Great Last-Minute Games for Youth Group
When you need to plan an activity for your youth group quickly, the best thing you can do is choose a game that you know all of them will enjoy. Here are seven games that kids will love, so your only problem will be getting them to stop playing!
Last-minute youth group games are perfect when you forget to plan an activity in your weekly schedule. These are also useful if you have a big group of students that you need to keep entertained. Doing these seven games should be enough to last at least an hour, but this depends on how fast your students are.
1. Freeze Tag
One kid is “it,” and the rest of the kids are frozen in place, pretending to be trees or sidewalk planters. The “it” kids try to tag other children before they can unfreeze themselves.
When a child gets tagged, he must freeze on the spot until another child rounds him up by touching him on his shoulder or top of his head. If the “it” child tags another kid during that time, they become it together.
2. Capture The Flag
In this classic game, each team needs to steal the other side’s flag from their base and return it to theirs without being caught by the enemy. If a player is tagged, they must sit on their base until another player from their team comes over to rescue him.
Have your kids create an obstacle course that they have to go through to get back with the flag to make it more interesting.
3. Simon Says
Kids love games that involve mimicking the leader and following instructions, which is why everyone loves Simon Says. Let kids form a single file line and then pick someone to be “Simon.” Simon calls out instructions, and anyone who doesn’t follow them must sit down – but if they follow them, they get to stand next in line!
This game requires no supplies, hardly any space (just enough for everyone to stand in a row), and is always fun. If your group plays this often enough, they may even start making up their commands like “Simon says jump on one foot” or “Simon says spin in circles while clapping your hands!”
Another fun group favorite, this game brings back memories from yesteryear when we’d watch TV on Friday nights – but it’s just as much fun now! In this game, Simon (or an assigned leader) calls out a phrase, and the other players must guess what it is by giving clues. If they miss or provide an incorrect hint, then they must sit down.
The game ends when there’s only one player left standing or if the time runs out. An example of a phrase would be, “Don’t say ___,” and the players could respond with something like “Shh!”
5. Human Foosball
Okay…so this game will take up quite a bit of space in your youth room (especially if you have a huge group). You’ll need at least six players to play this game.
This is also another great game that requires no equipment – just strong students! Each student needs to take hold of either end of someone else’s arm (or leg), which becomes their “barrel.”
No matter how hard the “foosball” tries, they cannot break free of their “barrel.” This means that you can hold onto your partner with all your might, and it won’t be a problem!
The goal is to get the ball in between two designated spots on one end. If a group manages to do this, they win a point, and everyone rotates around in a circle – that way, each student gets a chance at being the “foosball”! Once everyone has had a turn, you can reset for another game.
6. Ultimate Frisbee
Ultimate Frisbee is another game that requires no special equipment (make sure it’s okay with your church before playing in the sanctuary). This game aims to get your frisbee as close to the other team’s “base” as possible without getting caught by an interception.
If necessary, you can also play this game indoors – mark off a field beforehand, so everyone knows where they need to be throwing their frisbees.
7. Tug of War
This final game may also require some space, but it’s worth it! Grab a rope – even an old jump rope would work great if you have one lying around – and designate two bases on either side. Each team needs to form their line between the two bases (that way, they’re not too close to each other).
On the count of three, everybody needs to take hold of the rope (one hand per person, please). Let the battle begin! Let your youth group know that this game is like a tug-of-war at school. They must stay in place once the game starts, or else they’ll get disqualified. The last group standing wins! This game requires no special equipment.
Why Games Matter in Youth Group
Youth group games are always popular because not only do they provide an opportunity to have fun, but they’re also great for building friendships with your peers. You never know when you might need someone to turn to!
These seven youth group games are all simple enough that you can explain them in just a couple of minutes so your kids can hit the ground running as soon as possible. Best of all, you can play any or all of them in a large group, small group, or even one-on-one, depending on the number of people you happen to have at your disposal.
The youth group would be a lot more fun if there were more interaction between students. These games have given people fantastic opportunities to bond and grow closer as a youth group.
If you’re looking for some fun, free games that don’t involve Xbox or Playstation, then these are perfect for your next gathering!
The Benefits of Youth Groups
The primary benefit of attending a youth group is gaining or strengthening your walk with Christ. Not only will you build relationships with other Christians at your age, but you’ll also have an older mentor who knows what it’s like being a teenager.
When faced with tough decisions or situations that have no easy answers, being able to turn to your youth pastor, group leaders, or other teens will be reassuring and comforting.
Youth groups’ second most significant benefit is having fun. Whether it’s playing games with your peers after discussing faith-based topics or planning more strenuous activities like mission trips or serving at homeless shelters, the social aspect of youth groups is unrivaled by most other extracurriculars.
The relationships built within youth groups are often life-lasting and play an essential role in determining who you’ll become as an adult.
In addition, youth groups allow adolescents to engage with the world around them on a personal level as they learn about God’s love for all of humanity. Connecting on a spiritual level is always a good thing, but nowhere is it more beneficial than during those tumultuous teenage years.
By sharing your knowledge and experiences with other teens, you’re not only giving back what you’ve learned but also showing classmates how strong your faith is by living a Christlike existence even when faced with temptation or adversity.
So remember the next time you go out with all your friends instead of attending church, no other setting can bring these benefits as well as a youth group does—not even your friend’s house.
Getting kids to have fun at youth groups can be a challenge, especially with all the activities and lessons planned for them. But if there’s one thing you should always try to remember when doing anything with kids, they need to play. To help your students enjoy youth groups more, try playing some games that encourage fun and allow you to connect with the kids.
Many games teach valuable life lessons – and most of them incorporate an element of play into them like the ones listed above! All you have to do is find the right game at the right time for your group.
No matter how old they are, kids (and people in general) need to engage in things that allow them to let loose. If your church is like most churches I’ve seen, there are certainly opportunities for this throughout the week.
On Wednesday night, children’s programs often provide an opportunity for playing games and getting back in touch with their inner child. On Sundays, kids eight years old or older may be involved in the worship band or running the sound equipment; sometimes, parents host game nights on Friday nights, etc.
But there are plenty of times when youth group is the only time kids get to let loose – especially if you have more extroverted children who are easily socialized outside of their homes. And depending on how your group’s schedule works out, this can be a long week for them.
If they’re not allowed to play at home and can’t do it in their classes during the week, we need to make sure we allow them to engage in fun activities in our youth group meetings.