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Wink

This is a game we played when I was in Junior High and I loved it. Seems to work best with groups of about 20 or more. It is sort of like the Frogger, which we will put up soon. A great game for youth group. Have everyone sit in a circle, with chairs or on the floor. Everyone will close their eyes and the leader will pick someone to be the winker. Then you say go and everyone put their head’s up and tries to figure out who the winker is. The winker attempts to knock people out of the game by winking at them. Once you are winked at, wait 5 seconds, raise your hand, and say ‘I’m out.’ Usually works best to have those who are out do something like put their finger on their nose or put their head down. If someone thinks they know who the winker is, they can raise their hand and say ‘I think I know who it is.’ They must have a second person to back them up. So then a second person raises their hand and says ‘I second.’ The first person guesses, if they guess right, they win. If they guess wrong, both of the people are out. The people accusing should be careful because if they get winked at in the process they are out and can not guess. The game is played until the winker is caught or everyone is out. One more little thing we like to say is that if you can not wink to raise your hand while the leader is picking someone so that you are not picked. It is also important to stress to people that they can not talk when their head’s are down and when they are knocked out of the game.
 

Whap Em'

This youth ministry game is probably the one game that has never gotten old at our youth group.  It is a great easy quick game that can be thrown in just about anywhere to get kids moving.  It is one of the only games I have found where kids do not hesitate to hit people they don’t even know with a pool noodle. Set-Up Have everyone make a big circle with chairs.  In the middle of the circle have a garbage can or bucket.  One person starts in the middle with a pool noodle (or half of one if it is too big). Game Play The person in the middle will hit someone sitting with the pool noodle (no face shots).  Then they will run and put the noodle in the garbage can and try to get in to the seat of the person they hit before the person who was hit grabs the noodle from the garbage can and hits them (try saying that ten times fast). If they person in the middle makes it to the chair before they are hit, they are safe and the new person hits someone else.  If they are hit before they make it back, they must go again. If you have more than about 10 people, you can definitely get more than one noodle going at a time. Other Rules To Mention – No pushing or intentionally running in to another person. – The noodle must land in the garbage can or the person starts over. – You can not hit the person who just hit you. Be sure to have some music in the background and this game can go on for awhile before they get tired of it. Enjoy!

Towel Throw

Here’s a quick game that works in almost any setting…plus everybody gets to play. All you need is a hand towel (or dish towel). Here’s how you do it. Prior to the game, tie a small knot in the middle of a hand towel. (You may want to do this to several hand towels to speed up play.) Then, get everybody that wants to play into a circle, facing inward. This is an “every man for themselves” kind of game. The object is for players to throw the hand towel at the other players in the circle, hitting them BELOW the neck, and eliminating them from play. Players who are hit must leave the circle. The last 4 players standing, are the winners. Here are the rules: Players CANNOT throw the towel at people standing two places on either side of them. (In other words, they need to throw “across” the circle and not at somebody close by.) If a player throws the towel and hits another player in the neck, face, or head, the player who threw the towel is out. (Have a judge handy to make calls about this one. For instance, a player could have thrown a towel low enough, but the other player “ducked” into it.) After a throw (that gets somebody out or misses) ANYBODY who grabs the towel off the floor can throw it. There is no order for throwing. Catching is NOT allowed. Players must absolutely dodge the thrown towel NOTE: The extra hand towels can be used to speed up the pace of the game so that students aren’t chasing the towel between every throw. You can also use multiple towels at once for a real frenzy! Have fun with this addicting little game!

Throw Down Game

This is a simple icebreaker that I have used several times.  It is great in that it requires people to share about themselves, but in a competitive way. Supplies Needed You will need 20-25 pieces of paper for each person.  I just give everyone one sheet of paper and have them tear it into 20 pieces. How It Works One person will start by saying one fact about themselves.  It should reveal something about their person that others may not have known about them.  The goal is to come up with something that as many people as possible would NOT have in common with them.  For the other people, if they have that thing in common with the person, then they do nothing.  If they do not have it in common with them, then they have to throw a piece of paper in the middle. The goal of the game is to be the last person with paper in your hands. Example One person could start by sharing that they have never broken a bone in their body.  For everyone else, if they have broken a bone in their body, they would throw a piece of paper in the middle.  If they have not broken a bone, they keep their pieces. Suggestions It is best to break them up into small groups so that you go around the circle several times, getting to know each person a bit more.  You should also continue to remind them that it should be something that reveals something about you that the others may not have known.  “I am wearing Red shoes” is boring and obvious.

