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

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

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

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

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

Added by Nate
Back to Top Acting Out
We LOVE this game! We divide our students up into groups no larger than 10 students. We have preselected several Bible scenes or verses and each group has to come up with a modern day skit of that scene or the theme of the verses. Everyone in the group must be in the skit. We give them a time limit, usually at least 20 minutes, send a leader with each group to help keep them on track, and then have each group perform for everyone. They are usually hilarious and very creative. For added fun, we may throw in some props that they must use somehow.

Added by Heidi Abbott

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

The Point: Teamwork, cooperation, and creativity.

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

Added by Young Life
Back to Top A-maze-ing!
Choose two competitors. One is taken out of the room. The other has 1-3 minutes (depending on the size of your group) to arrange a maze, using all the people in the room. The maze can be as creative and complicated as he/she wants as long as there are a beginning and an end.

After the maze is arranged, bring in the second person who is now blindfolded and let them go. See how long it takes them to make it to the end of the human maze.

Repeat the process switching the two competitors.

Variation: Especially if you have a small group (under 30) use chairs as well as people to create the maze.

The Point: You could use this game as a kickstarter with a discussion about friends leading you down the wrong path or finding God's will.

Important Note: Do not play this game if you have a rough group of kids. They may hit or trip the blindfolded person as they are trying to find their way through the maze and it could quickly become violent (too much like the game of Gauntlet).
Back to Top Back to Back
This is the game where you start out with two people sitting back to back and they have to stand straight up without using their hands. Add one person every time they stand up successfully. Our record is ten! The students will be amazed at how it works!

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

Added by Greg Cates

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

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

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

UPDATE #4: OK THIS JUST IN...
John Kershner, Youth Pastor of Frontline Youth Group had 24 students back to back!! And they have the video tape to prove it. That means they are the new champs...GREAT JOB!!

UPDATE #5: OK THIS JUST IN...
Mike Adkins and his senior highers beat the Back to Back record of 24. They did.......drum roll......27!! And we have verified the video evidence (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAt9V-KAjrA) That means they are the new champs...GREAT JOB!!

UPDATE #6: BREAKING NEWS...Zoey Youth in Cape town Beat the Back to back record of 27 with... wait for it... 28!!! and the video evidence... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moYbu4NINE0&feature=youtu.be


OK, who's next? And don't forget to send us a pic, too!
Back to Top Balloon Pass Smash
Provide one balloon for each person in the group, several different coins with different values, different dates, different state quarters, etc.)

PREP: Blow up the balloons and put a coin in each one.

PLAY: The balloon is passed around while music plays, in Hot Potatoe fashion. When the music stops the person (or people for a large group using several balloons at once) who has a balloon has to pop it and take the coin. This keeps going till everyone has popped a balloon and has a coin. The last person pops one too. Then based on the types of coins, students are arranged into groups or seating order.

MIX IT UP: Change the way the balloon is passed every time. Ex. “Over your head!”, “Under your legs!”, Behind your back, around your waist!”

The Point For A Small Group: it's a good way to get people to sit differently than they would. By date works very simply.

The Point for Missions Emphasis: Use coins from different countries and have people pray for that country.

Give prizes out if people's birth year is the same as their coin. Use different size and shape balloons.

Added by Jason Schmock

Also see Balloon Squash (Click Here) and Musical Hats (Click Here).
Back to Top Banana Surgery
This can either be played as an upfront game, or if you have a smaller group, you can have everyone play.

Have a team peel and cut up a banana into equal parts. (Don’t tell them what comes next until they're done.) Then tell them they must put the banana back together using pins, needles, tape, or whatever. The team with the best reconstructed banana wins.

If you do this with a big group, use a video feed to a big screen and time the "surgery" so it doesn't drag.

The point: Things taken apart (relationships, reputations, etc.) aren't as easily put back together.

Idea from Young Life

Also see Chocolate Tower (Click Here) and Tootsie Roll Sculpture (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 Squeeze, The
Easy game for a big group (minimum 20). Quickly divide into 2-4 teams (more people, more teams) and announce that each team will be racing to squeeze into the shape of the item mentioned. For example: if the leaders yell out the word "football" the teams must squeeze into the shape of a football as would be seen from above. Keep score- first team to 10 wins.

Like Body Parts (Click Here), play fun music in the background as people regroup. As soon as you pause the song, yell out the shape and watch them scramble to group up.

Good Squeeze Shapes (Squeeze into the shape of . . .)
California
A dog
A pair of sunglasses
A baseball bat
A shark
A map of the U.S.A.
Your youth group leader

The Point: Teamwork, cooperation
Back to Top Bind Us Together
All you need is one long ribbon per team.

Divide your group into teams.

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

The first team linked wins.

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

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

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

Also see Penny on the Chin Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Blindfolded 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 Board Lift
For this upfront game you need a blindfold and a 2x10 board at least 3 to 4 feet long – strong enough to support someone's weight. Point: Trust and/or Things aren't always what they seem.

Have two informed strong leaders on either side of the board they are going to "lift" with someone standing on it. Have several informed 'spotters' as well that can catch them any way they would stumble. Then, select three players who don't have a fear of heights and have them escorted out of the room.

