Have students go around the circle with each describing the youth group or the church with a positive word starting with the next letter of the alphabet.
Starting with “A” each student adds one word beginning with the next letter to tell a cohesive story.
Have students pair up and place a balloon between the same parts of their body (back to back, knee to knee, etc.) and squeeze together until the balloon pops. They then find a new partner and use a different body part than either has used before. Play as many rounds as you feel necessary.
Give each team a blanket and have them carry someone from their team on the blanket over their heads to a line on the other side of the room or field and then back again. The first team to carry all of their members down and back again wins.
A variation would be dragging the blanket on the ground with someone on it. Teams could drag as many people at once as they can, just as long as all members are dragged once.
Blindfold and place gloves on one person. Have everyone else gather in a circle around them and rotate around the person in the middle. When the “blind” person says stop, the others stand still. The “blind” person then feels the face of whoever is right in front of them and tries to identify them. The person standing in front of them can stand taller or shorter to disguise who they are. The person in front is then the new “blind” person.
Chinese Fire Drill
Call “red light” and everyone has to get up and run around the room until you call “green light”. Then they have to sit in whatever seat is closest to them.
Make a clue hunt from one room to another within the church or outside. End at the location of the next activity.
Construction Paper Stand
Have students pair up with the person furthest from them. Give them a piece of paper and tell them that they both must stand fully on the paper without touching each other.
Sit on a couch and say, “I’ve always wondered how many people can fit on this couch.” Then call someone’s name and have them sit on the couch with you. They then call the next person, etc. until everyone is on the couch. Then say, “So that’s how many will fit. Thanks!”
Have students pair up and tell each other one good thing that happened to them today. Then call out two body parts and have them connect one on one person to the other on the other person.
Elbow to elbow
Hand to neck
Knee to knee
Now have them find a new partner and tell each other what they like to do on a Saturday morning.
Ankle to ankle
Back to side
Toe to toe
Forehead to forehead
Crack the Whip
Students line up, each holding the shoulders of the person in front of them. The first person begins running, changing direction periodically. The goal for everyone else is to simply stay connected. After a minute, the first person goes to the back and the second person in line leads the group.
Tell the students you have a crime for them to solve. You are the witness. They can ask you yes or no questions. If the question they ask ends in a vowel, y, or s, you say yes. If it ends in any other consonant, you say no. See what kind of story they come up with from your answers.
Diving for Dollars
Have two preteens compete for a dollar bill placed in a plastic bag at the bottom of a wading pool filled with ice. Preteens must keep their hands behind their backs and use only their teeth to retrieve the prize.
Do You Know Your Neighbor?
Have student pair up and ask each other what their favorite for each thing is
Band or singer
Now have them sit back to back and ask, “What is your partner’s eye color? Color of shirt? Color of shoes?”
Duck, Duck, Goose
For a silly throw-back
Pass out all cards to the group. The person with the two of diamonds lays their card in the middle, then the three of diamonds, up through the suit. When the ace of diamonds is down, go to the clubs, hearts, and spades. The goal is simply to get all cards down as fast as possible.
Five-Minute Mysteries - book
Students sit in a circle. Each student makes a funny face and shows it to the person next to them. That person then has to imitate that face and pass it on until each person receives the imitation of their funny face back to them. To keep where you are in the game clear, students could say, “Person A just made a face like this” and then imitate it.
Show the group a picture and have them each write or think up a short story based on it. They then share the stories.
End with a word related to your Bible study.
High and Low
Have each student tell the best thing and the worst thing that happened to them during the past week. May be used as a lead in to prayer.
Tell students to pair up with the student furthest from where they are sitting. Have them tell each other what they liked best about the youth meeting, one thing they can remember about the lesson, and what they could tell a friend to invite them to youth group.
Students rush to people who look like them and slap high five when they meet.
Same color hair
Same color eyes
Same color shoelaces
Same color shirt
Form a circle with one person in the middle. Middle points to someone. That person must say, “muk” without smiling or laughing. If they laugh, they are in the middle. If they don’t laugh, Middle points to someone else and they must say, “Muk, muk”. Keep adding on until someone laughs.
Get a big shirt. Two students stick their through. Announce that scientists have found a strange two-headed monster. Audience is the press. Press asks questions of monster. Monster must alternate between heads when answering.
Pass out some M&Ms and go around the circle, each person sharing one thing per color of M&M.
Blue = School
Orange = Family
Red = Extra-curricular
Yellow = Hobbies
Brown = Something bad
Green = Wild
Name Game – Students and leaders sit a big circle. Leader starts by saying their name and something they like to do, while miming the interest. The next person must repeat the first person’s name and interest, while acting it out, then give their information. Game continues until all persons have shared and the leader correctly repeats all the information.
