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Games & Icebreakers

Outdoor Games
Summer Games, Water Games, Field Games ...

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Back to Top American Football Futbol
This is a simple, straight forward game and is played exactly like soccer, with two main differences.

1) There is no goalie
2) The ball of choice is an American football.

The rest of it is just craziness in watching a bunch of kids run around and try to score with a ball that bounces in some very odd ways.
Back to Top Amoeba Race
Supplies: Long lengths of rope AND a predetermined track/course.

Divide your group in teams of at least 5 or more. The larger the team size, the more difficult it is. Tie the rope around the entire team at waist level. Make the rope as snug as possible without hurting the students.

Put them on the obstacle course and turn them loose. Teams can be timed during their running of the course, or you can actually have a couple of teams race! The key is to work together as a team to accomplish a common goal.

NOTE: The course can be inside or outside, just make sure the route/course is a safe one! Also, make sure it is clearly defined. It would be a significant bummer for a team to get “lost” because the course was not outlined properly.

See also Blob Tag (Click Here) and Can-Can (Click Here).
Back to Top Australian MegaSlide of Death!
This is Slip-n-Slide on a Sand Dune!

I live in a remote town in north west Australia, where it is very flat, except for the sand dunes at the beach. This led me to an idea for an awesome waterslide - a nice long piece of black plastic, some cheap bulk detergent and lots of water! This was most successful when I managed to get hold of a portable fire fighting unit (A 4X4 with large water tank and petrol water pump).

Because it is built on sand, you can "mould" out the shape in the dune, then just roll the plastic down over it. We have had huge jumps, and some of my youth were able to do complete mid air somersaults!

Check with local council first.

Added by Johann in Australia

See also Super Slip-n-Slide Relay (Click Here).
Back to Top Balloon Mouth
Only play this game inside if you want to get fired! Now that you’ve been warned, let’s get down to how it’s played.

It’s called Balloon Mouth and it’s really simple to pull off, but will give your students a great time. All you need are students, a ton of pre-filled water balloons, and some 5-gallon buckets. Here’s what you do.

Divide your group into equal teams and line each team up behind a bucket that is filled with 15 water balloons. It’s important that each bucket contains the same number of balloons. 20 feet away from each lined-up team is another bucket that’s empty.

When the game leader says GO, the first person in the line bends down and grabs a water balloon from the bucket – using ONLY his/her mouth – and runs it to the empty bucket and carefully drops it in. As soon as the first person has successfully grabbed a balloon from the first bucket and has started running toward the second bucket, the next person in line does the same thing.

At the end of the game (whether you set a time limit…or based on balloons popped) the team with the most balloons in the second bucket wins.

Have fun!

NOTE: Since this is sort of like a relay race, make sure you limit the number of players to 5 students on each team. That way, students in the back of the line do not get bored. The action keeps everyone moving.

Idea by Lizzy
Back to Top Balloon Squash Outdoor
A balloon for each player (plus extras)
A few cans of shaving cream
A plastic tarp
Two Buckets

Players should wear bathing suits or old clothes and bring a towel. Be prepared to hose them off when the game is done.

Preparation: You should have one shaving cream-filled balloon per student playing, plus a few extra in case any pop. Divide players into two teams. Set up the plastic tarp, and put the bucket of cream filled balloons near the tarp.

How to Play: When the signal is given, a player on each team runs over to the tarp. One leader will place a balloon on the tarp, and the player must sit on it until it pops. Then they run back and tag the next player to go. First team to be sitting down after all their balloons are squashed wins.

Added by Nick

Also see Balloon Squash (Click Here) and Balloon & Elastic Tangle (Click Here).
Back to Top Banana Split & Slide
Everyone remembers their very first slip and slide out in the yard on a hot summer day. Here's a variation.

Get approximately 50 feet of plastic tarp and items that would be found on a banana split (ice cream, strawberry syrup, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, banana pieces and maraschino cherries). Pile items on top of the tarp and spread it out. Add a little cooking oil for extra slip and slide. Have students line up and take off one at a time!

We've done this with just Hershey Syrup (about 50 lbs. found in bulk at Sam's Warehouse). Had we not mixed a little oil and water with it, we wouldn't have been able to slide very well.

Idea by Cristin

Also see Australian MegaSlide of Death! (Click Here) and Slop-stacle Course (Click Here).
Back to Top Barbarians (hyped-up Capture the Flag)
Teams of 4 are competing against each other to get the other teams' gold and to capture other team's' players, and put them in your jail.

Using two ropes, or red surveyor's tape, divide the field into 4 sections. Each section has one prison area, which is marked off with either ducttape or surveyor's tape. Each section also has a "gold depot" which is marked using hula-hoops or tape. Each team has their own color, which is a flag strip tucked into the front of each player's pants. Every team gets an equal amount of "gold" to start the game, which is white socks, gold socks, and 1 gray work sock.

Start of Game:
When whistle blows, teams begin the attack. Another team can only catch you if you are in their section; likewise, you can only catch others in your own section (if you are "green" and you run into the "red" section, then you run across to the "yellow section, red can no longer capture you, but yellow now can). When you capture another team member, take their flag and report to the middle of the field to the scorekeeper, then return flag to the person in your prison.

In addition to capturing opposing team players, you are also trying to get their "gold", without getting caught. You can only take 1 gold piece at a time, and if you are caught inside an opposition section, you must return gold to that team (no throwing gold into your own section).

What Happens When Caught:
Having your flag removed by another team player inside their section gets you caught. When this happens, you report to their prison area and can only get out of prison if a teammate tags you out, without getting caught themselves. If your teammate gets caught trying to free you, they must join you in the jail area. Once you successfully get tagged out, you and your teammate get a free passage back to your section. NOTE (the game coordinator may call "jailbreak" and free everyone in jail in all the sections at any given time, usually when there is a lop-sided number of players in prison).

How the Game is Won:
The game is won by accumulating points for every prisoner your teammates catch, and for each piece of "gold" left at the end of the game. You can run out of gold during the course of the game, but still get points by capturing prisoners and trying to grab other gold from enemy sections. The team with the most accumulated total points at the end is the winner.

Score Keeping:
White Socks- 3000 points each
Gold Socks- 5000 points each
Gray Socks- 10,000 points each
Prisoners- 1000 each player

Supplies Needed:
Large, open playing area
2 Ropes (100+ feet each is ideal)
4 different colored flags, one for each section
White, yellow, gray socks
Bean bag fill for each sock
Scorers pad and pen
Duct tape and/or hula-hoops
Red surveyors or caution tape

Added by Shawn McKnight, Mississauga

Also see Capture the Flag with Spies (Click Here).
Back to Top Basketball Fire Drill
Great to play on a full-size basketball court outside or in a church with a gym (multi-purpose facility) which has two baskets.

Divide the group into a number of teams that is one more than the number of baskets you have. The extra team gets a basketball. Each of the other teams is assigned a basket to defend. When the game starts, following basic basketball rules, the team with the ball attacks one of the defended baskets. If the attacking team scores a basket they take the ball with them and attack the next basket located counterclockwise in the gym. If the defending team gains possession of the ball before the attacking team scores, the defending team becomes the attacking team and moves to the next defended basket. The team that just lost the ball stays at that basket and defends it from the next attack.

Repeat this pattern until time expires. For extra mayhem, pick teams so there are initially two extra teams so that there are always two baskets being attacked. Be sure your good basketball players are spread among the teams.

Added by Gary Slater

Also see Basketball GIGANTE (Click Here).
Back to Top Bible Smugglers
This game works well if all of your kids are regular attenders. If not, don't use this game. Visitors or students new to church may feel out of place.

Bible Smugglers works best outdoors, like at a camp. However, it can also work in a large facility.

Materials: plastic spoons (they represent Bibles), one flashlight.

Have two leaders be "missionaries." They hide somewhere with the flashlight turned on, holding it straight up. Each kid gets a "Bible" and they have to bring it to the missionaries.

The Catch: They are in a foreign country and there are border guards everywhere (these are the other youth staff). If a kid gets caught by a border guard, they have to do what the guard says. The guard can be from any country (it's fun to have crazy accents), and basically their job is to get the kids to tell them the gospel message. The guards should ask questions like, "What are you doing?", "What is a Bible?" "What is the Bible about?" "Who is this Jesus?" "What happens if I believe in Jesus?", "What is Heaven?” etc. (You can throw in things like, "In my country we believe in a million gods..."). The kids get sent to jail if they answer a question wrong or if they lie (such as if you ask them what they are doing and they say, "just going for a midnight stroll"). If they explain the message well, then they can go on to find the missionaries. Once they find the missionaries, they can come back to the start (which is where the jail is located) and get more Bibles to deliver to the missionaries. When in jail, the kids have to convince the guard to let them out of jail by the same methods as getting caught by a border guard.

The Point: gets kids to solidify what they've learned concerning the salvation message.

Added by Candice Thiessen
Back to Top Big Bad Boat Race
This is a great game for competition within small groups. Heck it’s a great game even if you don’t use a small group model! Here’s what you do.

Give every team one or two weeks (your call) and the following supplies:
1 plank of Basel wood
1 bottle of wood glue/super glue
X number of popsicle sticks (just make sure it’s the same number for every team)
2 rolls of tape
1 yard of any color fabric
2 small dowel rods
1 box cutter or pair of scissors

Each small group or team is to create their own sail boat using the supplies given to them AND NOTHING ELSE. (You may want to have the adult leaders do any cutting and gluing to avoid accidents), but the designing and working is up to the students. Give the groups 1-2 weeks to create their boats.

On the set day, have a boat race with all groups competing.

If you don’t happen to have a lovely breeze you can count on, make your own! Just use house gutters that you can find at a home improvement store and seal them with caps and gutter sealant. Fill the gutters with water and use small fans at the starting point. *Make sure to take the time a few days before and seal the gutters so they can dry.

Make sure to have a really cool prize for the team of winners.

Have fun!

Idea by David M.
Back to Top Blazedale Ball
The cool thing about Blazedale Ball is…it ain’t over till the fat lady sings! It’s anybody’s game, right down to the last second. Let me explain.

You’re gonna need several balls to play this one; 4 soccer balls or 4 volleyballs work well (or some equivalent). You’re also gonna need some space, and lots of it!

First, set up four square zones (about the size of a booth at a restaurant) at the four corners of a larger square (about the size of a basketball court). Just make sure the zones are the same size and that they are equidistant from each other. Next, put a ball in each zone. Finally, put 5 or 6 students (or another number of your choosing) INSIDE each of the zones; they’ll need to be wearing flag football flags. You’re now ready to play.

When the game starts, the objective of each team is to steal balls from the other zones, bring them (safely) back to their zone, and then guard them until the game ends 3 minutes later. The team with the most balls IN THEIR OWN ZONE at the end of the game wins!

Here are the necessary rules that will govern play:

1. Players are allowed to stand in their own zone if they want.
2. Students’ flags can be pulled in THEIR OWN “zone” or on the playing field in between the zones.
3. The ONLY place a player is safe is INSIDE another team’s zone. But they can only remain in the zone for 10 seconds. (If they stay longer than that, they are automatically out.)
4. If a student’s flag gets pulled, he/she is out for the remainder of the game.
5. A player who makes it into another team’s zone can only take ONE ball per visit.
6. A player may run out with the ball in his/her hands. However, if his/her flag gets stripped before they get to their own zone, the ball has to go back to the zone it was stolen from, and the player goes to the sideline to sit out the game.
7. A player can also choose to throw the ball to a teammate anywhere on the field (including their own home zone). However, if the ball hits the ground, it has to come back to the zone it was stolen from.

The score is ONLY counted at the end of the 3 minute game. The team with the most balls in their zone at that time is the winner. Balls outside of a safe zone do not count for any team – even balls that are held by players.

1. You may want to have several adult leaders serving as refs throughout the games.
2. If your whole group is only 15-20 kids in size, you can play multiple rounds and just add of the scores for one grand total after 3 or 4 games.
3. If you have a large group (30 kids or more), then you’ll want to shorten the game to 2 minutes so you can keep circulating kids into the game.

Idea by Adam W. and Jake A.
Back to Top Blind Man's Beach Ball Volleyball
Run a volleyball tournament using a beach ball instead of volleyball and hang a tarp over the net. The teams cannot see each other and don't always know when the ball is coming over. The beach ball makes it more fun because you don't need as much skill to hit it over the net.

You might want to move the serving line closer. To make it even more interesting we connected pairs of players with two rubber bands and wrist bands. Simply connect a rubber band to a wrist band then connect the rubber bands together. If the rubber bands break the play is stopped and the other team gets a point or the serve. You can have up to twelve people on a team (if you use the wrist band connectors).

Added by Kevin Konkol
Back to Top Blind Tag
Conjure up something with a circumference of about 20 feet, (such as 2 tables pushed together or rope wrapped around 4 chairs). Blindfold two people and dress them in helmet and pads for safety. Put them on opposite sides of this circle. Both must always be touching it. Designate one to be "it" and have the bystanders shout to their favorite which way to go to catch or avoid being caught by the other. Beware of high-speed collisions.

One variation is to remove one of the two contestants and let everyone shout directions to the unsuspecting victim. Another variation is to have everyone silent and let the players listen for each other.

