Monday, August 13, 2012

Senior High Youth Group Games


Alphabet Backwards

Have a contest to see who can write the alphabet backwards and correctly the fastest.

Balloon Relay

hit the balloon down and back with your hand.

kick the balloon down and back with your feet

head-butt the balloon down and back

blow the balloon down and back

hold both between your and someone else’s forehead down and back

hold it between your legs and hop down and back

run it down and pop it

Bean Bag Toss

Divide students into two teams and give them an even number of bean bags. Hold up two hula hoops. When you say go, teams try to throw the beanbags through the hoops. Each bag through is a point for that team. Play as many rounds as you want.

Eat It

Various objects are hidden in a brown paper bag. Two contestants, one from each team comes up. They brag about how fast they can eat what’s in the bag. Finally one of them tells the other to “eat it”. The person eating gets a point for their team if they do eat it. The other team gets a point if they can’t eat it in the time limit.

Group Impressions

Divide into two teams. Teams face each other. Call out scenes (Teens at a rock concert, watching a scary movie, getting food poisoning, getting hit with laughing gas, etc.). Teams have ten seconds to act out the scene. Best acting gets a point.

Group Karaoke

Students pick a song together. The goal is for them to sing the song, one word at a time, switching singers into the microphone, so that there are no missed words.

Foot Volleyball

Divide into two teams. Place a net or some sort of barrier between the two teams (lining up chairs would work). Students must crabwalk, kicking a balloon back and forth over the net. If the balloon hits the ground, the other team gets a point. Introduce multiple balloons to create more chaotic fun.

Move Over, Van Gogh!

Overview: Teenagers will work together to create “masterpieces”.

Time Involved: 10 to 15 minutes

Supplies: paper, markers in four different colors

Preparation: none

Have teenagers form groups of four, and give each person a piece of paper and a different colored marker. Have the members of each group sit with their backs to each other, and tell them that they cannot talk to each other for the remainder of this activity.

Explain that teenagers in each group will be working together to create four different masterpieces. Tell teenagers that when you tell them to start, they’ll have thirty seconds to begin drawing a picture. It can be a picture of anything they’d like – even just an abstract picture. Tell them to start drawing, and after thirty seconds, have them stop and pass each paper to the person on the right. Instruct them to try to continue the drawings just as the original artists might have, and remind teenagers that they can’t speak to each other. Give them another thirty seconds to continue the masterpieces.


Continue in this manner until each group member has contributed to all four drawings. Then have teenagers turn around and share their completed “masterpieces”. Ask a few volunteers to share their pictures with the whole group. Ask:

  • Does your finished picture look like you originally envisioned it? If not, what’s different about it?
  • Did you find it easy or difficult to follow someone else’s vision without any guidance? Explain.
  • What does this activity tell us about the importance of communication?

Musical Madness

Play musical chairs. On some chairs are written special instructions (Sing happy birthday in duck voice, do jumping jacks while singing a silly song, shout as loud as you can for 30 seconds, etc.) Students who land on those chairs must carry out those instructions.


Name Word Find

Have students write names in rows.  Individuals or teams then try to find words using the letters of their names.  Any letter can be used as long as it is touching the previous letter. Person or team to find the most words in a given amount of time wins.

Penny Balance

Students stand, tilt their heads back, and place a penny on the end of their nose. Whoever keeps penny balanced the longest, wins.

Spoon Free-for-All

Players start with four playing cards. Dealer passes individual cards. As soon as one person has four of a kind, they get up and make a mad dash to find a spoon. Everyone else follows. The spoons have been hidden around the room or in another room. The one person that doesn’t find a spoon is out. Players who are out hide the spoons for the next round.

Toilet Paper Roll

Students roll a roll of toilet paper on the ground, trying not to break it. There are tape markers on the floor for point levels. The one who rolls it the longest without breaking it wins. Could play in teams with points added together.


Bible Trivia like jeopardy using seat pads. 

Team Video Game

Set up a two-player simultaneous video game.  Divide kids into two teams.  Each player on a team gets 30 seconds or longer at controls and then they must switch without pausing.  The trick is that the player’s team members are standing in a line ten feet away and the player must tag the next player before they can approach the controls.

Tilly Miller

Say, Tilly Miller likes the moon, but she doesn’t like stars. Have students see if they can say something else about Tilly Miller. (Tilly Miller only likes things with double letters, like in her name). Write down the things in columns to help students catch on quicker.

What is This?

