Split the group into two equal teams . Have three blown up balloons tied up above each team. Say there is a sweet / chocolate for everyone that listens well , if anyone doesn’t listen you will burst a balloon from their side if all the balloons are popped that team forfeits their rewards they are given to the other side. You rarely have to burst more than one balloon. There is a lot of peer presure on the usually disruptive children. At the end of the meeting say they can take their reward IF they feel they have deserved it. You will be surprised at the honesty from those you would least expect to be honest. You can then call that person back and reward their honesty.
Do you have your marble is a great way to teach youth about responsibility and also raise money – just simply give each teen a marble tell them they are responsible to keep the marble on them at all times. If you see someone that you know should have the marble (maybe at the mall, school etc.), ask them “do you have your marble?” If they don’t, they give a donation to the youth fund – you can set a price like a buck or fifty cents. Real fun!
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!
While this may sound silly, our group had such a great time that some have asked for it to be an annual event. We sang a medley of Easter songs and gave each house a basket of goodies (the baskets were made from lunch bags). We also included a “happy holidays” Easter card and ended the caroling with a rousing chorus of “We wish you a happy Easter.”
It was much warmer than Christmas caroling and we found more people at home.
Offer families an inexpensive way to go to the movies – Monthly Family Movie Nights! Each month our youth group features a www.dove.org approved movie for the whole family. Admission is free. We made a concession stand complete with popcorn and snacks for very reasonable prices. We also allowed kids to bring pillows, blankets and sleeping bags to make it more comfortable. You could even do a theme night complete with dressed up characters from the featured movie. This has become a big hit at our church!
Our town is very small, 450 people. Every fall our youth group, made up of 20 kids, spends a Sunday afternoon going door to door collecting food for the county food pantry. We advertise in the paper and local radio. Residents who are not home leave bags of food on the front steps. Members of our church from out of the area are encouraged to bring their items to Sunday morning worship. It is a great way to get the gets out into the community and help those who are less fortunate.
Take the youth to a shopping mall, but tell them in advance that they are to dress as “freaky” as they feel comfortable doing. Then you can just window shop as a group or do a scavenger hunt, etc. Afterwards you can debrief this activity by discussing how they felt people treated them based on their appearance, and talk about how we tend to judge people on looks.
Need some buzzers for contestants to buzz in answers during a game show you’re running? Try kids’/pets’ squeeky toys, have them slap their hand down and crush a styrofoam cup, or better yet… get a couple of those Staples “That Was Easy” Buttons that they sell online or in-store.
I get the youth at my church to plant flowers, plants and award them at the end of the year. Fisrt I put them into groups and then I allow them to choose the location they want to use. Next they fence it around with whatever attractive material they can find. The youth will learn to be dedicated, and nurturing. They pull out all the stops in collecting they most beautiful flowers they come across. In competing they beautify the church grounds and work towards the coveted trophy and a cash award donated by the youth department!
Instead of having a Lock-in at the church, ask members of your church or local businesses to host the youth for one to two hours throughout the night. At each house, have a plan activity plus snacks. We start at 5pm at the church and end at 7 am back at the church. The Kids have a blast!
Examples of activities
1.Wal-mart supermarket sweep and all items will be purchased for the local food banks. 3am in the morning is a great time. Only workers are in the store. Always have an adult with the groups of kids. Put clues in easter eggs and send them on their way.
2.Midnight Easter Egg Hunt – use flash lights or car lights
3.Slinky races down the stairs. Metal works the best
4.Tug of War
5.Dye easter eggs
6.Flash Light Tag
7.Easter Egg toss
8.Tumbling Contest in members yards
9.Hula Hoop Contest
10.Pudding Eating Contest – the catch is, MUST BE DONE THROUGH A STRAW
11.Pizza at the Pastor’s house
The list can go on and on.
Keep them busy or they will get tired. SO WILL YOU!