Added by Young Life

Also see Blind Pinball (Click Here).
Back to Top Blindfold Marco Polo Dogdeball
Blindfold half of your staff and give them each a dodgeball. Have them stand in the middle of the play area. Assign a second staff member to each blindfolded staff to be a ball fetcher. The blindfolded staff call out "Marco" in which every kid has to respond "Polo!" The blindfolded staff try to throw the ball at the kids. If they hit one the assistant staff removes them to a designated area and then fetches the ball. Last kid remaining is the winner.

If a student doesn't respond "Polo" he or she is automatically out.

If a student is hit or touches a ball at all he or she is out.

Also see Marshmallow Dodgeball (Click Here).
Back to Top Blindfolded Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course (a playground works GREAT) and get your students or leaders to go in pairs. One from each pair is blindfolded, and the other will lead him or her through the obstacle course by using only their voice.

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

Added by Scott Street

Also see Blind Kickball (Click Here).
Back to Top Blob Tag
Outdoor or Indoor. This game is a normal game of tag with an added twist. When "it" tags someone, the person becomes part of "it." Then the two of them must run hand in hand and catch their next victim who will join them. Last one caught by the "Blob" is the winner!

Also see Amoeba Race (Click Here).
Back to Top Bonkers
This game is definitely for the OUTDOORS. It works best with really, really large groups (100+). Here’s how you play.

You can play this game at a park, in a big grassy area at your church, or even at a church camp, off in the woods. Set up a predetermined amount of “stations” (8-12 depending on the size of your group). At each station, place a responsible adult leader.

Next, assign 5-10 of your leaders/interns/adults to be the “bonkers.” They are given a pair of pantyhose with flour packed in it (or a sock). All bonkers must also have a black Sharpie. Also, choose 5-10 “nurses” for the game. Give each of them a black Sharpie as well.

Now, dismiss your station leaders, your bonkers, and your nurses to go take their positions on the field. Obviously, the station leaders will need to be at their stations, but the bonkers and nurses spread out anywhere.

You’re almost ready to play. Give every student a piece of paper with the number of stations on it (1, 2, 3, etc). You can also give them the location of the stations if you want, on a map. (Totally up to you.) Tell them that their objective is to make it to every station (in any order of their choosing) and get checked off. They must work alone –there are no teams – and when their sheet is completely checked off, they must race back to an assigned location to meet the youth pastor. First one back wins.

Here’s where it gets tricky. The bonkers will be out there trying to hit them with their sock/hose filled with flour. If the student gets hit, he must stop where he’s at. The bonker will then draw a short line on his arm. (The bonker is then free to go chase someone else.) The student must stay where he’s at, and call for a nurse to come “heal” him. The nurse “heals” the student by drawing a perpendicular line across the one drawn by the bonker…making an X.

Finally, when a student gets to the station, the station leader can ask them to do something weird in order to get checked off. The station leader might ask them to sing a song, tell a joke, do 5 pushups, etc. They may ask the student to do nothing at all…it just depends on how vindictive the station leaders are!

When everyone understands how the game is played, say “go!”

NOTE: Make sure to instruct the bonkers to hit on students’ backs and legs…nothing on the head or face! Also, this game could go on for a while, so you might want to have a few coolers set out for students to stay hydrated.

Idea by Alex A.
Back to Top Box or Bucket
Silly outdoor or indoor retreat, camp, or group game. You need several (10-20) cardboard boxes (med-large), blindfolds, buckets, and water.

Blindfold a group of 8-10 people. Place them among the boxes and tell they have 2 minutes to form a wall around themselves using the boxes. The wall doesn’t have to be higher than one box, but it must go completely around the group.

The wall can’t have any openings larger than 3 inches. When time is up, for every gap in their wall wider than 3”, a bucket of water will be thrown on the group. Any member of the group inadvertently left outside the wall will receive his/her own bucket of water!

The Point: Team building!
Back to Top British Bulldog
Great game to release a lot of energy in the group. Divide into two teams and have them each get to one side of the room, divided by a line down the middle. The object of this game is for teams to try to convert members of the opposite team to their own team. How? Easy. A team member runs to the opposite team's side and tries to lift an opposite team member into the air. While lifting the opposite team member you must yell "British Bulldog!" If done successfully you both have "free walk" back to the lifter's original side, who just gained a new team member.

While on the opposite teams side, you of course can be lifted as well and converted to that team(if not on a free walk back). Winning team is the one that gets everyone.

Note: Be careful that participants don't drop each other on the ground after lifting. Also, have participants lift each other from the waist instead of underarms to avoid inappropriate contact.
Back to Top Bucket Balance
Choose two teams of four. Have the teams lie on their backs in a circle with their feet raised to meet in the middle, balancing a bucket of water on their feet. Each team member must remove his/her shoes without spilling the water. This can be a class competition. Have towels handy.

Added by Young Life

The Point: Teamwork.
Back to Top Build Your Own Snowman
Can be played up-front with audience watching or in teams with the whole group playing.

For each contestant have a bag full of assorted snowman accessories such as a hat, scarf, mittens, a carrot etc. and a pair of safety goggles, a can of shaving cream and a set of clothes to go over their clothes for protection. Each team has a designated amount of time to use the shaving cream to cover their "snowman" (the contestant) and put all of the accessories on. The team to make the nicest looking snowman wins.

Lay tarp down and have towels handy.

Added by Tina Ogle
Back to Top Camp Cream Pies
A great camp game from our friends from down under – if you’re familiar with our web site, you know that some of the wildest games come from youth workers in Aussieland! Keep’em comin’, mate!

This is a camp game involving everyone and the use of the entire camp site. Lisa and her fellow youthworkers used a circus theme and says they played with students in Yr 9 & 10 (about 15-16 years old) but like all games you can modify it to suit any age group.

We hid cream pies (whipped cream on paper plates) all around the camp site (in bushes, up trees etc). Then we divided the campers into 2 teams and put different colour face paint on each team to identify them. We told them that they were all clowns from opposing circuses and that someone had stolen all the cream pies they needed for their act and hidden them.

The aim was to find as many cream pies as possible and get them back to their base intact. Cream pies that had obviously been dropped did not count. They also had to try to stop the other team getting pies back to their base.

Leaders have specific roles and all dressed up, which was really funny.
Their roles were as follows:
Director/youth pastor: Ringmaster. If they catch any of the kids, the Ringmaster can do what ever he/she wants to them. Our Ringmaster was making students get him drinks, doing somersaults along the ground; the list is endless.

Lion & lion tamer: We dressed the lion up (he had a tail, feather bower mane, and face painted). The lion tamer could crack a fake whip. Their role is to escort one team. If a camper from the appropriate team has a pie and is with the lion & tamer the pie cannot be taken from them.

Strong man: The strong man is the escort for the other team

Snack person: Wanders around with drinks, lollies and popcorn, giving it out to whoever wants it. No other role.

Clowns: We had a few clowns. They had two roles: To be really annoying; if they saw someone trying to creep back to base with a cream pie they would start yelling, "I’ve found one…over here!" or start singing to them. Their second role was to take cream pies off campers they caught (to 'catch' them they sprayed them with silly string) and re-hide the pies.

Base leaders: We had one per team. Their role was just to be at the base and keep track of the amount of pies that had been bought back.

If you run low on pies left take them from the bases and hide them again. The team keeps their score.

What we also told the leaders who were taking pies was that if the campers started to follow them to see where they re-hid the pies, to turn around and throw the pie at them. VERY funny the first time it happened. The leader had GREAT aim.

This was one of the best camp-wide games I have ever played…3 years on and the campers are still talking and laughing about it.

Added by Lisa in Australia
Back to Top Can-Can
Usually played outdoors or in a big room, but could be played in a smaller facility with smaller groups.

Imagine everyone in a circle holding hands, pulling and tugging, but not letting go . . . trying to get someone else to bump into the can-can. The result looks like an amoeba trying to force one part of it's body to go somewhere it doesn't want to go!

Here's how it's done: You don't want your circle to start bigger than about 25 people, so if you have a large group, have several circles going at once. All you need is a trash can. The taller the can, the better. Also, plastic ones are better than metal ones, and it's always better to find a trash can that hasn't had anything put in it (a clean one).

The participants get into a circle around the trash can and hold hands. If a player touches the trash can in any way, they are out. Also, if players break their grip on one another, they are both out. Play pauses after an elimination, giving a much-needed time for players to re-firm their hand-holds.

This game is tiring, and is an excellent way to tucker out ADHD jr. highers. Play until one person remains. If an elimination seems slow in coming, adding another trash can to the mix speeds up the game.

This game is a huge hit, and you can usually get good video footage as students who are pulled into the can will tend to jump or try to dodge it, while not letting go of the others' hands.

Added by James Conley

If you don't have a gargbage can, you can use pretty much anything else that stands on its own and wouldn't damage a student who slams into/through it.
Back to Top Capture the Flag with Spies
Outdoor or Big room. Same as normal Capture the Flag, except each team has a spy for the other team. Select teams with a stack of playing cards, all the blacks go on one side, red on the other.

Pre-arrange the deck for the number of players. For example, if you have 20 players, make sure there are 10 black cards and 10 red. Pre-assign a "spy card", and include one of each color. We used the #7. Red #7 started with the red team, but was a really "spy" for the black team (and vice versa).

During game play the spy has ONE chance to grab the flag and run it over to the other side. If he is caught, he is no longer a spy and must return to his PROPER side once freed from jail. Observe how the teams interact when they OFFER to be a flag guard...usually the boring job.

To make things more interesting, we made the playing field smaller than what we're used to and placed two flags on each side (one was pre-set, the other flag was placed by the team). Only one flag has to be taken across the center line to win the game.

Added by Matthew Seilback

Also see Barbarians (Click Here).
Back to Top Car Lot
This game is played like "Sharks and Minnows."

Choose a 'used car dealer' or two (put a pair of plaid pants on them for fun) and have them pick 3 different car names (ie: Honda Civic, Chevy Cavalier, and a 82 VW diesel Jetta - my personal favorite.)

Each runner picks one of these 3 cars, and becomes that car. The dealer yells out a car. Each car by that name sprints across the room. When you are tagged, sit. Now you may tag future cars. The dealer may yell "Car lot!", so everyone must run at the same time.

Object: Be the last car running, and become the new dealer.

Submitted by Jon Talley
Back to Top Car Stuff
Explain the game before you bring students out to the car. You could have a competition between sexes or classes. Each team has thirty seconds to get as many as possible into (not on) a small car.

Also see Car Restoration - Ghetto Flava on Events page.
Back to Top Catch the Dragon's Tail
Big room & Outdoor game; good for picnics or big gatherings. No winner or loser.

Number of players: 10-30 kids
Playing Site: Large open area
Items needed: A large scarf or handkerchief
Time: 15-45 minutes
Object of the game: The first person in the line tries to catch the last person in line.

All the players line up and put their hands on the waist of the person in front of them. The last person in line tucks one end of the scarf in his back pocket, belt, or waistband. The first person in lines tries to grab the scarf.

When the "head" gets the "tail", he dons the scarf and becomes the new tail. The person second in line becomes the head.

Variation: Form two or more teams, each being a "dragon" trying to catch the others tail.
Back to Top Chariot Race
If you have a large group (say, 200 people), just select a few groups of 4 kids to do this chariot race in front of everyone else. If you have a small group, you might want to let everyone do it. For example, if you only have 15 kids, use 3 teams of 5.

Each group gets a large blanket. Each team lines up at the starting line. Two of the youth on each team are holding onto front corners of the blanket. One youth is sitting on the other end of the blanket, soon to be hanging on for dear life. At the signal, the teams race around a designated course (a large oval works well), the 2 youth in front acting as horses and the blanket acting as a chariot.

The race consists of three laps. At the end of each lap, the youth rotate, so one of the people riding now pulls, and one of the pullers now rides. 3 laps allows each person to ride once and pull twice. If a rider is thrown from his chariot, the team must stop until the rider is firmly reseated. Can be played inside on carpet and outside on the grass.

Added by Joshua Ellis

Variation: Chariot Basketball Relay
Line up all the students in 2 teams. On each team pair students up to run the
relay. On "Go" the first two pairs race toward the basket. One student pulls the other student on a blanket. The rider has one shot to make a basket. The pairs switch places and race back to the start of the line and tag the next pair on their team. The team with the most baskets at the end of the time limit wins.

Added by Jason Dougherty

Also see Chariot Race: Australian Style (Click Here) and Indoor Bobsledding (Click Here).
Back to Top Chariot Race: Australian Style
Divide your group into teams of 3. Arrange your playing area with a chair or marker at either end of your room or field. Teams must link arms, side by side. Spread the teams around the room, so they are not next to each other. The object of the game is to race around the markers in a circle - all teams in the one direction. If a team is passed by a team behind them then they are out. If any member of the teams’ arms becomes unlinked, that team is out. The team or teams (depending on time) still in at the end of your allotted time are the winners!

Added by Amanda from Australia

Also see Chariot Race (Click Here) on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Chicklets
This game can be played with 3 or more people, preferably outside or in a big space. One person is chosen to be "it". “It” chooses a category such as flowers, cars, animals, etc. and then goes out of ear shot. The remaining players decide “what” they are for that category. (For example, if the category is flowers, then one person could be a rose, another, a daisy, and so on, with everyone choosing something different). After everyone has decided what they want to be, then they go to "it" and list “what” everyone is without naming who is which thing. For example if there was a rose, a daisy, and a sunflower playing, then one person would go to "it" and say daisy, sunflower, and rose. Then "it" would randomly choose one of the names and call that name out. For example: “It” says “Rose” and the person who chose Rose has to run away and the person who is "it" tries to catch them.