Pass objects around a circle. First person must describe what the object is and what it’s used for. Second person must come up with a new definition, etc. until it goes all the way around the circle.

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.

Word Association

Leader says a word and passes a ball to someone in the circle. The person catching the ball has to say the first appropriate word that comes to mind in relation to the word the leader said. The person passes the ball to the next person, who associates with what the previous person said. Ball should be passed to people who haven’t had it yet. Round is over when everyone has had the ball.

Inside or Outside:

Affirmation Relay

Divide students into teams, one affirmation per number of players. One leader holds the affirmation slips ten feet in front of their team. Players take turns running up to their leaders and performing the instructions on the card (Run up to an adult leader and shout “God loves you!”, Run up to someone not on your team and give them a hug, tell a member of the opposite gender an encouraging Bible verse, Give each of your team-members a pat on the back saying “Good job!”, Give six people high fives, give someone a compliment, Sing “Jesus Loves Me” to someone substituting “You” for “Me”). The first team to complete all their cards wins.

Alley Tag

Line people up in rows so that they can touch with their hands outstretched. Choose a Chaser and a Runner and start them at opposite sides of the rows. Whenever you blow your whistle, the people in the rows have to turn, thus changing the direction of the alleys.


Form a circle. Hand one player a foam ball. Name a category (food, animals, names of people, etc) and begin the timer. First person names an object that starts with ‘A’, then passes the ball to another person who must then name an object that starts with ‘B’. Continue to the end of the alphabet, if possible, before time runs out.



Appoint one or two students to be amoebas.  They tag other kids and absorb them into their group.  Amoebas may absorb smaller amoebas.  The last kid to be absorbed wins.

Animal Relay

Crab walk, bunny hop, duck waddle (crouching and grabbing ankles with hands), elephant walk (keeping hands and feet on floor, arms and legs straight, swishing head back and forth), frog jump (hands on floor, jump and land in same position), kangaroo hop (balloon between legs and jumping), parrot fly (running, flapping arms, and repeating, “Polly want a cracker!)

Auto Tag

·         Supplies:    2 soft balls

·         Where?      Open area

·         Time:         However long you want…

Running pairs will have to hold onto one another’s hands.  Each pair chooses a make, model and color of car to be, then makes the appropriate noises associated with their vehicle.

Each member of the IT pair will have one free hand.  Fill IT’s free hands with soft, throwable balls, like fleece balls (something YOU wouldn’t mind getting hit with…)  A “tag” is made if the IT auto-pair hits someone with one of their balls.  When this occurs, the other IT player drops their ball (headlight), which must be retrieved by the hit pair, who are now IT, and the game continues.

Who’s in my Frying Pan?

·         Supplies:    none

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        5-10 minutes

This is a game where the leader knows the secret, and the rest of the group try and guess how it’s done.  Pick three objects (start with objects in the room and then use objects outside or make-believe objects). Say you have these three objects in your frying pan and then ask, Who is in my frying pan? Students guess.

And just what is the secret?  The person who was actually in the frying pan is the first person to speak after you say, Who is in my frying pan?  Sooner or later, someone will catch on or perhaps the leader will make it a little more obvious, which only baffles the rest of the group more.  It’s fun as well as frustrating.

Big Time Ping Pong

Enlarge the set up for ping-pong.  Use a larger ball.  Students use regular paddles, but hold them with two hands.


Bite the Bag

Place a paper bag on the floor.  Students take turns trying to pick up the bag with their teeth without letting anything except their feet touch the floor.  After each round, cut the bag lower.  The last person to be able to pick up the bag with their teeth wins.

Body Part Musical Chairs

·         Supplies:    One chair per person

·         Where?      Open area

·         Time?        5-10 minutes

Have everyone form a big circle of chairs with the chairs facing outward.  Remove one chair.  Have music ready.  When the music starts, everyone must walk around the chairs.  When the music stops, a caller yells out a body part.  Then everyone races to touch that body part to a chair, one person per chair only.  The one person who doesn’t get a chair is also out.  To speed it up, you can remove more chairs.  We usually start out simple – nose, hair, left elbow, etc. but towards the end we get more complicated – your bare feet (both of them), someone who’s out’s left hand, etc.  The object is to be the last one left.

Caterpillar Relay

·         Supplies:    sleeping bags

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

One at a time, each person on a team gets into a sleeping bag (head first!) and tries to reach a certain point and return.  Obstacles may be placed in the way to make the game a little tougher.

