Hi everybody. Here are a few posts that take regular, classic youth work games and BLENDS THEM WITH EVEN MORE EPIC! Enjoy.
And for an added bonus:
A random collection of 55 Way’s To Love Your Youth Group – many from ‘Your first two years in Youth Ministry’ by Doug Fields. Use your common sense & have fun with them!
- Notice them
- Smile a lot
- Learn their names
- Seek them out
- Remember their birthdays
- Ask them about themselves
- Look in their eyes when you talk to them
- Listen to them
- Play games with them
- Laugh with them
- Be nice
- Reassure them that their feelings are okay
- Set boundaries to keep them safe
- Be honest
- Be yourself
- Listen to their stories
- Notice when they are acting differently
- Present options when they seek your advice
- Suggest better options when they act up
- Share their excitement
- Notice them when they’re absent
- Give them space when they need it
- Contribute to their collections
- Laugh at their (appropriate) jokes
- Be relaxed
- Kneel, squat, or sit so you are at their eye-level
- Answer their questions
- Tell them how fab they are
- Learn what they have to teach
- Make yourself available
- Find a common interest
- Apologise when you’ve done something wrong
- Listen to their fav music with them
- Thank them
- Give them compliments
- Acknowledge their efforts
- Meet their parents
- Be excited when you see them
- Let them act their age
- Be consistent
- Marvel at what they can do
- Ask them to help you
- Applaud their successes
- Pray with them
- Be flexible
- Delight in their uniqueness
- Let them make mistakes
- Give them immediate feedback
- Include them in conversations
- Respect them
- Be silly together
- Trust them
- Encourage them to help others
- Believe what they say
- Involve them in decisions
Starting genuine conversations in a youth group can be a nightmare! Keeping them rolling while staying on track doubly so. Small group conversations tend to oscillate between pulling teeth and taming out of control petrol fires.
One of the best ways to engage different personalities and create real dynamic conversation is to use tactile (hands-on) activities. These can also be useful or easily adapted if your group contains young people with additional learning needs.
Here are some easy activities that create conversation on spiritual topics with an element of hands-on fun.
1. Story Cubes.
A brilliant invention that encourages you to make up your own rules. You start by group members choosing a cube and creating a story based off what’s on those cubes. You can get more specific by introducing a particular theme or topic for them to keep to.
This works best when you break into the story to ask the golden questions: who, what, when, where, why and how to get the group to elaborate and clarify the story they are telling.
2. Question Jenga
Find a cheap Jenga set and, using a sharpie, write simple questions on each brick. Take turns to pull out a brick and ask a question to the group.
The questions can be as simple as ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ or as controversial as ‘can gay people go to heaven?’.
3. Collage Clips
Cut out quotes, words, colours, pictures and textures from a bunch of different magazines. Make sure you have lots and lots. Display them by tacking then to the wall or laying them out on the floor or a table.
Set the group the challenge to find a picture each and to explain to the group why they picked that picture.
You could ask them just pick one they like, or one that explains how their day went, or one that best describes who God is to them.
Another option is to use art postcards that you buy from galleries, artcards on specific God and ethics ideas from Youthscape or perspective cards available to buy from Agape.
4. Values Pyramid
Create 10 values on a theme or a topic and have the group rank them from most important at the top of the pyramid to least important on the bottom row. If you have enough people have several sets of this around and brake the group up.
Once you’ve done this ask the golden questions again (who, what, when, where, why, how) to challenge their answers. Compare the different pyramids and give people the opportunity to remove a row and re-rank the remaining.
Once finished you can give them a white piece of paper each and encourage them to add or replace a value with one of their own. Two sets available for free to download below. Just cut them out and if you want, laminate them.
5. Values Washing Line
This effectively works the same way as the values pyramid however instead of moving around a hierarchical triangle you have a washing line stretched across the room with the values pegged to it.
Get a group to rank them most to least important left-to-right and explain why. Keep moving and dropping some off.
Free Download: Relationship Stages Washing Line. Enlarge, Print, Laminate & add Peggs!
6. playing cards
You can use them just like regular playing cards, however each card comes with its own unique discussion question.
These are also easy enough to make your own.
6 Youth Group Tactile Discussion Activities
We all love the game of ninja right? Jumping around and freezing trying to look like Bruce Lee is always epic and hilarious. Although, admittedly it can drag a wee bit after a while. Never fear – here are a few ways to spice up your ninja games!
