Body Parts Game
Get everyone into groups of 4-6 people (as far as possible). Then the challenge is that you call out various body parts (tummy, hands, feet, knees, elbows, head, bottom etc) and the group have to get the correct amount of body parts touching the floor, and only those! In order to do this, the team are not allowed to stand on any furniture etc! So here are some examples (you can make up more):
5 hands, 6 feet
4 tummies, 2 feet
3 hands, 5 knees
3 hands, 3 feet, 1 elbow
5 elbows, 6 feet
Yes or No Circle
You read out a series of statements and the young people have to decide how much they agree with them or not. If they agree, they go to the centre of the room. If they disagree, they move to the edge of the room. If they’re 50/50 about what you say, they can stand between the middle and the edge etc. You can start with some fun questions and then move to more specifically themed questions if you want to…
1. Man Utd are the best football team in the world
2. The best band in the world are Coldplay (or replace with local/national/contemporary band)
3. The greatest person that ever lived was Jesus
4. The best movie ever made was Lord of the Rings (or replace with something else)
5. My favourite subject at school is science
6. The best kind of music is hip-hop
7. I really try to treat other people the way I’d like to be treated
8. Your statements here…
The group have to silently get into line in smallest – largest order in the following areas (for example, add your own…):
2. Hand size
3. Shoe size
In this game, the young people have to form shapes, letters and objects that could be seen from the sky. For example, if you were trapped on a desert island you may form the letters ‘SOS’ with stones so that a plane flying overhead could see the signal. What the students have to do is form these words with their bodies by lying down. So, the shapes etc are:
- the initials of their school, or your church / youth group – or the full name if it has a short name
- your initials
- someone’s name from in the group
Now tell them that they are trapped in the jungle and have to decide a method of transport to escape. There is a helicopter hovering overhead waiting to see what shape they form to know what vehicle to get to them to help them escape. The choices are:
- a car
- a motorbike
- an aeroplane
Make some more up at leisure and have fun. Thanks to MK at St Lukes for this idea.
The Indoor Circus
This works best with younger years or maybe with a group who know and are comfortable with each other. Use a room with chairs and maybe some staging and set up a ‘circus’ in the room. Except this circus is imaginary and has to be imagined by the arrangement of the room. So, what do we have in our circus..?
- Set up a stage and this is like a ‘dance mat’ where people can get up and do a dance.
- Set up some chairs in pairs, with 3-4 ‘pairs’ of chairs set up as a roller coaster.
- Have another area, fenced off in a square with chairs or benches and get the students to run around pretending they are dodgems (care needed!)
- Have a ‘prophecy teller’ where they can NOT tell fortunes, but ‘prophesy’ over each other!
- There can be another area which is shooting ducks (not real ones..) or a cocunut shy etc.
- A further area can be for buying candyfloss etc.
Add your own areas at leisure! 🙂
Very simple game this one. Divide the group into 2 equal teams. You’ll need a largish room for this game. Stand each of the team members next to each other, facing the other team members. Stand the teams around 20 metres apart. Each team is numbered off from 1 to whatever (eg a group of 20 has 2 teams of 10, each team numbered 1-10). In the centre of the room, you place a rag or a jumper etc. The rag effectively divides the room invisibly into 2 halves. When you call a number, the team member from each team with that number has to run to the centre of the room and grab the rag. Until one of them grabs the rag, the member of the opposing team may not step into the other ‘half’ of the room. As soon as one person grabs the rag they have to run back to their team line. The other team member has to touch them before they return to the team line. If the person who grabs the rag gets back to the team line without being touched, they are awarded 3 points. If they are caught, the catcher’s team gets 1 point. If someone goes into the opposition half before the rag is touched, the opposing team gets 1 point. After each ‘run’, the rag is centred again and another number called out..
Waking the Dead
In this game, everyone has to sit down on the floor in a circle with their shoes off. Everyone must have their eyes shut and keep them shut. One person is appointed to wake people from the dead. They do this by walking around as silently as possible and touching someone on the shoulder gently. The person touched opens their eyes and silently gets up. They then go and touch someone else on the shoulder as quietly as possible. When people have touched someone on the shoulder to ‘wake’ them, they stand back in the circle silently. Eventually only one person is left. Everyone creeps up to them silently, gathers around them and whispers their name. It’s fun!
