The Top 15 Youth Group Games for Church in 2023

Church Youth Group Playing a Game with Tennis BallsYouth group games can do so many things. They can bring people together, they can teach, team build and can problem solve.  

When your youth group comes together, great things can happen! So why not prepare some amazing youth group games for them to have fun while learning together?  

From indoor youth group games to youth group games for small groups, we’ve curated a list of church event ideas for just about any situation and event. We’ve also included any supplies, materials and equipment that may be needed for each game.  You can also try fun faith-based ice breaker games to kick off the festivities.

But the most important thing you and your youth group need to remember... have fun! 

Indoor Youth Group Games 

There are tons of fun games that can be played with your youth group, even if you're confined to the indoors. Let's take a look at a few great ones.

1. Crab Soccer

Soccer Ball on Field - Church Youth Group Game Blog

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: An open space, a soccer ball and something to distinguish goalposts 

Soccer doesn't need to be played outside. This fun, creative variant of soccer makes it accessible in indoor spaces (although you'll need a bit of space to do it). 

Instructions 

To play this game, those playing will need to be in the crab position. This means that they are on all fours, but their bodies are facing the ceiling. 

The kids will be split into two teams and assigned a side and goal to defend. The game will start with the ball being thrown into the center of the "field." Make sure that each team only has one "goalkeeper" that is defending the goal. 

Then the same goals of soccer apply. Kick the ball, pass to your teammate and try to score as many goals as possible! 

You can either have the kids play within a time limit or have them play up to a certain number of points.

2. Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag on the Beach - Church Youth Group Blog

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Two "flags" 

Capture the flag is one of the most classic kids' games that involves teamwork and strategy. It's perfect for large groups and can be played indoors in big areas like a gymnasium or meeting room. 

Instructions 

Divide the group into two teams. You want to make sure that the teams are fair, so it might be best to choose two team captains and allow them to pick their teams. 

Split the field into two areas with a line down the middle. Place one flag in the back of one of each of the areas. This flag will mark the team's base. 

Teams will try their best to capture the opposing team's flag and bring it back to their base. However, if they're tagged on the other team's side of the field, they can be eliminated from the game or even members of the opposite team. You can also have them freeze until a teammate comes to unfreeze them.

3. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Bible Being Presented By a Church Youth Group Pastor

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Chairs for all players 

This fun game is a Biblical twist on "follow the leader." All you need for this game is a chair for each player. 

Instructions 

Although players can change chairs, there needs to be one for each of them. 

Each chair will have a number, so let the kids know that they will need to pay attention to the number of the chair they're sitting in. 

Each player can do a certain action, including: 

  • Slapping their knees 
  • Clapping their hands 
  • Snapping their right-hand fingers 
  • Snapping their left-hand fingers 

The first player (Matthew) will begin the game by saying "ready." The players will then match the above actions to start the "beat." Matthew will then give specific instructions to players, and that player must match the action while the other players continue through the cycle of actions. 

If they can't follow quickly enough, they are eliminated. 

Christmas Youth Group Games

Decorated Christmas Trees -  Youth Group Games Blog

Christmas is one of the best times of the year, not only for the family but for youth groups as well! Let's take a look at some of the best Christmas youth group games. 

4. Giftwrap a Youth Leader Relay Race

Wrapped Christmas Gifts - YOuth Group Games Blog

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Gift wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, masking tape and pylons to run around 

This fun Christmas game is a great way to get youth groups playing with the youth leaders as well. It's a great bonding activity between them and can bring tons of laughs to the group! 

Instructions 

To play, first split the group into different teams. Assign a youth leader to each team. Give each team the supplies that they need and allow them to wrap the leader up with wrapping paper, bows and ribbons. 

Once the teams are done dressing up their leaders in the fanciest holiday spirit garb, they have to go to the starting line for the race. 

Have the leaders race from one side of the room to the other. You can set up different pylons for them to run in specific patterns like a figure-8 to make the race more challenging. 

However, the extra rule is this they can't mess up their wrapping paper! The first leader to come back to the finish line with their "Christmas gift" intact will win the race!

5. Fun Facts Paper Snowball Fight

Man Throwing Snowball

Prep: About 15 minutes 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Plenty of blank white paper, pens or pencils and a timer 

There's nothing better than a snowball fight, but not everyone lives in a winter wonderland. The good news is that they don't need snow to do it! This fun game will let youth groups all over the country participate in snowball fights. 

They'll be able to learn more about each other in the process as well! 

