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Found 13 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

    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
  3. Eric Gallagher

    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!
  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

    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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Eric Gallagher

    Buzz

    You should split up into groups of 3-6 people. You can have more than six, but not seven people. This game is unique in that the group(s) will work together to win. The goal of the game is to count to 50. One person starts by saying “1.” The next person continues with “2.” You go around the circle until you get to 50. The tricky part is that there are a couple of rules to follow. Anytime a person gets to a number that is a multiple of 7 or contains the number 7 (7, 14, 17, 21, 27, 28, 35, 37, 42, 47, 49) they must say BUZZ instead of the number. No one can help another person out or talk, unless it is their turn and they get one answer. If the person says the wrong number or answer, the group must start over. You can play with more than one group and make it so the first group that gets to 50 wins or play with one group and anytime someone messes up they are out. Make it even harder If that is easy enough for them, play BUZZ-FIZZ: Keep the Buzz game going as above, but add FIZZ each time a multiple of 5 or a number with a 5 in it is said (Tricky one is 35 when you must say Buzz-Fizz).
  12. 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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