Everyone stands in a circle facing inwards. This game is best where people know each other’s names. What happens is that you tell the group there is an imaginary line just in front of them. What they have to do is point to someone and call out their name, then step forward and walk towards that person. Once they start walking, the person who has been pointed at must point at another person, say their name and then start walking towards them. If someone is unable to say someone else’s name before they are reached, they are out of the game. If someone walks forward before saying someone’s name, they are also out of the game. Last couple / few people win the game!
Cat and Mouse
Game submitted by KW. To be played with a fairly large group (at least 12). One person is the cat, one person is the mouse. The job of the cat is to catch the mouse.
The game is played in a defined area (rectangle / square). The other members of the group line up in parallel lines and hold their arms out to their sides to form lines that the mouse and the cat can’t cross. The group cannot ‘break rank’ and put their arms down or allow the cat or mouse through. The cat and the mouse start at opposite ends of the grid.
BUT when you call out “switch”, everyone in the group has to turn to their left with their arms out still, to make the rows into columns. The cat and the mouse can run around the group but they have to stay in the grid. Call out “switch” whenever you want to, for example when the cat is about to catch the mouse!
The winner is when the cat catches the mouse, or when the mouse has survived for a long enough amount of time (say 1 minute).
Ice Cube Curling
If, like us, you have a building with a shiny or glossed surface, this game is for you. If you don’t, a plastic sheet will suffice. This game is very much like curling. So, you set up two ‘ends’ in a room. At one end of the room, you have a ‘target’ circle drawn on the floor. This is a circle that looks like an archery target. At the other end of the room, stand the players. The object of the game is to get your ice cube down on top of the target, as close to the centre as possible. Whoever is nearest wins the game. The reason we use ice cubes is that there is very little friction with a shiny surface, so they should glide down to the other end of the room no problems!
Your main problem here will be having enough ice cubes / storing the ice cubes. Fortunately we have a couple freezers in our church. Otheriwse, you’ll have to get a cool bag and store some in there (and play the game quickly!) Your other problem will be if you draw a target circle on the floor, then obviously the ice cubes may wash the target away. So either have a separate sheet with the target drawn on in permanent marker – or have another system to decide the winner (for example, as in the game below, having a ‘jack’ ball).
To add some spice to this game, you can arm other members of the team with mops to ‘wipe’ in front of the ice cube as it speeds its way down (hopefully) towards the target!
Very simple really. Just like bowls. You have a ‘jack’ ball which someone sends down to the other end of the room. Then, players have one ball each (or more than one ball each), which they have to roll to get nearest to the ‘jack’ ball. Whoever gets nearest once everyone has had a go wins! You can use all kinds of balls for this – squash, tennis, table tennis, bouncy balls.
Yes, another old classic. This time you have 2 teams lined up at each side of a room. Each member of the team has a number. You will need to have ‘made’ 2 separate rolled up / taped up newspapers. The function of the newspaper is to act as a ‘hockey stick’. You will also need to create 2 ‘goals’ at each end of the room. For example, you can use 2 tables turned on their sides with the ‘table’ side facing into the room. Then, with the 2 teams lining the sides of the room, you have the 2 newspaper ‘sticks’ laid out in the centre, along with a ‘ball’ or some other object to act as a ball. For amusement value, we used a doll. Then, with each member of each team having been numbered, you have a person call out random numbers. Each team needs to know which ‘goal’ they have to score in. As the numbers are called out, the 2 people with those numbers run to a ‘newspaper stick’ and try to bat the ball into the other person’s goal / defend it away from their goal. The game ends when the first team reaches a number (say 10), or when everyone’s had a go, or after a certain amount of time (5-10mins).
If you have an old church hall, or even a sports hall (or access to either), here’s a game which 2 of our students came up with (thanks to Joe R and Ross M). It is basically a game of squash, using a volleyball. The rules are that there are 2 (or more) players and the players have to hit the volleyball (with their hands / arms) against one of the walls. The ball is only allowed to have one bounce before the next player reaches the ball and hits it against the wall, etc. Just like squash. So, player one hits the ball with their hand against the wall, player 2 gets to the ball before it bounces twice and hits it against the wall. And so on. If the ball bounces twice before a player hits it, they are out of the game. Last player wins.
