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Games

Here are some game ideas. Whether you are looking for a game to tie in with your youth night theme or looking for a no-prep game to fill in extra time, hopefully you can get some ideas bellow. If your youth group has a favorite game that you would like to share, please send us a message and we'll add it to the list. Full disclosure - most of these games were found online and adapted to our youth group. I do not claim to have invented any of them!

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No-Prep Games

We are Unique!: Line up students shortest to tallest. The shortest person will start first by telling everyone their name and grade. Then something unique they have done that they do not think anyone else has done. If someone else in the group has done that unique thing, the original student sits down where he/she is at. The last person standing wins! You can play this more than one round if you have more time.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Cups!: Line students in a row by height, every other student should take 3 steps out and turn around to face the person across from them. You should have 2 equal rows. If not, have an adult step in. One adult will be the announcer and will place a cup between each group of 2 facing each other. The adult will announce “Head”, “Shoulders”, “Knees”, or “Cup”. The students will have to touch their Head, shoulders, or knees when announced. When “Cup” is announced, the students try to be the first to grab the cup. Only one student per group of 2 will get the cup. The ones who do not get the cup sit down on the other side of the room and each winner will find another opponent. Take one cup away from each group of 2, so they only have one cup. This continues until one student is left. The rest of the group should be rooting for their friends and classmates while the game continues

Guess who?!: Break into 2 groups. It would help to mix up the grades and genders. The groups should be facing each other. Adults will hold up a blanket between the 2 groups. Each group will elect one team member to come close to the blanket. The adults will then count to 3 and lower the blanket quickly. The team members who are close to the blanket should then be face to face. They will call out the other person’s name quickly. The first one to call out the correct name of their opponent gives their team a point. This continues until each team member has had a chance to step up to the blanket. You could play a variation (ex. 2 from each team step up at a time) if you have more time. 

Do you Love your neighbor? Have each student grab a chair and set them up in a circle in the room, minus 1 chair. Have a volunteer to stand in the middle and everyone else should have a chair with no extra chairs. The person in the middle will introduce themselves and the group will say “Hi, ___(name)__! Do you love your neighbor”. The person in the middle will say, “Yes I do! Especially those who __________”. (Something like “has blue shoes, wears glasses, is an adult (they like to pull this one on me!), likes ice cream, goes to ___ school, etc.) If anyone in the circle matches that description, they will need to get up and run to a different chair. They cannot move to a chair right next to them. The person in the middle will also find a seat. Someone will be left without a chair and will become the person in the middle. This is a great game for adult volunteers to play with the students to get to know everyone better. This game can continue as long as needed.

The Toilet Paper Game: Everyone sits in a circle. Pass around a roll of toilet paper (or more, depending on how many people) with the instructions “take as much as you think you need.” - don’t give out any more instruction other than that. Once everyone has taken “as much as they think they need,” go around in a circle and each person, one at a time, will say “Hi, my name is ___," and 1 fact about themselves per 1 square of toilet paper. Their name does not count as a fact. 

Snowball Fight: Each person gets 3 pieces of paper. Divide into 2 groups. Each group gets one side of the room. Play like dodgeball. At “go” each person will crumple their “snowballs” and throw them at the opposing team. If you get hit, you sit in the middle. No one gets back in. The boundaries will get smaller as the players lessen. You cannot use your feet to kick the snowball. If you catch a snowball the person who threw it is out.

 

Memory Test: For larger groups, break into groups no larger than 10. Have the students get in a circle. One student will start by saying their name and a food that starts with the same letter (ex: Sally, Spaghetti). Then the person to their left will repeat and say their own name and food (ex: Sally, Spaghetti; Rich, Rice). The person to their left will continue this until everyone in the group has said their name and a food. Then the first person, after repeating the groups names and foods, will again say their name and food and add a color that begins with the same letter (ex: Sally, Spaghetti, Slate). The person to their left will repeat and add their color. The person to their left will continue this until everyone in the group has said their name, food, and color. You can continue this until the group is bored. Other ideas for words that start with the same letter – animals, places, transportation, clothing, hobby, sport, etc..