This is So Much Fun

This is a hilarious youth ministry game that someone showed me this last summer at camp.  You need NO supplies and can do it with two people or 100 people.  I found a pretty humorous video on YouTube of two guys who explain the game well.  This is a different variation from what I saw, but the concept is the same.  Two people have to look at each and do little slightly embarrassing actions with each other.  The person who smiles first, loses the game.  Typically the actions will build off of each so you are doing several things at one time.  In the video below they choose to just do a single action at a time. Actions could include: putting your hand on the other’s shoulder putting both hands on the other’s shoulders hopping on one foot spinning in a circle tapping each other’s nose bopping your head   If you want to skip right to the part where they are playing the game, go to the 3:54 mark. Have your own actions you think would be fun?  Please comment below!

The Toilet Paper Game

This game does not really have a name, but is very simple. You play until everyone or most people figure it out. Simply find an item that can be passed around.  Let's use a roll of toilet paper for an example.  The leader will start by saying “Ok, we are going to play the toilet paper game, do you know how to play the toilet paper game?”  and they will pass the toilet paper to someone else.  That person will now try to do it correctly.  You will tell them they either did it right or wrong and then let the next person try. The trick to the game that needs to be figured is out that everyone person starts by saying ‘OK.’

The Shoe Game

Directions This is probably one of the greatest games for retreat type atmosphere when you need to lighten things up a little bit.  To start have group of between 6-8 people form a circle.  You can just have one or two groups.  They do not compete against the other groups and there really is not a winner. This game is played like ‘Hot Potato’ with a twist.  Have one person volunteer to use their shoe as the hot potato.  Start off by playing one round like hot potato and start the music.  When the music stops, have the person holding the show stand.  You will give this person an action that must be done every time they are given the shoe from now on.  You start the music again and when you stop have the person who ended up with the shoe do a different action.  If it was the same person as the first round, they must now do both actions before they can pass the shoe. Here are some examples of actions. Yell ‘I HAVE THE SHOE’ Give everyone in your group a high five. Sing “It’s fun to sing at the Y.M.C.A. while doing the actions. Do the chicken dance Do the Macarena Blow Kisses to everyone in your group Skip around the group once Say two words that rhyme. Do the entire head, shoulders, knees, and toes Flex like a professional body builder (must do different flex each time) Usually this is enough actions.  Keep a look out for people who have several actions and those that think it is a little too funny and be sure ‘accidentally’ stop the music on them.

Tape Head Game

This game is one of the more funnier games to watch.  It is very simple but is wide open for variations. Supplies Needed Hats (usually simple winter caps are fine) Tape Something Else How the game works Have as many people that you want playing to put on one of the hats.  Then you will cover the hat with tape, sticky side facing out.  On the floor, you will have a lot of small objects (we have used coins or q-tips before).  When the leader says GO, everyone with a taped hat on will move around on the floor trying to get as many objects as they can stuck on their hat.  They can only use their head to do so (no hands). A couple of extras or variations We have had a great time putting the hat over their eyes so they could only move around by the help of their teammates voices. You could place different objects that are worth different values You could place several different objects around the room and call out what they should go for.  After a set amount of time, call out the next item.

Stack-O-Cups Relay

Supplies Needed – Lots of Plastic Cups. 15-20 of one color per team and one of another color per team. This is a quick and easy youth ministry game that can be used as a relay or if you have a smaller group can be done with everyone against everyone. I actually got this idea from the big show ‘Minute to Win It’ and made it work for our youth group. Give every person/team a stack of 15-20 cups of the same color with the one of a different color showing on the bottom of the stack. The goal is to be the first to take one cup from the top of stack and put it on the bottom and keep doing that until the odd colored cup end up at the bottom again. If you do it relay style have the same number of youth on each team complete it and have the team sit down when they are done. If teams have a different number of people, some people can do it twice to make it fair. Enjoy!