Big Games & Retro Games Night
This involves getting or making as many ‘big’ games as you can. You can add this into a ‘retro’ games night, using old classic games – such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Battleship, Uno and more..
If you are fortunate to have a scrapstore or a toy store near you, there may be an opportunity to hire out some big games such as giant jenga, or giant snakes and ladders.
If you can’t hire them, you can always innovate – use big dominoes as jenga, make your own snakes and ladders game by dividing up a large room into equal squares – with pieces of string or masking tape. Then use other pieces of tape to create snakes and ladders.
This basically involves getting every single person from the youth work or group together on a pitch and having a mass game of soccer / football. This should be as crowded and as small a pitch as is possible as that way it’s more fun! Just make sure you keep it fairly calm so that injuries don’t ensue as a result – we are not liable!!
Get 2 volunteers sitting on chairs about 4 metres apart with their backs to each other. They then have to balance a cup on their head. The rest of the students are put into two teams – facing each other between the two volunteers. The two teams then have to hit the other team’s cup off the head of the opposing team member using wet strips of newspaper or tissue. To defend their player / cup, the teams are allowed to make bats out of newspaper to defend. However, they must stay sitting on the floor. Thanks to Andy H. This is a combo of 2 games that worked very successfully in a youth club.
Thanks to Luke G and Pete B for this game. Very simple. You have a basketball net set up and a team of people around the front of the net. Using a softball or a volleyball, you have to hit the volleyball into the net – using volleyball style hitting of the ball. We allowed the ball to bounce once between players. This isn’t a team game, it’s more about the person who hits the ball up into the basketball net the most times in a set period of time.
Strangely enough, for this game you need to buy a couple packets (or boxes) of Maltesers. Thanks to Andy H, Chris D, Dan G, Luke G and Joe P for these..
1. Get individual or a bunch of young people to lie on their backs in a row. They each have a malteser and shut their mouth and put a malteser on their mouths. They then have to blow the malteser so it hovers in the air just above their mouth. The person who gets it to hover for the longest time wins! You’ll need to have someone assess this!
2. Malteser Rolling. OK, so this is the kind of thing we do at our band practices (!) and isn’t completely (or at all) hygienic! So here goes.. in our main church building we rolled a malteser each under the chairs and then had to find and eat the malteser! OK, so if you want to spice it up, every roll maltesers and eat as many as possible.
3. Malteser Rolling Part 2. This is something similar but without eating the malteser. We rolled a malteser each under the rows of chairs to see whose malteser would win the ‘race’ to the other end of the room.
Malteser Crazy Mini Golf
Set up a mini crazy golf course using maltesers and a straw. Each player (or golfer) has a malteser and a straw (for use as the ‘golf’ club) and you set up ‘holes’ for the participants to play.. The ‘hole’ bit of each hole of crazy mini golf is created by a semi circle of paper or cardboard which is attached to the ‘end’ of the hole facing the players.
Here are some examples of ‘holes’ you can create, you may have others you can think of while you ‘study’ the local crazy golf course!!
Hole 1 – Get the inside cardboard bit of a toilet roll. Then set up the roll so that it is between the players and the first ‘hole’. The players take their malteser, hit it with the straw through the loo roll and into the ‘hole’ on the other side.
Hole 2 – Create a small ramp by using some strong cardboard propped up to create a slope. At the top of the ‘slope’ put another ‘hole’ for players to putt into.
Hole 3 – Get another area of cardboard or plywood (etc.). Use straws and blue tac or sellotape to create a border around 3 of the edges of the cardboard. This is so when a malteser is ‘putted’ it won’t come off the board.
At one end of the board, create another hand-made ‘hole’ to putt the malteser in to. At the opposite end will be the start point for the ‘golfers’! Then, using other straws, create a’ zig zag’ course so that the malteser cannot be putted straight into the ‘hole’ – as in the diagram (or more complex if you want)
If you have a church building or youth club venue, this game is good for younger teens to have a bit of fun.
Basically you have to get around the church walls without people’s feet (or hands!) touching the floor. This is a timed exercise.
