CHILDREN love to play games. When safe and exciting games are provided, the children will want to return week after week and they will even invite their friends. It is important for Game Leaders to know and understand the following:
          1. It is the responsibility of the adults and their teen helpers to make sure the children are safe at all times. Dangerous or risky behavior is to always be avoided. 
          2. Children can become bored very quickly. Moving from one game to the next will keep them excited and motivated. 
          3. When dividing the children into teams, make sure to change the teams regularly. Each child needs to be on a winning team from time to time. 
          4. Never speak down to a child. Insults and negative behavior on the part of the leader is always wrong. 
          5. Children are to be loved, praised, and encouraged at all times. Like us, they live in a fallen world. Our kindness toward them may be the only show of love some children receive each week. 

Page 1 of 42


Game Description/Instructions


You have probably guessed that you will need a ping pong paddle and a ping pong ball to play this game. It is played in a room just smaller than a half gym. The pitcher must throw the ping pong ball to the batter (you would not believe the wild spins you can put on it) The batter gets only two strikes, or walks to first base if hit. It is a zany fast paced game of indoor baseball that does not require baseball gloves, bats or an outside playing diamond. If you have a small group that is willing to try new things, see if this will become their new favorite game.

3 Blind Mice Maze ****

I assume that each church has rolls of plastic tablecloths that are used for potlucks and dinners. We just used chairs to mark the outsides of the paths. It worked alright.
Make a maze on the floor using the tablecloths, tape the cloths together, have 3 entrances to the maze. Blindfold the 3 contestants and place each kid on their hands and knees at one of the entrances. Each one must crawl to one of the other entrances using their hands to feel where the tablecloth leads or ends or turns. All 3 contestants are in the maze at the same time and the first one to find their way out is the winner.

Acting Out Tag *

Have two people sit in two chairs in front of the group. They will start acting out any clean, inoffensive scenario, like maybe driving a car or eating popcorn and watching a movie. Since this is not charades, they can
talk. The conversations can be pretty hilarious. Then someone, anyone from the group yells “Freeze!” and both people freeze right where they are. The person who yelled “Freeze!” goes up and tags one of the two people on the shoulder. That person has to sit down and the new person takes their place, and starts acting out some other scenario without telling the other person what it is. They have to try and go along with it! Be careful though because this can quickly evolve into a WWF Smackdown! The game continues pretty much until you get tired of it. New people keep yelling “Freeze!” and tagging one of the two people and taking their place. It’s really fun to see the creativity that kids come up with…

Airplane Blitz A1 ****

Bring a stack of copier paper and let the kids make lots and lots of paper
airplanes. Then you need some way to clearly divide the room in half. (The taller the divider the better.) A couch works, but even better was a rolling chalk board. Put half the kids on each side of the divider. Put half the paper airplanes on each side of the divider. Explain that they can only throw ONE plane at a time and they must stop when the leader says “stop”. Say “Go”. They throw the airplanes over the divider as fast as they can. Planes are flying in both directions. Let them go about 2-3
minutes. Give them a ten second warning and then say “stop”. Count the airplanes on each side of the divider. The team with the least number of planes wins

Airplane Blitz A2

Same as Airplane Blitz A1, but use a big bag of loose socks.

Airplane Blitz B1

Have the kids write their names, and something significant on a piece of paper, like a favorite verse, prayer request, or something they learned at a recent youth event. They can write another one on another piece of paper (or several). Then let the kids make paper airplanes out of these.

Play like Airplane Blitz A1
THEN: Have each person pick up an airplane and read the name and the testimony on the piece of paper (or read the verse, or take the request home and pray for them that week).

Airplane Blitz B2

Same as Airplane Blitz B1, but throw loose socks, put the requests on slips of paper in the socks.


Page 2 of 42


All you need for this great game is a pretty big room and some gator skin balls (or balls that don’t hurt when you throw them at people!)
You put about five or six balls in the middle of the room. All participants stand around the outside line (if in a gymnasium) or touching the wall if in a regular room. When a leader yells “Alamo” the game begins. Anyone who gets a ball throws it, trying to hit others to get them out. The person who gets hit with a ball is out of the game and must sit down with legs crossed until the game is over. If the ball is thrown at a person and they catch the ball then the person who threw the ball is out. One catch though is that if you have a ball you cannot walk with it! The only way you can move with a ball is if you roll the ball on the floor. If a person is caught walking with a ball then they are out. This game is a winner and is great because you can play it over and over again because the games don’t last long. Plus, it’s contagious because everyone wants to get the winner of the previous game out! It’s great for all ages.

Alka Seltzer pop off

You will need:
Generic Alka Seltzer tablets (cheap is good)
35 mm film canisters (Fuji cans work best)
water in paper cups
The activity involves breaking up the Seltzer tablets, putting them in the film canisters and putting in a little water. Snap the lid shut and wait….
The seltzer will fizz and pop off the lid with a loud noise. Make sure the canister is being held pointing away from faces and other people. Make the activity more of a science experiment by allowing the kids to experiment with different amounts of seltzer and water to determine the best ratio of ingredients. Finally, have a “pop-off” where the kids attempt to get the longest distance from their lid when it pops off. Have the kids make markers to show how far their lids have gone, so you can see who achieve the greatest distance.
This activity works well as singles or in pairs. Water will get onto the floor, so avoid doing this in carpeted areas. Also, drying off the lip of the lids and the canister between experiments helps prevent premature pop-off.

Alka Seltzer rockets

This is based on the Alka Seltzer pop-off. As an added extra we issued the group with paper, scissors, tape etc. and they had to build rocket bodies to go over the film canisters. They were given 15 minutes to design, decorate and fix the bodies. Points were awarded for style, aerodynamics and decoration as well as height gained.

We also used baking soda and vinegar as propellants. It gives a much better fizz, smells disgusting and stings like mad if you get it in your eyes or any cuts. Maybe alka seltzer is a better option 🙁

Animal Farm

In this game the more people the better. We played this with over 20 people and it was so much fun.
First you need to have an even amount of people. Then you write down the name of animals on pieces of paper. (Eg. Duck, cow, camel) Write each animal twice on two separate slips of paper. Then hand out to each person a piece of paper with the name of an animal on it. They then have to find the other person in the group who has the same animal as theirs. Here’s the catch; it must be done in *utter silence*. A lot harder than it sounds (try acting like a pig in complete silence!) It’s hilarious to watch and so much fun to participate in. What once was a youth group turns into literally a pack of animals. It’s a great ice breaker and a favorite with us.

Anti Tag

This game starts with everyone frozen, while one player goes around tagging them, as they are tagged they must hold on to the tagger in order to slow him down. Once the


Page 3 of 42

See also “Catch One, Catch All”

tagger is unable to move he simply calls out a new name. The tagged can only hold “it” with one arm/hand. If all are tagged and “it” can still move, “it” wins.
Although, this game is not particularly fast moving, it can be fun for the children to see how many other children it takes to stop them. With this game it is important to keep the game moving, while also trying to make sure that many children get a chance to participate in the game.

Apes & Monkeys

Two people are designated as “apes” and are given sticks (bats, pool noodles work well, etc.) Everybody else is designated as a “monkey”. Put about 4 or 5 nerf balls into play. The apes’ goal is to hit the monkeys with the balls…when a monkey gets hit he/she is frozen. If all the monkeys are frozen the apes win and you start a new
game. The monkeys’ goal is to hit an ape with a ball (the apes use their sticks as shields.) If a monkey hits an ape then they switch (ape gives stick to monkey and becomes a monkey), and all the frozen monkeys are unfrozen. Loads of fun.

Army Dodge Ball ****

It is basically a free for all dodge ball game with a twist. if someone is hit in the arm or leg they can no longer use that arm or leg until the round is over. for example if someone throws the ball at you and it hits your right leg you can no longer use that leg you have to hop around on one foot until the round is over. If they are hit on the back, stomach or head, or all 4 limbs are hit, that person is “dead” or out, or if they use an appendage that they have lost in battle they are eliminated from that round. The last person standing wins the round. You can use one or more balls if you wish. This game can be played with or without teams, where the last person standing’s team is the winner.

Back to Back Sit

Back to back sit is a team building activity, in which children of approximately equal size sit with their backs together and elbows linked often times. They then push up against one another, in order to stand fully up. The activity relies heavily on each child contributing the same effort, which helps them better understand the importance of working together. This activity can also incorporate even more children, in one large group that all go back to back and form in a circular formation; with all of their backs pushing against one another’s, in order to stand up. It obviously gets more difficult as the group size increases, but it is always fun to see how large of a group can accomplish it.

Bald is Beautiful

Select several guys with moderately long hair (but not more than 5 or 6 inches…) Select several girls to be the “stylists”. Each boy pulls a nylon stocking over his head completely covering his hair but allowing his face to still show. The stylists then begin poking toothpicks through the nylon hose and pulling out tufts of hair. The most bizarre hairstyle wins the contest! I’ve had several guys wear their new hairstyle all night long! What a hoot!

Balloon Ball

Divide your group into two teams and have them sit facing each other, about 30 feet apart. Take a bunch of balls and use them as ammo to hit a balloon target set in the middle of the room. The goal is to get the balloon to cross the other team’s line by hitting the balloon with balls. No hands and no blowing the balloon. It is fun to watch because students are all focusing on the balloon and they get blindsided by flying balls. It’s awesome.

Balloon Crabs

First off, blow up enough balloons for all your youth and put a strip of tape (packing tape works well) around each youth’s waist sticky-side out. Divide the Youth into two teams and place enough balloons for each member on each team, opposite them. Then all at once (or relay style, if you like) the Youth crab-walk BACKWARDS towards their balloons, stick a balloon onto the tape on the BACKside of them, (without using


Page 4 of 42

their hands) and run (or crab-walk) back to the starting point to pop their
balloons. (again without hands) The first team to have popped ALL their balloons wins!

Balloon Dodge ball

In a confined area, person holding the balloon w/o moving throws the balloon to hit someone else who isn’t moving. If hits, person is out. If caught, thrower is out. No one can move until the balloon hits the ground. Once balloon is grabbed, no one can move. Continues till only one is left.

Balloon Juggling

2 balloons between 2 pairs that get further apart after each successful balance from one to another

Balloon Sticky-man

You will need a whole bunch of pre blown-up water balloons (air, not water), some tape, and some no-hands noisemakers. (Kazoos?) Divide everybody into two teams, and one person from each team is selected as ‘sticky-man’. Each ‘sticky-man’ has tape (packing tape?) wrapped around them sticky side out. Each team must then choose a special sound that the sticky-man will make with their noisemaker. The Group then lines up with their share of balloons, and relay-style, blindfolds themselves, grabs a balloon, and heads toward their sound and when they find it, sticks it on their sticky-man. The sticky-men can move around, making it more difficult if they

want. The first team to stick all their balloons on their sticky-man wins.

Balloon Volleyball ****

This game is played using 4 rows of 4 chairs. Place the chairs with two rows back to back in the middle, rows 2&3 and the other two rows on the outside facing in spaced far enough that the players feet almost reach the middle players feet, rows 1&4. Rows 1 & 3 are on one team and rows 2&4 are on the other team. The score keeper tosses an inflated balloon over the two middle rows to start the game. The team that hits the balloon over the other team (row 1 or 4) gets the point. You are not allowed to get up out of your seat. Playable with 6, better with 8 or more (use more chairs per row).

1 23 4 > <> < > <> < > <> < > <> <


Everyone splits into two teams. Everyone has a balloon around his or her ankle that contains a word out of a Bible verse. At the count to three, everyone tries to pop their opponents’ balloon and the first team that manages to piece together the Bible verse wins.

Baskets & Books *****

In this game you will be using old/unnecessary phone books.
Each team needs a trashcan and a phone book. Divide your group into teams (3-4 per team is best). One team member from each team holds their trash basket behind a line that that is about 8 feet away from their team members. Have the trash basket holders separate themselves a bit. The other team members are given a phone book. On your mark of “go”, the team members with the phone book start tearing out pages, wadding them into balls, and try to throw them into their team’s basket. After 60 seconds, the team with the most paper wads in their basket wins. You could even have a
play-off. Take the top 2 teams and have them compete against each other.

Beat the Ball


Beat the Ball is similar to baseball, in set up and fielding, except the batter or kicker (depending on if you play a kick ball or baseball version) must run round all the bases and back home to be safe. Also instead of just tagging the batter or the base the fielding team must throw the ball around all the bases and back home before the batter.


Page 5 of 42


In one variation, for younger children, larger squares marked off by cones instead of bases are used. In this variation require that all base runners be inside one of the squares before the ball is returned to a designated child standing inside of a hula hoop, and a stop command is given by the child in the that hula hoop. If any child is not safely inside a square at that point they are out. In another variation have three balls and require that all three balls are returned to the child in the hula hoop, instead of just having the one ball that must go around the bases. This may also make it easier for teams to score points.


Beat the Ball can be a lot of fun and is a good game for developing teamwork. However, the teamwork and communication is, often times, just not there, and the game becomes a purely offensive game, making it frustrating for both teams, at times. In order to help the defense try encouraging children to take the time to focus, set up their throws, and execute good accurate throws; because, once the ball is overthrown in can be very hard to recover for that play. Also you may try increasing the base path, or require runners to continue up to two times around, thereby allowing more time for an out to be made.

Before and After

Make up a ‘deck’ of 66 cards, a Book of the Bible on each. Teams stand on their colors and Game Guy/Gal walks quickly around the circle holding up ‘deck’ so each team can pick a card. Game Guy continues around and asks each team in turn what Book comes before and after the Book they picked. One Book right gets 1000pts, both right, 3000pts – (points are cheap!) This game goes very quick, (if they can’t get either book right, no points – but tell them the correct Books.) Game leader keeps in his/her pocket for a quick change of pace anytime…and a great Bible Books drill! (I might add – it behooves the leader to make sure they know their Books of the Bible!)

Bench Ball

Like dodgeball with multiple balls, and there are no teams, so everybody is a
target. And here’s the big twist: when someone gets you out by hitting you with a ball, you remember who got you out, then if later that person gets out, you go back in! This keeps the people who are “out” interested in the game. The game usually goes on forever, although it is possible to be the last one standing.
Start with 3-7 balls on the floor in the center of the hall/room/field, and all of the kids out of bounds around the sides (or touching a wall). Then yell, GO!
The usual rules apply: if the ball is caught in the air, the thrower is out instead. If the thrower hits someone in the head, the thrower is out. You can deflect a thrown ball with a ball that you are holding and you are not out (but neither is the thrower). You could limit the number of balls that one person can have at one time, although watching someone try to run around holding four balls is pretty amusing.
You may want to choose softer balls, especially if you’ve got some really big guys who can throw really hard. We use a variety of balls, like slightly-deflated four-square balls, plus a few nerf balls.

