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Picnic Games For Teens

Written by Soleil Ho
Find great outdoor games for teenagers that have been kid-tested by the outdoor fun experts at Picnic World.

Many parents can tell you that successfully entertaining a teenager is one of life’s great challenges. (And using a phone to do it doesn’t count.) Just one sulking couch potato can bring down the mood of any family get-together. If you’re out of ideas for games and entertaining diversions for your almost-grown kids, take a look at our teen-tested list of picnic activities.

The picnic that you’ve been planning all weekend should be fun for everyone, and the bonding experience that it can potentially become will be worth all of the effort you put into it. Some of them might even fit in your picnic basket! Try one or two of these games with your kids, and let us know if they’ve made a difference.

Childhood Updates

Giant Jenga

This is really easy to put together and transport! Giant Jenga is a great update to a classic game: it’s bigger and more challenging than the tabletop version. You can buy a premade set or build one yourself from wood pieces or cardboard. The game’s nostalgia factor is really attractive, and will inspire competition and excitement at any outdoor gathering!

Water Balloon Hot Potato

Thrill your family with a high-stakes version of hot potato. This works really well at the beach, too! The water balloon adds a lot more tension to the game, and we can’t guarantee that it won’t devolve into an all-out water balloon fight by the end.

Egg-and-Spoon Race

Though it’s always been a favorite of elementary school field day festivities, the egg-and-spoon race is easy to improve for teenagers. If your picnic site has enough room for it, you can extend the length of the race to account for bigger bodies.

Teen Favorites

Seed Spitting Contest

It’s gross and competitive, and your teenaged kids will love it. The classic pastime for porch-sittin’ grandparents has an appeal that transcends age, and it also makes for great photo opportunities.

Selfie Contest

Is there anything more interesting to a teen than taking selfies? Engage your kids’ creative impulses by sending them off into nature to take selfies with their phones, scavenger hunt-style. Ask them to take selfies in front of squirrels, sleeping sunbathers, or trees etched with hearts.

Capture the Flag

Any kid who’s played a first-person shooter game has played capture the flag. Bring it into the real world with water guns and hidden flags! Works best with a lot of kids.

College Prep

Ladderball, Bocce Ball, Bean Bag Toss

These favorite games of frat houses across the nation are enjoyed for good reason: they’re easy to play and provide good opportunities for kids to chat with each other. Assembly is really simple as well, since you only need the barest of gear to play. You can even improvise the ladderball and bean bag toss games with pre-existing architecture at your picnic site!

Ultimate Frisbee

All you need is a frisbee—it’s that simple! This young sport adapts football rules to frisbee and is great for exercising bodies as well as team spirit. Your kids will enter college at a huge advantage if they already know how to play, too: many schools have thriving Ultimate Frisbee teams.

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