Pool Noodle Smack: One person stands in the middle with a pool noodle while the rest of the group sit in chairs in a circle. The person with the noodle chooses one person from the group to start. That person will say someone’s name and the person in the middle will try to bop that person on the head before they can say another person’s name from the group. The game continues until the person in the middle successfully bops another player before they say a name. Then that player is the person in the middle and gets the pool noodle.

Blob Tag: Choose a student to be “it” or the blob. The rest of the players will scatter within the boundaries. When you say “go”, the blob will attempt to tag the other players. When a player is tagged, they must join the blob by joining hands with a player on the end of the blob.  The blob must stay connected and attempt to tag other players to join the blob. The blob will only have two hands available for tagging (one on each end). Only the end players of the BLOB can tag others. The more players that get tagged, the larger the blob grows. The object of the game is to be the last player captured by the blob. 

Caterpillar Tag: Choose a playing field and set boundaries. Mark goal lines with string or tape. One person is chosen to be it, and they are the caterpillar. All the other players are 2 bugs, and they line up along one goal line. When play starts, the bugs must run to the other goal line without getting tagged by the caterpillar. The tagged bugs become part of the caterpillar and they all hold hands to catch the other bugs. The winner is the last bug, and they are the caterpillar next round.

Faceball: Supplies: a regular-sized beach ball (go to your local dollar store) a 15' x 15' area to form a circle The object of the game: eliminate other players by hitting them with the beach ball. Rules: 1. The ball must be passed using two hands (like a chest pass in basketball). 2. The ball must be passed within 5 seconds of being caught or the person who caught the ball is out. (have someone not playing be the timer for the game) 3. If the ball does not touch anyone, the thrower is out. 4. Players may not move their feet, like they're standing in concrete, until the ball is touched (players may dodge a throw, but only by moving their upper body). 5. If the ball is deflected, players may move to keep the ball from touching the ground. 6. Players are out if they touch the ball, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and the ball hits the ground. (if more than one player touches the ball and it hits the ground, all players touching the ball are out) 7. Players may not throw the ball at a person standing next to them until the group is down to 4 players or less. Once a winner is declared, everyone is back in and the game starts over.

Cabbage Ball: This is a fun outdoor game! We play this with different rules each time. The teens just enjoy throwing a cabbage around. We have played it like "tag" and like toss. I think they had the most fun playing it similar to dodgeball. Have the group divide into 2 equal teams. Determine boundaries and a dividing line. It helps to have a "no-go" zone between the teams for more distance. Give each team 1-2 heads of cabbage (yes, the real stuff!). Be sure to go over the rules carefully so no-one gets hurt. Game is played like dodgeball except the cabbage should be thrown underhand until it gets smaller. Aim at the legs or feet. If the cabbage hits you, you are out. If you catch it, the other player is out and you get a teammate back in. You can only throw the head, not the leaves that dethatch. Game is played until all members of a team are out or the cabbage balls are gone. The cabbage head is dead and should be removed when it's just core left. When the game is over, have the students pick up the leaves. If someone has animals that can eat cabbage have them take them home for feed. Otherwise, find a compost pile to add it to.

Shoe-looky: Stand in circle and have everyone look down at another persons shoes. It could be anyone in the circle. On the count of three, everyone will look up at the person’s face that belongs to the shoes they were looking at. If there is a match (two people look at each other) they scream and get knocked out of the game.

Broom Hockey: Break into 2 teams. Set up two chairs on each end of the room behind each team (as a goal). Assign 1 member of each team to be the goalie who can use hands and feet. Use push brooms and a small soft ball. Teams compete against each other to score a goal. Rules and game play is similar to Hockey, or make up your own to make it more fun or more challenging.

