I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
Awesome Youth Group Games
Need inspiration for exciting games to do with your youth group or even just with your friends or family? Check out my tried-and-true awesome youth group games! I was a youth group games coordinator and VBS activities coordinator for almost 10 years. I quickly became known as "The Gross Games Lady," and I am proud to have earned that nickname! I have included the games we used for one year and then many other games we have done that were quite popular over the years. Don't forget to always have a basket full of candy for prizes! Our youth group met once a month and had a dinner (rotating pizza with subs and chips), a Bible study, and my games.
Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere without giving proper credit:
Great Books for Youth Group Ideas
August's Coke & Balloons Games
1) Find Someone Who: Create a chart with 16 squares. In each square write in something like: is wearing sandals, has eaten a frog, gone to Disney, plays football. Have the youth go around the room and fill in the names of people who match that description on the "Find someone who" sheets. Give a prize to whoever fills out their sheet first.
2) Coke Relay: Everyone whose name is on the winning person's sheet is on Team 1. Everyone else is on Team 2. Each team stands in a line. Each team has an empty bucket/bottle next to them. One person from each team at a time runs to a bottle that's full of Coke about 20 feet away. They fill their mouth with as much Coke as possible, run back to their empty bucket, slap the hand of the next person in line, and then spit the Coke into the empty bottle. Meanwhile, the next person in line is on their way to fill their mouth with Coke. After everyone has gone 3 times, determine which team has the most Coke in their team's bucket.
3) Balloon Stomp: Give everyone a blown-up balloon tied to a string and have them attach the balloon to their ankle using the string. Everyone tries to stomp everyone else's balloon. If your balloon gets popped, you're out.
4) Fruit basket: Divide the group into 3 groups: apples, oranges, and grapes. There is one less chair than there are people. The person without the chair will call out a fruit. If he calls "apples," then all the apples must leave their seats and move to a different one. You cannot stay in the same chair. The person in the middle will try to steal a vacant chair. The person in the middle can also call two fruits: "apples and grapes", or he can call "fruit basket" wherein everyone must move to a different seat. Whoever is left without a set is the next person to call out the fruit.
September's Treats & Animals Games
1) M&M Teams: Fill a bowl with M&M's. Let everyone grab an M&M. Everyone who grabbed an orange or red M&M is on Team 1 and everyone who grabbed a green, blue, or brown M&M is on Team 2.
2) Speed Questions: Team 1 will stand in a line facing Team 2. Hand everyone on Team 1 a sheet of questions such as, "What do you like to do after school?" or "What do you want to do after you graduate from high school?" Don't ask questions that can be answered with Yes/No. Team 1 can choose any questions from the list to ask. The two people standing across from each other will answer the question. After 1 1/2 minutes, have Team 2 move down one person. Ask another question and then rotate again. Eventually everyone should have talked once with each person.
3) Mystery Treats: Fill up a bag with "treats." Each bag must have the same stuff. Have both good and bad stuff (ideas: a bag of chips, a candy bar, a large carrot, vienna sausages, a packet of crackers, an apple, a jar of baby food, half a stick of butter, some caramels, prune juice, etc.). Have each team stand in a line behind each other. One person from each team will sit in the team chair. The next person in line will stand behind the seated person and "blindly" grab an item from the bag. S/he must feed the person sitting in the chair (while still standing behind the person in the chair). When the person is finished with the food item, the "feeder" sits in the chair and the person next in line pulls another item from the bag. This continues until all the items are finished from the bag. The first team to finish all the items wins.
4) Animal: Each person selects an animal. That is her/his name. Everyone sits in chairs in a circle. Everyone goes around the circle and introduces who they are (i.e. "I am iguana." "I am kangaroo." "I am cow.") No one can have the same animal. The last person to say what animal they are (P1) stands up and moves to the center of the circle and holds a stuffed animal or pillow. Remove his/her chair. The first person to say what animal they are (P2) calls out one of the animals that was named. P1 runs to the person who claimed that animal name (P3) and tries to slap P3 with the stuffed animal. Before P1 slaps P3, P3 must call out another animal that's in the circle(P4). If P3 does it before he's slapped, then P4 must call out another animal before P1 hits him. If you call out an animal that's not in the game (i.e. no one has chosen that animal as their name), then it's as if you haven't called an animal, and P1 can still hit you. The same goes if you call out the animal name of the person who's in the middle. P1. If P1 does slap you before you call out another animal, then P1 sits down in your seat and you are now the person in the middle.
October's Pumpkin Games
1) "Pumpkin Pies": Each youth has a different letter from the word "pumpkin pie." They have to figure out what the letters spell & get into that order. This game decides teams.
2) Pumpkin Rolling: 2 teams roll a pumpkin back and forth. First team to have everyone on the team roll it wins.
3) Pumpkin Bowling: Set up "bowling pins" made of filled soda bottles for each team. Teams each have one person roll at a time. First team to knock over all "pins" wins.
