This fun game makes use of kids’ cell phones and their innate ability to send quick text messages to their friends. It’s sort of a mix between tag and a scavenger hunt. Here’s how you do it.
First, split your whole group into two teams of 4-6 kids each. Make sure that every kid on the teams has a cell phone, even if they have to borrow one from an adult leader. Also, make sure that all kids have the cell phone numbers of everyone on their team. Now you’re ready to play.
All of the teams will start in the same place. From here it goes like a relay. The game leader will pick a place on campus and say, “Team Member #1…run to the KITCHEN (or wherever you pick). The other Team Members stay in the main room. Team Member #1 will run to the KITCHEN where an adult leader is waiting for them. He/she will instruct the students to do something (chug a soda, do 50 jumping jacks, read the Gettysburg Address out loud, etc).
When the student completes the task, the adult leader will tell the student to text Team Member #2 the following message: Go to the PLAYGROUND. There, Team Member #2 will meet a different adult leader who will require a task of them. When they complete it, he/she will allow the student to text Team Member #3: Go to the CHOIR ROOM.
This repeats for as long as you want. Make sure you have fun and exciting tasks for the students to do at each destination along the way. (If they DO meet out on the playground, you might have them make 2 hoops on the basketball court or something like it.)
The team that wins is the FIRST WHOLE team to meet back at the start. So, when Team Member #1 is done in the kitchen, he/she needs to run back to the main room. Team Member #2 will do the same and so on. After the last Team Member has completed his/her task, they need to race back to the main room, too.
This is a lot of fun, but make sure you take care of a couple things up front.
1. Make sure every kid has a cell phone (and make sure that you do so as discreetly as possible without embarrassing anyone.)
2. If you say an adult is gonna be there, MAKE SURE THE ADULT IS THERE! That sort of confusion will ruin your fun.
3. Make sure the adult leader, at each station, has exactly what he/she needs for the activity. For example, if you need sodas, have a cooler of them there!
4. Have a few judges on hand to officiate.
If you really want to juice it up, you can add another requirement. When the Team Members are texting one another, you can mandate that they “walk backward to the choir room,” or “crawl to the balcony,” or “skip to the youth pastor’s office.”
Idea by Ben
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; 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.