If the person who is running gets tired then he/she can say the name of another thing from the list. So if Rose was running and got tired he/she could call out “daisy” and "it" would then have to go and chase “daisy.” The name can only be changed three times or poor “It” doesn’t have a chance at catching anyone.

When "it" gets tired he/she can drop to the ground and yell "chicklets"! Then all the other people have to run as fast as they can and touch "It’s” head and the last one to touch “It’s” head is “It” for the next round. This game is very tiring but also very fun!
Back to Top Civil War
This is a water game that requires a small field. Divide into even teams of any size and line each team up side by side, arm length apart, about 25 yards from one another on their own Territory Line. (like opposing armies in the Civil War.)

Arm each soldier with two water balloons each. Pick one team to go first, which means one team readies to "fire" while the other team has their backs turned. (This helps keep from sustaining a facial injury). The team leader then yells "Fire!" If anyone on his team wants to fire (optional) they can throw one or both of their water balloons at the opposing army. Anyone who is hit has to sit down where they get hit. No one has to throw anything.

Then the tables are turned. The other team gets a chance to shoot. The first team has to turn around and the whole process is repeated. This mimics the war patterns of the Civil War, "if you shoot at me and I don't die, I'll shoot back at you."

Then the Field leader (youth pastor) yells "Charge!" Both teams run at each other and try to "kill" the other players with their water balloons while trying to make it across the enemy's Territory Line. The object of the game is NOT to kill everyone on the other team by hitting them with a water balloon, but to get at least one team member across the enemy's territory line. First team that has someone to cross the enemy's Line wins.

Have judges help with who wins and to determine close calls. If anyone argues with a judge, he/she is subject to water ballooning. Each time a winner is declared, a battle has been waged. 5 battles wins the war.

Added by Dave
Back to Top Colored Cool Whip Rinse
For this game you need one container of Cool Whip per team, different colors of food dye, and a few Super Soakers.

Not long before you want to run the game, mix the food coloring with the Cool Whip making each container of Cool Whip a distinct color. (Use only real Cool Whip; imitations don't stick.) Also, keep it very cold - the Cool Whip will begin to melt and not stick if it is out of the fridge too long.

If you have a small group, just divide into equal sized teams. If you have a large group, bring up several teams of people.

This is a two-part game. For part 1, each group paints one member of the group in Cool Whip. You can judge who looks best if you want.

Part 2 is when the team rinses the Cool Whip off with the water gun. The best rinsed team wins. If indoors, use tarps. Offer a prize to the winning team.

NOTE: The food color could ruin clothes. You may want to have old clothes handy for changing into before the game gets started.
Back to Top Criss Cross
Divide into 4 teams. Send each team into a corner. The object of the game is to see which team can get to the opposite (diagonal) corner the fastest using the designated method that the leader calls out (eg. if the leader calls out "hopping," the teams must hop to the opposite corner). This will create quite a "bottleneck" or "traffic jam" in the middle each time. Keep score of which team wins each crossing. First team to 5 wins.

Good Crossing Methods:

Wheel barrel (one person holding a partner's legs while they walk on hands)
Crab Walk
Backwards Walk

You get the idea!!!

Also see Criss, Cross, Crash (Click Here) and TubeMania (Click Here).
Back to Top Criss, Cross, Crash
Safety Note: Be very careful - if you don't use good safety precautions, this could result in injuries.

Divide your crowd into two teams, each team in two groups for a relay. Line the teams up in four corners of the playing field, each team diagonal with it's partner team.

Give each group 2 or 3 tubes (depending on size). The first team member of each group (4 in total) must step into the tubes, pick them up (so they look like a Michelin Man) and run diagonal to their partner team. Of course their partner team and two opposing teams are running through the same intersection so look out! First team to switch all players across the diagonal one at a time is the winner.

Also see Criss Cross (Click Here) and Tubemania (Click Here).
Back to Top Death Ball
This game is pretty much like “Duck, Duck, Goose,” only better!!

Rent a huge earth ball with a 1.5m diameter. Have your group divide into circles, have an outside circle and have a little circle on the inside of the outer circle. Place the earth ball between the 2 circles. Get the group to roll the ball in a clockwise direction around the circle. Have a leader tap the shoulder of someone in the circle...this person has to run in front of the ball around the circle and back to their spot without being hit by the earth ball!

Added by Joel Rub, Australia

Also see Dodgeball Doctor (Click Here), Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here), and Earthball Blowout (Click Here).
Back to Top Dodge the Rolling Balls
This game requires a bunch of dodge balls, but it's really fun.

First, split your large group into small groups (if you have around 50, split them into 5 groups of 10).

Next make one big circle or square with all the people, and send one of the groups in the middle. The surrounding groups sit down while the group in the middle stands up.

Now the surrounding groups will roll all the dodgeballs towards the group in the middle, which will try to dodge all the balls coming at them in every direction. Once they get hit they are out. The last person standing is the winner.

After you have Group 1 go, have Group 2 take a turn, and so on. At the very end have all the winners come up to determine the super, ultra, mega winner.

Added by Guy Mono

Also see Black Light Dodgeball (Click Here) and Eternal Dodgeball (Click Here).
Back to Top Dodgeball Doctor (formerly Doctor Doctor)
Divide into two teams, each choosing a "doctor", or two for larger groups (their identity being secret).

Just like regular Dodge-ball, use a bunch of balls that are soft and throw them at each other. When someone is hit, they must sit. Here's where the doctor, just one of the players to the other team, may touch the injured and bring them back into play.

Hint: the players shouldn't just pop up when touched- this will give away the doctor. Also, we recommend a decoy touching kids as well. When the doctor is hit, the team's only hope is their skill.

The object: Eliminating the opposing team, including their doctor.

Added by Jon Talley

Also see:
Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here)
Earthball Blowout (Click Here)
Long Base (Click Here)
Opposite Arm Dodgeball (Click Here)
Sink The Bismark (Click Here)
Wet Toilet Paper Dodgeball (Click Here)
Back to Top Dodgeball Dragon
Have the entire group make a circle. Pick four to five people for each team. The first team goes into the center of the circle and forms a line by attaching their hands to the waist of the person in front of them. The people who make up the circle throw the ball at the "dragon", trying to hit the last person below the waist. Once hit, the last person returns to the outside circle and players continue to hit the new person at the end of the dragon until there is only one person left and they too are hit. A new team then goes into the middle. Time each team to see which one can last the longest.

Also see:
Blindfold Marco Polo Dodgeball (Click Here)
Dodgeball Doctor (Click Here)
Earthball Blowout (Click Here)
Long Base (Click Here)
Opposite Arm Dodgeball (Click Here)
Sink The Bismark (Click Here)
Wet Toilet Paper Dodgeball (Click Here)
Back to Top Drip Drip Drop
This game is played just like Duck Duck Goose, but slightly messier. Here’s what you do.

Get everyone in a circle and have one person walking around the outside of the circle. Instead of tapping someone on the head and saying “duck,” he walks around the outside of the circle POURING some sort of liquid on the person’s head and saying “drip.” When he gets to the person of his choosing, he just dumps the entire container on him/her and says, “drop.” At that point, the person who just got “dropped” on gets up and chases the “dropper.”

Everybody in this game will get sloppy, even if they never get picked to run around the circle. Warn them ahead of time.

Some really good items to use for this include:
Tomato sauce

Idea by Kurt
Back to Top Duck, Duck, Drip
Outdoor or Indoor game. Just like Duck, Duck, Goose except with a cup of water that the person drips, drips, drips then drops on the person they want to chase them around the circle!

Added by Amy Hackman

Also see Duck, Duck, Goose With a Twist (Click Here).
Back to Top Duck, Duck, Goose With a Twist
Outdoor or Indoor game. Play this childhood favorite just like Duck-Duck-Goose. Only, instead of just touching someone's head and saying "goose," you’ll crack an egg on their head. Gross, but good for the hair!

NOTE: Either forewarn your students to wear grubby clothes, provide wet washcloths and/or towels, or have garbage bags with holes to pull over their heads.

Added by Kyle Connell

Also see Duck, Duck, Drip (Click Here).
Back to Top Earthball Blowout
Here are several games you can play with an earthball (also called cage balls) or you could have an "Earthball Theme Night" and play them all.

Where to find an earthball: Once upon a time they could be ordered from a place called Gopher Sports at (800) 533-0446. Ask for a 72" cage ball. We are told that the earth (cage) balls from Gopher have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Here are a couple of web sites which sell them as well - again, look for the 72" cage ball, with the cover. Sometimes covers are sold separately (I've never purchased from these places; purchase at your own risk).

Shape Up Click Here. Once on this site go to the bottom of the screen and select "Kids and Games" and then choose "Giant Cage Balls."

Wolverine Click Here.

Earth B-ball:
Staff hold earth ball in air until start. There are 2 Staff referees. Students try to push/hit earth ball to back board or rim. Send kids to "penalty bleachers" for 60 seconds if they grab the earth ball or kick.

Earth Crab Soccer:
Same as above only in crab position and with a staff person on each sideline, knocking the ball back into play. Send kids to "penalty bleachers" for 60 seconds if they stand up or sit up at all!

Steal the Earth:
Line up each team on sidelines and number them. Call numbers and they try to push/hit ball to designated open wall. Staff person must hold earth ball in air after number is called until students reach it.

One staff person patrol the side lines - control people actually sitting out!

Also see Death Ball (Click Here) Dodgeball Doctor (Click Here), and Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here).
Back to Top Egg Tic Tac Toe
Grab 9 staff or students prepared to get messy. Have the people get into a tic-tac-toe formation with plastic bags covering them as much as possible. (Use a tarp if indoors.)

* Break students into 2 teams (one team Xs and one team Os).
* Find a place where you can elevate the students way above the 9 volunteers (rooftops[careful],balconies, etc.)
* Have the teams take turns trying to hit one of the 9 with an egg and mark that square accordingly. If the student misses, they miss their opportunity to claim a square.
* First team to get 3 in a row, wins!!

Added by Brian Esola

Also see Egg Obstacle Course (Click Here) on Sick & Twisted page.
Back to Top Elbow Tag
Everyone pairs up in a circle. Pick 2 people to start the game - one of them will be "it". “It” chases the other person around the room. They can go inside or outside of the circle but it's a good idea to try to keep them close to the circle.

The person being chased tries to hook arms with one of the people who is paired up. If they hook arms before they’re tagged, then the person holding the opposite arm of the person who was being chased now becomes the one to be chased.

If the person who is it tags the person they are chasing, that person becomes it and tries to tag them back (think duck, duck goose).

This game has no winner but it's a blast and can be played on any time limit you want. Also, if you have someone who is having a hard time catching people, discreetly have a leader get tagged on purpose.

Idea by Brian Mitchell
Back to Top Elimination
This is either played outdoors in a field or in a gym.

One person is designated as "it" and is given a dodgeball. "It" then chases the rest of the group throwing the ball at them. If someone is hit they must sit down where they are hit. Once the ball is thrown, anyone may grab it and become "it." If the ball is caught, the thrower must sit down and the person who caught the ball is now "it." I normally state that to sit down the ball must hit you in the air and headshots do not count.

The twist is that someone who is sitting down can stand up and be back in the game if the person who hit them has to sit down. Therefore, the game does not end until 1 person ends up hitting every person (or until you call an end to the game due to time).

NOTE: If you play this game outdoors, make clear boundaries so the game does not spread out too much.
Back to Top Estrogen Hoop (Basketball)
Great, simple time-filler involving everyone. All you need is a basketball court and a ball.

Have everyone (up to 50 people) on the basketball court at once. If you have a huge group, you can have more than two teams, and play tournament/elimination style. Play normal basketball but with the following rules:

1. Only girls can shoot or score
2. No limit to how many people on the court
Back to Top Eternal Dodgeball
Dodgeball without boundaries, literally - every person for themselves. Typical rules apply - get hit, you're out; if your throw is caught, you're out. Here's the difference: when the person who gets you out gets out, you're back in. The catch: if you have the ball, you can't move (this eliminates the need for boundaries)

Added by Andy Unterholzner

Also see Dodgeball Doctor (Click Here), Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here), and Dodge the Rolling Balls (Click Here).
Back to Top Extinction/Survival
Using a natural disaster theme, kids try to "survive" game without getting caught 3 times, while trying to get to different stations to receive special "stamps". Each station represents a safe zone from the disasters and cannot be penetrated by the "extinction" elements.

Boundaries: An entire campground setting is best used in this game, as the more space used the better for the overall atmosphere of the game. Five stations are set-up in spread out locations around the entire campground and signs are placed in the area to identify what the station is (i.e. Bomb shelter, famine relief, hospital, etc...).

Game Starts: Game begins when the "variables" are sent out into the field to await the survivors. Each person is given a card with 5 stations on it. Each player must find and go to each of the 5 stations and get the station attendant to stamp the player card. Once at the station, the survivors are safe from the variables, but can only remain at the station for 2 minutes max. The object is to safely reach the stations without getting caught by a variable person 3 times.

