Early and Mid Adolescents

Birth Of A New Year Party

The New Year is typically characterized by the exit of Father Time and the entrance of Baby New Year. This event is based on babies. Everyone should come dressed like a baby. The following games can be played. 1.) Best Dressed Baby 2.) Baby Picture Guess: pictures are brought and put on a wall and people are a piece of paper with the corresponding numbers and must match them up for points. 3.) Baby Buggy Race: get an old buggy or stroller for each team and have a race, relay style with each person pushing the carriage around a goal and back with a teammate riding on it. 4.) Bottle Drinking Race: fill a bottle with juice and have races.

Bisquick Communion

Try at a retrea. Pass paper cups half-filled with Bisquick during breakfast. Get everyone to mix some liquid with the Bisquick to form a dough (milk, orange juice, coffee, maple syrup, whatever). Get each person to place their lump of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Then the dough is pressed together lightly to form a loaf but not enough to mix the individual lumps together. After the dough is allowed to rise, bake the loaf. At the communion service, the loaf is broken and passed around. Perhaps you can discuss how communion symbolizes that we are all individuals but we become one “mixed up” loaf through Jesus Christ.

Black Ghost

Send one person out of the room. Encourage the rest of the group to pick an object in the room or on somebody’s person. The object can be large like a piece of furniture, or small like a button on a shirt. Once the object has been determined, the person comes in and the leader points to random items in the room while asking if it was the object picked. Here’s the trick, before you point to the object the class picked, point to an object that’s black. When you point to the object the class picked, the person sent outside should guess the object correctly. (It’s good to have the person sent out to know the game in order for it to work.) After you play a few times, invite to some of the group to try and guess an object to see if they’ve figured it out. The group will go nuts trying to figure out how you know what object was picked when you were out of the room.

Blinded Wheelbarrow Race

Everyone knows how to play the traditional wheelbarrow game by holding onto a person’s ankles and they walk with their arms. This is the same idea with a couple twists.

Have everyone get a partner, then each team receives a blindfold. In the room place chairs that stagger back and forth for them to go around, for my youth group I set up two sets of staggering chairs that were identical so that two teams could go at the same time and they had the same “course” to go through. Have two teams line up and go when you tell them to, the blindfolded wheelbarrow person has no clue where they are going, so the person holding their ankles has to tell them directions. The first team back across the line wins!

This game was a huge hit for my Sr. High students, it got very funny as they were bumping into each other and into the chairs because their drivers were not very good! Very easy game with little preparation and lots of fun!

Body Part Musical Chairs

Have everyone form a big circle of chairs with the chairs facing outward. Remove one chair. Have music ready. When the music starts everyone must walk around the chairs (again it’s fun if you make them jog). When the music stops, a caller yells out a body part. Then everyone races to touch that body part to a chair, one person per chair only. If they touch a chair before the body part is called, they are out. The one person who doesn’t get a chair is also out. To speed it up, you can remove more chairs. We usually start out simple – nose, hair, left elbow, etc. but towards the end we get more complicated – your bare feet, someone else’s left hand (they must grab one of the people who are already out). The object is to be the last one left.

Bottle Spin

Put a small amount of water into a plastic 2 litre soft drink bottle. Attach this “loaded” bottle to the end of a rope about three metres long. Have the group stand in a circle around a leader and “Spin the Bottle.” The idea of the game is that the youth in the circle jump over the bottle each time it passes them. If they are struck by the bottle they are out. This game is a huge favorite with our youth!!