Have your first player escorted back in. Tell them the object of this game is to see who can stand on the board longest as the guys lift it up a little at a time. This is a “test of bravery.” But assure them that they are going to have one (or both) hands on your shoulders as they are lifted up on the board. Now blindfold your victim. In actuality, the board holders aren't going to lift the board more than six inches off the ground. By virtue of person's weight they will naturally move and ‘shift' the board a little. You (or the game leader) will begin to kneel down slowly till they almost can't really touch your shoulders. At that point the person really thinks they are going up in the air! Have your spotters play it up to the crowd and motion them to cheer and react as though the board is being lifted up high. Then have your two guys tip the board over so the person falls off. They think they're falling 5 feet when it's only 5". Clap for that player, excuse them back to their seat, and go on to your next victim…er, player.

Added by Travis

See Trust Circle (Click Here) and Trust Lift (Click Here).
Back to Top Board Walk
Use a stopwatch or watch with seconds hand for this competition. Secure a 2X4, about 16 feet long, on top of a few cement blocks (not too high; you don't want a law suit!). Tie several football flags to the 2x4. Have the students walk across it, reach down and pull off as many flags as they can, while being sprayed from all sides with super soakers. If they fall off they are eliminated. The one to walk across the quickest and with the most flags wins.

from Fear Factor/Faith Factor on our EVENT IDEAS page (CLICK HERE)

The Point: It is difficult to walk steadily, focused on the tasks at hand, if we allow the things around us to distract us.
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 Brother and Sister
Like the old tv game show, "The Newlywed Game," only with siblings.

The Point: Just because you're related to someone doesn't mean you know them. Relationships take effort no matter if you're related or not!

Get several sets of siblings to play this game- see which siblings know each other the best. (select siblings that can be a good sport and won't mind answering the below questions.) A brother and sister couple must work together to score the highest points possible to win. The brother is sent out of the room and the sister answers a series of questions about her brother. She records her answers on a large sheet of paper.

When the brother returns, he sits in a chair with his sister standing behind him holding up her written answers. If their answers match, the couple gets a point. (Remember: when you ask the brother the questions that you asked the sister, ask them like this: "1. What did your sister say was the dumbest thing you . . .")

Repeat this process by sending the sister out of the room and asking the brother to answer questions. Tally the scores and award the prize. Their answers are usually hilarious.

Questions to the sister about her brother:
What is the dumbest thing your brother has ever done?
What is his favorite food?
What do you dislike most about your brother?
Describe your brother in one word.
What is the meanest thing he has ever done to you?
What does he spend most of his time thinking about?
If you had one wish, what would you wish about your brother?
What is his favorite TV program?
How often does he take a bath?

Question to the brother about his sister:
What does your sister spend most of her time doing?
If you were your sister, what would you change about yourself first?
About how many arguments do you have with her each week?
Who obeys your mom and dad best, you or your sister?
How old was your sister when she kissed a boy for the first time?
What animal is your sister most like?
What is your sister's favorite subject?
How long does she talk on the phone each day?
Does she chase boys?

Idea from Young Life

Also see Family Feud (Click Here).
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 Cake Head
This game is played up front with a few people while the crowd watches. Mix a cake on the head – yes, directly on the head - of a brave volunteer who will be a good sport if their hair gets messed up. Just dump it all on their head. Use cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and icing. Mmm, yummy! Lathers up good, too!

The Point: This can also be used as an illustration for a talk about faith and deeds. Without Christ as the foundation of a life, we can have all the right ingredients in our lives (church, Bible study, Christian friends, etc.), but they won't matter. If we don't have the right foundation, all that great stuff is useless.

Added by Elise Hawke

Also see Human Sundae (Click Here).
Back to Top Closer To God With Balloons
Blow up about 50 medium sized round balloons in various colors. Write words or phrases that can bring you closer to God on half of the balloons with a black sharpie marker. Write words or phrases that can draw you away from God on the other half. Keep balloons separate in large garbage bags. Divide youth into two teams. Divide room with tape. Put one team on each side.

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

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

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

Added by Julie Curtis
Back to Top Communist Church
This game is PERFECT for that All-Night Activity.

The Point: It also is a great set up for a discussion starter.

Set Up: Explain to the kids about communism and persecution in restricted nations, how Christians are not allowed to gather publicly. If they are found gathering, they are put in prison.

Game Prep: In the building that you are going to use, shut all the doors to rooms. Lock rooms that youth are not allowed in, and unlock rooms that they are allowed.

The Game: Turn on and hide a flashlight (which represents the church) in a room in your building - making sure the light is hidden so it can't be seen without REALLY looking for it. Your Youth's job is to find the flashlight. Once they do, they are not to touch the flashlight, but they are to hide in that room, so no one knows they are there. Once a group of about 10 find the church the game is over (depending on the size of your group).

The Catch: Have your leaders be the communists. Their job is to catch the kids and take them outside the building. The communists are only allowed in the hallways; they cannot go inside the rooms. If they tag or grab a youth, the youth must surrender and be escorted out. Once the youth are outside, their job is to find a way back in. Which you have made difficult since you or another leader are constantly locking and unlocking doors, leaving one door unlocked at all times. Best played at night, with lights off.