Instructions 

Hand out sheets of paper and pens to all the people that are participating. Have them write a fun fact about themself on a piece of paper and crumple it up into a ball. Have them repeat this for two or three more pieces of paper (or however many snowballs you want to create for the game). 

Once everyone has a few fun facts written into snowballs, you can start the indoor snowball fight. Let them throw any snowballs they find on the floor and have a great time pretending they're in a winter wonderland. 

Set a timer for three minutes (or however long you want). After the timer is up, have the students retrieve a snowball around them and read out the fun fact, one at a time. Then they can guess who wrote the fun fact from the group. 

This is a great way for the kids to learn more about each other, and also to make cleaning up a fun part of the game! 

Youth Group Games for Small Groups 

Church Youth Group Hanging Out on Road

Sometimes youth groups consist of smaller groups, but that's okay! There are plenty of fun games that can be played with a smaller group of kids. Let's check some of them out.

6. Zip Bong

Zip Bong Ball - Church Youth Games

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: A bigger, softball (like a kickball) and an open area 

This hilarious game is great for even small numbers of kids. Even if you only have three kids, this game will be perfectly fine. 

It involves quick reaction, concentration, and the ability to hold in your laughter. Making the kids try not to laugh can already guarantee some good times and more laughter than usual. 

The best part of this game is that there's no prep needed. You can gather the students and get right into the game with very little explanation. So even if you only have a short amount of time, this game will work great in your schedule. 

Instructions 

For this game, all the participants stand closely together in a circle. Choose a single player to kick the game off. 

The first player will say the word "zip" or "bong." If they say "zip," then the turn goes on to the player to the left of the first player. If they say "bong," then the turn moves to the person to the right. 

The next player needs to react quickly to say "zip" or "bong" right after the previous player. If they don't respond within a second, they're out. As the students get more and more used to the game, they'll be able to speed the game up faster and faster. 

To make things more interesting, no one can speak out of turn or laugh. If they do, they're also eliminated from the game. So, the only words that should be spoken are "zip" and "bong." 

The game keeps going until there are only two players left in the circle. Once that happens, they both win! 

To make things more interesting, you can switch up the words. Whether it's "cookies and milk," "potatoes and yams," or "lions and tigers," the rules of the game still apply.

7. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist Youth Group Game

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: None needed 

Some of the funniest games that end in hysterical laughter are the ones that involve solving a mystery. 

Psychiatrist is a fun game that is extremely easy to organize. It usually ends with the entire group laughing on the floor, which makes it a great way to get the group talking and connecting, so use it as an icebreaker as well! 

The game is non-competitive, which makes it great for groups that have kids that are of different ages. 

The goal of the game is to have a single player (the psychiatrist) figure out what's wrong with the rest of the players. 

Instructions 

First, choose a single player to be the psychiatrist of the group. They are "against" the rest of the group and will try to figure out the common symptoms or ailments that the rest of the group shares. 

The "patients" (the rest of the group) will be told how to act with their secret symptoms, which is what the psychiatrist will need to figure out. The game can be played in rounds for however long your group has. 

Once you select the psychiatrist, have them leave the room to explain the symptom. Some examples of symptoms include: 

  • Acting like there's something smelly in the room 
  • Laughing whenever they look someone in the eye 
  • Pretending that they are in preschool 
  • Acting like they haven't slept in 24 hours 

Everyone must display the common symptom to the psychiatrist so that they can try to figure it out. They can stand in a circle or line up in a line so that the psychiatrist can examine them carefully. 

After, the psychiatrist can ask the patient questions to try to figure out what the problem is. They must answer the questions truthfully. If they don't, the game leader should step in to correct it. 

Outdoor Youth Group Games 

Youth Group Meeting Outdoors

Is the weather nice? Does your youth group love spend time outside? Let's look at some awesome church games for youth that your group can play outdoors!

8. SPUD

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: A bigger, soft ball (like a kickball) and an open area 

This outdoor game is incredibly fun. Be warned, once your youth group plays this one, they're going to want to play it all the time. 

It's a great alternative to dodgeball but isn't as physically demanding or aggressive. It's perfectly fine for groups that include a wide range of ages. 

This super fun game is fine for both large and small groups (as long as you have at least five people). However, the directions can vary from the original version as it might take too long with bigger groups. 

Instructions 

First, have everyone gather in a circle. Choose a single person to be "it." To start the game, have 'it' throw the ball up in the air. As they do this, "it" will shout another person's name in the group while everyone else runs away. 

The person whose name was shouted is the "new it." They need to grab the ball as quickly as possible, then shout "STOP!" as soon as they have the ball in their possession. 

