The Source for Youth Ministry

Games & Icebreakers

Anywhere Games
Games that don't require a big room

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Back to Top $1000 Bill Exchange
For this game you need to make your own money on your computer (be sure it's clearly phony or it might be a federal offense). Give each person 10 of the bills. They are to try to win as many as possible from their peers by challenging them one on one doing one of three things:

Thumb wrestling
Rock, paper, scissors
Flipping a coin

    You must accept any challenge
    Sudden death, no two out of three
    Challenger has to have a coin and is "heads" on the coin toss.
*If you are unable or don't want to make play money, see Penny Challenge (Click Here); it's similar but uses a bunch of pennies.

Also see Top Dollar (Click Here).
Back to Top 12 Days of Christmas
Note: It is great to have a live band for this game, but it is not completely necessary. A CD and CD player will work.

We told the audience to huddle together in 12 different groups. The groups can be of any size, as long as they are relatively the same size. Each group is assigned one gift from the song. For instance, a partridge in a pear tree, 9 lords a leaping, etc. As we played and sang the song “12 days of Christmas” the kids in each group had to act out what was sung in that verse as the leader pointed to them. The group needs to come up with their own actions or routines, etc. The game lasts as long as the music does, of course.

You may want to give a prize to the group that comes up with the funniest, best, most original gesture for the “gift” that they are assigned.
Back to Top A Song For My Leader
This is a fantastic way to help strengthen the relationships between the teenagers and the adult leaders that serve in your youth ministry. Here’s what you do.

Divide the kids into teams of 4-5 (based on how many kids you have, and how many adult leaders you have). Have each group of students write a song of at least 15 lines long about one of the leaders set to the tune of a children's song, like “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” (Any well-known song will work.)

Tell the students that the best song will win a prize, and they get extra points for including:
1. Their leader’s middle name
2. The state they were born in
3. The leader’s occupation

Give the teams between about 10 minutes to write their song. When they are done, have each team select one person from their group to go up front and sing the song for the rest of the group.

NOTE: This is one of those moments you definitely want to videotape. Who knows when this kind of footage could come in really handy.

Idea by Micah
Back to Top A Walk in The Dark
This is a great game for use in a home or similar setting. You just need a group of three students to play. This game works best in the dark or at night.

Put the three students in a line with the first one leading the way, the third one in the back, and the one in the middle, blindfolded as "it." With "It" wearing a blindfold, the other two players (one in front and one behind) walk through the whole house.

During the first trip through the course, the other two students lead “it” through the whole house. When they get back where they started, “it” must do it all alone and try to remember their footsteps. If they do the whole thing correctly they win! If they don't, they must come back to the start and give another player a turn.

Don’t forget to switch up the routes between trips. This makes it a little harder.
Also, you can do time trials. Have everyone run the same course, but put them on a stopwatch to see who can do it the quickest.

The Point: This could be a discussion starter if talking about friendship or the Ecclesiastes principle of, “Two is better than one. If they fall down . . .”

Added by Nate
Back to Top A What?
Funny game that can be played with 5-50. To start the game, tell everyone to take out a SMALL item (such as a hat, bracelet, shoelace...try not to have anybody pull out a wallet).

The game starts with everyone sitting in a circle. They should look to the person on their left and all say to that person, “This is a(n)..._(item)_______.” They then turn to the person on their right and say, "A what?", then turn back to the person on the left and say, "A(n)(item)", turn again to the person on their right and say, "A what", and then say, "Oh, a(n)(item)...”

Example: So lets say your item is a pencil, and the person to your right has a hat. This is what you would say: "This is a pencil…a what? A pencil…a what? A pencil…oh, a hat!" And continually pass the items until everyone is laughing their heads off, or completely messing up.

Try to have the whole group say, "A what?" at the same time. It should take anywhere from 5-7 seconds to finish a sentence.

If someone messes up they are removed and the circle gets smaller. Several people can be removed in one round. If no one messes up, just continue until someone does. Keep playing until the circle works down to a small number. If no one is messing up… speed up the game. And don’t forget a good principle with any game…stop the game before it drags on too long. It’s better to stop a game and have them want more than to keep playing a game after it expired long ago.

Added by Kristen Wooster

NOTE: The game works better with one syllable helps the flow go a lot better :)

Thanks Heather
Back to Top ABC Pop
This game is similar to a fast paced Scrabble using a balloon popping relay. Good for groups of twenty or less. First print off about 90 letters "r s t l n" 5 times , "a e i o u" 5 times, the whole alphabet once, and five lower case p's -five lower case w's and 4 *'s. (The *'s can be used as any letter, p's & w's can be flipped for d's and m's respectively). Get a pack of 100 water balloons (or as many as needed.) Insert a letter into each balloon and blow each one up. Form teams of 5 or less. Have each team compete relay style to get balloons. Each team sends one player who gets one balloon. That player brings the balloon back to the next player in line who has to pop the balloon using only their bottoms then the person who popped the balloon runs and repeats the cycle. Each team stores their letters until the end. After the last balloon is popped each team gets 7 minutes to form their words.
Each team needs a roll of tape and some paper. They are trying to assemble the most words Scrabble style.
Scoring: words containing 2,3,4 or 5 letters are worth the number of letters they are composed of. (ex. cat=3 good=4.) Words with six or more letters are worth 10 points. Most points wins!
Back to Top Alphabet Getting to Know You
As people enter the room, give everyone a pre-typed sheet of paper with each letter of the alphabet (x-optional) on the vertical left side.


Everyone attempts to find out something about others that starts with one of the letters.

Jamal broke his arm in 6th grade.
Alana plays basketball.
Nissa’s favorite candy is Snickers.
Evan’s dad is a dentist.

Put the person’s name and info on a line. Cannot use the same person for more than four times. Set a 5-7 minute time limit and see who has the most. Have several (small group, have all) people share interesting discoveries about each other.

The Point: Getting to Know You

Also see Alphabet Pockets (Click Here).
Back to Top Alphabet Pockets
Divide into teams of 4 or 5. Everyone on the team searches through their own pockets, wallets, purses, etc. The group tries to come up with one possession which begins with each letter of the alphabet. The winning team is the one to have objects representing the most letters.

The Point: Teamwork, cooperation, and creativity.

Also see Alphabet Getting to Know You (Click Here).

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Alphabet Soup
Split your group into several teams. Give each team a platter and a few cans of alphabet soup, or for a less messy option, a box of Alphabits cereal. Each team must sift through the goo to spell words or make numbers.

You can give points a number of ways:
- words of three letters
- words of four letters
- words with five or more letters
- Churches can give students high points for spelling spiritual words
- the biggest word gets a lot of points
- leaders' names get high points as well

They are given a time frame to do this (maybe 5 minutes or so). No curse words or body parts.

Added by Frank Salvatore
Back to Top Alphabits
Depending on the size of your group this can be an all play or an upfront game. (If you have a big group, make it a short up front game...if your group is on the smaller side, the dynamics of this game lend themselves to be an all play.)

Pick a letter of the alphabet and a topic, i.e. animals, cars, clothes, etc. The kids have to come up with a word that matches the topic and starts with the chosen letter. Example-letter B and the topic is animals; bison, bat, baboon, etc. continue to let everyone play.

If someone gives up or takes too long they are now part of the judging team to make sure that words are not reused.

Continue the game until you run out of words for the chosen letter. It’s amazing how many things the kids can come up with and how good they are at catching the repeated words.
Back to Top Ankle Balloon Pop
Give everyone a balloon and a piece of string or yarn. Have them blow up the balloon and tie it to their ankle. Then announce that they are to try to stomp out other people's balloons while keeping their own safe. Last person with a blown up balloon wins.

Note: Be sure to have some guideline regarding the length of the string that the balloon is attached to. You don't want the balloon so tight against someone's ankle that it doesn't touch ground, and you don't want anyone to have a four-foot string either.
Back to Top Ape, Man, Lady
This is a variation of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Have people pair off. When the signal is given, each person strikes a pose like an ape, man, or lady. Be sure to demonstrate what each looks like ahead of time. The ape beats the lady (because King Kong took the lady), man beats the ape, the lady gets the man. Eliminate the losers and pair the winners until you get a champion.

Idea from Youth For Christ

Also see Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur (Click Here) and Ninja, Gun, Gorilla (Click Here).
Back to Top Ask the Pastor - With A Twist
Ask the Pastor - with a Twist

If you are in a setting where you want to tackle a tough topic in a light and/or fun way, try this one.

Give each person a pen and a post-it note (or two). Instruct each person to write down a question they would like the Pastor/Leader to answer or discuss, but might be afraid to ask out loud.

After each person has written their question, the leader discreetly collects them and sticks one question on each side of something that can be rolled --such as a large cube. (I use a foam cube from Youth Specialties' "Roll a Roll" game.)

The idea is that each person in the group will take a turn rolling the cube and then reading the question that is on top of the cube when it stops rolling. The "twist" is to announce that the Pastor/Leader will speak to the question, but the person who rolled the dice must give their opinion first. Others are also welcome to give their opinion before the leader gives the final response.

The activity continues as time allows or until everyone has had a chance to read a question and give an opinion.
Back to Top Atlas
Small group or travel game.

Either in seat order or in a circle, the first person says the name of any city, river, ocean, or mountain that could be found in an atlas. The next person must say another place that starts with the last letter of the place previously said. There is a 10 second limit and no place can be repeated.

Rhode Island

Also see Travel Alphabet Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Attack of the Fish
Upfront or Small Group.

Supplies: Two cups of Goldfish crackers and two big scoops of creamy peanut butter.

Ask for two volunteers who are not allergic to peanuts.

Split up teams around them (Use 3 people for each volunteer if the game is up front, and use everyone if it's being played in a small group). Set the timer and have the teams decorate the volunteers' faces as best they can.

Best "attacked" face wins. Our jr. highers created looks like Goldfish glasses, oversized eyebrows, earrings, and a goatee. Very fun, very simple, and very tasty.

For ambience, play the Jaws theme or music while the game is played.

Added by Jason Schmock

For variations of this game, see Whiteheads (Click Here) and Cheeto Face (Click Here).
Back to Top Baby Food: Hot Potato with a Twist
You could play this game with your audience, or play this game just like hot potato, with everyone sitting in a circle. The twist is you use jars of baby food. When the music starts, you begin passing the jar of baby food around the audience or circle. When the music stops, whoever is left holding the jar has to take a spoonful. We use this game for special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, and use flavors such as turkey and gravy, sweet potato, green beans, etc.

*You may want to keep a garbage can nearby, just in case someone needs to throw up.

Added by Brian Phillips
Back to Top Back Artist - aka Touch Telephone
This game is based on the old "telephone game" but involves touch rather than hearing. No talking is allowed. Divide the group into teams of about six each. Each team sits in a line, one behind the other. The last person is shown a simple hand-drawn picture of an object such as a house, a cat, or a Christmas tree, etc. The person who is shown the drawing then tries to draw an exact copy of it, using their fingers, on the back of the person in front of them.

The drawing can only be done once. The second person then draws what they felt onto the back of the person in front of them. This continues until it gets to the person at the front of the line, that person then must draw what he or she felt, on a piece of paper. The team whose picture most resembles the original wins that round.

Supplies Needed:
Pre-drawn pictures for the first person on each team.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Back to Back
This is the game where you start out with two people sitting back to back and they have to stand straight up without using their hands. Add one person every time they stand up successfully. Our record is ten! The students will be amazed at how it works!

The Point: This is a great game for showing students what teamwork can do. It would be nearly impossible to accomplish this by oneself.

Added by Greg Cates

UPDATE: Ross D. from Clio, MI just let us know that his group made it to 14! The gauntlet has been thrown down.

UPDATE #2: Ummm...sorry Ross, but David W. from Fayetteville, NC says his youth team just put up 20 kids at once: "We got 20 people up! It was extremely hard but we made it all the way! It was kinda shaky but we got it up."

UPDATE #3: Alexis R. from Brookfield, Il, had 23 students back to back!! That makes them the new reigning champions...but for how long???

John Kershner, Youth Pastor of Frontline Youth Group had 24 students back to back!! And they have the video tape to prove it. That means they are the new champs...GREAT JOB!!

Mike Adkins and his senior highers beat the Back to Back record of 24. They did.......drum roll......27!! And we have verified the video evidence ( That means they are the new champs...GREAT JOB!!

UPDATE #6: BREAKING NEWS...Zoey Youth in Cape town Beat the Back to back record of 27 with... wait for it... 28!!! and the video evidence...

OK, who's next? And don't forget to send us a pic, too!
Back to Top Balance the Bucket

This is a fun activity that can also double as a team work exercise as well. Split your group into teams of 5 students each. Give each team an IDENTICAL bucket that is filled to the EXACT SAME LEVEL with water. (ALL half full, or ALL 75% full, etc.)

After the buckets have been filled, put them the EXACT SAME distance from a few tables (10 feet works well). Make sure the tables are the same height and that the tables are big enough to have a couple of teams working at them each. (If you have 8 teams, you will want to have 4-5 tables.)

Explain to the teams that their objective is to move the bucket of water to the table using THEIR FEET ONLY and then lift it on top of the table using THEIR FEET ONLY. At no point during the exercise are they allowed to use their hands.

Students make take off socks and shoes if they want to (recommended for better dexterity).

The first group to get the bucket on top of the table, without using their hands, wins!

If the team spills the bucket, the team must start over.
If ANY team member uses their hands, the team must start over.
No touching the buckets of other teams.

NOTE: Obviously, you are going to want to play this game on a floor surface that does not get you fired. Tile, linoleum, wood, concrete/cement, etc works well. Remember to clean up your mess, if any.
Back to Top Balloon & Elastic Tangle
Form teams of an even number. Prepare a balloon and a ring of elastic for each team. The elastic needs to form a circle big enough to go over a student’s body, but not so big that it’s too easy. Each teen must then keep the balloon off the ground while putting the elastic over their head, pulling their arms through and passing it down their legs and lastly taking it off from around their feet.

The balloon must not touch the ground and if it does they must start again. You can also put the elastic over the feet first and play in reverse. The youth then hands the balloon and elastic to the next player. The first team finished wins. (Use elastic that you might use in pants, not hat elastic).

Added by Amanda in Australia
Back to Top Banana Barf
Have two or three volunteers put a whole banana in their mouth, instructing them not to eat it, just hold it in their mouth. Then put a pair of panty-hose over each volunteer's head. Have them squish the banana through the tiny holes in the hose into a trash or grocery bag. This game is hilarious, because when you take the pantyhose off the students' heads, the banana still stuck in the hose is smeared across their face!

Added by Elisabeth

See Banana Stuff (Click Here).
Back to Top Barnyard
This is a good game to divide into teams for the day/evening. Have pre-made cards for more than enough kids. Come up with as many animals as you want teams that night(If you want four teams, have four animals). If you predict 35 kids that night make forty cards, four groups of ten. Each group of ten cards will have a particular animal written on it (so you will have 10 chicken cards, 10 cow cards, 10 donkey cards and 10 pig cards). Hand out cards randomly to the kids and tell them to not tell anyone their animal. When you give the signal, have them make the sound of their animal as loud as possible until they find their entire group. First group to totally find each other wins.

This is also a great way to split your group up into teams for more games!

Put a twist on the game by putting in only ONE card that says "donkey" and giving it to a very secure student (but don't tell him/her they're the only donkey).

After all of the animals have found each other, there will still be one poor kid out there Hee-Hawing his head off to no avail!

Also see Banana Stuff (Click Here), Clumps (Click Here), & Your Number Is Up (Click Here).
Back to Top Baseball Team Quiz (MLB)
Like Football Team Quiz (Click Here). For a big group, break up into groups of 4 requiring at least one person on each team to be a little baseball savvy. Pass out one copy of the following list of clues of pro-teams to each team.

For small group, provide one sheet per person. (Answers in parentheses; of course you'll copy this list off without the answers.) The first team to bring their completed list to you wins (or as many as they can come up with). Give prizes to each team member (a candy bar, mug, etc.).

Name the Major League Baseball Team that is described by the word puzzle.

1. Kings and queens are these_________________(Royals)
2. They’re not cowards ________________(Braves)
3. Short for Metros _________________(Mets)
4. Crimson stockings__________________(Red Sox)
5. Physical activities __________________ (Athletics)
6. Satan’s sun beams __________________ (Devil Rays)
7. Nemo’s dad ____________________ (Marlins)
8. Red birds __________________ (Cardinals)
9. Crimson, burgundy, scarlet, etc. ____________ (Reds)
10. Cheese steak sandwiches ____________________ (Phillies)
11. Striped jungle cats _______________________ (Tigers)
12. David rocks their world __________________ (Giants)
13. Elite southern cops; Walker is one ________________ (Rangers)
14. Hard to hit _______________ (Dodgers)
15. Non-colored coverings for your feet __________________ (White Sox)
16. If you won State then you might go here ________________ (Nationals)
17. They make beer _______________ (Brewers)
18. Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook _______________ (Pirates)
19. A mountain chain _______________ (Rockies)
20. Baby bears _______________ (Cubs)
21. Men of the sea _______________ (Mariners)
22. The Jetson’s dog, NASA’s fave team ____________ (Astros)
23. Black and orange birds ______________ (Orioles)
24. Native Americans ___________________ (Indians)
25. Navy, royal or baby + 10th letter of alphabet ____________ (Blue Jays)
26. Spanish for fathers ________________ (Padres)
27. Heavenly beings _______________ (Angels)
28. The North in the Civil War _____________ (Yankees)
29. A girl’s best friend on your non-front, deadly snakes ____________ (Diamond Backs)
30. They look the same _________________ (Twins)

Added by Jason Schmock
Back to Top Battle of The Nuts
Messy but simple game for groups under 50. Get a few bags of peanuts in the shell. Give every student one peanut. Have them go around and challenge each other to a BATTLE of the NUTS by simply pressing their peanuts up against each other until one of them breaks the shell. The student with their peanut still intact in their shell is the winner. When there are only two kids left standing, have them come up and battle to the finish! Play energetic music in the background.

Added by Jay Kim

Also see Counting Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Bible Books Puzzle 1 (20 Hidden Books)
(Note there is one abbreviation in this)

Someone showed me this story and remarked that there are 20 books of the Bible hidden here. He challenged me to find them. Sure enough they're all here. Still this thing's a lulu; kept me looking so hard for the longest time. Some of you will get bogged down with facts, others are hit by them like they were some kind of revelation or something. You may get in a jam, especially since the names are not capitalized and often leap the spaces between the words. This makes it a real job to find them, but it'll provide a most fascinating few minutes for you. Yes, there are some really easy ones to spot, but don't get the big head, cause truthfully, you'll soon figure that it would take most federal judges and preachers numbers of hours to find them all. I will admit that it usually takes a minister to find one of them and that it is not uncommon for there to be loud lamentations when it is pointed out. One lady says that when she is confronted with puzzles like this, she brews a cup of tea to help her concentrate better, but then, this gal's a real pro! Verbs, nouns, and all that stuff are her thing. See how well you can compete. Relax! There really are twenty names of Bible books in this story. If you fail to find them, there's a penalty. You'll have to fly a kite, sit on a banana, hum the battle hymn of the republic, or hose a dog (a mean one). Get to it!


Added by Jeff E.

Also see Bible Books Puzzle 2 with 25 hidden books (Click Here) & Bible Books Puzzle 3 with 30 hidden books (Click Here).
Back to Top Bible Books Puzzle 2 (25 Hidden Books)
Can you find twenty-five (25) books of the Bible in the paragraph, below?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. Someone found it in the seat pocket on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping himself occupied for hours. One man from Illinois worked in it while fishing from his john boat. Roy Clark studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Victs mentioned it in her column once. One woman judges the job to be so involving that she brews a cup of tea to calm her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot... that's a fact. Some people will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. The truth is, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have. Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation may help. Books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. And punctuation or spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete. Remember, there are 25 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph.


Added by Jeff E.

Also see Also see Bible Books Puzzle 1 with 20 hidden books (Click Here) and Bible Books Puzzle 3 with 30 hidden books (Click Here).
Back to Top Bible Books Puzzle 3 (30 Hidden Books)
Can you find thirty (30) books of the Bible hidden in the paragraph below?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much; he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his johnboat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving; she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That's a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam; especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record. The local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, "The books are all right here in plain view hidden from sight." Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found. God Bless.


Added by Jeff E.

