Lauren

Pink Spot Game

To play this game you need one tube of lipstick, preferably in a really outrageous shade of pink. Have the youth sit in a circle. Ask them to repeat after you (give them two practice tries, preferably in unison) “Hi, my name is (name) and I have no pink spots.”

After the practice rounds, go around the circle and each student must repeat the phrase on their own, exactly as specified by the leader. The goal of the game is to avoid earning yourself any pink spots. If a student changes any little thing about the phrase (such as starting with “Okay” or “Um” or saying “Hello” rather than “Hi”) you get to apply a pink spot to their face using the lipstick. That student then gets to try again, this time having to say they have 1 pink spot. If they still don’t get it right, give them another pink spot and move to the next student.

If for some reason you manage to get all the way around the circle without anyone earning a pink spot, give the entire group a spot.

After a few rounds, increase the level of difficulty. You can do this by adding items to the phrase, such as middle & last names, ages, birthdays, etc. You can also change the flow of the game by having the students pass it on to someone else, as follows:

“Hi, my name is Lauren, and I have no pink spots. How many pink spots does Chris have?”
“Hi, my name is Chris, and I have no pink spots. How many pink spots does Ian have?”
“Hi, my name is Ian, and I have 4 pink spots. How many pink spots does Steve have?”

The Toaster of Destiny

To play this game, you need a toaster, a loaf of bread, and a bunch of different toppings. When we played it, we used ice cream, Nutella, marshmallow fluff, mustard, relish, ketchup, Cheez Whiz, hot sauce, and sweet and sour sauce.

Have the students sit in a circle with the toaster in the middle of the circle. Start a piece of bread toasting, and go around the circle, having each student tell something about themselves (these little tidbits can be either inane or thoughtful, doesn’t really matter – they tend to get more inane as the game progresses & they run out of things to share).

When the toaster pops, the student who was speaking gets served the piece of toast with some combination of toppings applied by the leader in charge of the game. The student then has to eat the piece of toast or, if you’re feeling charitable, only part of it.

You can vary the speed/length of the game based on the toaster settings you use (i.e. darker toast = each round of the game is longer).

Where’s Waldo

Where’s Waldo is a great game for a big event and is a fantastic way to get members of the congregation involved in the youth program without a huge time commitment.

The game is played at the mall. It is probably best suited to a small to medium sized mall (it would be too difficult in a huge one). You will need to recruit volunteers ahead of time (about 10-20 of them) and their only task is to spend the length of time of the game at the mall. They can hide themselves or stay out in the open. It is best to recruit some volunteers that will be easily recognized by the students and some that the students won’t know very well (or at all).

The coordinator of the game will need to assign each volunteer with a character name, and communicate that name to the volunteer. Each character will be assigned a points value based on how likely the students are to find and/or recognize the volunteer. Waldo should be a significantly higher number of points and should either hide him/herself really well or be unknown to the students.

Before the game starts, give the students a sheet with the character names, points, and a space beside each name for a signature. Have them travel in pairs or teams of 3-4 and make sure each team has a watch, so they can be sure to be on time at the meeting spot at the end of the game.

The object of the game is for the students to find the characters and collect signatures. I find it is best to limit the students to one “ask” each time they find a character (i.e. if they find someone, ask “Are you Wanda?” and if it is not Wanda, they can’t just work their way down the list until they guess the correct name – they can’t ask again until they find the character again later in the game).

At the designated end time for the game (usually an hour to two hours is a good length of time, depending on how many volunteers you have), gather the sheets and add up the points. The team with the highest number of points wins.

Note for groups with a high percentage of un-churched or other-churched students: you don’t want the churched kids to have an unfair advantage by being able to recognize the volunteers from your church. One way around this is to have each character carry a prop or wear a particular costume, and then include a hint with each character name on the sheet handed out to the students. They can be cryptic, for increased difficulty (“Wanda is a real athlete!”) or very specific (“Wanda is carrying a tennis racquet!”)