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Found 20 results

  1. Eric Gallagher

    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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Eric Gallagher

    Blind Dodgeball

    In leading 100’s of games over about 16 years this has been one of the favorites. Materials Needed blindfolds a marked off area (either a square in a gym or made with cones) dodge balls (softer is better) Setup Set up the boundaries. Have each person find a partner. One of them will be blindfolded and the other will not. Place a good number balls scattered around within the boundary. The blindfolded person will be in the boundary area and their teammate will be on the outside. To start, no one should be holding any balls and it works well to move the person around a bit so they don’t know exactly where they are at or which way they are facing when the game starts. Game Play When the leader says “GO” the teammates on the outside of the play area will guide their teammates to grab a ball and throw it at the other within in the play area. When a person gets hit by a ball or goes outside of the boundary, they are out. Play until only one person is remaining. I found many versions of this on YouTube. I’ve included a video I found of the version we played below.
  5. Calvin Hammond

    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.
  6. Eric Gallagher

    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!
  7. 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.
  8. Eric Gallagher

    Hula Circle Pass

    Found another quick and easy youth ministry game on YouTube. The directions are very simple. Find a hula hoop or something like it. Have a group of youth join hands. When you say go, they have to pass the hula hoop around the entire circle without letting go. Watch the video for a good example of it!
  9. Eric Gallagher

    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!
  10. Eric Gallagher

    Banana Pass

    This is pretty clever youth ministry icebreaker that I found while searching YouTube for some ideas. Instructions Have two or more teams. Have them lie down on their backs in a long line (one persons head at the other persons feet). The person at the front starts with a banana in between their feet and must lift their legs up to pass it on to the next persons feet. The first team to get the banana all the way back to the end of their line wins! Here's an example I found on YouTube.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric Gallagher

    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.
  13. Eric Gallagher

    Larry, Curly, & Moe Game

    This is a youth ministry game that we started playing about two years ago and is always a great game because it is quick to put together, the supplies are minimal and it is extremely competitive and engaging. The Ideal Setting This game works if you have anywhere from 12-99 people. Those may seem like random numbers to you, but the trick is that people are in teams of three. So as long as you have a dividend of three you are good, but the more teams you have to more crazy it gets. Game Set-Up (image below) You will set-up a circle game area using cones, tape, or maybe the center of a basketball court. Then you will have all of the groups line up outside of the circle and have the three people in each group form a line. Then you will have random objects (or just small balls) in the middle of the circle. How The Game is Played Each person on each team will be given a name. The first person is named Larry, the second is Curly, and the third is Moe. The person leading the game will say one of those three names. Whichever person has their name called will run around the circle, around all of the other teams, until they get back to their team. Then they will go under the legs of their two teammates and rush to the center to grab one of the objects in the middle. There will be less objects in the middle than the number of teams and the teams that do not get an object are out of the game. You play until you are down to one team. Miscellaneous Stuff Be sure to state that teams can not “back-up” to slow the other teams down. As you get fewer teams, have the spread out evenly across the circle. A good strategy is to have the two members get really close so that is it easier to get through their legs. Usually better if you can have gender separated teams. Have fun and trick people by saying one of the names leisurely instead of shouting it out. Image of play
  14. Eric Gallagher

    Lifesaver Pass

    This youth ministry game is a favorite and very simple. Buy some lifesavers and toothpicks. All of the youth are given a toothpick and put in to teams with even numbers and each team is given a lifesaver. Have all of the teams stand in a line. When the youth leader says go, the youth will pass the lifesaver to each other using only the toothpick in their mouth. If the lifesaver is dropped, the group must start over from the beginning of the line. The first team to pass it to all of their members without dropping it wins. If teams have more people than another, have some people do it twice to balance it out.
  15. 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!
  16. Eric Gallagher

    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
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. Eric Gallagher

    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.
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