Outdoor Youth Group Games

Flamingo Football

Announce that you’re going to play “tackle football… guys against girls!” Then after the guys have calmed down, announce that the rules are the same as regular tackle football, except that the guys must hold one foot off the ground with one hand at all times. They must run, pass, hike, catch and even kick on one foot. The girls usually clobber the guys in this game.

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Flannel Blob

This would be great for a large group.

Get a whole pile of big flannel shirts from a local thrift store. Get two different colors, perhaps red and blue vs. blue and green. These can be kept for future games, sewn shut and stuffed and donated as pillows to a homeless shelter, or given out to the less fortunate kids afterwards.

Play blob tag exactly as you would before EXCEPT: Have two girls and two guys start out being ‘it’. The two girls put the flannel on the two of them, with one arm out each side, and button it up. Then they have to gallop around as a two-headed, four legged person. The guys do the same thing. Then when they tag someone, they have to join up with them. Once that person tags another person (preferably of the same gender so as to avoid any problems) then that new person has to get into a flannel shirt of the same color with that person and then they gallop around trying to catch people. Also, if they tag another two headed four legged creature of another color, they are then their color and have to change their flannel! The game finally ends when one color dominates overall.

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Flour Prospecting

This game is messy so be prepared for it.

Items needed:
– Flour: lots of it (we used 400 pounds that we got from a food vendor)
– Change: quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies
– Syrup
– Large tarp: to place under the flour piles

The game is played by dividing the group into two teams. Each team must find the designated amount of money in the pile of flour by hand. Before the kids star digging have them cover their hands in the Syrup.
Do your janitor a favor and play this one outside.

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Food Chain

This game is played best at an over night retreat with lots of wooded area.

Campers/Youth must be told to bring a green, black, or red shirt. (it is best to have lots of green, many black and a few red).

Persons with green shirts are “frogs” and are given 20 Life tags (small pieces of bristol board) and they go off and hide as best they
can.

Persons with black shirts are “racoons” and are given 10 life tags. They go off after the frogs have a 5-10 minute head start.

Persons with red shirts are “foxes” and are given 5 life tags. They go after the coons have a 5-10 minute head start.

Frogs cannot eat coons or foxes. Coons can eat frogs but not foxes.
Foxes can eat coons and frogs.

People run around trying to collect life tags and not lose them. If you are caught by a animal that can eat you you must give that player a life tag. Leaders can run around being “natural disasters” like hurricanes and cars. They can take a life tag from any animal they see. Animals of a common species can trade life tags to stay alive. If you run out of life tags you must return to home base and either do something to earn another life tag or wait for game to finish. The species with most life tags at the end wins.

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Foot Cricket

This is an excellent game for nearly all ages. 8+ but ideal for teens.

You will need:

1. A large playing area
2. One Soccerball
3. 4 marking cones
4. Cricket stumps (on a stand)

Set the stumps up and then place one marking cone a decent lenghth away. With the other three marking cones mark a straight diagonal line towards NW from the stumps. Increase the distance between cones as you go.

The bowler will roll the ball UNDERARM at the batsmen and the batsman can kick it in any direction. If they get caught or are bowled then they are out. The batsman will score 1 run for running around the first cone and returning to his/stumps. 2 for running round the 2nd cone and 3 runs for running round the third cone. The twist is that if the fielders return the ball to the bowler then they can bowl at any time. If the batsman isnt there then they may well be bowled. It is great to watch the ultra competative ones just get back to give the ball a slight tap 5-6 times in a row and then get bowled out simply because they are out of breath!!!

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Football Rip Off

This simple game can get crazy in a real hurry. All you need is a football and two large garbage cans. Place the garbage cans on each end of the field and divide students into two groups. The object is simple. Get the football into the opposing team’s garbage can, while guarding your own garbage can from being scored on. Only rules: No biting or scratching! Players can throw, kick or run with the ball. Players can be tackled, pushed, or just about anything (within reason of course) to accomplish the task at hand. Kids love it and can be a great game played in the snow! If your students have a ton of energy, this game is for them!

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Four-Way Perpetual Capture the Flag

This game is based on the idea of capture the flag. It is layed out on a field, or even a parking lot as a giant four square. For twenty kids I lay out fifteen by fifteen foot squares. It is best with four teams, but it works with three teams and even two. just change the field shape. Usea pie with wedges for three and a head to head for teams of two.