1. Push-up Ninja.
Every move must begin, and end, in a push up position. You get somebody out by knocking their arm away and they hit the deck.
2. Rabbit Ninja
Every move must begin and end in a squat position. People are out when they fall over.
3. Blindfold Ninja
A great ninja must learn to use all their senses… just in case they loose one!
4. RNG – Random Ninja Generator
A large dice is rolled after every round, on a 1 or 6 a dead person comes back… and they come back deadlier – they start in the middle and can go after anybody they want.
5. ‘You can’t kill me!’ Ninja
Simple rule – everybody starts with two lives. When someone looses a life they must put one of their hands behind their back.
6. Mermaid Ninja
You can jump and leap as normal, however your feet must ALWAYS stay together.
7. Carnage Ninja
Every now and then insert a ‘carnage point’ where everyone does a random attack move at once!
8.? Got any more great Ninja rules?
Comment and let me know!
Happy Sabbath everybody! Good day to chill and draw close to God as a family. Here are some off the cuff Sabbath ideas that you could do today as a whole family!
1. Go onto Google Earth together and pray for places you explore
2. Write ‘prayer pegs’ (little wooden pegs with things like ‘God loves you’ on them)… then go peg people stealthily on the streets
3. Do a Bible craft together… get really messy.
4. Write encouraging complements like ‘you look great today’ on luggage tags and run around town tying them to parked cars.
5. Bake bread… add chocolate sauce. Bread of the new covenant tastes good! Or have a big meal, but eat dessert first! Talk about tasting and seeing that the Lord is good!
6. Dress up and take photos, put them together to make a Bible story.
7. Deliver boxes of chocolates to all your neighbors.
8. Make up funny alternative endings to Bible stories… talk about why the originals are there too.
9. Turn all the lights off and light lots of candles.
10. Do some role swaps (kids make lunch), husband hangs washing out etc.
11. Go on a long drive and try to figure out what God was thinking when He made the stuff you see. Bring ice cream and come back when it runs out.
12. Share stories as a family of times you remember God answering prayer. Write them in a book and get everyone to sign it with a doodle.
Most games we play are silly. Some are character building or encourage teamwork. Others are downright dangerous! Here’s my list of youth work games that stretch the risk assessment to the extreme.
I’m not condoning or suggesting you play any of these extreme youth work games & definitely not without proper supervision. … … Here they are:
1. Ring of fire
Everyone holds hands in a circle. Then, without letting go of their neighbor’s hands, they try to knock down a bottle in the middle with someone else’s body. You’re out if your body knocks over the bottle and your out if you let go of someones hand. The circle gets smaller each time.
2. Ultimate Mattress
It’s Ultimate Frisbee…. with a single mattress. Do the math!
Remember TV’s gladiator from the 90s? You sit two young people on an extended A-frame over some mats, give them a big foam stick and encourage them to stay on the frame and knock the other person off.
4. The Drink
Not for the weak of stomach. The drink is a game where you blend awful ingredients together (like chilli, onion, garlic, coffeecake) and have two people race to down it.
5. Balloon-o Suits
Sumo suits made from sticking a bunch of balloons to a bin bag. You’re aim is to survive the suit and pop all your opponents. Best in groups of 10 or more, person with the most left after 2 minutes wins.
6. Blindfolded Games
Dodgeball, musical chairs, football… whatever!
The mission is to run down a track from one point to another – but there are hazards on the way in the form of other people with mattresses trying to stop you.
8. Plank tag
It’s like any other ‘last-to-do-it-perfectly-and-freeze-is-out’ games but this one involves planking! When the leader shouts ‘plank‘ the players plank (lie down rigid on their front) on whatever piece of furniture they have arrived at.
9. Limbo Slip
It’s limbo… but with a wet slippery tarp under foot.
10. Pushup Ninja
Get between 2-20 people in a circle in push up positions heads facing in to the circle. The idea is to pull people’s arms away without loosing your own balance. Keeps narrowing down every time someone falls.
11. Rabbit Boxing
Get two people in to a squat position with their hands up in a ‘stop’ motion against the other persons palms. The aim is to push the other person over without falling. Shout ‘go’ and the person who looses their balance first and falls over is out.
12. 3D Twister
Get four twister boards, tape them together and drape them over a couch. Get a bunch of players and off you go.
13. Wet Twister
Wet the board… need I say more?
14? Got any more?
Leave a comment!