Check Out These Youth Group Games

Create buzz and excitement without poking anyone’s eyes out

There’s a wide selection of youth-group games that can create buzz and excitement without the risk of injuring someone in the process.

Three Great Game Ideas

Any youth worker can tell you that there’s no way to guarantee an injury-free game. Still, a safety mindset can help you be more selective with the games you play and provide a safer atmosphere in your youth ministry. Here are three examples of games that can be both safe and fun. 

Broomski Ball

You’ll need about a dozen tennis balls for this game, borrowed from the popular TV show “Minute to Win It.” Duct tape a broomstick to the floor to act as a speed bump. Set up three buckets of increasing height—the first being about 8 to 10 feet behind the broomstick—an equal distance apart so they look like the rings of a skee-ball game. When the game begins, the player rolls tennis balls toward the broomstick, where the balls hop toward the buckets. Assemble a “lane” for each player and see who can put a ball in each bucket first. Station two people near the buckets to return the balls to the players.

Human Tic-Tac-Toe

Place nine chairs in the middle of the room in a three-by-three square, like a tic-tac-toe board. Chairs should be spaced about three feet apart. Divide students up into teams of equal numbers and give each player a number. The game begins with each team (Team X and Team O) standing on opposite sides of the “board” of chairs. When the youth leader calls out numbers (up to four, as quickly or slowly as you like), the players assigned to those numbers take seats, trying to align their team members in a winning tic-tac-toe formation.

Ninja Tag

This game tests players’ ninja-like balance. Everyone should stand in a circle, arm’s length apart. One person is designated as “it” and tries to lean, dip, or otherwise maneuver to tag other players. The catch is, no one is allowed to move their feet or touch the ground—anyone who does is out. Re-align the circle each time someone is eliminated until there is a winner. Play this game on a soft floor, in case someone loses their balance.

Additional Resources

For more great game ideas, check out these resources.

  • Youth Specialties. Youth Specialties has developed three indispensable books for finding just the right activity for your group. You’ll find more than 1,000 ideas in “Games,” “Games 2,” “Games 3,” and “Games: Video Edition.”
  • Group Publishing. Group Publishing has produced a series of video-based games to entertain and challenge students, including “The Challenge,” “Hot Seat,” “Game On” Vols. 1-4, and “Power Play” Vols. 1-5. They also have published several books, including “On the Spot: No-Prep Games for Youth Ministry,” and “Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry.”
  • The Source for Youth Ministry. At The Source for Youth Ministry, you can search games that meet certain factors, such as group size, prep time, game length and game type.