Centipede Race

·         Supplies:    2-3 benches

·         Where?      Outside, Open area

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

Here’s a great game that can be played indoors or outdoors.  Seat as many students on each bench as possible, straddling it like a horse.  When the race starts, everyone must stand up, bend over, and pick up the bench, holding it between their legs.  They then run like a centipede.  The finish line should be forty to fifty feet away.  It’s a lot of fun to watch!

Copy Cat Copy Cat

·         Supplies:    none

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

Ask your group to form a circle.  During your explanation of the rules, ask each person to choose someone else in the circle to be their leader, but not to tell anyone who their leader is.  Explain that once the activity starts, if the person you chose as a leader moves or changes position in any way, you must do exactly as s/he does.  Whenever s/he moves, you mirror them.  Ask that people try to watch their leaders without staring directly at them so that leaders won’t know who (if anyone) is following them.  After explaining and asking for questions, check to be certain that everyone has a leader chosen.  Before beginning, have people close their eyes and get in a comfortable pose.  As soon as everyone opens their eyes on your command, they should change their pose to duplicate that of their leader.

Once people open their eyes, patterns of movement begin to ripple around the circle.  Sometimes this activity will last for several minutes, sometimes it will seem frenzied – at other time quiet.  The end result is usually everyone in the same pose, though sometimes you get two or three groups of people doing different poses.

Decathlon For Fun

Throwing Contests

Measure the distance that contestants throw:

  • Colored or labeled pingpong balls-two throws per person.
  • Straws -- two throws per person.
  • Paper plates -- two throws per person.


  • Give each contestant a 2-foot piece of red licorice. Have contestants bend at the waist and race to get all the licorice into their mouths without using their hands.
  • Contestants race 10 yards and put four saltine crackers in their mouths. The first to chew and whistle wins.


  • Each teammate races 10 yards to a piece of bubble gum, blows a bubble large enough to cover his or her nose when it breaks, and returns to the line.
  • Each teammate takes their shoes off and skates with paper plates under their feet around a chair and back to their team
  • Swimming motions
  • Pulling each other in a sled

  • Team members place their shoes in a pile. Then one at a time each teammate races to the shoes, puts his or her shoes on, and returns to the team.


Kickball with the variation of having to keep a balloon squeezed between your legs.

Egg-And-Armpit Relay

·         Supplies:    Hardboiled eggs, spoons

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

Half of the team lines up on each side of the room.  The first person races to the other side with a spoon in his mouth and an egg on it.  The teammate on the other side takes the egg and puts it in their armpit and runs back across the room.  He drops the egg from his armpit onto the next person’s spoon.

Fingers Up

Students pair up. On the count of three, each holds up their hands, putting as many fingers up as they choose. First student to say how many total fingers they both have up wins that round.

Four Scenarios

·         Supplies:    none

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        5-20 minutes

Consider the following four scenarios:

1.      A man is found dead lying in the desert wearing a backpack.

2.      Two men are found dead in a room with 52 bicycles.

3.      A dead man is lying dead in the desert with nothing but a straw in his hand.

4.      A cabin in the woods contains 50 dead people.

The goal is to have the kids figure out how each of these people died by asking their leaders yes or no questions only.  The first person to determine correctly the cause for each scenario wins.

Causes of death:

1.      A man was skydiving and his parachute didn’t open.

2.      Two guys were playing poke, they got mad and shot each other.  Note: Bicycle is a brand of cards, hence 52 Bicycles.

3.      Three guys were in a hot air balloon, but the load became too heavy and to not crash, someone had to jump off the hot air balloon.  So, they drew straws.  The man on the ground drew the shortest straw.

4.      The cabin is the cabin of an airplane.  The plane crashed, killing everyone in the cabin.

Freeze Ball

The player who is it takes a ball and throws it into the air. Meanwhile, players run and scatter. When “It” catches the ball and yells “Freeze!”, all runners stop. “It” will take three giant steps toward any player and try to tag them with the ball. The player may duck or swivel to dodge the ball, as long as one foot stays frozen in place. If the ball is caught, they become the next “It”. If tagged, person sits out until next round. Last person tagged is next “It”.