4) Reformation Questions: Have x number of cups filled with orange soda. Each team picks a captain who is the only person who's answer I will listen to. Team 1 picks a question. S/he can answer it without multiple choice options for 2 drinks or with multiple choice questions for 1 drink. S/he can ask her team for help. If s/he gets it right, her/his team gets to drink 1 or 2 sodas. If s/he gets it wrong, the other team has the option of answering that question or choosing a new one. The first team to finish off their sodas wins.
5) Pumpkin Gutting: Each team has their pumpkin with the top off & a soda bottle that's been cut open. They get to select 2 people from each team to gut out as much gunk from inside the pumpkin as possible in 11/2 minutes. Team with most stuff wins.
November's Apple Games
1) Barnyard: Wild vs. Farm Animals: Write the names of animals on individual cards, with half the animals being wild animals and half being farm animals. Give each person a strip of paper with an animal on it. The same animal should be on 2 sheets of paper. Everyone has the make the noise of the animal that is on their sheet of paper. They need to find the other person who has the same animal on their sheet of paper. Remember, you must do this ONLY by making the noise of the animal. After everyone has found their match, divide into people with farm animals and people with wild animals. Those are your 2 teams.
2) Eat an Apple from a String: Everyone gets a partner (or just have 2 volunteers from each team). Person #1 stands up and is blindfolded. Person #2 lays on the floor with their arms at their side. Person #1 dangles a small apple that is held by string over Person #2. Person # 2 must eat the apple without using his/her hands. The fist person to get to the core wins.
3) Pass Apple Rings with Toothpicks Relay: Both teams stand in a line. Everyone gets a toothpick to hold in his/her mouth. The team must pass an apple ring (type of candy) from the front of the line to the back of the line using the toothpicks. No hands allowed! If a team drops it, the apple ring must go back to the front of the line and the team starts again.
4) Spoons: In the middle of the circle are spoons (one less than there are people playing). Everyone has 4 cards. The dealer picks up one card. If he doesn't want that card, he passes it to the person on his right. If he does want it, he keeps that card, and passes an unwanted card from his 4 cards to the person to his right. If P2 wants the card passed to her, she keeps it and passes a card from her group of 4 to the person to her right. If she doesn't want the passes card, she passes it on to the next player. You can only have 4 cards in your hand at a time. This all must take place QUICKLY. When someone gets 4 of a kind (4 10's, 4 Queens, 4 2's, etc.), he sneakily takes a spoon from the middle. As this is occurring, the cards are still passing throughout the circle, and he is simply looking at the passed cards and passing them on, keeping his set of 4. As people start noticing the missing spoon(s), they grab one for themselves. The person left without a spoon is the loser and must chug a glass of water. *After the first spoon has been taken, you do not have to have a set of 4 to take a spoon. However, if you mistakenly take or touch a spoon prior to someone getting a set of 4 - and you do not have a set of 4 - then you're the loser of that round.
5) Apple Pie Eating Contest: Get one volunteer from each team. Without using his/her hands, they need to eat an entire apple pie. Be sure to include lots of whipped cream!
December's Christmas Games
1) Christmas Card Puzzle: Ahead of time cut Christmas cards in half. Put green dots on the back of half of them and red dots on the back of the other half. Hand out the halves of Christmas cards. Everyone needs to find the person who has the other half of their Christmas card. Then divide into two teams: the red dot team and the green dot team.
2) Human Christmas Tree: One person gets to be the Christmas tree and the others get to decorate the "Christmas Tree" using a bag full of ornaments, lights, etc. The first team to hang all the decorations from the bag on the human tree wins.
3) White Elephant Gift Exchange: Put the gifts under your two "trees." Sing a Christmas carol. Then "undress" the "trees" and do the gift exchange.
January's Winter Games
1) Ice Cream Divide: Divide into teams by their favorite ice cream flavor: chocolate, vanilla, & some other flavor.
2) Thread the Spoon: Give each team a piece of 4 foot long yarn per team member. Tie one end of the yarn to spoon that had been dipped in water and then placed in the freezer for at least an hour. Hand the spoon to the first player and instruct them to put the spoon down their shirt, through pants legs (or skirts) and out by their feet. The first person should also be instructed to hold the end of the yarn while the rest of the team repeats the threading process. The spoon should not go in undergarments! The winning team is the first one to thread the spoon from the first person to the last.
3) Orange Eating Contest: Everyone needs to get some Vitamin C! Split each team into smaller teams of 3 people. Person #1 gets to eat orange. Put garbage bag over Person #1's neck and arms. Person # 2 and #3 stand behind person # 1. They each get to use one arm to peel an easy-peel orange and then feed it to Person #1. The first team to finish their orange wins.
4) Dodge Ball with Stuffed Animals: We're not going to have a snowball fight. We're going to have a stuffed animal fight! Use stuffed animals (cold-weather animals if you have them) instead of balls. If someone gets hit or if the ball they threw gets caught, they first go down to their knees and continue to play while on their knees. After their next out, they have to sit on their behind and scoot around that way. At their next out, they must lay on their stomach move around on their belly. At their next out, they are completely out of the game.
