Remote Controlled Ballooning
This game is under the 'silly' section, but could equally go under the games needing preparation! What you'll need are a load of balloons and 2 remote controlled cars. Thanks to AH and DG for this game.
What you need is a hall, or controlled area, full of balloons that have been inflated. You have 2 teams, each team having a remote controlled car. The purpose of the game is varied:
Game 1 - you can have 2 goals and try to 'score' past the other person (using 1 balloon).
Game 2 - you can have a 'net' for each team, and see how many of the balloons you can round up into the net in a set amount of time.
Game 3 - if you have many varied coloured balloons, the game is to be like a 'traffic light' game, whereby you decide an order of colours that the young people have to use the car to 'bump into' (you will need to have 2 referees to oversee this)
Game 4 - the remote controlled cars have to be driven through a room. In the room, there are 2-3 members of the opposing team who will have a balloon each. Their job is to try and 'hit' the opposition car. The driver's job is to avoid the balloons!
Game 5 - this game is a little more dangerous, so precautions advised. Young people are to stand behind a line, or on a bench / behind a protective barrier along the floor. Why? Because the purpose of this game is to burst as many balloons as possible. To do this, attach something like a needle to the front of the remote controlled car with sticky tape. Have a time limit and have referees to count how many balloons each team pops.
The 2 options are to have 1 nominated person from each team for each game. Or if you have only a few young people, have them take it in turns to play each game against each other. If you can think of variations on the game, go for it - for example, using a soft ball to play soccer, rather than a balloon. Or you could use 2 remote controlled helicopters to hit balloons / avoid balloons / burst balloons!
Take a well-known Christian song with a clear melody. If you can't think of one, use Amazing Grace. The object of this game is to play back the song, using only the tones from people's mobiles / cellphones. Most phones have a way of playing different notes, from the most basic phones through to ones where you can create your own polyphonic ringtones.
Here is some very simple 'music' but the tune is well-known to everyone.
What you'll need is a fairly musical bunch of young people, or you'll need to be a good musical director! You'll have to give different people in the group a different note to play. So, you'll want someone for each of these notes: D, G, A, B, E and 'top' D. They will need to press the note on their mobile phone at the right time and learn when to 'play' their note, so you'll need to practice. But if you can master the song, why not go on to something more advanced, such as having a 'mobile percussion' unit as well :)
Pimp My Friend
OK, so we have 'pimp my bike' below. This is a slightly new take, which is called 'Pimp My Friend.' This will involve people getting into groups of twos / threes, and dressing up one of them to look the most 'pimped out' that they can make them look. So we're talking looking cool, looking gangsta, rocking lots of jewellery, bling and silver. Get some smart clothes, some nice sunglasses and basically get people to look like a star.
The Pointless Games
This is the game where everything you do is random, or entirely pointless. And that is the point of the game. Suggestions include:
- Finding out the colour of the leadership team's shoelaces / front doors / favourite colours
- Finding the most humorous part of the church building and photographing it on a phone camera
- Discovering the worst smelling part of the church building
- Having to play the church piano blindfolded
- Singing a (worship) song by starting with the last word and singing backwards, to the normal tune of the song
- Setting off everyone's mobile / cellphone ringtones, one after the other
- Counting the ceiling / roof tiles
- Finding spare pens around the church
- Washing one hand with soap and the other without soap. The youth leader has to guess which is which..
- Drawing an impression of the church building in a patch of mud
- Finding which member of the group has the smelliest socks or feet
- Creating and performing a humorous and random dance to a tune
And so on..!!
Ministry of Silly Walks / The 'Ministry' game
If you've ever heard of John Cleese / Fawlty Towers / Monty Python, you'll no doubt know what the idea is. If you want to find the clip of the Silly Walks, you need to buy or hire "Monty Python's Flying Circus", episode 14 - "Face the Press". (See here for Wikipedia information). This is where you'll see John Cleese doing a ridiculous series of walks with his bandy, long legs. The purpose of this ridiculous game is to get the students to copy this / come up with their own equally or more ridiculous versions. Basically, everyone has to do this around the room at the same time, with a couple of youth workers assessing the best walks. The best ones win prizes.
This game can be expanded to include the following titles of 'ministries':
- 'Ministry of Pigeons' where everyone's head copies a pigeon - arm movement and flying optional..
- 'Ministry of Ridiculous Speech' where everyone has to speak making absurd face movements and made-up words
- 'Ministry of Flexible Bodies' where everyone is encouraged to be as bendy, wobbly and flexible as possible
- 'Ministry of Not Making Sense' - this one is a little bit more tricky and will need volunteers. One by one, the youth worker speaks to the volunteers, asking them a series of questions. The winner is the one who replies making the least amount of sense.