Secret Church: First, select 2-4 priests, then let them hide a bible in the dark building, no lights. Then, choose 4 government agents, and allow them to roam the building with a 30-second head start. Finally, let all the rest of the students (congregants) into the building. The goal of the game for the congregants is to find all the Bibles without getting caught. For the government agents, they want to find the Bibles as well, and they can alternatively win by locking up congregants. The priests want to inform the right people about where the Bibles are, without accidentally giving the locations away to the government agents. When a government agent captures a congregant, they take them to the jail (a common area where Bibles are also brought). The only way for a congregant to be freed from the jail is for another congregant to capture a Bible. Whatever team has the most Bibles by the end wins.

Pterodactyl: Everyone must cover their teeth with their lips. Goal is to not show your teeth or laugh. Everyone stands in a circle. You go around the circle saying “pterodactyl” to your neighbor. If you wish to change the direction, you make your best impression of a pterodactyl. Show one leg lifted in the air, arms curling under to become wings and a nice big “squawk”. The best part is there’s no rule on how to say pterodactyl. You can say it quiet, or loud. You can squawk quiet or loud. Your pterodactyl can hop around on both feet if you want. You can include head movements.

If a player laughs, they or knocked out of the game. The last person in the game wins!

Youth Night Games

$100 Exchange: Have the students sit in 2 rows facing each other. If you have cafeteria style tables, that works best. Divide up play money (or print Jesus Bucks) among each student so that they all have the same currency, give them each a 2-sided coin that can be flipped (I suggest a penny so it’s not too expensive if they get pocketed), and give each student a paper of tic-tac-toe boards. The students directly across from each other should challenge each other to their choice of Tic-Tac-Toe; Rock, paper, scissors; or heads or tails. They choose only 1 game. The winner will get a buck from their opponent. Then everyone moves one spot to the right and challenges the next opponent across from them. If a student runs out of money, they should sit out and cheer on their friends. After a set time, have the students stop playing and “purchase” prizes with their winnings.

Bingo: Bingo is always a fun youth night game. You can play the traditional Bingo or tie it in to your youth night with pictures or words based on your theme. You can customize and get 30 free pintables here

Consequences: The game is like hot potato. Have the students get into a circle. Give 1-3 students a potato depending on the size of your group (or use another small object that can be passed between students quickly). Start the music and have the students pass the potatoes around the circle clockwise. Stop the music randomly. When the music stops, the students holding the potato must do a “consequence”. Consequences could be like cry out like a baby, dab, do a cartwheel, do the Chicken Dance, etc. Create some funny consequences to keep handy.

Nerf Wars: If you have plenty of room and teens with a lot of energy, this is a great way to get them moving! Here are the rules and instructions for several variations. Just add Nerf guns and ammo!

Hungry, Hungry Hippos: Teens break into 4 even groups. Each group should have a laundry basket and a scooter board (like the kind you used in gym class). Fill a large trash bag, bucket, basket, etc. with small plastic balls (like you see in a ball pit) or balloons (smaller balloons or water balloons filled with air work best). Have one person from each team be a "hippo" and get belly down on the scooter and hold the basket with their hands. Another team member grabs their feet to guide them to the middle to trap the balls. On "Go!" dump the entire bag of balls into the middle of the floor. The teams will try to trap as many balls as possible by capturing them with their baskets. Rules: All scooters must start behind the designated lines. The "hippos" must return to the designated lines to unload. Additional team members will help unload the basket and cheer the team on.

When all the balls have been collected, the team with the most balls wins. Keep score and rotate team members so everyone has a chance to be the "hippo".