Variables: A variable is a group of pre-selected campers or counselors who represent life-threatening disasters (i.e. tornadoes, fire, pollution, nuclear war, etc...), by wearing a hat which has the disaster taped to it. Each "variable/disaster" is given a marker and if they catch a "survivor", put an X on the back of their card. Once a "survivor" gets 3 X's on their card, they are out of the game. Variables are untouchable until a survivor has reached all 5 stations and shown the scorekeeper their completed, stamped card. Then these survivors can catch the variable and eliminate them from the game by tagging them out.

Notes: It's a good idea to incorporate food and drinks into the game, as it will increase the "rewards" value. You can also try to hide the stations a little, without making it too hard to find.

Game Ends: If you get caught 3 times by a variable/disaster, then you are out of the game. If someone catches a variable after they have completed all 5 stations, then the variable is out (when a player completes all 5 stations, they will be given a special mark or hat to identify them).

10-12 hats
signs for each hat (disasters, natural/man-made)
pre-made card for each player with 5 stations on it
special marker for variables
stamps for stations
station signs
food items and drink (juice boxes, joe louis, timbits)
other station items
wide open field or campground

Added by Shawn McKnight, Mississauga
Back to Top Fat Bat (Wiffle Ball w/ a wading pool)
A fun, outdoor version of Wiffle Ball. Home plate can be anything, but first base (the only base) is a kid's wading pool filled with water. The player steps up to bat and after they get a hit, they run and jump in the pool.

The defense can throw the wiffle ball at the runner to get them out, but after they jump in the pool, they're safe. The next player bats and does the same thing, only the player that is already in the pool doesn't have to run, but once they leave the pool to try and make it back home, they cannot return to base (the pool).

This gets fun when there are several people in the pool at the same time! We use the fat wiffle ball bat and a ball that doesn't hurt when students get "pegged."

Added by Charlton Cupp

Also see Rio Linda Wiffle Ball (Click Here).
Back to Top Field Noodle Hockey
This game is simple to play, but your kids are gonna love it.

You need a couple/three beach balls, and two goals to play. Also, you will need one-half of a Nerf Noodle for each student. (Just buy one noodle for every two students and then cut them in half. Viola!) Now you're set to play.

Play just like hockey. Students use the noodle to slap the beach ball into the other team’s goal. Most points wins. (If you have a large group and limited play space, set a 5 minute timer on each game so you can cycle a large number of players through as quickly as possible.)

Variation: If you want to make it even more fun, throw in more than one beach ball. That way the teams will have to defend and attack at the same time.
Back to Top Filling The Potty
This game requires the following items: (x4) 36 or 48 pack economy rolls of toilet paper, a tub or barrel of cold water, two toilet bowls (you can purchase inexpensive toilet bowls for $100) and enthusiastic players! (NOTE: You could also use two buckets with toilet seats glued to them for even cheaper. Buckets are $4 and toilet seats are $10.)

Divide your students into two teams. Set up the “toilets” 10-15 feet away from the players. The players unroll the toilet paper and dip it into a tub of water to create "spit wads," then they try to throw it into the toilet. The most rolls filling the toilet after two minutes wins. Alternatively the first team to "fill the potty" wins.

Idea submitted by Terry
Back to Top Fish Bat (Tilapia Home Run Derby)
Choose 5 contestants to be batters. Make everyone else bunch up in a group about ten yards away from your batters. Pitch a whole fish. The batter who hits it the farthest wins a prize.

The guts and a lot of other gross stuff go all over the group. The person who catches the fish in the group also wins a prize. Absolutely hilarious.

Safety Note: Have hand sanitizer or a sink close by for those who touch the fish. Or, provide latex gloves which can be purchased 100/box at beauty supply stores.

Added by Justin Chapman
Back to Top Fountains of Fun
Items Needed:
4 buckets (two filled with water, two empty)
4 plastic cups, each with 3 holes punched in the side.

How to Play:
Form 2 teams of equal numbers. Have a starting line (where the filled buckets are) and a finish line (where the empty buckets are). Team members, taking turns, race to fill their empty bucket by filling their cup and racing with the cup held over their own head. They will get WET!
Game ends when 1st bucket is empty. Team with the most amount of water in the originally empty bucket wins!
You cannot plug the holes with your fingers.
To make this harder, add more holes.

Team members pair up and must go twice to the empty bucket. They must hold hands and with cup held over the first partner's head. The second time down to the empty bucket, the cup must be held over the 2nd partner's head. Now hand it off to the next pair on your team.

Added by Sheila Kitzmann

Also see Human Battleships (Click Here).
Back to Top Gator Ball
This is a game that is a combination of hockey, soccer and football. You will need two teams, two goals marked out, and a ball.
The basics of the game: You start the game out with the ball in the middle and one person from each team at the ball or "puck" in center. On "go" they have to use their hand as a hockey stick and get the ball between their legs to their team. At any point in the game, whenever the ball is on the ground it plays as soccer and whenever it is in air you can catch it and play it like football. Goalies can use their hands at any time.

Added by Kristen
Back to Top Geometry Test
Divide into as many teams of 5-10 as you want. Explain that this is a geometry test. Play hyped music in the background. All teams begin in a circle. When you yell out a shape, they must arrange themselves into it as quickly as possible.

Suggestions: straight line, square, rectangle, triangle, cone, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, cube, trapezoid.

The Point: Teamwork, goals, focus

Variation: “Marching Band Practice” – form into letters you call out.
Back to Top Glow Stick Tag
Set up: You need a large field and several bright glow sticks. The neck glow sticks work great for this game. It needs to be fairly dark outside. The moon should be just enough.

The game: It is just like tag only they use glow sticks. The player that is “it” will have a red glow stick and the other players will have yellow or green glow sticks. The red player must tag the green players and when he does, they trade glow sticks. "IT" always wears the red glow stick.
Players must show glow sticks AT ALL TIMES! The red player must show his/hers but can hide behind things that will cover it up.

The leader's role: The leaders can play, but must watch the game and make sure everyone is showing their glow sticks during play. The leader could also have more than one “it” person in the game at once. Each additional "it" must have a red glow stick, though.
NOTE: Play in a safe location where there are no trip hazards!

Back to Top Grab and Swat
This is our youth group's agressive version of duck duck goose.
Parts needed:
1 foam noodle cut in half (you'll use both halves).
1 5 gallon pickle buckett or trash can.

How to play: Have everyone stand in a circle but have them face towards the outside of the circle. Choose two youth to stand inside the circle, where the bucket is located. Give them each a noodle. The object of the game is for the student to swat someone and run back to the trash can, put the noodle in the trash can, and get back to where the person they swatted was standing, before they can grab the noodle out of the trash can and swat them back. If they are able to hit the student back, before they make it back to the spot, then the one who got swatted back is now in the mush pot, which is actually outside the circle, until someone who swats a player gets swatted back. If the student is able to swat the person, get the noodle back in the bucket, and make it back to that person's place without getting swatted back, then the other person is now "it" with the noodle.

This game is great because it really wears out the students, and the noodles don't hurt the students.

Added by Jeff Proctor
Back to Top Hula Hoop Pass
Get all your participants in a circle holding each other's hands. Get someone to 'unlock' one of their hands from the circle, put a hula-hoop onto his/her hand, then reconnect with the circle.

The aim of this game is to get the hula-hoop around the circle and back to where it started without the group letting go of each other's hands. Can also be played with groups against each other and a stop watch; lots of fun!

Added by Jeff Montgomery
Back to Top Human Foosball
Supplies: A soft ball for kicking and something to mark the boundaries with...masking tape (for inside) and spray paint (for outside).

Play just like the table game only with real people linked in rows. Split the kids into two teams, have a captain decide who goes in which rows and how many in each row. Each entire team faces one direction and has to stay that way. They link arms by holding the person's elbows next to them. The whole row has to stay within their boundaries like in the game, but they can slide back and forth, left and right.

When you play inside you can mark the boundaries with masking tape, or if you play outside you can use paint (if acceptable) or tape or flour. If you play in a building, you need to remove pretty much everything from the room. If you play outside, it is best if you play between two buildings so that the ball stays in the game. If you play in a field, have lots of folks around to toss the ball back into play.

Make sure everyone is wearing shoes, it can get a little fierce with the kicking. Stress safety and not getting out of control. Also, USE A BALL that is SOFT - we use a stuffed soccer ball, or you could use a Nerf ball.

Variation: Use more than one ball at a time.

Added by Eric and Cindy Scott
Back to Top Human Lawn Mower
Divide into two teams. Give each team two buckets. Have students run to the first bucket pre-FILLED with pancake syrup and grab a pair of scissors from the bottom (have only enough scissors for about a third or half the team.

Then they run to a designated grassy area where their job is to try and cut as much grass with their scissors as possible and put it in the other bucket. Teams will have to work together with some cutting, and some picking up grass.

Stop the game before students without scissors get bored. The team with the most cut grass in their bucket at the end of the game wins.

Safety Note: As always, emphasize safety, instructing students to walk with scissors pointed down. "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!!"

Added by Kissa Vaughn
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 Ice Cream from Heaven
Leaders get ice cream and get on top of the church and with students down at the bottom with cups and bowls the leaders DROP ice cream from the roof along with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherries while the students down below try to catch it and then proceed to eat it. This is an incredible amount of fun. The only caution is that a lot of clean up is needed at the end. I'd suggest placing a huge tarp on the ground to catch at least most of the mess.

Added by Chris Lambuth.

Also see Banana Splits in the Mouth (Click Here) and Marshmallow Drop (Click Here).

Back to Top Inner Tube Stuff
Get several large truck tire inner tubes. Divide into teams and see who can stand the most people within the edges of their tire tube.

Variation: Hula Hoop Stuff (same thing, just with a hula hoop.)

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Jello Twister
Best done when it’s warm outside so people can hose down after.

Get a square of cheap plastic and attach pie tins in a 4 x 4 grid by pushing a pull clip through the bottom of both the pans and plastic. Then spread out the clips under the plastic to hold them down. Fill the pie tins with already-made jello right before youth group. Be sure that you've got different colors of jello for the spinner. Have a good spinner and kids who will go for it. Play in bare feet!

Suggestion: Tell the kids beforehand to bring clothes they don't mind getting stained.

Added by Young Life

Also see Slime Twister (Click Here) and Slop-stacle Course (Click Here).
Back to Top Jello Belly Flop
In the winter, have a belly flop contest in a baby pool full of Jello. Lay a tarp over a big old mattress under the baby pool.

Idea by Young Life

Also see Jello Twister (Click Here).
Back to Top Joust : Sick & Twisted
Just like Joust (Click Here), only played outside over a baby pool filled with gross ingredients (oatmeal, instant potatoes, etc.). You can either use buckets or a 4x4 plank of sturdy wood long enough to reach across your pool. (Prop up the ends of your plank so the pool is not crushed).

Two contestants with Nerf joust sticks (or pool noodles) and helmets battle on the plank to knock each other off into the pool.

Lots of preparation required and safety consciousness on this one. Make sure the board doesn’t get too slippery. You might even want gymnastic mats around the pool.

Play near a bathroom and have towels (or a hose) handy for clean-up.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top King of Goats
Outdoor or Indoor. Choose a "goat" from the group (or one from each team) and have it removed while the groups are given instructions. The crowd (one group) is instructed to stand on the sidelines and shout instructions to the goat, while the circle group (the other group) is told to form a circle holding hands. The goat is to be put in the center of the circle blindfolded.

At the signal, the goat is to start chasing the circle and the circle is to move as a whole to avoid being caught. When the goat is ready to start, the circle group is instructed in his presence to move silently and to make no sound. The goat is to listen to the sideline crowd for instructions where to go to catch the circle. As soon as the start signal is given, the crowd starts shouting instructions to the goat, such as, "Go to the right, the right, now go back, straight ahead."

The minute the game starts, the circle team, instructed before the goat arrived, immediately disbands and joins the crowd, leaving the goat in a an empty field. Let the goat run for a short time or until the goat guesses what is going on.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Land Mines
Materials needed:
water balloons for outside
styrofoam cups for inside.

Set up a "mine field" by randomly placing the water balloons (or cups) in a marked section of ground. A concrete slab or basketball court works well for this. Grass also works, but you will need to set boundaries.

Divide students into teams of 4 or 5. Give each team a blindfold. Put the blindfolds on one member of each team. The point of the game is for the team to get across the mine field with the fewest casualties the fastest.

If a person touches a mine he/she is out (if it bursts water on them, it just makes it more fun). A quick twist can be that if a person is out, then the ref makes it known by pouring a glass of water on their head. The team members must be their eyes and tell them which way to go. The blindfolded people crossing the field must stay within the set boundaries, and only one person per team may be on the mine field at a time (so they can't lead them by touch). Team members help each other by shouting directions. Works best if mines are close together and if teams are close together. Sponsors may yell out random directions to try to throw them off.

The trick is (don't tell the kids this until after it's over) for the person in the mine field to pick out a certain voice and listen to that one voice.

The Point: Just like we need to listen to God's voice instead of all the voices that the world throws at us.

Added by Derek
Back to Top Line Tag
This works great in a gym with lots of lines or an AWANA circle.

-No one may step off the line.
-When you are tagged, you are "dazed and confused". Sit down!
-You may not go around anyone, including the dazed and confused, unless you are 'it'.
-You may not cut corners; hence, you must step on the intersection of the line.