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

I often have friends in ministry who ask me for directions on games I play and I typically just point them to the site.  When a friend asked me about Spoons and I realized I had never mentioned it on this site, I immediately realized how incomplete the game library on here is.   So, for those who don’t know, here are the instructions to the youth group game that I take much too seriously! Supplies Needed Spoons (one for every person) Playing Cards Directions This game is very simple.  It is played like musical chairs where everyone is competing for a spoon and the one person who does not get one is out.  You play the game until only one person is left. It is ideal to play with no more than 8-10 people.  If you have more than this, break it in to several games and have a championship table when each group is down to only a few. Have everyone sit around a table and put one spoon for each person in the middle of the table.  Take one spoon out so there is one less spoon than the number of people.   Have one person deal four cards to each player.  The goal with the cards is to get four of a kind (4 Aces, 4 Kings, etc.)  To start the game the dealer will take one card from the remaining deck.  They must decide if they want to swap the card out with one of theirs or pass it to the left.  If they swap it out, they must pass one of their previous cards to the left, leaving them always with four cards.  The person to the left does the same thing with the passed cards and the cards continuously go around the table. When someone has four of a kind they can grab a spoon.  Once one person has four of a kind everyone else can grab a spoon at the same time. That’s it.  Shuffle and deal again, removing one spoon each time and a eliminating a new player! Video Example Here is video I found online of a group playing spoons.  

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

I often have friends in ministry who ask me for directions on games I play and I typically just point them to the site.  When a friend asked me about Spoons and I realized I had never mentioned it on this site, I immediately realized how incomplete the game library on here is.   So, for those who don’t know, here are the instructions to the youth group game that I take much too seriously! Supplies Needed Spoons (one for every person) Playing Cards Directions This game is very simple.  It is played like musical chairs where everyone is competing for a spoon and the one person who does not get one is out.  You play the game until only one person is left. It is ideal to play with no more than 8-10 people.  If you have more than this, break it in to several games and have a championship table when each group is down to only a few. Have everyone sit around a table and put one spoon for each person in the middle of the table.  Take one spoon out so there is one less spoon than the number of people.   Have one person deal four cards to each player.  The goal with the cards is to get four of a kind (4 Aces, 4 Kings, etc.)  To start the game the dealer will take one card from the remaining deck.  They must decide if they want to swap the card out with one of theirs or pass it to the left.  If they swap it out, they must pass one of their previous cards to the left, leaving them always with four cards.  The person to the left does the same thing with the passed cards and the cards continuously go around the table. When someone has four of a kind they can grab a spoon.  Once one person has four of a kind everyone else can grab a spoon at the same time. That’s it.  Shuffle and deal again, removing one spoon each time and a eliminating a new player! Video Example Here is video I found online of a group playing spoons.  

Shoe Game

Materials Needed Music (music must be loud, game gets loud and people need to hear it stop) Directions This is probably one of the greatest games for retreat type atmosphere when you need to lighten things up a little bit.  To start have group of between 6-8 people form a circle.  You can just have one or two groups.  They do not compete against the other groups and there really is not a winner. This game is played like ‘Hot Potato’ with a twist.  Have one person volunteer to use their shoe as the hot potato.  Start off by playing one round like hot potato and start the music.  When the music stops, have the person holding the show stand.  You will give this person an action that must be done every time they are given the shoe from now on.  You start the music again and when you stop have the person who ended up with the shoe do a different action.  If it was the same person as the first round, they must now do both actions before they can pass the shoe. Here are some examples of actions. Yell ‘I HAVE THE SHOE’ Give everyone in your group a high five. Sing “It’s fun to sing at the Y.M.C.A. while doing the actions. Do the chicken dance Do the Macarena Blow Kisses to everyone in your group Skip around the group once Say two words that rhyme. Do the entire head, shoulders, knees, and toes Flex like a professional body builder (must do different flex each time) Usually this is enough actions.  Keep a look out for people who have several actions and those that think it is a little too funny and be sure ‘accidentally’ stop the music on them.