Added by Jason Goss
Back to Top Curly, Moe, and Larry
Groups of 20-30 sit or stand in a circle. One person is in the middle and points to someone in the circle and says either “Curly,” “Mo,” or “Larry”. The person pointed to must respond with a name before the person in the middle can count out loud to ten. The name the person shouts depends on the name the person in the middle says:

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

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

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

The Point: Remembering names of people in your group.

Also see Newspaper Name Nail (aka Whomp'em) (Click Here).
Back to Top Dirty Words
You need two (or more) buckets filled with mud and enough ping pong balls to spell out a word or series of words.

The object is for each team to find all the ping pong balls and unscramble the word (or sentence). Be sure that each team has the same number of letters/words to find to keep it fair. this game gets messy to prepare accordingly.

Note: This game works great with John 9 where Jesus uses mud to heal the blind man or with Ephesians 4:29.

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

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

Added by Scott Street
Back to Top Gag a Napkin
A quick, just for fun game to liven up a banquet. Each person opens up a paper napkin and places a corner of it on his or her tongue. On "Go!", race to see who gets the entire napkin in their mouth first.

The Point: You can use this as an opener for a discussion on greed.
Back to Top Garbage War
Divide the room into four sections by putting tape on the floor. Have a ton of newspaper and toilet paper and other "dry garbage". The object is to get all of the stuff out of your section and into the other team’s section.

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

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

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

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

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

Added by Nicole

The Point: Getting To Know You, Communication

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Youth for Christ

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

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

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

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

Added by Young Life

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

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

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

The Point: Motivator for positive self esteem.

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

The point: How easily gossip goes around!

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

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

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

Added by Rachel Harris, NC
Back to Top Gross Domestic Product
This takes quite a bit of setup and some baking skills. Create six desserts: one real, five gross. The key is to make each dessert LOOK appetizing. We made a ketchup smoothie ("berry milkshake"), whipped mayo and strawberries ("strawberries and cream"), avocado pie ("key lime pie"), cookies with LOTS of salt and pepper with sour cream in the middle ("cookie sandwiches"), whipped mayo with sprinkles ("vanilla pudding"), and our real dessert was brownies with Twix in them ("chunky brownies").

The students must choose only ONE to eat by smelling and looking ONLY. They cannot touch the stuff or talk about their choices. Once everyone has reached a decision, they must eat a handful/spoonful and see if they were right.

The Point: There are many choices of how to live your life and what gods to follow, but only one is real: Jesus. We also taught that you don't have to taste everything under the sun to know when you have the real answer...the kid who picked the brownies KNOWS he's right without tasting the other gross stuff.

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

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

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

The Point: Either peer pressure or leadership and influence.

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

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

The Point: Either peer pressure or leadership and influence.

Also see Guess the Leader (Click Here).
Back to Top Guy's Best Pick-up Line
Tell a quick disaster date story about asking someone out, telling the crowd that you will need their help. To do this, re-enact your scene by building a couch out of three folding chairs covered by a LARGE sheet or blanket (it must cover all the chairs well--all the way to the ground).

After building the couch in front of them, pick a girl to sit on the end chair. Then pull up three guy studs to come give you their best line and move. Demonstrate for them that it all counts here — talk, walk, distance from the girl — that when told to do so they will enter the room one at a time, walk over to the girl, deliver their best line, and sit right next to her with their arm around her.

After explaining and demonstrating, briefly send them out of the room. While they are out of the room, pull out and hide the middle chair, replacing it with a pillow on the ground under the sheet. Stand on one end of the sheet while the girl remains on the other end. When the guys deliver their line and begin to sit down, both you and the girl release pressure on the sheet so they will fall right through.

Note: The person who takes them out should have three lines ready for the guys in case they can’t think of one. Make sure you build them up afterward!

The Point: Great game to precede a talk on dating or sex.

Added by Young Life
Back to Top Hot Seat - Discussion Wrap-Up
Have everyone sit in a big circle with one person sitting on a chair in the middle-–the "hot seat." That person takes on the role of someone you've talked about in your small group discussion. If there has been some kind of talk or drama or story, then they can pick someone from that. The student in the hot seat has to really try to be that person. They have to try and hold themselves like that person and speak like that person. Not in voice but in what they say.

The people in the circle then have to ask the person questions and they have to answer as the person they are.

It's a good test to see if they've been listening! The person in the hot seat eventually tells the others in the circle who they are portraying if it hasn't been guessed yet.

The point: Helps students retain the information they just learned.

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

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

Submitted by Young Life & Konrad Parsons
Back to Top Invention Convention
All you need is a bunch of junk! Get a special trash bag and label "For Game". Have your staff and parents collect a bunch of their old junk (empty cans, broken appliances, boxes, empty toilet paper tubes, etc.).

When you are going to play, divide into teams. Give each a little bit of trash and one roll of duct tape and some paint. They have five minutes to create the weirdest, funniest, artistic sculpture out of the junk. The winning team gets a prize.

The Point: God can make something out of the junk in your life. It may look a little funny, but it's worth something to Him and He can still use you!

Added by Alexis Yeager
Back to Top King Bo-Bo
For this up-front game, you need a "King", 3 volunteers, a blindfold, and two rings -- preferably large ones like men's class rings or women's rings w/large sets.