As they hold the ball, the "new it" chooses a single "target." They can take four big steps while saying "S-P-U-D" for each step toward the target (without jumping, of course). 

The "new it" will then try to hit the "target" with the ball. They are not allowed to aim for the head or skip the ball! 

The "target" is not allowed to jump out of the way, but they can try their best to dodge the ball without moving their feet. They can also try to catch the ball. 

If the "target" catches the ball or dodges it successfully, they are the new "it." However, if they are hit with the ball, the person that threw the ball (the "new it") becomes "it." The person hit with the ball is eliminated. 

The group gathers back together in a circle again and continues until only one person is left standing!

9. "Snowball" Fight

Prep: No prep is needed, but you'll need to purchase the supplies 

Participants needed: At least 4 or more 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Lots of jumbo marshmallows! 

With the name of this outdoor activity, you can probably assume that this game needs little instructions. This is a total free-for-all where kids can throw giant marshmallows at each other. 

Of course, normal marshmallows will work just fine, but bigger marshmallows are much more fun. 

Instructions 

Not many instructions are needed for this fun activity. If you want to, you can form teams and leaders beforehand and turn it into more of a "dodgeball" situation. 

But if you have a small youth group, there's no problem with just letting them go to town. 

Just spread out the marshmallows all over the field or playing area and let the kids get their energy out. 

Youth Group Icebreaker Games 

If your youth group is getting together for the very first time, they might be a bit shy with each other. The best games for these situations are icebreakers! This will break the tension and allow your kids to have fun with each other. 

Let's take a look at a few different icebreaker games.

10. All Hands on Deck

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: None needed 

This game can be played both inside and outside. The point of the game is to get kids into small groups to interact with each other. It will take a bit of explaining and demonstration to get everyone on the same page. 

If you don't have enough kids for leaders, you may need to borrow a few! 

First, designate a leader to yell out the instructions to everyone else. 

Once the game begins, all the other participants will begin walking around. They are waiting for the leader to yell out an order. Every single order will require a different number of people to act out a different scene. 

When the order is given, the kids have to run and scramble together to form a small group with the people that are around them. 

To make it more competitive, you can eliminate the group that finishes last or start a timer that the contestants must race against. Of course, you can just let everyone play normally as well. 

Instructions 

Depending on how many kids you have playing, you can change up the scenes as you see fit. Here's a general template of orders the leader can give: 

All hands on deck (one person): Every single contestant stops what they are doing and stands at attention. They face the leader and give them a salute. You can give them fun, different ways to pose as well. 

Man overboard (two people): Two kids get together. One of them forms the "railing" of the board and get's on their hands and knees. The other kid will put a single foot on their back and pretend to look for the man that has gone overboard. 

Walk the plank (three people): For this order, one kid will lie down on the ground to form the plank. A second person will put their hands behind their back (as if they are handcuffed) and stand next to the "plank" on the ground. Finally, the third person will stand behind the prisoner and pretend to hold a sword. 

Lifeboat (six people): For this one, the entire group will sit on the floor in two rows of three. Each of them will pretend to row the boat at the same time. If you have many kids, you can increase the number of kids and rows for more chaotic fun.

11. Who Am I?


Prep: About 15 minutes 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Flashcards and markers 

This is a fun icebreaker to have your kids individually interact with all the other members of the youth group. It'll take some of their best guessing and answering skills to make this one a fun one. 

You'll need a flashcard for every single kid that you have in your youth group, but it's always better to have some extras, just in case. 

Instructions 

On each flashcard, write the name of a fictional character or celebrity. The more well-known they are (to the kids), the better. They could be anything, including: 

  • Athletes 
  • Musicians 
  • Actors 
  • Public figures 

Make sure you're choosing characters that they know, not just ones that are popular with you. 

Hand out a card to each kid, but do not let them see the character that is written on their card. Tape the card to their forehead with the name facing out towards other people. 

Next, they will walk up to other partners and ask one "yes or no" question at a time. Give them plenty of example questions to use, like: 

  • Do I have a mustache? 
  • Am I a woman? 
  • Do I make music? 
  • Am I a real person? 
  • Am I alive right now?
  • Am I in a movie?

Make sure they only ask one question to the other person so they can interact with many other people. Once they have a good idea of who they are, they can try and guess. 

If they guess correctly, they can keep participating by giving other kids clues. Finish the game after some time. This is important so that none of the students feel singled out for not being able to guess their person. If you want, you can give them bigger hints toward the end of the game. 