Bible Chair Drills

The best place for this game would be in a sanctuary. Put every one of your youth in the back pews. Split into two teams. Put one team on each side of the church. Place a chair in front of the podium on the floor. In front of the altar. Call out a Bible verse and the first one to find it has to run up to the front and sit in the chair and read

it. Sometimes they may get the verse at the same time. Then it becomes a race. It may end up in a battle for the chair. Fun to watch.


Page 6 of 42

Bible Obstacle Course

Set up chairs, pins, and whatever else you can come up with and have the kids go through the course to the other side of the game area. At the end of the course, they pick up a slip of paper from their team’s pile and run it back through the course, and the next kid would go. When all of the slips of paper are gathered, they open them to see a few verses from the Bible (color coded) to assemble like a puzzle. The first team to finish this task and read the verses to me won the contest.
This game is a real winner, and I plan to use it at least once again this Awana season. Next time around, I will use thicker paper, have a place for the kids to deposit their paper for assembly, and color code the paper, not just the writing on it.
This game takes more time than most, which is a good thing. It excites the kids, which is a good thing. It also is used to place Biblical passages in the forefront of their minds, which is a great thing. Even kids who wouldn’t be there were it not for the games were getting into it, reading verses out loud. I chose verses from their books, as they are very strong in presenting the good news and to reinforce them in their book time, where they must recite these same verses.
Alternate ideas include words of a single verse, passages from the Bible and so on. Have an equal number of paper slips for each team and encourage them to work together.

Blinded Wheelbarrow Race 

Everyone knows how to play the traditional wheelbarrow game by holding onto a person’s ankles and they walk with their arms. This is the same idea with a couple twists.
Have everyone get a partner, then each team receives a blindfold. In the room place chairs that stagger back and forth for them to go around, for my youth group I set up two sets of staggering chairs that were identical so that two teams could go at the same time and they had the same “course” to go through. Have two teams line up and go when you tell them to, the blindfolded wheelbarrow person has no clue where they are going, so the person holding their ankles has to tell them directions. The first team back across the line wins!

This game was a huge hit for my Sr. High students, it got very funny as they were bumping into each other and into the chairs because their drivers were not very good!

Bottle Spin
See also “Helicopter”

Put a small amount of water into a plastic 2 liter soft drink bottle. Attach this “loaded” bottle to the end of a rope about three meters long. Have the group stand in a circle around a leader and “Spin the Bottle.” The idea of the game is that the youth in the circle jump over the bottle each time it passes them. If they are struck by the bottle they are out. This game is a huge favorite with our youth!!

Box Ball (4-Square)

Use tape to create a big square with four equally sized squares. Use a kickball/dodgeball. Start off with four players–a ‘king’, a ‘queen’, a ‘joker’, and a ‘baby’. The king serves, and the goal is to move yourself up to the ‘king’ spot.
The king serves. You cannot hit the ball until it bounces, and only if it bounces in your square. If you hit the ball out of the court, you’re out. If you miss the ball, you’re
out. If the ball bounces more than once in your square, you guessed it–you’re out.

We use the circle portion of the Games Square, and put 2 on a team, 1 team per color section (so it isn’t really 4-Square, more like 4-Pie).

Box Cut Game

You’ll need: a box (cereal box actually works well) and scissors
Gather the students in a circle. Set a box in the middle of the circle. Each student takes a turn picking up the box — the catch is you have to pick it up with your mouth, and you can’t touch the ground with your knees or hands, and your feet must remain flat on


Page 7 of 42

the ground. When everyone in the circle has done this, cut the box so it’s a little smaller. Continue going around the circle, cutting the box lower each time around, until finally it is simply flat on the ground. Each round, those who can’t pick up the box are out. Sounds quite cheesy, but it was so much fun, and the kids had a blast seeing how everyone contorted their bodies to pick up this box. (I’m still amazed at the splits some of the girls — and guys! — did!)

Broken Down Car Relay

In the broken-car relay, each team will pretend that they’re part of a car with a problem, such as a stuck horn that’s blaring incessantly or windshield wipers that won’t stop moving. The children run the race acting out what’s broken. For example, if the car is stuck in reverse, the children will run backwards. Before each race begins, tell the runners what problems their car will have. Each team member will have a different problem.

Use the Game Circle, 1 team per color, then divide the children into two (or more) teams. Each team should line up single file behind the starting line.
At your signal, the race begins. One by one the children run around the circle while pretending to be the car with their assigned problem.

The first team that completes all of the relays wins the race.

Build a Picture

Divide large group into teams of 6-8. Provide a small pile of Jenga Blocks or children’s blocks for each team. The first member of the team comes forward for their first word to build for their team to guess. Use the same list of words for all teams but mix them up especially if they can hear each other guessing. Use word objects like window, snowflake, clock, book, car, etc. and have the builder “build” these objects with the blocks. The builder is not allowed to talk. The team that completes the entire word list first wins! Highschoolers really got into this one.

Butt Basketball

This game will bring out the competitive nature in all of your kids. It should be played in a room preferably on a carpet surface. Place two large trash cans at either end of a room on a chair or bench or something to be used as baskets. The rules are just like basketball except the players must be sitting down at all times, and there are no

fouls. Usually the person with the ball gets mugged and piled on if they hold it for too long. The rug burn factor is very high, but the kids absolutely love it!

Castle Siege

This game is a spin off from the classic Dodge Ball. You will need the following items.
1. Around 40 soft rubber balls of various sizes. don’t make them larger than a size 3 soccer ball. Make sure they are soft because the kids will be throwing them at each other during the game.
2. 50 shipping boxes each around 12″ by 18″ by 12″. These will be the bricks for the castle wall.
3. Four 8′ folding tables.
Game set up:
Set two tables lengthwise next to each other leaving 5 feet between them. This will give you a 16 foot base for your castle wall. Place the remaining 2 tables around 20 feet from the others in the same manner, this is the base for the other castle. On each table set up the boxes to resemble a castle wall. Leave some space between the boxes to allow the kids to have a place to throw the balls. The space between the tables will be the only entrance to the castle.
Each team starts with equal amount of ammunition (balls) for each team.
The objective of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s castle by knocking the boxes off the tables by throwing the balls at them.


Page 8 of 42

Any balls that end up in the area between the castles can only be retrieved by any member of each team leaving the castle entrance and making it back without being hit with a ball thrown by the opposing team. If a player is hit by a ball he is considered wounded and can only be rescued (tagged) by a team mate. Once tagged the player can return to the castle. If he is hit again before he reaches the castle he is again considered wounded.
Players cannot enter the opposing team’s castle and balls can only be thrown from behind the castle walls.
The game is over when all one team’s boxes have been knocked off the tables.

Catch One, Catch All


See also “Anti Tag”

Number of participants:​ A big group is needed, more than 6
Length of time:​ No set amount of time needed. The more kids, the longer it goes. What players will need:​ A big space that’s safe to run around in
Rules of the game: The game starts with one person as It. He runs around and tries to tag everyone else. When he gets someone, they join him in hunting for new people to tag. The last person untagged becomes the new “It”. Game ends when the kids are tired of it, or you’re out of time.

Caterpillar Race

Divide a large group into several teams. Each team gets a bed sheet. Have one half of each team go to the opposite side of the room for a relay race. Hand a bed sheet to the first person in line on one side of the room. At the word “GO”, the first person must drop to the floor on the bed sheet, roll themselves up into a “caterpillar” and then “inchworm” crawl to their teammates across the room. There they must unroll (the receiving team may assist!) then the next person in line rolls up and inches back to the other side. Continue the relay until each person has crossed to the other side. Great fun!

Caterpillar Race 2

This is one game that never fails (as yet!). Have two old sleeping bags and two
racers. Each racer is put in the sleeping bag head first so that they can’t see where they are going. Ideally only their feet, if anything, will be visible out the end. Set up a starting line and a finishing line. On ‘go’ the ‘caterpillars’ must squirm and wiggle their way to the other end. To add variety and vast amounts of hilarity, set up obstacles like chairs and boxes for them to go over, under, between or around. First one to the finish line is the winner.

Chair Balloon Ball

A non-carpeted floor is the best surface for this game. Divide the students up into two even teams and have each team choose a goalie. Have the goalies sit across from one another at each end of the playing area. These are not traditional goalies, their job is to get the balloon and sit on it before the other team counts to three (loudly). The rest of the players all have their own chair that they can not get out of. The game style is similar to soccer but each player moves around the room in a chair and uses their free hand to hit the balloon and their other hand to hold onto the chair. The teams play offense and defense and score when their goalie (who is on the other end of the playing area) pops a balloon. Note to leader: have each kid blow up one balloon before you get started, the game moves fast.

Chair Game

Directions: set up chairs in a circle and have everyone except one person sit
down. Have the one person go in the middle of the circle. Now have the person that is on the right of the empty chair move into the empty chair and the person that is NOW beside the empty chair move into that chair and so on meanwhile the person in the middle has to try and sit down in that chair. When the person gets into that chair the person to the right of the former empty chair is in the middle.


Page 9 of 42

Charade Telephone

See also “Location, Occupation, Weapon”

Ok, think Who’s Line is it Anyway? Select a group of 6 teens to line up shoulder to shoulder. Have them face the rest of the group. What we do is put up something that must be acted out on our TV screens that the audience can see and that the 1st person is allowed to then look at (the rest of the kids CANNOT peek!). Whatever is on the screen is what the 1st kid must act out without talking. Now make the kids all face to one side of the room so they cannot see the person behind them (they are looking at the back of the person in front of them).

The 1st kid now taps the shoulder of the person in front of him/her so that they turn around. Whatever was on the screen is acted out and 2nd teen must interpret what it is as best they can. When they think they got it, that turn around and tap the person in front of them. Etc Etc til it gets to the end person.
What happens is wacky wild charades that change throughout the course of the
game. The last person must guess what they think was on the screen. I usually have the rest try to guess as well and then let them know all together. Much laughter from the audience from this one. The more creative the ‘clues’ or ‘guesses’ the better.
Ones that have worked for us – “A Rabbit playing baseball,” “Cutting someone’s hair…on a rollercoaster,” and my personal favorite “Jack Sparrow as Spiderman.”

Clothespin Game

While the music is playing, everyone runs around with clothespins on the back of their shirts and tries to grab other people’s pegs. When the music stops, whoever does not have a peg is out and the space to run around gets smaller every time the music stops.

Clothespins – Balloon Relay 

You will need:
Masking tape
Small balloons
Blow up as many small balloons that you think you will need. Place them at one end of the room. At the other end of the room divide a wall into different sections for goals (each team will have a section). Take strips of tape and link each end together in an “O” shape (sticky side on the outside). Put a lot of strips on the wall. Each area must have the same amount masking tape in their goal area. Give each team member a clothespin. The object of the game is to pick up the balloons with the clothespin in your mouth without using your hands and get as many balloons stuck on the your team’s goal strips at the other end of the room. If the balloon is dropped anywhere along the way, that person has to keep trying to pick it up with the

clothespin. Whichever team has the most balloons on the tape in their goal area when all the balloons are off the floor – WINS! Helpful hint: since players cannot use their hands at all, they can use their knees to hold the balloons in place and pick up the balloons by the tail. But you don’t have to give them this helpful hint.


Instead of a murder mystery we had our jr. youth try to find “Who smashed the Pumpkin?” (it was a fall theme).We picked 7 designated rooms in our church and picked 7 items from around our house to use as weapons, ex. boot, hammer,
wrench. All the jr. youth were suspects. A weapon was placed in each room along with several names and a clue about the room. The name that was not in a room was the criminal. Everything was ready by the time the kids arrived and all the lights in the church were turned off. The kids broke up into groups and were given a paper listing the suspects, weapons and rooms. Then the kids were sent off to find all the clues with their flashlights. The first group to figure out who, with what and where won a prize. It took our kids about 2 hours to play and begged to play again as soon as they were finished.


Page 10 of 42

(Please add the following information onto the Clue game that has already been submitted. This includes a few more details that a lot of people have been asking for and will be helpful. Thanks!)
In each designated room there was a clue about a weapon (object), the room and the suspects. I gave each group of kids a list of the rooms, the objects and the suspects. Objects
I used objects like a hammer, wrench, boot, etc. I hid one object in each room and a clue about the object. The clue was written on a piece of paper that was hidden and said that the object in this room is not the one used to smash the pumpkin. And just one clue said that the object in this room WAS the weapon used.
In each designated room, which were listed on the papers given to the kids, I hid one clue saying that the room they were in was Not the room the pumpkin was
smashed. And in the room I chose as the one I just taped pumpkin seeds to the
walls. For some of the rooms the clue was that the kids had to go find a specific leader and ask them about the room, this made it more fun for the leaders since we got to hide throughout the church.
I used the kids’ names that were expected to be there that night. I wrote the suspects’ names on slips of paper and divided them among the rooms. I told the kids that the names they found were the kids who did not do it, and of course I did not hide one or two of the names so when the kids eliminated the names off their papers as they found them there would be two names left of who smashed the pumpkin.
All of the clues sound very easy but I used small pieces of paper that I taped throughout the rooms which they had to find with flashlights in the dark. And finding the name Sam on a small piece of paper in a large sanctuary is not easy. 🙂 The kids we work with are 7th & 8th graders so I didn’t make it very easy on them, but the clues can be tapered to the ages of your kids.

Clue – Variation

This is a variation of the clue game submitted by Holly Steffy (great idea Holly!!!). In this one, I generally tried to stick to the board game rules, only we used rooms in the church instead of the board. I made up cards and a case file envelope all in Microsoft Word available for download from our youth group website at There you will find a readme file with more explanation so that this post is not too long.

I’ve made the rules a little slimmer and added one so that it would work in a youth environment. The BEST size I’ve found is no more than 8 in a group (game) or else there is way too much time between turns.
The gist of it is EVERYONE who is in the building can be a suspect, plus about six weapons and about 7 or 8 rooms. I used less gory weapons like a butter knife and a jump rope and a stick of gum but I really like the idea of a smashed pumpkin instead of a murder – much more pleasing to the parents I’m sure (Although Clue is a pretty universally accepted game).

Take turns (instead of clockwise order, go alphabetically) suggesting the room, weapon, and person. For example, for Mark’s turn he would suggest that Sam used a butter knife in the youth pastor’s office (shame, shame, shame). In order to do this he must take the youth group into the office before he can say this (This takes the place of moving pieces on the board game.). A person cannot, like in the game, make a suggestion in the same room two consecutive turns. Also, I added the rule: if you touch


Page 11 of 42

anything in a room, you will be accused of tampering with the evidence and will lose a turn. This kept things in order.