One person is the King and one is the helper. The King is in the front of the room sitting on a chair. Have him take one shoe off and put one of the rings on the second toe. Have him put the other ring on his regular ring finger. The helper blindfolds the first person and leads them into the room and up to the King. The king says, "You are in the presence of King Bo-Bo. In order to show your respect you must kiss his ring." He holds out the ring on his hand, and after the person kisses it the king lifts up his foot in front of the volunteer's face (not touching). When someone removes the blindfold, it appears as if they have just kissed the king's foot!

The point: Things aren't always what they seem!

Added by Tracy Sheppard

Variation: Actually have them kiss the king's foot. But be careful to choose students who can take a joke.
Back to Top Land Mines
Materials needed:
blindfolds
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 Lengths of String Mixer
Everyone gets a length of string. Each string is the same length as one other person in the room. Students have to match up with their partner.

The Point: Discussion starter. Once matched, you can ask a pre-typed question for the partners to discuss.

Idea by Young Life
Back to Top Mingle for Money
Begins like the Dollar Surprise (Click Here), but more.

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

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

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

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

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

Added by Barb Harrington

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

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

The Point: Communication

Also see Communication Challenge (Click Here), Inversion (Click Here), and Numbers Race (Click Here).
Back to Top Name Game 2
Small group game. Provide pencils and index cards. As each person arrives have them write their name clearly on an index card. Tape card to their back.

Give everyone another index card. On "Go!" with hyped music in the background, everyone copies names off backs of other people, while trying to keep them from seeing the card on their own back.

Determine a time limit and give a prize to the person w/the most names on their card.

The Point: Getting to Know You

Also see Atlas (Click Here), Name Game (Click Here), and Name Tag Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top Name Toss
Small Group game. Have your group sit in a circle with no open spots and one person in the middle holding a tennis or wiffle ball. The person in the middle calls out someone's name and throws the ball up in the air. The person whose name was called has to run to the middle and catch the ball while the person who called the name has to run to the open spot. If the ball is dropped, the catcher is out.

Continue playing until there are only a few people left. One rule: you cannot call the person's name who was just in the middle.

The Point: A great get-to-know-you game.

Added by Katey Wright

Also see Getting To Know It (Click Here), Getting To Know You (Click Here), Getting To Know You Better (Click Here), and Name Tag Mixer (Click Here).
Back to Top One Body
Depending on # of players...for each team formed you will need:
    1- t-shirt (or sweat shirt)size 2x-3x
    1- pair sweat pants size 2x-3x
    3 blind folds
    1 laundry basket
    Objects to be put into basket

Form teams of 4 players each:

  • 1-person is the "eyes & mouth"

  • 1-person is the "brain"

  • 1-person is "1/2 the body"

  • 1-person is other "1/2 of body"

Get prepared for game:

  • "Body" gets into the sweat pants and shirt together (then blindfold them).
  • The "Brain" stands behind the "Body" and is blindfolded (may hold on to back of sweat shirt.)

  • The "eyes & mouth" stands next to the "Brain."

How to play:

  • The "Eyes and mouth" whispers to the "brain" what to tell the "Body" to do.

  • The body tries to get the pre-designated objects into their own basket.

  • When all objects are found and in their basket, Team sits down.

  • "Eyes & mouth" yells "DONE!"

  • First team to sit wins!

Rules:

  • No peeking!

  • "Eyes & mouth" must only "whisper" to the "Brain."

  • "Brain is the only one who can "talk."

  • Body may not use their arm or hand that is inside of the sweat shirt.

Object ideas:

  • Gallon size food cans

  • Twisted pipe cleaners "on" each basket

  • Large ball

This game works best if the objects cannot be picked up with one hand. Have the same kind of object for each team to pick up.

Variation: When all objects are found and in team baskets...Leader yells "Done!" Each team sits and the team with the most objects in their basket wins. This way does not require identical objects for each team.

The Point/Discussion Idea: Ask what they learned about the Church being "One Body" through this game.

Added by Vonnie Waldrop
Back to Top One-Footed, Blindfolded, Peanut Butter...
You gotta try game out!

One volunteer hops around on one foot while blindfolded, picking up at least one of each flavor of lifesaver in the area. To begin, they must dip their foot in peanut-butter, then hop around an area where three different stations of different colored lifesavers are set up.

Meanwhile, the rest of the audience, or several dozen members, surround the chosen one, but do not touch him/her. For the first round, the audience insults and deceives the blind-folded volunteer to keep them from completing their task. For the second round, the audience encourages and helps the volunteer successfully pick up at least one of each flavor.

The Point: This was specifically designed for a class on encouragement.

Added by Jason Eppink, Jenna Eppink, Natalie Maddux
Back to Top Organized Mingling Mixer
Get an even amount of students and staff in the room. You can add staff as needed to make the number even.

Students and staff mingle to music and shake hands. When the music stops, everyone must find another person and shake hands. The leader calls out a question they must ask of whomever they are shaking hands. Use both fun and serious questions.

Sample Questions:
  1. What is your favorite pizza?

  2. What is your favorite kind of weather and why?

  3. If you could go anywhere on a vacation for a week, where would you go?

  4. What would you do with $1,000 dollars cash right now?

  5. Share a moment in your life where you remember being the most happy.

  6. Share a moment in your life where you were really sad.

Hint: You can use questions that will kick off that night's discussion.

