Youth groups are never complete without games and activities! Games boost the energy and liveliness of a gathering. They bring opportunities to interact and bond with friends. They can also be used to teach important values and lessons. Games and activities help you spend your youth group time in the best way possible!
Here are some ideas for games and activities that you can do to make the most out of your next youth group get-together.
Top Youth Group Games // Ice Breakers and Team Building
1. NICE TO MEET YOU
Category: Icebreaker Players: Multiple players
Mechanics: Within 5 minutes, each player must go around the room, meet 5 different people, and ask them 5 different questions given by the facilitator. These questions can be about hobbies, favourites, or other facts about the other person.
The activity will have 5 rounds. For each round, everyone is given 1 question and 1 minute to ask at least 1 person about their name and their answer to the question. The players must ask a different person for each round.
After the 5 rounds end, the group will be asked to sit down. The facilitator can either require everybody to share about the people they’ve met during the game, or only select a number of volunteers that would participate in sharing.
The objective of this youth group game is simply to meet others and learn more about them! It is ideal for fostering a sense of familiarity within a group that is new to each other.
2. GUESS WHO?
Category: Icebreaker/intellectual Players: Multiple players; Teams of 5-7 Materials: Paper, pen
Mechanics: Each player must anonymously write on a piece of paper something about themselves. They can about an experience, interest, characteristic, or value that they have. The papers must be folded and then compiled per team. Each team would have their own pile.
For each turn, the teams have to pick one paper from their competing team’s pile. (For multiple teams, the first team can pick from the second, the second from the third, and so on.) They will have to guess who wrote the information in the paper they picked. Teams can only guess once. (For multiple teams, the other teams can try to steal the point and make a guess.)
If no one is able to guess correctly, the point goes to the team of the person to whom the information belongs. The team that gets the most points will be declared the winner!
This group game is perfect for developing friendships, as the players discover and learn something new about their friends!
3. SHELTER, SHEEP, STORM
Players: Multiple players; Teams of 3 and 1 ‘It’ player
Mechanics: The number of players need to be a multiple of 3 plus 1 (who will be tagged as ‘It’), preferably around 13 people or above (16, 19, 22, etc.). The players need to form a group of 3: two of them would hold hands and become the “Shelter”, and the other one would be the “Sheep”, standing in the middle of the “Shelter”.
The ‘It’ player would chant “Shelter, Storm, Sheep” repeatedly, and shout one of the three in the end. If the ‘It’ player shouts “Shelter”, then the ‘Shelter’ players need to move together and house a different ‘Sheep’. If they shout “Sheep”, then the ‘Sheep’ players have to run outside their ‘Shelter’ and go to a different one. If they shout “Storm”, then everybody has to run and find a new group of three.
After shouting, the ‘It’ must join the chaos and try to become part of a group of three, whether as a ‘Shelter’ or a ‘Sheep’. At the end of each round, whoever does not belong to a group of three would become the new ‘It’ player.
There are many ways that the game could end, but a fun way to close “Shelter, Sheep, Storm” is to gather all the players who became ‘It’ and ask them to show their talent by singing or dancing together!
This group game for youths is a great bonding opportunity that allows the players to interact with more people. They might need to find shelter with their new friends after all!
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4. BRING ME: ACTION VERSION
Players: Multiple players; Teams of 3-5
Mechanics: Each team must send a representative for each round. For each round, a specific task must be met. The catch? Only an adjective describing the task would be announced before the teams send their representatives. For example, the facilitators would say that they are looking for the “highest” or “fastest”.
Once all the teams have sent their representatives, the facilitators would announce the complete task, such as “highest jump” or “fastest to reach one end of the room to another”. The player that is able to satisfy the criteria wins the point for that round. The team that gets the most points wins.
This game motivates the players to be the best that they can be so that they can bring home the bacon for their team!
5. SCAVENGER PUZZLE
Category: Physical/intellectual/teamwork Players: Multiple players; Teams of 5-7 Materials: Colored paper, marker, adhesives
Mechanics: The facilitator/s must prepare the game in advance, without any of the players in the room. Using a marker, write down a quote or sentence on colored paper. You can also print the message in advance. The number of colored papers with quotes depend on the number of teams. The papers must also be in different colors, as each team will be assigned their corresponding color.
Cut each colored paper into around 7-10 pieces. All teams must have the same number of pieces to find. The facilitator/s must hide them in different areas of the room—they can be under chairs, behind curtains, or inside furniture. The facilitator/s can choose to stick them on various surfaces using adhesives so that the pieces will not be easily lost.