So, first up you need to decide a start point and an end point for the exercise. If your building doesn’t have little footholds, tables etc. up against the walls, you’ll need to place some against the walls (or maybe chairs etc.) Where there are big gaps that no-one could get across, you get sheets of newspaper and these act as ‘drop zones’ where people can stand to make their next move. It’s up to you whether these pieces of paper can be moved or not. Where people do touch the fllor
The winner of the game is the person who completes the course around the walls of the church without touching the floor, in the fastest time possible.
To make the game harder, you remove more objects to allow the students to get around the room. Of course, you do need to be very aware of safety issues and may want to ‘risk assess’ before you create the course in the interests of health and safety.
I also think it’s important that you join in the fun too (ha ha!) I like to do this kind of thing.
This was one of those moments I increasingly have when training up the ‘ lads youth worship’ band. These guys have progressed really far as a band and as a team and amazing to see God working in them. However, during our sessions, we always like to have a bit of fun.
This game requires a fairly (or very) polished floor and an obstacle course (in our case this was the chairs in the main church building). The game was simple. Take shoes off and ‘speed skate’ around the church as fast as possible. Fastest ‘speed skater’ wins the competition and the prize (whatever you choose the prize to be!) Great laugh.
Disclaimer – for this you may want to insist on some kind of padding for contestants. We accept no liabilities as a result of this. It should be fine, but we cannot be held responsible for any injuries, accidents, or anything..
So this isn’t always totally safe but it’s a bit of a laugh. Some of the lads invented this one (Chris, Ross, Pete, Joe, Dan). You take the top part of a skate board and you find a floor with low resistance / low friction. The competition is to put the skate board top on the floor at a set point. Make sure there is plenty room in front and around the skate board.
The contestants then get a short distance to run up to the skate board, jump on it and see how far they can ‘skate glide’ along the floor. The one who goes the furthest, the most stylish, the best tricks etc. wins the competition. You could even do this outside on wet grass.
Independence Day Bash
Yep, US Independence Day is every July 4. OK, so I know it celebrates them beating us in a war of independence but hey! Have a social with all things American..so maybe have American sports on offer (basketball, baseball, US football etc) Then have hamburgers for all. All prices for tuck are in dollars and cents. You could even get some US dollars and exchange them – get people in the church to chip in their unused cents and quarters for change. Only US music is allowed to be played (pretty much half the charts anyway..) Then US language is to be used. People are penalized for using English terms and have to undertake American forfeits (sing the US anthem, impersonate George W Bush or a famous American etc). You can finish off with American comedy such as Friends etc.
Bizarre Sports Night
Have a load of games, combining sports that already exist. For example, play cricket with a hockey stick, hockey with a basketball, play basketball with a tennis ball, play volleyball with a tennis ball, and so on. Go on, make up some games, sure there are some betters ones that the ones I’ve suggested, but it gets you thinking!!
You can hire ice rinks, no really, like the ones you get in town centres at Christmas. Why not hire one of these, we’re going to do this soon. I’ve even heard of a village hall in Devon doing this. Look, Devon ain’t cutting edge in anything except grass so if they can do it, so can you! For one company I’ve found click here
I like food, you like food, we all like food. And hey, we’re becoming one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the world. What better time to try the cuisine of different countries (no offence, but not Lithuanian, please! Lovely country and people, but it was nice to get to a McDonalds!)
Anyway, why not have nights where you sample different flavas – Indian, Chinese, British, American, African (I don’t know the foods of individual African countries except South Africa, sorry!), Russian, and so on! Yes please! Stuck for doing them, get someone in or order in! Thanks to Matt G for this idea.
Just as it sounds. Snooker in a big hall, using oversized snooker balls and brooms for cues. A snooker or pool table is drawn up with masking tape or by using some kind of fencing. Then create ‘holes’ as on a pool table which may be as simple as being where the masking tape or fencing isn’t (!) Then get 2 teams and using the broom handle they have to pot the balls in the pockets as in pool. Simple, stupid and yet effective!
Quick Team Challenge
Like a scavenger hunt game but it has to happen quickly. Have 2 teams or more and then design several challenges that all teams can do quickly in the vicinity of the place where you are (church, home etc.) Then you give the teams the first challenge and see who does it quickly. This is like that game where you ask people for bootlaces etc. but more challenging..