Submitted by Young Life

The Point: Getting to know you

Also see Getting To Know You (Click Here) and Appointment Clock (Click Here).
Back to Top Play Doh Pictionary
Just like it sounds! Pictionary, but with Play-doh. Divide into teams. Have a representative come up front from each group. Whisper a Pictionary word (like "dog") to the group and they must run back to their group and, without talking, mold that word with Play-doh.

The Point: You can use words from your topic or lesson to introduce the subject.

Put a staff member on each team cuz kids might cheat (so do some staff members!)

Also see Play Doh Snowman (Click Here) and Pictionary Mania (Click Here).
Back to Top Questionnaire Game
For this game you'll need as many pens as students and a pre-typed/copied questionnaire.

Have all your students fill out an anonymous questionnaire when they come in, with questions/statements like, "My favorite band is.." "My dream car is...". Once finished, pass the questionnaires out randomly (to someone different than the person who filled it out) and yell "Go!" Students have to walk around asking each other questions, trying to find whose questionnaire they have.

The Point: Getting to know you

See also Getting to Know It (Click Here), Getting to Know You (Click Here), and Getting to Know You Better (Click Here).
Back to Top Questions Under Fire!
Loud, fast, funny game w/a point! Choose 4 volunteers from 4 different grades. Bring them up one at a time to ask 14 questions (see below). Whichever contestant can answer 10 of them in 90 seconds wins (candy, pop, $1-5). They may “pass” as many times as they want and come back to a question later.

Where the audience comes in is as soon as you begin the questions, they can distract the contestant by yelling out random statements, answers, or noises. They can even get out of their seats and do goofy things as long as they don’t get in the person’s face or touch them.

Below are 4 sets of questions. You may switch questions around or make up your own. We suggest having easier questions for younger students on at least one list. Some of the questions have definite answers; some are random or silly.

The point: It’s hard to focus on what matters when we surround ourselves with distractions.

1st contestant
  1. What did Jesus call His followers? (Disciples)

  2. How many lives do cats have? (1)

  3. What letter comes after V? (W)

  4. Is a snake a reptile or amphibian? (Reptile)

  5. How many ounces in a gallon? (128)

  6. What is the name of this Youth group?

  7. How many stripes on the US flag? (13)

  8. What shape is the earth? (Round/sphere)

  9. What color are your eyes?

  10. What is your neighbor’s address on the left?

  11. What color is good milk? (White)

  12. How many appendages do you have? (4-arms/legs)

  13. What is Garfield’s owner’s name? (John)

  14. What do you put on popcorn?

2nd contestant
  1. How many ounces in a half gallon? (64)

  2. How many disciples did Jesus have? (12)

  3. What is 37 - 24 + 19? (32)

  4. What is your mom’s middle name?

  5. How many phalange’s do you have? (20-fingers/toes)

  6. What is your or your friend’s cell phone number?

  7. What branch of military service mans submarines? (Navy)

  8. What color is blue? (Blue)

  9. How many stars are on the US flag? (50)

  10. How do you make a tuna sandwich?(Any combination: bread, tuna, knife, mayo, relish)

  11. When Moses parted the Red Sea, who were
    the Israelites escaping from? (Egyptian Army)

  12. What US president died in June 2004? (Ronald Reagan)

  13. How many wheels on a car? (4 - or 5 if including the spare)

  14. On what does a rolling chair move? (Wheels)

3rd contestant
  1. Say hello in Spanish. (Hola)

  2. Which candle burns longer – pink or blue? (Neither; they both burn "shorter"-like all candles do)

  3. How many megabytes does your computer have?

  4. What does the acronym ASAP mean? (As soon as possible)

  5. Eat a what a day to keep the doctor away? (Apple)

  6. Rendezvous is French for what? (To meet)

  7. Who sewed the first US flag? (Betsy Ross)

  8. When King David danced in the buff, who got ticked? (Michael, his wife)

  9. What size shoe do you wear?

  10. What is the exact time?

  11. What is perfect vision? (20/20)

  12. Count from 10 backwards.

  13. Who is the lead (senior) pastor at this church?

  14. Give me a prime number between 1 and 10. (2, 3, 5, 7)

4th contestant
  1. What show says, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” (Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood)

  2. Count to 10 in any foreign language.

  3. How many books in the Bible? (66)

  4. What 3 colors are on the US flag? (Red, white, & blue)

  5. What color is the stem of a red rose? (Green)

  6. How do you get skunk smell off? (Tomato Juice)

  7. How do you spell Mississippi without “i’s”? ("Mss ss pp" - also counts if they cover their eyes and spell it!)

  8. Which is bigger – a deer tick or a wood tick? (Wood tick)

  9. Say the alphabet backward. (Z..y..x.. - also counts if they turn around a recite the alphabet!)

  10. Who is your favorite youth pastor (leader)?

  11. Which way do hands turn on a clock? (Clockwise)

  12. What is 1800 in civilian time? (6:00 p.m.)

  13. What is JVC? (a name brand of electronics or stereos; not junior varsity cheerleaders)

  14. What is a Hemi? (Engine - high performance)

Alternate Questions:
  1. What disease can you get from a deer tick? (Lime disease)

  2. What size shoe do you wear?

Added by Amos Self
Back to Top Rain Maker
This game involves a large crowd. Explain that you are going to do something once thought impossible: with their help you will make it rain inside.