Also see Bible Books Puzzle 1 with 20 hidden books (Click Here) and Bible Books Puzzle 2 with 25 hidden books (Click Here).
Back to Top Big Bad Wolf
Divide students into teams of 4-6. Give each team enough newspaper and tape to build a newspaper shelter of some kind. It must be big enough to get three team members inside. The Big Bad Wolf (youth leader) then attempts to blow the shelter down. Award prize to the best job. Afterward, have a giant paper fight.

Idea from Young Life
Back to Top Big Bootie
You can use any size group with this game. Sit in a circle and designate someone to be the "Bootie" (or "Bum" for our cool British friends). Number everyone off (they have to remember their number). In unison everyone must clap their hands once then slap their legs. Do this during the whole game.

Now to the game. At the beginning, chant and clap, "Aahhh, big bootie, big bootie, big bootie, big bootie, ohhh yehhh, big bootie” (or, "Big Bum, big bum...").

The designated "Bootie" says, "Bootie to the two!" No. 2 has to respond and say, "2 to the (any number)!" Make sure that you clap only once as you say "2 to the--!" Then slap your leg once as you say a number. Whoever claps or slaps their leg more than once as they call out a number is out! Like Zip Zap, the game may be confusing at first. But once the kids get it they can go really fast.

Added by Fire Team Youth FBC Langley, OK

Also see Zip Zap (Click Here) and Zip Zap Bop (Click Here).
Back to Top Big Group Twister
This game can be played with groups ranging in size from 20 to 100. You play according to the regular Twister rules and use the spinner that comes with the board game (or you can make one yourself). Go out and buy colored paper plates (red, yellow, blue, and green); six plates of each color makes one regular sized Twister playing area (you'll need one playing area for every 10 youth in your group). Use duct tape to tape the paper plates to the ground, placing the plates in the same order as found on the regular Twister playing area -- red, yellow, blue, and then green. Tips: We found that you need to place the plates a little further apart for high school students so that it's more of a challenge. Play the game exactly like the rules of the original game. The last player standing wins!!
Back to Top Bind Us Together
All you need is one long ribbon per team.

Divide your group into teams.

The object of the game is to have every member of the team linked together with ribbon. The first player threads the ribbon through their shirt sleeve and down their pant leg. The next player threads the ribbon up their pant leg and out their shirt sleeve. And so on and so on.

The first team linked wins.

Submitted by Isabel
Back to Top Blind Draw
Great game for a small group. Everyone in the group is given a sheet of paper and a pen. They are given 3 minutes or more to draw what they want. But the lights are all turned out during the time of drawing. The pictures are judged and winner gets a prize.

Idea from Young Life

Also see Blind Shoe Grab (Click Here).
Back to Top Blind Feeders
Call up between 4 and 10 volunteers (depending on the size of your group) to make two-person teams. Have an apron (or garbage bag with a hole cut out for the head) and one chair for each team. The person standing behind the chair puts on a blindfold. The person sitting puts on an apron and places hands on hips. The person standing threads their arms under the seated person’s armpits.

Place a bowl in one hand of the blindfolded teen and a spoon in the other. They will feed their partner (ice cream, mousse, Jello, etc.). The first team finished to the best of their ability wins! Or, you may award prizes for the messiest eaters, cleanest eaters, or the one that got the most into their partner’s mouth, etc.

Added by Amanda in Australia

Also see Banana Splits in the Mouth (Click Here).
Back to Top Blind Shoe Grab
Arrange chairs in a circle. All of the Cinderellas (girls) in the group select a chair. The Prince Charmings (boys) each pick a girl and kneel in front of her. He removes her shoes and holds them in his hand. Then the girls blindfold the guys. The leader calls for the shoes and they are thrown into the middle of the circle.

On the signal, the guys crawl to the center and attempt to find their Cinderella's shoes. Each girl can only shout out instructions to her prince. After finding the shoes the princes each crawl back to their Cinderella and put her shoes on correctly.

Also see Shoe Pile (Click Here), Shoe Stretch (Click Here), and Shoe Tie (Click Here).
Back to Top Blind Toy Master
Get 3 toddler toys that have all different shapes which have to fit through the right holes in order to get inside. Blindfold 3 volunteers and have them race to see who can finish the quickest.

Challenge: Put all the pieces in one big pile.

Added by Young Life

Also see Blinded by Money (Click Here).
Back to Top Blinded By Money
Divide your group into pairs. Issue each pair two pennies. Have everyone form a giant circle. Place a big garbage can or cardboard box in the center.

One person tilts head back and places pennies over each closed eye (Contact lens wearers be careful). The object is for each person to drop (dump) their pennies in the container, following the verbal direction of their partner, who may not touch them.

The Point: Kickstarter for discussion on money, greed, priorities, friends, or hearing God’s voice. Point out the confusion that may have occurred with all the pairs going at once, crowding around the container, “blinded by money”, trying to hear their partner’s directions.

Also see Penny on the Chin Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Blindfolded Sit-Up
Pretend to try and convince 3 people that they can’t do a blindfolded sit-up. The first 2 are in on it. One at a time, they strain but don’t do a sit-up. The third sits up into a cream pie (his face, that is).

Or, you can challenge them to do 10 sit-ups in 10 seconds, five of them with their eyes closed.

Added by Young Life

Also see Blindfolded Banana Feed (Click Here).
Back to Top Bloody Pirates!
This game is high energy, but you need a big group of kids to play it. Here’s how you do it.

Quickly group all of the students into “teams” of at least 4 kids each. Then using a pirate ship captain’s dialect, explain to them that they are all on YOUR pirate ship. You will call out a certain command, and each team will work quickly to “act it out.” The team who does the best acting job, or is the quickest to comply with the “captain’s orders,” gets a point.

As quickly as you can, go over the commands. Here they are. When the Captain says:

"Starboard" - everyone on the team must touch the wall on the right.
"Port" - everyone on the team must touch the wall on the left.
"Stern" - everyone on the team must touch the back wall.
"Bow" - everyone on the team must touch the front wall.
"Swab the Deck" - everyone pretends to mop the floor.
"Cap’n's Comin’" - everyone lines up and salutes.
“Land Ahoy!" - one person steers the ship, while another on the team stands behind him and looks through a periscope.
"Man overboard!" - two people get down on one knee, join hands and make a "rail" while another person pretends to fall over it with the fourth person yelling “man overboard.”
"Shark infested waters" - one person in the middle, making a scared face while the other three act like sharks and swim around the person in the middle.
“Row Ye Scurvy Scum!" - all 4 people sit in a straight line, one in front of the other and “row” their boat.
"Ready the Cannon!" - 2 people join hands and make a circle with their arms to form the mouth of the cannon. Another person stands next to them and pretends to light the cannon. The last person has to pretend to be the cannonball shot from the cannon.
"Sea Monster!" - all 4 people join hands in the center and wave their hands outside of the circle like a giant octopus.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will make this game a smash hit for your group. Remember, the faster you call it out, the crazier things will get. Also, have referees walking around to judge who is the fastest or best. And just for kicks, at the Capn’s discretion, any team is subject to have to walk the plank.

If a person/team has to walk the plank, simply have a few chairs set up and then have students one-by-one walk to one end and say, “AARRR…me name is [Bob] and I's be a pirate! Keep yer hands off me booty!!" and then jump off.

Award the winning pirate team with chocolate coins.
Back to Top Blow Pop Necklace
Buy enough Blow Pops (Blow Pops, not cheap suckers - students have to LIKE what you use) for three times the amount of students and staff you have. Take string or yarn, cut it at arms' width and tie them to the individual "Blow Pops." You now have enough "Blow Pop" Necklaces for each student and staff to have three.

As students and staff arrive, place three Blow Pop necklaces on their necks. Inform them that they can not use the word "I" until a designated time (when you usually bring things together and start). If you use the word "I" and someone catches you, they can have one of your Blow Pop necklaces. This can be quite funny because when someone catches someone else, they usually blow it by saying, "I caught you!" or, "I get one of your necklaces!"

At the end of this time, give away a prize (besides Blow Pops) for the person with the most necklaces.

You can also use "Ring Pops" instead of "Blow Pops."
Back to Top Blowdart Basketball
We designed this game for our youth group because it works especially well as an active game that you can play in spaces with obstructions like poles in the way that prevent the space from being used for true gymnasium games.

* Split into two equal teams and have them sit with their legs crossed facing each other.
* Set up a trash can or bucket on both sides of the "playing field."
* Each player will need an empty toilet paper roll which will be their blowgun.
* You will also need to create several "blowdarts." We used tightly rolled and taped fabric which has the perfect weight and hardness. (With a 4 inch x 12 inch piece of fabric you can roll it up into a nice 4 inch long dart). Wrap a few pieces of duct tape around the dart on both ends to keep it together. They are simple and cheap to make. Suggestion: make 3 darts per student you anticipate to be in the game.

Game Play:
* Each team tries to score by blowing darts into the opposing side's trash cans.
* Like basketball and soccer, some players may choose to defend their basket and others may try to score.

* The blowdarts must be blown from your blowgun.
* Players who have a dart may not move from their position until they blow the dart away.

* Players may block darts with their bodies and hands, but they may never leave the sitting position and their bums may never leave the ground while blocking with hands.
* Other players may not block someone's tube with their hand. We made a rule that hands must stay 3 feet away from player's tubes that are shooting.

Moving may only be done by using your hands to pull you around in the sitting position. Players should keep their legs crossed and locked at all times and push on the ground with their hands to wiggle and whop forward.
The arms act much like crutches to move you around, but you must keep your legs crossed and together as your moving around the playing field.

* Players will inevitably make illegal moves like moving their bum off the grounds to block a dart or block someone’s blowgun too close.
* It is recommended that one or two leaders act as referees, and like hockey, pull the offending players out of the game for a minute or so.

Scoring and Winning:
* Scoring involves getting a dart into the other team's trash basket. The dart may not be thrown in, but must be blown out of the blowgun only.
* When a dart goes into a team's basket, someone from that team takes the dart out and blows it back into play.
* Play as long as you like. The winning team is the one with the most points.

* Use two colors for the darts so that each team can only score by getting their team's color in the opposing team's basket.
* For huge open spaces, implement any other movement scheme that seems suitable.
Back to Top Body Parts
For this game you only need a boom box (sound system) and a fun, upbeat song. It's kind of like Musical Chairs, only more fun to MC.

It works best with an even # of people. Have any "extra" be a judge, who stands on a chair for a better view.

Students pair up with one standing in a circle and the other standing next to their partner outside of the circle.

When the music starts, have the inner circle walk clockwise and the outer circle walk counter-clockwise. When the music stops the leader yells out two body parts (e.g. "Foot to ear!" "Nose to the inside of the elbow!" "Top of the head to the back of the knee!"). Partners scramble to get to each other and put those designated body parts together.

Fun & funny game . . . just think before you yell, (e.g. don't yell "chest to head!").

See also The Big Squeeze (Click Here) and Hug Fest (Click Here).
Back to Top Books of the Bible Hunt
This simple game works great as a teaser or opener to a discussion on The Bible. Here is what you will want to do. Copy the FIRST paragraph to hand out to your students. Keep the SECOND paragraph that contains the answers to yourself. (Answers in the SECOND paragraph are in CAPS.)

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. This lulu kept people looking so hard for facts, and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam especially since the names of the books were not capitalized, but the truth finally struck home to numbers of readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require judges to help find them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. A little lady said she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. Can you compete really well in this test? Relax, for there really are the names of sixteen books of the Bible in these sentences. Happy hunting!

I once made a reMARK about the hidden books of the Bible. This luLU KEpt people looKING So hard for fACTS, and for others it was a REVELATION. Some were in a JAM ESpecially since the names of the books were not capitalized, but the tRUTH finally struck home to NUMBERS of readers. To others it was a real JOB. We want it to be A MOSt fascinating few moments for you. yES THERe will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require JUDGES to help find them. I will quickly admiT IT USually takes a minister to find one of them and there will be loud LAMENTATIONS when it is found. A little lady said sHE BREWS a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. Can you comPETE Really well in this test? Relax, for there really are the names of sixteen books of the Bible in these sentences. Happy hunting!
Back to Top Bubble Gum Sculpture
Materials: bubble gum and a towel or two

This can be played as an up-front game or, with smaller groups, everyone can play.

Divide your group into groups of 4 or 5. Ask for two very brave volunteers out of each group (don't tell them what they're volunteering for). Give them a plate or flat dish (we used cookie sheets). Give the rest of the groups the bubble gum, and tell them to chew as quickly as possible. Have them chew it only until it is soft, and then give it to the volunteers in their group, and start chewing the next piece. As the group is chewing, the volunteers need to be working on their sculpture. Set a time limit, say 10 minutes, and give them creative ideas of what to make- such as pizza, turtle, etc., but it has to be something difficult. When the gum chewers are through, have them step back and watch. Have someone judge the sculptures. We gave a prize (a Christian CD) to each of our winning volunteers, since they were so brave!

Note: Instead of regular stick gum- such as Wrigly's, I would suggest using larger gum drops- such as Bazooka. {It's much easier to work with!} Keep it cheap, because you'll want to buy enough!

Submitted by Rebecca Sapp aka Zgrrl

Also see Blow Pop Challenge (Click Here) and Tootsie Roll Sculpture (Click Here).
Back to Top Build a Word
Small group or travel game. The object is to spell a word of three or more letters. Each person adds a letter. The person who adds a letter that completes a whole word is out. Be very careful to notice any words. Often the second or third person will be out because they are thinking of a longer word than what they have actually added. For example, if the first person starts with an "A" and the second person is thinking of a long word like "Attribute," they'd be out by adding a "T" since that actually makes a complete word. In fact, depending on how strict you are, the person who begins with "A" may be out. If you are not quite as strict as that, you may want to say that the first two people cannot be out, just to open up the option of having a word begin with an "A" or any other two letter word.

If possible, have a dictionary on hand.

Also see Mad Sentence Dash (Click Here) and Sentence Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Butt Charades
Cut up slips of paper with words on them and put them into a bag. Break up your audience or group into two teams. Get a volunteer from each team to spell the word he/she took out of the bag by moving their hips (spelling the words with thier butts!). (Make sure they do not say a word to give away clues.) If their team (or their side of the audience) does not figure out the word after two spellings, the other team gets to guess.

Make it interesting by the words you choose, try to keep it clean. We don't want any dirty butts!
Back to Top Captions
Small group game. Break up into teams of 3-6. Give each group 5-10 random silly or unusual pictures (photos or from magazines) or project the pictures up on the screen.

Each team comes up with a funny caption for each picture. After a designated time, have a representative from each team come up. One by one, hold up or project the pics and have the reps read the captions.

Have either judges or the audience as judges determine whose was the most creative/funniest.
Back to Top Carboard Warriors
This game is great because it involves everybody, but lets them choose their degree of participation. Here's how you play it.

For several weeks prior to the game, grab heaps and heaps of cardboard boxes and packing tape (not masking tape…it has to be packing tape).
On the night of your game, split everybody up into 2 or 4 teams, depending on the size of your group. It's best to have about 5-8 students on each team. So, the larger your overall group, the more groups you will need. (And the more cardboard you will need.)

When you have your groups established, their objective is simple. Using the tape, the cardboard, and some scissors, they must work together to fashion the cardboard into a knight's armor, shield, sword, etc. Give teams at least 15 minutes to make the armor for their knights.

When the 'fabrication' time is up, allow the 2-4 knights to battle each other. The winner is the last one who has his/her armor intact. Because it is likely that each of the knights will sustain a large amount of damage to their armor, you may want to have a few adult leaders play 'judges.'

OPTION: You could also put a time limit on each battle. That way, the winner is the person with the least amount of damage done when the bell rings. Either way, make sure you dub the winner a knight!

Have fun!
Back to Top Card Ninja
All you need for this game is a deck of playing cards for every 10 students, but the addition of some sort of martial arts music (like The Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon soundtrack) playing in the background really adds to the game.

Split the crowd into groups of two players each. The two players will face each other. Each player will draw (or be given) five cards. They can arrange them in any order BUT THEY CAN NOT LOOK AT THEIR CARDS!

When the game leader is ready, he asks the groups to pick a number between one and ten. The student in each group that is closest to the chosen number gets to go first. At this point, just for fun, have them bow to each other.

Now the game begins. The player who goes first presents his card. Then the other player presents her card. The highest card wins the duel. (5 beats 2, Queen beats Jack, Ace beats King, etc.) The player who wins the most duels out of the 5 card duels, wins the battle.

If you play this tournament style, the loser would sit, and the winner would go on to face another winner. This way you can narrow the entire field down to just a couple of champions. This might help if you have a really big group.

NOTE: Also, you can have each student do some sort of martial arts move while presenting his/her card for more fun.
Back to Top Cardboard Camelot
This game is great because it involves everybody, but lets them choose their degree of participation. Here’s how you play it.

For several weeks prior to the game, grab heaps and heaps of cardboard boxes and packing tape (not masking tape – it has to be packing tape).

On the night of your game, split everybody up into 2 or 4 teams, depending on the size of your group. It’s best to have about 5-8 students on each team. So, the larger your group, the more groups you will need.

When you have your groups established, their objective is simple. Using the tape, the cardboard, and some scissors, they must work together to fashion the cardboard into a knight’s armor, shield, sword, etc. Give teams at least 10 minutes to make the armor for their knights.

When the “fabrication” time is up, allow the 2 or 4 knights to battle each other. The winner is the last one who has his/her armor intact. Because it is likely that each of the knights will sustain a large amount of damage to their armor, you may want to have a few adult leaders play “judges.”

OPTION: You could also put a time limit on each battle. That way, the winner is the person with the least amount of damage done when the bell rings.

Have fun!

Idea by Dave
Back to Top Cat Tails
You will need some strips of cloth (approx. 2-3 ft. of fabric, cloth, plastic, cord, etc...) for everyone who plays. The game is simple. Have everyone tuck the strips into the back of their pants or shorts so that approx. 2 feet of excess strip is left hanging. (Note: this works great with young children as well.)

The object of the game is to pull all the other players tails off. The last one standing with their tail is the winner.

Have everyone run with their hands on their head - except when grabbing a tail. This prevents people from blocking and makes them look pretty funny.

Idea by Chris Dunn
Back to Top Cereal Box Puzzle
Cut off the front panel of several cereal boxes — one for each group you've formed. Then cut up each panel into puzzle shapes- one for each person in the group. Mix together all the pieces and give one to each person and have them compete to find their cereal.

Idea from Young Life

Also see Cereal Box Pick Up (Click Here) and Cereal Mania (Click Here).
Back to Top Charade Wars
The idea of this game is to have multiple teams playing charades at the same time with the same clues, in a race to see who can finish first. That means you will have to have teams with the same number of players on them.

Before you begin, come up with a list of action clues that the teams must guess ("Walking the dog", "Eating peanut butter" - it works best to have each one include a verb and a noun that must both be guessed correctly!) Make as many copies of the clues as you'll have teams playing, and have the clues on slips of paper in RANDOM order - that is, each team's clues are in a different order.

Don’t tell them that every team has the same clues; just give the clues to the teams. Here are some ideas:

1. Washing the car.
2. Sleeping on the top bed in a bunk.
3. Playing cricket.
4. Taking a geometry test.
5. Picking peas.
6. Writing a love note.

After you break up your students into teams, have them create a rotation that they must stay in throughout the game. When the game begins, the first person takes the first clue from their stack and acts it out using normal charades rules. Once their team guesses the clue, the next person in line can get up and do theirs, and so on until one team makes it through all of their clues and wins!

Since the clues are in a random order, teams can choose to "cheat" and watch other teams to get an idea of what clues might be coming up...but if they do then they won't be paying attention to their own team so it may end up costing them in the end. Also, if someone gets stuck, they can pass to the next person in line, but that person MUST do that clue and the person who passed MUST do the next one - neither one can pass.

It may help to have a leader assigned to each team to verify that each clue is guessed correctly and help direct traffic - especially when someone passes.

The first team to successfully guess each charade, wins.

Idea by Kyle G.
Back to Top Cheerios on a Noodle
Split the group into partners. Give one person an uncooked spaghetti noodle and the other person a cup of cheerios. On “go” the person with cup of cheerios will place them in his/her mouth and then without using their hands try to position them on the spaghetti noodle.

The team with the most cheerios on a noodle wins. This is a fun game to watch because of the odd facial expressions.