Ships & Sailors

This youth group game is great for larger groups and does well in a bigger room or outdoors in the grass.  It is a pretty simple game, and when done with a quick explanation seems to do great!  It is something the youth from retreats and camps that I have been a part in have always remembered and wanted to do again. The game is an elimination game that cuts people out slowly until you are down to one or two people.  The leader will shout a command and everyone will follow that command.  Each time a command is shouted more people will be eliminated based on their speed or in some cases their cooperation in groups.  Will do my best to write the directions out as I you were saying them out loud so you can read word for word when saying them to a large group. Ships – When I say ships, everyone runs to the this side of the room (point to one side of the room).  The last one there is out. Sailors – When I say sailors, everyone runs to the other side of the room.  The last one there is out. Hit The Deck – When I say Hit The Deck, everyone must get down on the ground as low as they can go.  The last one down is out. Man Overboard – When I say Man Overboard, everyone will find a partner.  One person will get on their hands and knees and act as a ship, the other will put one foot on top of them and look out in to the sea.  The last group or anyone who does not find a partner is out. Three Men Rowing – When I shout Three Men Rowing, you will find a group of three.  All three will sit behind each other and row in their boat. The last group or anyone who does not find a team of three is out. Four Men Eating – When I shout Four Men Eating, you will find a group of four.  All four will sit like they are at a table and pretend they are eating a meal.  The last group or anyone who does not find a group of four is out. Five Men Pointing North – When I should Five Men Pointing North, you will find a group of five.  All five will gather close together and point north.  The last group or anyone who does not find a group of five is out. You play down to one person and that person is the winner. Leaders Tip – You will want to do number games to eliminate people so you do not have to worry about the ‘last’ group.  Meaning if you just did Five Men Pointing North and have 20 people left, do something like Three Men Rowing next because there will be an odd man out.  Be sure to keep things moving and act quickly after you eliminate people.  The quicker the games the more fun they are.  When you are down to two people, really use the ships, sailors, or hit the deck to eliminate the last person.  Also the cues ‘ships’ and ‘sailors’  are great transitions in between the other cues.  It splits up groups (alliances) and keep their blood flowing.  You do not have to eliminate someone each time you say ships and sailors, you can just make them run around a bit also and then say one of the other cues. Enjoy!
  Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash
 

Search and Find Your Small Group Activity

This is a great way to get people to find their small groups. This was used for a Freshman Catholic School retreat and thought I would share it. Make the groups certain categories like: Food, Movies, Places in (your state), etc… Keep the categories very general. Then make a sticky note for each person and put something on the sticky note that would fall in the category of their small group. Every person should have something different on their back, but by asking yes or no questions to their peers they will soon find out what group they belong in. Have the small group leaders stand on one end of the room. The people must find as many members of their small group that they can, go to their small group leader and ask if they are the leader for their category. Soon all of the small groups will be figured out. It takes a little bit of prep beforehand, but is a great way to get everyone moving around before they chat in small groups.

Screaming Toes

You will need at least 5 people to play.  If you have more than 25 people, it may be good to split them in to two groups. First have everyone shake each others hand and introduce themselves to each other. Then have everyone stand in a circle. Directions: Everyone will look down at their feet. When the leader yells “SCREAMING TOES” everyone will look up and look at one other person.  They should have this person in mind before the leader yells "SCREAMING TOES".   If the person they are looking at is not looking at them, then they say nothing. If the person they are looking at is looking at them also, then the first person to yell the first name of the other person wins and the other person is out. Play until you are down to two people and both of those people are the winners.

Pterodactyl Game

This is fairly new game that has made it’s way into the youth ministry world.  The kids introduced it to me.  It is sure to lighten people up, embarrass some, but most of have a ton of fun. Ideal Number of People 2-20 How It Works To begin, everyone will stand or sit in a circle.  Everyone must make a face where their lips cover their teeth.  If you show your teeth, you are out. One person will start and they are it.  They have the option either say Pterodactyl or make a sound like a Pterodactyl to one of the people on either side of them.  If they say Pterodactyl, the action continues in a similar direction.  If they make the sound, then it reverses the order. Quick example: Person one says “Pterodactyl,” then person two is it, person two says Pterodactyl so person three is it, person three makes the sound of a Pterodactyl so person two is now it again. Who Wins the Game? If you show your teeth you are out and if you act out of turn you are out.  Play until there is one person left. I’m a Youth Minister, I want the advantage… Be very creative and do things out of the ordinary.  Be the loudest and the craziest.  If it seems like there is a constant timing, respond really fast.