Divide into 3-4 groups where they are sitting (left, left middle, right middle, and right…sides of the room). Explain that they MUST be absolutely quiet and watch you tell them what to do for this to work. Point to the left side and have them quietly rub their hands together back and forth. Then bring in the next group, and the next, until all are doing it (gets louder as you go).

After the last group has joined in, go back to the first group and get them snapping their fingers, then the next group and so on. Then back to group one to begin patting their hands on their legs…on to the other groups.

Then back to group one to begin patting harder and stomping their feet on the floor…on then to the other groups.

You can do this process in reverse…back to patting legs, then back to snapping, back to rubbing hands, then back to silence. If it is done right, you will hear your rainstorm!

The Point(s):

  1. Things aren't always what they seem (see related trivia below).

  2. Gets their attention before you speak.

Added by Young Life

Related Trivia: Peter Jackson used an entire stadium of people to create the sounds of the Orc Wars in The Lord of The Rings movies.
Back to Top Recognize!
Get audio clips of different people that youth may know, such as singers, actors, entertainers, etc. For example, play an audio clip of George Bush and then ask the audience "Do you recognize this voice?" Play a few more audio clips then ask the final guestion: "Do you recognize God's voice when he speaks?"

Added by Luis Sandoval

Also see Name That Tune (Click Here) and Movie Game (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 River Crossing (Pool)
ONLY DO THIS if you have a pool wide enough that someone falling in CAN’T hit the edge! Play this with guys in the pool and girls on the side. Guys stand back to back as girls try to walk across their shoulders - holding guys outstretched arms for balance - to the opposite side of the pool without falling in.

If there are not enough guys to cross the pool, they have to slowly move from back to front of line in pool to form a "moving" bridge. You can play two teams against each other or one group which is required to get all the girls to cross safely to complete game.

Safety Note: Have adults near edges of pool for safety as well.

The Point: Use this activity prior to a discussion with the guys about being gentlemen.

Added by Eric Smith

Also see Pool Bronco Busting (Click Here).
Back to Top Sentence Game
Great game for Jr. Highers, travel, or creative kids. Can be played with just two people or up to 50. The game is simple, but can get crazy and fun. The first person says a word...for example, "The." The second person says the first word and ADDS a word... "The clown." And so on. At the end you might have a complete sentence, something like, "The clown was in the pool when an ant bit his toe and made chocolate pudding squirt from his eye." It has to make sense, but not GOOD sense. The really fun thing is putting twists in the sentence on your turn so that other people have a hard time coming up with a word that fits.

The Point: It really shows that everyone thinks differently and uniquely.

Added by Jessica Robinson

Also see Build a Word (Click Here) and Mad Sentence Dash (Click Here).
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 Spin the Compliment
“Spin the Compliment” is played exactly like that other game “Spin” game…except without the kissing! Every kid in your group can play. All you need is one bottle per 10 kids or so. Here’s what you do.

All the students get in a circle around a bottle. (If you have a big group, do several groups of 10 students each.) One student starts the game by spinning the bottle. When the bottle stops spinning, it will be pointing at another student in the circle. The student who spun the bottle must then give that student a compliment. It can’t be something glib like, “You shirt looks good.” It needs to be genuine, something about their character, faith, disposition, etc. Keep going until everyone in the circle has had an opportunity to be complimented.

Sometimes this can be tough, especially if there are students who do not know one another. But genuine and kind words are worth the effort. NOTE: It’s probably a good idea to place at least one adult leader in each group of students. This makes sure the compliments are genuine, plus it provides a way for students and adults to interact in a fun way.

If you want to, you can couple this fun game with a message about the power of our words and/or biblical encouragement.

Idea by John W.
Back to Top String Toss Game
Get a spool of string or yarn. Have each person answer a question of some sort when they have the string in their possession. They then hold onto the string and throw the ball/spool to another so they can answer the question. You eventually create a web of some sort. In the end, describe how the web is analogous to the group in that we all play a part in creating the web, and that if one person was gone it would look different. Likewise, it is important that we all take part to make the group what it is, unique and special.

Type up predetermined questions ahead of time. You can find some great ideas for questions or discussion starting statements on this page or this page.

Also see String Tie Mystery on our Upfront page.

The Point: Getting to know you
Back to Top Sundae Feed
Get enough for your group to make sundaes and any toppings that sound good. Also have lots of plastic trash bags to cover the floor.

Tell the kids to get into groups of two to share a sundae. They can get as much ice cream as they want but they have to share it and eat everything they make.

Once everything is made, tell them the trick is that they will be laying down on their backs head to head. And this is a race to feed each other like this and eat their ice cream before any other twosome.

The Gross Point: Working together to accomplish a goal.

Added by Chris Lyon

Also see Banana Night on our Events page.
Back to Top The Blind Leading The Blind
This has three levels and works well for smaller groups rather than really large groups. It also helps a lot if the game can be played in an area like an office space with hallways, walls, multiple rooms, doorways, etc.

Level 1 is the easiest. Draw a map to a simple and short destination and ONLY show it to the student who will be leading the other students. Then blindfold him/her and have him/her lead the small group of blindfolded students to that destination. Once they arrive at the destination, have them all remove their blindfolds.

