Ultimate Frisbee (Frisbee Football):
Divide into two teams, each trying to get to the opposite end zone. One team kicks (throws actually) off and the other team receives. When a player catches the frisbee they can take only 3 steps then they must throw it. Team work their way down the field, passing to each other until a team scores. If the team hits the ground it's the other teams ball (frisbee actually). If a defensive player knocks the frisbee to the ground possession switches as well. Defensive players must give any person already holding a frisbee at least 3 feet clearance.
Each team or group is given a banana and a bag of random items (felt, foil, beads, etc BE CREATIVE). They then are told to create a personality and appearance for their banana with the items they get. One volunteer from each group gets up and introduces their banana to the group. It's better if each group gets different items for variety. (THIS IS FUN STUFF. )
Barb and Jeremy Hyde - Somerset, England
Spell my Feet:
Take five people and have them take off their shoes and socks. Take a marker and write a large letter on the bottom of each of their feet so if they sit facing you and hold their feet in the air, you can read the letters. On the first person put an A and a N (one letter on each foot), on the next an E and a T, then GR, OM, and SP. You will call out different words for them to spell and they have to cross legs, stretch, and situate themselves in a position so that the bottom of their feet spell the word you called. You can do this with two teams of five if you want and see who spells the word first.
15-20+ articles of clothing (hats, scarves, blouses, pants, shoes, etc.)
The bigger the group, the more items you will need.
It is a lot more fun if the items are "thrift store" type clothes (goofy, ugly, lashing, out of style, etc.) Make sure items are in good taste.
Play some cool music, and pass the bag(s) of clothes around. When the music stops, the person left "holding the bag" must pick something out of the bag to put on. They must put it on as it would normally be worn, no cheating by setting it in their lap, throwing it over their shoulder, etc. Continue starting and stopping music until all the items are on people's bodies.
To end you can do a few different things:
Vote on the "Best Dressed"
Most clothes wins
Least amount of clothes wins
Take a picture for laughs later!
We had loads of fun playing this one. Jeremy ended up with a very tight T shirt, a showercap and some ugly shorts. We didn't time it all very well as we were unexpectedly called into the main service for communion and all the youth plus ourselves were suddenly in the midst of the congregation looking like nothing on earth. It was hilarious.
- Barb and Jeremy Hyde, Somerset, England
ICEBREAKER: ONE MINUTE TALENT SHOW
Plop down a 12 pack of Pepsi and announce the opening event: you will award the 12 pack to the best talent entry, but the catch is, the talent must take less than one minute. Allow the teens five minutes to assemble in case they want to enter as a group (No more than four to any one group). Line up adults as judges with cards giving scores from "1" to "9". This should take no more than 15 minutes and will be great fun. Singing, skits, recitations, Bible memory, handstands, juggling... you can see a wide range of talent!
LONNIE'S OUTDOOR GAME: Giant Texas Lizard Eggs
Supplies: Watermelons, Crisco and Duct tape
Divide your group into teams, and cover the watermelons with grease. Hide the Texas eggs and begin telling the story of how a Giant Texas Lizard is going to take over the world and the only way you can stop that from happening is to find the eggs, and eat the entire red contents. This is great in itself just watching teens try to carry a greased watermelon back to their team. Once they have eaten ALL of the egg tell them to save the shell, and in order to make sure that the egg is properly disposed of they must try to Duct Tape the egg back to its original form! But dont tell them that until they have eaten all of the insides! We did this game at camp, it was GREAT!
RAPID RELAY GAME IDEAS
Here are some simple relay games that you can use. Divide your youth group into teams and have a timekeeper and some judges handy.'
IDEA 1: FIRE BRIGADE...Three teens from each team run this one: two will carry a third person who has a bucket of water on his or her stomach. The two teens carry the third person by the ankles and the wrists. They run to a designated point and come back, being careful not to spill any water, or they must start again.
IDEA 2: WHEELBARROW...One teen holds the second teen by the ankles and moves them wheel-barrow style across the area to a designated spot. Don't make the course too long or the teens will get tired too fast.
IDEA 3: RUN AND DUNK...Two teens carry a third teen as if they were carrying a giant pencil. They race across an area to a tub of water. They dunk the "pencil's" head in and carry them back to the starting line for the next team to move on.