·         Supplies:    a flashlight (disassembled)

·         Where?      Entire church

·         Time?        10-60 minutes

In order to prepare for this game, the different pieces of a flashlight are hidden on surfaces throughout the church (i.e. not in drawers, etc)

One person is chosen to be the ‘Grog.’  During the course of the game, if the Grog touches another player, they scream at the top f their lungs and ‘die.’  This lets everyone else know where they are and where the Grog is.  A ‘dead’ player can be brought back to life if another player touches them.  The Grog wins if all the other players are ‘dead’ simultaneously.  The others win f they can find all the pieces of the flashlight, assemble it, and shine the light in the eyes of the Grog.  The Grog is not allowed to touch any of the pieces of the flashlight during the game.

Guzzle Relay

·         Supplies:    2 or 3 gallons of Cider, straws

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

Each person gets a drinking straw.  A gallon of apple cider is placed a certain distance away.  When the whistle is blown, the first person in line runs to the cider and starts guzzling.  When the whistle blows again, he stops and the next person takes over.  (Some people get a short drink, others a long drink, depending on your best judgment.)  The first team to finish their gallon of cider wins.

Hot Wired

·         Supplies:    7 different colors of yarn

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         5-10 minutes

Twist the yarn around each other so that they are tangles, but still lay straight.  Choose 14 kids (7 pairs of friends) from the group.  Have each pair grab the end of the same color of yarn.  The object of the game is to get them untangled from the others WITHOUT LETTING GO of their connection to the other end.  They can only use ONE hand, and may NOT let go, or they are out.  They will have to reach up, over and under the others in order to get their wire free.

Human Blob

·         Supplies:    Chair

·         Where?      Open area

·         Time:         5-10 minutes

Have everyone form a circle and hold hands.  Have a leader volunteer for the chair in the middle.  The object of the game is to stay in the ‘blob’ while everyone else is pushing and pulling you towards the middle.  Anyone who lets go is out.  Anyone who touches the leader in the middle is out.  The leader in the middle can move his/her arms but not their legs or the chair.  Keep playing until there are only about five students left.  They are the winners.  The kids will want to play this one over and over again, so be prepared.

Human Foosball

Use rope to connect students into the pattern of the table game.  Try to advance the ball into the opponent’s goal without using hands or arms or breaking formation.

Ice Cones

Students pair up. Each has a paper cone. They take turns flinging an ice cube to each other with their cones and catching them with their cones. After each successful round, the pair takes a step back from one another. If they drop the ice cube, they’re out.

Ice-Cube Hockey

Four players around a table. Each has a spoon for a stick. An ice-cube is the puck.


Supplies: None needed
Activity: Form groups of four. Read each statement aloud and allow time for each group to agree on an answer. Each group must agree to one answer that is true for all four of them. For example, if three of the kids like ice cream and one doesn't, that group must decide on a different snack food that all four kids like.

Read these statements:

  1. Something you like to do in the water.
  2. A snack food you like to eat.
  3. A story of Jesus you like.
  4. A subject in school you like.
  5. A place you like to go for fun.
  6. A holiday you enjoy.
  7. A sport you enjoy playing or watching.
  8. A TV program you enjoy.

King Walla-Walla-Bing-Bang

Unsuspecting student plays mimic with a leader (King).  When the leader sits on their chair, the student also sits on their chair, but with a wet sponge waiting.

Knot as Easy as it Looks

Have kids hold hands and stretch out in a line. Players at each end of the line weave in and out and under and over player’s arms to make a huge knot. Start a timer, and see if the group can then untangle themselves before time runs out.

Alternative: Remove one player from group and hide their eyes. Other players tangle themselves. The one player must try to untangle the group by themselves before time runs out.


Hold a bar between two people. Each student passes under it, bending backward. Lower it for each round. Person is out when they fall or touch the bar. Last one out wins.

Mad Relay

·         Supplies:    Folding chairs, bags with instructions on the inside

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         5-10 Minutes

In this relay, each player does something different.  At the beginning of the race, each team is lined up single file.  At a signal, the first person on each team runs to the other end of the course to a chair.  On the chair is a bag containing instructions written on separate pieces of paper.  The player draws one of the instructions, reads it, and follows it as quickly as possible.  Before returning to the team, the player must tag the chair and then run back and tag the next runner.  The team that uses all of its instructions first is the winner.  Here are a few sample directions:

1.      Run around the chair five times while continuously yelling “The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming!”

2.      Run to the nearest person on another team and scratch their head.

3.      Run to the nearest adult in the room and whisper, “You’re no spring chicken!”

4.      Stand on one foot while holding the other in your hand, tilt your head back and count, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast Off!”

5.      Take your shoes off, put them on the wrong feet, and then tag your nearest opponent.

6.      Sit on the floor, cross your legs, and sing the following: “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.  Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.”

