Teens may be a gregarious gang of gabbers or may be a silent and sullen set. You may not know which your group will be until you get them together, and then it may be too late. When planning a teen get-together, wise adults have an icebreaker or two to break the tension and let your teens get to know each other.
1. Human Bingo
Before the get-together, draw a bingo grid with one empty block for each participant. If you have one or two more blocks than teens, mark the extras as "free spaces." Leave space at the bottom of the page for each player to write. At the beginning of the game, pass out a sheet to each player. When you say "go" each player is to run to another teen and ask him to sign a block on the grid. Afterwards, the player asks him his name and three things about him that he wants others to know, which she writes down. The player then repeats the process for every block in the grid. After all the blocks have been filled in, ask the players to sit while you call out names of everyone present and each player covers a name. The fist player that gets a bingo must introduce all the people she interviewed for her winning line.
2. Ice Cream Sundaes
Before the gathering, scoop ice cream into individual scoops and freeze. After everyone has arrived, split the entire gathering into four groups. Each person in the first group gets four bowls, in the next group gets four spoons, in the third group gets four scoops of ice cream and in the last group gets four toppings. Each teen must leave his group and find four other people that have what he needs to make four complete sundaes. If your group is smaller, consider using something that has fewer ingredients like ice cream cones.
3. Candy Match
Before the gathering, get a different type of candy for each group. For example, if you wanted to create five different groups you might purchase blow pops, Hershey's bars, M&Ms;, Skittles and Twizzlers. Tape a different type of candy to the underside of the seat of each chair. After the teens have arrived and taken their seats, ask each to look under the seat and remove the candy. Each group must then find their candy matches. As they eat the candy, each teen must find out three things about each of her group mates to tell the rest.
4. Shoe Match
When everyone arrives ask each person to put one shoe into an empty pillowcase. After everyone has found a seat, ask each person to pull out a shoe from the bag without looking. Each person must then find the owner of the shoe and learn enough about the person to introduce her to the rest of the group.
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