February's Valentine's Day Games
1) Famous Couples: Bible vs. Non-Bible: Write the name of famous couples on sheets of paper. For example, one paper will have "Adam" and another paper will have "Eve." One paper will have "Romeo" and the other will have "Juliet." Tape a paper to the back of each person so that they cannot see whose name is written on the paper. They need to go around the room asking yes or no questions to determine whose name is on their back. Once they correctly guess whose name they have, they need to find their famous partner. Divide the into two teams. One team will be the couples from Bible times. The other team will be couples not from Bible times.
2) Human Valentine's Day Card: Each team selects a person to be the "Valentine's Day Card." The "Valentine's Day Card" person will sit on a chair next to a table of the food. Each team will stand about 20 feet away and will wait in line. The first person in line from each team will run to the food table, grab a strawberry, dip it in chocolate syrup, dip it in powdered sugar, and then eat it. Then they take a candy heart from the table, dip it in white frosting and stick it on the "Valentine Day Card" person's face. Try to make sure it sticks. They run back and tag the next person in line who will come up to the food table and do the same. The game ends when the first team finishes their strawberries. The winning team is the one whose "Valentine's Day Card" person has the most candy hearts still stuck to his/her face.
3) Life is Like a Box of Chocolates Game: Give each team a 1 lb. box of Whitman Sampler's cream filled chocolates (with the top removed) along with a blank chart of the box. Each team needs to try to determine what flavor each chocolate is and then fill out the blank chart. The game ends when the first team completely fills out their chart. The winning team is the one who has the most chocolate flavors correctly identified.
March's Spring Worm Games
1) Shuffle the Deck: Hand everyone a play card. Call out different combinations (four of a kind, flush, two pairs, etc.) and have the people get into those groups. Your last formation should be royalty and non-royalty. Those will be your two teams.
2) Worm Fest: Select a volunteer from each team. That person will put one hand in a pot of live worms in moist dirt (purchased from a fishing/bait shop) and eat gummy worms from a bowl with the other hand. The first person to eat 10 gummy worms without taking their other hand out of the real worm pot is the winner.
3) Worm Bulls-Eye: Make a bull's eye on a large sheet of paper for each team. Each person takes a gummy worm, licks it, and throws it at the target. In order for the person to get the points, the worm must stick for at least 5 seconds. After everyone from each team has gone 3 times, tally up the points for each team to see which side wins.
4) Mommy Bird: Select a pair of volunteers from each team. Each team gets a bowl filled with chocolate syrup and gummy worms. The "baby bird" wears a bib (we use garbage bags) and kneels next to the "mommy bird." The mommy bird gets gummy worms out of the "dirt" (chocolate syrup) and feeds them to the baby bird. No hands are allowed! The first pair to feed/eat 5 worms wins.
5) Attack of the Worms: Select a volunteer from each team. Give each team three spoonfuls of peanut butter and a bag on gummy worms (smaller generic ones work best). Give each team 4 minutes. Each team will spread the peanut butter on the volunteer's face and then proceed to "attack" his/her face with worms. (Some ideas: worm glasses, over-sized eyebrows, earrings, goatee, etc.) The best "attacked" face wins.
April's Shoes and Socks Games
1) Body Part Shuffle: Play music. When the music stops, call out a body part/number combination. Everyone must run and get a group of that number and must have the called out body part touching. For instance, you will call out "Elbow - 3" and everyone must get into groups of 3 with their group touching elbows. Other combinations can be Knee - 4, Ankle - 6, Back - 2, Shoulder - 6, and then Foot - 2. You will partner up with that person.
2) Popsicle Pairs: Each pair stands at the starting line and hold hands. (One hand of each person will be free). At the same time each pair runs to the food table, grabs a popsicle, opens it, and feeds it to the other person. They must continue to hold hands the entire time. The first pair to finish their popsicles wins.
3) Shoe Shucking: Everyone takes their shoe half off and flings it into the air. See who can get their shoe the furthest. THEN have a race to see who can run to their shoe, put it on, and run back to the starting line first.
4) Sock Wrestling: Make a square on the floor with tape. Everyone wears one sock. (Bring extras for all the people who didn't wear socks. The youth all crawl around on their hands and knees and try to pull the socks off of other people while keeping their own sock on. If someone pulls your sock off, you're out. If you're allowed to get really messy, you can play this on a large tarp covered with ketchup, mustard, chocolate sauce, etc.
May's Sprite & Soccer Games
1) Four Corners: Label each corner (A, B, C, & D). Come up with various topics, each with 4 answers. Some examples are: How many siblings you have: A) 0, B) 1, C) 2, D) 3+. Where you were born: A) in this city, B) in this state, C) some other state, D) outside the US. Where you want to go for a youth group outing: A) theme park, B) beach, C) rock climbing, D) movies. After you ask a question, have the youth go to the corner that matches their answer. When the group seems evenly split, assign them to 2 teams. For example, everyone in corners A & C will be on team 1 and everyone in corners B & D will be on team 2.