Idea Submitted by Michael Stinnett
Back to Top Chocolate Hopping Race
In this game there are two teams with an equal number of players. Line up both teams making sure that each person on the team has a partner on the same team. In other words, each team is comprised of multiple “pairs.”
Place a bowl of candy bars in a bowl about 30 feet away. Each “pair” must hold hands and hop all the way to the bowl where they tear the wrappers off the chocolates and feed each other the candy. Then they hold hands and hop back to the starting point, where another pair will start hopping. Whichever team’s “pairs” finish first wins.
Back to Top Christmas Carol Quiz (New Skool)
Figure out the Christmas Carol title from the clue.

1. Not here in an animal’s dish
2. Smack the Passageways
3. Move and speak towards the elevated plains
4. Yahweh sleep you happy dudes
5. Hey! The #1 angelic beings belt it out.
6. It showed up on a cloudless 12 at night
7. Shaking Chimes
8. Happiness to the planet
9. 12-25 shrubbery song
10. Get here if you’re reliable
11. Like a strainer + time when the sun is down
12. Small city of Christ’s birth song (O’ Little Town of Bethlehem)
13. Quiet non-day
14. The premier not 12th letter of the alphabet
15. XII 24hrs. of 12-25
16. Not down on the roof of the home
17. Us Trio that’s royalty from China (exist)
18. Us dream not us a happy December 25th
19. Spill the 411 on the baby
20. Small percussionist lad
21. Tim Allen’s movie character will appear in a hood
22. Song about a hoofed animal with a crimson schnozola
23. Chilled the crystallized H20 male
24. Don’t stop the winter precipitation
25. Traversing in a 4th season amazing country

ANSWERS to Christmas Carol Quiz

1. Away in a Manger
2. Deck the Halls
3. Go Tell It on the Mountain
4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
5. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
6. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
7. Jingle Bells
8. Joy to the World
9. O’ Christmas Tree
10. O’ Come all Ye Faithful
11. O’ Holy Night
12. O’ Little Town of Bethlehem
13. Silent Night
14. The First Noel
15. The 12 Days of Christmas
16. Up on the Housetop
17. We 3 Kings of Orient (Are)
18. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
19. What Child is This?
20. Little Drummer Boy
21. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
22. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
23. Frosty the Snowman
24. Let it Snow
25. Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Written by Jason Schmock

Also see CHristmas Carol Quiz (Old Skool)(Click Here) and Christmas Wish List (Click Here).
Back to Top Christmas Carol Quiz (Old Skool)
Here’s a quiz you can give out at Christmas time to kill time.

Name That Christmas Carol!
1. Bleached Yule
2. Castaneous-colored Seed Vesicated in a Conflagration
3. Singular Yearning for the Twin Anterior Incisors
4. Righteous Darkness
5. Arrival Time2400 hrs - WeatherCloudless
6. Loyal Followers Advance
7. Far Off in a Feeder
8. Array the Corridor
9. Bantam Male Percussionist
10. Monarchial Triad
11. Nocturnal Noiselessness
12. Jehovah Deactivate Blithe Chevaliers
13. Red Man En Route to Borough
14. Frozen Precipitation Commence
15. Proceed and Enlighten on the Pinnacle
16. The Quadruped with the Vermillion Probiscis
17. Query Regarding Identity of Descendant
18. Delight for this Planet
19. Give Attention to the Melodious Celestial Beings
20. The Dozen Festive 24 Hour Intervals

Answers: (Don’t include these on the quiz . . . duh!)
1. White Christmas
2. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
3. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
4. O Holy Night
5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
6. O Come, All Ye Faithful
7. Away in a Manger
8. Deck the Hall
9. Little Drummer Boy
10. We Three Kings
11. Silent Night
12. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
13. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
14. Let it Snow
15. Go, Tell It on the Mountain
16. Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer
17. What Child is This?
18. Joy to the World
19. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
20. The Twelve Days of Christmas

For a more youthy version of this game, see Christmas Carol Quiz NEW SKOOL (Click Here)

Also see Christmas Poem Mad Lib on Audience page.
Back to Top Christmas: Dueling Carolers
Divide into 2-4 groups. Give each group 5 minutes to come up with as many Christmas carols as they can. After time is called, each group takes turns singing part of a Christmas carol on their list. If any other
group has the same carol on their list, no points are given. If no other group has the carol on their list, they get 100 points. Keep it fast paced. Groups should mark off carols already sung. Group with the most
points at the end wins.

Added by John Cook

Also see Human Christmas Tree (Click Here).
Back to Top Church Cell Phone Scavenger Hunt
Almost every kid has a cell phone these days, and almost every single one of those kids bring it to youth group with them (and forget to turn it off). Here’s a fun way to incorporate their cell phones into a game you can tailor to your specific church environment.

When it comes time for the game at your program, assemble everyone onto a 2-4 person team (depending on the size of your overall group). Give them a print off of the list below and tell them that they have 10 minutes to collect as many pictures of the items as they can on their cell phones. Groups can stay together or split up to save time...but only give ONE copy of the list to each team! (Before you print off the list, make sure your church has every item; if you don’t have an ice making machine, make sure to take it off this list!)

The team with the most points wins. Award the first team back in the youth room an extra 40 Points IF AND ONLY IF they have EVERYTHING on your list.

Make sure to synchronize everyone’s watches (or clocks on their cell phone) because ALL GROUPS MUST be back in the youth room at the 10 minute buzzer. Deduct 30 points from any team that is not back in time. You may want to have a few adult leaders spread out around the church campus giving 3, 2, and 1 minute warnings.

The List

10 Pointers
1. A cross (of any kind)
2. A sound board of any size
3. A painting, or picture, or mural of Jesus
4. An adult leader making a funny face
5. The lost and found box/area
6. Youth Pastor’s office
7. A toilet

20 Pointers
1. A choir robe
2. Church sign by the road
3. An offering plate or bucket or bag
4. The driver side of a church van or bus
5. A pew
6. The baptismal pool or fount or container

30 Pointers
1. A hymnal opened to “Amazing Grace”
2. A stained glass window
3. A janitor’s closet
4. An ice making machine
5. The pulpit or lectern in the sanctuary

40 Pointers
1. An “In Memory Of…” plaque
2. A King James Version Bible
3. A filing cabinet (not in Youth Pastor’s office!!)
4. A baby crib
5. A “visitor’s only” parking sign

50 Pointers
1. An overhead projector (kickin’ it old school, baby!)
2. A set of drums or a set of congas or a set of bongos
3. Any outdoor or indoor recreational equipment (volleyball net, basketball goal, soccer field, etc)
4. A box of animal crackers or goldfish snacks

NOTE: Do bear in mind that not every kid has a cell phone. No worries. As long as one team member per team has a camera phone, that's all you need! So divide teams appropriately.
Back to Top Circle Chase
You can play this game with any number of people, but if you have a large group, break them up into several groups spread out around the room.

Ideally, each group will have 10 students in them, 5 on each “team.” Have one team form a TIGHT circle facing outwards. Then have the second team form a circle around the first team's circle facing inward. Hand a ball to one member of the inner circle. Then give a student at the opposite side of the outer circle a foam sword or pool noodle.

The object of this game is for a person on the outer circle team to "tag" the person holding the ball with using the foam noodle. NO ONE CAN MOVE AT ALL…students must PASS the ball and sword from one to another! When you say go, the outer circle tries to "catch" the person holding the ball by tagging them with the foam sword. The inner circle tries to avoid getting tagged by passing the balloon around the circle, and out of reach of the outer circle team.

Give the outer circle team one minute to tag the inner circle team. If the outer circle team succeeds, give them a point. If the inner circle team survives for one minute without being tagged, give them a point. After the first round, switch it up making the outer team become the inner team, and vice versa.

Set a score to end the game on (5 points), or depending on how long you want the game to go. Enjoy!

1. You cannot hide the sword or balloon behind your back.
2. You must pass both the sword and balloon to the person immediately next to you. No tossing either object across the circle.
3. You can change direction, or hold the object, but realize you only have one minute.
4. Everyone must keep both feet planted firmly to the ground. No pivoting or leaning. (This avoids taller people from having too big an advantage.)
5. If either the balloon or sword is dropped the person who dropped it must pick it up. However, the game does not stop when someone drops the ball or sword!
Back to Top Clap
This game is a variation of the old faithful "Hot/Cold" game. One person is chosen to be "it" and asked to leave the room so they can't hear or see what is going on in the room. Take about 1 minute and pick an action as a group for "it" to do when he/she returns. (A Jumping Jack, Pick Their Own Nose, etc).

When "it" is given the signal to come back in the room he/she has to guess what he/she is supposed to do by walking around, touching things in the room or performing random actions. The group will clap louder and faster the closer "it" gets to completing the task.

Remember there is no talking or other clues, but there will be a considerable amount of laughter, and you will be shocked at the detailed and complicated things you can get a person to do simply by clapping.
Back to Top Closer To God With Balloons
Blow up about 50 medium sized round balloons in various colors. Write words or phrases that can bring you closer to God on half of the balloons with a black sharpie marker. Write words or phrases that can draw you away from God on the other half. Keep balloons separate in large garbage bags. Divide youth into two teams. Divide room with tape. Put one team on each side.

Leaders keep throwing the good and bad balloons equally on each side of the net/line. Youth must pick up and read the balloons to determine if good or bad. If bad, they want to throw them on the other side. If good, they want to hold on to them. After all balloons are tossed out of bags by leaders, give your two teams a couple more minutes to play. The team with the most good after subtracting how many bad they have on the floor wins.

The Point: Use with a discussion about things that can bring you closer to God vs. things that pull you away from God. Talk about the differences and how easy or difficult it is to hold on (or maintain) either.

Note: Players must be holding on to the good things to count. Good things on the floor don't count. (Don't give them this hint, but we had kids stuffing the good things up their shirts; really funny.)

Added by Julie Curtis
Back to Top Clothespeg Cross
At the beginning of your event pass around 3-5 clothespegs for each person that arrives. During your event there is only one rule and its called the "Cross Over Rule." This rule basically states that anyone who is caught crossing their arms, legs, feet, hands, or anything else, must give up one of their pegs to the person who caught them.

At the end of your event the person with the most pegs wins. They have a lot of fun catching each other!
Back to Top Clothespin Bite Relay
This is set up like any relay with multiple teams, each team with 5 clothespins. Have the first person in line attach the clothespins to their shirt, clothes, or body part, run around a certain designated point and return to have the clothespins removed by the next person in line . . . with their teeth!

Also see Clothespin Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Clothespin Mixer
Pass out about 4-5 clothespins per kid in the room and instruct them to pin them on their own sleeves. Explain that when the music begins, the object of the game is to get all clothes pins off themselves and on to someone else. Turn off lights and turn on strobes and music. (You may want to put girls on one side of room and guys on another; guys can get a little frisky sticking clothespins on girls).

Explain that when the lights come on, one or two people should have about 100 pins on them - pull them up and parade the winner.

At the end you won't want them playing with the pins all night during the talk, so dress a tough kid or leader up front in protective gear (motorcycle helmet with face shield, chest protector or thick jacket, turtleneck, scarf, gloves, shin guards, thick pants, etc.); and put a bulls-eye on their chest. Tell everybody to grab all their clothes pins and bring in your human target and play music as they throw or pin their clothes pins at him. Kids can't believe they are doing this, and when you stop the music, all your pins are gathered up at the front.

Added by Young Life

See also Clothespin Bite Relay (Click Here).
Back to Top Clumps and Clumps with a Twist
Any size room. Easy game used to divide your group into teams. Simply yell, "Form a group according to . . . (see suggestions below)." If you're looking for a certain number of people per team, just say, "Form a group of 7!" If you end up with a remainder, then have staff go around and divide the leftovers on teams.

Variation: Once in their groups, the game leader reads a question from the list below (or write your own) and everyone in the group answers. When the majority in the crowd have answered, leader directs them to mingle again.

Clumps: height, hair color, # cavities, # siblings, shirt color, number of people in your immediate family, month of birth, favorite color, grade, middle initial, school you attend.

• What is your favorite cartoon (or cartoon character)?
• Who do you most admire?
• What animal is most like your personality?
• What would you do with $100,000?
• What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

Also see Keys (Click Here) & Your Number is Up (Click Here).
Back to Top Communication Challenge
Give everyone a number. They have to arrange themselves in numerical order by communicating with each other without speaking or holding up fingers. They make up their own sub-language or sign-language and it often is pretty amusing. For Round Two, have people arrange themselves in order of birth or in calendar months (like the game, Mute Organization).

Added by Youth For Christ

Also see Inversion (Click Here) & Mute Organization (Click Here).
Back to Top Count It Out
Gather youth into a tight circle of 5-10. (If you have more than ten,you can make this a competition game with two or three circles participating at once.) While in the circle, everyone must look down at the ground and may not raise their head to make eye contact with others in their group. The goal of this team building and communication game is to count the numbers 1 to 15 in order, with each person in the group saying at least one number. The students are not allowed to count around the circle consecutively. If two people say the same number at the same time, they must start over again at one. This may sound very easy, but it is exteremly hard in reality because you have taken away their ability to see non-verbal cues as to who is going to say the next number. It is a great game for student leadership.

Added by Michelle Fessel

Variation: Also try having the team go through the alphabet!
Back to Top Counting Game
This can either be played up front, with everyone watching, or as a group with everyone playing.

Have everyone in your group (or the people on stage) pair up and face each other. Each person holds up zero to ten fingers behind their back. On the count of three, have them pull their hands from behind their backs. The first person to yell out the correct sum of all the fingers wins. Do best two of three. Then bring the winners up front to play each other until you have a champion.

See also Counting Game Variation: The Math Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Counting Game Variation: The Math Game
Competitors hold just one hand behind their back, revealing the number of fingers at the signal. Whoever yells out the sum of the fingers wins the first round. For Round 2, multiply the fingers. Round 3 is the difference between the two numbers. Rotate through as many rounds as you want. For the left-brained at heart, the Championship Round has the two survivors (who you'll bring up front) square the total of the two sets of fingers. For example, Person A shows three fingers, Person B shows four, so the winning answer is 3+4 = 7 * 7=49

Added by Youth For Christ

See Counting Game (Click Here).
Back to Top Cricket Spit
Go to your local pet store and buy a bunch of live crickets before your event.
Ask for volunteers before you reveal the game. Each victim (I mean
contestant) reaches in to the container of crickets and pulls out one at a time and pops the live cricket into their mouth. The object is to spit the cricket into their bucket,which is placed several feet away. This is a timed event.
When the time runs out, the person with the most crickets in the bucket is the winner. We usually give the winner a prize and all contestants are given mouthwash.

Supplies Needed:
Two buckets
Live crickets in a container
Prize for the winner
Back to Top Curly, Moe, and Larry
Groups of 20-30 sit or stand in a circle. One person is in the middle and points to someone in the circle and says either “Curly,” “Mo,” or “Larry”. The person pointed to must respond with a name before the person in the middle can count out loud to ten. The name the person shouts depends on the name the person in the middle says:

“Curly”: say the name of the person on your right.
“Moe”: say your own name.
“Larry”: say the name of the person on your left.

If they succeed, the person in the middle stays and repeats the process with someone else in the circle. If they fail, they change places with the person in the middle.

After a while, you may want to add a second person to the middle. After five minutes, rotate half of each group to another group, or combine two groups and put a second person in the middle.

The Point: Remembering names of people in your group.

Also see Newspaper Name Nail (aka Whomp'em) (Click Here).
Back to Top Defend The Balloon
Wanna great game that provides plenty of action? This is it! All you need is a lot of balloons (about 50 per team).

Make sure each team gets 50 balloons that are all the same color. (For example, if you have three teams, you need 50 yellow, 50 red, and 50 green.) If you can, make the colors represent the local school colors for a little added zeal!

Each team must defend its “treasure” (their pile of same-colored balloons) while attempting to steal or destroy the other team's “treasure.” Designate a time period (1-2 minutes) to play the game. When the time ends, each team's un-popped balloons each count 100 points for them. Additionally, balloons that have been stolen from another team that are un-popped, count 200 points each! If a balloon is popped, it counts nothing.

Depending on your team’s level of physicality, this can be played as a Capture the Flag style game, or just all-out full contact. Have fun with this game and make it your own, but be safe!
Back to Top Degrees of Separation
First I start out by breaking the students into groups of no less than 3 and no more than 6. Each group is given a paper and pen and 3 minutes. You start off with a word like "Church". The students must come up with as many words that have to do with church as they possibly can. So words like Cross, Jesus, Bible, Guitar, Chairs, People... things like that... anything that would be associated with church (Some of my students get smart and start naming books of the bible!) See how many you can get in 3 minutes! I do this 2 or 3 times and then I move to the Degrees of Separation. Exact same thing, but they have to get as far away from the word as they possibly can! Every time they write a word that isn't associated with the previous set of words it is a degree of separation! See how many your students can get in 3 minutes. You will laugh at where their minds go. We went from Church to Chuck Norris! Example Word: Church - Cross, Wood, Forest (Forest would be the 1st Degree of Separation) Forest, leaves, animals, Zoo (Zoo would be the 2nd Degree of Separation) and so on. The students absolutely love this game and when you start having them read their answers out loud, they will all be laughing and it will truly be a time to remember!

Idea Submitted by Paul Pellizzari
Back to Top Do You Love Your Neighbor?
You need chairs for this game. Have everyone sit in a circle. There should be one less seat than there are people, and the extra person stands in the middle. The person standing approaches someone who is seated and asks him, "Do you love your neighbor?" The seated person can answer two ways. If he says, "No," then the people seated directly next to him have to switch seats as quickly as possible so that the standing person doesn't get one. If he says, "Yes," he must add a qualifying statement such as, "But I don't like people who have blue eyes." Anyone who matches the description must get up and find a different seat. Whoever is left standing is then the "asker."

Added by Sheri Blaise

Also see Honey, if You Love me You'll Smile (Click Here).
Back to Top Dodge Ball Variation “Danny Ball”
This variation of Dodge Ball is kinda like a “last man standing” version of the hit game. It is every man for himself…or herself! Here’s how to do it.

Use 3 balls per 10 kids on the court. The game begins with the dodge balls being thrown into the center of the room/gym. The students then scramble for the balls and try to throw each other out. (Remember, there are NO teams.) If hit, or their throw is caught, students must sit down EXACTLY WHERE they were hit.

While sitting IN ONE SPOT, they can still collect stray dodge balls and throw out students who are still standing. If they hit someone standing then that person has to sit down and the student who hit them is up and in the game again. Students who are sitting can also try to physically tag a standing student. If they tag a student who is still up, then that student sits down, and the one who tagged them is up again. The game continues until one player is left alive. He or she is the winner!

NOTE: Sitting students are not allowed to move from their sitting position, so they will have to stretch to get free balls or tag standing students. No head shots are allowed either.
Back to Top Doggy Doo and Kitty Doo
This game works best with at least 10 students, but the more the merrier. Break students into two equal teams for this gross relay game. At the opposite end of the room place two kitty litter boxes (one for each team) on the ground, maybe with a tarp under to keep the area clean. Fill the kitty litter boxes with cereal like Grape Nuts (or some type of cereal that looks & feels like kitty litter). Then place slightly melted chocolate bars like Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, Kit-Kats, etc. into the trays (enough chocolate bars for each kid on the team). Be sure you cover the chocolates fully in the 'litter' to make it look like the real deal!

Now the race can begin. Students from each team must crawl on their hands and knees from the starting point to the litter boxes. Once there, each student must find, with their mouths only – no hands! – 1 piece of “kitty or doggie doo” and eat it fully before returning to the other teammates. (Have two leaders at the litter boxes to verify the complete “doo” eating, and also cheer on the students, like “hurry, eat the doo!” Once they make it back to the group they will tag the next teammate who will race down to the litter tray and continue. The first team to complete the race, eating all the “doo” is the winning team.

(Video taping this for future black mail use is highly recommended and encouraged).

NOTE: Relay games like these can be fun for the person who is actually competing, but not much fun for the kid who is last in line and must wait…forever. If you have a big group, use more than two teams. For this game, do not have more than 6 kids on the teams.

Idea by Tara P.
Back to Top Dollar Surprise
Mingling game. One or two people have a dollar. Everyone goes around shaking hands. Each students with a dollar passes his/her dollar off to the tenth person he/she shakes hands with. Keep going... if you get the dollar, pass off to tenth person. When music stops, person with dollar keeps it.