Clumps is a good game for a lot of people, and it could be used as an icebreaker. This game needs a lot of people. You can play this game indoors on carpet or even a hard surface or it can be played outside on grass (if you’re not afraid of grass stains). First tell everyone to take their shoes off (or leave them on, I prefer having them off). Now, the idea of this game is to be the last two people standing. To do this, you need to get in human clumps! The moderator (or someone who doesn’t want to play) calls out different numbers. Let’s say he calls out 4. Everyone would have to get in groups of four by hugging, grabbing, any way to get into a human clump. People who are not in groups of four, or the “leftovers” are eliminated from the game. Do this until there are two winners.

HAVE FUN! but be careful. People are pulled around in this game so make sure everyone is up to the challenge.

Coin Flip Derby

This game is a favorite in our class. Set up 2 rows of about 5 chairs. Have 2 boys and 2 girls come up. One girl and one boy each get a coin. The other two players sit at one end of each row. The player with the coin flip it. If it is heads, the player of that team moves up one chair. If it is tails, the players of that team moves back one chair. For example Bill and Frank are playing Abigal and Gertie. Bill and Gertie are the
flippers. Frank and Abigal sit in the seats. If Bill flips and gets heads, Frank moves up one seat. If Gertie flips and gets tails, Abigal moves back one seat. Whoever gets to the other end of the row first wins.

Coin Toss Tag


Coin toss tag is a favorite game for clubbers of all ages. This game centers around, as you may have guessed, a coin; preferable a large coin (I like to use the largest coin I can find such as the Eisenhower dollar, which is about an inch and a half in diameter), although any size coin will work fine. The clubbers are divided into two equal teams; a heads team and the tails teams as to correspond to the heads and tails sides on coin. The teams are lined up facing one another, with the coin tosser in the middle. The coin is tossed up, the result called out, and the clubbers then determine based on the result whether to run away or give chase. So if it is heads then the heads team must chase the tails team and via versa. The object is to for clubbers to either touch a wall or cross a line, on the other side of the room, without being tagged by the other team, and once they are tagged they must join the opposing team. The game can go back and forth for a while and ends when everyone has become a member of the same team. Considerations

The main advantage of this game is that no one has to go sit out when they are tagged, they simply switch teams. Additionally, the game can usually be run to completion within a 15 to 20 minute period, and if not the team with the most players at the end can be declared the winners. However, one downside is it does not facilitate teamwork between clubber as well as other true team games because clubbers are so often changing teams. Also, another potential point of conflict is that some clubbers have difficulty switching from a team that their friend was on, and therefore will circumvent changing teams when they are tagged. Also, as with other tagging games, it is important to watch out for clubber being aggressive and tagging to hard or pushing. Consequently, if the wall variant is used it is important that clubbers understand they need to back off and accept the results, as the opposing clubber near the wall, instead of trying to make the last minute tag.


Page 12 of 42

Coke Relay

It is super simple but the kids loved it. Have about 3-4 teams, depending on the size of your group. At one end of the room is a 2 liter bottle of Coke (one for each team), at the other is an empty pitcher (also one for each team). The goal is to get the most Coke into the pitcher in the time limit. Two kids have to pull one across the room on a rug or sheet and the kid that rides across has to get as much as he can in his mouth then get pulled back and spit it in the pitcher.

Combat Baseball

Equipment: 4 “bases”, a plastic baseball bat, a semi flat medium sized rubber ball. Clubbers/line: All four teams at the same time
Description: This game can take up some space and for the most part is played like baseball. Set up the “bases” at the four corners of the Game Square (this game does not at all need a Game Square). Dependant on your club size, put either two or three of the color lines out “in the field” and one team “at bat” (If you only put two color lines in the outfield, then put the fourth team, the one not at bat or in the field, off to the side to wait for their turn). Tell the colorline “at bat” to line up shortest to tallest and have the first in line to take the bat and step up to the plate. Stand on the opposite side of the plate with the ball and toss it in the air for the clubber to hit it. Here are the rules: There are no strikes or walks. There are no 3 outs to an inning, each clubber on a team could get out and it doesn’t matter. Every clubber gets one “at bat”. If the ball is caught in the air without hitting the ground first, he/she is out and goes back to their line. If the ball hits the ground in fair territory then the batter runs to first base just like baseball. The ONLY way to get a clubber out is by hitting them with the ball Dodgeball-style. They cannot tag them or the base to get them out. However, whoever has the ball in their hand is frozen and can’t run with it. Everyone bats once on the team and then you switch things around to get a new color line at bat.

Variations/Comments: Judge what you think is best for calling a dead ball and forcing the runner to stop. I usually stop it when the ball is near the infield and well in control by one of the fielders. You don’t really want to have a mad rush of someone hitting a homerun just because every throw to get them out missed them completely and rolled away. Be very strict about grabbing or pushing the base runners. When played right, this game can move VERY fast and the kids tend to get excited and will forget any hands-off rule. Remind them. If you have time, it’s fun to put all of the clubbers in the field and give the leaders a shot at one at bat each.

Come Into My Parlor

Best played in a dark church with lots of hiding places. Let 2 kids hide
somewhere. They are the “spiders”. Elect one leader to act as “Parlor”. They wander around and wait in places with a bag of sweets. Rest of group are “flies” and have to wear one of those flimsy paper hats you get out of Christmas crackers.
“Flies” have to find “Parlor” and get rewarded with a sweet each time they find
it. Spiders have to jump out on passing flies and tear off their hat. Flies caught have to return to base. If all flies caught, game ends. Other leaders can stop game if it goes on too long. Winner is fly with most sweets AND a hat.
Note: Spiders have to hide, but can change hiding place. They can’t run around like tag.
Be prepared for a lot of screaming.


You will need three air powered Nerf guns, two youth leaders with good judgment (one to serve as the “Contact Person”, the other to serve as the “Commando”), some candy bars (as many as you would like), and a multilevel church building.


Page 13 of 42

First, you will need to hide the candy bars throughout the church. Hide them in plain site, not buried beneath a ton of stuff. If you don’t recover them at the end of the game, rats will!
Next, tell the kids that they must recover all candy bars (tell them the number hidden), returning them to a youth leader (the “Contact Person”) who roams aimlessly throughout the church. They must do so without getting “shot” by a “commando” (a youth leader stealthfully stalking with a Nerf gun). If they are “shot”, the kids must immediately sit down, next to a wall in the room or hall. They are not permitted to speak to any of their teammates, alerting them to the presence of the “commando”.

If a youth group member is shot while smuggling candy to the “Contact Person”, they must immediately surrender it to the “Commando”. He or she will resist the urge to munch and rehide it.
Announce “ALIVE!” every three minutes, so the “dead” can re-enter the game.

Once the final candy bar is recovered, the “Contact Person” will supply the person who found it with his or her own Nerf “gun”. They will then go hunting for the
commando. If the commando “shoots” this young person first, he or she will surrender the “gun” to the “contact person” who will redistribute it. The hunt continues until the commando conquers, or is conquered.

One final note: Once the Nerf “gun” is distributed to the youth from the “contact person”, the call, “ALIVE!”, should no longer be given. The game would go on forever!

Crab Soccer

Crab Soccer is an old favorite. The game is played pretty much like regular soccer expect children must be like a crab on all 4’s in a supine (meaning with the face and the anterior (ventral) portion of the body facing up, or the opposite of prone position with posterior (dorsal) portion of the body facing up) Anyhow, this makes it really difficult to move around an advance the ball , which serves to even the play out, putting faster more skilled players a disadvantage, while putting slower players in a relatively more advantageous position. Although, their position is also a compromised one most are going to be more competitive, and will not usually be at as great of a disadvantage, as they would be if both were upright. This is first, because of the much slower speed of the game, and because most skilled soccer player do not often practice moving it the crab position. For this reason, the game is allows both teams to have a lot of fun. Exception for the crab stance can be made for the goalies only, other than the crab stance requirement normal rules of soccer apply with expectations of specific positions rules, and perhaps penalty kicks.

Crab Volleyball

You need a clear indoor space for this one like an empty classroom or fellowship
hall. Set two chairs back to back about eight to ten feet apart. Drape a rope or a piece of fabric across the chairs for the net. The ball is a balloon. Volleyball rules apply except everyone is seated. You have to stay on the floor to hit the ball… no getting on your knees. I make the general rule that their butt has to be at the ground. My middle and high school kids love this one. It’s funny enough for the laid back kids and just enough competition for the jocks to stay interesting for all.

Crazy Chairs

This is a variation of musical chairs. Instead of a circle, put the chairs at random around the room, facing different directions. The only new rules you have to add are: No running. Who’s ever bottom is in the chair first gets it. If you hit a chair hard enough to knock it over, you’re out and finally, no guarding chairs. For large groups, I take two chairs at a time out. I designate two kids to do that every time. I’ve played this in my classroom for 20 years with all sizes and ages of kids. It’s always a winner.


Page 14 of 42

Crazy Jumble

To play this game you must get your group in a large circle, either inside or
out. Everyone is given a slip of scrap paper and something to write with.
Each Member writes down a “crazy” thing to do. Such as “Sing the Barney Song” or “Hop up and down on one foot”, or whatever else they may find silly.
The timer is set for 30 seconds, and everyone passes around their piece of paper. The first person opens their paper, and then gets in the middle of the group to do what it says. This gets EVERYONE involved, and looking silly. It’s a great ice breaker, and lets face it – it gets everyone laughing. Also a GREAT picture opportunity! Variation: have the things written ahead of time, and have everyone draw out of a hat.

Do You Want To Buy A Duck?

This is a pointless, never-ending game that kids at camp LOVED!
It starts by one person asking another: “Do you want to buy a duck?” and then the conversation goes on like this:
Person 1: “Do you want to buy a duck?”
Person 2: “A what?”
1:”A duck.”
2:”Does it quack?”
1:”It quacks.”
2:”How much?”
1:”Five dollars.”
That’s all you have to know to play… because then person 2 turns, and asks someone else…
2:”Do you want to buy a duck?”
3:”A what?”
2:”A what?”
1:”A duck.”
2:”A duck.”
3:”Does it quack?”
2:”Does it quack?”
1:”It quacks.”
2:”It quacks.”
3:”How much?”
2:”How much?”
1:”Five dollars.”
2:”Five dollars.”
3:”Do you want to buy a duck?”
4:”A what?…”
The only way to get out is to say the wrong thing… eventually, you’ll have a whole line of people asking the questions… We would sometimes start this in the lunchroom, and criss-cross until everyone got confused!
I don’t know why, but it’s a hit… and once you start playing it, you’ll dread
hearing… “Hey! You wanna buy a duck!?”

Dodgeball – Toilet Roll/Cup Variation

This is a fairly quick and easy variation to dodgeball that gets everyone involved and is stacks of fun.
What you will need is:
– Toilet rolls (lots of them)

– Disposable cups
With this variation of the game, divide a room/playing area into two halves, as with


Page 15 of 42

normal dodgeball. Then set up a number of pyramids made from 3 disposable cups each behind each team. These are each teams’ lives, which the other team has to knock over by throwing the toilet rolls at them. When a team has lost all their pyramids, then they’re out.
Unlike dodgeball, there are no outs, rather by catching/stopping the ball means that you are protecting your pyramids from the possibility of getting hit.
Awesome fun for everyone involved, and it’s great for building up teams.
Extra notes:
We also set up a ‘no-defend’ zone behind each team to prevent teams from standing directly over the pyramids to protect them – it makes the game a bit quicker.

Double Disk
See also “Airplane Blitz,” “Four Corners of the Sky” and “Q-Tip Wars”

Need 2 frisbees, and a way to divide the room (lines of game square should work). Divide kids into 2 teams, one Frisbee per side. Teams throw the Frisbees back & forth, trying not to have both their side at the same time. Any time both are on the same side, the other team scores a point. First team to 10 points wins.
Could try with more teams, or more/less points depending on number & age of players.

Downside Up ****

Get 30 cups (or more or less depending on group size) and spread them around the room, half the right way up, the other – upside down.
Split the youth into to teams, on the word ‘Go’ – one team has to turn the cups the right way up, the other team has to turn them up side down, after a certain time limit, stop the game and the team with the most cups in their direction (up or down) wins!!!

Elima-Ball *****

This is a game that I made up for my youth. It is a simple game of throw and catch, but my youth absolutely love it and have played it day after day.
Form the youth into a wide circle with each youth in a chair. Have a rubber kickball to throw. Each youth will throw the ball to another youth. If the throw is wild, the thrower is out. If the good throw is not caught, the catcher is out. A youth can not throw the ball to the person in the chair directly to each side of him/her. The youth leader has the final say on who is out in each situation.


The name describes the game perfectly; Exhaustion is a game that really tests a child determination to the limit, especially when players are evenly matched.
Children line up on a circle, and are given numbers. Each player is given a number which corresponding to the numbers given to the other teams on the circle, ideally numbers are 1-4 for 4 groups of 4, but of course the numbers and groups sizes can be changed accordingly. The game is fairly simply; when the player’s number is called each player with that number steps out and chases the player in front of them. All players run in the same direction; trying to tag the players in front of them. Once a player is tagged they must step off the circle and out of the way. The last player left is the winner.


This game is a favorite; it really gets the children cheering on and supporting their teammates, as they push their endurance to the limit. Although, sometimes the round just has to be called, due to time considerations, if the players are deadlocked with no one making advances.

Fishers Of Men

Two kids -“fishermen”- hold a sheet between them and dash around the room trying to catch other kids in the group by wrapping them in the sheet. Once caught the “fish” are put in an area designated “the boat”. Very simple – but good to launch a discussion about what Jesus really had in mind


Page 16 of 42

Flag Tag


Flag tag is a tag game that uses capture the flag flags instead of just relying on the conventional touch other tag games. This gives children and you a better indication that they have been tagged. In addition, it also give children two outs (if you use the flag belts that contain individual flags as opposed to the ones which have all the flags connected) which should help give children more playing time between outs. If flags are not available you could have children stuff old socks or other clean rags in their pockets. Have children bring all the pulled flags to you. Once a child is tagged require them to perform 5 jumping jacks or 5 pushups before returning to play, which makes it less competitive and allows faster return to play.
Or if you want to make it more competitive you could have children hold on to the flags they have pulled, and go out once they lose both flags. Then you would tally up the flags of each child to determine who has the most flags, for first, second, and third place.
It is important to make sure that children do not continue playing once their flags are pulled, but that they immediately go out. Also some children may block others from pulling their flags, hold on to their flags, tie their flags (making it almost impossible for others to pull them), or wrap up their flags (which makes less available for others to pull). For this reason, it is important to explicitly forbid these things and to be on the lookout for any of these practices. Of course if you are not looking out for these things the children will certainly want to alert you to it.