2) Sprite (or any other beverage of your choice) Stacking Game: Put each time behind a line halfway between the table in the middle of the room. Fill up a cup of Sprite for each person on each team in different colored cups. Starting with the leader, at the same time of each team, they run to the table, chug the Sprite and return to the line with the cup, placing it upside down in a pyramid on the floor in front of them. The first team to finish chugging all drinks and return to the line with their cups turned upside down in a pyramid without tipping the cups over, wins. Only the people who have already drank their Sprite can help keep the cups up on the pyramid. For smaller groups, you can send them back for Sprite multiple times.
3) Sitting Soccer: Everyone sits in a chair in a circle with 1 chair length between each chair. Team 1 sits on one side and Team 2 sits on the other side of the circle. Both teams kick around soccer balls and try to knock down pins or half-filled soda bottles that are in the middle of the circle. Bottoms must be in their chairs at all times.
June's Ice Cream Games
1) I Have/I Have Never: Everyone starts with a certain number of pieces of candy. P1 puts a piece of candy into the middle of the group and calls out something s/he has done that s/he thinks no one else in the group has done. Example: "I have ridden on a camel." If no one has done what s/he's done (i.e. no one's ever ridden a camel), then s/he takes back his piece of candy and any other pieces of candy that are in the middle. If someone else has done this thing s/he called out (i.e. someone else has ridden a camel), then s/he leaves her/his candy piece in the middle and the next person calls out something unique that s/he's done. Continue around the circle a few times. This can also be done with things you've never done that you think everyone else has done. (example: "I've never flown in an airplane.")
2) Ice Cream Pairs: Pair off everyone. Each pair lies head to head on the floor. Give each pair 2 spoons and 2 bowls of ice cream sundaes. Each person has to feed their partner the sundae using the spoon. The first pair to completely finish both bowls of sundaes wins.
3) Birthday Split: Guys vs. Gals: Have the guys get in one group and the gals in another group. See which group can get in order of their birthdays first. Then have everyone who was born in January through June be team 1 and everyone born July through December on team 2. (Try to divide the groups into equal teams.)
4) Towel Volleyball: Everyone is on their knees. Each pairs holds a towel. A low rope lies between the 2 teams. The pairs work together to toss a ball or water balloon over the net, using only the towels. The rules of volleyball apply.
5) Ice Cream Sundae Party: Get a LARGE, long container. Fill it with ice cream and a variety of toppings. Everyone gets a spoon and chows down.
July's Melon Fest Games
1) Seeds: Grab a handful of watermelon and cantaloupe seeds and pass them out, 1 seed per person. Everyone with a cantaloupe seed forms team one. Everyone with a watermelon seed forms team
2) Steal the Melon (like "Steal the Bacon"): Grease a watermelon an place it in the center. Have each team line up facing each other. Number them off, call a number and that person has to grab the watermelon and get it back to their side.
3) Seedless Watermelon Eating Contest: Get 2 volunteers from each team to try to be the first person to eat a large watermelon wedge.
4) Ultimate Cantaloupe: This is just like Ultimate Frisbee . . . but with a cantaloupe! Each team tries 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. Each team works 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 turn. If one team busts the cantaloupe, the other team automatically scores. (Have extra cantaloupes available.) The cantaloupe 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.
Here are our 5 favorite youth-group tested scavenger hunts!
1. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Each team receives a list of odds and ends (a paperclip, spork, book, hot dog, purple balloon, bendable straw, piece of bread, flower, penny, etc.). The groups can only go to homes in the neighborhood, and they can only get 1 item/household. Time limit. Whoever gets the most objects from the list wins. Be sure to send a chaperon with each group!
2. Bigger and Better Scavenger Hunt: The group begins with a paperclip. They go around the neighborhood, exchanging their single item for something bigger and better. For example, at the first house the group might exchange the paper clip for a plastic spoon. At house 2, they're trade the spoon for a sock. At house 3, they'll trade the sock for a half-used container of Mayo. At house 4, they're trade the Mayo for a bottle of Windex. Etc. Time limit. Whoever has the "biggest and best" item by the end wins.
3. Sound Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of sounds (a policeman reading you the Miranda rights, the pastor saying "Amen", waves at the beach, a blender, a popcorn popper, a greeting at a drive-thru, a movie theater projector, the group singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," etc.). Parents will drive around each group to record as many sounds (or videos) on their cell phones as possible during a set amount of time. If desired, allot different items to be worth different amounts of points. Time limit.
4. Funky Photos Scavenger Hunt: Send each group to the mall with a list of poses each group needs to be in. Take photos using cell phones. The list can include the group posing as models in a store window, the group behind the counter at a food place, the group standing in the fountain, the group in clothes they're trying on, etc. Try not to get kicked out. Time limit.
5. Thrifty Scavenger Hunt: Go to the mall. Each group gets $15, and a list of things to buy. Whoever buys the most items - ONLY using the $15 wins. Time limit. Keep the receipts. Items can include: a stuffed animal, black socks, lipstick, a pencil, a postcard, a candy bar, a ring, an item of your choice, etc. At the end, the "item of your choice" from each group can be voted on for the most creative. Whichever group is voted the most creative, gets an extra point. (i.e. counting as if they'd purchased 2 of the items on the list rather than just one.)
