Most 17-year-olds have outgrown birthday parties with a theme; however, they can still have a good time playing games at a party. Appease your teen with a variety of outdoor games that will give the guests a chance to mingle, possibly make new friends and earn prizes. Convince the teenagers to play along by awarding prizes like small electronics and gift cards to all winners.
Because most teenagers can drive, split the teens into two groups and have them go on a scavenger hunt. Make two identical lists of 30 items such as red lipstick, an old shoe, a roll of toilet paper and a candy bar. The teens must go door-to-door in a neighborhood collecting the items. The first team to find and bring back 25 of the 30 items wins the game. For a variation, give each team a digital camera. Write down items the teens must take pictures of, such as a fire hydrant, a black dog and a football goalpost. The first team back with the pictures as proof wins the game.
The teens will get to know more about each other while having a good laugh with truth-or-dare games. Fill a 2-liter soda bottle with slips of paper, each containing a "truth" question and a "dare" challenge, such as "Who is your crush?" and "Do a cartwheel." Play outside so the teenagers have plenty of room to do the dares. Have the teens scatter out and toss the bottle in the air. The teen the end of the bottle points to when it lands must remove a slip and complete it. If she completes the dare or answers the question, she is still in the game and earns 20 points. The player who earns the most points wins the game. You can also have the teens stand in a circle to play this game.
On a hot summer day, teens can cool down with water games. Tell them to select a partner and see which pair can toss a water balloon the farthest distance without popping it. Make the game more difficult by having one player put his back to his partner before tossing the balloon. You can also fill two small plastic swimming pools with water and two bags of ice. Have two teens stand in the pools and compete to see who can grab the most ice cubes from the pool. However, they can use only their toes to grab the ice.
Divide the teens into two teams. Place each team in a designated area so that teams cannot see each other, such as the front yard and backyard. Each team has 10 minutes to hide its team bandanna. After 10 minutes, the teams switch locations. The first team to find the other team's bandanna wins the game. If you have many teens, split them into a few teams and give each team a bandanna to hide. Have them all switch locations. The team that finds another team's bandanna first wins.
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