'It' tends to get tired quick, so when this happens, tell 'it' to choose a "lovely assistant" to trap people easier. Make sure the lovely assistant walks, not runs.

You can also use the same concept for line basketball and line soccer, depending on your facility.

Added by Jon Talley
Back to Top Marshmallow Splat Ball
Outdoor or Indoor. Have students wear grubby clothes that can be thrown away. Divide into 4 or more teams and arm each person with a small Styrofoam plate and 4 marshmallows.

Give each team captain (adult) a different color dipping sauce (we used Mustard, Red, & Green Catsup, and Chocolate Syrup, but you can use your imagination). Then map out the boundaries, and send each team to a corner of the playing field as a designated area to load up. Fill each plate with the splat substance. Then tell them to dip and on your signal begin throwing them at the other teams. The team with the most hits wins, but once the slime pellets start to fly no one cares.

When they run out of marshmallows they can either pick one up from the ground, and re-dip, or run back to the supply station until the ammo runs out. When the fun was done we had a contest to see which team could pick up the most marshmallows. The prize was dumping a bottle of maple syrup over a leader's head (stolen from the 'Ten Bags of Doom'). We serve a fun God!

Added by Jon Nowlin

Also see Ten Bags of Doom! (Click Here).
Back to Top Melon Fest
Watermelon Helmet Contest
That's right, have each team carve a helmet (or helmets) out of watermelons. You can go for the gladiator look or more of the Darth Vador look. Team members must wear helmets throughout the event.

Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest
(Need I explain?)

Cantaloupe Bowling
Create a bowling alley in the parking lot and set up 2 liter bottles at the end. Leave the 2 liters full and give a bonus if you bust the 2 liter bottles open.

Melon Armor
Give each team a ball of string, a roll of duct tape, a knife, and about 5 of each melon. Have each team dress one of their team members in FULL MELON ARMOR. That's right, dress up this person in as much armor, made of melons, as humanly possible. (You might want to make the team member a guy!)

Watermelon Toss
You guessed it! Get your two strongest guys to do the age old egg toss (line up facing each other, toss to team mate, back up a step, toss back, and so on . . .) but with a much heavier item! CAN'T hit the ground. Last pair still tossing wins!

Seedless Watermelon Eating Contest
Bring 2 representatives from each team up front-- an eater and a cutter. At "Go" the cutter starts cutting watermelon for the eater to eat. Eater scarfs down as many watermelons down in a given period of time.

Ultimate Cantaloupe
This is just like Ultimate Frisbee . . . but with a cantaloupe! Divide into two teams, each trying to get to the opposite end zone. Instead of a kick-off, just have one team start on their side of the field. When a player catches the cantaloupe, they can take only 3 steps then they must throw/toss it. Team work their way down the field, passing to each other until a team scores. If the team's melon hits the ground, it's the other teams ball (frisbee actually).
    An added twist: if one team busts the cantaloupe, the other team automatically scores (have extra cantaloupes available). No knocking the melon down, like in ultimate frisbee- in Ultimate Cantaloupe, it always goes to the opposite team of the last person to touch it before it hits the ground. Defensive players must give any person already holding a cantaloupe at least 3 feet clearance.
Bobbing for Melons
This game requires a pool or some other large body of water. You can play this many ways- one way is to fill a pool with all kinds of melons, even a few vegetables of choice (cucumbers, squash, etc.) Then give a team a certain amount of time to retrieve the melons, vegetables, etc.

Increase the degree of difficulty by doing this at night with no lights, or putting Vasoline all over the watermelon.

Steal the Melon
That's right. Plain ol' "Steal the Bacon" with greased watermelon in the center. (Line up two teams facing each other, number them off, call a number and that person has to grab the watermelon and get it back to their side).

Also see Watermelon Polo (Click Here).
Back to Top Mess Mix
Get 30 cut-up pieces of paper. Have 10 blank and on the other 20 put different types of “Mess” (examples: Pie in face, Syrup on head, etc.). Be prepared for a big mess by telling kids to wear old clothes, and be ready to hose them off after.

Put the papers in a bucket. Pass the bucket around and tell people to get 1 piece out. Ask one person what their paper says. Whatever it says, they have to do it. Go around until everyone has been called on. The 10 with the blank pieces win a “big prize.” What’s the prize, you ask? Why, its a Big Ol' Bucket of Green Pudding over their heads!

Suggested Mess items:
2 eggs smashed on head
Choco Syrup on head
Pie in Face
Pudding on Head
Cake on Head
Shaving cream Hairdo
Ranch Dressing Hairdo
Water and Flour Slime
Wild Card (Your choice)
Mix of all the stuff in a slime form
Peanut Butter (Gets real sticky!)
Apple sauce
PB and J Sandwich on head
Coca Cola
Pizza Sauce
Ice Cream
Pancake Batter

Added by Aaron Headly

Also see Messy Message (Click Here), Messy Plexi (Click Here), and Slime Twister (Click Here).
Back to Top Milk Jug Lacrosse
You need an empty plastic milk jug for each player (preferably gallon sized, though 1/2 gallon will work), a tennis ball, and something for two goals. Cut the bottoms off of all the jugs beforehand.

Divide kids into two teams. The jugs are held upside down by their handles and used to catch the ball and pass it to other team members. The kids can run around the field of play until they catch the ball in their milk jug. Then they must stop and pass the ball to a teammate before running again. Set up some sort of goal at each end of the room or field for scoring.

NOTE: For easy storage, get a long dowel or narrow broomstick and stack the jugs inside each other and run the stick through their spouts to keep them together.

Idea submitted by David Marvin
Back to Top Mud-O-War
This gross game is played up front or in the middle of your room with 5-10 people on each team while the crowd watches. Tug-of-War in mud or through a Jello kiddy pool . . . you name it!

Added by Naomi

Also see Tug-O-Fish (Click Here).
Back to Top Mustard Tanks
Each team needs 7 people. Six of the team members will form two lines of three, the two lines facing each other. The students will lock arms with the person in front of them, creating a sort of "bridge." The 7th person (needs to be the smallest person in the group) will then lay across the groups’ arms and will be handed a big plastic or squeezable container of mustard. They will then move around like tanks and shoot other tanks.

Added by Stephen Dervan
Back to Top Noodle Knights (aka Braveheart)
Divide into 2 teams and give each player a 3 foot piece of foam noodle and a Burger King crown. One team puts the crowns on normal and the other team puts them on inside out (the crowns must be above the ears). The two teams line up about 15 or more feet away from each other, facing off. On a signal they charge and fight for a designated short period of time. A person is out when their crown is knocked off their head. The crowns can only be knocked off by the noodles (no hands, feet, tackling, or head butts!). After the time is up everyone who is out steps out of the playing area and you line up again for another skirmish. Continue until you have a winner. A great intro to this game is the jousting clip from the movie Braveheart.

Added by Steve Schlange
Back to Top Oil Ball
Get a big plastic tarp, about 20' x 25', and lay it down. Pour and smear about 5 to 6 bottles of baby oil all over the tarp. Make the outline of an oval track with about 6 cans of shaving cream. Now the goal is to "wheelbarrow" (this is when one kid stands while holding another kid's feet in the air) with the kid on the ground pushing a tennis ball with his/her head around the track twice. The first one done wins!

This game does have a cost, but everyone who plays is covered when done and you'll see some great wipe-outs! Take pictures! Just make sure your church has insurance *wink*

Added by Paul Butler

Also see Jello Twister (Click Here).
Back to Top Opposite Arm Dodgeball
This game is played just like it sounds. Set up any dodgeball game that your kids like. However, make them throw with their opposite arm. It helps keep your jocks from dominating the game and also encourages the kids who are afraid of getting hit.

I normally play and act really dumb trying to throw with my wrong arm. Kids laugh at me and we have a great time.

Added by Ian Newton

Also see Blindfold Marco Polo Dodgeball (Click Here), Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here), Earthball Blowout (Click Here), and Longbase (Click Here).
Back to Top Outdoor Slalom Jump
This is an outdoor game! I feel it necessary to say that up front. Don’t come whining to us if you try to pull this one off in the main sanctuary…and get fired!

Clear a space somewhere outsides that’s 50’ long and at least 10’ wide. Next, lay down some of the plastic Visqueen that builders use for roofs. Finally, fabricate some sort of a “ramp/jump” at one end of the plastic strip. For best effect, make sure it doesn’t have too steep of an angle. (Also, for safety sake, make sure it is smooth.)

You probably see where this is going.

Now, attach ropes to any of the following: inner tube, knee board, snowboard, ski, inflatable boat, boogie board, etc. This is the “vehicle.”

Get some gym mats/mattresses for the landing zone, or if it’s a hot day, an inflatable pool.

Put some water and detergent on the plastic so it's really slippery and get 5-7 strong guys on either side of the runway to pull the “vehicle” with another student on it.

The student with the longest jump wins.
Back to Top Pass the Cup
This is a really simple game to play, but it’s a load of fun! Also, on a hot day, it provides a great way to cool off. Here’s what you do:

It doesn’t matter how large your group is, just divide them into EQUAL groups. Make sure each group is limited to 6-8 kids. (It’s sort of a relay race, and if you put too many kids on a team, those in the back of the line may get bored.)

When your teams are divided up, tell the students to line up by team. When they are all in a straight line, hand the first person in each line a plastic/Styrofoam cup that is halfway filled. (Put a line on each cup and fill it to that line. This is important for later!)

Now you are set to go. Tell the teams that the first group to pass the cup of water to the last person in their line wins the game. Oh…there’s a catch: you can’t use your hands, only your chins! That’s right, they have to sandwich the cup between their chin and their neck/chest to pass it to one another.

If they drop it and spill the water below the line, they have to run go get more water in their cup. The cup has to arrive to the last person in line with a water level that is at least to the line.

Have fun.

Idea by Rene
Back to Top Pass The Sand
For this game you’ll need a bag of soft sand and two big buckets or small plastic tubs.

Divide group into 2 teams and line them up. Have the first person in each line grab a handful of sand from the container. They must pass the sand to the next player, who passes it to the next, and so on down the line. When the sand reaches the last player, he/she pours what is left of it on a plate. The team with the most sand at the end of the time limit wins the game.

Added by Sarah Yang
Back to Top Penguin Football
Give each person a rag about four inches wide and two feet long (sheets torn into strips work well). Each person then ties the rag securely around his knees to make running impossible; players can move only by shuffling their feet.

Now divide into teams and play football using a Nerf football. The game becomes hilarious when players must hike, run, throw, and kick with their knees tied together.

Variations: Of course this opens up the possibility of playing Penguin Baseball, Penguin volleyball, Penguin Soccer, and countless other games.
Back to Top People Shoes
All you need are two hula hoops and four students wearing shoes. Place the hula hoops 40-50 feet away from each other. Teammates stand facing each other in opposing hula hoop “pits” so that half the team throws from one hoop and half throws from the other. Each player pitches both shoes followed by the opponent's two shoes. In pitching a shoe, the player may not cross the foul line (the end of the hula hoop). Once all six players have launched their shoe, count up your score, collect your shoes and go again. Games are played until one team scores 21 points.

3 points are awarded to every shoe that lands entirely within the hula hoop
2 points for every shoe that lands partially within the hula hoop
And for the shoes outside the hoop, 1 point per shoe is awarded to the team that is closest to the hoop.
(So if the two closest shoes to the outside of the hoop were from the same team, they would get two points. If the three closest were from the same team, they would get three points, etc.)

Variation: Instead of throwing the shoes, fling them from your feet.

Idea by Kenny Clark
Back to Top Pool Baseball
Set up four inflatable pools in a normal four base pattern. It works best if the pools are large enough to fit at least 1/8th of your group. Between each pool, lay down strips of visquene (Slip 'n Slide) as wide as each pool. Soak those strips and squirt them with liquid soap. (Keep a hose handy) Use a balloon launcher and sponge (splash) balls for batting.

Break the group into two teams of four. Play begins with one group from one team in the pool. Two kids hold the launcher and one pulls back. Once the ball is released the kids may run to the next base. Only caught balls and tags count as outs.

Great camp/retreat game!

Added by Aaron Kingsbury
Back to Top Poor Man's Beachball Volleyball
Outdoor, Big Room, or Pool. Use staff as the net (all lined up across the court with hands in the air) and play normal volleyball with a beachball. Allow as many hits per side as needed and allow as many players as needed (your whole group, in other words).
Back to Top Pull Across the Line
Outdoor or Indoor. Same objective as British Bulldog (Click Here), but you can't cross the center line and you convert people to your side by reaching over the line and pulling them to your side.

Variation: Have someone sit down if they are pulled across.
Back to Top Radioactive Renegades
This is a “sponsor hunt” type game played at night on a retreat and takes 30 minutes to an hour (most often played outdoors, but can be played in a huge facility with lots of rooms- and lights dim). The objective is for students to “save the world” by finding all the “Renegade Rebels”. The catch is that they must find them all in order.

Step One: Before the game, number off all your leaders, give them a colored felt marker and tell them to hide around the camp (or wherever you are). These hiding leaders are your “renegade rebels” the kids are trying to find. You can provide glow sticks or glow products to your students. Send them out in pairs.

