What are some effective communication activities for teenagers?

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In this blog we list out some effective communication activities for teens.

We also discuss why communication skills are important and what are communication activities that can be used with teens to teach them effective skills.

What are some effective communication activities for teenagers?

Activities, exercises, and games that can teach students, teenagers, children and other members to communicate more effectively are known as communication activities.

Some effective communication activities for teenagers include:

  • Stand up for fillers
  • Blindfold game
  • Drawn Understanding
  • Find it together
  • The guessing game
  • You don’t say
  • Mimes or charades
  • Situation samples
  • Eye contact

Why is communication important?

Communication is an important aspect of development in any individual and even more so for teenagers who are going through many changes at this stage in their lives. 

Some of these profound changes include emotional development, cognitive development, as well as awareness of their own rights and their own selves. 

Ineffective communication has been linked to psychological implications that can impact one’s quality of life.

Communication is so important because it helps curious teenagers know what is happening around them as well as express their needs effectively which can lead to a higher sense of self-efficacy and self esteem.

When a teenager is unable to communicate effectively their needs be it emotional, physical, and psychological needs are not being met which lead them to struggle emotionally and physically- especially in terms of social relationships and satisfaction. 

Effective communication skills equip teenagers with the ability to have their needs met by effectively expressing them and assertively standing up for themselves as well. 

It can help parent and teenager relationships develop in more positive ways as they are taught what kind of communication allows them to get what they need or want- usually modelling assertive communications styles. 

What are Communication activities?

Activities, exercises, and games that can teach students, teenagers, children, and staff members of schools and other institutional settings to communicate more effectively are known as communication activities. 

In most settings, adults decide the communication style and social norms because they model a certain style of communication. Sometimes, these norms and styles are unhealthy and ineffective which can lead to various functioning problems in the young people as they learn how to navigate through life and the world around them. 

These communication activities teach teenagers- younger and older- more effective ways of listening to each other, speaking, expressing, and problem solving that allows them to express their needs while also respecting each other’s rights.

Let us look at some effective communication activities for teenagers.

Stand Up for Fillers

This activity is aimed to eliminate fillers in conversation or in public speaking. Each student is given a topic that they want to talk about for about 1-3 minutes. 

As they speak, students in the class will be instructed to stand or raise their hands every time they hear fillers in the speech.

What happens in this exercise is that the entire class is actively listening and at the same time the speaker is aware of the fillers they are using so it helps them to be mindful of what they are saying as they stand in front of an audience.

Blindfold Game

For this exercise you will need to create an obstacle course with items in the classroom, like desks and chairs, bags etc. 

Now, sort the class into groups where one of the members in each group is blindfolded and the rest of the team gets to decide how to communicate to their team members from their seats.

The communication should help the blindfolded member navigate through the course after which the class engages in a discussion on what made the best communication style and why, 

Drawn Understanding

For this group, divide the teens into pairs and have two students sit back-to-back. 

One individual has an object and the other has colored pencils and paper. Ask the teen with the object to describe the object with as much detail as they can without telling them what it is while the second teen draws the object based on what they hear and what is communicated to them.

Find It Together

Divide the group into two pairs where one of the teens in each pair is blindfolded and the other guides the blindfolded teen. 

The goal is to communicate and give directions to help the blindfolded pair to retrieve an object from a designated part of the room before the other teams get to the object. 

After the activity, ask the teens to get into a discussion about the following topics:

  • Voice recognition
  • Team work
  • Overcoming distractions
  • Volume control etc
  • Trust 

The Guessing Game

This activity is designed to help teenagers understand the difference between open and closed questions.

Divide the group equally and from each group one person will leave the room and think of an object that can be found in the classroom or the room. 

Next, teach the students what open ended and close ended questions are and ask the students in the groups to ask close ended questions to the individual which can only be answered with a yes or a no.

Time them and note down how long it takes each group to find or identify the object. After this activity ask the students what open ended question they could ask if they had no time and had only one shot.

