Looking to try a little old school youth ministry on your students? These classics never die! Here are 4 classic games that are easy to put together and fun to play and work great if you're planning a night crazy games.
I can't remember the first time I saw this game, but I'm pretty sure I was still a kid. I loved it. And it's great for just about any age, even your older teens. It's an "every man for himself" type of game where students/players tie one end of string around one of their ankles and the other end to an inflated balloon. Once everyone has a balloon, spread your group out. Size of space really isn't an issue, nor is the amount of students. You just need to make sure you have enough balloons and string. (By the way, you'll want to cut the string in advance. I've used everything from yarn to twine. You'll want to cut the string to about 2 to 2 and a half feet in length.)
At "Go!" students run around trying to pop the balloon of the other players while guarding their own balloon. What you get is a chaotic mess of laughter and popping. Students are eliminated when their balloon is popped. You can mix up the game any number of ways by changing who can pop who or in how the move around the room. I would also suggest you give a little direction as to what players cannot do, such as players can not hold their balloon or tie the string so tight around the ankle that the balloon is touching the leg. The balloon needs to be free to bounce and drag behind the players as they run
Last man standing with their inflated balloon wins!
Now this one I do remember playing as a student. Another great classic, Muscle Beach is best played with the students divided into teams of 4-6 players. (More is okay if you need, but don't make them too big that students don't feel like their contributing.)
Give each team an oversized sweatshirt and a bag of balloons. I usually give my students a bag containing 25, 9" assorted color balloons. (They are super cheap at Walmart.) You can also embellish with a pair of crazy sunglasses, sunblock on the nose, and a ridiculous beach hat, or whatever else you can think of that helps the player look totally silly. You will also need a timer, as this is best played as a timed competition.
At "Go!" students inflate and knot the balloons, then stuff them under the sweatshirt that someone volunteers to wear. (I try to find the smallest person on the team. A smaller stature and an over-sized sweatshirt make the game that much more entertaining, and allows the "little-guy" to be the hero.) The idea is to stuff the sweatshirt with as many balloons a possible in the allotted time. When your time limit has expired, it's time to show off the muscles.
Bring each muscle bound man (or woman) to the front and have them "pose" for the audience. With whoops and cheers, declare your best looking "muscle head." But wait, there's more. Now, count the balloons. Declare two winners; the best looking and the most used balloons!
This game I call Frosty Feet. It's kind of my own little twist on a game that I once saw played at a summer camp. Here's what you need.
Set Up: In each aluminum pan, count out the same number of marbles. Somewhere between 20 and 30 is usually good. Spread the marbles out and cover with ice. For an added element of surprise, cover the ice with shaving cream. The shaving cream hides the ice, leaving the participant almost fully unaware of what he stepping into. You will want to construct the pans no earlier that 15-20 minutes before playing the game. This gives the ice some time to melt. However, the shaving cream will dissolve if you let it sit too long. The final thing you'll want to do is lay a sheet of plastic or drop cloth down and place one pan at the feet of each player.
The Game: At "GO!", players must remove as many marbles from the pan as possible within the designated time allowance with only their toes. About a minute and a half should be adequate time. Much longer and students will begin dumping the pans.
Be sure to have a video camera at the ready for the icy reactions. The one rule I try to enforce is the "No Shoveling" rule. Student are not allowed to use their foot to "shovel" the ice out of the pan. The marbles must be removed with the toes of a foot.
Izzy Dizzy Bat...
This one is my all time favorite. I play it every summer when we have relay competitions. It's super easy to put together and brings gut-busting laughter. You'll need a plastic, wiffle-ball style bat for each team. Divide your students into equal teams. You will also need to establish a start and finish line about 10 to 15 yards apart.
On "Go", players race to their bat left at the far end of their race. Students then pick up the bat, place the knob on their forehead and the barrel on the ground. They must then spin around the bat a designated amount of times. I usually set 10 as the limit. Much more than that and, well you'll find out.
Once they have spun around the bat, they drop the bat and run back to their team to tag the next person in line. The first team to get all of their players down and back wins!