Here are 20 more of the favorite games I have done with my youth groups!
1. Shoe Buckets: Divide kids into teams of four. The kids lie on their backs in a circle with their feet raised in the middle in order to balance a bucket of water. Each team member must remove one of his shoes without spilling the bucket of water. The first team to complete this wins.
2. Miniature Soccer Drill: Have everyone sit in a circle. There should be 2 chairs per person so that there is an empty chair between each person. Then remove the empty chairs. Put a cone or half-full bottle of soda in the middle of the circle. It's half the circle versus the other side. Every time someone from one of the teams knocks over the cone with the ball, their team gets a point. If someone from the team kicks the ball out of the circle between one of the chairs on the opposing team's side BELOW the seat level of the chair, the team gets a point. Everyone must stay seated in their own chair at all times. If the ball ever hits someone at or above their waist, their team gets 15 points. In other words, people are not to kick the ball high in the air. The first team to score 20 points wins.
3. Coke Relay: Game with bottles of soda, juice, or water: 2 teams. They stand in a line about 20 feet from the bottles. One by one they run to their bottle of soda & drink as much as possible. Then they run back to the next person on the team, slap his hand, & he runs off to do the same. Done until first team finishes entire bottle of drink. To be "sanitary," each person can use their own straw.
4. M&M Hunt: Have 3 bowls of pudding, flour, corn flakes, whipped cream, etc. Drop colored candy (like lifesavers or M&M's) into the bowl. Three people have a minute to retrieve as many candies as possible - using only their mouths or only their toes.
- You could also do this to include everyone by dividing kids into 2 teams. Set 2 filled bowls on a table about 20 feet away from each team. Have 2 empty bowls next to each of the teams. One by one, the person runs to the filled bowl, gets out as many candies as possible (again only with mouth), and runs back to the rest of the team, slaps the hand of the next person to go, and spits the candies into the empty bowl. The first team to get 25 candies in the empty bowl wins.
5. Pillow Battle: Divide the group into 2 teams. Blindfold the first person of each team, and give them each a pillow. The first blindfolded person to hit the other blindfolded person wins their team a point. The next two people in line go next.
- OR 2 people are blindfolded & lay on their stomachs. They each have a rolled up newspaper (or pillow). The first person to tap the other person with the newspaper wins and goes on to battle the next person.
6. Baseball Race: 2 teams. First run to where your teams bat is laying. Put your forehead on the baseball bat or tall stick & go around in circles 50+ times. When finished, run to next person in line. Slap his hand. He runs over to bat & does the same.
7. Egg Relay: Each person has a spoon in his mouth. Each team stands in a line. They must pass a(n) (hard-boiled) egg to the end of the line as quickly as possible.
8. Wheelbarrow Races: One person holds the feet of another person. That person uses only their hands to move.
-Can also do the race where they have to go to one line where a food item (like an ice cream sandwich) is waiting. The person in the wheelbarrow position must eat the food item before they turn around and come back to the finish line.
9. Egg Tosses: See which pair can toss an egg the most times without dropping it or breaking it. Have the pairs gradually move further apart.
-When you do this game, afterward, ask who wants to participate in an egg eating contest. If they ask if the eggs have been cooked, tell them, "No." When you get 3 volunteers, hand each one 3 Cadbury Cream Eggs and see who finished them first.
10. Octopus: One person is it. Everyone else must run from one side to the other. They cannot leave the boundaries. If the person who's it tags a person, he must stay in the exact place he was tagged until the end of the game. He can only move his arms. People continue to run back and forth from one line to the next. As the free people run by, a tagged person, or the octopus, can tag them, forcing them to stay in that place and become an additional "arm" of the octopus. This is done until everyone's stuck in place.
11. Blind Eating:Two people sit in chairs facing each other. One person is blindfolded. He must feed the person across from him a jar of baby food, applesauce, cereal in milk, or something else semi-liquid. The person getting fed directs the blindfolded feeder, OR the group around them directs the blindfolded person and the person being fed must remain silent. This is a race between two teams to finish off the "bottle" first.
12. Toe Grab: Have a small tub of ice-cold water. Toss in some jellybeans or lifesavers. One person must lie on the ground, & the other person stands. The person standing retrieves 10 candies with his toes & feeds them to the person lying on the ground (who has the option of spitting them out instead of swallowing them). Race to see who gets through 10 candies first.
13. Fizzy Forehead: One person holds and Alka-Seltzer on his forehead. The other person stands behind a line with a water gun. Try to be the first pair to totally dissolve the tablet.
14. Whistle Wars: A race to see who can chew up 7 crackers & then either blow a bubble with bubble gum or whistle a song.
15. Hair Salon: Fill 3 peoples' heads with shaving cream. The rest of the people are hairstylists. The most creative hairstyle wins.
16. Wink: Everyone sits in a circle. Each person gets a piece of paper. All are blank, except one with an "X." The person receiving the "X" is the killer. He kills people by winking at them. Their deaths should be delayed reactions. If 2 alive people believe they know who the killer is, they say they have a suspect. At the same time they call out their suspect's name. If they same 2 different people, they're both dead. If they say the same person, but that person isn't the killer, they both die. If they say the same person, and he is it, then they win and another killer is selected via the cards.
