Activities to Help Teens Make Friends

by Wannikki Taylor

    Teens may have jitters about meeting other teens on the first day of a new or unfamiliar setting such as school, camp or a youth group. Introducing oneself is part of the process of learning how to make friends. Help teens transition from strangers to friends with fun games and activities.

    Separate the teens into groups of six. Ask each group to find seven commonalities its members share -- all six teens in the group must share the same seven interests. Interests might include favorite colors, being dog owners or being fans of a certain singer. Have each group write down its seven common interests. When all the groups are finished, have them read their common interests out loud to the other groups.

    Create a list of famous couples such as Mickey and Minnie, Sonny and Cher and Bonnie and Clyde. Write the name of one half of the couple on an index card and the other name on another card. Give each teen a card, and inform the teens that they must keep the name on the cards a secret. Have teens ask questions of others in the group to find their other half. The pair who finds each other first wins the game.

    Make sure you know the exact number of teens attending an event. Purchase name tags. Write a number on each name tag corresponding with how many teens will be present. Write instructions on several pieces of paper such as "Find out #4's favorite singer" or "Introduce yourself to #10." Remember not to use numbers higher than the number of teens expected to come. Give out the numbered name tags, one for each teen, and the pieces of paper with instructions. If desired, teens can share what they learned about the other numbers.

    Purchase a ball of yarn relatively the same size as a baseball. Have teens sit in a circle. Give one teen the ball of yarn. Have him answer a few introductory questions such as "What is your name?" or "What are your favorite television shows?" When that person is done answering the questions, he picks another person in the circle and throws the ball of yarn to her while holding onto the end of the yarn. The next person must answer the questions and throw the ball of yarn to someone new while holding onto her piece of yarn. Repeat this activity until every teen has a turn. The result of the yarn going from person to person will resemble a spider web.

    About the Author

    Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.

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