Put your teens into groups of five to seven and have them agree on an answer, holding up an answer board with their guess. Award one point for each correct answer (answers are in italics):
1. Under the rules of professional baseball, how many warm-up pitches are allowed a pitcher who has just entered a game?
No more than 8
2. How many pieces of bun does a McDonald's Big Mac contain?
3. What was the name of Fred Flintstone's paperboy?
4. In what city will you find the Football Hall of Fame?
5. Which dwarf is the only one of the Seven Dwarfs not to have a beard?
6. What product sells best in U.S. supermarkets?
7. For what does the term astronomical unit (AU) stand?
The distance between the earth and sun (over 93-million miles)
8. What is the penalty for driving drunk in Sumatra?
Loss of a hand
9. A male cat is referred to as a "Tom," but what is a female cat?
10. What does someone who suffers from Anthophobia fear?
This may not seem like an incredible icebreaker, but it can get to be a lot of fun. Divide your teens into two teams and give them each a chair. They face the chairs in a circle but the chairs are aligned so the teens are facing the teen's back in front of them (sort of like a "train" set up, but the whole train - engine to caboose - is one big circle.) One adult has a stopwatch and on the word GO you give each team a shoe. The idea is to pass is so that everybody touches it until it makes a full circle of passing. It is simply the team that goes the fastest and registers the fastest time. After a few rounds, add a basketball to the passing. Then add a glove - then a cup of water -then a Hot Wheels toy. Remember, no throwing...only passing.
Instead of a pumpkin carving contest, have each team of four or five teens decorate and carve a watermelon face. Half an hour time limit is good. (Be careful with the knives) You may also give them ribbons, buttons, stickers and other goofy stuff to add to the decoration of their melon. The adults may judge the winners and everybody can dig in afterward.
WILIAM TELL WATER SHOOT
I first played this game over 20 years ago, and it is still a fun event. This is best played as either an icebreaker or a warm-up game before a full youth group game involving everybody.
Fill up two Super Soaker water guns and choose two pairs of volunteers. Each team will consist of a SHOOTER and a TARGET. The shooter and target stand 10 feet away from each other. The TARGET has shaving cream in a pile on their nose and across their forehead. At the word GO, the two SHOOTERS shoot their water guns at the TARGETS until their TARGETS are clean. They only have one minute to complete the job! Judges rule which TARGET is cleanest.
GILLIGAN TALENT SHOW
Have some sailor hats, hawaiian leis, grass skirts and captain's hats available. Get several groups of seven teens and let them dress up like the characters on "Gilligan's Island". Before a panel of adult judges, they are to give the most creative presentation of the theme song to Gilligan's Island...and they are ALL to sing as they are singing the words to the theme song. Hint: you may want to pass out a song sheet with the lyrics on it so they don't get frustrated in trying to remember. ) Award ice pops to the winners.
EGG DROP SOUP
Post one of your adult leaders on the roof of the church. Set a time limit of ten minutes. Each group of teens (teams of four or five) are given five feet of masking tape, three little balls of cotton, two balloons, three crackers, a paper bag, about ten squares of toilet paper, a a foot square of aluminum foil, and two raw eggs. They have to build a contraption - using as much or as little of the material - that will protect the egg when dropped from the roof (height of ten feet).
WHAT A WAY TO RUN A MEETING
This Wednesday night, run the entire program backward...everything you can think of. Your announcements will be one of the last parts of the program, your message will be first...why, you can even have kids wear clothes backwards. Place your chairs facing the opposite side of the room.
Divide your teens up into three or four teams and have a bell at the front of the room. When a team thinks they knwo the answer, a designated member must run up and ring the bell. They then get to answer the question. This game gets rowdy! Try some of these questions - the answers are in italics.
Who was the last teenager to rule England? Queen Victoria
During World War II, what day of the week was the recommended meatless day? Tuesday
For whom was the Edsel named? Henry Ford's son
Which Wright brother first flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903? Orville
What inventor's dying breath, trapped in a bottle, was one of Henry Ford's most prized possessions? Thomas Edison
SPEEDWAY INDOOR GAME
This game is especially fun because everyone is involved, even if they are just part of the racetrack. Line up all of the teens' chair in a giant figure 8 racecourse and provide a tape for START and FINISH. Divide the teens into pairs, and pit three pairs of racers against each other for each race. Scooters (the Razor kind) are used in this race. One teen SITS on the scooter and the other teen is the MOTOR. How does the MOTOR propel the seated teen on the scooter? That's up to them, but they must complete two laps in order to win the heat. The rest of the spectators make up the boundaries. Have run-offs and a small prize for the winning pair.
