Miscellaneous

Balloon Sunday

Have the class bring in two balloons each. Bring in a helium tank and fill the balloons up and tie a string on the ends. On the balloons, have them write the name of a person that needs to be saved. Take them outside and let them go. Tell them by doing this, they can use it as a way of giving the person up to God in prayer. If your church has very small tracts or cards you can attach those to the string.

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Happy Meal Frenzy

This is the funniest thing when you see the youth’s faces. Ask for volunteers before you do anything. Establish that they must at least try this game. When they agree, pull out a blender (This is eher they start to get nervous). Then pull out a Cheeseburger Happy meal from McDonalds. Put it in the blender, drink and all (I’ve found Rootbeer is the best!) and blend it up right infront of them, then pour it in individual cups and just watch their faces as they first taste it.

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Death Drum

This idea works well in a worship service stressing hunger and starvation in the world. According to statistics (need to be updated) someone dies of starvation every eight seconds. During the worship service, have someone beat a drum every eight seconds to symbolize another death taking place. The drum interrupting the normal course of the service dramatically illustrates how often we try to ignore the problem of hunger in the world but it just won’t go away unless we do something about it.

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Truth Or Lie – Banana Edition

We had fun with this as a “get to know you better” activity on a van trip. Materials needed are bananas for every passenger and pens that will write on unpeeled bananas (felt or plastic tips work best). Each passenger (note the driver HAS to do this in advance) writes his/her name and three things about him/herself no one else knows on an unpeeled banana. Two of the statements are true, one is false. Object is to make the statements obscure enough that it is hard to discern what is truth and what is lie. Bananas are collected and redistributed to different passengers. In turn, each holder of a banana reads the author’s name, the three statements, and then guesses which is the lie. Winner (author if lie is not guessed, reader if it is) gets to decide whether to eat the banana, or make the other person eat the banana. Bring a trash bags — don’t leave banana peels on the bus! This would probably work as a crowd-breaker in almost any setting. No one is at risk of having to eat more than two bananas, and everybody gets a dose of potassium!

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Big Girl/Little Girl SleepOver

My husband and I work with the junior high kids at our church. We to offer activities that build relationships with each other and within the church body as much as possible. I think junior high kids are often mis-labeled as having bad attitudes and being difficult to work with. We believe this age group is the best age to set a foundation of what real friendships are, how to encourage each other, how to build others up, how to look at other’s needs, etc. That’s how
this idea began.

The Big Girl/Little Girl Sleep Over was an overnight at the church where each girl in the youth group requested a younger girl in the church to ‘buddy up’ with for an overnight event. The girls who didn’t know any little girls or who didn’t go to our church regularly, I assigned a little girl to them. First I got a definite list of Big Girls for the night. Then I personally called the mothers of the little girls to explain what we were doing and to invite them. That way, it came from one adult to another and if a little girl wasn’t available, I could substitute a new little girl with no hurt feelings.

The event went from 7pm until 10am the next morning. We held it at the church because there was more room for everyone! All the girls brought the regular stuff for a sleepover. The big girls brought their makeup and hair stuff. The little girls brought their favorite board games and favorite book to be read aloud and videos.

We made sure it was 1 big girl to 1 specific little girl. The big girl took complete charge of the little girl the whole time. We had a couple little games to help them get to know each other, then snack time, then we turned them loose to do the make up stuff! First the big girls did the little girls make up and hair and fingernails and toes. Then the little girls did the same for their big girls! We took videos and pictures of each pair. They surprised us and spent about 2 hours doing that! And they ALL loved it!

Then the big girls played the little girls’ board games. It was wonderful to watch the junior high girls playing “Pretty Pretty Princess” or “Clue Jr.” and interacting with these little girls (all about 4-6 years old). Big girls were in charge of getting little girls in PJ’s and getting sleeping stuff all ready. The girls even slept by each other.

Video time got most of the girls quieted down and ready to sleep. Then we let the big girls enjoy some time together after the little girls were all tucked in and asleep. In the morning the big girls got little girls fed and dressed and packed up and ready to go.