- 'Ministry of Intelligent Fluency' - similar to above, but this time, the winner is the one who answers with the longest and most clever words, elucidating eloquently.. They must make sense, however. Simply speaking a series of long words won't do!
Coke and Mentos
Take one bottle of coke, preferably Diet Coke. Then go and buy some 'Mentos' mints. You may also want some safety goggles. If you do this inside, you will need a sheet to protect the floor, believe me. You'll also need a large amount of 'headroom'. Well, depending on what you want to do, you'll most likely need to be outside. Here's why..
Open up the bottle of diet coke. Then, add some mentos mints and stand back. What happens is that the 2 react, causing the diet coke to shoot up out of the bottle like a mini fountain. This is just for a bit of a laugh. Have a look at this flash video clip from another website for more.. Then think about what you want to do. Just be very aware of waste!!
Bouncing Objects that don't bounce
OK, so this is taken off a show that was on TFI Friday in the UK. Basically you get a whole bunch of objects (you don't want) and drop them from a great height to see 'how well they bounce'. On the show they dropped a garden shed from a crane etc. Without being too wasteful, come up with your own ideas and film them. For example, I have a garage roof and a patio out the back. So I would have someone film someone else drop a series of objects off the roof onto the ground to see 'how well they bounce'. What objects? Well, an old chair or sofa, possibly an old / broken set of church crockery, an old stereo system that is beyond repair etc. And so on...
Why do I say not wasteful? Well, I've seen and heard of a lot of these games done in churches and they're real wasteful. When I went on mission to Lithuania, they kept and recycled everything. It would sadden them to see waste. Let's not misuse the resources God has given us. Please!
Pimp My Bike
Taken from the MTV show, called Pimp My Ride. This is a fast moving show that does up old cars and makes them very flash ('pimped out'). So instead of doing up a car (MTV gets custom sound systems in the car, resprays, changes the engines etc), why not 'do up' a bike. So, with parent's permission, while the young person is out, you could find their bike and 'do it up'. When I say 'do it up' I mean, 'make it look really bad' or give it a look that they wouldn't want! So dress it up in pink ribbons, tinsel, pictures of a band they hate. Or make it look 'flash' so tie a stereo system to the handlebars, a camcorder to the saddle, and so on..
A take on this game would be to 'chav my ride' or 'chav my bike'. To do this, you'd get a whole bunch of burberry paper (or a scarf), maybe a baseball cap at a vertical angle etc. and place on the bike or on someone's car.
The Water Pipe Game
The game is very simple. What you need is a piece of flexible rubber pipe, not too long (up to 1-2 metres max) and not that wide. Inside this you place some water. Keep the pipe horizontal! Then get up 2 contestants and place them at each end of the pipe. The purpose of the game is to blow down the pipe as hard as you can, so that the other person gets the water in their face!
(The clever ones will simply hold up their end of the pipe into the other person's face so that as the other person blows, they blow the water onto themselves.. But don't recommend this!)
The X-Factor (The Cross Factor)
Get up to 7 volunteers up front. Make sure they're fun, outgoing and fairly trustworthy! Each of them goes through a series of tasks. After each task is completed the audience take a vote as to who was the least Godly and votes them off. The contest goes through various rounds until the last man or woman is standing. They are awarded the dubious honour of winning the Cross Factor! Yes, it's cheesy, but it could provide so much fun..! If the game drags on at any point, be quick to step in.
Round 1 - Each contestant gets 20 seconds to explain what they would do if they were in charge of the world for a day.
Round 2 - The contestants are given a passage of the Bible from the NIV translation (or modern translation). They must speak it out in a holy sounding voice as if they were reading from the King James Bible (with 'thous' and 'thees' etc wherever possible!)
Round 3 - 20 seconds to each contestant to explain a Biblical story the most effectively.
Round 4 - Each contestant must adapt the most 'holy' and 'reverent' posture they possibly can.
Round 5 - Each contestant must answer a Biblical general knowledge question of your choosing. Points are gained for the most correct, impressive, detailed and fast answer.
Round 6 - One by one, the contestants get to spend some time 'visiting' a grumpy old person from the church to see how they react. The grumpy old person is played up to the highest degree by your most talented luvee youth leader.
A Round 7 (just in case!) - The famous song 'We're Walking Through the Air' made famous by Aled Jones in 'The Snowman' must be sung by each contestant (or some similar Christian song) in the most angelic sounding voice possible.