Each team needs at least five to six people. I have played this with over a hundred people twenty five on a team. Just make the field bigger and use colored arm bands for team identification. You may need to use kiddie pool, chalk the ground, or use cones for the free zones.

Each team has two objectives. Get the other teams flag, and hold onto your own. In each spuare have a hool-a-hoop which serves as a free space and a place where the flags go. Each team should have multiple flags in thier free space. I use euor-balls like in McDonalds play land. I normally put two for each player on the team so six players equals twelve flaggs (balls) You can even have the kids use their shoes or missmatched balls, plactic cups, eggs, waterballoons, whatever.

Basic Game Play:
When your in your zone you are safe. If you go into one of the other three zones your not. If you get tagged our of your zone,your frozen and your team members must save you. It is best if you have defenders and flag grabbers. If you can get to the free space (hool-a-hoop) your safe. (we play at least a foot in the hoop)

This is a perpetual game and gennerally ends when you call it. We play point totals, most flags in five minuets, or total victory where one team gets all the flags. I have never actually seen this done! but it works in principal. After each round, I have one or two players rotate to the team on their right to mix it up a bit. Have fun and enjoy this seemingly never ending game!

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Free Stuff Snatch

This was kinda off the cuff and organised within two days. Basically, the kids go down a main street of town, asking shop owners for free stuff.
We found asking politely helps.
Something like:
“Hi we’re from such and such church/youth group. We were wondering if you had any free stuff you could give us. See, we’re competing with another team to see how generous businesses are in such and such town/city.”

Or something like that. We got some no’s, but plenty of yes’s.

Some of the more unusual items were an apron and fake flowers, a dog biscuit and a soft toy. We hit the fast food places, and got cups, chopsticks etc. A video store gave us some posters. It was great fun and it was amazing to see how many people thought it was amusing and got into the spirit of it.

Its easy to organise, just make sure you have at least one leader per team. It doesnt matter what time of day you do it either. We did it on a Saturday night and found a lot of shops were closed, so perhaps a Friday night might be better. It can be fun competing against another team and telling a business not to give anything to the other team. The Sunday following our pastor had the youth get up and explain what they did and what they got.

Give it a try, especially if you have a youth group that are energetic and very forward. Teaches the kids how to be polite and shows them that not everyone in the world is mean.

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Fresha

This is really similar to the game Fresh! (See Indoor Gtivities) already listed here, but we’ve found that this variant allows for a shorter game play if you have a larger group in an outdoor setting. We’ve played this with youth from as young as 4th graders up to adults and they want to play it every week…

(Quick recap if you haven’t read Fresh!) Set up a playing space using four cones as the corners. Divide your group into two teams, and have them stand at opposite ends of the areas. When you start, the youth can leave their lines and enter the field. When someone does this, they are fresh. If another person leaves their line from the opposing team after this, they are fresha (fresher) than the people on the other team. You can only tip a person on the other team if you are fresha than them (ie you’ve left your line later than them). When a person is tagged, they have to go to the jail (a predesignated cone in opposite corners for each team). Once more than one person is tipped, they can form a chain as long as someone is touching the cone.

Instead of waiting for everyone on one side to be caught, we use a scoring method: if a player can make it past the other team’s line without being tipped, they get a point. At the end of the game, count the number of players in prison, multiply by 2 and subtract from the teams points to determine a winner. (you can change the maths…)

Other small things: we use the concept of “free walk” – whenever a player tips someone, frees someone, or crosses an opponents line, they get a free walk back to their line, where they cannot tip anyone or be tipped by anyone. Also, if someone steps out of the side, they are automatically sent to prison.

This may sound a bit complicated to keep track of who is fresha than who, but normal, once the youth understand what is going on, they will do most of the work for you (usually by screaming out fresha as they leave their lines). Enjoy.

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Frisball

Basically this is a game that some of my friends and I made up in Southern Illinois and I think it would work good for any youth group.

Basics: Baseball with a Frisbee at night.

Rules: There are 2 teams. One “bats” and the other plays the field. The batting team stands on home and chucks the Frisbee. Players are out if they strike out (Frisbee has to make it past the baseline or if you foul 3 times) or someone catches it. If it is in the outfield, the batter runs until it is in control by a player in the in-field(they have to be holding it). We play with the half-way rule (where if you are half way to the next base you are on that base). We generally do a ten run rule too just to make the game go smoother.

Game is best played at night with a little light on a baseball diamond.

Have Fun!!

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