Step Two: Gather your group and tell them that Renegade Rebels have stolen a large amount of plutonium. The students must identify each of the renegade rebels in order to win the game. When they approach someone they think is a renegade rebel they need to ask if they are "Renegade Rebel Number One". If that happens to be the leader’s number, they make a mark with their felt tip on the student’s arm. Then the student searches for Renegade Rebel Number Two. If the leader is not the right renegade rebel they simply answer "I don't know what you're talking about," and the student keeps on searching.

Step Three: Students have to search and ask until they have found all the renegade rebels in order. They will have markings for each rebel on their arm as evidence.

To make it more fun and challenging you can have your rebels move around, changing hiding spots throughout the game; or you can add leaders as decoys who are not renegade rebels to fool the kids.

Added by Mark Janzen

Also see Communist Church (Click Here).
Back to Top Rio Linda Kickball
A lot like normal Kickball with a bunch of backwards twists (hence the name "Rio Linda," if you've ever been there, you know exactly what I mean!)


  1. All the bases are backwards. Run to 3rd first, then 2nd, and then 1st.

  2. All players on a team get one time up and they get one pitch from their own pitcher.

  3. Endless # of outs, just keep going until all players have been up once.

  4. No foul balls, everything is fair
    no limit to how many people on bases, no forced outs.

  5. You can get someone out by touching ANY base at any time. Any runners between any bases are also out.

  6. If a ball is caught the runner is out.

  7. If a runner is tagged they are out.

See Rio Linda Wiffle Ball (Click Here).
Back to Top Rio Linda Wiffle Ball
Same as Rio Linda Kickball (Click Here) (on this game list) but with a wiffle ball and bat.

One Added Rule: Runners must carry the bat with them to 3rd (the first) base. If they drop the bat they are out!
Back to Top Rip-off! (or Duct Tape Tag, aka Scalp)
Divide into two teams. One team places a 1.5 foot long strip of duct tape horizontally on each of their backs. The other team places a 1.5 foot long strip of duct tape vertically on their back. (You can use different colored tape if you want and name the teams by the colors. i.e. Yellow vs. Black)

Have teams separate in a large playing area, preferably at night. The object is to "rip off" the tape from their backs. Once their tape is removed they are out of the game.

Added by Jon Henry

Also see Elbow Tag (Click Here).
Back to Top River Crossing
The goal of this game is to help teach your students or leaders to work together by having them work as a team to cross a "river." First, using your gym or other space, you need a place to start from (a wall, lines in the gym, etc), the "river," and then a destination. You can use assorted pieces of wood, blankets, or anything else they can stand on. Break them up into teams and have them race to the other side of the river. The rules are: everyone has to get across and no one can touch the floor or they all have to start over.

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

Added by Scott Street
Back to Top Sabre Ball
Set up: two goals or objectives must be spaced across the field. Like hula hoops on the ground or buckets. A soccer sized ball is used. Assign pool noodles (Sabres) to about half or more of the players.

The gameplay is simple. You can't hold a sabre AND the ball. So, if you are in possession of a ball and you are whacked by a sabre you must drop the ball. The person who whacked you must drop the sabre and grab the ball. The ball just needs to get to the goal so throwing and kicking it are both fine.

Game play moves fast, but at the end of a goal make sure the sabres are distributed evenly again between the teams.

Submitted by Matt Enns
Back to Top Sardines
This game is kind of a reverse "Hide and Go Seek." Turn out all the lights. Have one person go hide. Everyone else is “it” and looks for this person. As soon as one person finds the person hiding, he or she hides with the person. Now there are two hiding.

As soon as someone else finds them, that person hides with them. You end up with a bunch of people packed like “sardines” in one hiding spot with one poor person trying to find everyone.

Added by Adalis and Jonathan McKee

Variation "Sardines on the Move"
In Sardines on the Move one person hides ("it") and the rest of the group tries to find them and hide with him. Here's the twist: once the hidden group is larger than 5 students (4 or more students have found "it") then the hidden group tries to make its way undetected back to the sanctuary or other "base". If they do, they win and you play again. If other searchers find the group they simply become part of the group and continue on their way to the base.

We have found this keeps everyone moving around and speeds up the whole game so we can have more students be "it".
Back to Top Scavenger Hunt With a Twist
This ain’t yer grandma’s Scavenger Hunt - but it could be! Split students into teams, assigning a youth leader to follow them around. Provide students with a list of unusual items that they need to get from people's homes or businesses. Your list could include toilet paper, a drink, a bug, soap, a kiss on the elbow, toast, a tack, etc.; stuff people normally wouldn't ask for.

The bonus item is a grandmother. All of the items have to be brought back to your meeting area within a half-hour - even Grandma. You'll be surprised how many grandmas are willing to help.

If possible, get someone’s grandmother from the other team without them knowing it (the team, not the grandmother)!

Added by PW Fu
Back to Top Seltzer Melt
Each person receives an Alka-Seltzer attached to a string (make it into a necklace). For best results we divided our students into 4 "armies".

The field is divided into a huge square, outside of that huge square (4 corners) each army has a home base and a huge trash can of water to refill guns. The object of the game is to melt the opposing teams Alka-Seltzer. The last team standing with the most Alka-Seltzer tablets intact wins.

Hints: Make sure girls wear swim suits- they will get wet. Use discretion.
Ask students to bring their own water guns (ANYTHING GOES on the squirt guns!)

Added by Steve Holt

Also see Alka-Seltzer On The Head Duel (Click Here).
Back to Top Shaving Cream Mummy Burial
This is played in groups of 3. Each team will have shaving cream, and silly string (optional). One person will be the "mummy", while the other two create the mummy. The mummy will lay face-up on the ground wearing goggles, a swimming cap, ear plugs, and duct tape on their mouth. The mummy will be dead-right? So they cannot talk, move, or hear. When the person says go, the two members of the team will start covering the mummy head to toe in shaving cream. They may not move onto the next step until it gets approval that shaving cream is covering the whole body. The game could end here, unless if you really want to make it look like a mummy, you can silly string them. The best-looking mummy based on crowd's choice is the winner.

Idea submitted by Mark
Back to Top Shaving Cream Whiffle Ball
Basically you just play a game of baseball with whiffle ball and bat, but before each pitch you fill the ball up with shaving cream. So as the bat hits, it splatters everywhere - as you catch the ball you get covered in shaving cream. Usually it turns into a shaving cream fight, but the kids and adults love it.

Added by Tara Spradley

Also see Rio Linda Wiffle Ball (Click Here) and Shaving Cream Hair-do (Click Here).
Back to Top Shmallow Shooters
For this game you’ll need marshmallow blowguns made from 1-foot sections of 1-inch diameter pvc pipe (buy big lengths of it at a hardware store, not the small ones you can buy at carnivals and festivals), and plenty of s'more-sized marshmallows.

Load the marshmallow into the end of the pipe (the drier the marshmallow, the better - they'll stick to the pipe if they're soft) and blow. The trick is to blow on the end the marshmallow is on - let it travel the length of the tube - we had shots spanning upwards of 30 feet! Beware: after 2-3 shots they get pretty gross.

We did a variety of target-related games and then a few moments of all-out marshmallow war. Good times!

Beware of choking. Before starting you may want to warn your students about choking hazards and that they need to be careful. They should inhale air before they put their mouth up to the gun.

Added by Owen Sallee

Also see Marshmallow Splat Ball (Click Here).
Back to Top Sink the Bismark
Basically, it's every man for himself dodge-ball. A group of students, 10-30, is asked to stand in a large open circle and game balls are placed sporadically (if that's a word) throughout the circle. You can pick the number of balls. I use about 5 or 6. When the leader says "Go" students run to the nearest ball and start trying to hit anyone around them.


  • If you are holding a ball you can't run and if you get hit you must sit down.

  • If you catch a thrown ball, the thrower is out.

  • If you get hit and the ball hits the ground, you are out and you must sit down.

  • In order for a person to move with the ball, he must pass it to a trustworthy person who is sitting on the ground (by rolling it -- remember if caught in the air you're out). But be careful, they could hit you with the ball or give it to another standing thrower.

  • The last person standing wins the prize.

Idea by Will Hagle; submitted by Charlie Mooney

Also check out these extreme games: Blindfold Marco Polo Dodgeball (Click Here)
Dodgeball Doctor (Click Here)
Dodgeball Dragon (Click Here)
Earthball Blowout (Click Here)
Back to Top Skateboard and Plunger Race
Racers sit on skateboards and use plungers as oars in a race. Play fun music in the background.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Slimy Slip & Slide
Take a Slip and Slide and pour buckets of slime over it (flour, water, and green food coloring). The students slide through the slime, grab a flag at the other side and bring it back to where they started. They can only grab one flag at a time and must get as many as they can within a designated amount of time.

from Fear Factor/Faith Factor on our EVENT IDEAS page (CLICK HERE)
Back to Top Slop-stacle Course
Let students know ahead of time that they are going to get disgusting and to bring a change of clothes!

Be creative. Make one course and time people going through or make it for two people, with two of each part of the course so it can be a race or relay. Either way, video tape for great viewing later.


  1. Have them start by jumping off something into a tub/baby pool of a couple dozen eggs. Then, dripping with egg goo, they run over a broken down cardboard box covered with French fries with ketchup on them. (Just spread out a few SuperSize fries and squirt Ketchup all over.)

  2. Next, have them go through a box maze that you set up with a few refrigerator/dishwasher (large) boxes. Sprinkle in your favorite item for them to slide through (we did flour). You can have "squirters" on the sides of these boxes with bottles of syrup. Have the "squirters" squirt syrup at the people going through the box maze, just like a car wash!

  3. Then have them crawl through the Tunnel O' Goo. The Tunnel O- Goo is simply a plastic bag tunnel that you make, filled with yucky stuff. Peg a large sheet of plastic - preferably black so it warms in the sun - and peg it to the ground. Get a whole lot of scraps, sauce, anything you like. This is good for camps because you collect the leftovers from the week! Then place another sheet of plastic over it all- don't peg this one down. It's kind of like a slip and slide with a lid! Have a couple people on each side holding the ends up for air flow.

  4. They then proceed to a table(s) filled with party hats. Fill them up with powdered sugar or the like. They obviously put these on for the rest of the course.

  5. Next will be more cardboard covered with finger paint- or something colorful for them to walk through.

  6. From there they go to a plate of whipped cream to find buried gummy bears . . . without their hands- of course!

  7. Last comes the "Dirty Diapers" on a table. These have 2 different types of pudding inside each diaper - Butterscotch & Chocolate. (note from Jonathan - if you ask me about this . . . I'm taking the 5th amendment!) They must lick the contents inside - top to bottom. That would end any race!

The people that watch the SLOP-STACLE course have as much fun as the people that do it (if not more)!

Also see Banana Split & Slide on Outdoor page, as well as our Events Page for other “gross” events like Jello Wrestling, Mud Bowl, Oatmeal Wrestling, and Slime Night
Back to Top Soap Shrink
Good camp game. Divide into teams. Give each a large, new bar of soap. Provide one or more kiddy pools filled with water. On "Go!" have teams race to shrink their bars without breaking them. Call time after 5 minutes.

Award motel-size bars of soap to the winner.

The Point: Sin, though forgiven, almost always has consequences that aren't usually "shrunk" easily.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Sock and Bop
For this outdoor, semi-messy game, you need old pantyhose and flour - similar to the game, "Open Gates." Have all the students line up. Then have the leaders on the field with flour stuffed into the legs of pantyhose. One of the leaders will shout out something like, "Everyone with purple on!" and those people must then run. The leaders try to hit them with the 'flour hose' and then they must go back to the other side and wait. The winner is the last "boppee" standing.

Safety Note: ONLY bop in the torso area - NEVER bop below the waist, in the face, or around the neck!

By the way, the "boppers" (they don't have to be leaders if you have students mature enough to handle a flour filled pantyhose) can be placed facing each other to create a "run-through" line or they can be placed randomly around the playing field (as kids would in a game of tag).

Added by Kara Schladenhauffen

Also see Sockball on Anywhere page.
Back to Top Sponge Pass
Outdoor or Indoor (need more towels if indoor). Simple but fun, especially on a hot day! You divide your group in rows. In front of each row place a bucket with water and a sponge. At the back place an empty bucket to collect water. When time starts running the person in the front dips the sponge and passes it to the back and the last person squeezes the water into the bucket. The row that manages to collect the most water wins.

Added by Elizabeth Oliveras

Also see Spongebob Squarefort on Upfront page.
Back to Top Spongebob Squarefort
Great game for kids. Set two rectangular inflatable pools 6-10 feet apart from each other with the long sides facing each other. Get a bunch of small cheap yellow sponges and cut them in half or fourths.

Fill the pools with water and divide the sponges between each pool. Use a whistle to indicate start and stop times. Divide into two teams and place each team behind their pools (or in them). On the whistle, everyone picks up and throws the sponges into the opposing team's pool. When the whistle blows again, the team with the fewest sponges in their pool wins.

  1. Place a starting line 15-20 feet away from each team's pool. On the whistle, each team runs to their pool, reaches in and starts throwing sponges into the other team's pool. When the whistle blows again, the first whole team back across the line wins (this keeps kids out of the pools when trying to count all
    of the sponges).

  2. Place some of the youth leaders in a smaller pool in between the two pools. The first team to get all of their sponges into the smaller pool wins.

