5 easy youth group games
No prep required! Just read this and play.
1. Captain’s orders
This game is a classic. It’s good for groups of varying sizes and all that’s required is a hall, or some type of open space. Your youth group is on a ship and you’ve got to follow the orders of the captain (the leader giving instructions). If you fail to follow orders, you’re out! Last one in is the winner.
Instructions: Below are the instructions the captain calls out. Introduce them slowly or else the players won’t remember the orders.
- Players run to the left side of the hall
- Players run to the right side of the hall
- Scrub the deck
- Players kneel or squat and scrub the deck
- Climb the rigging
- Players stand up and pretend to climb the rigging
- Captain’s coming
- Players stand to attention without moving, if the move…they’re out.
- Captain’s going
- Players thumb their nose—place thumb on nose and wave fingers upwards towards the captain.
- Polly want a cracker
- Players flap their arms like a bird and run around the room.
- Lost me wooden leg
- Players have to hop around on one leg.
- Shark attack
- Players must escape the “shark” (a leader), by going to the port or starboard side of the ship.
2. Secret dancer
Good youth games involve everyone but sometimes allow one or two youth to be at the centre. Secret Dancer works well if you’ve got music, but it’s not required.
Instructions: Put all players in a circle. Choose one player to be the detective. The detective goes outside.
Once the detective has left, choose a player to be the secret dancer. All players must copy what action the secret dancer is doing.
Once the group is all doing the same the dance, the detective returns. The detective has three guesses to guess who the secret dancer is. The secret dancer must change their dance every 10 seconds or so.
The challenge here is for players to watch what the secret dancer is doing without the detective realising who they are copying.
3. Foot, cockroach, nuclear bomb
Scissors, paper, rock… but better.
The way this works in a youth group context is that once you defeat another player, the player you defeated must cheer for you. Eventually, you’ll end up with two players with big cheer squads.
- Foot beats cockroach—obviously.
- Cockroach beats nuclear bomb—because they can survive nuclear bombs.
- Nuclear bomb beats foot—because feet aren’t very good against bombs.
This is a fun way of taking a simple game and using it for your youth group or youth ministry.
4. Human knot
The game is good for getting your youth to work cooperatively.
Instructions: You tell all players to get in a circle. All players walk into the centre, they cross their arms and then grab the hands of another person across from them. They subsequently, need to untie the human know without letting go.
To make this more competitive, split your youth into two (or more) groups. Then the groups have to race to go back to a circle.
5. 20 quick questions
This is a great icebreaker game for youth ministry. It’s a good way of getting to know your youth group kids in a fun creative way.
You get one kid to stand out the front, and ask them 20 questions, but here’s the catch… you ask them all 20 questions in a row—without interruption.
Then they have to answer as many questions as they can without you repeating any of the questions.
Here are some good questions you can use… but feel free to change them as required.
- What’s your name?
- How old are you?
- How long have you attended [insert name of youth group or youth ministry] for?
- What year of school are you in?
- Have you ever met a famous person?
- Can you floss? Please floss
- Can you dab? Please dab
- Who's your favourite cartoon character?
- Do you like sport?
- Ifyou were an animal, what would you be?
- What’s the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- Would you rather...Summer or Winter?
- Taylor Swift or Beyoncé?
- Chocolate or cheese?
- Completely hairy or completely bald?
- Always be cold or always be hot?
- Be invisible or be able to read minds?
- Wrestle a lion or fight a shark?
- Did you remember all the questions?
If you do this game every week and keep the questions the same you’ll find that the youth get really good. Soon kids in your youth ministry will be able to answer all the questions.