Added by Young Life

Also see Hi, My Name Is (Click Here) and Mingle for Money (Click Here).
Back to Top Double Trouble Shoe Switcheroo
Anybody can play this game as long as they have a partner and both players are wearing shoes or sneakers with laces (no Velcro or slip-ons footwear like sandals). Have players pair up and go to the front of your stage/ meeting room (limit the number of teams based on size of your space). At the start of this game everybody must have their shoes tied in a normal fashion, (2 loops, no double knots). Throughout the entire game, players have to hold hands, (hopefully they like each other) one hand each. When they hear ‘go’ - using their other free hand they are going to work as a team and untie each of their shoes. Then they are have to remove the shoes and exchange them with their teammate so that they end up wearing their teammate’s shoes. Once they have one another’s shoes on, then they tie the laces on the 2 pairs of shoes; all the while using their one free hand and working as a team. If at any time during the game they stop holding hands – they are automatically disqualified. Players are not allowed to slip shoes on and off – they must untie and retie them. First team to successfully make the switcheroo wins a nice prize, (We gave both players Gift Certificates to McDonald’s). If you want, just for fun you can make them wear their partner’s sneakers for the rest of the meeting.

Submitted by Dan M
Back to Top Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur
The goal of this game is to work your way up by beating other players at Rock-Scissors-Paper to the “position” of king or queen.

Everyone starts out as an egg. You find another egg and play Rock-Scissors-Paper. The winner "grows" into a chicken who finds another chicken to play against. Whoever wins "grows" into a dinosaur. The loser returns to being an egg.

Once a dinosaur you must find another dinosaur to play against. If you lose you step down to a chicken. The next step is becoming a prince or princess, which of course means playing against another prince or princess. If you win you become a King or Queen and stand off to the side. If you lose you return to a dinosaur. The game is played until there is one egg, chicken, dinosaur and prince. All other players will be kings or queens.

The fun in all this?: Eggs waddle on the ground in a little ball, chickens walk and squat while flapping their wings and "clicking", dinosaurs "roar" standing up. Princes/princesses "prance" around holding an imaginary scepter while kings and queens stand off to the side victoriously.

Added by Brad Williams

Also see Ape, Man, Lady (Click Here) and Ninja, Gun, Gorilla (Click Here).
Back to Top Encore
This is a simple game that tests kids' ability to think fast. Divide into teams (could be upper vs. lower classmen, girls vs. guys, etc.). For larger groups, you can have more than two teams. Yell out a word that is commonly found in songs (love, road, river, girl, baby, need . . . ). The teams must sing a song in unison (together) using that word. The first team to do it wins a point. Play as long as they like it.
Back to Top Extreme Makeover: Cardboard Box Edition
If you've ever seen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and thought those guys had a blast building those incredible houses, then this game is for you!

You need to go to a few local appliance centers around town and collect enough refrigerator boxes for your group to use and decorate. (You will need about one big fridge box per 5 students.) Several smaller boxes would not hurt, either.

Then collect lots of markers, colored paper, pens, paint, scissors, glue, staplers, poster board, and any other craft supplies you can think of.

When the students show up, divide them into teams of 5 and give them these instructions:
1. Your team must build the coolest/most elaborate house possible using the supplies provided.
2. You have 45 minutes to work on your project.
3. You have to be able to give the leader a “tour” of your home when time is up, explaining what everything is.

Afterward, great discussion can be had about mission work, and helping others…like the TV show does.
Back to Top Fact or Fiction?
This is a great game for small to medium sized groups that not only offers the prospect of winning a prize, but also provides a "unique" learning experience. Only a few supplies are needed.

Teens will be given an opportunity to exercise their mental faculties by determining whether a story is either Fact or Fiction. The teens who get the most answers correct will win prizes.

For this game, you will need to have a sheet of paper with "FACT" printed on one side and "FICTION" printed on the other. Then make enough copies for all participants to have one each. You also need to find a number of myths and true (but weird) stories. You can find this kind of stuff on numerous websites. The Discovery Channel Mythbusters site has a number of ready-made quizzes you could use. I'll provide some myths/stories below (enough for a couple of games). Finally, you need to have a few prizes on hand to give away to the first, second, and third place finishers. (Don’t forget about the possibility of a tie!)

One option is to put the myths and answers in a Powerpoint presentation, so that on one slide, the myth is presented, and on the next slide the answer is revealed.

Playing The Game:
Explain to the teens that they will be presented with myths and true stories and will have to choose whether it is FACT or FICTION. If they think it’s FACT, they hold up that side of their paper toward the youth pastor. If it’s FICTION, they show that side to the youth pastor. (Have an adult volunteer or two on hand to help keep score.)

Most correct answers wins.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Round 1:

1. If you are stung by a jellyfish while swimming in the ocean, you should have someone urinate on the sting. (FICTION)

2. Eating bananas will attract mosquitoes, while eating garlic will repel them. (FICTION)

3. Young trick-or-treaters have actually found razor blades in apples and pins in candy bars in their Halloween loot. (FACT)

4. A man was enjoying a lollipop while driving when he got into an accident. The airbag deployed, forcing the lollipop down his throat and choking him to death. (FICTION)

5. Several people have been pronounced dead and buried while still alive. (FACT)

6. There was once a haunted-house attraction in Ohio that claimed to be so frightening that anyone who made it all the way through would get a full refund of the admission fee. No one ever did. (FICTION)

7. Many animal shelters will not allow any black cats to be adopted right before Halloween. (FACT)

8. Play-Doh was originally invented as a wallpaper cleaner. (FACT)

9. Toys placed in a donation bin for needy kids at a Wal-Mart store were returned to the shelves and re-sold. (FACT)

10. In the 80’s, if a child sent a damaged Cabbage Patch Kid back to the manufacturer for repairs, he or she would receive a death certificate in return. (FICTION)

11. Cabbage Patch Kids were designed to resemble what children would look like after a nuclear holocaust. (FICTION)

12. The yo-yo was originally developed as a weapon in the Philippines. (FICTION)

Round 2:

Bernie Peng reprogrammed Tammy Li's favorite video game, "Bejeweled," so a picture of a wedding ring and a marriage proposal would show up on the screen when she reached a certain score.
(FACT- It took him over a month to program the game and she said yes.)

Dan Kidder doesn't go to bed early…maybe that's why he's still alive. A .38 caliber bullet went through the wall of his house and through the headboard on his bed about 9pm.
(FACT- His neighbor didn't think his gun was loaded.)

David Wallace, a farmer with prior charges of animal abuse, was found dead Tuesday morning, slumped over a half-eaten omelette. Forensic analysis revealed the eggs contained toxic levels of fertilizer, resulting from one of Wallace's own chickens that had eaten the fertilizer, tainting its egg production. Marvelously, the chicken was not adversely affected by the poisonous levels of fertilizer.
(FICTION! Entirely made up!)

An Australian traffic officer slapped a parking ticket on a car parked outside a shopping mall, which had its dead driver slumped over the steering wheel.
(FACT! The officer failed to notice the man inside and issued the parking fine TWO DAYS before the body was discovered.)

A government-funded day-care center outside of Washington D.C. has was shut down after discovery that drugs, music and hypnotism were used to keep children in a comatose state for up to eight hours at a time.
(FICTION! Entirely made up!)

Founded by Denise Frank, MOSQUITO GAL is a new company that rents out people who have been tested and found to attract mosquitoes. Used at parties and other events, these decoys are then preyed upon by the mosquitoes, which leaves the invited guests virtually undisturbed by nuisances. Frank discovered her own attractiveness to mosquitoes as a toddler, when any time outside left her covered with red welts. When friends and family jokingly suggested she hire herself out for outdoor parties as a mosquito magnet, she took the joke seriously. Her first gig brought her $100 for a night's work. Her new business now charges $150 an hour.
(FICTION! Entirely made up!)

An American couple turned the tables on a burglar they caught ransacking their home by dispensing their own form of justice. Without waiting for the law to arrive, the pair doled out their own punishment to the surprised criminal. "We made this man clean up all the mess he made, piles of stuff, he had thrown out of my drawers and cabinets onto the floor".
(FACT! When police arrived, the burglar actually complained to them about being forced to do chores. Officers laughed and told him he was lucky he wasn't shot.)

Botanists in Madrid have discovered that trees growing in polluted areas of the country are becoming ill and turning a sickly purple. The scientists have appealed to the government to cut back on the use of fossil fuels to save what are jokingly referred to as "never-green" trees (FICTION! Entirely made up!)

Forget about barking dogs. Police in Romania say they have had to investigate complaints from neighbors about constant roaring from a lion in the man's backyard. The three-year-old lioness, a pet, was found caged in the yard along with two deer, a stag and two peacocks.
(FACT! The 28-year old man is being charged with illegal possession of wild animals and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail.)

A Springfield, Illinois company called AlaREM has built a new alarm clock to give people greater control over their sleeping habits. The clock is produced with new settings. In addition to five minutes of 'snooze', they allow for 'nod' (only a minute delay), 'doze' (thirty minutes more sleep), and 'nap' (two hours more rest).
(FICTION! Entirely made up!)

Just days after claiming to have been abducted by aliens, Lexington, Nevada resident Louise Dalton's hair began changing minute by minute from curly to straight. Doctors are baffled and while most women would die for the ability to change hairstyles so easily, Dalton wants to find a cure to her 'alien disease'.
(FICTION! Entirely made up!)

Idea by Ben S.
Back to Top Fall Of Faith
A youth ministry classic. Get a person to stand backward on a chair while the rest of the group prepares to catch him or her. Tell the person that they need to fall with their body as straight as possible, and with both hands across their chest, to avoid elbowing someone in the head.

The Point: Team building; a good game for a leadership event.

Added by Scott Street
Back to Top Fashion Designer
As an upfront game, pre-select two teams of 3 for this. For small groups, everyone can participate.

Materials needed:
- Tissue Paper
- Tape
- Pictures of high fashion models (needless to say, keep 'em appropriate)

Divide up into as many groups as you want (at least 3) and give each group a model (preferably youth workers!). Then give each group a picture of a fashion model, some tissue paper, and tape and ten minutes to replicate the dress on the picture of the fashion model.

When they're through, have the 'models' walk the runway for everyone to watch. Have the teams vote on who looks the most like the model they were representing. You can do this by showing what pictures they were trying to mimic on powerpoint.

Added by Pollyanna Soares
Back to Top Flinging Flying Cheese Ball Challenge
This is a challenge where one side of the room competes against the other. Choose a representative from each side of the room. Have the reps come up front, then give them each a plastic spoon and a can of cheese balls. At “go,” they will have 3 minutes to fling the cheese balls, one at a time, towards the audience on their side of the room. Teams score a point each time a cheese ball is caught by an audience members’ hand. Teams can score 5 points by catching the cheese ball in their mouths! (Each side of the room needs to have a judge keeping official score.) The team with the most points at the end of the three minutes wins.

NOTE: If you have a really big group, you might want to bring up 2 or 3 tossers for each side of the room.

Added by Dan the Man
Back to Top Food Chain
This is a youth group classic! You can use this game in a pinch for years to come. To play, all you need is a rolled up newspaper or half a pool noodle (though the pool noodle works best) and a chair for every player.

Start by getting all the teenagers to sit in chairs in a circle. Make sure they have plenty of elbow room between each chair. When everyone is seated, instruct everyone to think of an animal they like. Next, go around the room and have everyone say the name of their animal. (So, one person is dog, another is tiger, another is lama, etc.) No one in the circle can have the same animal; everyone must have a different animal chosen for themselves. Go around the circle a couple of times, asking teens to repeat their animal name. (By the way, the shorter the animal name, the better…but you don’t have to tell them that!)

Now that everyone has an animal selected for themselves, explain that you are going to play a game called Food Chain, because, as we all known, animals in the wild eat other animals.

Select one person to stand in the middle of the group with the rolled up newspaper or pool noodle. Then choose another person (let’s say the guy who picked zebra) to start the game by saying he eats another student’s animal in the circle. He might say, “Zebra eats octopus.”

As soon as the student says, “Zebra eats octopus,” the student holding the newspaper/noodle begins looking for the student who is the octopus so he can whack him/her. Meanwhile, the octopus tries to avoid getting whacked by saying, “Octopus eats eagle,” or whatever other animal he/she chooses.

If the whacker hits the octopus before that student can spit out a name, that student is out of the game, and must leave the circle. However, if that student re-directs to another animal in time (by saying he/she eats a different animal), the whacker just keeps on going until he/she finally whacks someone before they can spit out their line.

The last two people left in the circle, wins. Here are a few rules to help govern play of this really fun little game:

1. No going back and forth between players. For example: "Cow eats cat!" "Cat eats cow!" No one can call out the animal’s name that called them out. If they do, they go out of the circle.
2. If you flinch/move away when being whacked, a second whack is allowed and then that person is out of the circle.
3. If someone sitting in the circle accidentally says the animal name of the person holding the newspaper/noodle, they get whacked and sent out of the circle. For example, if cow says, “Cow eats dolphin,” and the dolphin is the whacker, then the student who is “cow” is out.
4. If a student calls out the name of an animal not in the game, or the name of an animal who has been put out of the game already, he/she is also out.
5. The person holding the newspaper/noodle cannot hit another player’s head. Whacking is only allowed on the legs and torso. Anything shoulders and up, and the whacker is out of the game, too. (Just pick another player to become the whacker in the middle.)

Have fun!

NOTE: If you have a really large group, more than 25, you may want to consider breaking it down into a couple of circles.

Idea by Alisse S.
Back to Top Football Team Quiz (NFL)
This game is great for either a big or a small group. For a big group, break up into groups of 4 requiring at least one person on each team to be a football fan. Pass out one copy of the following list of clues of pro-teams to each team.

For small group, provide one sheet per person. (Answers in parentheses; of course you'll copy this list off without the answers.) The first team to bring their completed list to you wins (or as many as they can come up with). Give prizes to each team member (a candy bar, mug, etc.).

What are these pro football teams???

Based on the clues, figure out the names of the NFL teams.

1. A dollar for corn (Buccaneers)
2. Native American epidermis (Redskins)
3. Sun-tanned bodies (Browns)
4. What you pay (Bills)
5. They don't dodge or male goats (Rams)
6. 747, B1B, Concorde, F15... (Jets)
7. 7 Squared (49ers)
8. David could stone them (Giants)
9. Iron workers (Steelers)
10. Black birds of prey (Falcons)
11. Norse warriors (Vikings)
12. Kodiak, black, polar, koala... (Bears)
13. Not sinners but... (Saints)
14. Red birds (Cardinals)
15. Rodeo animals (Broncos)
16. Native American Leaders (Chiefs)
17. Called bald (Eagles)
18. Ocean going birds (Seahawks)
19. Hostile invaders (Raiders)
20. Credit card users (Chargers)
21. Boxers (Packers)
22. King of beasts (Lions)
23. Look like fish, but are mammals (Dolphins)
24. One-time British enemies (Patriots)
25. American gauchos (Cowboys)
26. Certain type of tiger (Bengals)
27. Young and fast horses (Colts)
28. People from the Lone Star State (Texans)
29. Spotted cats or expensive cars (Jaguars)
30. Heavy breathers (play on phonics) (Panthers)
31. Large birds of the crow family (Ravens)
32. Remember them (Titans)

Updated (Sep 2004) by Jason Schmock

Also see Baseball Team Quiz (MLB) (Click Here).
Back to Top French Charades
Divide into teams of 5-7 people. Have members of one team leave the room while the others think of a situation which can be acted out without words. Then bring in one person from the team that was sent out. Explain the situation he or she will be acting out.

Now bring in the second person from that team. Without saying a word, Person #1 must act out the assigned plot for Person #2. Person #2 may or may not understand the charade, but he or she must subsequently act out the same situation for a third member of the team. Person#3 performs the charade for Person#4, and so on.

The last person must guess the original story line. Basically, this is a game of telephone, but using only charades to communicate.

Remember, all this is done in complete silence. Even the simplest charade can undergo a thorough metamorphosis after being passed down several times. If the last person cannot guess the charade, person #1 should perform it again and let the last person guess once more.

Here are some classic French charade situations to spur your creativity.

Charade 1:
The original pantomime that you do could include the following: pull the elephant into the room on a rope; tie the rope at a stake; dip a rag in a pail and wash the side of the elephant jumping high to get all the way to the top; crawl underneath, wash his belly and legs; go to the front and wash the trunk inside and out and wash the elephant’s ears as well; and then, wash under his tail (hold your nose).

Charade 2:
You are a high school beauty pageant contestant, anxiously awaiting the announcement of the winner. Suddenly you hear your name! You now step forward to receive your crown and roses. Then comes you victory walk down the aisle, waving to the crowd, you encounter many misfortunes. First, you are allergic to the roses, so you begin to sneeze, but you keep on going waving and sneezing to the crowd. Then, on the way back up the aisle, your high heel breaks and you finish the walk with one heel missing!

Charade 3:
You're are a pregnant bird about to give birth. You must fly around the room gathering materials for your nest. Once you make your nest, you lay your egg. Then finish the charade by hatching the egg and finding a worm to feed your new baby.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Fruit Basket Upset
Have group sit in a circle. You should have one less chair than you do people, so that one student is left standing up. Make sure each seat is clearly marked - use chairs or mark places with tape. Number people off, but instead of saying, "one, two, three, four, five" say "apple, banana, orange, kiwi, peach" or whatever fruit you like. The more people you have, the more groups you may want. The last person is "It" and stands in the center of the circle.

"It" yells out a fruit name. Everyone with that name must exchange seats with someone else with that name. "It" tries to take one of the empty chairs before they are all taken. Whoever is left without a chair is "It".

Rather than yelling a fruit name, "It" may yell "Fruit Basket Upset." Everyone must change seats.

Variation: "It" may yell more than one fruit at a time. This gets more people up and moving.
Back to Top Fruit Sculpture
Break up into teams. Each team makes a sculpture out of the fruit given to it. Award prizes for most creative and most stable. Have hand towels and paper towels handy for clean up.

Also see Banana Surgery (Click Here), Bubble Gum Sculpture (Click Here), Tootsie Roll Sculpture (Click Here), and Chocolate Tower (Click Here).
Back to Top Garbage War
Divide the room into four sections by putting tape on the floor. Have a ton of newspaper and toilet paper and other "dry garbage". The object is to get all of the stuff out of your section and into the other team’s section.

The Point: This might be a goofy opener for a talk on how to get "garbage" (sin, bad influences) out of our lives.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Gargle a Tune
Bring 3 students up front. Hand them each a glass of water. Then, one at a time, show only the person doing the gargling the name of a familiar song. It could be a nursery rhyme or any other familiar song. Have the person take a drink of water and attempt to gargle the tune you have showed them. The rest of the students in the room should be listening close so they can guess the song. Be ready for water through the nose.
Back to Top Gender Genius Challenge
Break out the boxing gloves…this cool game will definitely get your group fired up! It’s called Gender Genius Challenge and here’s how you play it.

It’s basically a “battle of the sexes” as the boys compete against the girls to see which gender is more intelligent. You can group guys on one side of the room and girls on the other, or just let them sit where they are – which usually makes this game even MORE interesting.

Explain that everyone in the room is playing, and it’s boys vs. girls. After stating how many points a question is worth, you’ll ask a question, and the first boy or girl to run up to the stage gets a chance to answer it. Of course, if the answer is correct, they get the points, if it’s not correct they LOSE that many points.

At the end of the game, the gender with the most points is declared the winner and they get to enjoy ice cream while the losers…get to watch!

Here are some potential questions:

(100 pts) What planet is closest to the Earth (Venus)
(100 pts) What do you call a plant that grows and dies in one growing season? (annual)
(200 pts) Dana needs 8 eggs to make 2 cakes. How many cakes could she make with 24 eggs? (6)
(200 pts) What is the capital of Portugal? (Lisbon)
(200 pts) In what NY state mountain range did Rip Van Winkle fall asleep in? (The Catskills)
(300 pts) Most fossils are found in what type of rock? (Sedimentary)
(400 pts) How many justices are there in the United States Supreme Court? (9)
(400 pts) A2 + B2 = C2 is also known as who’s theorem? (Pythagoras)
(400 pts) What instrument is used to measure radiation? (Geiger Counter)
(400 pts) Who wrote Pride & Prejudice? (Jane Austen)
(400 pts) Vertical lines divide a musical score into what? (Measures)
(500 pts) In the famous poem, “Casey at the Bat”, what town was Casey playing in when he struck out? (Mudville)

Tie Breaker if necessary:
Who was the first explorer to sail around the world? (Ferdinand Megellan)

Idea by Dan M.
Back to Top Getting To Know It
Split the group into girls and guys. (Leader's are excluded, as you will be the panel of judges.) Put teams on opposite sides of the room. Dedicate one person from each group to be "it". Give each group 5 minutes to find out as much about "it" as they can. After 5 minutes, have each person go around and say something about "it". (It may be something they like, something they don't like, something have done, etc.)