  3. Line both teams up and pass wet sponges from one end to the other (or in a smaller group pass it "Hot Potato" style in a circle).

Added by Aaron Kingsbury

Also see Sponge Pass on Outdoor page. Change it every couple of rounds.
Back to Top Starburst Toss
Good small group outdoor game. Draw a target on the ground w/sidewalk. Have 3 or 4 packs or bags of Starburst candy divided evenly amongst everyone. Each person throws one Starburst into the target and closest to the middle can retrieve all of them. Continue as long as you'd like.

Added by Nic Bade

Also see Candy Hunt on Audience page.
Back to Top Super Slip-n-Slide Relay
First make the biggest (trust me, it needs to be big) slip-n-slide that money will allow. Then put baby shampoo (no tears!) and water all over it to make it as slick as possible. Line your students up across on of the slides skinny ends. (Our dimensions are always around 20' x 30'.) Make as many teams as will fit safely (make enough space in between each team so they don't run into each other). On the opposite side of the slide have bats available for "dizzy bat." When you say "go" have a student from each team run and then slide on the mat. If they do not slide all the way across then they have to army crawl the rest of the way.

Then they must take their bat, place their forehead on one end of the bat, put the other end on the ground and spin around it 10 times (hence "dizzy bat").

Finally, they simply run back down the mat to their team and tag the next person. When done right it is almost impossible to run down the slide without falling down a bunch.

Added by Josh Sanderson

See Australian MegaSlide of Death, also on Outdoor page.
Back to Top The Potato Game
To play this game, you need an open field, several bags of potatoes, and 4 balls of yarn. Here’s what you do.

PRIOR to the start of the game, spray paint 4 huge circles of EQUAL size that are also evenly spaced from one another in the form of a square. (In other words, make your field a really big “square” with a circle at each “corner” of it.) Then dump a couple of bags of potatoes inside each circle. The size of your field, and the number of potatoes you use depends on the size of your group. If you have a big group, paint a big field and use lots of potatoes. Just make sure every circle gets the same amount of potatoes!

When the students arrive, divide them up into 4 equal teams. Assign each team to a circle. Designate ONE player from each team to be the “Giver of the Lifey Band.” That’s right, the “Giver of the Lifey Band.” His job will be to LOOSELY tie a piece of yarn around the waist of every single one of the players on his team, giving them life, hence his title. (Each person gets their own piece of yarn tied around them…think Flag Football.) He CANNOT move out of his team’s circle during the game, at all! He will have to repeatedly tie yarn around his teammates waist as they get it ripped off during the game. (More on that in a moment.)

When your teams are even, and everyone has yarn tied around their waists, you are ready to play. The objective is simple. Players run around to the other three circles and snag as many potatoes as they can and take them back to their pile located in their circle.

The trouble is, if your yarn gets ripped off in the process, you MUST drop any potatoes you have in your possession RIGHT THERE (even if you’re NOT in a circle) and go straight to your “Giver of the Lifey Band” for another piece of yarn. When the player has the new piece of yarn tied to his or her waist, only then can he/she re-enter the game. Though players can only have one piece of yarn tied to them at any given time, they can go back to their “Giver of the Lifey Band” as often as need be (there is not a cap).

Set a time limit on the game and start play. Give a 2 minute and a 1 minute warning towards the end of the game. The team with the most potatoes IN THEIR CIRCLE at the buzzer wins.

1. Absolutely NO THROWING potatoes. Too dangerous. Expel students who break this rule.
2. Players who decide to “defend” their circle can do so, BUT they must remain OUTSIDE their circle. They cannot stand in the circle, merely hovering over their potatoes. This will kill the game. The bigger the circle, the better the game, because it makes it that much harder….
3. The only player on the team to STAY in their circle is the “Giver of the Lifey Band.” Other players can be in their own circle ONLY when depositing a potato.
4. No unnecessary roughness (tripping, eye gouging, body slams, etc.)

You will probably want a few adult volunteers roaming around as referees. Have fun!

Idea by Rocky
Back to Top Toilet Paper Firing Squad
Involves A LOT of clean up. You need several packs of toilet paper, depending on the number of students you have.

Line all but two players against an outside wall with side boundaries clearly marked. The two "marksmen" pull off a wad of toilet paper and dip in a bucket of water, making it really soggy. Then they try to hit the other players who are allowed to move side to side from about 15-20 feet away. The last person to be hit and the runner-up are the two "marksmen" in the next round. If the game is taking too long, put a 1-3 minute time limit on each " round, and pronounce the winner as the one who has the least amount of people left standing (and dry)!

Added by Rachel Tarr

Also see Snowball Fight on Anywhere page, Toilet Paper Bowling & Toilet Paper Blow, Toilet Paper Bride, both on Upfront page.
Back to Top Trashball
Divide into two teams. This game is basically basketball, with your own player as the basketholder (assists at getting the ball in).

Use a trashcan about the same size as your ball. Have each team choose a trash can holder (rotate regularly, its a fun place to be). Have each one stand up on a chair (they can't move from the chair or grab a ball- just move the trash can). Make a boundry of about 10 feet around each holder with tape. Anyone caught inside the tape must sit there indefinately (at your discretion).

For large groups, add an extra ball or two. Players can only take 3 steps when they have the ball, so more are involved.

This is a fun game because, with the help of the can holder, almost anyone can make a full court shot, so we tell players the ball must touch a certain # of girls on their team before they can shoot.

NOTE: It's a good idea to play this game with a rule about not diving under the chairs the trash can holders are standing on. We recently received an email from a youth leader saying, "I broke my wrist when some overeager youth toppled over the chair I was standing on trying to get at the ball!" OUCH

Submitted by Jon Talley
Back to Top Tubal Bacon
Steal the Bacon with inner tubes. This is a physically exhausting game that can be lots of fun, but might be best if played with boys against boys and/or girls against girls.

Mark a large square in the field and place a stack of seven to ten inner tubes in the center of the square. Divide the group into four equal teams, each one lining up on their side of the square. Number the players on each team from one to however many players are on each team.

The object of the game is to get as many inner tubes as possible across your team's line. Call out several numbers. The players with those numbers run to the center and start dragging the inner tubes to their lines. There may be several players tugging on the same tube. Each tube successfully pulled across a team's line is a score (one point) for that team.

Variation 1: Once the kids get the hang of it, add a soccer ball to the game. Each team gets a point deducted from their score if the ball is kicked over their line. Team members along the team line act as goalies. Once the ball touches the ground in their territory the point is scored against them.

Variation 2: To further complicate the game, add a cage ball, or earth ball (4 to 8 ft. in diameter). The team that gets this ball across their own line gets three additional points.

Also see Steal the Bacon and Tubemania, both on Big Room page.
Back to Top Tubal Tug
Get 5 small to medium sized inner tubes. One of them serves as the middle ring. Tie 4 ropes (ropes should be 8 to 10 ft. in length) to this middle tube (you have to have your tubes tied for this game!) Tie the other ends of the ropes to the other 4 tubes - one rope to each tube. Next you will need 4 cones and 4 tennis balls.

Lay out the inner tube contraption, putting the center ring at the center (duh...) and the other 4 stretched out to the noon, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. Then place the cones with the tennis balls on top about 10 feet out from the inner tubes. People then get in the inner tubes and on "Go!", they attempt to become the 1st person to get the tennis ball off their respective cones (thus a four way tug-o-war). Since they are essentially pulling against 3 other people, from different directions, it's not always the biggest/strongest that wins.

Safety Caution: Don't do this game on cement/asphalt - someone always slips or falls down and then gets drug across the ground by the other players.

For a total tube fest, see Tubemania on Outdoor page.
Back to Top TubeMania
Outdoor & Big room. Have a TUBEMANIA night playing the following tube games!
    (steal the bacon with innertubes): - This is a physically exhausting game that can be lots of fun, but might be best if played boys against boys and/or girls against girls.

    Mark a large square in the field and place a stack of seven to ten inner tubes in the center of the square. Divide the group into four equal teams, each one lining up on their side of the square. Number the players on each team from one to however many players are on each team.

    The object of the game is to get as many inner tubes as possible across your team's line. Call out several numbers. The players with those numbers run to the center and start dragging the inner tubes to their lines. There may be several players tugging on the same tube. Each tube successfully pulled across a team's line is a score (one point) for that team.

    Once the kids get the hang of it, add a soccer ball to the game. Each team gets a point deducted from their score if the ball is kicked over their line. Team members along the team line act as goalies. Once the ball touches the ground in their territory the point is scored against them.

    To further complicate the game, add a cage ball, or earth ball (four to eight feet in diameter). The team that gets this ball across their own line gets three additional points.

    Good name for this game. Be very careful- if you don't use good safety precautions this could result in injuries. Divide your crowd into two teams, each team in two groups for a relay. Line the teams up in four corners of the playing field, each team diagonal with it's partner team. Give each group 2 or 3 tubes (depending on size). The first team members must step into the tubes, pick them up (so they look like a Michelin Man) and run diagonal to their partner team. Of course their partner team and two apposing teams are running through the same intersection so look out! First team to switch all players across the diagonal one at a time is the winner.

    This is a simple relay where you give each team one tube and they race to see who can get their entire team through their tube first.

    This is basically Sumo Wrestling for poor people. Two players battle each other, each holding a tube like a belt or belly. Draw or rope off a small circle that they try to bump each other out of.

    Get 5 innertubes (small to medium sized ones work best). One of them serves as the middle ring. Tie 4 ropes (ropes should be 8 to 10 feet in length) to this middle tube (you have to have your tubes tied for this game!!!) Tie the other ends of the ropes to the other 4 tubes - one rope to each tube. Next you will need 4 cones and 4 tennis balls. Lay out the inner tube contraption, putting the center ring at the center (duh...) and the other 4 stretched out to the noon, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. Then place the cones with the tennis balls on top about 10 feet out from the inner tubes. Kids then get in the inner tubes and on "Go" they attempt to become the 1st person to get the tennis ball off their respective cones (thus a four way tug-o-war). Since they are essentially pulling against 3 other people, from different directions, it's not always the biggest/strongest that wins. Caution: Don't do this game on cement/asphalt because someone always slips or falls down and then gets drug across the ground by the other players.

    BASKETBALL GIGANTE (Giant" in Spanish)
    Get 2 carpet role tubes (12 foot card board tubes) you can get them from any carpet co. You also need a big cage ball (earth ball). simple you hang the tubes from the gym ceiling with some rope and the kids must get the ball through the goal (over the tube and between the ropes). We play this game in our gym with up to 175 kids.

    BASKETBALL GIGANTE submitted by Mike
Back to Top Turkey Hunt
If you are looking for something to do with that extra turkey left over from Thanksgiving, play this game and every one of your students will have a blast!

Buy a frozen turkey and thaw it “some.” Buy a cheap box of rubber gloves, so that every student gets a pair (just in case). Before the game, hide the turkey somewhere on the church property (inside or outside).

To start the game, form teams of 3-5 by counting the kids off (we did NOT let them pick their own teams to keep it fair). When you say go, each team runs out of the “barn” (youth room) with their arms linked together. They must keep their arms linked during the WHOLE game, or else they are out. In other words, they are not allowed to split up.

When a team finds the turkey, a RUBBER-GLOVED MEMBER of the team picks it up and runs back to the “barn” gobbling all the way. If another team intercepts them, that team gets the turkey and wins the prize.

Have a cool group prize for the winning team.

NOTE: If you have a really, really big group, you may want to use several turkeys. If that is the case, you will need to tell them how many turkeys there are.
Back to Top Ultimate Dodge Cricket
Outdoor team game. Two teams, like baseball. One bats, the other is in the field. You'll need a bat, a dodgeball, and some cones, and a way to mark off a circle on the ground (field marking paint, chalk, etc). Instead of a baseball 'diamond', mark off a circle, approx. 75' in diameter. Put two cones about 6 feet apart on the edge of the circle. This is the "home gate." Put a third cone on the far edge of the circle, exactly opposite the Home Gate. Place cones to mark off "foul ball territory" in relation to the 'home gate cones,' as in baseball. The pitcher stands in the middle of the circle. Other 'infilders' also stand inside the circle. 'Outfielders' stand outside the circle. The batter stands in the home gate, awaiting the pitch. The pitcher pitches the dodgeball to the batter, so that the batter hits it with the bat off the bounce. The ball must bounce once before the batter can hit it. The pitcher may pitch in any manner they choose: Overhanded, underhanded, basketball-pass style, one- handed, two-handed, etc. As long as it bounces once. The batter's goal is to hit the ball into play (fair territory), run around the cone on the far edge of the circle, and make it back through the home gate before being hit with the ball by one of the fielders. The batter may choose any path they wish to circle the cone.

The INFIELDERS MAY NOT MOVE ONCE THEY FIELD THE BALL. They may try to hit the running batter from where they are, or they may pass the ball to another stationary infielder, who will then try to hit the runner. The OUTFIELDERS MAY MOVE and can try to hit the runner while they themselves are in motion. Outfielders may also pass to an infielder. The batter may choose to stay touching the cone, if he doesn't think he can make it safely home.

There are no force outs. All runners must run. Infielders and pitchers may not get in the way of the batters/runners.

Runs are scored when batters round the cone and make it safely through the home gate without being hit with the ball from a fielder.