Catch the Water
A slight variation on the 'dropping chocolate candy into someone's mouth when they're lying on the floor' game. This uses water and was seen in action on a South West Youth Camp.
Get up 3 or 4 teams of 2 people. Have one of the volunteers lie on the floor on their backs. In their mouths they hold a small plastic cup (or balance it somewhere on the body that is reasonable). They have a 'team mate' who stands above them on a chair. The team mate has a bottle of water. The purpose of the game is to get as much water into the cup held by the team-mate below. The 'team' which has the most water in their cup at the end wins the prize!
Chair bouncing slamball
This is a slightly derranged game, again formed by twisted minds within our youth work. Basically, we have a chill out room with old sofas in. One of the more 'springy' chairs was brought out and placed in front of the basketball net. We have a portable basketball net from (you can pick them up for under £200). We lowered the net down from the normal height to the next level down (the portable systems are height adjustable). The game was to run with the basketball, to then bounce on the chair and slam dunk the ball into the net. This sounds slightly dangerous, but it isn't really, as the net wasn't far off the ground. Once the lads had watched me try this, they all wanted a go.. Be careful, our normal waiver applies to this game - you try it at your own risk.
Another crazy game formed during worship band practice. A place of much creativity, not always music related.. So here goes (and bear in mind you may be more sensitive to this kind of thing than I am!) We are a Baptist Church and in our church we have these little communion glasses. Having found some lying around in the kitchen, we decided to do 'shotties'. Now, in case you don't know, shotties are where people in bars drink alcoholic drinks down fast (Tequila Slammers etc.) Don't worry, we're not that dodgy. So we decided to 'do shotties' with various substances and liquids we found in the kitchen. Here are some examples (add your own): water, orange squash, orange sauash undiluted, cold thick coffee, ketchup, and finally for those disturbed enough - cooking oil (so that's Chris and Dan..)
A bit crazy, yes. But fun and necessary.. these kinds of spontaneous moments of silly stuff really help make youth work. They can't be forced or programmed in always, but be ready to be spontaneous (but be yourself). You see, the Bible training and discipleship we commit to with young people is what really matters long-term. Being a Godly example, loving them, supporting, encouraging and equipping them with integrity are essentials. But it's often the crazy stuff we do that lingers in their memory. Will they remember that awesome session you did on Daniel? Maybe, maybe not. But they will remember the time (like our guys do) when we did 'shotties' at band practice!
Again, you try this game at your own risk..
Thanks to Martyn L for this one. Want an ice breaker? Why not do just that! Get a tub (like an ice cream tub), fill it up with water and freeze it. Then take down the ice block (quickly!) and either go outside or put the ice block in something like a metal bucket. Then give out a couple hammers and smash up the ice. Want to make it competitive? get 3 blocks of ice and 3 hammers. First one to smash up the ice wins. Be careful but could be a laugh!
Have a group of young people and 1 photographer with a digital camera or camcorder. You make your own sandwich boards from some A3 or A2 paper tied together using rings and string. Each one has a letter on it. Then every so often at pre-arranged times in the town centre the group comes together and spells out a pre-arranged word. These can be in your face Christian eg 'Jesus loves you' - or more coded eg. 'Turn or burn'. It's totally bizarre but a good laugh and you'll get some strange looks too!
Have a forfeits game where you have a list of forfeits for failures in games. So, for example: You have to sit at the front in the main church service. Or, you have to cough every time the pastor says, 'human'. Or, go outside and ask the first boy/girl if they'll go out with you. You have to stand on one leg an hop for 2 minutes non-stop.. You know, whatever level you want..
Get people to discuss their worst ever about something.. So for example, worst ever evangelistic thing, worst ever job, worst ever sermon, worst ever parent/carer or grandparent moment
Best Oscar Performance
With the blubbering of Gwyneth Paltrow adding to a whole long line of celebrities receiving Oscars and awards, a good game is to get people to give their very own Oscar acceptance speech. Again, some young people won't like standing up in front of others so that's cool, they don't have to. The speeches must be no longer than 2 minutes long and the best one as voted by their peers wins. They get just 2 minutes to prepare, 5 minutes if you're feeling overly generous. This idea submitted by Amy Hanson.
Drop An Egg
The group gets a load of paper and tape (or whatever you want / can find!) With this assortment of random materials they have to build the highest structure that will support an egg dropped from waist / head / ceiling height (you decide!) Raw egg to the winners, cooked egg to the losers.