7.      Go to the last person on your team and make three different funny-face expressions, then return to the chair before tagging your next runner.

8.      Put your hands over your eyes and snort like a pig five times and meow like a cat five times.

9.      Sit in the chair, fold your arms, and laugh hard and loud for five seconds.

10.  Go to a blonde and keep asking, “Do blondes really have more fun?” until they answer.

11.  Run around the chair backward five times while clapping your hands.

12.  Run to someone not on your team and kiss their hand and gently pinch their cheek.

Marble Sucking Relay

·         Supplies:    straws, marbles, paper cups

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

Divide your group into several teams.  Give each person a plastic straw and a paper cup.  The first person on each team gets a marble in their cup.  The object is to suck the marble up with the straw and drop it into the next person’s cup.  If the marble drops on the floor, the team must start over at the beginning.  The first team to get the marble to the last person wins!

Marshmallow Pitch

·         Supplies:    bags of miniature marshmallows

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

For this game, have kids pair off and give each pair a sack of miniature marshmallows.  Each pair should also have a neutral counter.  One person is the pitcher, the other the catcher.  On “go,” the pitcher tosses a marshmallow into the catcher’s mouth, and the catcher must eat the marshmallow.  The pitcher and catcher should be about ten feet apart.  The counter counts how many successful catches are made, and the couple with the most at the end of a time limit or the first to reach twenty successful catches is the winner.


Make a grid on a tarp on or floor or buy one from or Map out a path, from square to square, in sequence.  Students then must work together to discover the right path across the grid.


Musical Sponge

Kids play musical chairs blindfolded, while leaders place a wet sponge on one chair every round.  Every round, the kid and the chair with the sponge is out.  The last kid not to have a wet bottom wins.

Mystery Volleyball

Put blankets or tarps over net so students can’t see when the ball is coming.

Open or Closed

·         Supplies:    a pair of drumsticks

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        5-10 minutes

This is a great game for small informal meetings where kids sit in a circle and around a pair of drumsticks.  When the sticks are passed, each person must announce whether they are passing it “open” or “closed.”  For example, they might say, “I received it … (open or closed) and I am passing it … (open or closed).”  The leader then tells the person whether they are right or wrong.  If they are wrong, they must stand up.  The idea is to learn the secret, which is: if your legs are crossed, you must pass the object closed.  If your legs are uncrossed, you must pass the object open.  It’s sounds simple, but it is really hard to figure out.

Organization – Place 8 buckets around the field, spaced a good distance apart. Tape a different color of construction paper to every two buckets. In other words, two buckets will be one color, two another, two another, and two another. Place buckets with the same color as far apart as possible. Place small 8 small balls of each color as the bucket colors in the middle of the field. Divide students into four teams and give each team a color, one of the colors as the buckets and balls. On, “Go!”, the fist person on each team will race to the middle of the field, pick up one of their team’s colored balls, and run to drop into one of the team’s colored buckets. Then they run back to their team and the next person does the same. The catch is that the team has to put four of their colored balls in each of their buckets. The first team to do so wins.

If you don’t have enough students to form four teams, divide students into two teams and only use two colors of balls and buckets.

Passing the Word

·         Supplies:    2 balls

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

Here is a simple game that teaches a great lesson on witnessing!  You will need to conspire ahead of time with one team member from each team.  You can apply this object to many different games or relays, but I used it this way.

Choose about 8-10 kids per team for a competition.  Have each team line up in a single-file line facing the other team.  On “Go,” the person in front passes the ball over their heads to the next person.  It continues down the line in over-under fashion.  When the ball gets to the back of the line, that person runs it back to the front and starts it again.  This cycle continues until the person who was at the front at the beginning is back in the front.  Then they all sit down.  The first team to have given everyone a chance at the front and then sitting down WINS!

* Variations:  Ahead of time, select two kids, one from each team and talk to them.  Choose kids of strong character who can handle everyone being temporarily upset with them.  If they give in to peer pressure, your lesson will flop!  Explain the game to them and tell them that you will choose them to be part of the team and will place them toward the end of the line.  When the ball gets to them, they are to just hold the ball and NOT pass it.  No matter what, they are to hold the ball.  If others try to get it from them or yell at them, they are to just bend over, hugging the ball, and refuse to pass it.  Make sure no one knows you talked ahead of time!  Then, go on to lesson!  After lesson, play the game as normal.