Once each group has had a chance to speak, the panel of judges (leaders) will ask some questions to each group. If the group can answer them, that is good and looked highly upon. After the judges are done asking questions, they will decide on who had better information about the person. It's up to you if you want to judge strictly by opinion, panel vote (holding up fingers or cards to indicate "Team 1" or "2"), or award points with the higher points winning.

Encourage each group to not make all the information physical, such as hair color or eye color.

Sample questions:
1. What is your favorite pizza?
2. What is your favorite kind of weather and why?
3. If you could go anywhere on a vacation for a week, where would you go?
4. What would you do with $1,000 dollars cash?
5. Share a moment in your life when you remember being the most happy.
6. Share a moment in your life when you were really mad.
7. Share an embarrassing moment?

Added by Nicole

The Point: Getting To Know You, Communication

Also see Getting To Know You Better (Click Here).
Back to Top Getting to Know You
(You need a wide blanket or canvas to play this game.) Divide the kids into two teams. Put two chairs (one for each team) about 2 meters apart facing each other. Assign two people to hold the blanket up between the two chairs, so the people sitting in them can't see each other. Each team will assign somebody per turn to sit on each chair. At the count of three the 2 people holding the blanket will release it causing it to fall down and reveal who is sitting on the chairs.

The two people sitting on the chairs will immediately say the name of the one opposite them. The first between the two who names the person opposite him/her scores a point.

This could be played w/o chairs, if you want.

The Point: Great for getting a new group of students to know each other's names.

Our variation: If you have a smaller group of "regulars" have people come up with nicknames that everyone else has to remember. You can have people make up their own or choose from categories like body parts. I.e. "Twinkle Toes", "Pretty Eyes", etc.; or animal names like, "Ape", "Moose", "Kitten"; or cars; you get the idea.

Submitted by Youth for Christ

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here), Getting To Know You Better (Click Here), and Identity Circle (Click Here).
Back to Top Getting To Know You Better
Divide into 2 even teams. For larger groups, divide into 4 teams and have a play-off with the 2 winning teams and 2 losing teams. Give each person a blank 3x5 card (or piece of paper) and have them write 5 little known facts about themselves and sign their name. Examples: I have a pet snake; my middle name is Hortense; I was born in Mexico City; I hate pizza; the carpet in my bedroom is green.

Collect all the cards and keep separate stacks for each team. The game is now ready to play.

The object is for students to name the person on the card that the leader draws (from the other team’s stack of cards) in as few clues as possible. Begin by opening up the bidding between the teams, for example: "We can name that person in five clues!" or, "We can name that person in four clues!" etc. The team that wins the bidding has five seconds to guess after the reading of the appropriate number of clues.

The Point: Great game for getting to know students after a summer break, an influx of new students, or if you just started leading a group.

Added by Young Life

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here).
Back to Top Give Yourself A Hand!
Items Needed: Paper
Markers or Ink pens
Safety Pins

You can either pre-make paper hands or have each participant trace their own hand on paper and pin it on their back. Then the whole group walks around and writes a one word POSITIVE description of the person whose back they are writing on. (ex. Nice, Pretty, Fun, Exciting, Loving, Kindhearted, etc.)

Allow enough time, depending on group size, for everyone to circulate. Then have students come up front and read what everyone said about them.

The Point: Motivator for positive self esteem.

Added by Sylvia Tucker
Back to Top Gold Fish Snag
This game can be played as an upfront game for big groups, or an all-play for smaller groups.

Throw about 50 gold fish into a kiddie or regular pool (If indoors, put plastic down and have towels available).

Whoever catches the most fish with their bare hands wins! For added fun, add some other bigger fish or try it in the dark! Use a tarp if indoors.

*Note: Make sure and catch all the gold fish and return them to clean water right away both during and when the game is over.

Added by Eben in South Africa
Back to Top Gossip Tellers (aka Telephone)
This game works best in small groups (less than 30). Have everyone get in a circle or line. One person starts by whispering something in their neighbor's ear. Keep it going until everyone has heard the initial statement or information. The last person will share with the group what they've been told; usually, it isn't what the first person said.

The point: How easily gossip goes around!

Added by Tabby
Back to Top Grab It!
Divide into two teams. Put them into two lines parallel and next to one another (about 3 feet apart) sitting down and holding hands. At the back of the line put a bucket of water with a bar of soap in it between the two lines. If this is on carpet, put a layer of towels down - the water tends to splash, then drip.

Stand at the head of the lines with a quarter in your hand. Instruct them that you are going to flip the quarter so only the first person in line can see the results. They are not to yell out how the quarter landed or even look back at their team. If the quarter lands on heads the persons in front are to squeeze their hands. The rest of the line is to squeeze their hands if their other hand is squeezed so that they can communicate to the last person in the line that the quarter is indeed heads not tails. If the last person in line has their hand squeezed then they are to try to grab the soap out of the bucket before the last person on the other team does. The person successful in retrieving the soap gets to go to the front of the line. The problem arrives however when the message is wrongly communicated to the person in back and they grab the soap only to find out that the quarter was actually tails. At that point the person in front must go to the back of the line. The first team to get their entire team forward in line (back person to front- not front to back), wins.

Variation: Instead of using a coin, you can also use a deck of cards to flip through. When a face card (Jack, Queen, or King) turns up, that is the signal to squeeze.

Optional "Grab" items: squeaky toy, balled up socks, Nerf toy

Also see Electric Orange Game (Click Here) and Ice Grab It (Click Here).
Back to Top Grocery Bag Take Off
Get the group seated in chairs in a circle and give each a grocery bag. Say that you are going to have an endurance test to see who can last the longest. Each person is told to place the bag over his or her head to minimize embarrassment. Then tell them to take off something that they didn’t wear to bed the night before. Some will catch on immediately, others will take off an article of clothing or piece of jewelry, etc., but don't allow them to give the trick away.

Then they are instructed to take off something else that they didn’t wear to bed the previous evening. Before the slow one takes off too much, yell at them, "Take off the bag, Professor! Or did you wear it to bed last night?!"

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Grocery Bag Yoga
Take a paper grocery bag and set it in the middle of the floor with the kids all around it in a circle. The object is for each youth to try and pick it up by their teeth while standing on one leg and NOT touching the floor with your hands. (If you touch the floor or fall, you're out!) Once they do it, they tear off the piece that was in their mouth....then the next youth goes.

Obviously, after so many go, the bag gets shorter and shorter. Eventually, they realize that they can tear a big piece or small piece! The bag ends up getting so short, kids lose their balance and fall. For that reason, this is best played on soft grass or carpet.

The point: This could tie into a discussion using the point, "Don't bite off more than you can chew or you'll lose your balance!" (Balancing priorities, etc.)

Added by Rachel Harris, NC
Back to Top Group Charades
Divide the group up and give each team something that they need to act out for the other groups to guess. Suggestions: poison gas in the room, laughing gas, bad odor in the room, etc. You don't need to make it a contest, but if you want to, have staff judge which group did the best.
Back to Top Guess Again
Each person chooses to be a famous character, actor, cartoon character, or otherwise famous person. They only tell one leader who makes a note of who everyone is. The leader reads out only the list of characters slowly - twice w/a bigger group. Warn everyone to pay attention as part of the challenge is that the leader doesn't read the list again (especially if they're playing).

Choose someone to start by saying to anyone, "I think you are...". If the guesser is right, that person joins their team. If they are wrong, that person becomes the guesser and guesses someone else.

Gradually teams form (teams are allowed to share with each other who they are). The winner is either the team with the most people in their team, or if anyone remains unguessed, they win.

Variation: Form teams of 3-4 at the beginning and say they cannot tell each other their "identities".

Added by Joelle Throp

Also see Guess My Name (Click Here).
Back to Top Guess My Name
Each player writes a name on a slip of paper and then passes it to the judge. After the judge receives all the slips, he mixes them up and writes the names on the board. The judge picks a person to start. This person chooses someone in the game and guesses what their name might be. "'Bob', I think you're Cinderella." If they are correct, 'Bob' is now on that person's team. Later, if that person's name is guessed, both they and Bob join the other's team.

That person continues to guess people's names until he guesses wrong. The last person he asks now gets to guess. Play continues until all but two players have been guessed. The winner is the player with the most people on his team.

If this is a new, unaquainted group, have people write their actual names so everyone can get to know each other.

If everyone pretty much knows each other, have people write funny, fake names (just be sure to remember them)!

Also see Guess Again (Click Here).
Back to Top Guess That Toe!
Have two rounds (one with 3 boys and the other with 3 girls). In a separate room, have the preselected (secretly choosen) contestants get ready for the game before anyone has a chance to see them. Have each of them remove their shoes and socks and place their barefeet into a garbage bag
with two holes cut out on the other end. They carefully place their big toes
through the holes and sit next to each other on a table with their covered legs dangling over the side with only their big toes exposed. Cover the rest of them up
with a large blanket or sheet. Make sure they don't talk or laugh. Invite
the other teens in and have them guess without touching or tickling any
toes. Have them either write guesses down on paper or dry erase board. Give
out "foot-long" hot dogs out as prizes.

Variation(s): Have awards for the longest big toe, the hairiest, the ugliest

Added by Kevin Flores
Back to Top Guess the Leader
Everyone gets in a big circle. Pick a volunteer to leave the room after you explain the game. Once that volunteer is out of hearing range, pick another volunteer who wants to be the leader. Everyone must slyly watch this person and imitate what they do when the other volunteer comes back into the room (cross legs, cross arms, yawn, stick out their tongue, etc.). The person who was out of the room will come back in, stand in the middle of the circle and try to see who is the leader (the one everyone is watching).

The leader can get bold and make faces, throw their hands in the air, etc. when the person in the middle's back is turned and before they have a chance to see who started it, everyone is doing it.

Give the person in the middle three chances to guess who the leader is. Then choose a new volunteer and a new leader. You can have the leader be the next volunteer if he is guessed or any way you see fit.

The Point: Either peer pressure or leadership and influence.

Also see Guess the Task (Click Here).
Back to Top Guess the Task
Everyone gets in a big circle. Pick a volunteer to leave the room after you explain the game. Once that volunteer is out of hearing range, choose a simple task that the volunteer is to do when he or she enters the room (walk in and tie a certain kid's shoe that is untied, take off their own coat, say the pledge of allegiance, etc.) The volunteer must come in the room and try to start doing certain tasks (unaware of the task to be done).

The kids in the room help direct this ignorant person by clapping when this person gets even close to doing the task. Louder and faster clapping means the person is getting "hotter" (closer to completing or discovering what the task is) and silence means "you're way off; keep trying stuff."

The Point: Either peer pressure or leadership and influence.

Also see Guess the Leader (Click Here).
Back to Top Guess Who?
Contact all your students’ parents and have them send in a photo of their child as a toddler. This is HUSH HUSH, and their child cannot know the photos are going to be sent in.

(When you start showing the pictures it gets the students all freaked out about which photo their parent might have sent in.)

With all your photos on a bulletin board or scanned in to a slide show, gather your students and show the photos to see who can match the toddler on screen with the teenager across the room.

Back to Top Ha Ha Game, The
Get every one to lay down on the floor next to each other in a line. The first person in the line say's "ha" , the second "ha ha," the third "ha ha ha," and so on. You can never get to the end of the line because every one starts laughing. You can also line up two lines of people and do it as a race.

Added Jayda Campbell

You can also have each person place their head on the stomach of the person before them, so that during the "ha"s their head is bounced up and down. It's pretty funny to watch. Just be careful with guy/girl combinations... could be weird.
Back to Top Hamster Knockout
No, this doesn’t involve hamsters in boxing gloves…but this is a game that your kids might possibly remember for the rest of their lives! All you need are some brave students…and a couple of hamsters.

Get all of your students to sit on the floor in a circle with their legs crossed. Then put the hamster(s) in the middle of the circle of students in their own exercise balls. Now you’re ready to play.

The hamsters will run around in the exercise balls and “bump” into kids’ legs. When a student is “bumped into” by the hamster, that student is out. Continue until there are only 5 students remaining. He/she is the winner.

NOTE: Make sure you can say at the end of the game: “No hamsters – or teenagers – were harmed during the playing of this game!” Be careful, be responsible, and have fun.

Also, if you have more than 20 kids in your group, break the students up into multiple circles and just grab a few more hamsters.

Idea by Rob W.
Back to Top Helicopter
You will need one pair of pantyhose for every two students that will be playing this game. Cut the pantyhose so that only the two legs remain. Place a tennis ball in the bottom of each leg. Pull the leg over your head until it is secure on your face. This becomes your “helicopter rotor.”

The students will use their bodies to rotate their rotor in a circular motion like that of a helicopter rotor. They must do this without using their hands!

On GO, students will attack each other with their rotors spinning. The goal is to wrap your "rotor" around someone else’s rotor and pull their rotor off of their head. Once a player’s rotor has come off, they are out of the game. Last player standing wins.
Back to Top Honey, If You Love Me You'll Smile
Everyone sits in a circle. One person is "it." He or she must walk over to someone and say, "Honey, if you love me you'll smile." They can make faces and noises, etc., but no touching or tickling.

If the targeted person laughs while the person who is "it" says, "Honey, if you love me you'll smile", then they must be "it". If they don't laugh they must say to the "it" person, "Honey, I love you but I just can't smile." Then "it" must find another person to target.

Added by Shorty

Also see Do You Love Your Neighbor? (Click Here).
Back to Top Hot Potato and Oven Mitt Pass
Just like Hot Potato, only you get one potato and two oven mitts. Get everyone in a circle and start passing the potato when the music plays.

Here's the catch: you can only touch the potato when the oven mitt is on your hand. Two people next to each other start with the mitts on, one hands the potato to the other, then the "hander" takes off the mitt and hands that to them as well. The "handee" must hold the potato in their mitt, waiting for the other mitt, and when they receive it pass it on to the next person. Once they have the mitt on, they pass it on, etc.

When the music stops the 'hander' (the person with the potato) and the 'handee' (the person putting on the mitt) are both out! (This keeps the 'handee' from dillydallying.)

For bigger groups, get several of these going at once. (We suggest a pair of mitts and a potato for every 10 or so.)


  1. If you touch a potato without your mitt- you're out!

  2. If you have a mitt when the music stops- you're out!

  3. No using weapons or firearms (it's always good to say that just to be safe!)

Added by Jenn Kernya

Also see Hot Potato With a Twist (Click Here).
Back to Top Hot Potato With a Twist
You need spoons or forks for everyone participating, something gross to eat (baby food, Vienna sausages in a can or something that can be easily passed, yet not gladly eaten).

The concept is the same as Hot Potato. When the high energy music starts you pass your object. When the music stops the person(s) with the object(s) must take a spoon/fork full.

Try to have them do this as quickly as possible, so you don’t loose the momentum of the game. Start the music back up and go again. The amount of objects you have circulating should correspond with the amount of participants (i.e. 50 - 100 teens to 5 - 10 bottles of baby food circulating). Participants should be either sitting on the floor or in chairs in a circle. Have paper towels on hand for messes.

Added by B

Also see Hot Potato and Oven Mitt Pass (Click Here).
Back to Top How’s Yours?
This is a really fun game that is also very, very simple to play. You need zero supplies or preparation! Told ya it was simple. Here’s what you do.

Choose one student to go out of the room and way out of ear shot. While that student is gone (with an adult volunteer…just to make sure), you stand in front of the rest of the kids and pick one object (usually a body part or an article of clothing) that everyone has.

Once you have decided upon an object as a group (for instance, nose, big toe, shoes, mouth, car, mom, etc), call for the student who was outside to come back in. When he/she comes in, he/she will go around the room and ask everyone, "How's Yours?"

The other students’ responses need to be one or two words describing that object that was selected. After everyone has had a chance to describe how theirs is, the student who went outside must try and guess what object everyone’s talking about.

Tip: Have the kids use very vague adjectives to describe the object. For example, if your object is your nose, make sure you explain to the kids describing their noses not to use something obvious that will give it away (like runny). They can use words like red, sore, big, narrow, loud, etc.

Our kids love this game! If your group is larger, maybe only have 10-15 kids describe "How's Yours" to keep the game moving and minimize the repeat answers.

Idea by Jeremy W.
Back to Top Hula Hoop Hoopla
Everyone stands in a circle holding hands. One person has the large Hula Hoop looped over one arm. The goal is to get the Hula Hoop all the way around the circle without "breaking the circle". This means the Hula Hoop has to fit over the players’ bodies.

If you have enough players break into 2 or more teams and see which team can get the Hula Hoop around the circle the fastest. This is tricky, but fun!. Just make sure that each team has the same number of players.

NOTE: In today's age of ADD kids and short attention spans, it's always a little risky to play an "all play" game where one person is doing something while everyone else watches and waits. Students may grow impatient if they have to wait too long (for example, if the circle is too big). You probably do not want to have your circle more than about 8 people big. So, if you have to break your group up a little, do so! It will make this game a hit for your group! Further, it is always a good idea to end a game while it is still going great. That way, everyone has a great time, and they will be excited to play it again.
Back to Top Human Christmas Tree
You can play this as an up front game or, if you have a small group, divide into teams. Have as many teams of 4 as you want.

Designate one person "the Christmas tree," and the others "decorators". Each decorator has a bag full of ornaments, lights, etc. (any tree decorations will do).

Give each team 5 minutes to decorate their "tree". When finished turn off all the lights and plug in Christmas Trees. Take pictures!

Added by Blaine Tarnecki

Also see Christmas Wish List (Click Here) and Christmas: Dueling Carolers (Click Here).
Back to Top Human Gift Wrapping
Separate students into groups of 4-5 each. Every group will get a pair of safety scissors, tape, wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows.

Give each team 4 minutes to “gift wrap” one of the students in the group.

The nicest looking gift wrapping job wins.
Back to Top Human Knots
Great Small Group game. If you use a big group, separate them into small circles. Everyone squeezes together and grabs the hand of a person not standing next to them. They may not let go of the other person's hands. So in order to untangle they must go over and under people's arms to get untangled. Sometimes you will end up with two circles. The first team to untangle back into a circle wins.

The Point: It's a group effort and if one isn't working together, it doesn't work out.

Submitted by Young Life & Konrad Parsons
Back to Top Human Sculptures
Divide into 2 teams. Have students follow the directions and make human sculptures using their bodies. Team that correctly makes the desired sculpture wins points for their team. Team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Ø Rock of Gibraltar: Pick 7 people to make this shape. At ‘go’ make a pyramid of people on their hands and knees with 3 people on the bottom row, 2 people in second row and 1 person on top. Then have 1 person climb over the mountain 1st for 200 points.

Ø Sculpture Trivia: Making letters out of people from your tribe, write out the answer to this question: “What is the longest river in the world?” (Answer: Nile. 200 points)

Ø Twin Peaks: Pick 13 people to make a shape. Same as Rock of Gibraltar but this time make 2 mountains and have person climb over both for 200 points.

Ø Let’s Build a Bridge: Starting at the stage and using only people from your tribe build a human stationary bridge so that one of the players can walk across a long span without touching the floor, (we went from our stage to our sound booth). Bridge members must stay on their hands and knees and cannot get up or switch places. (200 points)

Ø Mt. Everest: Pick 11 people from your tribe to play. At ‘go’ build a mountain same as Rock of Gibraltar only this time start with 4 people on the ground, 3 people on the 2nd row, 2 people on the 3rd row and 1 person on the top. Have someone climb over the mountain – first one to do so successfully wins 200 points.

Ø Cleopatra Carry: Pick 6 people for this challenge. In this challenge 4 people on their hands and knees will ‘transport’ 2 ‘queens’ from the front of the stage to the sound booth and back. The 2 queens will be lying down on top of the 4 carriers (not carried in piggy back style) and the four carriers must stay together so that the ‘queens’ do not at any time touch the ground with any part of their body. First team to get back to the finish line wins 200 points for their tribe.

Submitted by Rev. Daniel J. Manns
Back to Top Human Snowball
Shred a bunch of paper and spread it on the floor in an empty room or corner of your youth room. Split in two teams and give each team a roll of duct tape. Have each team select one member to be the "snowball". Give them 2-3 minutes to wrap that person in duct tape with the sticky side out (this isn't easy; be careful around their head/hair).