Some Tips: When you play this game you will want to consider having an adult standing with the bat to count out the number of times a student spins around the bat. You may also want to have a couple adults stationed along the run way to make sure students don't run into each other or end up running of off course do to being dizzy. AND, you might want to video tape this one.
There you are, 4 simple, fun, and crazy games that are easy to play, relatively inexpensive, and totally awesome! Happy gaming!
So...lately I've been into trying new games with our students. Over the last couple of weeks, we've been working on introducing our students to some new, and fun, games. Today, I want to share one that I saw on social media.
First, credit to YouthMinistryIdeas.us, who shared a post from @epikosfuse and @pastor_tank on their Instagram account (@youthministryideas). A short video of the game was shared. They called it, Head Shoulders, Cup. We called it, The New Cup Game.
The game is simple.
Pair your students up and give each pair a cup. With the students facing each other, place the cup on the floor between them.
Call out a series of commands such as head, shoulders, knees, etc. Students touch the parts that are called. I started slow for the first couple of rounds. Once the students got the hang of the game, I started to speed things up a bit.
Here's the fun. At the end of your commands call, CUP. The student who grabs the cup, wins! We played the best two out of three rounds. Winners go on to play other winners. Keep going until you have one student standing.
To keep the students playing, we had the losing students play other losing students.
This is a super easy game that needs very little set up. Just grab some cups and you're good to go.
If you us plastic cups like Solo or Dixie, be sure to keep a few on hand. After a few rounds, the cups will be destroyed and needing replacement.
This is a great game for small or larger groups and can be played just about anywhere.
*Photo credit to Dave N.
This past Wednesday night, we played a great game with our junior high students. I liked it so much, I wanted to share it here with you. Let me introduce you to, Bomb Squad!
When it comes to game time on Wednesday nights, leadership rotates among the leaders. We each take turns planning and leading games. This past Wednesday night, David N., one of our amazing leaders shared Bomb Squad with our students and it went over pretty well. I don't think this is an original game, so you've seen it in a book or on another youth ministry website, let me know.
Here's what you need...
General Game Play...
The goal is for the students to deposit as many "bombs" into the other teams drop box as possible, within the designated time limit. The team with the most bombs deposited wins. Bombs are defused when a player is tagged on the opposing teams territory and the egg opened and the paper or candy is removed.
Here's how we played Bomb Squad...
Our students were divided into 2 teams of about 10 each. Colored bandanas were given to designate the teams. We divided the room in half with each team claiming one half as their territory.
We placed the large part of the paper box as the drop box. This is where students would drop the live bombs into at the far end of the other teams territory. The lids of the paper box served as the Pick Up area that held the teams live bombs. These were placed off to the side of a teams territory. On "Go" students tried to grab their live bombs from the pick up point, one at a time, and run them to the the other teams drop box without being tagged.
To defend the drop boxes, players can tag the opposite teams "bombers" whenever they enter the teams territory. Once tagged, the bomb is turned over and diffused. (Open the egg and take out whatever you have placed inside. Since we used Skittles, the students could eat the Skittle.)
We set a time limit for play. This helps to create some urgency for the students. We also assigned points for every bomb that made it to the drop box. (10 points each.)
Depending on how you want to play the game, you can do multiple rounds changing the variables. Play with only guys only tagging guys, or only girls can carry the bombs, or divide the team as bombers and defenders. You can also do a quick reset by adding more paper or candy to the eggs, or simply play till your supply is exhausted. We did not use all of the "live bombs" that had been prepared.
Have fun playing this one!
PS - Special thanks to our amazing adult leader, Dave N. for bringing this game to our students!
Welcome to week two of our Christmas series, Reindeer Games! Last we I shared the game Rudolph's Wreath Toss. This week, it's Santa Beards!
We played this game last night with our high school ministry students and it was a blast! I'm always wondering how our students will take to games that involve a little bit of a mess, this one went over huge! So here's what I did.
Here's what you will need, in some shape or fashion...
I picked up everything I needed for this game at our local dollar store. I played with 2 teams so my total cost for this game, including prizes, came to $8.00.