Flashlight Tag

The object is to be the first person to crawl across a large room. But there are three catches.
The game is played in TOTAL darkness.
Each leader has a flashlight. If they tag you, you must go back to the start.

There are obstacles all over the floor. The last time I played this it was in a dining room full of tables and chairs.
I play this game every year and have refined it further. Instead of just trying to stop the kids from crossing a finish line, these days I hide an item somewhere in the room and the kids find it. If they get tagged, they have to go back to start, but the game is a lot harder because the kids don’t even know where they should be looking. Sometimes in the darkness, we’ll move the item to somewhere the kids have already looked.
The only drawback to this game is that it’s murder on kids’ knees.

Flying Fish Race

A very simple and short game. Participants would be given paper fishes, all of similar sizes. Players then get on hands and knees and when the Game Leader shouts “Go”, they will compete among each other to blow their fish to the finishing line. The first one that reaches the finishing line wins.

Players can make the fish
Use a paper plate to “blow” the fish instead

Football Pop

This game requires a lot of balloons and is best played with a large group
indoors. After dividing the group into two groups, place a balloon in the center of the playing area. The object is to get the balloon “football” to the opposing team’s goal without one of the opponents taking or bursting the balloon.
We have found that a successful goal is something that the balloon carrier must go under (a table) and then stand on a chair in order to reach the “football popper” (a pencil fastened to a high place on the wall).


Page 17 of 42

Four Corners of the Sky

For four or more people. Make a big X with masking tape on the floor of your
room. Explain that the four quadrants made are the north, south , east, and
west. Divide into four teams, each named after the quadrant they are in (north, south, east, and west winds). Using paper holes (from a hole puncher), equally cover all areas of the floor with paper “stars”.
When the leader says “Blow, Winds, Blow!”, each wind team tries to blow the winds out of their corner of the sky. After a predetermined time has elapsed, the team with the least amount of stars wins. An easy way to clean up this game is to have each team pick up their own stars as they count them. Time for game should be about one minute per round. Less time for younger age groups or smaller teams.

Fox and Geese

Number of participants:​ Four or more
Length of time:​ Five to 30 minutes
What players will need:​ Sand, snow, or pavement and chalk
Fox and Geese​ is a great game to play in the snow, but is also fun on pavement or in sand. In this variation on the game Tag, players have to stay on the lines as they try to avoid a cunning fox.
Rules of the game:
To prepare for the game, draw a large circle (between 30 and 50 feet across) with eight to ten spokes running from the center of the circle to the edges. In snow, you can do this with a snow shovel or by packing snow down with your feet. In sand, drag a stick to make the lines. On pavement, you can draw the lines with a piece of chalk.
The children choose one player to be the fox. He stands in the center of the circle, while the others scatter around the outside or on the spokes of the wheel. At the adult’s signal, the fox takes off after the geese. Everyone, including the fox, must stay on the lines at all times. If two geese run into each other, one or both can turn around, or they can try to pass each other, but they can’t step anywhere but on the lines.
When the fox catches a goose or if a goose steps off the lines, the goose becomes the new fox. The game goes on until the children tire of it or the snow melts (or the lines fade away), whichever comes first.
Other ways to play it:
Instead of switching foxes when a goose gets tagged, each caught child can join the fox in hunting down his prey. The last goose not to become a fox is the winner.

Frisbee Bowling

Divide group into equal teams. Place ten plastic cups upside down, on top of each other, in a pyramid fashion on a table for each team. Have each team stand an equal distance away from their table. Each team member throws the frisbee to knock down the cups for 1 point a piece. Have a team leader keep score and reset the “pins”. Each team throws the same amount of rounds and the team with the most points wins.

Frisbee Bowling 2

Divide group into equal teams. Place ten plastic cups upside down, on top of each other, in a pyramid fashion on a table for each team opposite each other. When “go” is said, each team will try to knock down the other team’s pyramid, while rebuilding their own pyramid. The first team to knock over all the cups wins.

Gargon *****

To be played in the dark. Take apart a flashlight into its parts. i.e. battery, bulb, case etc.. Select one (2+ for larger groups) person (the Gargon) to hide each of the parts throughout an area (indoor or outdoor). Each part MUST be visible if the lights were turned on.

Send the group into the area to hide and search for the flashlight parts. After one minute, the Gargon is sent out repeatedly saying ‘Gargon!’. The goal of the group is to


Page 18 of 42

find each part of the flashlight, put it together, and shine it on the Gargon, ending the game. However, anyone the Gargon touches must sit down and is ‘caught.’ To be freed a person holding a part of the flashlight can touch the person who is ‘caught.’
Note: If a person holding a flashlight part is ‘caught’ the flashlight part cannot be transferred to a new person. Excellent game that can be played over and over.

Gorilla Egg Hunt

You need 3 plastic eggs for every player, a roll of masking tape and a pen. Number your eggs in sequence. I used the masking tape so I could write on the eggs. There will be three eggs with a 1 on them, three eggs numbered with a 2 and so on. Hide them in a designated area or in several rooms side by side. As young people arrive put a number on them with the tape to correspond with each set of eggs. For example, I had 6 middle schoolers at a meeting. I hid 18 eggs. The kids were numbered 1 through 6. The rules are simple. They have to find their eggs. If the egg they find doesn’t have their number on it they have to leave it. They can also choose to rehide the

egg. However, adults circulate around the room. If they catch someone with an egg that doesn’t match their number they have to surrender one of their numbered eggs. It’s a blast for the kids and the leaders.


The game is played in the dark, usually guys against girls. On each side of the room is a chair with an item under it (i.e. a hymnbook). The objective is to get the object under the opposing team’s chair. However, you can’t run into people on the other team. If you do, you must say “Gotcha” first, and the other person is out. Everyone returns to their side of the room, and start over trying for the object.

The other hitch is that it must be played on your hands and knees (this avoids people hurting each other in the dark) There are frequently disputes over who said “Gotcha” first, so it may be helpful to have someone listening for that.

Guidance Game

Get one (or maybe even SOME) volunteer(s) from the youth group, then divide the rest into “GOOD GUYS” and “BAD GUYS.” Have the volunteer leave the playing area and give the rest of the group 5-10 minutes to completely rearrange the room, then bring back the blind-folded volunteer to “run the gauntlet” – to get from one side of the room to the other. The good guys try and talk the blindfolded through, while the bad guys try and deceive. A good activity that helps drive a lesson about hearing God’s voice and drowning out the world.


You get the youth to form into 2 groups. Each one will send out a representative. Both of them will stand in the middle and they will bow their heads and say “hagu”. This signals the start of the game. After they said “hagu”, they must look at each
other. Whoever smiles or laughs first will be eliminated and a new representative will replace him. The person in the middle can talk or crack jokes but he must not laugh at his own joke or he will be out too. Both teams can help their representative by making funny noises, acts or cracking jokes to get the other person to laugh or smile. But they must be careful that in doing so, they will not make their own teammate laugh

instead. The game continues until all players in a team are eliminated.

Hand Balloon Soccer


See also “Bottle Spin”

Materials: rope, and something with significant weight.
Objective: Don’t get hit by the rope or the weighty object on the end of it.
How it works: Someone in the middle of a circle of people swings the rope around in a circle about ankle height while the youth jump over it.
Ages: pretty much >9 or 10 depending on athletic ability
Numbers: if there are much more than 20 the game stops too often, 3-10 is probably ideal(not including swinger)


Page 19 of 42

Hold Your Breath Relay

Have group split into two teams. Designate a start and finish line. Give each team member a drinking straw and each team a single three inch square of tissue paper. The first person puts the paper on the end of the straw and keeps it in place by inhaling. No hands touch the tissue paper after that. Each team member runs to the line and back and must pass it to the next player. If the paper falls off, the person who drops it needs to pick it up again using only the straw and their breath. First team to get everyone over the line and back wins.

Hula Hoop Weave ***

Any group size. All you need are some hula hoops.
Divide youth into a couple teams and have each team hold hands in a single file
line. Start the hula hoops at the end of each line by having the first person put a foot and an arm inside. The idea is to get the hula hoop down the line of people without disconnecting hands.
When the hula hoop reaches the end have the last student run with it back to the front and start again. We had teams of 6 and the team that cycled the original starter all the way through the line won. It only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll be surprised how fast they get going.

Human Chain

Equipment: R/B/G/Y pins, center pin, striped bean bag.
Clubbers/line: 5
Description: This one can get messy. Set up as a Sprint but with 5 clubbers lined up behind their starting line. When you say go, the first clubber places his/her foot on the line and stretches in the direction that they would normally be running. Then the second clubber runs and grabs the extended hand of the first and stretches in the direction that they would normally be running. The third grabs the hand of the second, the fourth of the third and the fifth of the fourth so that they have now made a human chain that has extended partway around the circle. When the fifth clubber grabs the hand of the fourth the first clubber lets go and runs to grab the hand of the fifth and so on until they eventually make it around the circle and one clubber makes it past their starting line. When that happens, that clubber runs to the middle for the center pin or bean bag. Variations/Comments: The key rule to this game is to only allow one clubber at a time to run. Once a clubber grabs the hand of the last clubber to make themself the last clubber, THEN the next one can start running

Human Foosball 1

Get tape and make a rectangle, have two goalies at each end, and then a team of four to five on either side. Each player must get on his hands and knees, they cannot cross the line of tape with their body. The object of the game is to blow a ping pong ball across the other teams goal line. Remember they can only blow on the ball. Just like foosball, have intermittent players on either side

Human Foosball 2

I like the Idea of Human Foosball except, the kids get dizzy blowing on the ping-pong ball so I tried having them play in the taped off regions, only kicking a soccer ball instead, like real Foosball.

Human Foosball 3

Mark out a spot on the floor for each player to stand. They must keep one foot on that spot while playing. Instead of using a ball, use an AOL Internet CD that you get in the mail. They slide really well across commercial-type carpeting. The rest is played just like the other descriptions

Human Foosball 4

I like the idea of the Human Foosball with a soccer ball or a nerf ball. We made lines with tape and required for players only to move from side to side. Here is the
kicker. We used three 20″ beach balls at the same time. The neat thing is that you can nail someone hard with one of the balls and it is extremly loud but just doesn’t


Page 20 of 42

hurt. My advice is to go ahead and order some extra beach balls. We kill one about every 30 minutes

Human Foosball 5

Make lines of 5 or more people (all lines the same length). Have the lines sit back to back with their feet against those from another line. All the students facing one direction are on the same team. At the end of the rows make goals/use the wall. Use a beach ball for the foosball. In a smaller room you can use the walls as boundaries or have other leaders there to put the ball back in the game. It was a favorite for high school and middle school

Human Foosball 6

We tried this variation and the Junior Highs loved it. You will need 10 or 12 eight foot folding tables and four 10 foot lengths and two 5 foot lengths of 2″ PVC pipe. Place the tables on their sides and place 3 or 4 on each side end to end. Perpendicular to the sides place 2 tables on their sides with a five foot gap in the center (the goal). You should now have a rectangular enclosure that will be your Foosball table. Mark the floor with masking tape inside the enclosure with boundary lines for each line of players. Each line of players must hold on to the length of PVC pipe making them move in unison and stay within their boundary lines. The number of players on each line was the same as a regular Foosball game. We had the kids take off their shoes and we used a foam soccer ball.

Human Machine

Break your group up into groups of no smaller than five and no bigger than ten. Each person in each group now must become one of the following body parts — eye(s), ear(s), mouth, brain, leg(s), arm(s), hand(s), etc. You can add or take away body parts, depending on the size of your group. Just keep the most important ones in

place. Instruct each group to do their best to perform a simple task, with each body part performing only its function. Here is a sample task. Place a Bible across the room and have each human machine attempt to “walk” over to the Bible, find Romans 12:4 – 6 and read it out loud. Remind your machines that each body part can only perform its function. For example, the legs cannot go to the Bible until the eye tells the brain where they are and the brain tells the legs how many steps to take and in which direction. This works great to illustrate how each member of a church or youth group is important and that we must all work together as part of Christ’s body. A suggested Scripture passage is Romans 12:4 – 6.

Human Pretzel ***

You need at least six people but works great if you have more (like 10-15). Have everyone huddle close in a circle, putting both their arms into the middle. Tell everyone to grab someone else’s hands, but not the person to their left or right, and not both hands to the same person. Once everyone has a hand you try to un-tangle yourselves. You must continue to hold hands at all times. It works best if you elect one person to be the leader in the group so you have one person talking at a time in order to guide people through each other to un-tangle (some people may have to be lifted or step over people to un-tangle, but they should never stop holding

hands. Eventually they’ll form a large circle of everyone holding hands. They will probably all be facing different ways. Depending on the amount of people, this could take from about 3 to 10 minutes. I’ve never tried it with more than 15, so I don’t know how long it would take to un-tangle. Depending upon how tangled they are, it should take 3-10 minutes to un-tangle. Of course the larger the huddle, the longer it takes.

Human Whack-A-Mole

What you need:
Two 4 ft. by 8 ft. sheets of corrugated cardboard Round trash can lid
A couple of those large blow-up hammers


Page 21 of 42

Use the trash can lid as guide to cut 7 holes in each sheet of card board. They should look like this:

Suspend the cardboard between two eight foot tables and really tape it in place. Have 7 kids crawl under the cardboard and position themselves under the holes. These are your moles. The other kids take the blow-up hammers and try to whack the “moles” as they pop their heads up through the holes.

We set up two games to allow more kids a chance at being moles and gave everyone a chance at the hammers. High score won a prize.

I Have…

Everyone starts with 6 pieces of wrapped candy. Player One puts a piece of candy into the middle of the group and call out something he has done that he thinks no one else in the group has done. “I have ridden on a camel.” If no one has done what he’s done (no one’s ever ridden a camel), then he takes back his piece of candy and any other pieces of candy that are in the middle. If someone else has done this thing he called out (Someone else has ridden a camel), then he leaves his candy piece in the middle and the next person calls out something unique that she’s done. Continue around the circle a few times. This can also be done with things you’ve never done that you think everyone else has done. (“I’ve never flown in an airplane.”)

I Never….

You get your group in a big circle with chairs, each youth in a chair except for one person. This person is in the middle of the circle and they will say something they have never done before and if you have done it then you get up and run to the other
chairs. If you are the only one left without a chair then you are in the middle. This is a fun game and your group will love the funny things people will say they never did

I Sit!

