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Youth Ministry Games

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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 b

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

 

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 on

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Towel Throw

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 t

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Throw Down 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 c

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

This is So Much Fun

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 eac

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

The Toilet Paper Game

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 a

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

The Shoe Game

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Tape Head Game

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 w

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Stack-O-Cups Relay

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 go

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

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 ga

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Shoe Game

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Ships & Sailors

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.  Eac

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

 

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Screaming Toes

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Pterodactyl Game

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Psychiatrist – Game

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 pr

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Poop the Potato

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!    

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Pin Guard

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.

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Pictionary Telephone Tag

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

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Ninja Game

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 ha

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

 

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 cre

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Live Mafia

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

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

Calvin Hammond

Calvin Hammond

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