Fun Event & Activity Ideas

Amazing Race, The

This event is incredibly simple, has very minimal set-up cost, and is a ton of fun for all ages! Everyone seems to be a fan of the reality show ÒThe Amazing RaceÓ where contestants go around the world getting clues and accomplishing tasks in order to be the first to finish and win the race. In this version of ÒThe Amazing RaceÓ there is only one task to accomplish at the end of the race and endless amounts of riddle solving during the race.

HereÕs how it works:


  1. You need to come up with a phrase that would be great for whatever season, date or event you are playing the race at. (In the example below, the phrase is Goodbye 8th Graders Ð for a final middle school ministry event for 8th graders.)
  2. Take that phrase and split it up into individual letters (into single letters is best, but you can do a couple together also.)
  3. Third, create riddle-like clues about the location you intend to hide each letter around your church building or other facility (this works great in larger facilities, if your facility is small, remember to use the outdoors to your advantage!). There is an example at the end.
  4. Now that you have your phrase and locations chosen, simply make enough copies of each letter so that every hiding place has the same amount of letters as teams. At each hiding place should be one sheet of paper per team that has the letter in a huge font that takes up most of the page and then a small strip of paper that has the clue to the next hiding spot. (i.e. 7 teams would need 7 copies of each clue/letter- paper at each hiding place).
  5. Now go hide your clues (legal envelopes are great ways to place your clues in the hiding spots) and remember that your first clue will be handed to everyone at the beginning of the game.
  6. Get your groups together; explain that the first group to find all the letters and solve the phrase that they make wins the race! Instruct teams that once they have solved all the clues and collected all the letters, they must return to a designated place and unscramble the phrase that the letters spell out. (Be prepared, this can take upwards near 15-20 minutes to do if your phrase is long.)
  7. Hand them clue #1 to start with and let them run. First team to solve the phrase at the end Ð WINS!

ATASCOCITA COMMUNITY CHURCH EXAMPLE:

  1. CLUE #1 Ð NO LETTER Ð The sounds of adventure start here in this zone! (Soundboard in Adventure Zone)

    ***This is the clue that you handout at the beginningÉthe students race to the location the clue #1 gives to find clue #2 and the letter ÒGÓ***

  2. CLUE #2 Ð G Ð The things we donÕt want, the things we canÕt keep we put in this thing to keep ACC neat. (Dumpster)

    ***The students race to the location the clue #2 gives to find clue #3 and the letter ÒOÓ Éand so on***

  3. CLUE #3 Ð O Ð In the days of castles, these were lowered to allow entryÉnowadays they keep people out. (Gate)
  4. CLUE #4 Ð O Ð Rock, rock, who has the rock? (Rocks in front of building)
  5. CLUE #5 Ð D Ð This portal allows one to see children 3-6 years old on Sundays (outside window of Zoofari)
  6. CLUE #6 Ð B Ð Diapers, diapers everywhere, but not a toddler to make this stink. (changing table in Toddlers)
  7. CLUE #7 Ð Y Ð Ping-pong the witch is dead??? (underneath ping pong table)
  8. CLUE #8 Ð E Ð ItÕs not the movies, but it is a big screen! (Auditorium screen)
  9. CLUE #9 Ð 8 Ð This is a backdrop for artists, especially master artists. (AZ backdrop)
  10. CLUE #10 Ð T Ð Show me the money, and your family information card. (Offering box)
  11. CLUE #11 Ð H Ð You might find a robot in this room, or at least something mechanical anyway. (Mechanical room)
  12. CLUE #12 Ð G Ð 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, which John could it be in? (Boys and Girls bathroom)
  13. CLUE #13 Ð R Ð Signs, signs, everywhere are signsÉthis is a big sign with service times. (ACC sign)
  14. CLUE #14 Ð A Ð To heat something up quick, youÕd put it in thisÉ (Microwave Ð Kitchen)
  15. CLUE #15 Ð D Ð Oh, thatÕs just PERFECT!!! (Perfect sign behind stage)
  16. CLUE #16 Ð E Ð Getting tired yet? This is where babies sleep when they're tired. (Nursery crib)
  17. CLUE #17 Ð R Ð That old piece of junkÉI canÕt believe it still runs! (JamieÕs car)

    ***Clue #17 leads only to the final letter***

  18. NO CLUE Ð S

TIPS: You can scramble the order of the letters so that they donÕt get each letter in the exact order of the phrase, but I have found that the students donÕt pick up on it and it makes your life easier to keep it in order.

Remember to remove the answers that are in parentheses in the clues when you play the game. Although, you do want to have a master list for yourself that has the clues, answers and letters all together so that you can help students who may have accidentally missed a letter somewhere.

Make sure the space to unscramble the phrase is big enough for your students to spread out all of their letters.

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Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

4 Comments

  1. eduardo dugos
    June 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

    simple but great

  2. Jen
    September 17, 2014 at 12:00 am

    More

  3. Char
    April 19, 2015 at 12:00 am

    We have done this but for the clues we have the students look up passages in the bible to find the letters. Example: In Genesis 12 – what did Abraham build? (altar) the students will find their envelop and next clue somewhere by the altar.

  4. Charissa Drake
    September 26, 2015 at 12:00 am

    WE played the amazing race with 50 kids and they said it was the best game night ever. They were on teams of 4 and had to travel to 16 countries and complete the task there. We only spent $50!!!

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