17. Mafia: A similar, but more complex game: Mafia. Everyone gets a card. The cards should all be numbers except for 1 king and 1 ace. If P1 gets the King, he's the killer. If P2 gets the Ace, she's the detective. Everyone else is a townsperson. Another person is sat aside as the narrator. The narrator calls out, "Townspeople go to sleep." Everyone bows their heads and closes their eyes. Then the narrator calls, "Killer wake up." P1 raises his head and opens his eyes. He points to someone to be the victim. "Killer go back to sleep." The killer again closes his eyes and bows his head. "Detective wake up." P2 looks up and points to one person she thinks is the killer. The narrator nods yes or no. "Detective go to sleep." "Townspeople wake up." Everyone looks up. "Joe was killed last night." Joe's out of the game. The group tries to decide who the killer is. They can ask to hear alibis and such. They eventually decide to hang someone for the murder. This is decided by a majority vote. If they do "hang" the killer, the game is over. If not, the sequence is repeated. The townspeople go to sleep, the killer murders someone, the detective points out one guess as to who the murderer is and hopes to get the affirmation of the narrator, the townspeople wake up, and one more person is dead. The group again tries to decide who the killer is and who to hang. Anyone can claim to be the detective and "know" who the killer is. Even the killer himself can claim to be the detective who found out from the narrator that Jenny is the killer. The real detective should be wary of making her position known, because the killer will put her at the top of his list if he knows. If the killer kills all but 1 person, he wins. If you have a lot of people, you can also add an additional killer and/or detective (both of whom look up when the narrator tells them to. They both have to agree on their choice of person to kill/convict through silent pointing, nodding, and/or shaking their heads. You can also add a queen to the pile of cards. This person will be the nurse. After the narrator has had the killer and detective wake up and go to sleep, he will call for the nurse to wake up. The nurse will point to one person to "save" and then go back to sleep. If that particular person was the one who the killer tried to kill, then the narrator will announce, after telling the townspeople to awake, "No one was killed."
18. Touch and Feel: Get a bunch of really odd objects. Blindfold 4 people. They must try to guess what the objects are by feeling them.
19. Straw Towers: See which team can make the biggest building out of bendable straws.
20. Pantyhose Race: 3 people tie one leg of pantyhose around their waists. At the bottom of the other leg of pantyhose is an orange (or grapefruit). There will also be a loose orange in front of them. Only using the orange in the pantyhose, they must race to be the first to hit the loose orange to the finish line.
25 More Games
Here are 25 more popular youth-group games we have done!
1. That's a Wrap: Plastic Wrap Relay: Give each team a new box of plastic wrap. They must be the first team to wrap the entire team with the entire roll of plastic wrap. THEN, have everyone finish their roll. Now have a race (about 100 yards) to you. They must remain in the plastic wrap.
2. Gum Sculpting: Divide everyone into teams of 3 or 4. Give each team about 10 pieces of gum (preferably of different colors) and a plate. The teams have 5 minutes to sculpt the most attractive (bouquet of) flower(s) using the gum. You can award the team that has the most attractive finished product and the most creative.
3. Human Sundaes: One person lays on ground with a cup in his mouth. Another person stands above him on a chair. Object is to make the nicest ice cream sundae through dropping the stuff into the cup. Ingredients: 1 scoop ice cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, a cherry.
-Other options: Do the same set up with eggs. See who can get 3 eggs in the cup first.
-OR Fill up a cup of water to a certain line. It's better if the person on the chair has to spit the water into the cup in the person's mouth.
-To make any of these better, blindfold the person on the chair.
4. Doughnut on a String: Blindfolded person standing on chair is holding a doughnut (preferably a messy one - powdered) on a string. He has to feed the doughnut to a person who's below him, lying on the ground, giving him directions to his mouth.
5. Grape/Eyeball Toe Grab: Have 2 teams each take off one shoe. Next to each line is an empty bowl. About 30 feet away is a bowl of ice water and 30 grapes. (We told them they were sheep eyeballs, and some of them believed us.) One by one, each team member runs to the bowl, grabs as many grapes as he can with his toes, and hops back to dump them into their team's empty bowl. The winner is either the first team to successfully get all the grapes into their bowl or the team to get the most grapes into their bowl.
6. Baby Bottle Guzzlers: Get three volunteers. Each person gets a small baby bottle filled with milk. The first person to guzzle the most milk in 5 minutes wins.
7. Link Tag: Everyone splits off into two and finds a space within the play area. They then link arms. The youth leader picks a twosome as volunteers. This works like a normal game of chasing except that the pair who is running can grab the free arm of any other twosome. When they do this they become a part of the twosome, now a foursome. This continues until only one pair is left.
8. M&M Pictionary: Create 2 teams (or however many you will need according to your group size) consisting of one "M&M Artist" and guessers. Each group gets the same word and must create clues for the guessers using M&M candies!