Sorry, Wrong Answer: Participants grab a single slip from a bowl of slips of paper, which must be calculated exactly so there are no leftovers. Half of the paper have questions written on them, while the other half have answers written on them. Set a 3 minute timer, during which participants must find the other half to their slip of paper- if they have a question, they must find the answer, or vice versa. The catch is the only words they can say are the words on their paper. When a pair thinks they’ve found each other, they sit down. At the end of the game, the announcer asks each pair what their answer/question is, and they read aloud. Someone then checks whether they are correct or not. Questions/answers should be designed so that they can be funny if mixed up or correct. Variant: This game can also be played with real life newspaper headlines cut in half

Lost on a Deserted Island: The situation is dire — following a shipwreck, everyone has been stranded on a deserted island! Each person is allowed to bring one object to the island — ideally something that represents them or something that they enjoy. This part is simple: each person is asked to describe what object they would bring and why. This need not be realistic; if someone loves music, he or she might choose to bring a guitar, or an animal lover might choose to bring a dog, a food lover might choose to bring sirloin steaks, and so on. Encourage people to be creative. After everyone has introduced their object and why they have chosen that object, divide into smaller groups and ask everyone to work together to improve their chances of survival by combining the various objects that they introduced. If necessary, you can add more objects, but be sure to use all the objects that everyone mentioned. 

Seasonal Games

Best Dressed Christmas Tree: Divide into 5-6 teams. Give each team a set of craft supplies. Teammates will create decorations using the craft supplies provided. After 15 minutes, one of the teammates will become the Christmas tree and the other teammates will decorate their tree using the decorations they made. Prizes for best dressed and most creative will be awarded.

Best Dressed Gift: Divide into 5-6 teams. Give each team a set of wrapping paper, tape, bows, and other giftwrap supplies. Teammates will choose one of the teammates to become the gift and the other teammates will decorate them using the supplies they have. Prizes for best dressed and most creative will be awarded.

The Mummy: Divide into 5-6 teams. Give each team a roll of toilet paper. Teammates will choose one of the teammates to become the Mummy and the other teammates will decorate the mummy using the toilet paper. Prizes for best dressed and most creative will be awarded.

How Sweet It Is game: This game is a great ice breaker, and what teen doesn’t love candy bars!  It gets them actively participating and engaging with other teens. 

Items needed: A group of teens, 10 (or as many as you’d like to do) different kinds of candy bars, the more similar they are the better.  Suggestions: Milky Way, Snickers, Baby Ruth, Heath Bar, Three Musketeers, Twix, Kit Kat, Butterfinger, solid chocolate bar (ie: Dove, Hershey Bar), Crunch Bar, Take 4, Mounds, Almond Joy, etc. Bells, honker, whistle, ect, a different noise maker for each group (or teen) so they can “buzz” in.

Instructions: Unwrap each candy bar, but make sure you mark it somehow so YOU remember which is which.  Putting them on numbered paper plates, and writing an answer key is one easy way to keep track.  Don’t let the teens see the candy before the game starts. If you have a large group, 10+ teens, divide them into small groups.  Or if you have a smaller group just let the teens play individually. Show the teens one of the unwrapped candy bars, they have 10 seconds to “buzz” in.  It helps to have another adult as the “judge” to know who buzzed first.  If no one buzzes in after 10 seconds break the candy bar in half and show them the insides. Give them another 10 seconds to guess.  First team or individual that buzzes gets to guess, if they’re correct they win that candy bar.  If they guess incorrectly other players may buzz in for a guess.  Keep going until someone gets it right, if no one gets it right the adults keep the candy bar.

**This game can also be played virtually.  Instead of “buzzing” in, teens need to be the first to answer correctly in the chat box.  Of course the winners don’t get to eat their prizes, but you can also give them an IOU for your next in person Youth Night, or mail them something small as a prize.**

Egg Relay: You will need buckets and plastic eggs. Line the buckets up at one end of the play area. Each team will line up at the other end of the play area across from their bucket. The team members will take turns getting the eggs into their bucket using a spoon. If the egg drops, they will start back from the beginning. They cannot touch the egg while walking the egg to the bucket. The first team to get all of their eggs into the bucket wins!

Egg Throw: You will need buckets and plastic eggs. Students pair up. One player will hold the bucket on their head. The other player will stand 3-4 feet across from them and toss the eggs one at a time into the bucket that is on another team member’s head. The person with the bucket cannot move their feet, but can move their body as long as the bucket stays on their head. The first team to get all of their eggs into the bucket wins!

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