23 Fun Icebreaker Games For Teens

Icebreaker games and activities serve an important purpose for teens. This age group is often self-conscious and hesitant to open up around new people. Icebreakers help break down barriers and provide a relaxed, fun atmosphere where teens can be themselves.

Benefits of Icebreakers for Teens:

  • Help teens overcome shyness and hesitancy in new social settings
  • Allow teens to bond and make connections with peers
  • Set the tone for an engaging event right from the start
  • Get teens focused, attentive, and ready to participate
  • Bring laughter and activity to the group

With the right icebreaker prepared, you can instantly get a group of awkward teens talking, laughing, and interacting. Below we’ve compiled 23 fun and simple icebreakers perfect for teens. We included a variety of active games, creative challenges, competitions, races, and more to suit any group size or dynamic.

Active Icebreakers for Teens

Human Knot

This high-energy icebreaker gets teens up and working together right off the bat. Have the group stand in a circle and grasp hands across from each other, creating a tangled knot. The goal is for the team to communicate and maneuver their bodies to untangle back into a circle without ever letting go of hands. This promotes problem solving, teamwork, and friendly physical contact.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get teens moving and interacting. Break into teams and give each a list of silly or random items to find and photograph around your meeting space, like “something yellow” or “someone wearing a hat.” The first team to locate and capture all their items wins!

Themed Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Give teams a list of fun photo prompts and have them race around taking creative selfies. Great for tech-savvy teens. Prompts could be “squad pose”, “silly face”, “movie poster remake”, etc.

Floor Is Lava

In this physical challenge, the floor becomes “hot lava” that players cannot touch. Teams must use chairs, tables, and other objects to traverse the lava without stepping on the floor. You can time teams racing against each other, or see how long a team can stay off the floor. Gets teens running, climbing, and working together.

Chair Basketball

Line up rows of chairs and use them as basketball hoops. Let players take shots attempting to toss or bounce balls through the chair hoops. Teams can play offense and defense as they try to sink baskets while blocking their opponents.

Freeze Dance

This energetic icebreaker game gets teens laughing and dancing together. Play upbeat music and let teens dance freely. Periodically pause or stop the music suddenly. Teens must freeze in place when the music stops. Anyone caught moving after the music stops is eliminated. Resume playing the music again, allowing the remaining dancers to continue. Repeat stopping and freezing with eliminations until 1 dancer remains.

Circle Sitting Challenge

This cooperative challenge has teams slowly lower themselves into a seated circle while keeping their arms linked together. Teams must communicate and problem solve, maneuvering carefully as a unit. Knees can bend but arms must stay connected. The goal is to fully sit on the floor in a circle formation without breaking links. Tests cooperation and patience.

Creative & Competitive Icebreakers

Drawing Challenge

Have teens pair up and sit back-to-back. Give one partner a simple drawing. Without looking, they must verbally describe it so their partner can recreate it. This tests communication skills as teens race to match the original drawing.

Marshmallow Challenge

The classic STEM activity has groups competing to build the tallest freestanding tower out of spaghetti, marshmallows, and tape in a set time. This forces teens to collaborate, problem-solve, and learn how to work as a team toward a goal.

Paper Airplane Contest

Provide teams with paper and basic supplies to construct paper airplanes. Have contests like longest distance flown, most accurate target hit, or coolest stunts performed. Gets kids building, experimenting, and refining designs.


Blindfold one partner and have them traverse an “unsafe minefield” maze of objects. The seeing partner guides them verbally through without touching any mines. This requires trust, communication, patience and listening skills.

Blindfolded Drawing

This communication-based icebreaker pairs up teens and has them sit back-to-back. One partner in each pair is given a simple drawing or doodle on a sheet of paper. Without looking at their partner’s paper, they must describe the drawing clearly enough that their partner can recreate it on their own paper while blindfolded. The listener asks questions if needed. Once the time is up, they remove blindfolds and compare drawings! Tests how well they gave instructions and translated them visually. Often ends in lots of laughter at the funny outcomes.

Paper Airplane Contest

Teams design and construct paper airplanes, then test whose can fly farthest, most accurately, or do the coolest stunts. Engages creativity and problem-solving skills.

Spot the Difference

Show teams two similar images side-by-side. They race to identify as many differences between the two pictures as possible within a set time. Great for developing observation and active looking skills. You can increase the challenge by making the differences more subtle. See which team can find the most differences.


Give teams a letter of the alphabet (rolled with a die). Set a time limit for teams to brainstorm and write down list words starting with that letter, fitting specific categories you designate. Categories could be animals, places, foods, etc. Teams try to build the longest list with valid words. Fast-paced creative word game.

Getting to Know You Icebreakers

Two Truths and a Lie

Each person shares 3 statements about themselves, 2 truths and 1 lie. The rest of the group votes on which one they think is the lie. After guessing, the person reveals the actual lie. This helps teens share interesting facts and learn about each other.

People Bingo

Make Bingo cards with facts or hobbies in each square (e.g. “loves pizza”). Teens mingle around, finding classmates who match each box’s description to sign their Bingo card. First one to complete a row or fill the whole card wins!

The Name Game

Sitting in a circle, the first person says their name with a repetitive gesture or dance move. Go around with each person reciting the names and gestures already said, then adding their own. Keeps adding on as you go around the circle. This match-names-to-faces game sticks in everyone’s mind.

Never Have I Ever

Take turns making “Never have I ever…” statements like “never have I ever stayed up for 24 hours straight.” If you have done it, you put a finger down. Last player with fingers remaining wins. Reveals surprising facts people have/haven’t experienced.

Birthday Line Up

Have the entire group line up in order of their birthdays, from January 1st to December 31st, without speaking. Teens must use their deductive reasoning and nonverbal communication skills to strategize. Tests logic and strategy in a collaborative setting.

Tall Tale Telephone

Whisper a short story, joke or phrase to one person and have them retell it to the next person. Each teen elaborates and builds on the tale as it gets passed quietly around the circle. The final result is hilarious compared to the original. Tests listening skills and creativity.

The Frown Game

Partners make serious, exaggerated frowning faces at each other without laughing. The first person to crack a smile or laugh loses. An increasingly popular silly icebreaker to encourage prolonged eye contact and weed out any hidden smiles.

Headbands Game

Each person wears a headband with a word, phrase or name on it visible to others but not themselves. By asking “yes/no” questions, they deduce what is on their headband. Great for learning facts about classmates in the process.

Tips for Facilitating Successful Icebreakers

  • Provide clear, step-by-step instructions for the activity
  • Set time limits to keep the pace energetic
  • Adapt activities as needed for different age groups
  • Have any needed supplies ready to go
  • Divide large groups into smaller teams
  • Keep the focus on participation rather than skill
  • Maintain an enthusiastic, encouraging attitude
  • Wrap up the icebreaker smoothly and transition into the main activity

Wrapping Up

End your icebreaker activity on a high note and seamlessly transition into the main event. Some ideas are giving small prizes for game winners, having teens reflect on something they learned, or doing a final fun activity like a silly group selfie.

The right icebreaker sets the stage for teens to feel comfortable opening up. Settling initial nervousness helps teens be more willing to participate in subsequent activities. Utilize a combination of activity-based, creative, competitive and conversational icebreakers to engage different learning styles.

Find the right fit for your specific group and let the bonding begin!