Level 2 is next. Add a few obstacles (step over a back pack in the doorway - chair in the hallway, etc.) and make sure you give them a new map going to a different destination before they are all blindfolded (with only the leader seeing it prior to starting). Again, have one blindfolded student lead them. (Optional: You may want to repeat Level 2 with another blindfolded student leader.)

Level 3 is last. Repeat this level with the same rules, providing a new map and destination once again. Add even more obstacles to the map, but this time, allow the “extra” kids to mess with them on their trip. (Do not allow anyone to get ruthless, just really distracting and misleading.)

At the end of the “levels” you may want to talk about how difficult it was for the leader to lead while he/she was blindfolded. You also may want to talk about whether or not the students who were following “really” trusted their blindfolded leader.
Back to Top The Dating Game
SAY: Tonight were gonna do the dating game. How many of you have heard of that?
(After polling the group, discuss some of their favorite dating shows.)

The game we’re gonna play is SO OLD it was from before MY time pretty much… So we can see how it’s done, we’re going to watch a short video clip from the original game show in 1973. Then we’ll play a few rounds for fun. (Be sure and encourage students to ham it up, the cheesier the better!)

SUPPLIES: Cinnamon, Plastic Spoon, Crunchy and Creamy Peanut Butter, Dating Game and “Oompa Loompa” videos (YouTube)

VIDEO: Andy Kauffman’s surprise guest appearance 1973.

RULES:
1. 1 to 2 bachelorette volunteers and 1 to 2 bachelor volunteers will question 3 mystery contestants of the opposite sex who are hidden from view. Encourage potential “suitors” to elaborate on their answers.

2. At the end of the questioning period, he/she will choose the one who will win the date! Attention: STUDENTS ARE NOT ACTUALLY SETTING UP DATES. This to be spoofy and fun!

QUESTIONS: Rounds 1-4
1. Bachelor # 1: Which would be your choice for a first date:
a) A guided tour of a chicken processing plant.
b) A picnic in the city dump

2. Bachelor # 2: Finish this rhyme: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…”

3. Bachelor # 3: What is your favorite dental instrument?

4. Bachelor # 1: I just happen to have a can of sardines with me. Will you eat one for a chance for a date with me?

5. Bachelor # 2: Would you make up a short poem about the movie “The Notebook” (or other sappy chick flick) and recite it to me now for a date with me?

6. Bachelorette # 1: Which would be your choice for a first date:
a) Your Parents kitchen.
b) Mowing my parent’s lawn together.

7. Bachelorette # 2: Peanut butter: creamy or chunky? Show your love for me by putting 3 spoons of peanut butter in your mouth and say the pledge of allegiance without swallowing any.

8. Bachelorette # 3: Will you sing along with the “Oompa Loompa” song from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” for a chance at a date with me?

9. Bachelorette # 1: What is your favorite muscle on a guy? Ok, now flex those muscles for the audience. If they cheer loud enough, you’ll get a chance at a date with me.

10. Bachelorette # 2: Would you make up a short poem about the movie “Iron Man” (or other macho guy movie) and recite it to me now for a date with me?

11. Bachelorette # 3: Pretend you’re a guy, and ask me out on a date. Oh, and be sure to do it in your deepest, most masculine ‘guy voice.’

Suggestion: Wrap up with a discussion about healthy relationships and safe dating habits.

Back to Top The Maze of Life

If you’ve ever been to a church carnival or festival that had a cool cardboard maze, you’ve no doubt seen how much fun the kids had while going through it. But you were also painfully aware of the many hours put into the project. Well, The Maze of Life lets you have just as much fun…with a fraction of the time invested during set up. Here’s what you do.

First, locate a roll of butcher paper. The Children’s Pastor can probably loan you a roll (of an ugly color) from her stash. Next, find as many blindfolds as you have students.

Now, rearrange your youth room a bit, or use a different part of the church, like a multipurpose room perhaps. Roll out the paper on the floor in a “maze-like” pattern that has at least 4-6 T-intersections. (Make sure to tape it down; duct tape works well.) At each intersection, have one of directions leading to a dead end, or a couch, or a wall, while the other direction heads off towards the finish line.

Place an adult leader at each T-intersection. When a blindfolded student comes to that T-intersection, the adult leader asks him/her a True/False question, then says, “If you think it’s false, go left, but if you think it’s true, go right.” (Make sure to connect the correct answer with the correct route!)

Here’s the good thing: if you’ve set the maze up correctly, it won’t be long before a student who guessed wrong will know he/she is wrong, and can go back the way he/she came. Eventually, everyone can make it to the end.

Here are a few of the True/False questions we used:

1. Slugs do not have noses. (False: they actually have four!)
2. The Mona Lisa does not have eyebrows. (True: it was fashionable to shave them off back then!)
3. Most Eskimos have refrigerators. (True: it keeps their food from freezing.)
4. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. (True.)
5. Taphephobia is the fear of losing your teeth. (False: it’s the fear of being buried alive.)
6. The letter “T” is the second most common letter used in the English language. (True.)
7. Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, was afraid of the dark. (True.)

Here are some more things you can do to make the Maze of Life more interesting.

1. Have someone smack a Styrofoam noodle against the floor as kids crawl by…to scare them.
2. Have a stretch of the maze run along a wall where volunteers are positioned to throw balls at kids crawling by.
3. Smear a little peanut butter (or something like it) on the butcher paper. It will horrify the kids at first.
4. Play funky music in the background over the PA system to confuse the kids.
5. Make the maze go around objects or under tables. Use what you have!