People Bingo

·         Supplies:    Bingo cards, hat, scrap paper

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        5-10 minutes

Give every student a Bingo playing card (remember that the middle is FREE!) and have them fill their boxes with names of students in the room (only once per student, of course).  Then, from a hat, randomly pull students’ names and if a player has that one’s name on his card, he marks an “X” through that name.  The first player who has a row of “X’s” either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, wins!


Students stand in a circle and pass a bean bag randomly.  Students catch and pass the bean bag with ping-pong paddles.  If someone misses the bag, they’re out.  If the pass is ruled to be uncatchable, the thrower is out.

Ping-Pong Blow

Two teams try to blow the ping-pong across the table and off the edge of the other team’s side.


All players close their eyes or are blindfolded. Leader picks one person to be the prui. Everyone except the prui mingles around. When they touch someone, they ask, “Prui?” The prui does not ask back. When someone finds the prui, they grab hands and join it. Game ends when everyone is part of the prui.


Reverse of Hide and Go Seek. One person (or team) hides, and the rest go to find them. When someone finds the hiding person or team, they quietly hide with them. The last person or team to find the hiding group is the one who hides in the next round. This game works best when played in a large, dark area, such as a woods or church.

Shooting Ice-Stars

Students try to shoot an ice cube through their hands into a bucket. They do this by holding the ice cube until it melts and then squeezing it.


Students form groups of three. One person is not in a group. They are an extra Squirrel. Two in the group form a tree, holding hands. The third is the squirrel. Trees spread out and stay in one spot. Squirrels move from tree to tree. One leader is the Whacker. Squirrels run from tree to tree, trying to avoid the Whacker. The Whacker has a pool noodle and is trying to clobber the Squirrels. Extra Squirrel runs to an occupied tree, forcing that Squirrel out. The ousted squirrel runs to another tree, ousting that Squirrel and so on. May add extra Squirrels or extra Whackers.


Divide students into two teams. Each team picks one or more “tanks”. The tanks are blindfolded. Spread balls on the floor. The tanks must find the balls and throw them at the enemy tanks to win. Once a tank is hit, it is out. The tank’s team can call out where the balls and where the enemy tanks are, but they can’t otherwise enter the game. They are called Central Intelligence. When one team wins, the losing team gets to send out more tanks than the winning team the next round.

Three-D Stratego

Divide into two teams in a squared field.  Each team starts on their half of the field.  Each team is given a flag to be stationed at the far end of their area.  Each player is given a playing card.  The playing card determines their rank.  Each round, players move in any direction one square.  When they meet, the player with the highest card value wins.  The other player must then exchange their card with the leader and start back at the far end of their side of the field.  The team that reaches the other team’s flag first wins.

Stepping Stones

·         Supplies:    One prop per player, two ropes or masking tape

·         Where?      Outside, Open Area

·         Time?        5-20 minutes

The basic set-up here is the old “get from Point A to Point B without touching the ground in between” routine.  People are assembled at Point A, given one prop less than their number and told to arrive safely with the entire group at Point B before the time runs out.  Touch the ground and the whole group returns to Point A.

Straws & Q-tips

·         Supplies:    Straws, Q-tips, buckets

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

Give each child a straw and several Q-tips.  Put a Q-tip into the straw, and by blowing the straw it will shoot out the Q-tip.  Have a bucket about 10 feet away and see how many they can get into the bucket.

Tails! You’re It!

·         Supplies:    a quarter

·         Where?      Open Area

·         Time?        5-10 minutes

Gather everyone in the front of the sanctuary.  Take a coin and tell everyone to declare heads or tails affiliation by placing one hand either on his or her head or on his or her behind.  Flip the coin.  If the coin comes up heads, heads are “It.”  All the heads then charge about, trying to tag all the tails.

Have all the players maintain their hand positions while running.  Then, if a tail is tagged, s/he indicates a tagged status by putting both hands on their posterior and standing with legs well spread.  Uncaught tails can free tagged tails by crawling through the tagged players’ legs and yelling “Tails Free!”

If a coin comes up tails, tails are “It.”  When a head is tagged, s/he indicated a tagged status by putting both hands on top of his/her head and freezes with legs spread apart.  Uncaught heads can free their frozen teammates by crawling through their legs and yelling, “Heads Free!”

Three-Time Tag

To get out, you have to get tagged three times.  Once you are tagged, place a hand on the place you were tagged.  The second time you are tagged, put your other hand on that spot.  Now you can only play with your feet.  The third time you're tagged, you're out.


