Games are fun and everyone has their favorites. There are a million games out there for children. The problem lies in finding games that are both fun and engaging for those who don’t really fit into either of those categories. We are talking about tweens. When it comes to fun games for tweens to keep them happy and entertained, things get tricky. Why? Because tweens bore easily, need a challenge, and yet, are sophisticated in their tastes.
How Do You Choose the Best And Most Fun Games for Tweens?
First things first, we need to establish who tweens are. The answer is simple: they are those individuals who aren’t really kids anymore, but aren’t really mature teenagers, either. Where do you look when trying to find entertaining things to do with or for them? What do you choose? You can take a look at our ultimate guide of fun things to do with kids at home, but tweens are old enough to blatantly refuse to play with dough or answer kids’ trivia questions.
On the other hand, they may be too young to enjoy a backyard jump rope challenge, among other physically or intellectually difficult things to do with teens in the summer.
In short, you need balance. It can be tough to find the most fun games to do with tweens, but we’re here to help you.
So you’re looking for some fun games that will enthrall the tweens in your life? Look no further because we have you covered. We know what this age group likes (as well as what they don’t). We are happy to share that information with anyone having a bit of trouble. Below is a list of our choices, and most of them are cheap or free to play! You can’t beat that. Without further ado, here we go: 25 fun games for tweens.
25 Fun Games for Tweens
Spin and Dare:
Spin and dare is a play on two things. The first is spin the bottle, which is a game that is popular in the teenage group. The second is Truth or Dare, a game that can be fun for all ages. With this cool twist, it’s great fun for those tweens in the group. First, the participants write some fun and interesting dares onto sheets of paper. Then those are all tossed in a hat. You start out with spinning a bottle, as expected, but the game deviates there. Whoever the bottle is pointing at when it’s done spinning has to grab a piece of that paper and do whatever it says on it. Then they can go on to spin and make someone else do the next dare! Great game for teenage girls and boys.
Scavenger hunts can be fun for all ages, and tweens are included in it. We have talked about scavenger hunt ideas before, as they are perhaps the easiest fun party games for tweens, young adults, and grownups to organize. As a matter of fact, you can include a scavenger hunt in any event you organize, whether it is a team-building exercise or a lawn family game on a cozy Saturday afternoon. For this particular game for tweens, you should put the group of kids into teams and give them a list of things they must find. You can have them bring things back, take photos on their phone, or otherwise prove their finds at the end. The team who checks the most off of the list is the winner.
Pass the Fruit:
This is a fun game that utilizes teamwork again. You grab a piece of fruit, whether an apple, orange, lime, or something else. The purpose of the game is to get that fruit from one player all the way to the other end of the line. What makes this so fun (and difficult!) is the fact that you are not allowed to use your hands in any way to pass the fruit. Great fun and it results in tons of laughs. You can consider this one of the best games for teens, tween, kids, and adults that you can play as a circle game as well.
Who am I:
A popular game for tweens, teens, and adults is “Who am I?”. Someone writes down the names of celebrities onto index cards. Then each person has a card attached to them, somewhere they can’t see it. This could be on their back or forehead, anywhere is fine. Now they get to have fun by figuring out who they are. They can ask questions and it usually results in a funny situation as the guests try to come up with ideas that fit their question.
Uno is a game that most have played and it can be fun for all ages. You can pick it up on Amazon for just a few bucks. Uno is an exciting card game that is great for 2-10 people, so even larger groups can join in. The rules are fairly simple and boil down to getting rid of all the cards in your hand. Of course, doing so turns into a race and competition that most love. You can find a complete list of Uno rules online.
Murder in the Dark:
This game involves slips of paper and a great sense of imagination. Prep is simply writing “murderer” on a slip of paper, “detective” on another, and “suspect” on all the rest. So far, it sounds very much like a Mafia game to play with your grownup friends, but for teens and tweens, you need to add a twist. Everyone takes one but does not show it to anyone. The game starts with lights going out, at which point the murderer finds people in the dark and taps them on the shoulder. The murdered people drop to the ground, complete with dying noises. This continues until the detective is “dead”. At that point, the lights come on and the detective must decide who the murderer was. It’s hard but fun for tweens and those in the age range.
Airplanes go is an easy game that combines creativity with the competition. Those taking part in the game make their own paper airplanes with paper, markers, stickers, and whatever else is around. Once the kids are done, they all stand in a line outside. A referee will call out “Airplanes, Go!” at which time the tweens can throw their planes. Winners can be those whose planes go highest, travel farthest, etc. Keep in mind to select this game if the tweens in question are on the low end of the age range. Older kids will dismiss your idea of making paper airplanes, pull out their phones and tablets, and play online.