Box Turnover

For this game you will need two tables and two tablecloths that will overlap. Also several assorted cardboard boxes and objects to go in the boxes as well as a scary mask or wig. Select one person (boy works best) and send all others from the room. Place the boxes upside down with the object under them. Have your helper put on the mask or wig and put them under the table with their head between the two tables, arrange the tablecloth so that you can’t see the break in the table or the person under it. Place a box over your helper’s head as well. Bring in the players one at a time and tell them they are being timed. They need to turn over the boxes and put the object under them into the box. Get ready for screams when they come to the head. After they have completed this, they may watch the others. Girls are more frightened than guys, you can let the guys watch and just send the girls out. Also they should be somewhere where they can’t hear the screams.:)

Bread and The Body

You will need a clear plastic bag, a brown paper bag, a tying string, and of course the Loaf of BREAD. Before everyone enters the room, have a loaf of bread sitting on a table. It must be uncovered at all times. From time to time play with the loaf of bread (toss it around, pass it from youth to youth, etc.)
At times, pretend to remove the dust from the bread as well as other insects. After a reasonable time, offer the youth a piece of bread. You will likely not find anyone who is willing to consume a piece of the bread because it has been exposed to the environment. Likewise, our bodies, are not to be touched or handled by anything or anyone. Just like a piece a bread, we need to take care of our bodies. We need to cover it to keep from plain view. We need to cover it to keep flies from it. We need to secure it to keep its integrity.
A challenge to live a life of abstinance, purity and godliness.

Breaking Down the Partition

Materials needed: 20 or more empty cardboard boxes

I first used the text from Ephesians 2:13-17 and explained that Jesus broke down the wall between God and us that was created by sin. We took empty cardboard boxes and stacked them up in the hallway to form a “wall” and then took turns breaking through it. Kids from ages 6 to 14 really enjoyed it and made the connection.

*Be sure to use heavy cardboard boxes because the kids really hit them hard!

Candy Commandos

This is a twist on a game we used from this site, but adapted for outdoor use.
We use a soccer field, and divide into two teams. There are 4 kids (2 pair) that don’t belong to a team, but do remain on their side of the field. Two of them are equipped with Nerf guns, and the other 2 are their helpers, retrieving darts, and taking candy from “shot” players. There are only two kinds of candy, and it is in a box or bag in each of the goals. We used harder, wrapped candy to avoid melting.
The idea of the game is to get all of the candy from one box into the other, and vice versa. You can only carry two pieces at a time, and if you are shot by a Nerf dart at anytime duing the game, you must sit down and surrender your candy to the helper. The goals are “safe” areas, and the “shooters” can’t enter the smaller box designated for the goalie. Every few minutes, a leader needs to blow a whistle or holler “free!”, so the players that have been “shot” can resume play.

Celebrity Bible Chair

A mix of Musical Chairs and Celebrity Head. Play the Musical Chairs game like you normaly would but with every person wearing a paper hat with a photocopy of celebrity’s face on it. You call them by their name (eg. Winnie the Pooh, Tiger Woods or Nicole Kidman). When the music stops, the person without the chair has to answer correctly a Bible question. Do a celebrity wild card every couple of questions where the person left standing has to answer a question about “themselves” instead (eg. What do you love eating Winnie?”) If he or she answers correctly then he or she gets to stay in the game. Keep on going untill there’s only one person left.

Meantime, if anyone drops their hat they are out. Winner gets 1 million points for their team. Bible questions will have multiple choice and be fairly easy. eg:
1. Who was the strongest man in the Bible?
a. Gideon b. Samson c. Goliath

Centipede

Divide players into two teams. Mark the Start and Finish lines about 30 feet apart. Teams line up with one person behind the other, facing the finish line. Next, players sit down and wrap their legs around the person in front to form the body of the centipede. Players’ arms become the legs. When the leader says “Go,” players lift with their arms and begin to push the centipede toward the finish line. If players become separated, they must try and reconnect. The winning centipede must completely cross the finish line with all its players connected.

Cereal Box Pick Up

You make a circle and put a cereal box (one that you cut a little bit before) in the middle. Everybody has to pick it up from the floor without using their hands and without putting anything else than their feet on the floor (no knees etc). After each round you cut another piece of the cereal box till it’s totally flat.

