Keep a group of preteens busy with fun games. Preteens are not quite teens, but too old for childish games. Games will keep the tweens busy and build their bonding skills. A few inexpensive supplies and a creative imagination are all you need to create games for a preteen birthday party, gathering or social event. Awarding prizes to all game winners will keep the tweens interested in playing the games.
Have an adult take the tweens to a local mall for a scavenger hunt. Divide the tweens into two teams and give each team an identical scavenger list with items like a store receipt, a hanger, a credit-card application, loose button and a merchandise bag. The first team to bring 20 of 25 scavenger list items back to the adult wins the game. For another scavenger hunt, try a neighborhood hunt. Send an adult with each team. Have the teams go door to door retrieving items like an old shoe, roll of toilet paper, red nail polish and a candy bar. The first team to get each item on their list wins the game.
Divide the players into teams of three or four. Give each team a roll of aluminum foil, plastic wrap and tape. The players have 30 minutes to design as many fashion outfits as they can using only the items provided. After 30 minutes, award prizes to the best, funniest, scariest and most creative outfits. For a variation, give the tweens toothpicks, marshmallows and pretzels. Tell them to design the tallest and strongest building using the items provided.
Play a game of hanging donut outside with several donuts and string. Hang several donuts on a string at mouth level for each player. The players must each stand in front of a donut. When you say, "Go," the players must place their hands behind their back and eat the donuts. The first player that eats all of his donut wins the game. For another messy food game, place a piece of gum in the bottom of several plastic bowls. Place one bowl in front of each party guest and cover the gum with whipped cream. The players must place their hands behind their backs. The first player to get the gum, chew it up and blow a bubble wins the game.
Tell the tweens to select a partner and give each team a raw egg. Have the partners stand facing each other, 5 feet apart. When you say, "Toss," the players must toss the eggs to their partners. If they do not catch the egg or it breaks, they are out of the game. If they catch the egg, they must take one giant step back and toss again. The players who can toss the egg the farthest without breaking it wins the game. A variation to this game is to use water balloons instead of eggs.