Once this game gets going, it goes really fast!
Sit everyone sit in a circle with one extra chair. The first person slides over into that chair and says, “I sit…” Then the person that was next to them slides over and says, “…in the grass…” Then the next person slides over and says “…with my friend…” and picks someone from the group (example) “…Ashley!” So Ashley would have to move into the empty seat by that person. Now Ashley’s seat is open, and the battle is on… The kids on either side of Ashley’s chair hurry and try to sit in it first, and say “I SIT!” and then the next person on their side scoots over, “in the grass”, and the next person scoots over, “with my friend…” and they pick someone else.
This thing can go on all night and is a great way to get hyper kids to get their energy out!

Identity Crisis

At the beginning of your meeting, have all your youth write their name on a piece of paper (first AND last name if you have kids with the same name). Then, at game time, have each student draw a name from the “hat”. Be sure students don’t let each other see the name on their paper. Next, pick a student to begin asking yes or no questions to determine what name each student got. Students should answer questions as if they are the person on their paper. For example, if Johnny gets a paper with Judy’s name on it, when someone asks if he is a boy, he should say, “No” because he is currently playing the part of Judy. This can produce hysterical giggles from the students. Our Sr. High particularly likes this one.

In the Dark Game

This is a game we made up one night and we have been playing it ever since. Our church basement has no windows, which makes this the perfect area for this game but almost any area can be modified with a little ingenuity. What you want is a large area that can be made pitch dark. Our basement has several small rooms and one large


Page 22 of 42

common area. Pick a room for home base that everyone will start in. Once the group is inside the room with the light on the leaders need to add some “safe” obstacles in all the other areas. Before beginning the game you must confiscate all items which may have lights on them like watches or light up key rings, etc. We even tape the refrigerator door closed in the kitchen. One person is chosen to be the seeker. They are told to count to 100 but not too fast. The lights are then turned off and everyone files out of the home room and hides anywhere in the designated area. (Some areas may need to be off limits for safety. IE. washrooms) The last person out of the home room closes the door. When the seeker is finished counting they open the door, announce that they are beginning to search and then close the door behind them. The hiders are no longer allowed to move and must try to remain as quiet as possible. The is hard to do while listening to the seeker running into objects, etc. When the seeker finds someone that person must make their way back to the home room as quietly as possible and close the door behind them again. Play continues until everyone has been found or the pre-determined time runs out. Everyone returns to the home room and the lights are turned back on. Blinded – everyone will groan for a few seconds. Choose the next person to be the seeker and play begins again.

Indoor Battleship *****

This game is played like the board game with some slight variations.
Divide a large room in half so the teams can’t see the other half of the room, sheets or blankets hanging from a rope works well. Give each team a total of 17 chairs, these will become the ships. The kids can place the chairs anywhere on their side of the room as follows:
Chairs must be placed in a straight line, touching each other to form a ship.
5 chairs is a Carrier (1 ship)
4 chairs is a Battleship (1 ship)
3 chairs is a Destroyer (2 ships)
2 chairs is a Cruiser (1 ship)
Cannonballs (soccer balls, basketballs, beach balls) are given to each team. At the “FIRE” command by a leader cannonballs are thrown, over the divider. If a ship is hit on the fly, no bounces, a “HIT” is announced and one of the chairs is laid on its side, but not removed from the ship to keep track of the number of “HITS”. Also, if one of the kids is hit with a ball, he/she is out. After a few minutes, or when most of the kids are out, release them back into the game. The game continues till one of the teams has its entire fleet sunk.
Another quick thought, you can also play this game outside when it’s warm and use water balloons instead of balls, or indoors if you’ve got a mop and a nice janitor.


Another dodge ball with a twist..
Supplies: 10 nerf balls, 2-4 hula hoops, 2-4 pool noodles
Play in an open area (gym or large room)
Divide your group into 2 teams. Depending on the size of your group (small size: 1 jedi, large size: 2 jedis) assign 1-2 jedis to each team. Divide the playing area straight down the middle and assign each group a side. Place a hula hoop(s) at the back of each side. The jedis each receive a pool noodle and a must stand inside the hula hoop.
The object of the game is to get the opposing teams jedis out. When the game starts then each team can throw the balls at the other team and try to get players out by hitting them with a ball. If the person catches the ball then the person who threw it is
out. Once a player is out they must go to the far side of their playing area and get in a “push-up” position supporting themselves with their feet and hands. The jedis may run


Page 23 of 42

and tap their teammates with the noodle. If they are tapped they are back in the game. AS LONG as the jedi is standing in the hula hoop they are safe (cannot get out with a ball) but as soon as they leave the hula hoop to go tap teammate they are live targets. Once the jedi(s) are hit with a ball they are out. The first team to lose both jedis loses.
You can play the Star Wars theme music as you play to add atmosphere!

Jedi Knight Challenge

You will need: at least one (if not 2) toy light sabers, that make the sound and everything; an adult leader as the Sith (bad guy); a teen volunteer (to be the Jedi); another teen to use the second radio (the Force); 2 walkie talkies then, one with a ear piece; a blindfold; a soft helmet; and a broom handle for the adult leader (if there is no extra light saber).

The teen is to don the earpiece (with the volume up), the blindfold (around the ears too), and the helmet, in that order. Give the teen the light saber, and stand back. The adult (Sith) is to try to tap the teen (Jedi) with the broom handle/light saber as if it were a sword (keyword: gently). The Jedi teen has to listen to the “Force” (the other teen on the other end of the walkie talkies) while the rest of the group can shout out distractions. Practice radio commands as “block left,” “attack,” etc. Have the adult leader (Sith) attack slow enough for the “Force” teen to give commands. Go for about 5 minutes, then get new teen volunteers. Objective: to survive “attack” and listen to the Force using blocks, thrusts, and parries, etc. as commanded. Boys may get a little rough, tell them to calm down as necessary.
Done in conjunction with a discussion on the Holy Spirit, and appropriate Star Wars clips. Listening and trusting the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. the “Force”), etc. Great fun!

Jenga Dare

Take a normal Jenga game. On one side of each piece, write a dare. e.g. drink five sips of black coffee; sing “I’m a little tea pot” with the hand motions; tie both shoes together and run thirty feet; with your eyes closed, draw a house with a picket fence; etc. Build the tower with the dares facing downward. As they chose a piece, they can either perform the dare for ten points, or dare someone else. If the challenged performs the dare, they get ten points. If they cannot perform it, or refuse, the challenger receives five points. If you are the one to topple the tower, then you lose fifty points.

Keep it Up!

Have kids stand inside a circle of chairs or cones. (If you use chairs, make sure the seats are facing the outside of the circle to avoid injury.) Make sure the circle is large enough for all the kids to lie down in it at the same time. Begin the game by having children stand inside the circle, then toss a balloon into the air. Kids must work together to keep the balloon in the air, inside the circle. If the balloon goes outside the circle or touches the ground, the kids must all kneel on their knees and play the next round from there. Each time the balloon touches the ground or goes outside the circle, kids must assume a new position. The positions, in order, are: Standing, Kneeling on Knees, Sitting, Lying Down. Our children and youth of all ages enjoy this game, and it teaches teamwork and unity.

Kenjavi Can-Can

You will need: a clean trashcan and about forty 3/4 ft. straps of a strong material.
How to Play:
Have a group of people form a human circle around the trashcan (as large in circumference as needed). In-between each person, have them each hold a strap, so that everyone is linked by the straps. As soon as you say “GO” the players should either pull the person into the trashcan, or get the other people to let go of the strap.

-No pushing other players with your body.


Page 24 of 42

-No jerking the strap in the attempt to force others to let go of the straps. -The referee is NEVER wrong.

Key Game

Everyone sits in a large circle. There is one person in the middle sitting on the
chair. That person is blindfolded. Some keys are placed under the chair. The youth must get the keys from under the chair and back to their seat without being touched by the person sitting on the chair. If they do it they are now on the chair. The object is to be as quiet as possible. Most keys retrieved wins.

Kick the Cow

Soccer (sort of) with a milk carton as the “ball.” Reinforce the milk (or juice) carton with duct tape, I suggest stuffing the inside with newspaper or something as well, especially for the older kids. Number the sides 1 though 4.
There are 4 teams, each team has a goal (mark with Awana pins or cones). We use the Awana Game square and put one team on each side. Play mostly progresses like soccer. When a goal is scored, the scoring team gets the number of points that are face up on the carton, and the defending team loses that many points. The first team to reach 12 points wins.

Knee Slap Sparring

Something we did at martial arts class that was safe. Basically you have two people in a ring. The “ref” says “go” and the two youths have to at least touch the other person on the knee to get a point before the other person. When the person’s knee is touched then the ref calls who got the point and separates them (and don’t worry about being wrong. You called it, and it stands because you’re the ref:). Repeat the process.

If you’re having trouble visualizing this then watch a boxing match and then picture them slapping each other’s knees and you should get the idea.
The first person to 3 or 5 points wins. A lot of fun and safer than kicks to the head.

Lap Cards ***

Get everyone to get a chair and make a circle sitting on their chair. They have to remember where they are sitting. A leader has a pack of playing cards (or something else, use imagination!) and gives each youth a playing card. They remember the suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). Everyone hands in their card back to the leader. The leader then starts and one at a time pulls out a card and shouts what suit it

is. Everyone who had that suit then moves one seat to the left. You repeat this process. The youth must move and if there is no free seat beside them, they must sit on the other person’s knee. The person with someone (or more than one) sitting on top of them cannot move until everyone has moved off them (their suits being called). This is a race back to the original chair.

Lick & Stick

Here’s a hilarious ‘initiation’ game that we’ve been using for several years at our junior high lock-ins. You need at least 6 kids or greater. Choose several volunteers (preferably the newest members of the youth group by grade) and have all of the other youths divide up equally between the volunteers. There should be at least 2 youths for each volunteer youth. Have each volunteer youth sit in a chair with the other youth standing around them. Give each group several packs of Lifesavers for them to suck on in their own mouths which they will use to stick on the face of the volunteer sitting in the chair. Make sure the volunteers tilt their heads back for maximum adhesion! After a couple of minutes, stop the game and have the volunteers carefully stand up in a row with the youth leaders counting up each lifesaver that is still sticking to the faces of the volunteers. The youth with the most Lifesavers on his/her face without falling off wins! We have so much fun taking pictures of the youth, especially when they are sitting down with the Lifesavers on their face!!!

Link Tag

Everyone splits off into two and finds a space within the play area. They then link arms. The youth leader picks a twosome as volunteers! One member of the twosome is


Page 25 of 42

Aka “Elbow Tag”

IT and the other runs from IT. This works like a normal game of chasing except that the person who is running can grab the free arm of any person in any other twosome at any point they like. When they do this they become a part of the twosome and the member of the original twosome who was not grabbed must now run from IT and try and link up with another twosome. If IT catches the victim, then the victim becomes IT and IT becomes the victim and must run and link up with another group.

Location, Occupation, Weapon

See also “Charade Telephone”

This game is similar to “telephone” where a message is whispered down the line and something usually completely different comes out at the end. The difference is the things are acted out with no talking.
First, three volunteers are called out of the room. The rest of the group must then pick a location, occupation, and weapon (it’s usually good to start with easily acted out things).

The first volunteer is brought into the room and told the three things. He/she must then act each one in order to the second volunteer. Number one will start with the location, and number two will clap their hands when they have a good idea what the location
is. Number one will then act out the last two things in the same manner.

Number two will then do the same things with number three; except he will act out what he thinks the three things are. In the end, have your volunteers tell what they thought the location, occupation, and weapon were.
If there are a lot of kids, 2 teams can run at the same time, facing opposite directions. This can often be hilarious (once the location changed from a volcano to a beach!), but is hard to play with young kids.

Mad Dash ***

Designate four corners in your room or playing field as 1, 2, 3, and 4. Assign each person in your group a number between one and four and send them to their designated corners. Place a judge at each corner as well. Explain that when you say, “Mad Dash!”, each person must travel to the their opposite corner (i.e., Corner 1 goes to Corner 3 and Corner 2 goes to Corner 4). Obviously when the four groups meet in the middle there will be chaos. Before you say, “Mad Dash!”, you will also be announcing the method of travel. For instance, you could explain that everyone must run backward to their corners, or crabwalk, or hop on one foot. The last person to each corner is eliminated from play by the judges. Other suggested methods of travel: on hands and knees (carpeted floors only), holding a partner’s hand, running with elbows and knees touching, etc

Marco Polo – Indoor

This is a variation on the game Marco Polo. You’ll need one large room to play in, and approx. 8 people to play it. One person is “it” and gets blindfolded. Whoever is it yells out “Marco”, and the others answer “Polo”. The twist is that if you’re caught, you sit out. Whoever’s it tries to catch as many people as possible. Make a round last anywhere between three and five minutes. Have everyone take a turn. Once everyone’s had their turn, see who was able to get the most people out when they were it. Possible variations: “it” hits the others w/a pool noodle, legs are tied together (can only hop)

Monkey Ball Soccer

I am not quite sure where the term Monkey Ball was borrowed from, but I think it may be borrowed from a video game, which contains a monkey inside of a ball that has to be pushed around though various obstacles. That seems to be the most plausible source, as it fits well with how this game is played.


Equipment is just a large ball and a couple of goals, which could be made by some cones. The game is played just like normal soccer, except for one major difference; the


Page 26 of 42

players must use their hands and not their feet. I believe it works best with a large sized ball, as players will then not have to be bent over to hit the ball.
This game has very similar staging to traditional soccer; and presents many of the same challenges of traditional soccer. Accordingly, with younger children and beginners the main problem is the same as traditional; that is preventing players from grouping up around the ball. It seems there too many who will not take on a support role, then the ball stalls and others come in around because they are looking for action. The solutions to these are things like limiting the number of time the child can touch the ball in a row, implementing a rule requiring more passing, and restricting players to defensive and offensive positions. Smaller team sizes may also help to eliminate this problem if the room is available to set up multiple games. Additionally, the core problem causing children to group is usually poor tactical understanding, along with a touch of “me” mentality. Unfortunately, there is really not enough time to teach all these tactics in most game periods and still get have time for lots of fun. So in may be helpful to have a small discussion about soccer tactics. Also if children are not working as a team and making good tactical decisions it may be important to prepare them with some noncompetitive team building activities.

Monkey Hunt

Equipment: 5+ R/B/G/Y strips of cloth about 2 inches wide and 3 feet long. Clubbers/line: 5+ (However many strips of cloth there are for each color line) Description: One strip of cloth (Hereafter called tails) per clubber. Match the color of the cloth to the clubber’s color line. Stick a few inches of the cloth into their pocket, through their back belt loop or even in the top of their pants. What you want is for AT LEAST a foot and a half of material to be visible. All the clubbers with tails then get into the game square circle. At the whistle, they all try to grab as many tails as they can. Once a clubber’s tail is taken, that clubber is out, but he keeps the tails that he’s stolen so far. Play continues until only one color group is left in the circle, not one clubber. 5 points for each tail taken. NOTE: It’s up to the game director whether or not to remind the clubbers NOT to steal the tails of their color line teammates. If they do happen to steal a tail of one of their color line teammates, that teammate is out. Variations/comments: Make sure to keep a close eye on the gameplay. Kids may not know if they’ve lost her tail.