Championship Duck Duck Goose

We have a pretty large youth group, and found this game works best with the more kids that you have!
It’s the basic setup of “Duck Duck Goose” (where one person goes around a circle of sitting down kids, tapping them on the head saying “duck” or “goose”. When they say “goose”, the person tagged must jump up and chase the other around the circle and try to tag them before they sit down in the vacant spot) We played so that there were 90 kids all in a circle, with 3-6 ‘taggers’ at one time. It gets kinda crazy, make sure they’re all running in the same direction. If a kid being chased gets tagged before reaching the vacant spot, they must sit in the middle. When you have about 15 kids ‘out’ in the middle, start another game within the bigger circle. We ended up having three circles going, each inside a bigger one.

Chinese Pillow Tag

Remember Chinese Tag? Well we had a “Pillow Night” that required some ingenuity. You play it just like freeze tag. There are 1-3 taggers depending on how many people you have with pillows. The non-taggers have pillows as well. Taggers can freeze people by hitting the non-taggers with the pillow. The only way to un-freeze them is by passing your pillow and the tagged persons pillows underneath the tagged persons legs. We had a blast with this. If you are in a wide area, section it off with boundries and have fun!

Choo Choo Train

Make two lines of horizontal strips of masking tape each exactly one foot apart from the other. This is good in a standard size classroom. Divide into two teams, and have each person stand between one of the strips at the back of the room, with no gaps. Take turns asking each team a Bible question. If anyone answers correctly, they move to the front of the line, and anyone behind them moves up to fill the empty space. Continue in this manner until one team has moved to the front of the room. Variation: the person who answered the previous question correctly (the one in the front) cannot answer the next question. This helps even things out if one person is a Bible whiz.

Christmas Tree Decoration

Our youth group was asked to prepare something to add into the gift bags that are given to “Shut-ins” in our parish. We bought the cheap plastic, glossy (or matte) Christmas tree balls and decorated them. We used the metallic gold and silver pens (the “gel” pens do not work very well) and the pen-like glitter glue. The kids had a great time and the receivers had a wonderful Christmas decoration to brighten their day!
HINT – use egg cartons to hold the finished balls until they dry!!

Cleaning Up The Mess

I had my group of VBS 5th graders pair up. I gave each pair a card which had a “nasty job” written on it — “being on a road crew that picks up dead skunks”, “changing a baby’s messy diaper” — you get the idea. The groups each had a turn to silently act out the nasty job, while the rest of the class shouted out what was being depicted.

When they were done, we turned to the narrative of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. I wanted them to grasp what a lowly job foot-washing was. Then I asked them to count how many of the nasty jobs were ones that involved cleaning up after someone or something else. All of them were.

I then showed them that Jesus’ work on the cross was the ultimate act of cleaning up after our mess, and that, as we come to Him daily, asking for forgiveness, that He lovingly and gently cleans up our mess again. What a wonderful Savior we have, what a beautiful example of service, and what a responsibility we have to try to live up to that example.

Clothespeg Game

While the music is playing, everyone runs around with clothespegs on the back of their shirts and tries to grab other people’s pegs. When the music stops, whoever does not have a peg is out and the space to run around gets smaller every time the music stops.

Clothespin Opinion Poll

A unique way to get your kids to share their opinion s. Hang a clothesline across the meeting room. On one end have a sign that says, “Strongly Agree” and the other end says “Strongly Disagree.” Mark the centre of the clothesline for reference. Get wooden clothespins and allow the youth to decorate them as they wish so they’ll know which are theirs. Each week at the close of your youth meeting, read a strong statement to the group. Ask your youth members to think about, talk about and research the statement during the week. At the beginning of the next meeting, have each member clip a clothespin on the line where it best reflects his or her opinion. Spend the first few minutes of the meeting discussing the results. The topic can be independent of the meeting’s main lesson or it may be used as a great intro to a relaxed subject.