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Found 15 results

  1. Eric Gallagher

    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!’
  2. Eric Gallagher

    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!)
  3. Eric Gallagher

    Honey If You Love Me

    This youth group game is a great icebreaker. It gets kids to move around a bit and definitely brings out personalities a bit. You need no materials and you can sit or stand. The game is simple. There is one or two people in the middle (depending on the size of the group) and that person must try to get out of the middle. They go up to a person in the circle and say: "HONEY, IF YOU LOVE ME, WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE SMILE?" The person in the circle will respond: "YES HONEY I LOVE YOU, BUT I JUST CAN’T SMILE. YES HONEY I LOVE YOU BUT I JUST CAN’T SMILE." If the person responding smiles at all they take the place of the person in the middle. If they are able to say the phrase without smiling then the person in the middle must move on to someone else. There is one main rule and that is that the person in middle can not touch the person they are trying to get to smile. Other appropriate actions or accents are allowed. Enjoy!
  4. 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 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!
  5. Eric Gallagher

    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.
  6. Eric Gallagher

    Bunny Bunny Toki Toki

    I was in a meeting this past summer at one of summer missionary training times and heard a crazy game going on outside. When I walked out and watched them, they were playing this game. Before I even give the instructions, the reason I love this game is because there is so much energy that comes from it. The Motions First I will teach you the motions that are required for the game. Bunny – Make your hand into a duckbill (thumb touching four fingers). When making this action you will say Bunny four times. The first two times you will have the duckbill facing your own face. The second two times you will point the duckbill at another person. Hoki Toki (means rabbit in Korean) – Wave your arms while saying Toki (four times) Game Instructions Have everyone stand in a circle (as per 95% of youth ministry games). Explain to them the motions. The game will start with everyone doing the Koom Cha. One person will start by doing the “Bunny” sign and passing it on to another person, then that person continues by doing it and passing it on the next person. Whenever someone is doing the “Bunny” sign, the two people beside them can try to mess them up by doing the “Toki” sign (see video). Who Wins? You can play it a couple different ways. Whenever someone messes up the bunny action they are out (less fun version) Whenever someone messes up the bunny action they have to run around the circle one time saying “Dink N’ Farkle” repeatedly in rhythm while holding one of their thumbs to their forehead with the rest of their fingers in the air. If the group is really good at it, you can make it harder simply by speeding it up. Video Demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOFzZhh4Xl0 Enjoy!
  7. Eric Gallagher

    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.
  8. Eric Gallagher

    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.
  9. Eric Gallagher

    Brain Fry

    This is one of the weirdest/craziest youth ministry games that requires no set up, no supplies, and typically 5-20 people. The more people the better I think. Everyone sits in a circle and everyone works as a team to stack as many "layers of chaos" as they can and can handle before your brains are fried. So what is a layer of chaos? One person will be the leader for the group. They will begin and end each layer, keeping track of how the group is doing. Starting the first layer. To begin the first layer, the leader will decide on a topic (we will use foods as an example). They will say a topic and point to another person passing the baton to them with that topic. Then that person points at another person saying their food. It goes around until everyone has went once. The last person will go back to the leader. This will be the standard order for round one. So for the food level you should remember who you receive from and who you pass to. Practice this a couple of times as a group and then you are ready to move on to round two. For round two the leader should pick a different category and a different start person. Go through and practice round two. Ideally, everyone will receive from and pass to a different person than round one. After you have practiced just round two you are ready for the chaos. The leader will begin both rounds so they start again with round one by saying their food to the person who they said it to in round one, once that person receives level one, the leader will pass the level two category to the appropriate person. The group will pass through both levels at the same time. Once the leader has received both levels the group moves on to adding a third level. Typically you will do this until the leader has chosen every person in the circle to start with or until someone’s brain is fried and they just can not do it any longer. Good luck. We have seen groups get up to 14-16 levels at one time. See if you can do more!
  10. Eric Gallagher

    Categories

    his Catholic youth ministry game is very simple, requires just a little prep, but can be done several times. Materials Needed – Notecards Have everyone site in a circle or in a line. What you will do is you will have cards pre-made that have a category and one answer to that category on it. Starting with one person they have to name something from that category in five seconds or less. There are three ways they can get out: Say something that someone else has said Not be able to come up with something in five seconds or less They say the answer on the card You have one answer on the card because the kids think it’s crazy when the first person gets out. Play until you are down to one player. Example To Use States in the U.S. Church Staff Member Names Holidays Positions in Football (or any sport) Youth Group Family Member Names Letters in the Alphabet U.S. Presidents Priests in the Diocese or Past Parish Priests Gifts or Fruits of the Holy Spirit Past Youth Group Games Enjoy!
  11. 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 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!
  12. Eric Gallagher

    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.
  13. Eric Gallagher

    Boppity Bop Bop Bop

    A great game for any size group. Typical ‘circle’ game where the person in the middle tries to get out. Comes with several different options. Easily create more of your own also! This game can be played with as little as 5 people and still be a ton of fun. It is a typical circle game where everyone is standing in a circle and there is one person in the middle. The person in the middle tries to get out of the middle. It is good to start the game off with the first two basic rules. When the person in the middle goes up to someone they have the option of saying one of two things. They can either say ‘BOP’ or ‘BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP.’ If they say ‘BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP,’ the person they are saying it to must say ‘BOP’ before they finish or they take the persons place in the middle. If the person in the middle just says ‘BOP,’ the person they are saying it to must not say anything or they are in the middle. You can play with these rules for a little while then add more. The rest of the rules are still said to one person, but there are also responses for those standing next to that person, so each rule includes three people. Add these in one at a time. As they get used to the new one add another, letting them use any of the previous ones also. Basically the one person who messes up their action the most (if anyone), must go into the middle. Add-In's If the person in the middle says: Jello (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to wiggles their whole body like jello and the two people beside them make a bowl around the jello with their arms. If the person in the middle says: Disco (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to makes a disco movement and the two people beside them make flashing lights with their hands. If the person in the middle says: Cow (then quickly counts to 10), the person the are talking to crosses their fingers with their thumbs pointing down (making utters) and the two people beside them grab an utter and "milk the cow". If the person in the middles says: Pirate (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to points up and yells "Arrrr" and the two people beside them make rowing motions outside of the boat.
  14. Eric Gallagher

    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!
  15. Eric Gallagher

    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.
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