This is a "bring your own water balloons" event. I have had kids bring crates of filled water balloons! Everybody gets a paper bag to put on top of their head. The object? Within the time frame of five minutes and in a designated area, you score points for knocking the bag off someone's head by throwing water balloons at them. That's the only way the bag may be removed! Of course, some teens may get the idea to add a dash of action by just splattering someone anyway...that's okay! It's also great to have the adults get involved by secretly entering the action with a supply of their own.
Perhaps there are newcomers that do not have Bibles. Some of the kids in your youth group don't have a Bible to call their own. Suggest to the other Sunday morning Bible classes (Senior Saints, young adults, etc.) that they take up a collection and purchase a Bible for some of your teens. Your own group may want to do this. Present the Bibles are genuine gifts of love to the new atteding teens in your group.
THREE BLIND MICE
Don't worry if it is raining outside: here is a good game that the teens will enjoy watching as much as playing. Divide the room up into three teams, no matter how big. Select a representative teen from each section who will be earning points for that side. Bring the three teens to the front and blindfold them. Tell them that they are to identify items (simple, isn't it?) and will earn points for their team. THE TRICK IS: they are not allowed to wipe off their hands as they touch the items. The gunk they touch will have to stay on their fingers! As the game progresses, it will be harder for them to tell what they are touching, since their sense of touch will be limited.
Present the items in this order as you play:
...of course this is all in fun and there is no way they will be able to guess some of these, but let judges have fun and give points to the closest ("she said it was nutmeg, but at least she thought it was a spice").
GET IT WET
If you have an outdoor court, this is a quick and easy game that we've played that can get a SLOP DAY started off well. Divide the group into two teams and line each team up at opposite ends of the basketball court. Tell them to look to the mid-court line and notice the buckets and 55 gallon drums filled with water that you have placed there. Instruct them that at no time are they to tip them over or touch the actual water container itself or they will lose points. What they are to do, though, is to get as much water from the receptacles as possible and "cover" their side of the court with water. (Remember this is an OUTDOOR court) They will have 90 seconds. On GO, the teams run to the middle and may scopp and splash ontheir side. It's 100 points to the side that has most of its territory splashed and marked with water. This is a simple game but we found its quickness and messiness gets things started off well.
CHRISTIAN QUOTATIONS FOR YOUR TEEN NEWSLETTER
Try adding these to the top of your weekly newsletter or even write an article about the thoughts that these writers give:
"Sin is nothing else than that the creature willeth otherwise than God willeth, and contrary to Him."
... Theologia Germanica
"Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us."... Thomas Paine
" Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there."
... A. J. Gossip
"See in the meantime that your faith bringeth forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace. "
... John Owen
MIDDLE NAME MADNESS
To start off the night, give each person a sticker, the kind that says HELLO MY NAME IS. On it, each person must write his or her MIDDLE name. For the duration of the evening, the person must be addressed by his or her middle name. This makes for a hilarious evening!
SUNDAY MORNING ICEBREAKER
As the teens walk in to your Sunday class, hand out a large cookie and an already-stamped postcard that is blank. The cookie is for eating right then, but the postcard is for writing a friendly 'hello' to someone within the youth group - even someone who has not been around for a while.
Post mailing addresses up on the front wall so that teens (while munching their cookies) may go up and add the address to the card. Let them write a friendly note and drop it in a "mailbox" that you have made. Send them out on Monday. This is one more little step in the teens learning different ways to give a friendly and caring communication to another member.
Divide your teens into four equal groups and put them each in a separate corner of the gymnasium or basketball court. Give them a two foot piece of kite string for each member of their team and lay the pile of string on the ground in front of their group. This is a speed game. On the word GO they are to tie one ankle and connect it to another ankle of someone else in their group. As quickly as they can, when they tie all of the ankles (one per person) together so that the whole team is connected, they are to march as quickly as possible across to the opposite corner and arrive before any of the other three teams do so. Referees are watching to see that no strings break; if they do, the team must go back to their corner for re-tying. Sometimes teams collide in the middle and this makes for even greater mayhem.
