I mentioned a few posts ago that I want to include games as part of my youth group’s program. Although there are hundreds of awesome games, I thought I would take a moment to discuss a few of my favorites. If you want more information about any of these, let me know and I can answer your questions.
Move Your Butts: Some refer to it as “Scoot Your Boot,” some people call it “Bun Shuffle, some people have another name entirely. Regardless, I love this game as a way of allowing people to share about themselves, come out of their shells, and hopefully get a little goofy. Basically everyone has a spot in a circle (you could sit in chairs or stand on shoes or anything else as long as there are designated spots), except for one person who is in the middle of the circle. The person introduces him or herself and says something about them. For example, “My name is Mary P and I like playing ultimate Frisbee,” or “My name is Francis and I play drums.” Pretty much anything. Then everyone to whom that statement applies (ie anyone who also like Frisbee or also plays drums) will stand up and run to another open spot. You can’t sit in your own seat or the one next to you. Whoever ends up without a seat is the next one to make the statement in the middle. This game can go on for a while or only a little bit, however long you want. It works best with at least 15 people.
Human Knot: Super simple. Split into groups of 6-9 people and have each group stand in a circle. Everyone reaches out and takes someone’s hand. Make sure you don’t have both hands on with the same person. When everyone is connected, it should look like a knot of arms and hands in the middle. Once each group is ready, they all have to try to untangle themselves and get back to a circle with everyone holding hands. The thing is, you can’t let go at any point until the knot is undone. The first group to find their way out of the knot wins. This can be an ice breaker or just something to do with a bit of extra time.
Satan’s Flag: Don’t judge this one by it’s name. This game is played at nights, throughout the church (or whatever building you happen to be in), with the lights off. To begin, everyone gathers together in a certain area (we used the entrance hallway at my church) while a leader goes and hides a “flag”—perhaps a bandana or a shirt or whatever). Then each participant is given a piece of paper. Townspeople look for the flag and try not to get killed. Satan taps people on the shoulder and whispers, “You’re dead.” The Christian runs around, finds dead people, and “saves” them, bringing them back to life. When someone gets killed they die very dramatically and cannot move or talk until they get saved. Once the Christian dies no one can come back to life. If Satan kills everyone, he wins. When someone finds the flag, Satan loses. The idea is that at first no one knows who Satan and the Christian are, so you can’t trust anyone. If you have a lot of people, you can have a Secret Satan who is a townsperson at first but becomes a killer after about ten minutes (the leader would yell an announcement whenever this would take effect). You could also do a Secret Christian, who gets to save people only after he or she has been killed and brought back to life one time. This game is super fun and could go on for hours. Make sure to only use one story of the building and to have at least some small amount of lighting around anything dangerous.
Toilet Paper Hockey: exactly what it sounds like. In a large room, such as a fellowship hall or a gym, set up two plastic chairs at either end as the goal. It works well to use a tournament style, so set up some kind of round robin. Match people up and have them face off. Each person get a broom, you drop a roll of TP in between them, and the first one to get the roll between the legs of the chair wins. Sounds simple, right? Maybe even a little lame? Well things get interesting by the third or fourth game when the toilet paper has unwound itself and been pushed into bunches so that there are times when you lose the roll and can’t figure out which one you are actually playing with and which is just a pile of TP. You’ll need a whole lot of rolls. Once a roll runs out, be sure to pick up the cardboard interior to prevent too much confusion. Expect a broom to get destroyed every once in a while, too. You can keep track of winners if you want, but it is a lot of fun just for everyone to get to play.
I'll probably be throwing out another post of game ideas before too long here, so if you know of anything totally awesome for a youth group, feel free to let me know.