Easter Youth Group Games 

Easter

Easter is one of the main holidays when it comes to spending time at church or with a youth group, so it's important to come up with activities that the kids will love. 

Let's take a look at a few.

12. Easter Egg Hunt

Prep: About 1 hour 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Easter eggs, money, prizes 

It would be wrong to write about Easter youth activities without mentioning the most famous one: the Easter egg hunt. 

This is a favorite activity for children and youth. Whether it's played outside in a field, a backyard, or a large indoor area, it always ends up in a good time. 

Instructions 

First, you'll need to buy a lot of colorful Easter eggs. What you put in them is up to you. 

Some groups like to put in small amounts of money, other people like to put in chocolate. You can come up with your own creative prizes like coupons for certain prizes as well! 

Next, simply hide the eggs all over the area that your youth group will be playing in. 

Before you let the children find the eggs, make sure to explain any other rules to them. You'll need to tell them where the boundaries of the game are, especially for little kids. 

If you need to, create a maximum limit on how many eggs one person is allowed to collect. You can also break the kids into teams and make it a competition to see who can find the most eggs. 

Choose hiding spots that fit how old your group is. If they are older, try to find harder or taller hiding spots for them to find. 

Of course, don't forget to remind them about Jesus' death and resurrection, the real theme of Easter. Let them know the symbolism behind the easter eggs and connect the meaning to the holiday.

13. Egg Shell Towers

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: Plenty of eggshells 

To enjoy this game with your youth group, you'll need plenty of plastic eggshells, which means it's a perfect game to follow up your Easter egg hunt with. 

Instructions 

To play this game, split up your kids into teams. Give each team a set number of eggshells. 

The rules are simple: build the tallest tower in the time limit and win! Usually, all you need is a couple of minutes to play this game. The teams will race to find the best way to stack their towers without letting them collapse. 

Want to make it more interesting? Introduce some "earthquakes." You can have one "leader" go around the room stomping on the ground to see just how sturdy some of the towers are. 

Youth Group Thanksgiving Games 

thanksgiving dinner

When turkey time comes around, you'll want some fun Thanksgiving-themed games for your youth group to play with each other. Here are some fun and memorable games to play with them.

14. Crowd of Thankfulness

Prep: None needed 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: 1 sticky notepad per student, 1 pen per student, and a gift for the winner 

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it's important for the kids to remember the real reason we celebrate this holiday. We want them to be thankful for what they are blessed with in their life. 

This game is a fun way for the kids to have fun and compete for a prize, all while being thankful for what they have. 

Instructions 

Give each student a sticky notepad and a pen to write things down. Explain to them that they will have ten minutes to use every single piece of paper in the sticky notepad. 

On each piece of paper, they must write one, single thing that they are thankful for and stick it on a wall around the room. To make it more challenging, you can do it in a bigger area like a gym or auditorium and require them to stick them in different places around the area. 

The first person to finish their pad can win a prize! After everyone is done writing, you can go around the room as a class and try to guess who each note belongs to. 

This is a great way to get to know each other in the class and find out what they are thankful for.

15. Blindfold Pumpkin Bowl

Prep: About 20 minutes 

Supplies, materials or equipment needed: 1 pumpkin per group (of around 8-10 students), blindfolds, masking tape, bowling pins (can use Pringles cans or water bottles), optional tarp to lay on the floor 

This fun game can be a great way to recycle pumpkins after the Halloween season and start moving into the Thanksgiving mood. Although there are a lot of supplies and some prep required for this game, it is an incredibly fun game that can get the kids active. 

First, divide the kids into groups of 8-10. If you have a smaller group, you can use smaller teams. For each group, set up a "bowling lane" by putting two bowling pins at the end of the room. 

Use some tape to mark the line that they can't cross when they bowl. 

Instructions 

Explain to the students that they will take turns going one at a time. Their teams need to be active and cheer them on! 

The player that is bowling needs to put on a blindfold. One of the adults or leaders can help them get to the line where they will bowl. Keep doing this until every student has had two turns. 

Make sure you have one adult or leader keeping count of the score. Whichever team has the most points by the end of the game wins! 

To make it more interesting, you can include challenges like spinning the players around before they bowl or setting up the pins in fun patterns. 

All of these activities are fun ways to help your youth group connect. These events are also a great time to have group discussions and ask key questions that will help your grown grow and learn. We also have a list of free fundraising ideas that can help generate support to hold even more fun activities in the future.

Youth groups seeking COVID-safe youth group activities also have plenty of options to ensure a great time for everyone while staying safe and healthy.

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