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From recent experience, the biggest challenge you face as a parent trying to plan a birthday party for your about-to-be 13-year-old is working out exactly what teenagers actually find fun. Having been through it, I thought I’d help other parents out by putting together a list of party games for 13-year-olds that actually meet with teen approval.
PARTY GAMES 13-YEAR-OLDS ACTUALLY LOVE
13 years old may well be the first of the teen years, but it’s a year where our sons and daughters are oscillating backwards and forwards between still being little kids one minute and very grown-up teenagers the next.
If you are planning a traditional kind of birthday party and want to include some party games, try and strike a balance between entertaining and challenging. Newly minted teens love games where they can flex their skills alongside having fun with their friends.
The teen years can be an awkward time for many kids, so try and include games that encourage interaction and teamwork to help get the party going and make sure that everyone feels included and able to have fun.
I’ve put together a roundup of party games, from classic games with a creative twist to brand-new games that will ensure your teenager and their friends will thoroughly enjoy the party. These games work equally well for 13-year-old boys and 13-year-old girls.
POPULAR BIRTHDAY PARTY GAMES FOR 13-YEAR-OLDS
Twister is a classic party game that is great for 13-year-olds who know each other pretty well. It pretty much guarantees plenty of fun and laughter. It can be played indoors or outdoors.
To play: Players need to follow the game caller’s instructions on where to place either their hands or feet on certain colours on the mat. The game gets increasingly challenging as players twist their bodies to avoid falling over. The last person standing is the winner.
Charades is another party game that is popular with 13-year-olds. It is a great game to add to the party mix to encourage creativity and teamwork.
To play: Players are divided into teams, with each team member taking turns acting out a word or phrase without speaking while the rest of the team tries to guess what they are acting out. Charades can be made more challenging by using specific themes, such as movies or books, or by setting a time limit. Or you can even buy Speed Charades to really set the party guests a challenge.
3. WINK MURDER
Wink Murder is a fairly chill game that is also a fully-fledged classic party game that is always a hit. It’s the combination of stealth and cunning that means teenagers love the challenge of it.
To play: You need to have a set of paper chits with ‘murderer’ written on one of them. Fold the chits and put them in a bowl. Every player takes a chit and assembles in a circle.
The game begins once everyone has seen whether they have the ‘murderer’ chit. The main rule of the game is that everyone must maintain eye contact. Meanwhile, the murderer has to try and wink at fellow players to ‘murder’ them without anyone else seeing.
If a player is winked at, they must pretend to die in whatever way they see fit, either very quietly or very dramatically.
The aim of the game is for the group to identify the wink ‘murderer’. If the murderer is accused, the rest of the players win, but if the murderer stays undetected, they win.
4. SCAVENGER HUNT
If you are looking for a really creative party game for your 13-year-old and their pals to play, look no further than a scavenger hunt!
Scavenger hunts are super popular at the moment, and it is easy to see why. A good scavenger hunt is both entertaining and full of adventure. The brilliant thing about choosing to include a treasure hunt as part of the party entertainment is that you can tailor the hunt to your party theme and make it as easy or challenging as you like.
To play: There are several steps involved in setting up a good scavenger hunt, so I thought I’d spell them out for you:
- Pick a safe and appropriate location for the age group; it can be around your home, in the garden or somewhere out and about.
- Write clues that will lead the participants to the next location. Make them challenging but not too difficult. After all, this is a party game, so it’s meant to be fun!
- Hide the clues: Hide the clues in the designated locations.
- Divide the party guests into teams.
- Give each team the first clue and let them start the hunt.
- Set a time limit for the game, and make sure to keep track of time.
- Once the game is over, award prizes to the winning team.
To make the scavenger hunt more interesting, incorporate riddles or clues to help teams locate items. You can also ask teams to take photographs or shoot short videos completing the assigned tasks.
5. TRUTH OR DARE
Truth or Dare is another classic party game that teens have enjoyed for generations. It’s a great game to play at a party where the kids know each other fairly well and are keen to bond further because it encourages them to open up and share stuff with each other.
To play: Ask the party guests to sit in a circle and place an empty bottle or another spinning object in the middle.
One by one, each teen spins the bottle. The person it points to must choose between answering a truth question honestly or performing a daring task. Teens can take turns coming up with truth questions and dare to keep the game going.
