Balloons are great for indoor games because unlike balls, they don’t fly through the air at high rates of speed with a ton of force behind them. Their unpredictable movement makes balloon games especially fun to watch.
Blow up 3 balloons. Each person takes turns trying to keep the 3 balloons in the air as long as possible. The juggler cannot hold any of the balloons for more than a split second but can use any body part to tap the balloons to keep them off the ground.
Have players pair off. Each pair gets one balloon and must keep it in the air by only blowing on it. Players are not allowed to make physical content with the ballons at all. The team that keeps their balloon in the air the longest, wins.
Plastic Cup Games
I always have a supply of plastic cups on hand for impromptu parties so these are some of our favorite go-to games. The only thing you need other than the cups is a table to play them on (e.g. the kitchen table).
Pyramid Stack Race
Each player gets 36 cups. When time starts (declare “go” or blow a whistle) each player must construct a pyramid with the cups with a base of 8 cups, each row containing one less cup until the top row completes the pyramid with a single cup. The first player to complete his or her pyramid wins. If you don’t have enough table space or cups, have just 2-4 people compete at a time in heats and then have winners of each heat compete against one another.
Line up 20 cups along the edge of a table. Each player must knock down all of the cups using only their breath (variation: give the players an uninflated balloon and have them blow up the balloon and use the air as it releases from the balloon to knock down the cups). The player that accomplishes the task the fastest wins.
Give each player a stack of 25 cups. The cup on the bottom of the stack should either be a different color than the other cups in the stack or should be marked so that it is visibly different than the other cups. Players must remove the top cup from the stack and place it on the bottom and continue doing so until the unique cup is once again on the bottom of the stack. For added difficulty, require that the players alternate which hand they use to grab each cup as they move the cups from the top of the stack to the bottom. The player that does this task the fastest wins.
If you have a super competitive group of kids, winning the games will be its own prize. However, my son insisted that we reward each winner with something so I opted for candy. I bought an assortment of the movie-theater style boxes at Walmart (M&Ms, Skittles, Junior Mints, Swedish Fish, etc.) and let the winners choose their prize.
Every teen I know (both boys and girls) always have some sort of lip balm and a pack of gum on them (apparently they’re ready to kiss at a moment’s notice) so these would be good prizes as well.
For girls, little bottles of nail polish or travel size bottles of lotion or hand sanitizer are a good choice.
If you’re willing to spend a little more on prizes, you can offer gift cards to places teens like to hang out or shop. These can vary from $5 to $50 depending on your budget (e.g. movies vs bowling alley, Chick-fil-A vs Outback Steakhouse, Walmart vs Buckle).
If you liked these ideas, check out my post Fun Games for Teenagers for even more ideas.
For indoor teen party ideas read “New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Teens” that includes food, entertainment, and extras.