The Moving Game
Everyone in a circle. As you call out different things, the group has to do what you say.. for example..
You say - 'all those with trainers move 2 left' so everyone with trainers in the circle moves 2 spaces to the left, even if they end up sitting on someone's lap.
You say - 'those with hoodies move 3 right' those wearing hoodies go 3 spaces to the right
You can target certain young people (who like the attention) in this by getting everyone else sitting on them. You may also want to be sensitive to those who don't like these types of games.
A silly game aimed at younger age group, solely at embarrassing someone so careful who volunteers. The volunteer leaves the room. Everyone else kneels down (if possible and physically able) and pretends to be a lion. Unknown to the volunteer who as left the room, the deal is that everyone (including the volunteer when they return) roars like a lion a fe times, getting louder. When the leader shouts 'OK, let's try it one more time and really go for it' everyone takes a deep breath then shuts up. Only the volunteer, unaware of this part, lets out a loud roar. It's quite funny when it works!
Glass of Water
In a similarly stupid vein. 2 people sit on 2 chairs facing each other. One person is the leader and does a series of movements, raising arms, patting head, lifting leg, standing up and sitting down. The leader does things more and more quickly. The pinnacle is getting them to stand up, do something and then quickly sit down. Unknown to the volunteer, a third person is on hand with a plastic cup of water which they quickly and discreetly place on the volunteers chair. The volunteer is so distracted by following the leader that they sit down onto the cup of water and get wet.
Eat food with the wrong cutlery
Exactly what it says on the tin. Have food prepared and young people have to eat it using ridiculous implements. Start with chopsticks and maybe end up with a garden fork.. they can even roll a dice to see which item they have to eat the food with (thanks to Colin A)
Write down the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you or someone you know. This can be anonymous, can be a guessing game or can just be read out by either the young person or the youth leader(s). Read them first anyway to check for dubious content!! Obviously this game is optional or can be an embarrassing thing that you've seen on TV
Start off with a word and then people have to follow that word with another that relates to the previous word. For example - 'Jesus' , 'disciple' , 'Peter' , 'Water' etc. Be a bit careful as these can inevitably turn a bit dodgy or offensive!
Who's the baby
Get some images of people in the group as babies - then people have to guess the baby! Try to do this without the knowledge of the young people. Throw some in of yourself and other youth leaders.
Guess the sounds
Go out with a mini disc and microphone or a dictaphone and record a load of sounds like cars, a shop door opening, a till in a store, a train, people shouting, a fairground ride, a coffee shop etc. Then play back the sounds and people have to guess what is what
Get hold of a guitar FX pedal or an effects unit (they retail from around 60 pounds upwards). Then get a youth leader or someone to sing current songs in the chart. The voice will be distorted so get the young people to guess the songs!
Copy That Person
Do you know someone who can do some cool thing like breakdance, spin plates, do magic or something like that? Well, taking into consideration your job (and the fact that there are a few people who like that hideous green crockery), invite them in and get others to copy. Again, have teams.. again, it's a copy from a TV gameshow - this time, the Generation Game. So get the person to 'do their thing' then get people from the team to copy. The person who does it best wins.
Can't get anyone in for the young people to copy? Design some things yourself for them to do.. be random.. Irish Line Dancing, knitting, toe painting, best breast stroke swimming impersonation, best impersonation of a film or popstar, most convincing made-up language, worst hair design.. the list goes on!
We have copied many games from TV shows in the UK - from shows like TFI Friday, The Priory, Banzai and regular entertainment and gameshows. The advantage is that kids know the games
I love you
Get the young people in a circle and get a dice. When the dice rolls 6 they have to pick a person in the room and go and romantically say to them 'I love you'. If they do it without laughing they win or get a prize. If they do laugh they have to try again. If the person being propositioned laughs, they have to take the place of the proposer. There are loads of variations on this. We used it during a relationships talk
This refers to the process where someone is punished (the loser of a game) by being 'gunked' - having some strange assortment of juice and liquid poured over them. Experience has shown that many liquids stain clothes so be very careful. Water is the safest idea
Take some woodlice or some small insects (be careful). Then build a small track for them and have a race live. If you have a camera, film the race and put it onto a big screen or TV! We unfortunately managed to fry our contestants - sorry, we're really were gutted.
This came about due to one of the older teenagers going on a mission to Albania. It is not intended to be racist, believe me I think the worst dancing on the planet is Morris Dancing, terrible! We filmed people doing different types of dancing. They had to guess which was the Albanian dancing. This does depend on people knowing what they're doing - not that we did..