Psychiatrist – Game

Materials Needed – None Size of Group – Could have anywhere from 5 to 50! This is one my favorites to use with new groups or as an icebreaker for large groups.  It is easy to explain, allows for some creativity in the group, and allows kids to chat and bond as a group through it out. Have everyone sit in a circle and have one or two people leave the room.  They will be the psychiatrists.  They must figure diagnose the problem(s) of the group by asking yes or no questions.  Some problems may have several parts and they must figure all of them out. When the psychiatrists leave the room, you must come up with a problem for them to solve.  You, as the leader, can have one or two ready to make it easier or you can have the group decide.  It can be absolutely anything.  The one thing to be cautious of is whether or not it is too difficult for the psychiatrist to figure out.  Once everyone in the group understands what to do, you can have the psychiatrists come back in and try to diagnose the problem. Here are a couple examples that have worked well in the past: Every time the psychiatrist asks a question, everyone either crosses or uncrosses their legs. Anyone who is sitting to the right of a female has a constant itch in their left arm. We have also done chains of events.  Like when the psychiatrist looks at a specific person, that person stands up.  After that person stands up another person claps twice.  After the 2nd person claps twice, everyone shouts ‘WOOO!’

Poop the Potato

I can’t believe it has taken this long for me to find this game.  Grab some potatoes and some buckets and you are good to go!  Divide your youth into groups or run it individually.  The person takes a potato, puts it between their legs, takes the potato to the bucket and drops it.  If they drop the potato anywhere else on accident, they must go back to the beginning and try again.  The person or team with the most potatoes in the buckets after a set amount of time wins!    

Pin Guard

I am coming to the realization that the game that our youth group played more than anything is not well known by other youth leaders.  Luckily I have a platform to tell the world about it.  So here it is! Pin Guard = Dodge ball With Pins It really is that simple.  If you know how to play dodge ball, Pin Guard is the exact same game except that you can either win by getting everyone on the other team out of the game (like Dodge ball) or by knocking down the all of the other teams pins. We typically played in the gym and would place three pins along the back line of the basketball court, one on each corner and one in the middle. How Do You Play Dodge Ball? I feel sorry for those who may be asking this question (I love Dodge ball).  So I did a little research and found a great quick YouTube video for you to watch here!  

Pictionary Telephone Tag

Materials Needed – Lots of quarter sheets of scratch paper, pens/markers, chairs (optional) and a few volunteer helpers and printed download (available below). This has been one of my favorite youth group games to play.  It is a quiet game that draws great competition and requires team work.  The game is basically a mix of the three games mentioned in the title. Directions We use chairs that you can straddle while sitting on them.  For ease of explanation I will use 10 youth and 4 volunteers as the example.  You can adjust depending on your numbers.  For 10 youth, I would break the group in to two teams of five.  Have each team sit in a line in the chairs behind each other.  The game requires youth to write invisibly on each other’s back. What will happen is the person in the back will be given a sheet with a number of pictures.  That will person will draw the pictures one at a time on the persons back in front of them.  That person will attempt to draw the same picture on the next person until it makes it’s way to the front.  The front person will have a pen and tons of scratch paper and will attempt to draw the original picture.  They will show each attempt to a volunteer in the front.  The volunteer will check off the pictures one at a time as they are done. Each picture has a number and the volunteer in the front can communicate with the person in the back when each picture is completed.  Otherwise, there is no talking allowed.  The game is played until one team gets all of the pictures checked off. Hint(s) Be very strict with the no talking rule.  In my experience when teams start talking and anyone starts cheating in any way, it can ruin the game pretty quickly.  If the game takes too long (which is possible) then give them an amount of time they have left and the one with the most at the end of the time wins. Lastly, be sure to have plenty of extra scratch paper and pens.  The game moves pretty quick once it gets started. Materials Of course we will not give you instructions to a game like this without providing you with great printable resources to help with it.  The printout includes the sheet with eight pictures for the person in the back and score sheets for the volunteer in the front.   It is sometimes helpful to have the sheet in the back cut up so they can throw away the pictures they have done. I've included two versions of the games so it can be played twice!  The second one is a bit more difficult. Enjoy! Pictionary Tag - Game 2.pdf Pictionary Tag - Game 1.pdf