Both big girls and little girls loved it. It taught the big girls about mentoring and the little girls were enthralled that a teenager gave her so much attention. The parents of the little girls were thrilled with the junior high girls and the parents of the junior high girls were so proud of them. It was a positive experience that really touched a lot more lives than I expected.

We’ve decided to make it an annual event and the girls are already talking about next year!

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Mental Case

We do this every week. I’m “Mental” over my kids and they go “Mental” over this game! This is especially great if you have an outreach-based youth group where most of the kids haven’t had the luxury of growing up in Sunday school, playing games, winning prizes and overall experiencing Christian generousity.

Take an old suitcase and decorate it as crazy as possible. Ours has Christian symbols, stickers from bands and scriptures like “Let no one despise you for your youth” and catch phrases from our group like “Eric has pointy ears!” (Eric doesn’t mind) Somewhere in the middle of the suitcase it should say “Mental Case”, just so there’s no question as to exactly WHAT it is…..

Fill it with fabulous prizes, like chattering teeth, rubber snakes, gag gifts, stickers, WWJD pencils, Jesus Loves You yo-yo’s, and occasionally and without notice a CD, T-shirt or video.

During youth group, give out raffle tickets. This is the point system we use:

Bring your bible = 5 points
Bring someone new who’s never been there = 10 points
Best listener/most respectful & well behaved = 3 points
Valid question about the teaching = 2 points
Good comment about the teaching = 2 points

Hand out points arbitrarily as you feel led. Be very generous. One point equals one ticket. When all is said and done, have a drawing. You can draw first, second and third place or maybe have everyone win something.

The trick is that whoever draws first gets first pick, and if there’s a CD or something big you threw in there, that person gets it. So the point is to get the most tickets so you’ll have the most chance of being drawn first.

Some people feel like this is bribing kids to come to youth group, but I don’t feel that way, especially since our church has a bookstore and our kids love to read. We put books in our Mental Case by authors such as Josh McDowell, C.S. Lewis, Frank Peretti, Miles McPherson, etc. They absolutely love it. Some of our kids have a low reading level and some read at a college level so I try to put books of different reading levels in there. The bookstore donates a lot of stuff for the Mental Case, but maybe your local Christian bookstore or Christian businesses would donate.

Also, cheap prizes can be bought from Christian wholesale distributors and also from costume/party stores! Enjoy!

And be sure to give out free bibles to new people. I highly recommend the Extreme Teen Bible, CEV version.

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Laser Egg Hunt

Hire out a local laser tag facility, as close to Easter as possible, so that your youth group can have the whole place to themselves. With permission from the manager, hide candy-filled Easter eggs throughout the “war zone.” They will play the game like normal. But not only will they have to shoot each other, they will also have to find the eggs. Points are awarded like normal, but they also get points for the amount of eggs they collect. They need to have some kind of pouch or bag they can put the eggs in.

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Drive-Thru Nativity

Set up a number of nativity scenes using kids from your group as well as live animals if possible. Held in your church parking lot, make the scenes as authentic as possible, each one with a sign with appropriate scriptures. Coloured lights really add a nice touch. The scenes are viewed from cars, and at the starting point a program is handed out explaining the scenes. Cars lights should be out (as long as the lot is well lit). At the exit point, they are thanked for coming out and reminded to turn on their lights. Kids can work one hour shifts. The event should be publicized in the community through community access TV, newspapers, radio, etc. If you’re gonna make a big production out of it, go all out with the advertising!

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Using Old Trophies

Gather several old trophies from a storage room at your church. Take them apart and create a super huge trophy. The trophy can be used in several ways and can be reused and rebuilt for different events.

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Starburst Statue

Divide your youth into teams of about 5-6. Give each team a bag of Starbursts and a paper plate. They have to chew up the starbursts and make a statue of some kind on the plate with the gooey, chewed up starbursts. We had each team explain what they made. You could use a bible theme or whatever the kids decided to come up with on their own. Some even used the wrappers as part of their creation!

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