The most probable answer they will give or they could give is “what is the object?” explain to them what questions fit what situations and why a certain type of question is more useful in various situations,

You Don’t Say

Divide the group into smaller groups of four or five and ask them to write a list of non-verbal communication. The list can include:

  • Leaning back in a chair with arms crossed;
  • Leaning forward in a chair;
  • Smiling;
  • Frowning;
  • Yawning;
  • Nodding;
  • Tapping fingers on the table;
  • Looking at your watch;
  • Staring around the room;

Have the smaller groups act out these behaviours and interpret the meaning behind each non-verbal communication behaviours and ask them to write their understanding down. 

Ask the participants to share their understandings and start a discussion around the topic of how non-verbal communication is also an important aspect of human interaction and communication.

Mimes or Charades

Have a list of topics prepared and let the group of teens be divided into pairs where one partner acts out the topic while the other guesses out the topic. 

Situation Samples

This activity will involve devising various scenarios where assertive communication can be demonstrated and learned. 

Some scenarios can include:

  • Your teacher gave you a paper you think is less than what your paper deserved.
  • Someone calls you names.
  • There are two people blocking your way as they have a conversation
  • There is someone sitting at your assigned seat
  • Your friend is not allowing you to put your point across.

For each situation, ask the teens to act out in various communication styles- passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and finally when they are able to pick out the differences, introduce them to the assertive style and let them play out the scenarios again. 

Eye Contact Circle

This exercise gets the teens to learn an essential nonverbal skill by creating a circle with a group of teens where the same question is asked to everyone. 

The question can be as simple as “what is your favourite colour?” and as they answer they must make and maintain eye contact with someone after which they call them out and switch places from the circle. 

All of these movements and changes are done while eye contact is maintained.

Conclusion

In this blog we listed out some effective communication activities for teens.

We have also discussed why communication skills are important and what are communication activities that can be used with teens to teach them effective skills.

How do you teach teenagers communication skills?

Ways to teach teens communication skills include:

  • Model positive communication skills
  • Take time and make time to talk and listen to them
  • When you listen, listen actively and model that for them.
  • Teach them good listening skills through activities
  • Explain what body language is
  • Strengthen vocabulary though movies, books, video etc
  • Teach them assertive communication

What are some communication activities?

Some effective communication activities to teach communication skills include:

  • Stand up for fillers
  • Blindfold game
  • Drawn Understanding
  • Find it together
  • The guessing game
  • You don’t say
  • Mimes or charades
  • Situation samples
  • Eye contact

What are communication activities for families with children?

Activities that help improve communication are important tools that are used to help family members express their needs, empathise, and understand each other. 

Some of these effective activities include:

  • Family meetings
  • HInt of Anger
  • Assertive communication worksheets
  • Precision communication activity.

What are five types of communication?

The various types of communication include:

  • Verbal Communication which involves speaking verbally
  • Non-Verbal Communication which involves what our body is doing as we communicate and interact with others
  • Written Communication vial, mail, email, messages etc etc
  • Listening to others as we speak si also a form of communication
  • Visual Communication though images and pictures like memes and even emojis.

What are the 7 C communication skills?

According to the seven Cs of effective communication, when you communicate with others- you speak, type, or send letters and emails etc, the communication needs to be: clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.

What are communication tools?

Communication tools are tools that one uses to aid communication, there are a wide variety of communication tools that are used for external and internal communication. 

  • These tools include:
  • Post/mail
  • Email
  • Telephones
  • Cell phones
  • Smartphones
  • Computers
  • Video and web conferencing
  • Social networking
  • Social media 
  • News networking

How can I improve my communication skills?

Here are a few things you can do to improve communication skills:

  • Listen, listen, and listen. 
  • Who you are talking to matters. 
  • Body language matters. 
  • Check your message before you send it.
  • Be brief and specific. 
  • Write things down before you say it
  • Sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone instead of relying on text.
  • Think before you speak.

References:

Ackerman.CE. 49 Communication Activities, Exercises, and Games. Positive psychology, Retrieved on 8th February 2022.https://positivepsychology.com/communication-games-and-activities/

Miller.K. 39 Communication Games and Activities for Kids, Teens, and Students. Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 8th February 2022.https://positivepsychology.com/communication-activities-adults-students/

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