Please raise your hand if you have ever found yourself with a group of bored teens when the weather squashes your outdoor plans or, you have downtime in the evening during your trip. Like the time we had an unexpected snowstorm while on youth retreat with 50 middle and high school youth and all of our outdoor activities were canceled. Then there's the time I found myself at Taize in France trying to get teens from several different countries to connect with each other when we finished our community work early.
The following activities are just a few of the ways we beat boredom while traveling with a group of teens.
1. PLAY GAMES: The number one way to beat boredom on the road is to play games. Playing games can break the ice and bring everyone together for some quality time. We've played traditional board games, cards and depending on where we are even video games. But hands down, our favorite is the get up and move around group games that usually have everyone laughing and talking by the end of the game.
Check out some of the ones that have been a hit on our trips:
TRADITIONAL BOARD GAMES:
Apples to Apples each round Is filled with surprising and outrageous comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things and events.
Balderdash contains several cards with real words nobody has heard of. After one of those words has been read aloud, players try to come up with definitions that at least sound plausible.
Some of the top board games are now available for playing on apps. Couldn’t bring a game with you, pick one up at a local thrift store and leave it behind for the next group of bored teens.
CARD GAMES: There are so many card games but some of our favorites are UNO, Spoon, Go Fish, and BS.
GROUP GET UP AND MOVE AROUND GAMES:
Norwegian Foot Game this was taught to our group at Taize by students from Norway. By the end of the game we were all laughing and couldn't wait to play another round.
Here are the steps to play:
1. Make a circle and hold hands.
2. Pick someone to start. (We usually choose the youngest or the oldest.) This person moves his/her foot and puts it beside the person’s foot to his/her right, so that their feet are touching.
3. Then that person moves his/her foot to the next foot to their right and so on.
The point of the game is to try to stay in balance, stretch your legs as far as possible but do not fall down. If you fall down, you are out of the game. In the end, the last person left standing wins.