HERE ARE SOME GREAT QUOTES THAT SHOULD BE JUST UNDER THE BYLINE OF YOUR WEEKLY TEEN NEWSLETTER:
"Keep us, Lord, so awake in the duties of our callings that we may sleep in Thy peace and wake in Thy glory." - John Donne
"No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies which lies in this one privilege, in having liberty and ability to approach unto God at all times, according to His mind and will." - John Owen
"The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God."
"Faith is not only a commitment to the promises of Christ; faith is also a commitment to the demands of Christ."
"We have no cause to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; but the Gospel of Christ may justly be ashamed of us. "
- John Tillotson
"The kingdom of heaven is not come even when God's will is our law; it is fully come when God's will is our will."
- George Macdonald
SCRIPTURE SIT DOWN
This is a fun quick opener for a meeting. Pit the guys against the girls in this game. Choose two representatives from each side to stand up front, "spelling bee" style, so you'll have four teens altogether, ready to do battle. One at a time, have a teen give a verse reference and the verse. If a verse is used, it cannot be used again by anyone. Each teen has ten seconds to start their verse and 30 seconds to say it. When a teen cannot make it within that time frame, he or she sits down. This is a quick boost for those memorizing scripture! Have a nice award for the winner.
For this game you will need everyone to bring a jar of peanut butter, and YOU supply the ice cubes. At the word GO, teams of three teens apiece have 15 minutes to create the most unusual "building" with their ice cubes. Peanut butter is the mortar. For extra fun, have this outside on a hot day, so the teens are trying to keep their building from melting! Adults can judge the winners.
Here's a great way to have your Sunday Opening Assembly: Call five random teens up front to sing one of your praise songs. Choose the praise song at random as well. (Try to make sure you have at least two decent singers in each group you choose) The group is large enough to keep a shy teen from becoming paralyzed with fright. Run a couple of rounds so a number of teens get to participate.
GREETINGS AND GIFTS
When your teens come in this Sunday, slip two papers into their hands: one is a verse for them to keep for their very own as encouragement this week, and the other is a verse that they should pass on to another teen in the room as they enter.
You should also have a table set with Cokes, Pepsis, cups and ice for the teens to enjoy as they walk around and share their gift verses. Don't do this EVERY Sunday, but once every five or six weeks keeps it special.
A GAME AND A REWARD AT THE SAME TIME
During your next outing, right before all the refreshments are handed out, have a contest where three teens will try to balance as many scoops of ice cream on a cone. The adults will supply the already-scooped ice cream, so the contest is fair.
A twist on this is to make a four scoop ice cream each for five teens and giving them one minute to lick as much off as possible. They may only lick!
On your next youth group campout, make sure the teens cook all the meals. Not just a select few teens - this should be a rotation where, by the end of the campout, most of the teens have had a turn in the kitchen. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE TEENS DO ALL ASPECTS OF THE COOKING. Even if you have a chef as an adult leader, they are only to give instructions. The adult leaders hould stand and give advice but not perform at part of the preparation. The teens then can honestly say that they created the meal. This will be a first time event for teens who have never set foot in a kitchen. Not once in my years of youth work have I heard a teen say that he or she didn't like the experience.
This is a tried and true idea that may not cost you a cent. Contact area pizza parlors and tell them that your teen group is going to have a judging contest to see which pizzas are the best in town. Ask them if they would donate three or four pizzas tot eh contest (reminding them that you can give them a receipt for their donation that they can use as a charity donation when it comes to tax time.) At the pizza contest, divide the pizzas into two by two inch slices, and put a small sign up for each company. The teens each get a ballot, and you can submit the results to the newspaper. Many youth groups will end up with leftover pizza, there are so many donated!
In preparation for Easter Resurrection Sunday, provide each of your teens with an invitation card (like a formal party-type card - you can get them at Wal-Mart) and a pen. As you explain the significance of the holiday, also let them know of the importance of inviting someone to share in the morning. Then stop and let them write a personal invitation to someone they know, and then seal it in an envelope. They are then to HAND-DELIVER the envelope to their friend as an invitation.