Ninja Game

You may have seen this game before and not really understood what was going on.  The game is called Ninja.  It is an extremely easy game to figure out and explain but can take a lifetime to master.  Youth Ministers like it simply because they will play and analyze it more than anyone else, ensuring that they could beat any youngster up for the challenge. Here are the instructions: Size of Group:  You can play two people but I would recommend starting with at least four.  If you have more than 20 people, it may be good to split them in to small groups of ten. Goal of the game:  To hit/touch someone else’s hand with your hand.  This eliminates them from the game. Directions:  Have everyone stand in a circle, take a bow (like on the Karate Kid), and strike a pose like a Ninja.  One person will move at a time and you will go in clock-wise motion.  Basically the person whose turn it is will try to touch/hit the hand of another person with their hand with ONE motion.  The person they are trying to attack can make ONE motion to move out of the way.  Both people stay where the end of their motion ends and are frozen until it is either their turn again or they are attacked. How to Win:  You play until one person is left in the game and they are declared the winner. Things to Know: You always go after the person who started to your right at the beginning of the game.  The circle will eventually collapse and people may get out of order.  Always remember who you go after. If someone goes out of turn, have them return to where they were. Can set a rule that your hands must visible (recommended) A role, jump, or spin is considered one motion. Once your youth start to understand the strategy to this game it can become extremely competitive.  It is a great game that most enjoy (especially the volunteers!)
 

Mafia

Mafia is a common game that has been used and known by just about any group I have been around.  It is a great starter game for groups of about 8-15.  If you have more and a lot of time, it works also.  Otherwise you can break in to more than one game.  We mentioned Mafia in our post on the game of Wink and in our top games as part of our starting a youth group from scratch series. Mafia is a killing game, so if you are against that.  Please check out our Wink game instead or you can be creative and change roles/stories in this game.  I will start by telling you how we typically play it, go through some pointers, and some substitutes you can use as well. Rules Start with everyone in a circle, spread out a bit if you can.  You will need a deck of cards and will have ready the following: 1 Ace for every 8 people 1 King 1 Queen 1 Jack (optional) Random numbered cards for the remaining number of people The role of each person will be given to them by the card that they receive.  The roles are assigned as: Ace = Mafia Mafia are the enemy.  It is everyone against the Mafia.  It is the Mafia’s role to try and kill everyone in the town before they are killed. King = Sheriff The Sheriff has a special role of being able to find out if certain people are the Mafia or not.  They can use this information in discussion to put the Mafia to death.  The role is important and should be protected.  They can pick one person each round, finding out if that person is Mafia or not.  They are to help the townspeople find and kill the Mafia. Queen = Medic The Medic has a special role of being able to save one person each round.  They can save themselves and protect their position or they can choose to save someone else if they know they are in harms way.  If the Mafia happens to kill the person that the Medic chooses to save in the same round, that person is saved for that round. Jack = The Village Idiot Again, this position is optional.  The village idiot is simply someone everyone laughs at.  They have no official role and no special privileges during the game. Numbered Card = Townsperson Townspeople are general people that have no other special role than their voting power.  They should strive to protect the valuable assets of the sheriff and medic if possible and work together to defeat the Mafia. The game actually work very easily. There will be one moderator that is not playing the game, but pushing the game along. The moderator will pass out the cards to everyone, giving them their role.  Make sure they do not share their card or role with anyone else.  You can collect the cards or have them put them away. Have everyone go to sleep (close their eyes and put their heads down). Have the Mafia wake up (open eyes and put head up).  The Mafia will choose someone to kill.  If there is more than one Mafia, they must agree on one person.  Once they choose someone, have them go back to sleep. Have the Sheriff wake up.  The Sheriff will point to someone that they would like to know if they are Mafia or not.  The moderator will nod yes or no, letting them know if the person is Mafia or not.  Have the Sheriff go back to sleep. Have the Medic wake up. The Medic will choose someone they would like to save.  They point at someone and the moderator will acknowledge them.  They moderator will not tell them whether or not the person they chose was killed until later.  Have the medic go back to sleep. Have the Village Idiot wake up. When the village idiot wakes up, everyone laughs in their sleep.  Have the village idiot go back to sleep. Now that you have gathered all of the information, the whole town can wake up.  If the person that was killed was saved by the Medic, tell them there was an attempted homicide.  It is up to the moderator if they want people to know who it was on.  If the person was not saved, then they are dead and out of the game.  A good moderator makes up a quick story of how the person was killed by the Mafia. Now is the fun part.  The town must meet (including the Mafia because no one knows who the Mafia is) and decide someone in the town to accuse as the killer and have them killed as well.  So it is a simple process. There is an accusation – Someone accuses one person that they think it is. The accuser says why they think the accused is the Mafia There is a second accusation – No explanation is needed The person who is being accused gives their defense. The town votes.  A majority rules and the person is killed if the majority raise their hand. If the majority does not vote for the accused, then they are safe the rest of that round. Go until someone is put to death or no one gets put to death (hardly ever happens) Then start all over with the townspeople going to sleep. The game is played until all Mafia are dead or the Mafia can no longer be voted out because of numbers. Pointers In my experience it is best to keep the game moving quickly.  Get the routine down and your head and push it along, but still allowing time for discussion.  It is pretty easy to cheat in the game and people who play it a lot tend to get bored and cheat more.  The game is most fun when you have people who know how fun it is to discuss and trick other people and the mind games go crazy. Experiment with numbers of Mafia, Sheriffs, and Medic’s.  Depending on the size of the group, you will find that some numbers work much better than others. For younger youth, those who are killed early in the game can ruin the game.  Pull out the duct tape and tape their mouths shut (don’t do that, I think it would break your Diocesan Safe Environment policies).  Seriously though, find a way to keep them entertained.  At least have an extra adult around to ask them to stop talking if they are giving information away. Substitutes You do not need cards.  You can walk around the circle and pick a mafia, then say you are picking a sheriff and tap someone on the head, etc.  Do not leave this game out because your church budget does not call for a deck of cards! You can play with a ton of people and make it a large game.  Just be sure there is something for those who are killed early to do. The more people you have the more Mafia you can include and have extra Sheriffs and Medics.  You can also choose to kill two people at a time from the town if needed. Make the game your own and have a great time! Enjoy!