Mousey, Mousey

Suitable for up to 7. Break into smaller groups if your group is large. Things you will have to prepare.
1. a mouse for each player (a 2.5″ piece of string with a large knot tied at the end).
2. a small round mat about 3″ in diameter

3. a sturdy plastic bowl or container the size of the mat.
4. a die
5. 10 tokens for each player
1 player starts as the mouse catcher. He/se holds the bowl and tosses the die. Everyone else has their ‘mouse’ in the mat with tails sticking out. They are to hold on to the tail of the mouse. If a 1 or 6 is rolled, the mouse catcher slams the bowl onto the mat to catch the mice. Everyone else pulls away in attempt to escape. Those who escape get paid a token by the catcher, those who are caught pay the catcher. Then the person to the right becomes the catcher. If the catcher catches when it’s not a 1 or 6, he pays everyone. If a player runs away when it’s not 1 or 6 they pay the catcher. Beware of those who try to cheat by yanking their mice out even after it’s been caught.


Page 27 of 42


Divide youth into 2 teams (more if necessary for larger groups) and have each team “vote” on who will be mummified. Each team mate is given a roll of toilet paper and the person to be mummified stands in the center of their teammates – signal for the game to begin and turn kids loose with their toilet paper….they will have to learn how to alternate as well as how to place shorter and smaller people to “mummify” their “mummy’s” legs and taller people will have to start at the head and shoulders. The first team to totally and completely cover their “mummy” up so that no clothing or skin is showing wins.


First, you prepare enough slips of paper for each person playing. On one of the slips you write murderer or simply put an X. On another slip you write the word
detective. After you hand them out, everyone gives them back to you or drops them in a bowl after looking at them. Then whoever the detective is must make himself known. This is important because the detective cannot be murdered. Then round 1 begins with all the lights being turned out. There are three rounds altogether and each round ends when someone discovers a body. Everyone basically walks around in the dark (not in groups) until a dead body is found. The murderer walks around too waiting for an opportune time to say “you’re dead” to someone. When some is told that, they wait 5 seconds and then fall to the floor. The round continues until someone discovers the body and yells out “dead body.” At this time everyone gathers around the body and the detective attempts to discover the murderer. He/She can ask only yes or no questions from any one except the “dead body.” Everyone has to tell the truth except for the murderer. The murderer can lie on any question except, “Are you the murderer?” When the detective makes an accusation, the round ends and round 2 begins (unless of course the detective was right). Round 2 is exactly like round

1. Round 3 is the same except the murderer can kill as many people as he/she
wants. Round 3 is the last round and the murderer must reveal himself after the round if the detective doesn’t guess right.

Musical Balloons

It’s like musical chairs, only you don’t use chairs. You can make this a large group game or small group game. I do it in small groups cause 50 kids is awful big. Give each kid a balloon, blow it up (not to big yet not to small) and that is their
“chair”. Place the balloons in a central location, and have the kids circle around the balloons, play some music, my favorite is elevator music. And when the music stops they run to get a balloon. If they pop a balloon they’re out, if they don’t get a balloon they’re out, and obviously the last person standing is the winner, kudos to them.

Nalgene Face

Get your group in a circle with a nalgene brand water bottle (or any other object) in the center. Instruct the students that when you yell “Nalgene” (or whatever the object is) they are to look down at the object. When you yell “Face” they are to look up at someone else in the circle (but not someone directly next to them or the person they looked at the time before). If you are looking at the person who is looking at you then you scream as loud as possible and you are both out. The game continues for as many rounds as needed until there is only one person (or in the case of an odd-numbered group 2). I play this a lot with my jr high group and they all love it.

Name Game

This game is great fun, we love to play it lots. What you do, is get all the youth(and leaders – they love it too), in a circle, and add another chair. Make 4 of the chairs (if possible) a different color so they can be recognized. The aim the game is to get all boys or all girls (depending on what sex you are) onto these chairs. The way this is done is: Everybody’s, name is written on a piece of paper, and each person picks one of those names out of a hat. Then the person to the right of the empty chair calls out a


Page 28 of 42

name in the group, and whoever drew that name out of the hat moves to the empty chair. Next the person to the right of the new empty chair gets to call out a
name. After a while they will begin to remember some of the names and it gets really involving.


You get a few people to leave the room (they won’t of ever heard of the game). You blindfold one person that has left the room. You have a volunteer sitting on a
chair. Bring the blindfolded person into the room and introduce them to “Nelson” (the person sitting on a chair). You begin to tell them about Nelson, while slowly walking them towards him. You start by saying “this is Nelson. He was in the second World War. Here’s his hair (have them touch his hair), and here’s the stump of what used to be his leg (have them touch his knee). He also lost his arm in the war (have them touch his elbow). He also got into a sword fight and lost his eye, here’s his eye socket. (you then stick there hand into a black, black banana that is slit open on one side and mushed up – the slit makes it feel like an actual eye socket) Watch them scream!! Make sure you stick their hand in as you’re talking, because if they hear the story before you do it they may resist you. This is great done with a few people because the people outside hear the other’s screaming and wonder what they’re doing to them.

Ninja Head Spin

Two students each put a knee-high nylon stocking over their head that has a tennis ball tied in the toe. The students face each other and begin to swing their heads so that the tennis ball spins in a circular motion. The object of the game is to get your tennis balls to intertwine with each other and then pull your opponents stocking of their head before you get yours pulled off. You can have pairs of students compete in a mini tournament to become the “Master Ninja.” A great way to add to the fun is to play “Kung Fu Fighting” off the soundtrack from Beverly Hills Ninja.

No Net Ping Pong

We recently had our ping pong table broken, so some of the gang came up with a modified version. Take two 8′ tables (we found the old brown style work best, something hard)and place them side by side so that you have doubled the width of your table. Then you can have as many players as you have paddles. The players number themselves and the first player serves by letting the ball bounce once and then hitting it underhand onto the table. Each consecutive player must let the ball bounce once on the floor before hitting it. A player is out when they either miss their turn to hit or fail to hit the table with their volley. Feel free to modify the rules and make up your own version. (i.e. everyone spins in place when it is not their turn to hit)

Noodle Soccer

2 teams face off with those long pool noodles. You throw in a few balloons and they have to hit the balloons to one side of the room across a line. Once a balloon goes past the line on the floor, it is brought back to the middle by the ref (YM). Get a ref shirt and put teens in a penalty box if they hit each other in the head. 🙂 Have fun! It’s a blast! I made it up with my 2 and 1/2 year old son.

North, Central, South America

Similar to “Poopdeck” and “Shipwreck”


North, Central, South America is a good fast paced game. The game consists of three locations; I usually use two walls and the middle game square, although lines could just as easily be used. Each location is named accordingly, North, Central, and South America. I call out one of the locations and the last child to arrive at the location is out, if it appears to be a tie, I allow everyone to stay in.


I try to run a few practice rounds to begin with. Another little trick is to call out the continent they are on; for example if they are on South America and I call South America, then whoever left South America or if you prefer the first person who left is


Page 29 of 42

out. Other variations include calling out the names of countries or states on a continent, such as Brazil, New York, or Honduras for example. Those would translate to South America, North America, and Central American respectively. If you add in the countries this can also serve as a good geography lesson, for example you could also pick out countries that you know your church has missionaries in, so children may a better sense of where the missionary are serving.


Hand out small pieces of paper and pens to each person. Have everyone write an occupation on the paper. It can be silly or standard: e.g. rainbow catcher, doctor, trash collector, student, Easter egg painter, etc. Have the moderator collect all the occupations and read then out (slowly) twice and ONLY twice. Assign someone to go first. The first person asks a specific person, “Suzy, are you the trash collector?” If Suzy is not, then she says no and asks the next person whatever she wants. If Suzy IS the trash collector, she must join that person and they are a team. They then ask another person if they are a certain occupation. If they are wrong, the person asked, continues, and so on. You are allowed to ask the “head” person from a group if they are something to gain all of their team. The last person with their occupation not discovered is the winner.

One Foot Fun

A good little icebreaker. Every one stands on one foot and holds the other up with one hand then you start trying to force everyone else to fall over or put their foot down on the ground! Make sure you have lots of space. It’s a game to get your blood pumping and the meeting started!

Operation Bible Smuggler

Begin by splitting your group into teams. One group are the Bible Smugglers. The other group consists of the Gestapo, two Prison Guards & 3 or 4 Lighthouses (depending on the size of your playing area- the more lights you have going around, the more fun the game can be). The Gestapo should be a much smaller group than the smugglers.

The game is played in complete darkness and the object is to get from the back of the room to the front, get a bible and get it to the Underground Churches (5 or 6 locations revealed before the game). The underground churches can be a circle of chairs or a desk, anything that a bible can be placed in that signifies a room or a home. Place twice as many bibles under the table as you have underground churches…I.E…if you have 5 underground church locations – put 10 bibles under the table. One lighthouse should be standing on the table containing the bibles for more of a challenge.

Bible Smugglers: Object is to make it to the guarded bibles & deliver them to the Underground Churches without being caught.
Gestapo: Object is to detain any Christians that are spotted by the lighthouses & take them to the Prison Guard (or eliminate them on the second time). Every Gestapo member should have a whistle. Free to move about the room, but may only capture prisoners that were detected by the lights.

Lighthouses: Object is to create patterns with their flashlights to try and make it difficult for the Smugglers to perform their duty. Have someone with a watch blow a horn or make a loud recognizable noise every 2 minutes, at which time all of the lighthouses change the light pattern. (Often Adult sponsors are best suited here) Prison Guards: Object is to detain the prisoners for 30 seconds & to be as cruel to them as possible for that time. They also will keep any bibles that were found on the prisoners in their possession for the rest of the game.
When a smuggler is spotted by the light, he/she must count silently to 10. During this


Page 30 of 42

time, if the Gestapo has seen them, they can detain them. However, after the 10 count they can resume moving about. (Honesty policy is important here!)
Anytime a Gestapo spots a smuggler, he/she must blow their whistle & yell the name of the prisoner, and then escort them to jail. When the smuggler is called, he/she cannot run, they must go to jail with the Gestapo. (Each member of the Gestapo can only have one prisoner in his or her custody at a time).

The lights do not stop when a prisoner is spotted, they continue in their pattern at all times. (So, there are advantages & disadvantages to moving your light around too quickly; you may spot more Christians, but you may make it harder on your Gestapo. When smugglers are caught a second time, they receive the death penalty and are out of the game. It is more fun if the youth do a dramatic death scene & fall down when the Gestapo shoots them. They are to remain there for the remainder of the game.

The bibles are placed under the table of the main lighthouse. Play some crazy jungle music or intense music to create a fun environment.
Play the game until all the Underground Churches have received a bible, or all of the smugglers have been given the death penalty. You could also play for a certain time limit, and change up teams etc. The game can go on for hours & is a blast!

Operation Night Commando

This is probably the most favorite game in my youth group! You will first need permission from your senior pastor to use your sanctuary. It then begins by splitting your group into four teams. You only play one team at a time. The game is played in the dark and the object is to get from the back of the sanctuary to the front, get a tootsie roll and back. The catch is that the person you are trying to keep from catching you is standing on a table in the front of the sanctuary with a flash light shining it back and forth like a light house. If you are caught by the light the zapper will send you to the back for 30 secs. Have people stationed to take people back and hold them there until their time is up. You’ll be amazed at how long 30 sec can be! The people passing out the candy are under that table. We usually play some type of jungle music to give it an extra twist. Eventually, as the game goes on, the zapper will change the pattern of his light doing pretty much anything he wants. It’s loads of fun and could last for hours!

Oven Mitt Game

You must first prepare the present for this game. Choose either something silly (a big rock), or something serious (a devotional book that would be enjoyed), and wrap it in several layers of material that will be hard to remove. The object is to make it almost impossible to open, so anything is allowed – tape, cardboard, plastic, newspaper, string, anything. Have the kids sit around a table, and begin to pass around a pair of dice. The first person to roll double numbers grabs the oven mitts that are in the middle of the table, puts them on, and begins to try to unwrap the present. The dice continue to go around the table until someone else rolls a double, and the mitts are passed to them, and so on. The game needs to be fast and competitive, and when it is, it becomes hilarious and a lot of fun! And, of course, the person to successfully get the last layer off of the present wins it!

Paper Plate Ping Pong

If you have ping pong balls but don’t have a ping pong table or paddles, here’s an active alternative. Take a large room with a hardwood, tiled or cement floor (relatively empty of chairs and tables) and divide the room into equal halves with masking tape. Separate youth into two teams, give each player a heavy duty paper plate (styrofoam breaks easily) and start playing! There’s no net so each player must stay on their own side of the line. A point is scored when the ball hits the opposite wall. We played with 5 people on each team and had a blast! It’s even more fun when you take off your shoes and can slide all over the floor chasing a ping pong ball.


Page 31 of 42

Pass the Box

Using a sturdy box that has flaps that can be closed to keep contents from being seen, or a dark trash bag that can’t be seen through – place a variety of items inside that can be worn. Things like plastic bead necklaces, funky sunglasses, safety glasses, clip on ear rings, bathing suit tops and/or bottoms, tube socks, knee highs, head bands, plastic shower caps, sponge type curlers, baseball caps, aprons, rubber gloves, work gloves, baby bibs, etc…..arrange seating in a circle. Assign one adult (or older teen) to be in charge of cassette player. When the music starts the box or bag is passed around from person to person – when the music is stopped, whoever has the box or bag, must reach inside, without looking and pull out something and put on whatever they pull

out…. this game can be played by all ages as long as younger players are placed between older ones so they can be given some help.

Penguin Kickball ***

This is a great game for those cold winter nights. You’ll need the following supplies: Soft Kickball
1 roll of shrinkwrap, you can purchase it from an office supply store. (NOT regular plastic wrap, it won’t work as well, or dollar-store brand didn’t anyway)

Set up the kickball field with the bases around 15 to 20 feet apart, trust me the kids won’t be running to fast. Take the shrinkwrap and tightly wrap each players legs together from the waist to just above the knee. Wrap it around quite a few times because the wrap will stretch as the game is played. Once you’re done each player should look like they’re wearing a clear tight skirt. All the rules of kickball

apply. Divide the kids into 2 teams and watch the waddling fun.