A batter is out if: 1) he is hit with the ball anywhere but the head while running 2) he swings and misses 3 times during the same at bat, 3) a ball he hits is caught by a fielder or pitcher before it hits the ground, 4) he hits three total foul balls in one at bat. 5) he elects not to swing at three pitches which roll through the home gate. Foul balls are counted as strikes. There are no 'walks.' Fielders may not hit runners in the head. Once the fielding team gets three outs, they switch with the batting team. When both teams have batted once, that makes an 'inning.' Play continues until time runs out, or till one team reaches a specific score, or for an agreed-up number of innings.

Coin flip determines who bats first.
Back to Top Ultimate Frisbee (Frisbee Football)
Divide into two teams, each trying to get to the opposite end zone. One team kicks off (throws actually) and the other team receives.

When a player catches the Frisbee they can take only 3 steps then they must throw it. Team work their way down the field, passing to each other until a team scores. If the team hits the ground it's the other teams ball (Frisbee actually). If a defensive player knocks the Frisbee to the ground, possession switches as well. Defensive players must give any person already holding a Frisbee at least 3 feet clearance.

See Ultimate Octopus & Ultimate Wet Soccer, also on Outdoor page and Nuclear Ultimate Football on EVENTS page.
Back to Top Ultimate Octopus
This game is just like Ultimate Frisbee, but . . . you guessed it - played with an octopus.

Purchase an octopus at your local grocery store or fish market. Divide into two teams and play ULTIMATE FRISBEE, with the octopus. If you haven't played ULTIMATE FRISBEE, check it out on the Outdoor page.

Divide into two teams, each trying to get to the opposite end zone. One team kicks (throws actually) off and the other team receives. When a player catches the octopus they can take only 3 steps then they must throw it. Team work their way down the field, passing to each other until a team scores. If the team hits the ground it's the other team's ball (octopus actually). If a defensive player knocks the octopus to the ground possession switches as well. Defensive players must give any person already holding an octopus at least 3 feet clearance.

Send everyone to wash their hands or have hand sanitizer on hand right afterward!

See Ultimate Frisbee & Ultimate Wet Soccer, both on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Ultimate Wet Soccer
Use the rules from Ultimate Frisbee (move the ball down the field by throwing it, player may take two steps after catching ball, interceptions or missed passes result in turnover), but replace the frisbee with a water-soaked Nerf soccer ball. Not an extremely wet game, but the water gives the game a new twist. We used buckets as goals at either end.

Added by Owen Sallee

Also see Ultimate Frisbee
Back to Top Volleyball, Gross Balloon
Gross Balloon Volleyball

All you need is a volleyball court or something similar, water balloons, and lots of gross liquids and sauces (except Tobasco).

Add things to all of the water balloons like ketchup, mustard, syrup, chocolate syrup, salad dressing, anything you want. The grosser the better. (Fill the gross stuff first - then the water.)

The object is to throw the balloon back and forth over the net. (If you don’t have a net, you can do this like an egg toss). The higher you throw it the more likely it is to break when the person tries to catch it.

Make sure that you tell people to wear old clothes in case they get splattered!

Original Idea By Matt Johnson

Also see Volleyball, New School on Outdoor page & Volleyball, Black Light on Big Room page.
Back to Top Volleyball, H2O
H20 Volleyball!

Must have a cloth, not plastic, volleyball. They make 2 kinds of "regular" volleyballs - the plain ol' rubber type, and a rubber one that's covered in fabric so it doesn't hurt so much when you hit it.

Each team has a bucket full of cold water. Each time the ball is served, it must be dunked in the bucket first, which makes it unwieldy and splashes both server and receiver. Whoever drops the ball has to re-soak it. BE PREPARED to have the whole bucket dumped on the youth leader!

Added by Tonya Berry

Also see Volleyball, New School on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Volleyball, New School
New School Volleyball can be played on a regular volleyball court with the normal amount of players on each team. A regular volleyball is used as well. The main difference is the scoring.

Playing: The object of the game is for a team to volley the ball as many times as possible without missing or fouling (up to 50 times) BEFORE hitting it back over the net to the opposing team who will make every attempt to return it without missing. If they do miss, the opposite team receives as many points as they volleyed before returning it. All volleys must be counted audibly by the entire team (or by scorers on the sidelines) which aids in the scoring process and also helps build tension. So the idea is to volley the ball as many times as possible each time the ball comes over the net, then to safely return it, and hope that the other team blows it.

Other rules:
  1. No person may hit the ball two consecutive times.

  2. No two people may hit the ball back and forth to each other more than once in a succession to increase the number of volleys.

  3. 5 points are awarded to the serving team if the opposing team fails to return a serve.

  4. 5 points are awarded to the receiving team if a serve is missed (out of bounds, in the net, etc.)

  5. Players rotate on each serve, even if the serving team scores on successive serves.

  6. A game is 15 minutes. The highest score wins.

  7. All other volleyball rules are in effect.

Added by Young Life

Also see Gross Balloon Volleyball on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Water Ball
You can play this game like Dodge Ball or have wars using boxes as forts. Get a bunch of pool water balls (the kind that are super absorbent or use water balloons. Water balls save time and can be used over. Fill buckets with water and give each team a bunch of balls or one ball each. Keep them far enough apart that it won't hurt and tell them no head shots. When a player is hit, they are out.

Variations: You can also use this setting for a great game of Capture the Flag.

Added by Charlie Wallis

Also see Eternal Dodgeball (Click Here) and Balloon Defense (Click Here).
Back to Top Water Balloon Sheet Catch
You need a water balloon launcher for this game. Two are better but teams can share.

Divide your group into two teams. Each team needs to designate 3 people to launch their balloons. The rest of the team goes 20-70 yds. away holding on to a large bed sheet. Members of the team around the sheet must have both hands on the sheet at all times after the balloon is launched and until it hits the ground or sheet. The team that catches the most launched water balloons wins.

Added by Rob Thompson

Also see Water Balloon Towel Catch on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Water Balloon Tic-Tac-Toe
Make a huge tic-tac-toe grid outdoors using thick rope (or chalk if on pavement). Divide your group in two teams and place them in single file lines at least 25 feet from the grid. Each team takes a turn trying to get three in a row by landing a water balloon in an empty space. Once a player gets a space they must sit in the space to claim it for their team. This is a great summer game where kids can hit each other with water balloons without using them all in twenty seconds.

Submitted by Jamie
Back to Top Water Balloon Towel Catch
Tell students ahead of time to bring a beach towel from home for this game. Provide a few extras for those who don't have one or forget.

Split students into teams of four, giving them each a beach towel. Set them a predetermined length apart and have two from each team launch a water balloon with the beach towel. The other two must run and catch the water balloon. The team to catch the most balloons without breaking them wins.

Added by PW Fu

Also see Water Balloon Sheet Catch on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Water Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag with a water twist! Instead of simply tagging people or pulling flags off a belt, etc. use the Alka-Seltzer method!

Make a badge on the arm of every player like this: wrap a strip of duct tape around the player's arm (t-shirt sleeve), place an Alka-Seltzer tablet on the tape and add two more strips above and below the tablet, so that it is still visible but held on the person's arm by the tape. When your water war badge gets wet- you are out and must go to the "medic tent" to get a new one (medics need to have towels to dry tape before applying new tablet to badge!) Play capture the flag on a large open field, with a "medic tent" replacing the jails.

All players get Super-soakers, and when your tab breaks off or fizzes out you must go to the tent, take a 3 min. break and get a new one.

HINTS: Make sure your playing area is not too big, so that players get soaked quickly. If you have people with hoses guarding the flags, the game is more fun. Also make sure you have refilling stations with faucets for the super soakers. Water balloon launchers can be cool too, but be careful. They tend to knock kids of their feet, without getting them wet.

Added By Eric Price
Back to Top Waterballoon Frenzy
Before the game…
Buy three different colors of balloons, along with three coordinating colors of plastic beads (or something similar). Place one pebble in each matching balloon and fill the balloons with water. So red beads would go in red balloons. Make sure you have enough balloons for your group. You will need at least 10 balloons per student.

Set the balloons out based on color, and also place a cup beside each pile. This cup will be used to place the beads in later in the game.

The game…
Divide your group into 3 equal teams. The object of the game is to throw water balloons at people from the other team. When the balloon pops, both the thrower and the throwee have to run and try to get the bead. The one who gets the bead then deposits it in their team's cup. (Rule: you can only collect and deposit one bead at a time.) If you grab your own team's bead, you get 5 points. If you get the other team's bead you get 10 points. Also, you want to pick up all of your team's balloon shards; any left on the ground at the end of the game will take away points for your team.

Play for a set amount of time.

Determining the winner…
+ 5 points for every bead from your team that’s IN the cup when the buzzer sounds
+10 points for every bead from the other team's color that’s IN the cup when the buzzer sounds
-2 points for every "shard" of balloon found on the ground when the game is over.

The winner is the team with the most points.

This game is fun, and the added bonus is that it cleans up after itself, since the water balloon shards are part of the game.

Idea by Pollyanna
Back to Top Wet Baseball
Standard baseball rules, but for each base was a hard plastic wading pool and from 3rd base to home was a slip-n-slide. Use a large plastic bat, a tee for the ball which was a splash ball. Have everyone wear water shoes if they have them.

Added by Kimberly Wilson
Back to Top Wet Toilet Paper Dodgeball
Set up a court outside for dodgeball. Plays like dodge ball or any other variation.

Use rope to setup a centerline and boundaries. Give each team a bucket of water, 5 gallon buckets works well. Outfit each team with plenty of rolls of toilet paper depending on the size of your group. You'll get about 5 good throws from a roll. Throw more rolls into the court when the action dies down. (It’s really just an excuse to throw wet toilet paper rolls at each other. The actual game of dodge ball didn't last very long.)

Added by J Bucolo

Also see Blindfold Marco Polo Dodgeball, Dodgeball Doctor, Dodgeball Dragon, Earthball Blowout, Longbase, & Opposite Arm Dodgeball, all on Big Room page.
Back to Top Wiffle Ball
Outdoor & Big room. Do I need to explain this game? You might ask me why I put it on the list even. I'll tell you: Come in real close so I can whisper it in your ear . . . BECAUSE IT'S FUN!!!

Also see Rio Linda Wiffle Ball, Shaving Cream Wiffle Ball, & Fat Bat, all on Outdoor page.
Back to Top Winter Lawn Art
This is an ideal game for regions that experience regular snowfall in the winter. Assuming students are properly dressed; invite them to create a group of 3-5 people. Each group is assigned to create a snow "model" that relates to Christmas. The images can be serious or goofy. For example there is the classic Christmas tree, North Star, Angel, or the monster from Rudolf the Red-Nosed reindeer. These look great placed outside the Pastor’s window!

Back to Top Wrestling In Creamed Corn
Just how it sounds! Get a kiddie pool, fill it with can after can after can of creamed corn...and then have a wrestling match. It is now legendary at our church!

NOTE: If you do this game inside, make sure to lay down a tarp to protect the carpet. Also have towels ready to give to contestants.
Back to Top Zombies
Start off with one or two zombies, but if you have lots of players, three or four might be fine, too. The goal of the game for the zombies is simple: tag the humans to make them zombies and then find other humans to tag, while the humans' goal is to attempt to survive. I highly recommend incorporating "zombie noises" like grunts, growls, and roars instead of silence, as it makes the game creepier. It's a very simple survival game, but the noises are what really get you. I highly recommend this game at a retreat or a game night/overnighter where there's lots of time to play, but it might be possible to work in a half hour of zombies into your youth group.
Back to Top Zombies 2.0
Another version of the zombies game. This is a great overnighter event.

Pick two students to be the "zombies" and send them off to hide. After 2 minutes, send the "humans" out to search for the zombies. As soon as a zombie is found, they chase after the humans (while doing their best zombie noise). In order to be transformed into a zombie, a human needs to be tagged by one or more of the zombies. The goal is to survive as long as possible!

OPTIONAL: Make the zombies walk (like a zombie would) or bear crawl while making fun zombies noises!

Idea submitted by Chris Anton

Back to Top Zombies!
This game is modeled off of the popular game Juggernaut in Halo 3 and is a blast for nearly any size group. You can play it with as few as 6 people and as many as 50! Here are the rules:

Find a big location - preferably a big room, gym, or maybe even outside - and set up the playing field with obstacles all over it (We use our multi-purpose room which has chairs that we stack up in all sorts of shapes and obstacles). In one corner have a starting area for the Alpha Zombies and in the opposite corner have a starting area for the humans. The game begins when the Alpha Zombies say GO!

Each human is equipped with a ball (kick balls and tennis balls). The goal of the game is to survive as a human for as long as you can.

The Alpha Zombie's job is to tag the humans making them zombies. Zombies must have one hand on their head at all times so they can be identified as zombies. If an Alpha Zombie is hit twice by a ball (no head shots allowed!) he/she must do an up-down (jump onto their stomach before standing back up), then they can proceed to hunt down humans. If a human becomes a zombie they need only to be hit with a ball once before having to do an up-down. The last humans to be turned to zombies get to start the next round as the Alpha Zombies.

Start with 1 to 2 Alpha Zombies depending on the size of your group. If you're playing with 50 kids you may want to start with as many as 4 or 5. By the time most of the humans become zombies the game really starts to look like Shawn of the Dead!

Idea submitted by Joey


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