Youth Group Game Ideas: 15 Fun Activities
Growing up in church was an amazing experience for me and still is. I can remember many great times that I had in the different stages of my life in youth group. If you are a youth pastor or a helper in a youth group of some sort, here is a list of 15 fun ideas you can do with your kids. Some of these are just for fun activities and some are activities that teach valuable lessons from the Bible. I have broken these ideas into 5 categories: 5 for youth, 5 for junior highers, and 5 for high schoolers.
5 Youth Activities
1. Bozo Buckets – Fun Activity
Bozo buckets is a great way to let kids just have fun. It also helps build their hand/eye coordination. Each bucket constitutes a prize/reward. The farther a child gets in this game gets them a better reward.
2. Hoola-hoop – Fun Activity
Hoola-hoops are always a fun way to start out a lesson for the youth. It gets them active and energized to listen. Play some upbeat Christian music and let the kids have fun! When the kids are allowed to have a little fun first, they usually are more inclined to take in the points of the lesson.
3. Musical Chairs – Christian Music Introduction
Musical Chairs is a fun game for the youth. Plus, you can introduce Christian music to them that will feed their soul. I can remember songs from my youth to this day still because of games like this one.
4. Head Shave – Verse Memorization Game
What kid doesn’t want to see their pastor or leader shave their head? Kids go bonkers over this. Challenge your kids to memorize a specific memory verse one week. If every child can recite the verse back to you the next time you meet, then they get to enjoy watching you get your head shaved. Pick a verse suitable for your kids. Proverbs 3:5 is a good one, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
5. Audience Skit – Fun Activity
Kids love to participate while they are in the crowd. Pick out a scene from the Bible that you can involve the kids in. For instance, if you are teaching on Noah and the flood, have the kids separate into groups and give each group a different animal to mimic. Include fun animals like: pigs, donkeys, horses, lions and monkeys. Give the kids a key word such as, “animal”. Every time you say the word “animal” in the skit the kids can belt out their best animal noises. I guarantee everyone will have fun with this one!
"The Truth" (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
5 Junior High Activities
1. Sack Races – Fun Activity
Sack races are a great way to start out a time with your kids. As with youth, when you let the junior highers have fun first, they will be more inclined to listen to the lesson. Have the kids race each other (2 or 3 at a time). Whichever child crosses the finish line first, they then receive a piece of candy.
2. Water Dunk Tank – Verse Memorization Game
Every child loves to see their pastor or leader fall into a dunk tank. Give your kids a scripture verse to memorize. Make it a challenging one. They need to work for this type of fun! Tell them the verse at the very beginning of your class. Include the verse periodically throughout the lesson. 20 to 30 minutes before its time to leave, let each child, individually, whisper the verse into a leader’s ear. If they get it correct, they get a chance to throw a ball at the tank with the hopes of hitting the button that drops you in it!
3. Little Red Wagon Song – Fun Activity
Little Red Wagon is a fun song to sing that starts out in a whisper and gradually builds into yelling by the end. The song goes like this: “You can’t ride in my little red wagon. The wheel is broke and the axle’s saggin’. Chug, Chug….Chug, Chug, Chug. Next verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a whole lot worse!” Each time you sing it, sing it a little louder than the previous time. By the end, you will have the kids yelling the song. It is so much fun!
4. Falling Backwards – Trust Builder
This is always a great activity to teach your kids trust. Stand behind each kid, individually. Have them close their eyes and fall backwards into your arms. This would be a good activity for a Bible lesson on trusting God.
5. Gym Lock-In
Schedule a Friday night and have the kids stay in a school/church gymnasium over night for fun and games. Kids always enjoy lock-ins. This is a great time for kids to run around and play whatever you have planned, whether it is basketball, dodge-ball or obstacle courses. They will get plenty of exercise while having fun. Include separate Bible lessons for boys and for girls. Have a woman teach the girls and have a man teach the boys. Bring them back together for a lesson for both groups that incorporates what they learned individually.
5 High School Activities
1. Sardines – Fun Activity
Ahhh the good-ole-days of sardines! This game is a different spin of hide-and-go-seek. What happens is you have one person hide somewhere in the church. Give them 2 minutes to find a spot. When time is up, let the kids search for the person hiding. When a kid finds them, they hide with them. By the end of the game, all of the kids are packed like sardines in the hiding spot. This is such a fun game!
2. 30 Hour Famine - Fasting
The 30 Hour Famine is an event that happens every year. It starts on a Friday right after lunch and the kids fast for 30 hours into Saturday evening. After school on Friday, we always went to the church and stayed overnight and had devotionals and lessons taught to us. We also had plenty of time for fun and games too. Plus we all learned how to rely on each other spiritually while we were struggling physically with hunger. It is an experience I will never forget and I highly recommend it!
3. Camping Trips – Teaches Reliance on God
Camping trips with high-schoolers are a great way to spend time with them. I don’t mean camping with electricity either. I’m talking about tents and absolutely none of the great things we enjoy every day like showers. While you are out at the camp site, provide any games you would like and make sure to focus on a specific idea such as “reliance on God.” Many kids never go camping and this is a great way for them to learn how to rely on God to provide for them. They may learn ideas such as: God protection and God’s provision, while they camp over-night.
4. Feet Washing – Teaches Serving Others
This is a real meaningful time for kids to show love to each other. In your lesson, focus on the death of Christ for our sins. Really dig down deep into the hearts of your kids. Maybe show them the last scenes of “The Passion of the Christ” where Jesus is whipped, beaten, mocked and crucified. When you have their attention completely give them the lesson from John chapter 13, where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. The first verse of John chapter 13 says, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus KNEW that his hour had come to DEPART out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” When you emphasize Christ’s death first and show the kids how He knew His time had now come to die for us, it makes for an emotional time as you watch the kids wash each other’s feet. Some will cry. Some will have questions. Be ready for some real, quality one-on-one time through prayer and conversation.
5. Campfire Testimonials – Teaches Being Authentic
I wanted to include this separate from the camping trip because it is a wonderful way for you and your kids to be real with each other. God wants us all to be authentic people. Testimonies are a great way to do that. I recommend that the pastor or a leader gives their testimony first. Before that though, sing 4 or 5 worship songs to God to get your heart and the kids’ hearts focused on Him. When you give your testimony first, it opens up the door for your kids to share theirs as well. Many heart-felt, genuine testimonies have been told around a camp fire. Be ready, again, for some tears and quality one-on-one time through prayer and conversation.
I hope and pray that whatever activities you do in youth group you do them in love and complete devotion to God. I would love to hear any ideas you have for activities for youth groups. God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Resources- The Holy Bible, English Standard Version“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”, www.youtube.com,photo credit: sub35089 via photopin cc