9. Mummified: Divide youth into 2 teams (more if necessary for larger groups) and have each team "vote" on who will be mummified... each teammate is given a roll of toilet paper and the person to be mummified stands in the center of their teammates - signal for the game to begin and turn kids loose with their toilet paper....they will have to learn how to alternate as well as how to place shorter and smaller people to "mummify" their "mummy's" legs and taller people will have to start at the head and shoulders. The first team to successfully, totally and completely cover their "mummy" up so that no clothing or skin is showing wins. OR The first team to finish off the toilet paper wins.
10. Pass It On: The entire group forms a circle. Everyone is given an object which can be large, small or any shape (i.e.: bowling ball, trash can, shoe, etc). On a signal, every one passes his object on the right, keeping the objects moving at all times. When a person drops any object, he must leave the game, but his object stay in. As the game progresses, more people leave the game making it harder and harder to avoid dropping an object since there are more objects than people. The winner is the last person remaining.
11. Rabbit, Cow, Elephant: Form a circle with a person in the center. The person will point to someone on the circle and say "Rabbit" (or cow, or elephant.) The person pointed to must form the front paws of the rabbit and the persons on both sides must hold up an arm to be the rabbit ears. The goal is for the person in the center to tag one of the three people before they can form the "Rabbit". If "Cow" is called, then the person pointed to must form the udders with their fingers and the other two must form the horns. An "elephant" is the chosen person being the trunk and the two outside people must form the LARGE ears.
---It has also been played where a "Flight Attendant" is one of the choices. The person in the middle pulls down the oxygen mask and the people on either side, point to the exits.
Lots of fun and always good for laughs.
13. Stacker Crackers: Bring a box of crackers. Have one or two kids volunteer to be stackers. The rest of the kids take turns lying on a couch on their backs. The stackers see how many crackers can be stacked in a pile on each forehead. The person with the highest stack wins. Usually laughing knocks the stack over early.
14. Unicorn: Divide group into half and number the kids on each side. Next, have the corresponding numbered kids line up. Using a marshmallow, each team has to place it between their foreheads and carry it in relay style to the finish line. The first one timed wins.
15. Wucky Ducky: For this game you will only need two things: a stuffed animal and a blindfold. Have the group sit in a circle with one person in the middle. This person will be given the stuffed animal and will be blindfolded and then spun around. When they are good and dizzy send the person off. Everyone else in the group has to be as quiet as they can. Once the person with the stuffed animal touches a person sitting in the circle they hand them the stuffed animal. The person who now holds the stuffed animal has to say "Wucky Ducky" in a disguised voice. If the blindfolded person guesses who said it those two switch places and the new person is blindfolded!
16. Dodge ball
17. Dresser Relay: Have 2 piles of large clothes sitting about 20 feet from 2 teams. One by one, each team member must run to the pile, put on one article of clothing from the pile, run back, take off all of the clothing, and give them to the next person in line who must put on all the clothing, run to the pile, get one more article of clothing, put it on, run back to the line, take off the clothing, give them to the third person in line, etc.
18. Molecule Tag: Everyone has a partner. Partners are linked by their arms. There are two people who do not have partners, P1 and P2. P1 chases P2. P2 runs around and tries to attach himself to one of the pairs. If he does this successfully, the person on the other end of the "molecule" is now the person who is getting chased. If P1 ever catches anyone, that person now must catch the lose "atom."
19. Cheese Ball Toss: Cover a guy's face with shaving cream. A girl has 15 seconds to throw as many cheese balls as she can (one by one) at his face. The pair with the most cheese balls at the end wins.
20. Human Vacuum: Place ski masks on 2 kids and wrap their heads in duct tape, sticky side out. Dump stuff on the floor (pieces of yarn, paper clips, pennies, etc. ). Kids roll around for one minute. Winner is either the one who picks up the most things or the person who picks up the most pennies.
21. Balloon Stuffing: Two teams inflate and pass balloons to kid who stuffs them into oversized sweat pants and sweatshirt. Count balloons by popping with a pin. 3 minute time limit.
22. Sardines: Like hide and seek but in reverse. To start, one person (P1) hides as the rest wait for 1 minutes or so, and then everyone goes out looking for him. When someone finds P1, he must hide there too. This continues until all have found P1. The first person who found P1 hides in the next game.
23. Pictionary Telephone: Have 4 teams line up one behind the other. Pass out paper and pencils to everyone. Whisper to the person on the end what you want them to draw. Have the person sitting next to that person draw what they think that person just drew. This continues on to the next person and so on. What does the last person in line think they drew? Compare the end products at the other end of the lines and what was to be drawn in the beginning.
24. Bible Sword Drills: Leader calls out Scripture address. Youth try to be the first to look up and read the verse. Can have youth in three teams.
25. Human Knot: Everyone stands in a circle. Grab the hand of the person directly across from you. Then grab the hand of a different person across from you. Get out of the "knot" without letting go of anyone's hands. Have two groups race to get out of the knot first.
Do You Want More Game Ideas? Here Are 15 More!
Here are 15 more great games I have played with my youth groups that the youth enjoyed.