Tire Bowling

Use two liter pop bottles filled with water as pins and an old tire as the ball.

Todo El Mundo Tag

·         Supplies:    none

·         Where?      Outside, Open area

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

Everyone spreads out and on “Go!” tags everyone that they can.  When a person is tagged, they are to sit down where they were tagged.  If two people tag each other at the same time, they are both out.  The last person standing wins!


This is a small twist on an old game that produces funny results.

Put two small Tootsie Roll candies in a balloon and blow it up. (You should probably do a few of these just in case there are casualties.) Then play a regular game of baseball using the balloon as the ball and one of those swimming pool "noodles" as the bat. The game usually goes for three innings.

Tug Of War Times Two

·         Supplies:    Tug of War rope

·         Where?      Large room, open area, outside

·         Time?        Only a few minutes

By tying two ropes in the middle, so you have four ends of equal length, you can have a tug of war with four teams instead of two.  Draw a circle on the ground so that each team is outside the circle when the war begins.  When one team is pulled across the circle line, it is eliminated from the game, leaving the other three teams to tug against each other.  Then those three play until another is eliminated, and finally two teams play to determine the winner.  Each time, the tug of war is conducted across the circle.

Alternative: People can only use one hand or only their thumbs and index fingers

Ultimate Set-up Volleyball

All students stand on one side of the court. The point is to let everyone hit before the ball is sent over the net. Once a student hits, they run across the net to the other side and wait for the ball to come over. Use a beach ball or balloon instead of a volley ball.

Upside-Downside Relay Race

Lay 2 rulers at one end of the playing area as two starting lines. Place three cups in a row beginning five feet from each starting line. Be sure there are five feet between the cups in each row. Form two groups and have players decide how they’ll travel. (run, walk, hop, crawl) Each person must choose a different way. Line up in single file for relay. First players go and turn their three cups upside down. Next players with go and turn the cups right side up. Continue until every player has gone. (Players sit when finished with their turn)

Vampire Tag

All players close their eyes or are blindfolded. Secretly choose one person to be the vampire. When the vampire bumps into someone, they scream and grab them. That person then becomes a vampire as well. If two vampires meet, they turn back into normal players. Game ends when everyone is vampirized or humanized.

Wheelbarrow Relay Race

Students pair up. One student holds the other’s feet up while the other student walks on their hands to the finish line. At the finish line, students reverse roles and come back.


Blanket Volleyball

Divide students into two teams and give each a blanket on opposite sides of the net. Students hold the blanket and bounce a plastic ball back and forth.


Whiffle Ball

Hose Hockey

·         Supplies:    Smooth table top, foam pipe insulators, hose with a “Y” adapter, 2 hoses with triggers, puck, two goggles

·         Where?      Outside

·         Time:         Only a few minutes

Set up a smooth top table outdoors.  Use foam pipe insulators to make bumpers along the sides of the table.  Hook up a hose and put a “Y” adapter on the end.  Run two hoses from the adapter, putting trigger-type sprayers at the ends.  Two players stand at either end of the table (goggles optional).  Put a hollow, plastic, street hockey puck in the center of the table.  On “Go,” players try to spray the puck off the opposite end of the table.  Deliberate spraying in someone’s face results in a penalty – penalized player has to take five steps backward and play from there.

Tag Football

Whiffle Ball



Bocce Ball


Water Games:

Bucket Crawl

Divide students into two teams. Place a cone a good distance in front of each team. Place a filled kiddie pool between the teams and give each team a bucket. The first person from each team will fill the bucket, put it on their back and crawl around the cone without spilling the bucket. When they get back to their team, the next person goes. The first team to have all of their members go, wins.


Bucket Lift

Fill five-gallon bucket with water. Have students sit around bucket and lift bucket using only their feet. Have students keep the bucket up while taking off their shoes.


Douse the Tiki

Two tiki torches are set up on opposite sides of the field. Teams try to douse each other’s tiki with water balloons. If a player is hit by a water balloon, they are taken to prison. Prisoners may be released by a team-member.


Holy Man

Appoint a leader to be holy man.  Holy man dresses in a robe and carries a lighted candle.  He hides and moves at will.  Divide kids into two teams.  Each player carries an unlighted candle and a loaded squirt gun.  Each team tries to find the Holy Man and light their candle while extinguishing the other team’s candles.  The first team to return to home base without their candles being extinguished wins.

