One classic scene from an Austin Powers movie depicts two people in a tent with a back-light that throws a shadow on the tent for all outside the tent to see. When viewed from outside the dark images look like all sorts of vulgar and inappropriate acts are taking place in the tent, when in fact only ‘innocent’ activities are going on.

This type of skit or sketch has been popular for many years in theaters and private parties. One popular shadow theater performance is the “Operating table”. For the general set up you need to hang a white sheet in a dark room with a back-light that throws the shadow for all the audience to see (on the other side of the sheet).  The basic set up is further described in Victorian parlor games of shadows.

The Operating table shadow sketch takes place by having the ‘patient’ lay on a table near the sheet and the surgeons standing behind the patient. At this point various objects can be made to appear as though they are coming out of the patient, sausages, an old telephone, that happens to ring and can be answered, etc.

An extremely large syringe (that only needs to be a cardboard cut out) can be used to ‘sedate’ the patient as can a comic ‘sledge hammer’, which again is a flat cardboard cut out throwing a shadow. In fact all the objects (telephone etc.) can be made of cardboard, it is only the outline that casts the shadow that is important.

The trick with this illusion is precision, in terms of positioning. Just watch some clips from Austin Powers on YouTube (search Austin Powers tent shadows) and you will get an idea of the precision needed in terms of the positions of the objects.

For preparation and rehearsal all you need to do is set up the basic shadow theater and practice, you can also have someone video your shadows so you can review what works and what doesn’t.

To incorporate the shadow theater into a party you can either ask the guests to prepare their own shadow sketches or you (as the organizer) can put on a performance, using your friends, for the party.

Shadow theater sketches can also be included in Halloween or horror movie themed parties. In any event this type of amusement will prove popular for a teens party today.

Casino party ideas for teens

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Whilst no real gambling is involved, as each guest is given tokens at the start of the event, a casino party for teenagers is enjoyable and somewhat educational. I am not just talking about preparing youngsters for the tables at Vegas but a basic understanding of probability together with balancing risk and reward is needed to be able to play games of chance with any sort of strategy.

The idea of a casino party for teens is to set up 3 popular games of chance (blackjack, roulette and craps) and give every player the same amount of tokens at the start of the party and then at the end of the event, declare the person with the most tokens as the ‘winner’. Food and music are easily incorporated into this activity.

This type of event could accommodate a large number of people but a party size of around 20 with a large room (2 or 3 smaller rooms) is ideal. It is also suitable for smaller numbers, around 6, and only one (or 2) of the games needs to be played.

There is no need to hire any professional dealers to put on this event. What is needed though is several ‘volunteers’ from the party that will take on the role of the dealers. This will take a little co-ordination and planning but it is worth the effort. The idea being that the ‘would be’ dealers will be trained in dealing or operating roulette, craps and blackjack games ahead of time. This, preparation, is an enjoyable activity within itself as a small group of friends get together and figure out how to play these games and organize the logistics of the event. These games are not that difficult to operate and in each case simpler versions of the rules can be played.

The only, relatively, expensive equipment you need to purchase is a small roulette game (from EBay). There are small roulette sets that are sold as games, just search ‘roulette game’ on eBay and will see some suitable games for under $50. You need a ‘wheel’ size of about 16 inches. For the other 2 games of chance, blackjack and craps, you can make do with some homemade efforts (on large dinning tables) although if you wanted you can also purchase game versions of these activities, again from eBay.

You also need to purchase tokens (use poker chips) for blackjack and craps, EBay or Amazon has these. The roulette game will have its own chips. In addition you will need dice and playing cards. At the start of the event give out the tokens (poker chips) and the roulette chips to each guest, making sure you have enough left for the dealers to operate their tables. To make things simpler, for the organizers and guests, you might want to just use the poker chips for all games (including the roulette game). In this way the roulette chips that came with the game are not used and the poker chips are substituted. Everyone can then move from ‘table to table’ using the same type of chips. Make sure you purchase enough chips to operate all the games, with the required number of guests playing.

The rules for the game of roulette should come with the game you purchase, in any event just Google – ‘roulette rules’, ‘crap rules’ and ‘blackjack rules’ and there are Wikipedia entries for each of the games as well as many other sites explaining how to play.

