Family game nights with teenagers aren’t always easy. As my kids have gotten older, they are more detached and independent. They no longer beg to play games all night like they used to. And the old, easy games like “I spy” don’t work anymore. They can be hard to reach!

With that said, we’ve been experimenting over the last year to see how to better connect with our big kids. We’ve found a few games that have WORKED big time. And the great thing about these games is that teens can play them with friends, or they make for a more “grown up” version of family game night.

Plus, all of them are pretty much free! And only a few of them require any kind of setup or clean-up – making them incredibly easy to do whenever you want!

21 Questions

First, this fun game is super simple, but truly gets to know your teen like never before. Start by asking a set of questions. It could be 21 or it could be any number you choose. This set of 21 questions ideas works really well! Then, LISTEN to what your teen has to say. (We’ve had some eye-opening conversations!)

You’ll find that it opens up the conversation for tons of follow-up questions and you’ll end up with a more meaningful connection than you’ve had in months. Plus, certain questions in the list will give you insight into particular lessons, skills, or conversations you might need to have with your teen in the future.

Would You Rather/This That

Next, people love choices, and teens are no exception. So, play a game of “would you rather” or “this or that.” To do this, you take two mundane or outrageous options and the person has to choose between them. Examples include:

Would you choose apples or bananas?

Would you rather be stuck on a roller coaster or stuck in an elevator?

Trust me, you’ll be belly laughing by the end!

Scavenger Hunt

Next, create a seek and find! When I was in high school, a friend created a driving scavenger hunt in which we had to find clues hidden in parks around the city. That game was some of the most fun I remember having as a teen, and I shared a TON of laughs with my driving partner. We’ve shared this fun with our own teens too now.


Have you heard of the game Sardines? It’s kind of like hide and seek, but in reverse. In this game, you start with one person hiding and the rest of the group trying to find him/her. As people find the person, they too must hide with them. The game ends when the last person finds the entire group hiding. This game is a hilarious spin on a classic, and it makes for the perfect teen group game.

Blind Makeup Artist

Finally, have your family or group of teens split into two groups and determine the “make up artist.” Now the artist is blindfolded and puts makeup on one other person in the group. The rest of their team gives instructions to the artist to help him/her add makeup. The winner of the game is the group that has the best make up face (done by instruction and not sight).

Isn’t this such a fun game? It’s such a clever way to have fun and play!

In Conclusion

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed these 5 games to get your teens laughing, playing, and opening up to the group. They all work well with friends, at parties, or even with the rest of the family at home!

One thing is for sure, your teen won’t be home for forever. NOW is the time to make those lifelong memories and build the kind of relationship you want to have with them as an adult. There’s no time to waste! Get them talking and get them laughing now.