Indoor Youth Group Games

Ricochet Stadium

This is an indoor baseball game best played in a small auditorium (ours seats about 180 max.) I recommend a foam bat and a FOAM ball so nothing gets damaged.

Start the game with multiple teams (3 or more is best) of any number of players per team. You will need a scorekeeper with a whiteboard and marker, or just paper and pencil if you’re boring 😉 There is one batter standing on or near the stage, facing the auditorium. There is one pitcher, put your mound wherever it is easy to pitch from. Every other player is a fielder, standing wherever they choose.

Teams take turns batting homerun derby style. Each player gets three hits on the ball (hits, not pitches or strikes). Pitchers may rotate as you see fit, usually when the batters do. Team with the most points wins.

Scoring points are assigned for the following reasons:
Retrieve the ball after hit: 1 point
Catch the ball out of the air: 2 points
Your hit caught out of the air: -1 point
Hit an easy object: 1 point (For our game, these were two huge banners hanging from the balcony, the size of bed sheets.)
Hit an impossible object: 10 points (four very tiny windows on either side of the banners were open. No balls went through in 45 mins!)
Break the projector: -50 points and -$1500

Most points will be won by retrieving balls, so it becomes a frenzy for students trying to push each other out of the way and dive to the ball first. Teammates can retrieve hits from their own team’s batter. The pitcher may retrieve or catch hits. If you have a way to mark teams for the scorekeeper (i.e. team bandannas) it’s a good thing.

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Ninja Master

The object of the game is to keep your team out of jail and to guess the other teams Ninja Master.

This game works for groups about 10 people or more. The group is split into two teams. Each team is given a designated meeting room and a jail. To start the game each team goes to their meeting space and designates one person on that team to be the “Ninja Master”. Only the people on that team should know who that is. After that is determined everyone from both teams are set free to go and try to tag out the other team.

If someone from team 1 tags someone from team 2, team 1 must escort them to jail. You may only escort one person at a time. If team 1 is escorting someone from team 2 to jail then the team 2 person must give one clue as to who their “Ninja Master” is. No one from either team may write down the clues they are given.

You remain in jail until your “Ninja Master” is tagged and put into jail. Then everyone may escape jail but if the “Ninja Master” leaves before you then you must remain in jail. *Note if everyone leaves immediately after the “Ninja Master” is caught it will become obvious who the “Ninja Master” is so it is better to wait for a moment or two before escaping.

After 8 minutes (you can adjust the time depending on the size of your group, etc.) everyone who is not in jail (those in jail must stay there) goes to their appropriate teams meeting room. Each team has 2 minutes (you can adjust this to your needs) to get to their meeting rooms to share the clues they have been given and determine who they think is the “Ninja Master”. After the 2 minutes are up each team meets in a predetermined space where they give their guess to a designated leader who is monitoring the game. The catch is in order for team 1 to guess then there has to be at least 2 members of team 2 in jail and vice versa.

The winner is the team that guesses correctly. If no one guesses correctly then you start a new round, with no one in jail. Each team can either keep the same “Ninja Master” or determine a new one.

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Who Sir? Me Sir?

Have everyone sit in a line or a circle, and designate the #1 ranked seat that everyone is trying to get to. Then number the seats after #1 in numerical ascending order (this is the ranking order).

The object of the game is to get a dialog going so fast that it causes players to mess up their response, so they lose their rank and they move to the end of the line.

The youth leader or a fast talking kid is the “caller” throughout the game (you can switch callers to avoid fatigue). The caller is not a player and is not trying for a seat, so there is no penalty for a caller when they mess up.

The caller will begin a dialog. If a player messes up they go to the end of the line and everyone who was below them in rank gets to move up one spot. If the group is not familiar with the dialog, you can write it out, but then as the group gets more proficient, take away the cheat sheet! Make sure everyone knows their seat number when you begin, then it is up to each player to know which rank number they are. Remember as players move up and down the rank, their number changes, based on the seat order! You may start as #9, but if someone ahead of you messes up, you move up to being #8.

The player whose number is called must respond perfectly with the correct dialog response before the caller says “go foot!” If a player messes up in any way, they are moved to the end of the line.

Here’s the dialog, start slow and work up to ridiculously fast, putting any rank number in the place of the ones I have used:

Caller: “The king of Paris has lost his hat and number 3 knows where to find it. Number 3 go foot!”

Player 3 must interrupt the caller as soon as they have heard their number called with the following before the caller say “go foot”: “Who, sir, me sir?”

Caller: “Yes, sir, you, sir,”

Player: “Oh no, sir, not I, sir!”