Once they are wrapped up, let two members of each team take their snowball person into the room full of paper and give them one minute to roll that person around on the floor. The team that makes the biggest "snowball" wins.

The Point: The snowball effect of bad choices.

Added by Saunnie

Also see Snowball Fight (Click Here).
Back to Top Human Twister
You will need two dice and about 12 3X5 cards for every six people in your group.

Separate into teams of exactly six and give each person in the group a number 1-6 (if one group has less than six people give some people two numbers). The leader will role the dice, the first one will represent a person and the second will represent a body part (1=foot, 2=knee, 3=hip 4=elbow, 5=hand, 6=nose) If your group is brave make 5=armpit.

You will role the two dice twice. After the first role you say, "Number 5's nose" and you roll again and say, "number 2's armpit" whatever combination of person and body part is called must then be connected with a 3X5 card in between the two body parts. Each team keeps going until they cannot connect the two parts or one of the earlier cards drops to the floor. The last team standing wins.

Added by Scott Sagle
Back to Top Human Typewriters
Pin a large card bearing a letter of the alphabet to each person’s arm. Give each person a small card and a pencil. The goal is for letters to get together and spell words. Once they’ve spelled a word, they write it on their card.

Then separate everyone and look for new words. Award points for each real word and a prize to the longest list of words. Make sure no one tries to exclude vowels or certain consonants!

Added by Young Life

Also see Human Scrabble (Click Here) and Human Scrabble For Dummies (Click Here).
Back to Top Hyper Spy Hunt
This game is probably best played off the church campus. This manhunt-sort-of-game puts your group in teams, forces them to work together, and promises a load of fun for all who are involved. Here is how you do it.

1. Find a safe location with many stores and a large area. Malls, shopping centers, or even large flea markets work great.

2. Decide upon a super spy name (like Jason Bourne) but James Bond or Ethan Hunt could also be used.

3. Beforehand, secretly commission a handful of folks to be spies. They should dress up
so they are not recognizable to the students. Each spy should be assigned specific zones at your chosen location so that they are spread out. Most of the youth group should know the spies in real life so that they have a chance of spotting them in their costumes.

4. Give each spy index cards with a single letter from the super spy's name. For example, Spy 1 would carry several index cards with a "B" on it, Spy 2 would carry the same number of cards with an "O" on them, Spy 3 would have cards with a “U” on them, and so on.

5. Assign an item to each spy that they will request from every team of students that spots them. (In other words, for the team to get the spy’s card, they must go and purchase some trivial item.) The items should be unique and very cheap. Also, they need to be purchased within that area. A guitar pick, a stick of incense, a pack of baseball cards, etc. Scope out the area ahead of time to come up with the items.

6. Send out your “spies” to the appropriate zones and then move on to explain rules to the teens.

1. The game is played in teams. Split the teens up into small groups, and explain the boundaries clearly. If you are in a mall, hand them a mall directory with the appropriate markings on them.

2. Let them know that they are looking for spies (that they would actually know in real life) and that they must get a clue from every spy in order to discover the super spy’s identity. (You don't necessarily have to tell them that the spies will require something of them first before they give up their clue.)

3. They must go around staying in their groups and find ALL the spies and get ALL the clues to figure out who the super spy is. Teams MUST find all spies, and not just “fill in the blanks” when they can accurately guess the secret spy’s identity. The first team back to the leader with EVERY spy found and able to provide the name of the super spy, wins.

4. When they find a spy, the spy will say, "I have a clue for you, but first you must bring me a “whatever." Again, assign cheap and unique items that will take the teens some time to find. The spies are allowed to move around within their zone, so it will take that group some time to find the spy again.

NOTE: If you play in public areas, make sure you coach your group how to behave. If they are too rambunctious, they will get kicked out. Also, remember to have an agreed upon ending point (the food court, perhaps). Also, decide a playing time limit. This way, all teams are back together at the same time, regardless of whether they finished the game.
Back to Top I Have, I've Never
Like Identity Circle (Click Here) or Fruit Basket Upset (Click Here). Have everyone sit in a circle except one person who stands in the middle. Everyone in the circle has to be sitting in a chair or on an “x” marked on the ground with tape (there has to be only as many designated seats as there are people sitting in the circle so that the person in the middle has no place to sit).

The game begins with the person in the middle saying something that “they have,” or “have never” done (ie: “I have two sisters”, or “I have never worn a dress.”) All the people who can identify with the statement (they “have two sisters” or “haven’t worn a dress”) must get up and find an empty seat other than the one they just vacated. The person stuck without a seat is now in the middle. This game has no time limit and is a favorite among groups —- kids request this game weekly.

Also see Getting to Know You (Click Here).
Back to Top I'm The Best At...
Although this game can be played anywhere, it really works well on those long youth ministry trips like summer camp and mission events. All you need to play this one is your group of students. Here’s what you do.

Put students in groups of 6. The objective for competitors is to quickly come up with something that they are "the best at" using words that begin with the same letter. For example, “I am the best at Picking Peppers.”

The game is played in rounds, and for each round, a different letter is randomly chosen and all the contestants race to spurt out what they are the best at.

Round 1 requires two words. (If the letter was “A” then “African Artwork” would qualify.)

Round 2 requires three words.

Round 3 requires four words.

Round 4 requires five words.

Round 5 requires six words.

In each round, the last person to conjure up a sentence is out. The student who is left sitting at the end of Round 5 is the winner.

NOTE: Obviously, if your group is smaller, you can use smaller sized teams. If that’s the case, use fewer rounds as well.

Idea by Adam J.
Back to Top Ibble Dibble
This game sounds confusing, but read it through a couple times. Once you try it, you’ll get it. Students love it because they get marked up.

You need a paintbrush and some red poster paint. Everyone stands or sits in a circle. Number everyone off.

No.1 starts off by saying, "Ibble Dibble Number 1 with no Ibble Dibbles, calling Ibble Dibble Number (choose a #) with no Ibble Dibbles."

That person must respond and choose another person by saying, "Ibble Dibble No. (whatever # they are) with no Ibble Dibbles, calling Ibble Dibble No. (choose a #) with no Ibble Dibbles."

If a person makes a mistake, then they receive an Ibble Dibble (a spot of red paint on their cheek).

That person then carries on with, "Ibble Dibble No. ? with one Ibble Dibble calling Ibble Dibble No.? with no Ibble Dibbles (or however many they do have).

You can choose the winner as the one left with no marks or mulitple winners after a certain time period.

Added by Phil Greig

Also see Chicken Pox Epidemic (Click Here).
Back to Top Ice Cube Race
Funny small group game. Split your group in half and line them up. They will pass an ice cube down several peoples' backs. The ice cube is passed out at the bottom of one person’s shirt into the top of the next shirt. If it falls, start over. Whichever line of students finishes passing to the final person wins.

Added by Young Life

Also see Ice Chest (Click Here) and Ice Grab It! (Click Here).
Back to Top Identity Circle
The group sits in a circle with one person in the middle. There are the exact number of chairs for everyone sitting down. This way, there is always one person in the middle.

Have the person in the middle yell out certain characteristics that they have (hair color, color of clothes, gender, etc.). The people with those characteristics must get up and move. Have the person in the middle yell out "I am" or "I have" then the characteristic (I am blonde, I have a blue shirt on, I play on the soccer team, etc.)

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here), Getting To Know You (Click Here), and I Have, I've Never (Click Here)
Back to Top Impromptu
This game works great IF YOU BREAK THE TEAMS UP PROPERLY. The objective of this game is to have teams write a very short skit about something silly, and then act it out LIVE in front of the rest of the group.

A huge key to this game is to split up your raging extroverts. A team that consists of nothing but social hermits will probably not work very well. Split up the students in such a way that each team gets a few of the outgoing kids in it.

Then simply write up a few scenarios for them to develop and act out. Here are a few examples:

Scenario #1: A run-by stoning has just occurred. As the detectives (or other “official” people) the group must explain why this man was stoned and then ran over by bears.

Scenario #2: A group of archeologists have just discovered the biggest find in history (something goofy like “Homo Donald Trumpicus”). The group must explain why this find will change human history!

Scenario #3: The group is a mob of angry town folk who have reached the limit of their patience with Santa's sleigh flying over their town every year. They try to figure out a way of bringing him down…for good!

Rules: Every team member must play/act/participate. Skits need to be kept to a very strict 2 minute maximum.
Back to Top Improv
Divide group into smaller groups and give them a topic to make a silly skit up about.


  • On a bus, someone late for work/school/church.

  • I'm the new youth pastor and this is my group.

  • Fender bender

  • Dumb bank or convenience store robber
Back to Top Inhale, Exhale
Line students up and have them pass an index card or piece of paper down the line as fast as they can using only their mouths. You need to suck in wind to keep the card on your lips in order to pass it (by blowing out) to the next person in line. The first group to pass the card all the way down (and back if you wish) wins.

Classic Campus Life
Back to Top It's A Numbers Thing
This is a great game for the entire audience. Even though it’s a competition between the boys and girls in your group, you don’t have to divide up your audience.

The leader’s task is to just stand up front on the stage and ask questions, one at a time. Each of the questions has to do with numbers. If a student thinks they know the answer, they must run up to the stage. If they arrive behind another student, they must stand behind them (and hope that person misses the question so he/she gets a stab at it). The first person to give the correct answer scores a point for their gender.

Students can answer as many times as they like but have to go to the back of the line if they answer incorrectly. This is a race to 7; first gender to answer 7 questions correctly wins a prize for all the boys or girls in the room.

1. On average, how many million miles away is the sun from the earth? (93)
2. An adult human who hasn’t lost a tooth will have how many in their mouth? (32)
3. How many sides does a dodecagon have? (12)
4. How many feet are in a mile? (5280)
5. How many years old am I (the youth pastor asking the questions)?
6. If you include end zones, how long is a football field in feet? (360)
7. In thousands of feet, how tall is Mt. Everest? (29)
8. How many red and white stripes are there on the US flag? (13)
9. How many amendments to the US constitution are there? (27)
10. Barrack Obama is what number President of the US? (44th)
11. How many legs does an arachnid have? (8)
12. What is the square root of 361? (19)
13. According to the book of Genesis, how many days did it take God to create the world and everything in it? (6 – He rested on the 7th)
14. How many Senators are there in the US congress? (100)
15. How many ounces are in a gallon? (128)

Prizes will probably be based on your student size and budget. If you have a small crowd, you can pass out gift cards. If you have a larger group, you might have to go with ice cream bars or something like it.

Idea by Dan M.
Back to Top King Elephant
This game is in addition to the rules of Silent Animal Circle (Click Here). We call it King Elephant because the object is to go around the circle until you get to be King Elephant.

The game is the same in that you have animal symbols and as you move a chair you become a new animal. We try to put animals in order of the food chain, ie. after elephant, we have lion, tiger, bear, crocodile etc. down to snake, bird and worm. Worm is just a single finger bent and wiggling. We also include a clapping beat to go with the game that King Elephant controls and can increase in speed. We clap twice, palms down on our knees, and then one clap with hands together. On the last clap is when the participant does their symbol. For example: knee clap, knee clap, hand symbol (ie. worm wiggles finger), knee clap, knee clap, another symbol (i.e. two hands come out like claws for bear), and then the bear person does the same without missing a beat, knee clap, knee clap, bear symbol, knee clap, knee clap, next symbol. Just like the other game, if the participant makes a mistake, they become the worm and everyone else moves up.

The object is to try to be king by knocking out anyone in front of you.

Examples of animals that we use:

  • Bird - two hands together with thumbs locked, flying like a bird

  • Chicken - hands under armpits and arms flapping

  • Crocodile - arms extended with one hand facing down, other up, clapping together

  • Bear - two hands out like claws

  • Tiger - hands with fingers spread apart placed on cheeks to look like stripes

  • Lion - hands above head and connected like a circle - just looks big I guess

  • Raccoon - index finger and thumbs together like a circle and put in front of eyes

  • Snake - make a snake movement with one out-stretched arm

  • Giraffe - one hand up above head fully extended with hand bent at wrist

  • Rooster - palm facing to left or right, brought to forehead

  • Monkey - pull ears out from head with hands

  • Beaver - bring to fingers bent to mouth like big teeth

  • Worm - wiggling one bent finger

  • Elephant - one arm extended away from nose, other arm wrapped around and grabbing the nose - hardest one to do, thus challenging to try and stay King
Back to Top Kisses and Mallows
Supplies needed:

Large bowls (one for each team/group)
Lots of Hershey Kisses
Lots of large puff marshmallows
Tape on floor 10' from tables

Divide your students into teams of equal number and then put them in a straight line, one in front of the other, with all of them facing a table that is positioned about 10 feet away. (Put down tape on the floor to keep all the teams “honest.”)

On the table about 10 feet away are two large bowls. One contains wrapped Hershey’s Kisses, and the other contains large puff marshmallows.

To play the game, instruct each person to turn and ask the student standing in line behind them which of the two candies they want, a Hershey’s Kiss or large puff marshmallow. Then give the person in the front of the line a very large pair of mittens or gloves.

On “go,” the person in the front of the line runs to the table and gets whichever candy the person behind him requested. If it is a Hershey’s Kiss, he must unwrap it (wearing the mittens/gloves) and THEN run it back to the person standing behind the line of tape on the floor. When they eat it, THAT person gets the gloves and runs to the table for the person in line behind them.

If that person wanted a puff marshmallow, he will pull one out of the bowl (wearing the mittens/gloves) and, standing 7 feet from the line, toss it back to the person standing behind the line. He/she must catch it in his/her mouth. If the “catcher” misses twice, then the gloved person MUST grab a Hershey’s Kiss and follow the steps outlined above.

The team who finishes off all their players first, wins the game.

Idea by Greg P.
Back to Top Kissing in the Dark
Divide the kids into five teams. Put five targets on a wall with point values such as that on a dart board and line up each of the teams so they are about ten feet away from one of the targets. Assign a volunteer to each team to help things run smoothly and not get out of hand.

Explain that each team needs to choose five volunteers to "kiss in the dark." Make sure they are a mixture of guys and girls. Each team will have two blindfolds and a tube of lipstick. Have the team blindfold the first contestant and put lipstick on his/her lips. On your signal, each of the five contestants will walk toward their target and kiss it. There should be another volunteer at each target tallying the points. After the kiss, the kids can take off the blindfold and see how they did. While the first contestant is going, some of the members of the team should be blindfolding and putting lipstick on the next contestant so he/she is ready to go on your signal.

After each of the five contestants has gone, announce the team with the best score and give them some Valentine's candy.
Back to Top Kitchen Hockey
This game is played just like floor hockey except instead of expensive sports equipment, use everyday household objects. It is a real blast and perfect for smaller groups with limited space. Divide your group into two or more teams (no more than 5 players are on the floor at a time from each team). Create two goals by using buckets, large pots or just tape lines on the floor and have each team pick a goalie. The goalie is equipped with a large spatula (their stick) and an oven mitt (their glove). Each player is equipped with a wooden spoon. The puck can be whatever you can find in the church kitchen (balled up aluminum foil works great).
Back to Top Knock 'Em Over
Have all your students stand up and find a partner. They stand back to back and on "1,2,3, Go!" they stand on one foot and turn around (usually by jumping/hoping). Whoever puts their other foot on the ground (or falls over) first loses. They can bump into each other, push, etc. The winners find new partners and advance to the next round.
Back to Top Last Straw
Much like "Toothpicks and Lifesavers." Give everyone a straw to put in their mouth. In rows or pews have them stand up and get ready to pass a small cup (Dixie cups work great) to the next person by using only the straw. The row to do this first, without cheating, wins! You can have a few people in the middle blindfolded for an extra twist.

Added by Sterling Lynn
Back to Top License Plate Find (State Nicknames)
Great Travel Game, but can also be played in a group.

List on a blackboard, overhead, or handout the following state nick names (and others you may know) from auto license plates. Divide group into teams to identify the correct state for each name. The team that correctly identifies the most states wins the game.

You can play the game several times by only using ten states at a time. If the game seems too difficult for your age group, provide the state names as well (out of order) and make it a matching game.

Yellowhammer State – Alabama
The Last Frontier – Alaska
The Grand Canyon State - Arizona
Land of Opportunity (The Natural State) - Arkansas
The Golden State - California
Centennial State - Colorado
Constitution State - Connecticut
The First State - Delaware
Sunshine State – Florida
Peach State - Georgia
Aloha State - Hawaii
Gem State – Idaho
Prairie State - Illinois
Hoosier State - Indiana
Hawkeye State - Iowa
Sunflower State - Kansas
Bluegrass State - Kentucky
Pelican State (Sportsman’s State) - Louisiana
Pine Tree State (The Vacation State) - Maine
Old Line State – Maryland State
Bay State - Massachusetts
The Great Lake State (The Wolverine State) - Michigan
Land of 10,000 Lakes (North Star State) - Minnesota
Magnolia State - Mississippi
Show Me State – Missouri
Treasure State – Montana
The Cornhusker State – Nebraska
Silver State (Sagebrush State) - Nevada
The Granite State – New Hampshire
Garden State – New Jersey
The Land of Enchantment - New Mexico
The Empire State - New York
Old North State (First in Flight) - North Carolina
Peace Garden State – North Dakota
Buckeye State - Ohio
The Sooner State – Oklahoma
Beaver State – Oregon
Keystone State - Pennsylvania
Ocean State – Rhode Island
Palmetto State – South Carolina
Mount Rushmore State – South Dakota
The Volunteer State - Tennessee
Lone Star State – Texas
Beehive State – Utah
Green Mountain State – Vermont
Old Dominion State – Virginia
The Evergreen State – Washington
Mountain State – West Virginia
Badger State – Wisconsin
Equality State - Wyoming

Added by Young Life, updated by The Source

Also check out Baseball Team Quiz (Click Here) and Christmas Carol Quiz (Click Here).
Back to Top Lifesavers & Toothpicks (Sticks and Tires)
Simple game with any number of evenly divided teams. Everyone gets a toothpick and places it in their mouth. Get the teams in some sort of single file line, row or circle. Start the front or beginning person with a lifesaver on their toothpick. They must pass the lifesaver from their toothpick to their neighbor's toothpick without any hands. First team to pass it all the way down is the winner.

Also see Marshmallow Pass (Click Here).
Back to Top Light Saber Wars
I got this game from someone else so don't give me the credit. You partner up your students. They face each other and hold their hands in the "second phase" of a handshake, where they are basically holding each other's thumbs. They each stick out their index finger from the hands they are holding. Their feet have to stay still. On go, they try to poke each other. It's pretty hard to do if you keep your feet still. It's sort of similar to the game "Mercy", where both are struggling. The winners continue on until there is just one left.

Added by Gary Early
Back to Top Little Debbie Treasure Hunt
Get all sorts of “Little Debbie” treats and hide them around the church. Split the youth into groups according to the empty “Little Debbie” boxes. The group must then find the treat pictured on their box. The first team to come back with all their “assigned” treats wins a prize. Every other team gets to eat what they've found so everyone wins! Talk about serious motivation!

NOTE: Some “Little Debbie” boxes come with 6 treats in their packages and some come with only 5 treats in them. Make sure that every group is looking for THE SAME NUMBER of treats! (5 is a good number.) Also, make sure to count how many snacks/treats you hide so that you know if they are all found at the end of the game.
Back to Top M & M Scarf
Six students on each team (2 teams) must divide out colors of a pound bag of M&M's and eat them in order of color. Example: First person opens the bag and sorts out all the red colors then passes the bag to the next person while scarfing (eating) his color! The team with all the M& M's eaten first is the winner.

Also see Jelly Bean Trade (Click Here) and Ketchup Covered M&Ms (Click Here).
Back to Top Mafia
Great game for limited space or if you're stuck indoors. Also good for smaller groups or over-nighters.

The object of the game is to not get killed. It takes a lot of explaining, but once you get it, it will quickly become a favorite. You need at least 8 players to make the game interesting. You need a deck of cards, or slips of paper with the identities on them. For 10 or more, there should be 2 Mafia, 1 Angel, 1 Cop, and the rest townspeople. For less, have only 1 Mafia. Try not to play with more than 30, because it turns into a huge shouting match. Distribute the identities secretly. Everyone should keep their identity a secret, but if they choose to they can reveal it as part of strategy later.