Penny Soccer

Gather about 5-10 pennies. Separate into two teams. Have a chair on either side of the room with a goalie sitting on each. Throw in a penny and have the teams try to kick the penny into the other team’s goal. Periodically, throw in more and more pennies. Play for about 10 min. then count the pennies and start over. 

Pile Up

Players sit in a tight circle on benches or chairs. Seats should be clearly distinguishable. “It” determines the actions of the group by stating a detail: Everybody wearing jeans, move two spaces left.
Everybody with blonde hair, move three spaces right.

Those with matching descriptions move as directed, and sit down, be it on an empty seat, or a person’s lap. (To preserve people’s health, limit the pile to about four people maximum.)

Pillow Game

We play this game in our church, but you can play it outside.
What you Need: 1 Stool and 1 Pillow.
Put the pillow on the top of the stool. Have your group link hands (in a circle). The point of the game is to get people to knock the pillow off the stool. Whoever knocks the pillow off the stool is out. If someone lets go of the persons hand they are holding they are both out. This is our favorite game growing up in youth group, but can get pretty rough. ENJOY. Let me know if you have questions on this game.

Pillow Gladiators

Materials: 2 hula hoops, 2 pillows, and 2 players.
Each player is given a pillow. They must stand inside the hula hoop – which are placed an appropriate distance from each other. The object is to knock the other person out of their hula hoop, using only your pillow, so you can win. *Rule: no hitting above the shoulders. You can use any method of hitting to knock them out – and they can dodge the pillow any way they want to, so long as they stay within the hula hoop. The kids especially love this game when you put two youth sponsors in there – the kids love to see sponsors duking it out!


Page 32 of 42


See also “North, Central, South America” and “Shipwreck”

For medium size to large groups indoor or out. Use tape to create large boxes on the floor or ground. Each of these boxes is a deck. Students gather in one of these decks–the poopdeck, quarterdeck and halfdeck. The leader calls out a “deck” and all the students move to the deck called out. The last student into the deck is out of the game. The game continues until two students are left. To make the game more exciting you can add your own “decks”. We have a balcony in our high school room so we use the “upper deck”–radical! Students falling all over themselves up the

stairs. You can yell out commands too instead of moving them to another “deck.” — like “hit the deck” (everyone goes face down, last one down is out)…”swab the deck” (everyone on their knees)…very, very fun. Be creative!

Poor Man’s Basketball

At each end of the room we set up a large trash can near the wall. Once the can is in place, you put an arc of chairs around it, making a 3 point line of sorts. Divide the group into two teams. Each team starts on their half of the room with a ball. The object of the game is to get your ball into your trash can. The only complications are, 1) you can not run with the ball, 2) you can not dribble the ball, 3) the ball can be taken from you without warning. We basically play no blood, no foul, so it gets

physical. However, since you can always the throw the ball to a teammate, and there are plenty of people on the court, unathletic kids aren’t intimidated by it. A team must shoot the ball from behind the arc of chairs. If they miss or make it, a defender gets to go in the arc and throw the ball to one of their teammates. Otherwise, neither team can go into the arc. It’s a wonderful, fast-paced game that all of our kids enjoy playing.

Potato Roll

Make 4 lanes (or more if you have larger group) approx. 10-12 feet long and 3 feet wide. Large width masking tape or duct tape works well to make these. Place a potato at the beginning of each lane. Have 4 players at a time, one at each lane. The object is to roll the potato to the other end of the lane and then back to the start line. This is done by players on their knees with their hands behind their back and pushing the potato with their nose. This can be done with teams and each player on the team has to roll the potato and the team who finishes first is the winner.

Potty Hockey ****

Split the group into two teams with a goalie for each team. Instead of hockey sticks, players must use toilet brushes to hit the puck. More pucks can be thrown into the game if there are a lot of kids playing. Of course, even though the toilet brushes have never been used for their actual purpose, they start to get a little dirty and hairy after a few games, which makes it more gross and fun!


Everyone sits in a circle, one leaves the room. The leader explains to the group that they all suffer from the same symptom. For example, each one thinks they are the person to their left. Then the other person comes back in and by asking yes/no questions has to figure out what the group’s problem is.

Pull Apart ****

This game gets a bit rough, but it seems that the kids have a great time playing it. First divide the group into two “equal” teams, make sure both teams have about the same amount of “strength.” Or you can play boys vs. girls. Tell the one team to “gather”, by all holding on to each other’s legs, arms…so they make one tight bundle. Then on other side of the room have a line (just use masking tape)and line the other team behind the line. Now time how long it takes the one team to drag the other team across the line, they can do one student by one which is easiest, and make sure no one is cheating

(e.g. kicking off the people dragging them). The point is to hold on to the team as much as possible. See which team does it faster. WATCH OUT for slipping or torn clothes and rug burns! LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of fun!


Page 33 of 42

Puzzle Mania

You will need to buy two small puzzles. Two 20 piece puzzles will do. You can find some funny ones at Wal-Mart. You will divide your group into two teams. You will then hide one entire puzzle for group one with clues to each puzzle piece. You will then do the same for group two. Just make sure that you keep the clues and piece separated for each team. You will then give each team their clues and give the signal to begin! The first team to find all their pieces and put their puzzle together wins! This game has gone over well every time we’ve done it!

Q-tip War

You will need 10 Q-tips and a straw for each participant. Divide into 2 teams. Divide your room into 2 sections. Each team gets a section. Object of the game is for each player to use their straw to blow Q-tips one at a time into the other group’s section. Set a time limit (3-5 minutes) and call time giving a warning 30 seconds before. Each player may pick up Q-tips blown on their side and blow them back to opponents side until time is called. After time limit, count how many Q-tips are on each side. Team with the least amount wins.

Q-tip War – Colored

Divide the group into 4 teams. Each team is given a bowl of food coloring (make sure each team has a different color). Each member of a team is given a whole lot of Q-tips and a McDonalds straw (they work the best). Have one person, not on any team, wear a white shirt that can be divided into different point sections (draw squares on the shirt and put # of pts. in the square if the section is hit). Each team goes separately; they dip their Q-tips in the food coloring then blow the Q-tip out their straws at the human target. The team with the most points wins. If you want to mix it up the next time have Styrofoam cups set up around the room and have teams try to knock down the other teams cup. Goggles are always helpful.

Question Game

My youth group really likes this game. You all form a circle, and one person points at another person in the circle and asks them a question. It can be any question like, “Do you like the color green?” or “What is your name?” or “Why is the world round?” The person who is pointed at does not answer the question but simply points to someone else and asks them another question. That is repeated until someone pauses or accidentally answers the question. For example if Sue points at Bobby and asks him, “Did you drink milk this morning?” and Bobby doesn’t point at someone else instantly, laughs, or says yes or no, he is out and sits down. You can’t point back to the person who pointed to you and you can not repeat any question that has already been asked.

Rabbit Cow Elephant

Form a circle with a person in the center. The person will point to someone on the circle and say “Rabbit” (or cow, or elephant.) The person pointed to must form the front paws of the rabbit and the persons on both sides must hold up an arm to be the rabbit ears. The goal is for the person in the center to tag one of the three people before they can form the “Rabbit”. If “Cow” is called, then the person pointed to must form the udders with their fingers and the other two must form the horns. An “elephant” is the chosen person being the trunk and the two outside people must form the LARGE ears. It has also been played where a “Flight Attendant” is one of the choices. The person in the middle pulls down the oxygen mask and the people on either side, point to the exits..

Samurai Warriors

Mark off a 10 x 10 foot area and place a chair and a low table (cooler) in the
center. Place an object on the table to represent a “treasure”. One person is selected as the samurai, who is blind since birth. This person is blindfolded and given a sword (we used golf tubes or pool noodles)and sits in the chair.
Everyone else is a ninja. They stand around the 10 ft. boundary and try to remain silent. One ninja is selected to steal the treasure without getting hit by the sword. If


Page 34 of 42

they succeed, they become the blind samurai. If they fail, another ninja is selected. You can add variations to keep it interesting. (for example, we tried putting the treasure on cellophane so it would make more noise.) The ninjas are usually allowed to use anything at their disposal to gain an advantage, such as throwing their shoes to distract the samurai.

Sharks and Minnows

Number of participants:​ Five or more (depends on the size of your room)
Length of time:​ 30 minutes or more, depending on the number of players
Rules of the game:
In Sharks and Minnows players try to avoid becoming a shark as they scramble across the circle.

First, choose one player to be the shark. He goes to the middle of the circle while the minnows line up on one side. When the shark calls, the minnows must get to the other side of the pool without being caught. If the shark gets them, they must join him in trying to capture more little ones.

The game continues in this way until all the minnows have become sharks. The last one captured plays the shark for the next round. There are no winners and losers in Sharks and Minnows, because all the children are on the same team at the end. The game is over when the children get tired of playing.

Other ways to play it:

A common variation of Sharks and Minnows is called Fisherman. The game is played the same way, with one difference: When the fish (or minnows) are caught they must join hands and create a net. They use this net to block the fish until the fisherman can get there to tag them.


See also “North, Central, South America” and “Poopdeck”

To play this game, all teams get in the center of the Awana Game circle. The leader will call out a COLOR and the players must all cross that color line. Last one across is OUT. Leader calls another COLOR and the kids must run across THAT line. Last one across is out. Play continues until TIME is called. (Team with the most players IN is the winner.)
If Leader calls SHIPWRECK, All players must enter the game circle at a run and lay on the floor, not touching ANY lines. Players have 5 seconds to lay down. Those still up or any touching a line are OUT.
Commander Bill from the DC area gave me the idea of writing a story to go along with the game. This makes the game even MORE fun because players must listen VERY carefully to hear the COLOR names. The story is ‘attached’ at the end of this table. OR, there are different commands
Have all clubbers stand in the center of the game floor. Call out commands. The last clubber to respond to each command is out. Port — clubbers run to left wall; Starboard — clubbers run to right wall; Bow — clubbers run to front of room; Stern — clubbers run to back of room; Shipwreck — clubbers fall down

Shoe Grab

Everyone removes their shoes and puts them down the back of their pants sticking out of the waist as far as possible. Then, once the game is explained and you say go, the youth run around trying to grab the shoes from the other youth. Once both shoes are removed from one’s waist, they are out. The trick is that the shoes must be held the entire time once plucked from another’s waistband. The winner is the last one with a shoe or two left in their waistband or the one holding the most shoes when the time ends. Watch out for sagging pants!!


Page 35 of 42

Shoe Grab 2

Everyone removes their shoes and puts them in a pile in the middle of the circle. Then, once the game is explained and you turn out the lights and say go, the youth try to find their shoes and get them on. The winner is the first one to get his/her shoes back on.

Tarp Turnover

Tarp Turnover is an ice breaker/ teambuilding activity in which children all stand on a tarp, and must work together in order to completely turn a tarp over. The catch is that everyone must remains on the tarp, at all times, so they have to turn in over bit by bit and work together in order to move people around. This game can also be played with multiple groups, which can race against each other.

Try using a sheet instead of a tarp.

Traitor Duck Ball

This is a pretty cool game I created for our youth group that was a big hit. For this game you need:
– a balloon
– a role of duct tape

– some balls that are soft enough to get hit with (Nerf balls do real well).
Inflate the balloon to a little bigger than a softball, tie it closed, then wrap it in a layer of duct tape. None of the balloon should be left uncovered. This ensures that it is difficult to pop so that it will last a long time; this also makes it easy to throw.
The object of the game is the same as that in Dodgeball with one twist. Divide into two teams separated by a line of tape which splits the room in two (this works better in a bigger room than a smaller one). Play the game the way you would normally play Dodgeball. At some point in the game a leader will toss the balloon into play, by either trying to hit someone or just tossing it in the air. The balloon can be picked up and thrown like any of the other balls, and if someone on the opposite team catches a throw the person who threw it is out. The twist is that if someone gets hit with the balloon they start attacking their own team. The team who has their own member attacking them can stop the “traitor” by hitting them with the balloon. This will return the “traitor” to normal. Also if there is only one person left on a team and they get hit with the balloon they are out. We play this game with preschoolers, elementary, high school, and college age kids (you’d be surprised how hard it is to hit those little kids).

Tug for Two

Need 2 old towels and a rope (8’long and knotted at both ends, or T&T game rope). Put the towels on the ground about 4’ apart. Each player stands on a towel and holds onto the rope. The goal is to pull the opponent off his/her towel. Can increase difficulty by having kids stand on one leg, use just one arm or sit on the towel.


Equipment: R/B/G/Y pins, R/B/G/Y batons, center pin, striped bean bag. Clubbers/line: 3
Description: Setup same as a normal RELAY with the exception that both the SECOND and THIRD clubbers have a baton, not the first at all. At the whistle, the first clubber runs a lap and when he catches up to the second clubber, he grabs the baton, but the second clubber does not let go. They run at the same time around the game square, on lap, both holding onto the baton. When they reach the third clubber, the second grabs his baton, so that there are now three clubbers from each color line running around the game square connected by the batons. When the three clubbers run their final lap, the THIRD clubber goes around his color pin and runs to the center to grab either the pin or the bean bag (or knock over the pin for T&T or above).

page35image45624 page35image45784 page35image45944


The game of shipwreck is fun. The rules are: gather all clubbers into the Awana game circle. Anytime a COLOR word is said by the reader, all clubbers must cross that line at a run. Last one across is OUT. When the reader says the word ‘SHIPWRECK’ all clubbers must enter the circle and lay on the floor, not touching any lines. Anyone laying over a line is OUT. Play continues until story is over or you are down to only one person. Team with largest number of people still IN is the winner!


(Scan and replace the Color words with a different color to keep the kids on their toes)
(Read the following story after telling the kids the rules. PAUSE after each color word, though you could continue reading to see if they heard the word…)

In 1849 I was a sailor who sailed the ocean BLUE. I wasn’t the captain, I was only a lowly deck hand. The work was hard, and the crew was rough. We sailed far and wide, going from port to port, from the RED sea to the Great Pacific Ocean, to the Atlantic Ocean, anyplace under the big BLUE sky.

Many adventures we had, on that rugged vessel, and many a GREEN landlubber would develop into a sailor aboard our ship. But of all the adventures I had, there was never one so harrowing as the time I was SHIPWRECKED.

Now the captain, RED beard, was the finest captain that ever sailed the seven seas. And he could sail that ship from the YELLOW sunny equator to the BLUE icy waters of the poles. But he always had an eye for that YELLOW gold, and would do anything to get it. He might have been a pirate, for he certainly had no love of God or man, but instead, he simply took on adventurous tasks that paid well.