Once the game is prepared, the teams will be given a time limit (around 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the room) to find all of the pieces for their assigned color, put them back in order, and decode the sentence. The first team to complete the task wins. In case no one is able to complete it, the team that is closest to finishing the puzzle will be declared the winner.
If you have a lot of time allotted for the youth group, this is perfect for you. The game is both a physical and mental exercise. The scavenger hunt requires them to roam around and search the area, while the puzzle involves their ability to decipher messages— hitting two goals with one game!
Players: Multiple players; Teams of 2 Materials: Paper, marker, adhesives
Mechanics: Each pair has to guess a mystery word within 2 minutes. One of them would be the guesser. The guesser can ask questions about the mystery word. They can ask about its category, location, its usage, its color, and other characteristics. The other player would answer the questions. However, the questions must be answerable only by ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘maybe’.
The mystery word can be written on a piece of paper and placed on the forehead of the guesser, or it could simply be shown to the other player. The pair that guesses their mystery word in the least amount of time wins!
Bonus Tip: Instead of playing it with pairs, you can have 2 teams with around 5-10 people each. 2 guessers from each team would sit back-to-back, with the teams standing in front of their respective guesser. Both teams must have the same set of words. Here’s the fun part: the teams would guess the same mystery word at the same time! The team that guesses the mystery word first gets the point, and the team that gets the most points wins.
Just a little warning: it could get super loud and lively—because the joy of guessing the mystery word is incredibly satisfying!
7. I CAN RELATE
Category: Intellectual/teamwork Players: Multiple players; Teams of 3-5 Materials: Paper, pen
Mechanics: The facilitator will choose a category. For a given time period (around 2 minutes), each team must write down words that are related to the given category with the pen and paper provided. For example, if the category is a specific country, they can write the name of the country’s leader, their famous tourist spots, and other related things.
Once the time is over, each team would share the items on their list. Other teams must declare if they have the same item. Any word that is also claimed by another team must be crossed out. The team that has the most items remaining on their list wins the game.
The rules are simple, but the players still need to think fast and contribute greatly to their team for a better chance of victory!
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8. PICTURE RELAY
Players: Multiple players; Teams of 5-7
Materials: Paper, pen
Mechanics: Each team must line up, with the player in front facing forward and the rest of the players facing back. The last players on the line will be given a pen and paper.
The front line players must go to the facilitator and look at the given word. The facilitator must make sure that the given words are easy to draw.
After the go signal, front line players must start drawing the given word on the back of the next player with their hands only (no need for pen or paper). The next player would draw it again on the back of the next player, and so on until it reaches the last player.
The last player must draw it with the pen and paper provided, and run to the facilitator to show their drawing. The team that is first to present a correct drawing gets the point. The team with the most points would be declared the winner.
The game teaches players that understanding the message and passing it correctly are both important when it comes to communication. Be careful not to get lost in translation!
9. PITCH IT
Players: Multiple players; Teams of 3-5 Materials: Paper, pen/marker
Mechanics: The facilitator will provide a specific scenario as a prompt. For 5-7 minutes, each team must pitch an invention that is useful in the given scenario. The pitch does not have to be incredibly realistic and practical; it can be bizarre and unique, with fantastical elements like flying, teleportation, robotics, and such! After the pitch, the competing teams can ask questions and try to find things that still need to be improved on their competitors’ inventions.
The facilitator would judge the best pitch and pick the winner. They could choose the winning group based on the creativity of their product, how efficiently it solves the problem in the scenario, and how well they answer the questions of the other teams.
The best way to develop creativity is to give people room to think out of the box—like in this game!
10. CIRCLE OF POSITIVITY
Category: Inspirational Players: Multiple players Materials: Paper, pen
Mechanics: The youth group must gather in a circle. Each person will be given a piece of paper and must write their name on it. The paper would be passed around to the other people in the circle (the facilitator can choose whether the group rotates it to the left or right).
Everyone must write something positive (a compliment or a motivational message) for the person who owns the paper. The rotation stops once everybody has written in everybody else’s paper and when the paper reaches its original owner.
This activity helps the players to both gain and share inspiration and confidence. Spreading positivity this way will surely light up the room!
Games and activities are not only fun, but also meaningful. When we put our hearts into organizing and experiencing them, our youth group gatherings will definitely be filled with action, connection, and education that we can enjoy, cherish, and learn from.
Did you find an exciting activity on this list that you would like to do for your next youth gathering? Share your story with us through Instagram @ponly_com.