Caller: “If not you, sir, then who, sir?”

Player: “Number 6, sir!”

Caller: “Number 6 go foot!”

At this point Number 6 would have had to interrupt the caller to keep the dialog going:

Number 6: “Who, sir, me sir?”

Caller: “Yes, sir, you, sir,”

Player: “Oh no, sir, not I, sir!”

Caller: “If not you, sir, then who, sir?”

Player: “Number 1, sir!”

Caller: “Number 1 go foot!”

If the phrase “go foot!” gets spoken before the player interrupts the caller, the player is sent to the back of the line. When any player is sent to the back of the line, the caller restarts the entire dialog with “The king of Paris has lost his hat and number ___ knows where to find it.

Decide a time limit to the game, the person sitting in the #1 chair is the winner at the end of that time.

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Succotash – variation on Charades/Passwo

Give every person three slips of paper and have them write something down on each slip. It could be a person, place, thing, common phrase, or anything really. Put the slips in a bowl or hat. Then you split the group in half. We had it so that every other person was on a team, just so that it would have been hard for people to see the clues by accident. Find a timer, like a watch with a seconds hand, and find someone to keep score. Begin Round one.

Round one:
Played similar to the game show “Password” or “Taboo”. One person from one team goes first, pulling slips of paper out of the bowl, and trying to get their team to guess as many of the written things as possible within one minute. You cannot use any of the words on the paper or that is a negative point. Each correct guess is a point, while each “pass” is a negative point. Make sure they don’t put the clues back in the bowl (Except you do put those things that were passed on back in the bowl for other teams to try). Once the timer runs out, add up how many correct guesses there were. Now it is the other team’s turn to try with the remaining clues. Play continues until all the clues are successfully guessed. If there is time left on the clock for a team when slips of paper run out, that team gets to play out their remaining time in the next round before it goes to the next team.

Round two:
Played like Charades. All the slips of paper are added back to the bowl. This round is identical to round one, except that now the person giving the clues cannot speak, and must act out what is on the slips of paper. Like in round one play continues until all the items are successfully guessed. If there is time left on the clock for a team when slips of paper run out, that team gets to play out their remaining time in the next round before it goes to the next team.

Round three:
One word clues. All the clues are added back to the bowl. This round is identical to previous rounds, except that now the person giving the clues can only use one word as a clue as to what is on the slips of paper, no acting! Like in round one play continues until all the clues are played.

Team with the most points wins! Other crazy bonus rounds could be using just facial expressions or one physical movement.

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Silly Soccer

You can either take two tables and push them together to form a larger, thick rectangle or just have a line running down the middle of the room.

Get one beach ball for every two teams (if you have a large indoor area and large youth group, make more than two teams — no team should be bigger than 10 people)

Have the kids take their shoes off and sit on the floor with their hands under their bottoms. Each team should be on an opposite side of the room. On the floor (if using the line and not tables) use tape to make a large square behind the teams. That is the goal. For those using the tables, the open sides are the goals. Give the kids the beach ball and let them kick it. They can’t use their hands at all to try and kick the ball into the other team goal, nor can they get off their bottoms.

My kids have ALWAYS loved this, and I am begged constantly to play silly soccer. It is an especially good rainy day activity.

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Airplane Olympics

Give each child printer paper or other thin paper that will make sharp creases when folded. Have them make different airplanes ( a good idea is to check out some books on paper airplanes from the library to use as guides, particularly for younger kids)

Once each child has made a variety of airplanes, lead them to the Olympian arena (should be set up before hand)

The first competition will be to test Aim: A large bull\’s eye can be painted, drawn or made with hoops on the ground. The object is to get as close to the center as possible. Let kids know very slim streamlined planes will work best for aiming.

The second competition will be to test distance: each child lines up on a line and throws their plane(s). Whoever\’s plane flies farthest wins.

The third competition is to test Endurance: Each child will fly their planes one at a time and be timed on it. Whoever\’s plane stays up longest wins. Tell kids that the planes with the most surface area generally stays up longer.

As a tie-in, you can use each competition to exemplify a virtue of Christ:
1. Aim: Walking with Christ means always staying true to His ways and words and aiming to be like Him above all else.

2. Distance: Sometimes as Christians we have to go the distance by doing things we\’d rather not because they are the right thing. Discuss some times the kids had where they had to go through a tough trial that seemed to go on forever.

3. Endurance; Sometimes, it is easier to go with flow and do what others are doing instead of sticking out and working to do the Christlike thing. Talk with kids about how enduring hard times when it is so easy to turn is a good thing, and how it can result in great things. Try using personal examples to drive the point home.