Give each student a card with a name on it that has something to do with another name card. One card might say “Hansel” and another “Gretel”. You might use three names that are related to each other, such as “Harry”, “Ron”, and “Hermione”, or four, such as the Gospel writers. Use the number of names related to each other to set up teams for the next game. You could write clues on the card, such as, “You’re looking for two other people,” or “You’re looking for your sister.”
Students try hold each pose the longest.
Standing on one foot
Holding arms straight up in the air
Standing on tiptoes
One Goes with the Other
Each student thinks of an object and writes it down. Starting with a random person in the circle, have them name their object. The person next to them then must say what their object was and how their object might have something to do with the first. The next person continues, each saying what their object has to do with the previous one.
Divide students into three groups. The first claps in rhythm. The second stomps percussion on the floor double time. The third sings a familiar song. Conduct the orchestra to vary their volume or tempo.
Have students pair up, sit cross-legged on the floor across from each other and help each other stand without putting their hands or arms on the floor. When they are standing, tell them to bow and give each other a “fortune cookie” blessing.
Over the Net
Divide students into teams and have them work together to get one team member over a volleyball net without that person touching the net and without talking.
Give each student three pennies as they enter. At start tell students they have five minutes to learn as many names as possible. It will be financially beneficial for them to remember names. Later, play again. This time, if they remember the name of the person they met before, they receive a penny from that person. If they can’t remember their name, they give them a penny.
Students sit in a circle. The first person says their name and announces that they are going to bring an item to our picnic that starts with the first letter of their name. The next person does the same, but also must remember the previous person’s information. The game continues in like manner until it goes around the circle and the first person recites all of it.
Make an obstacle course. Divide into teams. Each team wraps one member in masking tape, sticky side out. They then blow up a bag of balloons and stick them onto the person. The person runs the relay race. The team with the most balloons still on the person at the end of the course wins.
Students write their name and their prayer requests on a piece of paper. Then they fold the paper into paper airplanes and throw them around for a little while. Then everyone picks up a plane that isn’t their own, unfolds it, and prays for whoever’s plane they have.
Pushed and Pulled
Students link arms in a row. In the middle of the line, one students faces backward. The goal of that one student is to direct the line, pushing and pulling them to where he/she wants to go. It’s hard to go against the flow. So help each other by being positive examples for each other. Don’t tempt each other.
Have teams compete to form the tallest human pyramid
Point to one person and have them snap their fingers. They then point to someone else and they start. Continue until everyone is snapping. Then point to someone and have them clap. When this gets around the circle, point to someone and have them slap their thighs. Now have someone flip the lights on and off. Then pull out a water gun and squirt everyone to add the rain.
Have a student scream your announcements. Get students to volunteer for this.
Have students stand in a circle marked with a hula hoop or tape on the floor, each with their arms folded across their chest. They then try to shoulder others out of the circle. If someone steps out of the circle, falls, or unfolds their arms, they’re out. Those who are out sit on the outside of the circle, facing in.
Talk about how we need to be careful not to shoulder people out of our group, but make them feel welcome.
The last person in the group then grabs the hand of someone else and pulls them back into the circle. That person pulls someone else in, etc. until everyone is back in.
Have two leaders compete to see who can stick to the wall the longest. Use duct tape to secure them with their feet off the floor.
Place a t-shirt on the floor. Students then try to fit as many people on the t-shirt as possible so that no one is touching the floor.
Toilet Paper Sharing
Tell students to tear off as many squares as they would normally use. Then, go around the circle, sharing one thing about themselves, their week, etc. for each square that they took.
Get a chest to keep youth group memories in. After every event, have students vote on something to keep as a memento. Put that memento in the treasure chest and review the contents every New Year’s Eve as you empty it for the New Year.
Try Not to Yawn
Have one student start yawning and stretching. The last person to yawn wins.
Students take turns thinking of a word as others ask yes or no questions to guess what it is. End by thinking of a word that deals with your Bible study topic.
Two Truths and a Lie
Everyone writes two statements about themselves that are true and one statement about themselves that is false, in any particular order, on a notecard. The facilitator of the game then reads the statements and everyone has to guess who wrote the statements and which of the statements is false.
What are the Rules?
Students find a partner and decide who will be the first talker and who will be the first listener. Give listeners one of four pieces of paper, without letting the talker see it, with these rules: “Don’t use the word, ‘I’”, “Don’t move your hands”, “Don’t move your feet.” “Don’t look away from the person you’re talking to.” Listeners will buzz their talker whenever they break the rule. Talkers try to guess what the rule is.
Who Am I?
Paste names or character cards on each student’s back. They then ask questions to find out who is on their back. Use cartoon characters, superheroes, or Bible characters.
One student chooses another to describe without that person knowing ahead of time. Everyone tries to guess who the person is describing. The person who guesses correctly gets to describe next.
Have students write down on a piece of paper their
Sports or hobbies
Students then pass them in and the leader redistributes them. Students then read the paper they’ve been given and try to guess which person it describes.