Nail Polish Spin:
The best games for teenage girls always include Nail Polish Spin. This is another game based on Spin the Bottle (without its default adult content and innuendo) and it is specific to all-girl groups. In order to play this game, you need some wild and crazy nail polish colors. Whoever is spinning chooses a nail polish bottle and spins that. Whoever it points at when done has to paint a nail the color in the bottle. Then she spins a different bottle for the next girl to paint onto a nail of her own. You can keep going until all nails are colored. In case you wondered, as a parent, yes, this is a slumber party game for tween girls. Give them two years more and they will start talking about boys and fashion.
Everyone loves a good water game! This one is a classic and makes a day in the pool even more fun. One person is designated Marco while the rest of the participants are designated Polo. Marco covers his eyes and counts to ten while all others try to get far away, without leaving the water. Marco then starts to search by shouting out “Marco”, keeping their eyes still closed. The Polos must all yell back “Polo”. Marco makes his way toward someone else as this goes on over and over. The person who Marco tags is turned into the new Marco and the gameplay starts over.
Scrabble is a game that is great for children of the tween age. It works on improving the player’s vocabulary and spelling skills. The game is available here for a very reasonable price if you don’t have it around the house somewhere. Players write out words on the board in certain ways that give them points, based on the tiles and letters used. It’s a very great game for strategy lovers or that budding English lover in your family. Scrabble is also an amazing 2-people board game to play with an adult friend or family member. The really smart ones who love a challenge and have a penchant for foreign languages can also play it in a foreign language to make things even more entertaining and hard. Scrabble is also one of the most essential games to have and to play with your tweens as it has incredible educational value.
Lottery fun is a great game for parties that will include gift bags. Each person who comes in the house picks up a lottery ticket, which can be handmade prior to the party. Each card corresponds to a particular prize bag. These can be filled with candy, toys, prank items, and more. Each child wins something and it can be made into a fun reproduction of the actual lottery if wanted! This is one of those fun party games for tweens that mix the concept of child play with gift-giving. You can set up the game whenever you want to celebrate a tween in the family and you want to give a fresh spin to a regular child/teenage party.
The Obstacle Olympics is a great way to get tweens moving and can utilize items you already have in your home. You simply construct an obstacle course around your yard or home. You can include things like tables, chairs, ropes, balls, and more. Make up an instruction for each (such as performing a yo-yo trick for five times in a row, or running under a table on your knees). Explain the instructions, divide the kids into teams, and send them off. The competition will be fun to watch and the kids will get rid of some energy while they play.
Who doesn’t love a good tag game? This game is fun for late-night parties and is best to organize in a big backyard or other outdoor places. Pick someone to hold the flashlight and choose a base that everyone knows. Everyone without a flashlight runs off while the person with the flashlight counts down from sixty seconds. When the time is up, the one wielding the flashlight sets off to find the others. He or she calls their name and they must go back to the base. Others can rescue them by sneaking to the base and touching the people there. The game continues until the person with the flashlight has found everyone!
A card game that only requires a regular set of cards, this one is great for tweens. You take the cards and deal them evenly to all players. The way to win is to be the first to get rid of all their cards. Gameplay works by laying down cards after saying what they are. The must be the same value, so you could lay down two twos or four aces or any other combination. What makes the game fun is you are encouraged to cheat. For instance, you could lie down four cards claiming they are four kings when really they are two kings, an ace, and a six. If someone calls out “Cheat!” your cards are checked. If you cheated, you take the pile of cards. If you call cheat but nobody has, you take the pile. If you need more inspiration on the best card games to play with adults, teens, tweens, and kids, check out our ultimate guide right here! We are sure you will find something for small to large groups!
Jenga is a great game that revolves around subtlety, teamwork, and physics. The game consists of wooden blocks that are stacked up together. The goal? To pull out a block, without tipping over the tower, and then place it onto the top of the tower. You have to be steady and concentrate in order to win, but whichever team doesn’t bring down the tower is going to reign supreme for this one.
Balloon or Blow:
This one is fun and has been around for years! With Balloon and Blow, all you need is a pack of long skinny balloons and two teams. Each team leader gets a skinny balloon that is already blown up. They take the balloon and grasp it between their knees in order to hold it up from the floor. When the ref says “Go”, each team works at getting the balloon down the line. This is done by passing the balloon from knee to knee, without touching or breaking it. Breaking the balloon starts the process over for the team. Whoever gets the balloon from the first person to the last without dropping or breaking it gets the win!
For those who love ball games and sports, this one is sure to be a treat. It starts with a group of players in a circle a few feet apart from each other. The ball starts in someone’s hands and it is passed to the left as quickly as possible. If someone misses the ball or drops it on the ground, a handicap is added. For the first, the person must only use one hand from then on. The second time, they must use the other hand. Third, they must kneel on one knew but can use hands again. Fourth, both knees must hit the ground but all hands are in play. The last two you would stay on your knees but lose one hand, then the other. At the point, you would be dropped from the game. Whoever is left at the end is the winner.