1. Family Shuffle: Lay out 4 chairs, each with a person's name on it. Have 4 people sit in those chairs. Read a story that mentions those 4 names very frequently. Whenever you say the name on a person's chair, that person must stand up and sit down. If the person fails to do so, a different person (not currently playing) gets that person's chair. Whenever you say, "family," the four people must stand up, run around the chairs and sit in a different seat. If someone is left with only their previous seat open, they must sit down and someone not playing gets that seat. Continue the story.
2. Blow-up TP: Four person teams. The team that can keep the toilet paper square in the air the longest by blowing on it wins.
3. Kazoo Band: teams of 4. Give each team a song to play on the kazoo. They get 5 minutes to practice.
4. Electricity: Get 2 groups and each should be sitting in a single file line holding hands. An object (like a stuffed animal) is behind the last person in line. You stand in front of the leader and flip a coin. If the coin lands on heads, the person at the front of the line squeezes the person of the hand behind him and so on. The person at the end of the line grabs the stuffed animal and runs to the front of the line, sits down, and passes the stuffed animal to person behind him and so on until the stuffed animal reaches the now last person in line. The first team to complete this process stays in that formation. The other team has to send the last person in line back to the end of the line. If the leader of the line sends a false "jolt," he must go to the end of the line. The first team to have every member go through each position in line (so that the original first person is the first person again) wins.
5. Reverse Based Kickball: Play regular kick ball except rearrange the order of the bases (so you have to go to second base first, and then first, and then third).
6. Keep It Up: Have kids stand inside a circle of chairs or cones. (If you use chairs, make sure the seats are facing the outside of the circle to avoid injury.) Make sure the circle is large enough for all the kids to lie down in it at the same time. Begin the game by having children stand inside the circle, then toss a balloon into the air. Kids must work together to keep the balloon in the air, inside the circle. If the balloon goes outside the circle or touches the ground, the kids must all kneel on their knees and play the next round from there. Each time the balloon touches the ground or goes outside the circle, kids must assume a new position. The positions, in order, are: Standing, Kneeling on Knees, Sitting, Lying Down.
10. Lights, Camera, Action: Divide into groups of 5. Put a box full of props in the center of the room and have everyone race to grab one prop. This is the one they will have to use. Then give each group 10 unfamiliar words (scientific/technical vocabulary, words from a foreign language, etc). Give them five minutes to come up with a skit in which they must use their props and their vocabulary.
11. Pass the Banana: Divide into teams. Line players up one behind the other, all facing the same direction. The first player is given a banana and shown how to hold it between their knees. At the signal to begin, they will turn to face the player directly behind them and using no hands, that player must "take" the banana between their knees using only their knees, legs and hips to maneuver around. Remind everyone not to squish the banana as it has to be passed to the end of the line and back up to the first person for a team to be done.
The first team to successfully do so and still have a banana that looks like a banana wins. It's really fun if you have a variety of ages - stagger the younger (shorter) ones between the taller ones.
12. Psychiatrist: Everyone sits in a circle. One person leaves the room. The leader explains to the group that they all suffer from the same symptom. For example, everyone thinks they can fly, everyone thinks they are the person to their left, everyone is afraid of light, etc. Then the other person comes back. S/he asks yes/no questions to figure out what the groups' problem is.
13. Dragon: Split the group into two parts. Get them into line and have them wrap their arms around the waist of the person in front of them forming a long chain. Stick a rag or handkerchief in the back pocket of the last person. The goal is for the front person of one group to get the "tail" of the other, while the tail of the group tries to avoid getting caught. Can be done indoors as well if you have enough room.
14. Bobbing For Marshmallow: Start by bobbing for apples. Immediately after bobbing for apples, the person bobs for marshmallows in a bowl of flour. The results are messy, so make sure the floor is covered with plastic for quick and easy clean up.
15. Over-Under Game: Teams line up in a straight line and have to pass an object over and under their heads. Have them pass around something gross like spam, a fish (purchased from the grocery store), etc.
Did I leave out any great games? - Or just let me know you dropped by!
Shannon (author) from Florida on August 05, 2014:
@StrongMay: I'm so glad you've found this to be helpful! Have a blessed year!
StrongMay on August 03, 2014:
Hi, this lens is super-helpful with coming up with activity ideas for kids. I'm going to need as many as I can get - I have a volunteer job with youths waiting for me starting this September.
Shannon (author) from Florida on January 17, 2013:
@squid-pinkchic18: Thank you!
squid-pinkchic18 on January 17, 2013:
Awesome lens! I love the fruit basket one the best. I remember playing that when I was a kid and it was a hit.
Shannon (author) from Florida on November 23, 2012:
@jimconrad2: Thank you!
jimconrad2 on November 23, 2012:
Great ideas! Nice lens.
Mark Collard on December 12, 2011:
Hey, I thought you and every youth group leader might like to check out all of the games I post on my lens - https://hubpages.com/education/ice-breakers-fun-gr... - like yours, they're free and 100% funn. Feel free to drop by and like me :-)
dellgirl on November 25, 2011:
This is an awesome lens, I really like it. You have an amazing list of games here. Thanks for sharing.