Live Mafia

A twist on the classic Mafia! Make sure you check that one out first so you have at least a small understanding of the rules.  How the game works: Pick a few teens to be "mafia" members. This is done secretly, either having everyone close there eyes and hold out their hands, or by giving out cards and having the face cards be the mafia. Usually I do about 1 mafia for every 5 regulars. The game is played in rounds until all mafia members are eliminated or the mafia win.  Each round goes as follows: All lights in the area are turned off (youth minister and adult core team can have flashlights and walk around) and the youth are free to walk around the area. It needs to be as dark as possible for it to work well. Mafia members can eliminate townspeople at any time by walking up and lightly touching someone's neck. THERE IS NO RUNNING ALLOWED. Townspeople can't run away from the mafia or purposely try to give away who the mafia is. Once eliminated, townspeople have to lie down and "play dead".  When a townsperson finds a "dead" townsperson, they yell "PINEAPPLE" (because we don't want people to be screaming "Dead Body"). When PINEAPPLE is yelled, the round ends immediately and the lights are thrown on.  After the round ends, the townspeople gather for a town meeting. Everyone who has been eliminated gathers nearby, but they cannot speak AT ALL. The townspeople (with the mafia still pretending to be townspeople, then get a chance to try and vote off people who they believe to be mafia members. This is a game of deception and stealth. Mafia members are trying not to be spotted when they eliminate people, and they can even be the ones to find a "dead body" and yell pineapple. Townspeople try to hide, not get killed, and reason out who they think the mafia are.  Suggestions: This game works best in areas where you have multiple rooms (No closed doors for liability/protecting God's Children Reasons). Make sure there are core members around looking out for people. Also, if PINEAPPLE isn't called, it's best to set time limits. I've heard of people playing with a doctor and sheriff like the original mafia but I've never done it and am not quite sure how it work. Let me know if you have any questions!  

Jonah Soucy

Jonah Soucy

 

Lights out Marco Polo

A game that we had great success with, was a dry version of marco polo, but it needs to be played at night. You can create an arena using tables turned on their side (this also helps with safety). Then you pick who starts as "it" turn off the lights & play like you were in the pool. When someone is tagged, they , as well as the one searching, say out loud "FREEZE". At this point you turn on the lights. No one is allowed to move again until the lights go back out. Its easy, free & the Teens loved it.
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