For prizes, you can do low-cost items or maybe allow the winners to pick out ice cream flavors for an ice cream social to finish the event.

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Amazing Shoe GrabTag

Everyone removes their shoes and puts them down the back of their pants sticking out of the waist as far as possible. Then, once the game is explained and you say go, the youth run around trying to grab the shoes from the other youth. Once both shoes are removed from ones waist, they are out. The trick is that the shoes must be held the entire time once plucked from anothers waistband. The winner is the last one with shoe or two left in their waistband or the one holding the most shoes when the time ends.
Play as many times as time allows!

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A hit among everyone who’s ever played it, all ages. The trick though is explaining it so that its not confusing:)

This is best played in groups of 10 or more and by more I mean I’ve played in groups of 60. It’s crazy but still fun!! And once students get the hang of it, they can play all night.

Everyone sits in a circle and there is one less chair than there are people. The person without a chair will be “it”.

Everyone picks a “sign.” The sign must be noiseless, and something that everyone can do. It can be sticking out your tongue, thumbs up, picking your nose, the hair-flip, rubbing your elbow, pulling your ear, etc. (If you’re in an area where it would matter, you might specify no gang signs.)

As you go around the room, have each person share their sign and tell students that they will want to remember as many people’s signs as possible. After everyone has shown their sign, I usually go around the circle again quickly as a reminder.

Then explain: The “sign” is an imaginary ball, if you will, that you are sending around the circle without letting the person who is “it” catch it (monkey-in-the-middle). To send, or throw, the “sign,” one must do their sign and then the sign of the person to whom they want to send it.

For example, Sally’s sign is the peace sign. She wants to send it to Billy whose sign is scratching his knee. So if Sally has the “sign,” she will do the peace sign and the scratch her knee- thus sending the “sign” to Billy.

So the game looks like this:
John is “it” and Mike is going to start the game by sending the first “sign.” John stands in front of Mike (in the middle of the circle) with his back toward him and looks up at the ceiling.

Mike does his sign (wiping his forehead) and then Jessica’s sign (wiggling his fingers). Mike says, “The sign is sent.” John is free to look around and the game begins. Jessica will do her sign and then another’s and the sign will be sent to someone else. That person will do their sign and send to another. This is all done stealthily and the person who has it can take as long as they want to send it.

All the while John is trying to figure out who has the “sign”, once he finds who has it, he will try and tag that person before they can send it again. If they do send it, John tries to tag the next person before they send it and that’s when it gets intense because now John is running around the circle and people start to freak out, blank out, etc. and eventually someone is tagged. When that happens the game starts over with the new “it”.

2 Rules to Remember:

  • You cannot send the sign to the person who is “it” or else you are it.
  • You cannot send the sign back to the person who sent it to you, or else you are it.

You or your students might be confused at first, but believe me after they’ve played it for one or two rounds, they’ll love it!!

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Cheese Puff Challenge

Get several bags of cheese puffs (Wise or any brand.)

If you bite a small piece off the end of a cheese puff and a small piece off another cheese puff, it is possible to stick them together by licking the bitten ends and fusing each cheese puff together. Once you have the pieces stuck together bite the end off and add another cheese puff to the already fused pieces. The object is to see how long you make your cheese puff. I have sen them get pretty long.

This is a great icebreaker game.

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Stuffed Animal Offering

I’ve played this game with our youth group, and they constantly ask me to play it again.

You will need stuffed animals, and a table in the front of the room to act as the ‘altar’. You will need about the same amount of stuffed animals as you have youth. Get the youth to stand facing you in front of the room. Have them close their eyes while helpers hide the stuffed animals on the chairs and in other places throughout the room. (I recommend to not hide them behind expensive equipment. On the chairs is good enough, it doesn’t have to be difficult.) Hide the same amount of animals as youth, minus 1. So if you have 15 youth, hide 14 animals.

When you say go, give them 15 seconds to hurry and find an animal and bring it to the altar. If they make it, they stand off to the side. If they run out of time or just can’t find an animal, they are out, and must go sit down.

Continue this with the youth you have left until one remains, always reducing the amount of animals you hide to be 1 less than the number of youth you have left.

Give prize to the winner.

This game is great to get the youth to understand the kind of lifestyle the Old Testament people had, and the long and difficult procedures they had to go through to get their sins forgiven. But now, because of Jesus, we don’t need animal sacrifices anymore and we get to live in freedom from that chaos.

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