Every youth leader needs a bevy of games and activities on hand for youth group. Keeping a 'stock' of games and ideas to use in a pinch will prove to be a lifesaver. Design your activities with your group member's ages in mind, and the kids will have fun no matter how silly or serious the activities are.
Fun Game Activities
Who said youth group can't be a little on the silly side? These types of activities can help to bring shy individuals out of their shells and get them to participate in future activities.
Bubble Gum Blow-Out
This is a relay game using bubble gum and a piece of paper affixed at an easily reachable height on the wall for all players for each team. Each player has to race to a table on the other side of the room. They then have to pick up a piece of bubble gum, unwrap it and start chewing it. They then have to blow a bubble and stick it to a piece of paper on the wall for their team using only their mouth. (No hands allowed). The team who finishes first, wins. This can be more difficult if you use old-fashioned bubble bum, such as Bazooka.
Baby New Year
Let your imagination guide you in playing various games dedicated to the New Year. Have baby bottle races. Fill baby bottles with juice and players have to drink it to see who can finish first (use 4 ounce bottles). Players can also have a baby buggy race to see who can cross a finish line first with a player pushing and the other player riding in a baby buggy (stroller). Guess That Baby is another game where all attendees have to post a picture of themselves as babies on the wall. Everyone has to guess who the babies are.
Participating in age-appropriate board games can be a fun activity for youth group members. Consider setting aside time during one gathering per month or quarter to dedicate to playing time-tested traditional or religious-theme board games. Christian board game options include Bibleopoly, Outburst Bible Edition and Proverbial Wisdom Bible Edition.
Fellowship is a favorite activity, especially for new members who don't know everyone. The following activities will help youth group members get to know each other better.
These dinners require the members involved to visit each other's homes for a specific course of a meal. This activity will require parents or chaperones to be involved to assist with transportation. Each participant makes one course of the meal or provides a form of entertainment. This activity gets everyone involved, from the youth ministry leader to the parents and other members of each family. Plan to spend 20 minutes to a half-hour at each person's home.
A to Z
Assigned teams have to find an item that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. This game works well outdoors in warm weather because the teams can get creative finding the items. As each team discovers an item, they have to get it approved by a youth leader. This game gets more difficult as the end of the alphabet approaches. The team that finishes the alphabet first (or can find the most corresponding items) wins.
Divide the members into teams and give each group a list of items that they need to find. Be sure the list contains things they can reasonably find on the grounds of the church or in their own homes. Offer a prize to the first team that successfully collects all of the items.
Youth group is after all, a church activity. When you're looking for something spiritual but not dull, consider playing a Bible game to get kids focused and excited about learning.
Chapter and Verse
Give group members a chapter in the Bible to memorize. Designate a set number of minutes to see how many verses they can memorize. The person who can memorize the most Bible verses in the set amount of time, wins. You can also play this as a team; the group who can memorize the most verses will win.
Bible Quiz Master
Give each team the exact same passages to read and learn about. Separate the teams to study. After a set amount of time, they will meet again and sit at separate tables. The youth leaders will ask the teams a set number of questions about the chapter they have studied. The team who answers the most questions correctly, wins. They can respond to the questions by raising their hand or by using a bell. The team who signals first is allowed to answer first, if they are wrong, the second team who has their hand raised (or rings the bell) gets to answer, and so on. The team that answers the most questions correctly, wins.
Divide members into groups. Give each group a specific section of scripture to analyze. Have each group lead a discussion about the scripture and what it means. Have the youth group leader provide feedback to each group individually, recognizing participants for their unique contributions to the discussion.
Do you need more ideas? Consider visiting the following websites for more Christian youth group activities:
- Youth Pastor: This site is filled with resources appropriate for youth pastors and others involved in youth ministry. You'll find a variety of games, lessons, reading and musical suggestions and more on this site.
- Youth Games: If you're primarily looking for games, this site is an excellent resource. You can browse the most popular and highest-rated games, or use the searchable database to identify options specific to the age group and objectives you are working with.
- The Source for Youth Ministry: Visit this site when you are in need of ideas for icebreaker activities, games, discussion topics and other activities appropriate for youth groups.
Vary Activities to Maintain Interest
With so many available activity options, there's no reason to do the same things week after week. Help young youth group participants stay engaged and involved by providing a variety of age appropriate faith-based activities on an ongoing basis.