ATTENDANCE BUILDERS: Team Work
Before we embark on some fancy-footwork type of attendance builder, let me tell you what twenty-one years of youth work has taught me when it comes to building a youth group: teams. The Lord works mightily with groups as well as individual when you break your groups into TEAMS for short-burst contests for inviting visitors and learning verses. Your contests could be a month long or 90 days, but the idea is to carefully put teens into groups that have a good balance of athleticism, spiritual growth and enthusiasm.
In our years, we divided teens up and gave them Greek names like CHI ALPHA (Christ Always) and PI GAMMA (Praising God). The teens loved the identification and chose their two co-presidents. The teams were involved in various competitions ranging from scavenger hunts to trivia challenges to impromptu skits. Did the youth group ever GROW! It's amazing how enthusiasm catches on. Teens also gave Bible challenges, led in prayer, and gave announcements, as their team was assigned the duties for a particular week.
TEAM WORK PART 2: ATTENDANCE BUILDER
If you are dividing your team up for a two-month-long competition, give points. here are some things you can award points for:
learning a verse - 1000 points
helping cleanup, set up chairs after activity - 250 pts a person
winning a challenge as a team - 15000 points
go on church visitation - 1000 points
bring a first time visitor - 1500 points for up to three times
Why give a team 1500 points for visitors attending three times? We have found that if a person attends three times they are pretty much accustomed to the building, the leaders and the other kids...the chances are much higher that they will come back. The teeen also has an incentive to invite them back more than one time.
If you have a small group of a dozen or less, this is a great game for an afterglow or after-church event, where teens must sit still. Thsi game, called "ZAPPED" requires a deck of cards with all of the ACE cards removed except for one. If you have 12 teens, then you should have 12 cards, one of which is the ACE card. The game begins as everyone sits in a circle facing each other so that each person can see the eyes of everyone else in the circle. Each teen draws a card, and the teen with the ACE card has the "ZAPPER" card. He then will try to eliminate other players in the circle by winking at them, trying not to be discovered. If a person is winked at, he or she throws in his card and says "I've been zapped." If one of the other teens thinks he knows who the "ZAPPED" is, he or she can name the person. If the accuser is wrong, they are eliminated from the game. When the "ZAPPER" has been discovered, the round is over. Usually three or four rounds makes this a full game.
Here is a fun banquet game that involves parents and teens! Similar to the Newlywed Game, you have a parent and their teenager as the contestant couple. Your questions will be about how much these two really know each other. As you host the program, you should select 4 parent/teen teams. In the first round you will send the teens out of the room. Ask the parents 3 questions about their teen, with questions like their favorite candy bar, TV show, or sport. Have them record their answers on a poster board as they tell you, or have a worker stand behind them and record the answer. After you have asked all the parents the 3 questions, bring the teenagers back into the room and proceed to ask them the 3 questions that you just asked their parents. If their answers match the ones on the poster board, they get 10 points. Next, you send the adults out and ask the teens 3 questions, such as the parent's hobby, his or her favorite vacation spot, and their favorite comic book hero. The winner is the team that has the most matches!
NAME THAT GARGLE
This is a simple game and yet a lot of fun. All you will need is three glasses of water. Recruiting two teens and one adult, bring the three up to the front and secretly show them the title to a hymn, commercial jingle or popular song. They should all take a sip of water and gargle the tune in unison. The rest of the group earns points and prizes trying to solve the tune!
THE QUIK-PRINT MALL SCAVENGER HUNT
Here's a mall scavenger hunt that takes place - beginning to end - in the mall, with a treat for everyone afterward. It's a picture scavenger hunt at the mall, and you should divide the teens into teams and give each a couple disposable cameras. The pictures are worth 100 points apiece, and the teens must get someone else to take a picture of the whole team with the item on the list - it must be a stranger who takes the picture! Picture ideas are like: the group in front of the mall fountain; the group in a pyramid; the group eating samples at a restaurant, etc. The points are added up only after the teams turn in their cameras and development takes place in a 1 hour shop while the group eats in the food court. These are great pictures for the scrapbooks!
Now, please step into the FORUM and read some other ideas or post one of your own!