Outdoor Youth Group Games

3-Legged Kickball

The idea is pretty straight forward. All the rules of standard kickball apply, the only difference is that each player is 2 players tied together at the leg as you would for a 3-legged race.

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3-on-3 Tourney

Plan and run a 3-on-3 basketball summer league. Have your youth share short 5 minute devotionals on relevant issues. Have a tournament ending banquet, with a special guest speaker (local Christian sports celebrity). This is a great way to reach out to the community!

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3-Way Capture The Flag

This is regular capture the flag with more than two teams. Our youth group has played regular capture the flag for so long, that we thought it would be fun to try something different. It was a huge hit.
SETUP: Have 3 (or more) teams, each with a flag and a specific territory. You can make each team have its own jail, or you can have a central neutral area where all people who are tagged go for 3-5 minutes. Each team places their flag somewhere on their territory in plain sight (must be visible from at least 10 feet away. We say they must be stuck in the ground.)
TO PLAY: Each team tries to get the other teams’ flags with out losing their own. If team A captures team B’s flag, they plant it next to their flag, and teams A and B become one team possessing the territory for both teams. They then have numerical advantage over team C, whose flag they then attempt to get.
These rules make it very intense, because you do not want to be the team that is ganged up on, so you go out as fast as possible to find the other teams’ flags.
These rules also work for more than 3 teams.

1) When a person is tagged, the tagger must escort them to jail without tagging anyone else. If the tagger does not escort them, then they can run back free.
2) A variation of the above rule would be that a defender can freeze one person in place, and tag one more before escorting both to jail.
3) Have a safe zone around your flag in which the defenders may not enter. I don’t care for this rule, but many people like it.
4) Have colored string tied around the wrist to indicate what team you are on. If the string is broken, you must go back to the designated neutral area to have a new string put on.

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3D Kickball

This is a fast moving version of kickball for large groups. This version enables everyone to get up to bat several times in a short period of time.
The concept is the same as kickball except that you have three pitchers pitching to three kickers simultaneously. Once you are on base you do not have to advance a base unless you want. Therefore you can have several people on one base at a time. Instead of there being three outs we make it nine outs before the next teams gets up to bat.
The defensive team can stand anywhere around the playing field. Try it and modify it to suit the needs of your group.

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Acid River

Take the group out in the woods, or anywhere suitable. Make sure you have 3 coffee tin cans that are strong and sturdy as well as two boards roughly 4 feet long and half a feet wide. Set down two ropes about 10 to 12 feet apart. The object is to get everyone on the boards or cans at the same time and then to get everyone off successfully without anyone falling off and touching the ground with their feet – or else they fall in to the imaginary “acid river.” If one person falls off, the whole group has to start over. This activity will build communication skills, leadership skills and fellowship skills.

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Airplane Game

First explain the rules…
-You are all on a plane that has crashed
-You want to get the entire group to the base, or you will ALL blow up!

Now you put cones out to make a small base, and then make the kids stand in a line and put their arms out. They then fly a bit pretending to be an airplane. One of the leaders yells out Crash, and they sprawl on the ground. Then all the leaders go around and whisper an injury to each kid. Then once they all have injuries, you give them 6 min. to get the whole team, to the base, but since some of the youths have no legs, some no sight, and some are unconcious, they will have to work together to get the whole team to the base! You can make up lots of diffrent injuries, and even have some of them be livestock, or dilusional, and trying to break the people down by telling them that they are at the wrong base!

This is a great opportunity to talk to youth about the importance of working together, and let them know how important it is to be helpers to Christians with “heart/faith injuries!”

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Alka-Seltzer Tag

Just one I didn’t see on here yet:

Each kid gets an Alka-seltzer that has been pre-drilled and put onto a string. They must wear it like a necklace. The each kid either gets a styrofoam cup or a squirt gun depending on how you play. Split the kids into two teams or play every man for himself. The object is to melt the opponents tablet first, thus they are out when the tablet falls off the string. The tables must be in full view and cannot be touched.

At the boundary (whatever you determine) corners place 5 gallon buckets full of water or trashcans full of water (which ever work best for your version) to refill. This is a fun one that can be short or a longer game depending on how it’s played. Make sure the kids wear clothes that can get messy because the depending on the flavor you bought or the alka-seltzer itself, sometimes there is a stained area still left after washing!!

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All Run

This is a fun game and the students loved it.

First, set up a line of cones at each end of the field to mark end zones. The two end zones should be far apart, but not too far. A big field will work great for this.

Second, place five hula-hoops in the middle of field. Make sure that they are equal distances from one another, not clumped together as one. Also, make sure one hoop is directly in the middle of the field.

Select one student to be the “tagger.” At the beginning of the game, the tagger will stand in the middle hoop, while everyone else lines up at the end of one end zone. The goal of the game is to run from one end zone to the other end zone without being tagged. The tagger cannot leave the middle hoop until the first person makes a run for the other side.

Once the game begins, the tagger does not have to return to the middle hoop. If a person is tagged while trying to run, that person becomes a tagger along with the first tagger. When another person is tagged, they become taggers too. The game will continue until all people have been tagged. The last person to be tagged will start off the next game as the first tagger.

This cycle will continue until your designated time is up. As for the hula-hoops: they will act as safe zones for the people who are trying to run from one end to another. If a person can make it to a hoop and stand in it, he/she cannot be tagged. Once they set foot out of the hoop, they are back in the danger zone. Also, designate someone who is not playing to call out “ALL RUN!” everyone few minutes. When this is called, everyone has to run, no matter where they are. This will keep the game moving, and keep it exciting. Have fun.

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Amazing Race

We played a version on the Amazing Race (CBS) at our youth retreat last weekend. The kids (and leaders) had an awesome time.
We split the kids into groups of 3 (we only have a small youth group – this would work with bigger groups too). They each got their first clue leading them through the bush (we live in Australia) to their detour (a choice of two tasks).
1. Find 20 straws hidden in the bush (pretty hard – the straws were green)
2. Set up a tent (by the way this was at night time so this was hard too)
Once they did their task they got the next clue which lead them through a bunch of mud (some of the girls freaked out a little at this) to a roadblock (a task the team HAVE to do together).
They had to match up 10 Bible verses with their addresses. There were some obvious ones and some hard ones.
They then raced back to the cabins where we were waiting to greet the first team there. They got some neat prizes from the Christian bookshop.
We did this with only 2 leaders and 15 campers – it can be done!
It was an awesome activity and made sure the kids burned some energy before bed (not that they were any quieter at night-time!)

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Amazing Race – Race to Christ

This idea is like similar to other amazing races but with a definite twist. Again you split into groups of four or five, each group with a leader who can drive. Note the Leaders are ‘in’ on the race and are there just to drive and not assist in the race.

Make your list of directions that scurry your teams across town. We like to direct them to churches with new clues to the next stop waiting at each destination. (please notify church officials that messages will be at their facilities)

The final clue brings the first team to a waiting area. However, the twist is, along their journey, they will witness a person with a flat tire, a elderly person who has dropped their bag (purse or groceries) and a homeless person with a sign for help. Each of these people are part of the game.

The winning team is not who completes the trip first, it’s the team who is the best “Samaritan” and Christ-like. The winning team puts aside personal gain and assist the people in need.

When the last team arrives at the finish line, the three people who needed help arrive also and report who helped.

You will be surprised how many times we have had no winners but we do have a great lesson.

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