For the craps table you need only to copy the ‘betting layout’ onto a large piece of card and stick it to a table. The dice can just be thrown on a table or an old Yahtzee board (to stop them rolling off the table) can be placed on the table. An old shirt box (or similar) also works as a shallow container to roll the dice in.

There is no need to have a marked out table for blackjack just play the game on a normal table.

Each of the above games should be able accommodate 6 players at a time. The volunteer dealers (who, ideally, should wear white shirts) should do 45 to 60 minute stints at the tables then rotate. So for a party of 20 I would recommend that 6 guests be designated as volunteer dealers, in this way the dealers can also play the games and the party will last about 2 hours.

I would also encourage the guests to move around the tables so that each has a turn on a particular game. If a guest ‘runs out of chips’ then simply give them some more, although this guest cannot be declared the ‘winner’.

Light snacks and (soft) drinks could be served, just like a casino, with some music in the background. Loud and gaudy, casino style, decorations are also optional.

 

Musical Chairs blind folded

musical-chairs-blindfolded

This is an idea that might appeal to co-ed teenage parties.

Musical chairs blind folded combines two popular games for ‘double the fun’. That said there are some basic safety and game rules for this activity to be successful.

Some general safety and game rules.

I would place extra protection around the head and eyes; even though the blindfold offers some protection there is a danger of the blind folded people poking each other (or bumping heads) as they feel and move their way around the room. Bandages, Goggles, Sunglasses, Masks or a heavy scarf wrapped around the head and eyes should also be worn.

In the party invite I would recommend requesting that guests bring a heavy scarf, as you may want to try other Blind Man’s Bluff ‘multi-player’ activities such as ‘Zombie Tag’. Zombie tag is where some, Zombie, guests are blindfolded and have to tag others who then become Zombies. This game will also result in bumping heads and outstretched hands poking each other as the blind folded quests search for victims.

You will also need some of the party guests to be ‘monitors’, in that they should not be blind folded, and placed around the room to stop one of the guest walking into a wall (or other dangerous areas) and to stop excessive pushing and shoving. The larger the party the more monitors needed.

I would also strongly recommend that all the game participants remove their shoes, as treading on peoples toes or heels is a common issue with games involving many blind folded people.

Also there should be NO running or grabbing, another good rule is you cannot ‘shove’ anyone one with your arms and legs. Use of other parts of the body, shoulder-to-shoulder, backside to backside etc. is allowed.

The monitors (assistants not blind folded) need to keep the party in order and make judgment calls if two people are pushing over a chair (general rule is first to get their backside on the chair is the occupant).

Another decision is whether or not you want to allow the blind folded guests to ‘talk to each other’; this will allow ‘alliances’ to be formed and some sort of teamwork to take place. You need to decide if you want this to happen or not (also you can try the game with and without talking and see what happens).

How the game of blind folded musical chairs is played.

The game begins by setting out a room (could also be an outside area) for regular Musical Chairs. Each guest stands in front of one of the chairs (which are arranged in a circle or oval shape) and is then blind folded and the music starts and the guests move around the chairs. To begin with I would not remove any chairs so that when the music stops each player ‘should’ be able to find a chair and sit on it. When you have played a round without any chairs being removed you can begin removing the chairs and eliminating people from the game just like regular Musical Chairs.

When one person has not found a chair and is wandering around ‘searching’ alone, you can let them look (in vain) for some extra minutes for some ‘bonus fun’ for the monitors (observers). At some point in time time you should gently take the wandering blindfolded person and tell him or her they have been eliminated. At the end of each round have the guests stand and take two paces away from the chair they just sat on and the monitors can remove a chair, silently. Then start the music and begin the next round.

Other variations of musical chairs blindfolded

Another variation on this game (I prefer this version) is to have all the blindfolded people stand in a line at the side of an empty room or outside in an open area. Then place chairs randomly in the room or area, whilst the people are blindfolded (making sure there is one less chair than people). Then say GO and each blindfolded person simply has to find an empty chair and sit on it. The round ends when only one person is left searching. To start each new round, the players remove their blindfolds return to the starting place and the chairs are rearranged when the blindfolds are placed back on so the chairs are in different positions that are