BGCA sunset the Year of the Teen Director’s App to consolidate practices, tips, and all other content in the YD Toolbox app and here on the Club Experience Blog. We will be featuring some of the articles that appeared in the app here (with updates!), as well as content just for staff who work with teens. Just search for the tag “teens” to find them all!
We asked Teen Directors across the country what games their teens love, and THEY DELIVERED. Here are three games that are low-prep and teen approved!
This game combines the excitement and thrill of dodgeball with the size and speed of foursquare.
Materials Needed: Kickball or dodgeball, pit materials (see below)
Building the pit: In Nashua, we use eight, 6-foot-long folding tables to create the pit. Tables are laid on their sides to create an octagon-shaped pit. (Other pits can be more permanent and generally found outside.) Folding tables are easy to set up, tear down and common to most Clubs. If you want to build your own, GaGa pit designs are easily found online.
How to Play: Throw the ball to hit opponents’ legs (knee down) with the ball to be last person standing. You can add rules to get out, too, like hitting the ball out of the pit, or catching the ball midair ala dodgeball and foursquare. Some variations allow players to return after being eliminated.
GaGa allows as many players as you like, so there’s not much waiting around, just lots of action. Go GaGa!
Here’s more on how to play:
Submitted by Joseph Maryanski, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua
Pass the Hoop
If you’ve been to a CDA, you’ll recognize this one!
Materials Needed: Hula hoop(s), timer/stopwatch
How to Play: Gather participants in a circle and hold hands to close the circle. One person will start the game by placing the hula hoop on their arm. Each person must move the hoop across their body to pass it on to the next person without disconnecting hands.
Time the group to see how long it takes to move the hoop completely around the circle. Give youth one minute to strategize, then go around again and see if they can improve their time. Variation: Have two competing teams.
Like this, but in a circle instead of a line!
Submitted by Zach Piggot, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickan Teen Center
Name That Tune
On days when you don’t have the gym available, here’s a fun one.
Materials Needed: Music playlist (keep it appropriate 😉 ), speakers, something to write on and with (paper, white boards, pencils, etc.)
How to Play: Separate teens into groups, from 2-6 people. Give each group something to write on and with, and spread the teams around the room. As facilitator, stand in the middle of the room. Play a song from your playlist. The first group to write down the name of the song (and artist for advanced level if you choose) and run to you with the right answer gets a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!
Submitted by Ashley Skaggs, Boys & Girls Club of Benton County
What are your teen’s favorite games? What other tips and ideas do you have for teen programming? Let us know by commenting below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or by emailing ClubXBlog@bgca.org.