One of the best fun games for teenagers, Freeze tag is great fun and gets a lot of exercise in. It is similar to a normal game of Tag but when the person who is it touches someone, that person must freeze. They have to stay that way unless a team member unfreezes them by touching them. The game ends when everyone but the person who is tagging is frozen in place at the end. Simple and easy but beloved and likely to be a hit for your tweens. The Freeze Tag is just one of the many (many) Tag games varieties out there, so before you begin, take your time and do your research. You may find other Tag games suitable for the age group you want to entertain. We personally love Japanese Tag, but it may be a bit difficult for tweens.
Piggy Back Race:
Another game that introduces some exercise is the piggyback race. This one is simple and easy to learn. It’s also something that the tweens will love to do again and again. This game is a typical race, with an atypical twist. Teams are made with even numbers on each. All teammates are paired and their job is to piggyback across the yard. On the way over, one person rides while the other runs. On the way back, this switches so they are in opposite positions. Each pair must make it to the goal and back. The first team to get everyone there and back wins it all. If you need more ideas on race-type fun games for tweens, we also recommend the three-legged race, among others.
This is the perfect age to get people involved in the game of Monopoly. These kids will have the basics of real estate and money management down. They can easily learn more by playing the game. Most of you have probably played this game once or twice, but even if you haven’t, it’s a classic for a reason. You’ll love playing with your tweens or just watching them grasp the concepts as they go along. Monopoly is one of the best party board games of all time for all age categories. What you should know, however, is that beyond its power to teach people about money, savings, investments, real estate, and business, it can also break friendships.
Pass the Lifesaver:
Pass the Lifesaver isn’t well known but still very fun. Each player is put into a team and the premise is easy. Using a toothpick in their mouth, each person must pass a Lifesaver candy to the end of the line. There are no hands allowed and dropping the candy starts the drill all over again. It’s harder than you’d think! Using your mouth to transport a candy is not as easy as it might sound at first.
This game is for all the creatives out there. Prior to playing, make some index cards up that have common words from songs in them. Organize two teams and flip a card. Each time takes turns singing a song with the word from the card in the lyrics. The team who can’t think of one, in the end, loses, giving the other team a point. Keep playing until you have ten, fifteen, or even twenty points.
Name that Tune:
This is another musical game that really gets everyone going. Make a playlist before the party time with songs from all sorts of genres. Once you get the party going and everyone ready, start playing the songs. You can begin in the middle of the song or at the beginning, whatever you want. Whoever puts their hand up first gets to guess the song’s name. If they are wrong, they lose a point. If they are right, they gain a point. Play until you’re bored, with the person who has the most points the winner. What you need to do here, however, is to adapt your playlist to your tweens. We know the young generation of today doesn’t listen to the same music we did back in the day. Select the artists and titles relevant to their age and experience, and save Neil Diamond or Black Sabbath for another occasion.
Suck and Blow:
Yet another game that has stood the test of time, next on our list of fun games for tweens is Suck and Blow. This one is easy and is best to play with a group that is gender diverse. The kids stand in a line that is a girl, boy, girl, boy, etc. The object of the game is to pass a playing card from person to person using only your mouths to suck and blow on it. If the card drops while two people are playing, they are eliminated. This goes on until a winning duo is recognized.
A game of strategy that won’t break the bank, this one is a keeper. You can pick up Sequence and see why it’s so much fun. This game is hard, exciting, and ultimately entertaining. It contains aspects of many games, such as poker, canasta, and rummy. Playing cards and chips you form sequences and use both skill and luck to keep in the game. It’s a really fun way to pass an evening and tweens will love it just as much as adults.
What Other Fun Games for Tweens Can You Play?
The games for tweens need to be not too easy and not too hard, challenging, and ultimately, fun. Our kids evolve, grow, and change by the minute, so whatever seemed fun two years ago, now may seem like a drag. To keep up with them (and offer them a breather from the digital world taking much of their free time), here are some of our guides and tutorials to keep your inspiration going. Read them, adapt them to your specific needs, and try to challenge the tweens with some of them. You will find the right fun games for tweens, eventually!
- How to play cornhole;
- Card and dice games to play this year;
- Best improv games to play with kids, teens, and adults;
- Fun challenges for teens this summer;
- 75 fun things to do with kids in lockdown.
Games for Tweens Final Thoughts
It can be hard to find a game that everyone loves, especially games for kids and teenagers. Tweens can be tough to get in your corner. Try some of these fun games for tweens and you’ll be having a blast in no time. You can thank us later!
Featured Image via Flickr