This particular day began with a RED sky. Now RED sky at morning means ‘Sailors, take Warning’ and the crew were in a BLUE mood because of the bad sign. We were docked in Jamaica to drop off a load of timber and take on water and provisions. We took on several new GREEN horns that morning, including one who had been SHIPWRECKED years before off the coast of India. One of the new men was a bible-thumping minister with YELLOW hair. He had joined up to see the wide world.

Our Captain RED beard came on board with a bellow. “All hands on deck! Load this cargo and hop to it quickly, we’re heading to California in 30 minutes!” We hopped to and with 5 minutes to spare we had loaded his cargo, 25 tons of GREEN Cabbage. It seems that the cabbage was intended for the prospectors in California. In order to get it there fresh, it had been packed in BLUE ice, but even so, the food would spoil if we didn’t get it there within 3 weeks.

In those days there was no canal in Panama connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, so any ship wanting to sail from one to the other had to go around the southern tip of South America, through the Straits of Magellan, which were well known to be so violent that many a ship had been SHIPWRECKED there. Now, no ship’s captain and crew had EVER made the run from East Coast to West Coast in three weeks time, it was unheard of. But the miners in California were willing to pay $50,000 in YELLOW gold to the ones who could do it, and that kind of money could buy RED beard a new boat.

So we set sail into a sea already boiling with an approaching storm, and the sky had turned from the evil RED to an even more evil GREEN. Because of the season, we knew that there were Hurricanes about, for this was the time of year when they came around. Now most ships would have turned and fled before an approaching storm like that, but not RED Beard. He turned the ship across the face of the approaching storm, hoping the force of the wind would drive us before it to safety. To ensure that the sails would hold in the oncoming storm, we were instructed to tie three sails where any one sail was.

Well, the YELLOW-haired minister began praying over the wind that God would spare our lives, while some of the crew tried to take down and secure the rigging so that the sails wouldn’t be ripped from the mast. But RED Beard bellowed over the wind to leave the sails furled, so that we could catch as much wind as possible. He had a smile on his face as he thought of the time that storm was going to save us, but all we could think of was how we were going to be SHIPWRECKED. He stood at the rudder holding the ship steady against the rising wind, but the strain was so great that the BLUE veins stood out on his neck like cords of rope. Looking back over his shoulder I saw a wall of GREEN water like a towering wave coming as fast as the wind. I noticed the captain had lashed himself to the ship’s wheel, and I lashed myself to the mast as fast as I could.

When the wall of water hit us the wind sounded like the screaming of a train in the mountains. I was lashed to the mast on the downwind side, so I was able to breathe, but I couldn’t even see RED Beard, or any other crew member, for that matter. The ship’s deck tilted down towards the BLUE water at almost a right angle due to the force of the wind and water. The stern of the

Page 37 of 42


Page 38 of 42 ship raised completely out of the waves, and RED Beard’s rudder snapped instantly, as soon as it was exposed to the howling


The wind caught the sails hard, and the mast strained with the effort, but the howling wind and the GREEN water could not yank the sails free, because they were tripled upon the mast. So instead the force of the water picked up RED Beard’s boat, along with his 25 tons of GREEN cabbage, and carried us all through the air on the face of the greatest storm any of us had ever seen. At that moment, on that flying ship full of cabbage, I prayed to God with all my might that he might save my pitiful, insignificant life, and I would serve him all my days.

The ship was now flying at least 50 feet above the BLUE ocean, which looked GREEN now because of the fierceness of the storm blocking the YELLOW sun. But the weight of the ship and the GREEN cabbage, and the extreme force of the wind, was too much for the old mast, and with a sickening snap it came loose of RED Beard’s ship. Unfortunately for me, the mast was what I was lashed to, so the mast and I went flying before the storm at speeds beyond my ability to understand. Relieved of the ship, the mast and I drew further and further away from the BLUE ocean, and farther up towards the angry GREEN sky. With the strain on my nerves I passed out, sure that I would die any moment.

I awoke to the sound of grinding. I opened my eyes and all I could see was BLUE sky. I was still tied to the mast, I could tell, and the sails were still attached to the mast as well. But the storm had passed, and the mast had drifted onto a desert island, and was bumping and grinding against the coral rocks just under the surface. With fingers numb from the storm and wind I picked at the knots, then suddenly remembered the knife at my belt given to me by RED Beard years before, and I cut myself free, rolled over, and kissed the YELLOW sand.

Presently I raised my head to look around, and saw that I was SHIPWRECKED on a desert island not much bigger than this room. Fortunately there was a trickle of BLUE water running from an outcropping of rock near the center. The water was fresh, not salty at all, through some miracle. I dragged the mast and crossbeam, all that was left of RED Beard’s ship, onto the YELLOW sand. It did not take me long to figure out that there was nothing to eat on that little spur of land, and that though I had water it would not be long before I starved to death. So I began praying to God even more fervently than before, asking Him as my provider to help me find something to eat. When I finished my prayer and looked down, I saw a GREEN cabbage washing up at my feet. Before long another, and another, and another cabbage washed up on the shore. So I ate cabbage day after day after day until I was sick of it. I had cabbage stew, and cabbage salad, cabbage bread and cabbage parfait. I built a house out of cabbage, and still it kept washing ashore.

One day I know I must have gone crazy, because I saw RED Beard paddling by, in the ship’s lifeboat, towing 17 crates of GREEN cabbage across the BLUE ocean like he could already feel the YELLOW gold in his pocket. He didn’t even see me SHIPWRECKED and stranded on this desert island, though I yelled and yelled till I was BLUE in the face.

At that time I decided I had had far too much GREEN cabbage to eat, and I took some driftwood, some of the rope from the masts, and some of my RED hair, and started a fire, and set fire to my GREEN cabbage home. As the RED flames rose up I had to retreat to the safety of the BLUE ocean to escape the tremendous heat. And the stench of that burning cabbage made me GREEN myself. But as the heat died down I saw that it had raised a huge column of BLUE smoke. It wasn’t long before an English ship appeared on the horizon, hard to see beside the YELLOW sun turning RED in the fading evening light. I hollered until I was BLUE in the face, and they heard me and saw me, and sent a lifeboat to pick me up.

The English captain greeted me as I came on board. “Thank you, God,” I prayed as I stood on deck again. “Thank you for rescuing me from SHIPWRECK.” I turned to the captain. “Did you see my smoke signal?” I asked him, after we had shaken hands. “By Jove, no, young man,” he said with a grin. “We SMELLED your fire from 20 miles away, and came to investigate what could be giving out such a horrid stench!? It was turning our whole crew GREEN.”

Shipwreck Variations 1
The Treasure Trove of Deadwater Cove
The rules of this Shipwreck Variant are not simple. It is played on the Awana Square. When you hear a certain word, you must immediately follow the instruction below for that word. Last one to ‘obey’ each ‘order’ has to ‘walk the plank’ (leave the game).

Word Order

Port Everyone run across the Blue Line Starboard Everyone runs across the Yellow Line Fore/Bow Everyone runs across the Green Line

page38image45184 page38image45344

Aft/Stern Poopdeck Fo’castle Swab the deck MAST

Crows Nest
All Hands on Deck Rigging
Shipwreck Landlubber

Everyone runs across the Red Line Everyone gets in the Red triangle Everyone gets in the Green Triangle Everyone inside circle, hands and knees Gather in the center square

Gather in center square look out, hand shading eyes

Everyone inside the circle Everyone must stand on a line.

Salute and say “Aye, Aye, Capn!”
Everyone lie on back on floor in circle, no lines Everyone lie on floor face down, hugging the floor

As well as the usual color words Red/Blue/Green/Yellow.

The Treasure Trove of Deadwater Cove

Twas a RED sky at night,
Was the sailor’s delight
For it meant that the storm Wouldn’t blow through the night. The only sound

That was heard all around Was the Cap’n’s peg leg
As it thumped on the ground

He paced on the POOPDECK, Unable to sleep
For the man had a secret
He was determined to keep. He was short seven men

So he’d spent the whole day
From the town on the quay.
When he called ‘HANDS ON DECK’ On the following day

Those LANDLUBBERS would be there To help sail away.

Morning came swiftly
With a YELLOW sun rising A BLUE sky and fair weather

Wasn’t surprising.
He called ‘HANDS ON DECK!’ And every last MATEY
Was assembled and ready
To sail on the 

‘Hoist up the anchor,
and see to the RIGGING!’
They could tell by his frown That the man wasn’t kidding. The men ran to STARBOARD to cast off the lines
While two men far to AFT hauled the anchor from the brine The wind caught the sails

and the MAINMAST groaned
As the ship jumped ahead
and caused the GREEN sea to foam.

They sailed out of harbor, the town fell away,
And the Eighty sailed forth on that fine sunny day

The course Capn BLUE set was straight for the Indies And they made good time, For the BLUE sky was windy.

got GREEN from the waves
But though they were sick,
every MA TEY was brave.
They assembled each morning
before the MAST
And SW ABBED THE DECK smartly til it shone like glass.

The Navigator’s name
was Elijah GREEN
The ugliest MA TEY
the world’s ever seen
But the best navigator
to walk the POOPDECK And kept many a ship
from an early SHIPWRECK

And he learned the dread secret the Captain kept hid
While running an errand
For first MA TEY Squid.

In the FO’CASTLE cabin upon the man’s desk While calling on BLUE at the MATEY’s request

Page 39 of 42


He saw an old map
As the captain looked up
And spying the title
as BLUE rolled it up
He asked his old Captain,
“Could I be so bold
As to ask if that map
leads to REDBeard’s gold?
For the title I saw said
Treasure Island
And there was an X
right there on the sand?”
“Yes, Mr. GREEN,
and now that you know,
That’s the very same
place this ship’s destined to go! You’ll adjust our ship’s heading
In just a few days
For our course is not far
Out of our way.
You must not breathe a word
To the rest of the Crew
Or there’s no telling what
all of those guys will do.”
“Aye, aye, Capn BLUE”
winked the old Mister GREEN. “Don’t know what you’re talkin’ bout, there’s nothing I’ve seen.”

So the ship sailed west
for a month and a day
Til they all heard a shout
from the CROWS NEST one day: “Land ahoy!” “Where away?”
Two points off the PORT BOW!” Then he climbed down the RIGGING And off to get chow.

And every last MATEY
went to the PORT side
To catch sight of land
as they came alongside.
But The island they saw
wasn’t much to come to
Just a mountain of rock
and a palm tree or two
“You LANDLUBBERS quit staring out at the land

And climb on the RIGGING and lend me a hand!”
The RED face he wore
as he yelled at the crew
Gave a whole new perspective to old Capn BLUE

“Furl the sails! Drop anchor! Look alive there, MATEY!”

And the crew climbed the RIGGING to stop the old Eighty.
Roared the Captain. “Avast!

You LANDLUBBERS step lively to stand at the MAST!”

“What’s the deal, Cap’n BLUE?” asked a one-eyed old fellow. “We were bound for the Indies, where the sand is all YELLOW! This stinking dead island

ain’t fit to stand on
And I don’t see no inlet For us to strike land on.”

“This island, you MATEYS, is a land full of treasure,
A hoard beyond counting,
a wealth beyond measure! It’s called ‘Treasure Island’, the home of REDBeard

And you count yourself blessed old BLUE brought you here!”

On the south of the island
was a shallow old cove
Where the map said they buried old REDbeard’s trove.

A ‘dangerous’ treasure,
or so the map said
A word that had Captain BLUE scratching his head.
So turning to STARBOARD, they brought the ship round, Up into the cove,
And they battened her down. Dropped the anchor
off the PORT side
In 17 fathoms
at the low tide

The Cove was called Deadwater, and rightfully so
For no breezes stirred
the GREEN water below.

A water so stagnant
it stank like old socks
With a RED beach made up of just volcanic rocks. Mosquitoes as big
as a junkyard dog
Came up to have lunch
In the dank stinking fog. Their attack was so vicious, 5 men thought it best
To climb up the RIGGING

Page 40 of 42


into the CROWS NEST
“Get down here, you MATEYS! Get off of that RIGGING!
and prepare to go digging!”
And with the map tucked
in his RED Captains coat,
Old BLUE led the way
to the STARBOARD lifeboat.

They lowered that boat into the GREEN slime With 10 men on board as they dropped the line. The bosun beat time

as they paddled away
Till the Mosquitoes carried the bosun away.

The men quickly paddled
to the RED beaches Avoiding the GREEN water swarming with leeches “What a Horrible place,” Old one-eye declared

An opinion that every MATEY could share. Grabbing their shovels,
They ran up the beach
To a cave that was beyond the GREEN tide’s foul reach. YELLOW torches were lit, entering with a yell

To avoid the mosquitoes and the horrible smell Inside the cave,
the air was all musty
With cobwebs and bones
all dirty and dusty
Captain BLUE with his map led the party along

As the MATEYs broke out in a curious song:

“The YELLOW of gold
is calling to me,
Across the BLUE ocean
and the GREEN sea.
We’ll find REDBeard’s treasure, in chests in a row

And all live like kings,
when homeward we go.
When homeward we go, MATEYS, Homeward we go,
We’ll all live like kings,
when homeward we go!”

His YELLOW torch shaking, old BLUE roared “Quiet! You MATEYS sing worse than a chef on a diet!”

His face RED as blood,
he griped, “Shut your trap! I can’t concentrate
to decipher this map.”

Upon the word ‘trap’ He tripped on a pole And the floor fell away, revealing a hole

In the hole fell a MATEY, who fell in the dark
Where no light would reach, no not a BLUE spark

“Be careful!” warned BLUE, “This YELLOWed old map Says that somewhere round here, there might be a trap!”

“Yer just a mite late!”
all his MATEYS decried, “One of your crewmen
has already died!”
So carefully picking
their way trough the traps They followed old BLUE
with his YELLOWED old map Till they came to a chamber with hundreds of chests
And they set up a cheer
that drove bats from their nests

RED faced with excitement, the MATEYS broke open
The chests, but they didn’t find what they were hoping

For inside of the YELLOW-bound Chests they’d unfettered
Were 10,000 dirt stained
lengthy love letters!

It seems that RED beard,
on a pirating trip,
Had captured a mail bearing colony ship

And those lovelorn young colonists, while cutting GREEN trees
Had written these letters
to wives cross the sea

In hopes that soon homes would be built in the towns For the wives and the kids to come speedily down.

Page 41 of 42


With cries of dismay,
the MATEYS all ran
Past the traps and the hole
to the RED rocky sand
Through the GREEN slimy swamp and back to the ship
Cursing old BLUE
for this long wasted trip

Then off to the Indies
as fast as they dared
To forget their dismay
In that venture they’d shared “But one thing was sure,” Ole one-eye would buzz, “’Dangerous treasure’

it certainly was!”

Page 42 of 42