Spiritual Application (Optional)

You can use John 10:1-5 as a starting point to discuss how important it is to know the voice of God – the voice of truth. Spend some time asking them if they know how to distinguish God’s voice in a world of lies. Remember, Satan is very tricky. He wants to steer us down the wrong paths in life by lying to us about stuff like image, drugs/alcohol, and sex. To know the voice of truth, you have to be in a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Remember, life is just like the maze sometimes; you’ll make a wrong turn here and there. When that happens, we must remember to seek God’s truth to get back on the right track.

Idea by Neal T.
Back to Top Trust Circle
Object of the Game: To hold up the person in the middle and keep him safe from falling.

If you have lots of students, make groups of about 15. One player is chosen to be "it" first. A tight circle of players is formed, alternating physically strong and weak people. The person chosen to be "it" goes into the middle of the circle and crosses his arms across his chest.

The "it" stiffens and falls backwards. The players in the circle work together to catch the person and pass him back and forth around the circle. The player in the middle must keep his feet together and near the middle of the circle for this to work well, and players in the circle generally grab the person who is "it" around the arms and shoulders. Each player is encouraged to have a turn.

Variations:

  1. Players in the circle sit down, placing their feet around the ankles of the person in the middle. Sounds crazy, but it works.


  2. "Courage Camille" is a slight variation of this game in which only 3 players are required. Two of the players face each other and lock hands. The third person stiffens and falls backwards into their arms. This should be done several times, with the person falling farther backwards each time (the players locking their hands should lower them each time). Other players can then try.


  3. "Courage Camille" can also be played with only one person catching.


  4. The person who is "it" wears a blindfold.

Comments: The players who are "catchers" should be careful as they pass the person around and catch him. In the "Courage Camille" variation, care should be taken that the two players who are acting as "catchers" are strong enough to hold the heaviest person participating.

The Point: Trust, faith, team building

See Board Lift & Trust Lift, on both Anywhere & Upfront pages.
Back to Top Trust Lift
More of a learning exercise than a game, the object of the game is for a small group to lift a person above everyone's head.

One player is chosen to be "it" first. He lies on his back and stiffens himself while everyone else assembles around him. Together everyone lifts him slowly toward the ceiling as he maintains his reclining position. Once he has reached maximum height, the others hold him there for about 30 seconds before slowly lowering him.

The Point: Trust

See Board Lift & Trust Circle, on both Anywhere & Upfront pages.
Back to Top Twisteopardy
Jeopardy was getting dull and Twister, while physically challenging, wasn't exactly challenging mentally, so I decided to put a little twist in Jeopardy and came up with, TWISTEOPARDY!

For this game you will need:
- Twister Board (w/ point values written on each circle)(100-600)
- 4 bibles
- Point Cards
- Prizes

Split into no more than 4 teams. Each Team chooses one person to represent their team. A leader is the spinner/caller/host. Each color has a different category. Players take their positions and the spinner spins for one player at a time. The player chooses the point value of the category/color, which the spinner spun, that they would like to try for. Caller asks a question (sample questions below); the player can answer immediately or their team has 20-30 seconds to find the answer in the Bible (be sure to give an “address” to the answer), then the team must relay the answer to their representative and the representative answers. If they get it right, the player takes their place on the board and a point card is given to the team. If they get it wrong another team has the opportunity to answer the question. The game continues like so until one of the players is left standing or you run out of point cards/questions.

A category we used was “Quirky Characters,” like the following:

1) Which of the following is most known for being hairy?
Esau (Gen 25:25, 27:11)

2) Which of the following is most known for being a doubter?
Thomas (John 20:25)

3) Which of the following is most known as a reckless driver?
Jehu (2 Kings 9:20)

The Point: Knowing/enjoying God's Word

Added by Rachel
Back to Top Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
This activity can be used as a simple GAME that has absolutely no point, or as an OPENER that leads to a spiritual conversation. Totally, your call. The good news is, you don’t need anything to pull this one off. Here’s what you do.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow works a bit like an icebreaker. If you have a large group, you’ll need to break them down into smaller teams. Just make sure there are 6 (or less) students per group.

When everyone is situated, have each person share 3 different, truthful things about them: something they did yesterday, something they did today, and something that they will do tomorrow.

Let everyone take their turn, one after the next, without interruption. When all the students have shared their 3 “events,” THEN ask one student in the circle to try and accurately recall all the other students’ events. If he/she gets it right, give him/her a prize of some sort. If he/she gets it wrong (and time permits), allow another student to try.

Where to take it from here:

If you choose to use this fun little activity as an OPENER, you can easily segue into the Bible passage that talks about Jesus being the same “yesterday, today, and forever.”

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.” (Hebrews 13:8-9)

Say, “While we don’t always live a consistent life – as evidenced by some of our personal events we just talked about – Jesus does. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He did thousands of years before, He also does today, and promises to do forever.”

Optional Questions:
1. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Jesus is consistent “yesterday, today, and forever?” Why?
2. What are some of the things Jesus has done in the past?
3. What are some things He’s done very recently?
4. What do you think He’ll do in the future?
5. In what ways could our lives be more like Jesus’?

Original idea by Joe S.













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