Looking to try a little old school youth ministry on your students? These classics never die! Here are 4 classic games that are easy to put together and fun to play and work great if you're planning a night crazy games.
I can't remember the first time I saw this game, but I'm pretty sure I was still a kid. I loved it. And it's great for just about any age, even your older teens. It's an "every man for himself" type of game where students/players tie one end of string around one of their ankles and the other end to an inflated balloon. Once everyone has a balloon, spread your group out. Size of space really isn't an issue, nor is the amount of students. You just need to make sure you have enough balloons and string. (By the way, you'll want to cut the string in advance. I've used everything from yarn to twine. You'll want to cut the string to about 2 to 2 and a half feet in length.)
At "Go!" students run around trying to pop the balloon of the other players while guarding their own balloon. What you get is a chaotic mess of laughter and popping. Students are eliminated when their balloon is popped. You can mix up the game any number of ways by changing who can pop who or in how the move around the room. I would also suggest you give a little direction as to what players cannot do, such as players can not hold their balloon or tie the string so tight around the ankle that the balloon is touching the leg. The balloon needs to be free to bounce and drag behind the players as they run
Last man standing with their inflated balloon wins!
Now this one I do remember playing as a student. Another great classic, Muscle Beach is best played with the students divided into teams of 4-6 players. (More is okay if you need, but don't make them too big that students don't feel like their contributing.)
Give each team an oversized sweatshirt and a bag of balloons. I usually give my students a bag containing 25, 9" assorted color balloons. (They are super cheap at Walmart.) You can also embellish with a pair of crazy sunglasses, sunblock on the nose, and a ridiculous beach hat, or whatever else you can think of that helps the player look totally silly. You will also need a timer, as this is best played as a timed competition.
At "Go!" students inflate and knot the balloons, then stuff them under the sweatshirt that someone volunteers to wear. (I try to find the smallest person on the team. A smaller stature and an over-sized sweatshirt make the game that much more entertaining, and allows the "little-guy" to be the hero.) The idea is to stuff the sweatshirt with as many balloons a possible in the allotted time. When your time limit has expired, it's time to show off the muscles.
Bring each muscle bound man (or woman) to the front and have them "pose" for the audience. With whoops and cheers, declare your best looking "muscle head." But wait, there's more. Now, count the balloons. Declare two winners; the best looking and the most used balloons!
This game I call Frosty Feet. It's kind of my own little twist on a game that I once saw played at a summer camp. Here's what you need.
Set Up: In each aluminum pan, count out the same number of marbles. Somewhere between 20 and 30 is usually good. Spread the marbles out and cover with ice. For an added element of surprise, cover the ice with shaving cream. The shaving cream hides the ice, leaving the participant almost fully unaware of what he stepping into. You will want to construct the pans no earlier that 15-20 minutes before playing the game. This gives the ice some time to melt. However, the shaving cream will dissolve if you let it sit too long. The final thing you'll want to do is lay a sheet of plastic or drop cloth down and place one pan at the feet of each player.
The Game: At "GO!", players must remove as many marbles from the pan as possible within the designated time allowance with only their toes. About a minute and a half should be adequate time. Much longer and students will begin dumping the pans.
Be sure to have a video camera at the ready for the icy reactions. The one rule I try to enforce is the "No Shoveling" rule. Student are not allowed to use their foot to "shovel" the ice out of the pan. The marbles must be removed with the toes of a foot.
Izzy Dizzy Bat...
This one is my all time favorite. I play it every summer when we have relay competitions. It's super easy to put together and brings gut-busting laughter. You'll need a plastic, wiffle-ball style bat for each team. Divide your students into equal teams. You will also need to establish a start and finish line about 10 to 15 yards apart.
On "Go", players race to their bat left at the far end of their race. Students then pick up the bat, place the knob on their forehead and the barrel on the ground. They must then spin around the bat a designated amount of times. I usually set 10 as the limit. Much more than that and, well you'll find out.
Once they have spun around the bat, they drop the bat and run back to their team to tag the next person in line. The first team to get all of their players down and back wins!
Some Tips: When you play this game you will want to consider having an adult standing with the bat to count out the number of times a student spins around the bat. You may also want to have a couple adults stationed along the run way to make sure students don't run into each other or end up running of off course do to being dizzy. AND, you might want to video tape this one.
There you are, 4 simple, fun, and crazy games that are easy to play, relatively inexpensive, and totally awesome! Happy gaming!
So...lately I've been into trying new games with our students. Over the last couple of weeks, we've been working on introducing our students to some new, and fun, games. Today, I want to share one that I saw on social media.
First, credit to YouthMinistryIdeas.us, who shared a post from @epikosfuse and @pastor_tank on their Instagram account (@youthministryideas). A short video of the game was shared. They called it, Head Shoulders, Cup. We called it, The New Cup Game.
The game is simple.
Pair your students up and give each pair a cup. With the students facing each other, place the cup on the floor between them.
Call out a series of commands such as head, shoulders, knees, etc. Students touch the parts that are called. I started slow for the first couple of rounds. Once the students got the hang of the game, I started to speed things up a bit.
Here's the fun. At the end of your commands call, CUP. The student who grabs the cup, wins! We played the best two out of three rounds. Winners go on to play other winners. Keep going until you have one student standing.
To keep the students playing, we had the losing students play other losing students.
This is a super easy game that needs very little set up. Just grab some cups and you're good to go.
If you us plastic cups like Solo or Dixie, be sure to keep a few on hand. After a few rounds, the cups will be destroyed and needing replacement.
This is a great game for small or larger groups and can be played just about anywhere.
*Photo credit to Dave N.
This past Wednesday night, we played a great game with our junior high students. I liked it so much, I wanted to share it here with you. Let me introduce you to, Bomb Squad!
When it comes to game time on Wednesday nights, leadership rotates among the leaders. We each take turns planning and leading games. This past Wednesday night, David N., one of our amazing leaders shared Bomb Squad with our students and it went over pretty well. I don't think this is an original game, so you've seen it in a book or on another youth ministry website, let me know.
Here's what you need...
General Game Play...
The goal is for the students to deposit as many "bombs" into the other teams drop box as possible, within the designated time limit. The team with the most bombs deposited wins. Bombs are defused when a player is tagged on the opposing teams territory and the egg opened and the paper or candy is removed.
Here's how we played Bomb Squad...
Our students were divided into 2 teams of about 10 each. Colored bandanas were given to designate the teams. We divided the room in half with each team claiming one half as their territory.
We placed the large part of the paper box as the drop box. This is where students would drop the live bombs into at the far end of the other teams territory. The lids of the paper box served as the Pick Up area that held the teams live bombs. These were placed off to the side of a teams territory. On "Go" students tried to grab their live bombs from the pick up point, one at a time, and run them to the the other teams drop box without being tagged.
To defend the drop boxes, players can tag the opposite teams "bombers" whenever they enter the teams territory. Once tagged, the bomb is turned over and diffused. (Open the egg and take out whatever you have placed inside. Since we used Skittles, the students could eat the Skittle.)
We set a time limit for play. This helps to create some urgency for the students. We also assigned points for every bomb that made it to the drop box. (10 points each.)
Depending on how you want to play the game, you can do multiple rounds changing the variables. Play with only guys only tagging guys, or only girls can carry the bombs, or divide the team as bombers and defenders. You can also do a quick reset by adding more paper or candy to the eggs, or simply play till your supply is exhausted. We did not use all of the "live bombs" that had been prepared.
Have fun playing this one!
PS - Special thanks to our amazing adult leader, Dave N. for bringing this game to our students!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the student ministry director at a church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.