This is another simple game to play. With two teams, a guy team and a girl team, the object is to create a Santa beard out of the shaving cream. The bigger, longer, fluffier, the better! With the plastic table cloth, the pallet of possibilities is quite large. Students can create as long and as big a beard as they can! You can also have as many teams as your group can handle without taking too many students out of the crowd.
I gave the instructions, set the time limit to 1 minute, and they were off! Watch the video below!
Along with video, you will definitely want to get some still images that you can post and share later! I try to post photos on Instagram as soon as our student gathering is over, so students can see themselves.
I was super excited that our student had fun with this one! The laughter that filled the room was pretty cool! And surprisingly, the aftermath wasn't too bad. The shaving cream stayed in our area and not throughout the church! That's a bonus.
You will want to have a few items on hand to help with the clean up. Paper towels, hand towels, and a bathroom in close proximity are things to think about.
One more thought. This is not a game to play with whipped cream. Most whipped creams are oil based and might stain certain fabrics. And no one wants to send students home with stains on their cloths. Stick to shaving cream because it is a water based product and washing out well, even if you get on the carpet.
There you are, another simple, low cost game to add to your Christmas Game Collection! Thanks for reading!
Jay Higham is a 24 year veteran of student ministry; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently the Youth Director at Hickory Church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for 19 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 little girl. Jay is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and caring for the hearts of husbands. You can learn more about their ministry to the family and husband by visiting their family blog at, www.TheHighamFamily.com and www.TheGoodHusbandBlog.com!
LAST MINUTE STOCKING STUFFERS!
Tis the season for colored lights, pine trees, candy canes, and so good fun Christmas-themed ice breakers! That's right, youth worker friends, Christmas is here, and that means we have a chance to bring out some of our favorite Christmas-themed games!
This week I had the time to run out to our local dollar stores and wander through the holiday aisles looking for game ideas. Fortunately I hit gold! I found everything I needed for three of my favorite Christmas Ice Breakers! So over the next couple of weeks, I want to share the ice breakers we are doing as part of our weekly student gatherings!
We're calling them Reindeer Games, with the spin that these are the games Rudolph and his buddies might play way up north! Each week we will unveil another game that we have played, complete with material lists and instructions so you can grab the gear and play it with your students!
So let's kick off our Reindeer Games with our first game, Rudolph's Wreath Toss! We played this game just this week, and it was a huge success! Based on the tradition Ring Toss game we all played as kids at our birthday parties, this is a super easy, super low cost game to play.
Here's what you will need.
I was able to all of these items at our local Dollar Tree. Cost: $7.00 plus tax.
So the game itself is pretty simple. Like the party game, the object is to toss the ring wreaths and land them on the antler or antlers atop the receivers head. Here's what I did.
With the tosser standing behind a chair and a receiver sitting in a chair about 10' away, the team was given 2 minutes to toss the rings. The receive was allowed to move but they could not leave or move the chair. If the wreaths hit the floor instead of their mark, the tosser could run up and grab the rings, return to their hair position and toss again. After the 2 minutes, 1 point was given for each ring that found it's spot around the antler.
Since we have an on-going Girl vs. Guy challenge, I brought up 2 teams of 2; 2 guys and 2 girls. The girls went first and landed 5 out of the 6 wreaths. The Guys followed and also landed five rings. It was totally crazy!
Since both teams landed 5 rings we had an "all or nothing" tie-breaker. Each team was given 3, and only 3, rings which they were to toss one at a time. After they tossed their rings, it was over. No re-do's or second chances. If a ring hit it's mark, a point was given. If all three missed, that meant the end of their game.
Once again the girls went first, and unfortunately missed with all three rings. The guys followed. The first toss was a miss. The second almost landed, but fell off. The third...A RINGER!!!! The guys went nuts!!
Simple. Easy. Low cost. Yet Rudolph's Wreath Toss was a huge hit!
Be sure to check in next week for our second in the Reindeer Games series.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share the article with your friends, but please include a link back to this post in your shares.
Merry Christmas, friends!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 30 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 25 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.