For example, you could set them a crossword, a maths problem, get them to construct something, to find something hidden, to create something, do a drawing, get an exact weight of something and so on. Be creative and set different types of challenge to relate to all abilities
In a small-ish group (5-25) get round in a circle and face the person next to you. Then, as a group sit down on the person behind. It is important to get tight together for this one so that as you sit on each other, the circle stays intact. If you can, start to walk round in the circle as a group.
Again get a group in a circle. This time, everyone has to hold each other’s hand. Then, while still holding hands, people have to jumble themselves up. This means people going under each other’s arms, legs and basically making themselves into a complex mess – but still holding hands. One person or all the people then has to try and untangle the mess – without anyone breaking hands!
Balloon basketball (2 variations)
Divide the group up into 2 teams (not girls vs boys necessarily). Take around 9 balloons. Only one balloon is in play at a time. At one end of the room/hall, stand 1 young person from one team on a chair armed with a drawing pin or needle – with 1 young person from the opposing team at the other end of the room, also armed with a needle.
The object of the game is for each team to get the balloon to their person on the chair who will pop the balloon. This scores a basket/goal/point. The teams are not allowed to run with the balloon, only to pass it via hitting it. If a team bursts the balloon a basket is awarded to the opposition. The team with the highest points wins.
The variation is to have the 2 young people on chairs fold their arms as if they are a basket (instead of having a needle). The teams then have to score in their own ‘basket’ to score. As with the first version of the game, the opposition actively tries to stop this!
A variation of this is to put a load of balloons inside a black garbage bag and use that as the ‘ball’!
This is a favourite with some of our local teenagers. You need a fairly large room and a volleyball net (or something resembling it – a piece of string can work). There are 2 teams, on either side of the net.
The game is exactly like volleyball except that the ball (usually a cheap plastic football) is allowed to be sent back over the net via someone’s foot, head or hand. The other exception is that the ball is allowed to bounce once each time it comes over the net. If it bounces twice or hits the wall behind the opposing team, points go to the other side.
Footie volleyball 2
This is the same as the footie volleyball game above. Except..
This time round you constantly change the rules to confuse, bemuse and generally frustrate the teams. Some of our rules we made up on the spot included:
– you have to pair or have three of you holding arms else you can’t return the ball over the net
– each team has to get the ball over the net in a different style (eg ninja)
– each time you win a point the team has to do a different football style celebration each time
– you cannot use your hands
– you cannot use your legs
– only girls / only lad
Murder in the dark
Not quite as disturbing as it sounds! This game is only really suitable in Winter or at night. In our church we have quite a few halls. What happens is that one young person (or more commonly, a leader!) stays in a room. The young people go off around various parts of the church to hide in the dark. After a count, the leader goes to find the young people. As and when they are found, they (are supposed to) return to the room, having been ‘murdered.’ In practice they usually hide somewhere else until forced to return to the room. All part of the fun!
Blow up a load of balloons and attach them to pieces of string. The string should have at least 30cm (1 foot) of twine left having been tied to the balloon. Everyone in the room ties the string (and attached balloon) to a leg. The object of the game is to burst everyone else’s balloon without yours being popped!
Ball under the chair
Get a load of chairs and put them in a circle facing outwards. There should be a chair for each member of the group. Split into 2 groups if you need to. Everyone playing should kneel down on the chair facing inwards. Get hold of a soccer ball sized ball preferably foam. The object of the game is to get the ball under someone else’s chair legs. They can defend themselves only with their hands/arms. If they ball goes under your chair you are out. Obviously you need suitable chairs. The games works better the smaller the circle
Tag and run
Get everyone into two teams in a medium-sized hall. The 2 teams stand at opposite ends of the room, facing the wall (away from each other). The object of the game is for someone from 1 team to sneak up to someone on the opposing team and tag them on the back. They then have to get back to their line (at the opposite end of the hall) before the tagged person catches them. If the tagged person doesn’t catch the one who tagged them, they join the tagger’s team. If they do, the tagger joins the other team. The 2 teams take it in turn to do this. Winner is the side with the most people on after a set amount of time
One of many names. Basic stuff – get everyone to stand in a hall. Two leaders have two soft balls and they have to throw it at the contestants. If it hits someone below the knee they are out. Last person standing wins