6. WOULD YOU RATHER?
Would You Rather is a thought-provoking game that teenagers love. Players are given two choices, often with difficult or comical decisions, and must decide which option they prefer.
To play: Prepare a list of age-appropriate ‘Would You Rather’ questions and encourage the teenage party guests to elaborate on their choices. You can add a competitive element by asking party guests to try and predict their friends’ responses and reward points for correct guesses.
I’ve put together a list of the best would you rather questions for teens that you can use to prepare the list for your party.
7. EGG TOSS
Egg Toss is a game that needs to be played outdoors! It’s one of those simple but effective games that brings out the competitive side in most teens who play it. The aim of the game is to catch the egg without making a mess!
To play: Team the party guests up into pairs. Give each pair a raw egg and get each pair to stand a meter apart. After each successful catch, each pair has to take a stride back from each other and then throw the egg again.
The last pair still throwing an unbroken egg wins.
8. MINUTE TO WIN IT GAMES
Minute to Win It games are hugely popular with teens of all ages, so should go down well with a bunch of 13-year-olds.
Minute to Win It games are short, engaging games that challenge participants to complete tasks within a 60-second time limit. These games are perfect for 13-year-olds, particularly teens who are competitive nature.
To play: Here are some examples of popular Minute to Win It games include:
- Junk in the Trunk: Attach a tissue box filled with ping pong balls to the back of the player’s waist, and they have to shake their hips to get all the balls out of the box.
- Face the Cookie: Place a cookie on each player’s forehead, and they have to move their face to get the cookie into their mouth without using their hands.
- Cup Stacking: Stack cups in a pyramid and then unstack them as quickly as possible.
- Stack Attack: Players have to stack cups using only one hand and then unstack them using the other hand.
- Nose Dive: Players have to transfer cotton balls from one bowl to another using only petroleum jelly on their noses.
- Chopstick Challenge: Players have to pick up pasta using chopsticks and transfer it to another bowl.
- Cereal Box Tower: Players have to stack cereal boxes on top of each other without them falling over.
- Ping Pong Bounce: Players have to bounce ping pong balls into a cup and get as many as possible in a minute.
- Balloon Pop: Players have to pop as many balloons as possible in a minute.
- Paper Airplane: Players have to make a paper aeroplane and see how far it can fly.
- Donut on a String: Players have to eat a donut off a string without using their hands.
- Marshmallow Toss: Players have to toss marshmallows into a cup as many times as possible in a minute.
- Hula Hoop Challenge: Players have to keep a hula hoop going for as long as possible.
- Pencil Flip: Players have to flip a pencil and catch it on the back of their hand.
- Spoon and Egg: Players have to carry an egg on a spoon from one end of the room to the other without dropping it.
- Water Bottle Flip: Players have to flip a water bottle and get it to land upright.
- Straw Suck: Players have to suck up M&Ms using a straw and transfer them to another bowl.
- Cotton Ball Blow: Players have to blow cotton balls across a table and into a cup.
- Dice Stack: Players have to stack dice on top of each other using a chopstick.
- Cup Blow: Players have to blow a cup across a table and into a designated
9. NAME THAT TUNE
13-year-olds are starting to have really strong opinions about the music they like and love. This is the age that fandom can really kick in, so it’s the perfect age for playing Name That Tune.
To play: You will need to do your homework beforehand and put together a playlist of songs popular with your teen and their friends, alongside popular songs from previous years and decades to mix things up.
Divide the party guests into teams, then play a short snippet of the first song and challenge the teams to be the first to shout out what the title of the song is and who it is sung by.
The team with the most correct answers at the end of the game wins.
10. COOKIE FACE
Cookie Face is a great party game to include if you want to keep your party budget down. All you need is some cookies.
To play: Give each party guest a cookie and ask them to place it on their forehead. The aim of the game is to move the cookie from the forehead to the mouth using only facial muscles.
Players can lean back, scrunch their faces, and wiggle around to get the cookie to fall into their mouths. This game is as much fun to watch as it is to play.
I hope this list of the top ten party games for 13-year-olds gets you off to a good start with your party planning. I’ve got a post with a roundup of 28 brilliantly fun party games for teens that will also be really useful.
Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Plus I create beautiful party printables, from invites to party games. Read more.