Hot Sponge

Students sit in a circle, passing a wet sponge. When music stops, person holding the sponge gets it squeezed over their head.

Ice Foot Fishing

Fill a kiddie pool with water and ice cubes. Give each child a cup. Students lay on their backs so they can’t see into the pool, hold the cup with their feet and try to fish out small items. Winner is the one who fishes the most items out.

Inner-Tube Squeeze

Divide into teams. As many students as possible squeeze into an inner-tube. They stand at one end of the field while other teams stand with water-balloon launchers on every other side of the field. Each team gets a chance to be in the middle with the inner-tubes.

Noodle Ball

A summer game our church played during VBS was called Noodle Ball. Each child has their own 'pool' noodle; using two colors to recognize teams. A large beach ball is blown up. We used a hula hoop at each end of the playing field. We duct taped the hoops to the back of folding chairs to be used as goals. On the shout of "GO" or a whistle blown the kids begin hitting the ball toward their goals. The children loved the game and was requested several nights.

Shoe Shucking Race

·         Supplies:    Dishpans of water

·         Where?      Anywhere

·         Time?        3 minutes

Divide into groups of 5-6.  Each team member must lie on their back with their feet in the air, meeting in the center of the circle.  A container of water is placed on the elevated feet.  The object is for each team member to remove their shoes without spilling the water.  The team to win is the one with the most shoes off after three minutes.

Sponge Relay

Divide into two teams. Each team has a bucket of water and a sponge on one end of the field and an empty bucket at the other end. Team members must take turns dipping the sponge into the full bucket and wringing it out into the empty bucket. The first team to fill the empty bucket to a certain point wins.


Standing Ducks

Form two teams, facing each other. Teams take turn throwing water balloons at each other. Team who is not throwing must stand still. Team throwing must wait for leader’s signal and throw at the same time. Once a player is hit, they get to throw one more round and then they sit out. The team with the last player standing wins.

Squirt Gun Balloon Relay – Fill up two buckets with water. Place a cone a good distance down the field. Divide students into two teams and give each student a squirt gun and a blown up balloon. On, “Go!”, the first student from each team will start squirting the balloon with the water gun toward the cone. They can pick the balloon up and squirt it in front of them or put it on the ground and squirt it. They have to get the balloon around the cone and back to their team before the next student can go. The first team to have all of their members squirt their balloons down and back wins.

At the end of the game, give students time to have a little free for all with the water guns. Just make sure that students aren’t picking on each other too much.


Taking the Hit

Students pair up. One student must stand still. Their partner can move anywhere. The partner that can move is trying to protect the partner that can’t from getting hit by a water balloon. The other teams are trying to throw water balloons at all the other people who are standing still. The player that can move must jump in front of water balloons to keep the person standing still from getting wet. Once the player standing still does get wet, that pair is out. Play another round and switch roles.

Water Brigade – Divide students into two teams. Place a full bucket of water beside each team. Have the first student from each team lie on the ground about 15 feet in front of their team. Have them hold an empty bucket on their chest. Give each student an empty plastic cup. On “Go!”, the first student from each team will dip their cup into the full bucket beside them, fill the cup, run to their teammate lying on the ground, and empty the cup into the empty bucket their teammate is holding. Once they empty their cup into the bucket, the two students switch places and the student who was holding the bucket takes the cup and races back to their team and gets in the back of the line. The next person then runs up and empties their cup and is the next to hold the bucket. The game continues like this until the bucket beside one of the teams is empty. The first team to empty their bucket wins.

Water Dodge – Divide students into two teams. Place a line between the two teams to mark their boundaries. Place full buckets of water and sponges on both sides of the line. Students play dodge-ball with the sponges. When a student is hit by a sponge thrown from the opposite team, they’re out. If they catch the sponge, the thrower is out.


Water Gun War

Divide into two teams.  Each player carries a squirt gun.  Players split up and try to shoot each other.  At the end of the time limit, the team that is the driest collectively wins.

Wacky Water Balloon Relay

Play this game outdoors. Form teams of five. Have teams each form a circle, sitting with their feet pointed toward the center. Place five water balloons on a towel in the center of each team’s circle. One person in each team must scoot to the center of the circle, pick up the water balloon with his or her feet, and pass the balloon to the feet of the person on his or her right. Each person in the circle must take the water balloon with his or her feet and pass it on without using hands. The last person in the circle must swivel and drop the balloon into a pile outside of the circle. The goal is to finish the relay without any broken water balloons.

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