No Prep Need A Game Ideas by Johnston, Griffin, Tinman
Crisis! You’ve got 10 minutes to come up with a great youth ministry game for your students. What do you do? Chances are, you reach into your back pocket and pull out an old standby game that works time and time again. Here are a few classics that can be ready in an instant.
The Look-Up Game. This game can be used for groups of 6 or 60! Everybody stands in a circle and looks down with eyes closed. On the count of 3, everybody looks up and INSTANTLY looks directly toward somebody else in the circle. If that same person happens to be looking at you, you are both out! Repeat over and over until there is a winner…the last person standing!
What Are The Odds? This is a great game that can get out of hand, or even inappropriate, if it isn’t monitored, so play wisely…but have fun! Person A: “Hey person B, what are the odds you’d be willing to stand on the chair and sing the national anthem in front of the whole restaurant?” (Or any challenge person A comes up with) Person B: “Hmmm…I dunno…maybe one in 40 (or whatever odds he/she comes up with).” At this point, on the count of 3 both people yell out a number between 1 and 40. If they match, Person B has to complete the challenge.
Dodge Sock. Okay, you gotta be pretty desperate for this one, but it works every time. When in a pinch simply ask somebody to remove their socks, roll them into a ball, make a pretty tight parameter and play “dodge sock.” It’s basically just ball tag with a pair of socks. Don’t ask me why, but it works every time.
If you want to spice it up, have the first person to text in a specific message on the screen to the host win.
Cell Phone Shootout
The game host has a cell phone and the first person to call the number on the screen and get connected wins a prize. It works best when everyone in the crowd has access to a cell phone and you’re okay with them breaking them out during this part of the service.
Sit Down If…
Another instant classic you can make up as you go. Have everyone in the crowd stand up. The winner is the last person standing. Begin to call out things that, if they are true about that person, they need to sit down. Here are some examples:
Sit down if … you are wearing jeans.
Sit down if … you didn’t brush your teeth today.
Sit down if … you are wearing a hat.
Sit down if … you can’t roll your tongue.
Sit down if … you have ever been to a Justin Bieber concert.
You can spice it up and even throw in some “Stand back ups,” which always get a laugh as well. Keep going until there is just one left and give him or her a prize!
The classic rock-paper-scissors game that can be played at the crowd level. Everyone picks a partner and on the count of 3 uses their hands to display rock, paper, or scissors. Rock beats scissors; paper beats rock; scissors beats paper. If the two people both pick the same item, they are BOTH out! Repeat with everyone until you’re down to the final two for an ultimate showdown up front. Play 2 out of 3, and in the final round the same item is a redo. Epicness from such a simple, classic, and instantly ready game.
4 On a Couch
Classic guys vs. girls game that helps you get to know kids’ names. Start with everyone in a circle in chairs, and two guys and two girls sitting on a couch. Each person writes their name on a piece of paper and puts it in a bucket. Note: If there are kids with the same first name, use a last initial or last name. Then everyone picks a name out of the bucket and that becomes his or her name for the time being. Have one empty chair and the person with the open seat to their right picks someone’s name in the room. If that is their name they get out of their chair and move to the new seat. Object is to get all of one gender on the couch. You can throw in a variation of switching names with the person who called out the name for more confusion!
This is a fun one that requires no materials! Have everyone sit in a circle and come up with a hand sign of some sort (two thumbs up, rubbing your chin, raising your hand, etc.). No one can have the same sign, so get creative. Once everyone shares their sign with each other, nominate someone to stand in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed. Determine who is starting with “the sign” and then the object is for the person in the middle to guess who “has the sign.” You pass the sign to others in the circle by “doing” their sign to them while not being caught and that person does the sign back to you. You must be very stealth-like when passing the sign around the circle.
2 Truths & A Lie
No we don’t want to teach our kids to lie, but this is a good game to get to know one another. Pass out paper and have everyone write two truths and a lie about themselves and then collect them. You can divide into teams if you want: guys vs. girls, middle school vs. high school, or leaders vs. students. If you are going to do teams then be sure to collect into two different groups. The object is to try to guess which person wrote which set of truths and lies… You may find out some very interesting truths about your teenagers—and your leaders!