Here is an outline of how to play each round:


  1. Narrator says "Town go to sleep." All players put their heads down and close their eyes.

  2. N: "Mafia wake up" Only the mafia open their eyes and look at narrator.

  3. N: "Mafia, who do you want to kill?" Mafia have to point to someone in the room and agree on that person. Narrator nods to let them know they understand.

  4. N: "Mafia go to sleep" Mafia close eyes again.

  5. N: "Cop wake up" The cop opens eyes. "Who do you think it is?" Cop points to someone they suspect is a mafia. Narrator either nods yes or no. Now the cop has an advantage for later. "Cop go to sleep"

  6. N: "Angel wake up" Same deal. "Angel, who do you want to save?" Usually, the angel points to him/herself, in case they were picked to be killed off. But sometimes they are gracious and point to someone else to be saved, especially if they have an idea who has been picked by the Mafia. "Angel go to sleep"

  7. N: "Town wake up" At this point, everyone opens their eyes, and the narrator announces who is dead, or that no-one is dead (if Angel managed to save them.) Everyone gasps in surprise, and then the accusations fly.

  8. Narrator asks for accusations as to who the town thinks the mafia is. It's usually a good idea to limit it to 2 or 3 per round. To make it more interesting, I always insist on the accuser making up some creative reason why they are accusing so-and-so. (like, "I heard them leave their house last night" or "look how muddy their shoes are!")

  9. Narrator then allows each of the accused to defend themselves. This whole process can get really rowdy, and you need to be careful not to offend the sensitive kids. Narrator must remain neutral, but can egg on either side with "facts."

  10. After a few minutes, narrator should announce that it's time to vote. By a show of hands, go through each accused. The one with the most votes gets "killed" by the town and is therefore dead.

  11. Repeat.

When someone is "dead" they cannot participate in the accusations. They are not allowed to talk. However, they get to keep their eyes open and find out all the answers to the mystery. Remind students not to cheat, because the temptation is great to do so! The game ends when either both Mafia are killed off (town wins) or are the only ones left (mafia wins).
The advantage of being the cop is that they can say "I'm the cop, I know the Mafia is so-and-so." However, they should be careful, as sometimes the town doesn't believe them and the cop ends up getting killed off! Also, you can play that once the Angel is killed off, that's it, or that he/she can continue to save people because they don't technically die.

Added by Becky Heffner

Also see Gargoyles (Click Here) and Hunters (Click Here).
Back to Top Mangle Tangle
This is a really fun game that everyone can play, and possibly win, because athleticism counts for nothing in Mangle Tangle. Here’s how you do it.

You need about 8’ of rope for every 2 students you have. So if you have 20 kids, you need about 160’ of rope total, that’s cut in 8’ lengths.

When you get the rope cut into sections, spend a few minutes “tangling” it a bit. Not too much, but not too easy either.

Tell all of your students to gather around the pile of tangled mess, and grab one end of one piece of rope. Then have them tie it to their belt loop.

After everyone is tied to a rope end, explain that they now have a partner (the other person on the other end of the rope) but they don’t know who it is yet. When you say “go” they are to try and totally untangle themselves from the rest of the group. The first two person team to totally untangle themselves wins.

These will help you make this great game EXACTLY what you need it to be.
1. Duh. You got to have an even number of players. Sub in adults if need be.
2. Use ¼” twisted nylon and polyester rope. It’s cheap, and it’s fairly soft.
3. You might want to simply buy everyone who is going to play, a carabineer. That way, they can just loop onto the kids’ belt loop much more easily. They are about 1 buck each at hardware stores.
4. If you want the game to last longer, use more tangle than mentioned above. Your call.
5. If your group is big (more than 30 kids) split up your tangle piles and use multiple piles. Otherwise the mess will be way too big and nobody will have any fun.
Back to Top Mars Bar Dress Up
Gotta small group and wanna have a lot of laughs? This one is for you!

Get your students to sit in chairs in a circle. Hand a pair of dice to someone in the circle. They roll the dice and are hoping for one of the dies to be a 6. If neither of the two dies are a 6, the next person in the circle gathers them up and tries rolling for a 6. The dice continue around the circle in the same fashion until someone rolls a 6 on one or both of them.

At that point, he or she rushes to the middle of the circle where there is a plate sitting on a chair. Beside the plate is a pair of gloves, a hat, a scarf, and a pair of milk bottle glasses. On the plate is a PLASTIC knife, a PLASTIC fork, and a Mars Bar. The student must put on ALL of the articles of clothing BEFORE picking up the knife and fork to cut themselves a piece of the chocolate bar. As soon as they are wearing all of the silly clothes AND have themselves a piece cut away, they may eat it.

But, if while the first student was dressing himself OR cutting the chocolate bar, another student runs up because she rolled a 6, then he must give way to her and let her have all of the clothes and utensils. She then tries to hurry and dress herself, so she can cut a piece and eat it, before someone else in the circle rolls a 6.

The dice NEVER stop being rolled! This must be a fast-paced game to be any fun. Here’s what makes this game so fun: hardly anybody gets a chance to eat anything because there is always a new person who has just rolled a 6!

NOTE: This is VERY important. Make sure to use a PLASTIC knife and fork! That way, if someone is running up and trips, there will not be an accident. Also, you may want to make sure to use a candy bar that is free of peanuts because of the potential for allergic reactions. Finally, if you have a large group (25 or more) make two circles. That way, students are not waiting so long to get a chance to roll the dice again.
Back to Top Marshmallow Dodge Ball
The same rules as Dodge ball, but played with the big sized marshmallows. It’s a lot softer to get hit with a marshmallow than a big rubber ball. Plus imagine the fun of seeing and trying to dodge a hailstorm of marshmallows being flung your way! If you make it through without getting hit in this game, you are the man/woman!!!

Played with two teams, each on one side of a good size room with a line in the middle evenly dividing the two sides. They have to be touching the wall with their body, foot, butt, or hand. The starter yells out, "One, Two, Three, Dodge ball." At the word 'Dodge ball' the teams run up to get the marshmallows (4-5 max depending on the number of kids, you be the judge) sitting on the center line. Then the fun begins. All players must be in-between the center line and the free throw line/boundary line. The only time a player can go behind their free throw line is to retrieve a marshmallow. When a player is hit (anywhere on the body) he/she is out. The 'hit player' goes to the designated 'Out' sideline. They start lining up from the center line back to their side's wall. They can go back into the game when one of their team members catches a marshmallow.

You're Out When:
. Someone catches the marshmallow you throw
. You hit someone but it bounces off them w/o touching the ground and then another one of their players catch it - you're out and they both stay in (plus, they get an 'out' player back in for them)
. The marshmallow hits you or your clothes, even a slight brush of the marshmallow.
. The marshmallow hits a fellow team mate then bounces off them and then hits you - you're both out (When the marshmallow hits the ground it's dead - you can't get out from a bounced or grounded marshmallow)

Remember to make sure you have at least a couple of adult leaders helping “judge” this one. There is so much to look at and try to observe. Have fun!
Back to Top Marshmallow H.O.R.S.E.
Marshmallow Horse

This is a great game for small groups that meet in homes, but you can use it in just about any setting. All you need is a bag of small marshmallows.

The game is a hybrid of tossing marshmallows up and catching them in your mouth and the basketball game H.O.R.S.E. In our game, you pair up students and use a marshmallow for the basketball. Teams take turns setting up "shots." One student throws the marshmallow while their partner tries to catch it in their mouth (without using their hands at all).

If they do catch it, all other teams must attempt the same shot. If the other teams make the same shot, they don’t get a letter, but if a team misses the shot, they get a letter in the word H-O-R-S-E until they complete the word (and are out of the game). The last team standing is the winner.

NOTE: You may be tempted to use the big marshmallows but we don’t recommend it. It makes it much harder, plus there is the risk of choking hazard. Just stick with the small marshmallows.

Idea by Ryan S.
Back to Top Marshmallow Pass
Give each kid in the room toothpicks. Split into teams and then race. Instruct students to pass the marshmallow to the person behind them, leaving the toothpick on the marshmallow when they let it go.

Added by Young Life

Also see Lifesavers & Toothpicks (Click Here).
Back to Top Marshmallow Pitch
For this game, have kids get in groups of three and give each trio a sack of miniature marshmallows. Each group should designates one neutral counter, one pitcher, and the other the catcher. On "go", the pitcher tosses a marshmallow into the catcher's mouth, and the catcher must eat the marshmallow. The pitcher and catcher should be about ten feet apart. The counter counts how many successful catches are made, and the couple with the most at the end of a time limit or the first to reach twenty successful catches is the winner.

Added by Young Life

See also Shmallow Shooters (Click Here).
Back to Top Meme me up Scotty
Preparation: Before your meeting print out a bunch of silly internet photos and funny pics of your students and leaders. Baby pics, old pics, embarrassing pics – just make sure that they are appropriate. Have multiple copies of your best pics so you get several memes to choose from. Have a bunch of sharpie markers ready based on the size of your group.

Instructions: Spread out your posters and sharpies in front of the group and explain that they have 3 minutes to come up, grab a poster and make a clever meme. After 3 minutes collect them and vote on which one is the best. Winning meme wins a prize.

Submitted by Pastor Dan Manns
Back to Top Mingle for Money
Begins like the Dollar Surprise (Click Here), but more.

Give 5-10 people increments of $1-3 each... secretly instruct them (like when everyone is arriving and just hanging out) to remember the 7th person they mingle with (small group: 4th person), but DO NOT give up their prize money...just keep on mingling.

Also, give them a question of the night to ask each person. Like, What is your favorite snack food for Super Bowl, who was the last person that made you laugh, how often do you brush your teeth, does your mom (or older sister) dye her hair, etc.

At the end of 2 minutes, the "holders" come up front. They each call their 7th person up with them. That person must recall the answer they were given by the prize holder. If they do, the money is given up to them. But WAIT! There's ONE MORE step...the holder must also recall the answer from this 7th person. (You would think that would be easy...but not if you give PLENTY of time to mingle waaaay beyond the 7th acquaintance). Often times I get the money back because the "holder" couldn't remember.

The Point: Getting to know you; Relationships don't go anywhere if you can't even remember what people tell you!

Option: If you don't want to use money, use a can of pop or candy.

Added by Barb Harrington

Also see Hi, My Name Is (Click Here).
Back to Top Movie Game
Have someone give a line from a popular movie. The first person to say the movie title the line is from gets to share a line from a movie. Same thing until you've had enough.

Fun once you get going. Just tell students to have a line in mind because it becomes boring when someone takes 5 minutes to come up w/a line.

You can pass a bowl of candy and let whoever gets the right answer pick a candy.

Also see Name That Clip (Click Here) and Name That Tune (Click Here).
Back to Top Mr. Mumbles
This can be done with any amount of people, but the more the better. Have them sit in a circle. Everyone must suck their lips in, or to act as if they have no teeth so that when they talk and you can’t see their teeth. Then one person starts and asks their neighbor, "have you seen Mr. Mumbles?" then the receiver says, "No I have not, let me ask my neighbor". This continues on around the circle. It gets hard, because it sounds funny but you can't laugh. The point of the game is not to show your teeth. If teeth are shown from anyone, they are out. So keep watch on all the kids.

This game is also fun if you have 1 or 2 kids who can elaborate the story with something like "have your seen Mr. Mumbles? He's got gray hair and walks with a cane" etc. This makes it a bit funnier.

Students are out of the game if they show their teeth OR if they laugh when their neighbor is asking them if they have seen Mr. Mumbles.
Back to Top Mummy Wrap
This game can be played as either an up-front game or as an audience game.

As an Audience game: Throw out 3 rolls of toilet paper to different sections of the crowd and have them do it right there.

As an Up-Front: Pick three groups of three people each. Give each a roll or two of toilet paper. Make sure you give each team the same amount.

Two people wrap up (like a mummy) the third person in the group. The object of the game is to: See who can wrap up their "mummy" first or who is most creative in their "mummifying".

You may wish to add a few other objects into the game (Q-tips, t.p. rolls, etc.) to aid in the "artistic expression possibilities". A youth worker named Nick suggests providing sunglasses and hats, etc.

You could have the crowd or the staff vote. You need 3 or 6 rolls of toilet paper.

Also see Toilet Paper Bride (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Backs
Similiar to musical chairs, students pair up with another student back-to-back while locking arms when the music stops. To make it a little more difficult and to avoid clicks, tell the students they cannot pair up with the same student two consecutive times. They must switch it up.

When there is an even number of students, place a chair in a random location and allow students to sit in the chair, taking the place of a student, which will leave someone without a partner. When the number of students is odd, leave the chair out.

Submitted by Ryan Espinoza.

Also see Musical Chair Squat (Click Here), Musical Guys (Click Here), and Musical Paper Plates (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Candy - Feet or Face!
This game can be a lot of fun…or gross…or both! You get to decide…and your students are at your mercy!

Get all the students to sit in a circle with their shoes & socks off and tell them that they'll be passing around some candies while the music plays, and when it stops, they get to eat the sweets. Simple as that, right?

Before you sell the game, prep a large bowl with wrapped-up sweets and cover them with something crazy like baked beans or spaghetti hoops or oatmeal, etc.

Bring the bowl out and start the music. Kids pass the bowl to one another (using their hands) and when the music stops, that student must then go after the sweets that are at the bottom of the bowl. They may use either their feet or face to fish a sweet out of the bowl. If the kid chooses “face” they must dip into the bowl and use their mouth to get a sweet out. If they choose “feet” it’s the same deal.

Tip #1: It's even funnier if you only give kids the option of using their feet for the first few rounds and then say they must use their face instead: grossed-out faces ensued!

Tip 2#: If you have a fairly rowdy crowd, give them a ball to pass around (instead of the bowl) and then when the music stops give them the bowl to get the sweet out of.

Tip #3: If you have more than 15 students, make multiple circles of students to ensure that it stays fun and interesting for all. Just make sure you have enough bowls and candy!

Idea by Jess B.
Back to Top Musical chairs of death
Basically it is like musical chairs, but with a twist. First, set up the chairs in a circle with seats facing out then when the music plays, students walk around the chairs. (There needs to be TWO less chairs than students.)

When the music stops, students scramble for a seat. Those who find a seat are safe until the next round. The two who cannot find a chair must run to a predetermined “safe zone” (like a door, or a wall) while adult leaders are throwing large Nerf balls at them.

If one or both of the students are hit by the balls, they are out. If they are not hit, they are still in the game.

Continue until there is only one winner.

NOTE: Make sure the balls are truly soft. You may want to have 2 or 3 balls per adult leader to make it even more exciting. If the game begins to wear on, remove another chair from the floor.

Back to Top Musical Christmas Gift
This game needs a room big enough to allow your students to get into a circle.

We had approximately 100 kids at our annual Christmas Party. We wrapped 6 gifts in MULTIPLE layers of wrapping paper, each with a different color/pattern so that it was obvious. Some gifts had 2 “layers,” some had 8. None had the same amount of wrapping paper. The gifts ranged from serious and nice, to silly and weird. We passed the gifts around like “Hot Potato” to music. When the music stopped, the students holding the gifts were instructed to unwrap ONLY the outer layer of the present. It takes a few breaks in the music to get the first gift opened. The student who unwraps the final “layer” of wrapping paper gets to keep the gift. However, he/she must leave the circle so that he/she does not win again.

The beauty of this game is that it involves everyone in the room. A great byproduct is that a few of them are going to win some cool gifts.
Back to Top Musical Food
Audience or Small Group game. Put pieces of dried fruit, jerky, tomato, potato, red onion, etc. in several separate closed lunch bags. Mix them up, throw them out into crowd, start music. When music stops whoever has a bag takes a bite. You may need referees to declare who had it when the music stopped.

Idea from Young Life

See Musical Baby Food (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Guys
Musical Chairs with a twist. The guys get on all fours - they are the chairs and the girls play. Remove a guy (just like a chair) each round until finally two girls fight over one guy!

See Musical Paper Plates (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Paper Plates
Have paper plates scattered throughout the room. When the music stops, everyone must be touching a plate (one person to a plate). If they are not, they're out. Take out more plates every time.

Submitted by Young Life

See also Musical Hats (Click Here)and Musical Guys (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Squirt Guns
Have your group sit on chairs in a circle. Play really bad music (like Swiss accordion music). As the music plays, the group is given a loaded squirt gun. They pass the squirt gun around the circle. When the music stops, the person with the squirt gun is out of the game. However, as they leave, they have the privilege of squirting the gun twice. They may squirt the person on their immediate left and their immediate right. (Or they may squirt one of these people two times). They take their chair, and leave the circle and the game continues.

A variation that speeds up the game: Use two squirt guns moving in different directions around the circle.

Added by Holly Boardman

See Musical Chair Squat (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Stocking
Everyone sits in a circle. Put different strips of paper with different things to do in a Christmas stocking (if it isn't Christmastime, you can use any kind of bag or container). Play music while the stocking is passed around the circle. When the music stops the person with the stocking has to do what he/she picked. You can have two stockings or more depending on your group.
Sing a nursrey song Opra style.
Eat something from the grab bag.
Pass the stocking to person on the right or left.
Pass stocking to someone you dont know.
Say something uplifting to someone in the circle.
Tell an embarassing story of yourself.
Do the chicken dance.

Of course, there are many more ideas you can come up with, but you get the idea!

Added by Jennifer Pack

Also see Hot Potato and Oven Mitt Pass (Click Here).
Back to Top Musical Wardrobe
Items needed: 15-20+ articles of clothing (hats, scarves, blouses, pants, shoes, etc.- more clothes than you'll have players).

The bigger the group, the more items you will need. It's more fun if the items are "thrift store" type clothes - goofy, ugly, out of style, etc.; but nothing crude.

The game is played like "Hot Potato" in that you turn the music on, and pass the bag(s) of clothes around. When the music stops, the person left "holding the bag" must pick something out of the bag to put on. They must put it on as it would normally be worn, no cheating by setting it in their lap, throwing it over their shoulder, etc. Continue starting and stopping music until all the items are on people's bodies.

To end you can do a few different things:

    Vote on the "Best Dressed"
    Most clothes wins
    Least amount of clothes wins
Take a picture for laughs later!

See also Musical Hats (Click Here).
Back to Top Mute Organization
Simply announce that you want everyone lined up across the room by birth date. Only catch: no talking. Once they are all lined up, ask certain people their birthdays just to be sure.

You can have them do the same thing, but by shoe size, height, etc.

The Point: Communication

Also see Communication Challenge (Click Here), Inversion (Click Here), and Numbers Race (Click Here).
Back to Top Name Bingo
Need to have at least 25+ people. Create a Bingo Card with 25 blank spaces. As they enter, have students put their name on a piece of paper or ticket and place the tickets in a jar. Then have all of the kids go around the room with their blank BINGO cards and gather signatures in the blank spaces. They can only use a person's name once. Once everyone has completed this, start drawing the paper/tickets out of the jar. They check off the box if they have the name that was called out. Play like BINGO. It is lots of fun, and gets everyone mingling!

NOTE: If there are two or more people named Chris, make sure the student gets the first name AND last name.

Also, it is good to have the students get AT LEAST 2 adult leaders' names. This helps students get to know them.
Back to Top Name Game
You start with a name (ex. Tom Cruise). The other team must come up with a name starting with the last letter of the name (Edward Scissorhands). We had it going for a long time until we ran out of names for Y's and got into arguments over whether or not people really existed. We did another variation of the same game with songs. Less fights that way.

Also see Atlas (Click Here), Name Game 2 (Click Here), and Name Tag Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Name That Movie

This game is great because it allows everyone to participate to whatever degree they want to while providing tons of laughs in the process. Here’s what you do.

Divide your group up into teams (say, 5 kids per team) if your group is about 25 big all together. Give each team the title of a movie to work with, or let them choose their own. (If they choose their own, make sure you are comfortable with it.)

The gist of the game is to have each team “tell” or “show” the movie in 5 minutes or less. They must work together to write up a script (with or without action scenes) that captures the plot of the movie. After they have written their script, several members of the team (or all, if necessary) go up front to act out their short version of the movie.

Have a panel of judges, made up of adult leaders, to pick the best movie rendition. They can base their points off of “most accurate portrayal,” “funniest portrayal,” “most creative portrayal,” etc.

Here are a couple of titles to get you going:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Finding Nemo
The Lion King
The Incredibles
Toy Story
Napoleon Dynamite
Batman Begins (or The Dark Knight)
High School Musical (1, 2, or 3)
Spiderman (1,2, or 3)

NOTE: You definitely want to stay away from flicks like American Pie, SuperBad, Pineapple Express, etc.

Have fun with this one!
Back to Top NBA Challenge
This game works best when students are allowed to team up (around tables, for instance) and compete in groups. Hand out a copy of the "NBA Challenge" given below.

NBA Challenge

1. Fish hate getting caught in these.
2. It doesn't feel good when you do this while shaving.
3. This team loves numbers.
4. A prehistoric meat-eater.
5. Don’t wear red around these guys…
6. This team could possibly be found in the engine of your a car.
7. Birds of Prey
8. You might try to find some shade to avoid this.
9. Pulling a bunny out of a hat.
10. Be careful you don't get put under his spell.
11. Lions, Tigers, and ______, oh my!
12. Old cowboys wore these on their boots.
13. You might find these in chicken or gold.
14. What you might call guys that go into battle.
15. The earths power supply.
16. Arthur, Tut, and Nebuchadnezzar.

Give the student teams about 2 minutes to get as many done as possible. When time is up, grade the groups and award prizes to most correct.


1. Nets
2. Knicks
3. 76ers
4. Raptors
5. Bulls
6. Pistons
7. Hawks
8. Heat
9. Magic
10. Wizards
11. Grizzlies
12. Spurs
13. Nuggets
14. Warriors
15. Suns
16. Kings
Back to Top Never Have I Ever
Everybody can play this fun game, plus it helps people learn a little bit about others in a fun way. Here’s how you play.

Tell everybody to put up all 10 fingers. Someone in the group says, “Never Have I Ever…and finishes the sentence with some sort of action. If the other players HAVE DONE the action that was called out, they must put a finger down. Players cannot put fingers back up during the game. Players are out of the game when all 10 fingers go down. Actions that finish the sentence cannot be repeated by other players. (For example, skydiving can only be used once in the game.)

Rotate around the group, letting everyone call out a “Never Have I Ever…” one at a time. The last person to have his or her finger(s) up wins.

NOTE: Tell the students at the beginning of the game to be appropriate and sensitive. In other words, players can’t say, “Never Have I Ever…worn a red shirt to youth group that made me look as fat as Holly’s red shirt does.”

Also, if you have a restricted amount of time, just have players use 5 fingers instead of ten.

Also see "I Have, I've Never."
Back to Top Newspaper Name Nail (aka Whomp em')
Small Group mixer. Have everyone sit in a circle as close as they can get. Have each person give their name and make sure each name is clearly said so that all others can hear it. After going through the names once or even twice, have someone start in the middle by asking someone to call the name of someone in the room. The person in the middle proceeds to find the person and try to whomp'em with a rolled up newspaper (or pillow) on their knee before that person can say both their name and someone else's name in the room.

If they get whomped before they can say their name and someone else's name, they are now "it". Also, if the person whose name is called fails to say both their name and another person's name, they will have to be it. The person who is in the middle takes the place of the person they whomp. This helps people learn each other's names and mixes kids around with each other.

Items needed: Rolled up newspaper or pillow (preferable)

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here), Getting To Know You (Click Here), Identity Circle (Click Here), Name Tag Mixer (Click Here), and Who Hit Me? (Click Here).
Back to Top Newspaper Ninja
This strange sounding game will bring lots of laughter to your group. Here’s how you play it.

Put your whole group in teams of 10. For every group of ten students in your youth ministry, pick one person to be that team’s ninja. Give the group some newspaper and tape to work with.

Teams must use the newspaper and tape to cover the entire body of their ninja…except their eyes. Also, tape one of their arms to the side of their body, so they cannot use it in the game. (Duct tape works well for this.)

After each team’s ninja is “prepared” for battle, have the students form a circle in the room. Put the 2 or 3 or 8 ninjas in the circle and ready them for the scrap of their lives.

The ninjas are to use the hand NOT taped to their body to pull the newspaper off of the other ninjas. The last ninja with any newspaper on him or her wins.

NOTES: Make sure the players forming the circle do not interfere with the game. Also, have a referee or two handy to help make close calls. Obviously, you want to be safe, so tell the ninjas, “No kicking or hitting.” They can only rip off the newspaper.
Back to Top Newspaper Search
Split the group into teams and hand out a newspaper to each. Call out different things that they need to find. Whoever finds their item/word first gets a point. You choose who wins after so many points.

Two cautions: Ink from newspapers can be slightly messy and get on students' hands/clothes. Also, you'll want to go through the paper first and remove any questionable ads.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Ninja
Everyone stands in a circle. Hands are placed in front of them in a "praying" position, around chest height. Everyone bows.

Pick a starting player and then continue to go in a clockwise direction (they must remember the order they go in, because it doesn't take long for them to not be in a circle anymore). The ninjas can only move when it is their turn or when they are being attacked. They can attack whoever they wish -- the person on their right, left, or across the room. The ninjas must use their hands to hit the hands of the other player and the other player must try to dodge the attack. If the ninja is successful and hits the other player’s hands, the other player is are out. If not, both players must freeze in the position they are in, until it is their turn again or unless they need to dodge an attack. The last player who hasn't been hit wins.

NOTE: Every time a player attacks someone, he or she must make a loud kung-fu sound. This makes the game more exciting.

Added by Joel W.
Back to Top Ninja, Gun, Gorilla
Same as “Rock-Scissors-Paper”, only you use your whole body. Play it up huge, having someone demonstrate each:
Ninja: guy in karate stance yelling “waaaaa!”
Gun: hold finger gun and say “BANG!”
Gorilla: arms in air & beating chest, saying “ooo, ooo, ahh, ahh, ahh!”

Ninja beats gun.
Gun beats gorilla.
Gorilla beats ninja.
If there's a tie, both are out.

Keep going until all are eliminated; fun to find a champ. It helps to have the students who are out to go to the outside and the people still playing in the middle.

Added by Young Life

Also see Ape, Man, Lady (Click Here) and Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur (Click Here).
Back to Top Over, Under, Round and Round
This is much like the normal version of the “Over Under” game.

In this version, get students into two teams of no more than 15. Have them form a circle and then give them one large ball. Make sure the balls are the exact same for each grouped circle.

The objective is to be the quickest team to pass the ball from the “beginning” of the circle to the “end” of the circle. The first person who passes the large ball must go OVER, the second UNDER, the third AROUND LEFT, and the fourth AROUND RIGHT.

1. Over
2. Under
3. Left
4. Right

Then repeat this pattern until the ball makes it all the way around the circle. The first circle to do so, wins!

For added fun, use an enormous ball to make it more challenging!
Back to Top Pantyhose Stuff
Divide group into teams of 4. Give each team a pair of pantyhose and explain that they will have 2 minutes to place as many personal items as possible into the pantyhose without tearing them. Each item should be inserted through the waist end of the pair of pantyhose. Declare the team with the most items inside the pantyhose the winner.

Variation: Same game blindfolded.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Paper Airplane Toss
Basically, this game is played like a water-balloon or egg toss, only you use paper airplanes instead. So you'll need plain paper or construction paper for this game. Here’s how you do it.

Have every person find a partner, and give each pair a few pieces of paper. Give them 5 minutes to fold their own paper airplane, and you can even let them design it if you want.

When the time for designing the planes is up, have the students form two lines that face each other. The throwers are all in one line and the catchers are all in the other line. Now the game continues in a similar fashion to the water-balloon or egg toss.

The thrower tosses the paper airplane to his/her partner. If the partner catches it, they stay in; if the partner misses the plane, they are both out. All of the teams who were successful stay in the game for round two. Only now, the thrower is the catcher and vice versa. Plus, they have to both take one step backward (thus making it harder for round two).

Keep going like this until one pair emerges as the victor.

Idea by Don
Back to Top Paper, Rock, Whatever!
This game is played just like Rock-Paper-Scissors with one exception: participants can call out ANYTHING they want on the final “throw.” For example, students can say “nuclear bomb,” “Luke Skywalker,” “Hurricane,” etc. They aren’t restricted to rock, paper, or scissors.

As you can imagine, there will be TONS of debate about who wins. But that’s part of the fun! Have plenty of adult leaders standing around to help make the FINAL call on who wins, and moves on – and who loses, and must sit out the rest of the game.

Whatever the adult leader decides is absolutely final! No if, ands, or butts! If the adult leader is a bit confused, they can ask the students to explain why their “weapon” should be declared the victor. This can be hilarious!

There are a few things that should be off limits. These include: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Infinity, Time, Black Hole, Armageddon...or anything you can think of that would be an “automatic win.”

A few rules:
Make sure that students understand that the adults’ decisions are FINAL. No arguing.
Also, adult leaders should NOT allow students to use the same “weapon” more than once.

Have fun!

Idea by Dean
Back to Top Pass the Brains
Here's a Halloween variation of the 'Pass the Parcel' game we typically play at kid's parties in Australia.

Scoop out a pumpkin as you would to make a jack-o-lantern. Carve out a face, but don't make the holes too big otherwise the 'brains' will fall out too quickly. (Alternatively, you could just draw a face on the pumpkin with a black marker pen.) Fill the pumpkin with cold, cooked spaghetti hiding wrapped candy in amongst the 'brains'.

There should be one candy for each student playing. Play fun music as the pumpkin head is passed around. When the music stops, the student holding the head feels through its 'brains to find some candy.

See Pass the Spam (Click Here), Musical Food (Click Here), and Musical Baby Food (Click Here).
Back to Top Pass the Key
Everyone gets into 2 even teams and each team stands in a circle. Each team is then given a very long piece of string (25-50 feet) and told to weave it in and out of their arms and legs, around waists, and through one belt loop of every person with belt loops.

The person at each end is given a key. The end of the string is threaded through the key. The key is then raced to get to the other end by being weaved in and out of peoples clothes etc. First team done wins!

Added by Aaron
Back to Top Penny Challenge
It's similar to $1000 Bill Exchange (Click Here). Seat the group in a circle, giving a penny to each person. A jackpot of extra pennies is created before the game.

The goal is for students to win as many pennies as possible from their peers by challenging them one on one doing one of three things:
    1. Thumb wrestling (10 second time limit)
    2. Rock, paper, scissors
    3. Flipping a coin

  1. Each person in the circle is given a turn to be the challenger. The person may challenge anyone they choose.

  2. You must accept any challenge.

  3. Sudden death, no two out of three.

  4. Challenger has to have a coin and is "heads" on the coin toss.

  5. If the challenge is Thumb Wrestling or Rock, Paper, Scissors, the challenger may declare, “Jackpot!” prior to the challenge. If the challenger wins, he/she receives the opponent’s penny in addition to all the pennies in the jackpot. If the challenger loses, the opponent receives the challenger’s penny in addition to all the pennies in the jackpot. If they tie, both the challenger and the opponent must place their pennies in the jackpot.

Added by Cory Goode

Also see Penny on the Chin Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Penny on the Chin Mixer
Give each student a penny and have them find a partner. They must hold the penny between their lip and chin without using their hands. Have them stand back to back. On the count of three they turn and face each other. The first one to drop their penny is out and must sit down. The winner then finds a new partner and moves on. Go until someone wins. Find new partners and eliminate to final couple. If there is a tie, both have to sit down. Play fun music, starting and stopping each round.

Idea from Young Life

Also see Penny Challenge (Click Here).
Back to Top Phlat Ball
You will need a Phlat Ball, which is a ball that pops open randomly. Or, you'll need some sort of timer. Then, you'll need topics which require students to list items.

For example:
1. NFL football teams
2. Books of the Bible
3. States that begin with "A"
4. Animals with fur
5. Women in the Bible
6. Names of rivers.
7. School mascots.
8. Names of sitcoms.
9. Reasons people don't go to church.
10. Names of Bible prophets.

Each topic should be written on a slip of paper, folded, and put into a bowl. The contestants then sit in a circle. The first contestant reaches into the bowl to grab a topic. They then announce the topic and flatten out the Phlat ball (or start the timer). Then they have to name an item that corresponds to the topic that they drew. Quickly, they pass the ball or timer to another player, who has to come up with another item corresponding to the topic. Like a hot potato, the ball is passed around the circle, with each player adding to the list. Finally, whoever is left holding the ball or timer when it pops or the timer goes off is eliminated. The game continues until only one player remains and is declared the winner!
Back to Top Pick Your Friend’s Nose
Use a huge piece of paper or a sheet and draw three people on it. Cut out the space for their nose. Three people are chosen from the audience to stick their noses through the holes. The paper has to be big enough to hide their bodies. The rest of the kids try to see if they can "pick" (identify) their friend's nose.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Pictionary Telephone
This game is similar to the classic “Telephone” game, but also makes use of some of the elements of “Pictionary.” All you need are a few stacks of Post-It Notes and some pens. Here’s what you do.

Put your students in a circle. Limit the circles to 9 kids at most. If you have more kids than that, simply make multiple circles. VERY IMPORTANT: The circles MUST have an odd number of kids (3, 5, 7, etc). Now, give every student 1 Post-It Note for every kid in the circle. (If there are 7 kids in the circle, give every kid 7 Post-It Notes.) Also, make sure everyone has a pen or pencil.

When you say go, all of the students write a short silly sentence on their Post-It Notes. It can be about whatever they want, so long as it is clean. Give them 30 seconds to do this. When time is up, ask everyone to pass their Post-It Note to the student on their right.

When that student gets the note, he/she must read the Post-It Note and then place it at the bottom of their own Post-It Note stack, leaving a blank Post-It Note on top of their stack. Tell them you will give them 90 seconds to draw a picture based on the sentence they just read (from the person on their left).

When time is up, tell everyone to tear off THAT Post-It Note and pass it to the person on their right. That person will then look at the drawing, and try to write a sentence that “says” what the picture “shows,” in 30 seconds, of course.

You see where this is going, right? Keep doing this, alternating back and forth between drawing and writing. Finally, everyone will get their original “sentence message” back (and in written form if you’ve done it correctly).

People usually get a laugh out of seeing what happened to their original message.

Idea by Chris P.
Back to Top Piranha Ball
The ball is like a Piranha in this game. Players sit around a table and hold hands to form a circle. Then they put the piranha(ball) in the middle.

The object is to not let the piranha bite(touch)you...if it does your out. You can blow the ball to keep it away from you and you may also shift the cir. to keep the ball away from you. But ducking or lifting you arm to let the ball out of the circle is unexceptionable.
Back to Top Play Doh Snowman
This works great for groups of 30-40 teens. Great for youth Christmas parties. Divide group into teams of 3-5 people. Give them each a couple cans of Play Doh (or divide cans up between teams). Have each team come up with their best "snow man."

Have a couple of judges prepared to judge the finished products. You can have one winner or you can make up a couple of categories, such as, "Biggest", "Most Detailed", "Most Super-hero Like", etc.

Our teens were very creative, and we showcased them on Sunday in the foyer. They loved it.

Added by Howell Champs

See Play Doh Pictionary (Click Here).
Back to Top Polaroid Picture Challange
You can make this a class competition. Mount a Polaroid on a tripod that must be held stationary on the same spot. Explain to each class or team that they must try to fit as many people as possible into the view of the camera. The winner is the team with the most in the picture.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Popsicle Surprise
Take plastic Popsicle trays you can put in a freezer and fill them with your own type of Popsicle flavors. (Some examples are soda, punch, mayo, ketchup, barbeque sauce, and even chili.)

Pull three students up front and blindfold them. Next, hand them each a Popsicle made of the same flavor (3 sodas, 3 mayo’s, etc.) The first one to guess the correct flavor wins.

Proceed to the next round using a different flavor. Play as many rounds as you like.
Back to Top Potato Head Maker
Break group into teams of four. Give each team a potato, toothpicks, and cut up vegetable pieces. The object is for each team to make the funniest, most creative potato person possible. You can turn this into a competition between the teams and give out prizes.

Be sure to put the potatoes on display for the rest of the event.

Option: Use those little Vienna Weenies instead of potatoes.

Added by Young Life

Also see Banana Surgery (Click Here), Bubble Gum Sculpture (Click Here), Fruit Sculpture (Click Here).
Back to Top Prince of Paris
For this game you need at least 10 players, a narrator, and a designated amount of time.

Start with a line of chairs - one for each person, with two chairs in front of the line facing all the others. Have one person in each chair that’s in the line. Have the narrator sit in one of the two chairs leaving the one next to him/her empty. The chair at the front of the line is the chair you want to end up in.

The narrator numbers off each person then says:
    "The prince of Paris lost his hat, Number ? (picks any number such as 6) 6 knows where it’s at!"

In less then 10 seconds (narrator counts to 10) Number 6 calls out,
    "Who, Sir? Me, Sir?"
If Number 6 (or whichever number player) fails to do so he or she must move and sit next to the narrator and everyone scoots down a chair. If he says his line in time the narrator says:
    “Yes, sir. You sir,"
and the dialogue continues like this:

  • #:”No sir. Not I, sir!"

  • Narrator: “Then who, sir?"

  • #:"Number ?" and he calls out a number, such as #3.

  • Narrator: “The prince of Paris lost his hat, Number 3 knows where its at!"

And it starts all over again. If someone is sitting by the narrator you can still call out their #. But if someone misses then he sits by the narrator and the person who was their's moves to the very end seat and tries to move down the line of chairs again. As the game goes on the narrator talks faster and faster so the players have to answer faster.

Added by Jessica Martinez
Back to Top Psychiatrist
This game is a blast, though it can take a long time. Be prepared to make it your only game for the night!

Have your group sit in a circle with one person, "the psychiatrist", questioning them while standing in the middle (it helps if the person playing the psychiatrist has never played before). They are briefed separately on the rules of the game.

The psychiatrist's goal is to try and diagnose everyone's problem. He should do this by asking questions and analyzing their answers to discover the true nature of their problem. For the sake of his patient's confidentiality and anonymity, he is not allowed to ask them their names. Nor may he ask them what their symptoms are. If they knew what was wrong with them, they wouldn't be coming to him for help! Be sure to let the Psychiatrist know, that the same problem is shared by all the patients, and that the problem is NOT a clinical one (i.e.: schizophrenia, kleptomania etc.)

The patients' goals are to answer questions as truthfully as possible, without revealing the true nature of their problems. Their problem is simple. They believe that they are the person sitting next to them on their left. So when the psychiatrist asks them a question, they must answer as if they were the person on their left. If they answer incorrectly, someone who catches their mistake, must yell "psychiatrist" and then they all must stand up and switch seats with someone else. When this happens they take on the characteristics of the new person they are sitting next to.

To win, the psychiatrist must diagnose that everyone believes that they are the person sitting on their left, and then he must diagnose why they are saying Psychiatrist and switching seats.

Added by Thomas Dauber
Back to Top Pumpkin Decorating
Divide into groups of 4 or 5 and give each group a pumpkin on which they need to draw a face with colored markers. Works great around October 31.

Option: Award a prize for best artwork, look-a-likes, etc.

Added by Young Life

See Pumpkin Bowling (Click Here) and Pumpkin Puzzle (Click Here).
Back to Top Pumpkin Decoration
If you want something fun to do that will involve your entire group, this game is perfect for you.

Split your group into teams. Have each team designate one person to be the pumpkin. The other teammates smear peanut butter (or something else that is sticky) on their pumpkin’s face. Then they are given a vast assortment of candies/foods to decorate their pumpkin with (candy corn, small marshmallows, licorice, rice, Twizzlers, etc).

Give each team 10 minutes to decorate their pumpkin. At the end of the allotted time, have a panel of adult leaders judge to see which is best. Give prizes to the team that wins. Make sure to be extra generous to the team “pumpkin.”
Back to Top Pumpkin Puzzle
This is a great competitive team mixer for the fall. Cut up pumpkins into 8-10 pieces. Break your group into teams of 5 or 6. Have a supply of round wooden toothpicks. Give each group two minutes to put its "jig-saw puzzle" pumpkin back together, using the toothpicks to hold the pieces in place. The first team done or the team with the most "together" pumpkin after the time limit is the winner. Pumpkins must be able to stand up alone to be considered a winner.

Added by Young Life

See Pumpkin Decorating (Click Here).
Back to Top Puzzle Mixer
As students arrive, give them each the piece to a kid’s jigsaw puzzle (minimum 10 pcs, maximum 25). If you have extras left over, place them back into the correct puzzle frames. Put all frames in the center of the room. Have students locate the correct puzzles to which their pieces belong. The first group to completely put a puzzle together wins. (Great mixer which also serves as a tool for dividing teams)

Added by Young Life

See Pumpkin Puzzle (Click Here).