Outdoor Youth Group Games

Be Still and Know

I used this as a fun game while doing a program about listening. But it’s fun anytime!

Set Up: Put chairs (that can get wet) in a circle. Fill up plastic cups about half way with water. You will need 3 filled cups per chair in the circle. Come up with around 10 questions that test the youth on a recent youth group/Sunday School lesson. (Examples below)

How to play: Have youth who are willing to “be still and know” sit down. I would suggest that for each youth that is sitting there are one or two others to help them. Explain that they will have to balance 3 cups and “be still” in order to not spill the water on themselves. If they spill a cup they are disqualified. Then they will have to “know” the answers to the questions you ask. (I play that in order to buzz in their answer they say “Be still and know”).
Each sitting youth must balance one cup on their head and one on each of their outstreched palms. (Have the other youth help with this) Once the cups are all balanced, start asking questions. Remind the sitting youth that their hands need to stay flat (gripping the cups so they don’t fall is cheating). Have someone keep track of the score for each youth/team. The youth/team with the most correct answers wins.
If I am playing with teams I remind them that this is about listening. If they feel like they want to talk I encourage them to send “good vibes” to their own team member by waving their arms toward that person helping them to remember the answer.
Some example questions:
What are the three parts of the trinity?
What is our church’s address?
What are the ten commandments?
Name six of Jesus’ diciples.

Beach Egg Rolling

Materials needed: 2 quart jars or large plastic tumblers, 2 dozen eggs, beach with designated area to play game. Divide into teams and line up directly behind each other. One person (generally an adult) for each team will sit in sand approx. 15′ away from the start line, holding cup or jar level on the sand. Place one egg at start line, at signal, first person gets on hands and knees and begins rolling the egg along with face, cheek, lips, nose – anything from the head up but NO hands… object is to roll egg into the jar or cup being held at “finish” line. Each person on team gets their own egg… have paper towels and trash bag handy – eggs have a tendancy to “crack” when too much pressure is applied! When an egg breaks, lay another one down beside it and let the player continue on towards the “finish” cup or jar. First team to get all their eggs into the cup or jar wins. This is great when done on a public beach!! The spectators enjoy it and do a wonderful job cheering the teams on!

Bigger Or Better

Have the youth group divide into teams, with four to six on a team. Give each team a rubber band. Have the teams, in a two hour period, go out into the community and ask for something bigger or better than the object you have with you. It does not necessarily have to be something of great value, just BIGGER OR BETTER! After the time is up have the groups meet back at the church to name the winners. You’ll be amazed how the community will give to a youth group and what you returned with from just a rubber band.

Bigger or Better – Additional

This is an addition to the game Bigger or Better, you can gather the collected things and donate them to a food bank, homeless shelter or charity with your youth and tell the people your bargaining with and watch the generosity flourish!

Birthday Log

What you need:
A big log

How to play: Everyone stands on the log. When the leader says to be quiet, everyone has to be slient for the rest of the game. Without speaking or getting off the log, everyone has to get in order of their birthdays from January to December. You can use your hands to signal what your birthday is. If someone crouches down, then someone can step over them more easily. When they think they have it all in order they tell the leader.

Black Hole Soccer

This game of soccer works best with 2 teams of 3-6 players each. Two cones are placed in the center of a field about 10 to 15 feet apart. Each team tries to score a goal by kicking the ball through the goal in different directions. It’s a great way to play soccer without a lot of space required. We play with only 2 special rules: You can not run through the goal, and the ball must go across the goal on the ground. Having the 2 goalies standing in practically the same spot all game is often amusing.

Blindfold Hike

This is a great game that I learnt while I was a scout and is best to do at night. The leaders blindfold everyone and you all pile into the back of a van (a bus works too if your kids don’t cheat by looking out the windows). Then you drive the kids around your town making sure that they will get very disorientated. Driving around a field or a vacant block of land for a while is good to do this. After about ten minutes of driving around, pull over in an area that you don’t think the kids will recognise. Let everyone out, and the object is to try and find your way back to your hall or church. This can also be done as a team competition as long as you take the kids the same distance from the hall. Make sure to have leaders with the kids at all times who know the area well. Water bottles are a good idea to take along as this game can take a very long time.

Blindfold Kickball

This is a great teambuilding game. Start with two teams. On each team blindhold half of them and the other half are the eyes that lead the blindfold team member through the game. The other team also has half of them blindfolded and the other half being the eyes. Play kick ball as usual but with the bases in closer together, so the blindfolded people don’t have to run to far. Play a couple of innings and then switch the blindfolded people with the eyes so everyone gets a chance to do both sides. It’s a lot of fun and very funny to watch.

Blob

The Blob begins innocently enough as a mere individual playing a game of tag. As soon as she catches someone, she joins hands with him. Now he’s part of the Blob, too, and they both set out hand-in-hand in search of victims. Everyone the Blob catches (only the outside hand on either end of the Blob can snatch at players) joins hands with it and becomes part of the lengthening protoplasmic chain. And thus the insidious Blob keeps growing.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill mad scientist created Blobs, this one is not content merely to ooze along, seeking its prey. It gallops around the field, cornering stray runners and forcing them to join up. (You’ll have to agree on boundaries for this game; some people will go to any lengths to avoid meeting with an untimely end at the hands of the primordial slime).
Moreover, the Blob can split itself into parts and, with its superior communal intelligence, organize raiding parties on the lone few who have managed to escape. The thrilling climax occurs when there’s only one player left to put up a heroic last-ditch stand on behalf of humanity. But alas, there is no defense against the Blob, and humanity succumbs. (If that seems unfair, well, that’s the plot.)

Box: the Game of the Future

A large box or big plastic garbage can is the goal. If the ball hits any side or the top, the one who kicked the ball is the new goalie. Everyone plays against the goalie. Use a Nerf soccer ball or a volleyball. People will discover that working together is the only way to score, as they can get the goalie running in circles around his goal.

Brickshot

Needed: 2 Trash cans and foam bricks (Our group got ours at Home Depot) and 6 orange cones

Prep: Break into teams, and then have bricks spread out in the middle of a field. Place cones in front of trash cans (a foots length away, position may vary). The cones are the boundary markers. Also have 2 cones lined up as midfield line.

Rules: Have both teams lined up behind trash cans before u yell go or blow a whistle. Players can only grab one brick at a time. No hiding bricks in pockets only behind the back. You can have no passing or passing backwards, (or forward if u want.) There are no goalies in this game… no guarding of the trash cans at all. Players either score or get tagged (When a player is tagged by opposing team, the tagged player goes all drops the brick where he/she was tagged and goes all the way back to the starting position. Then can go and try and score again). Each time a player is tagged the brick is dropped and they must go to starting position. Players can not cross boundary line to score, if someone crosses the line and scores a brick is taken out (No Point) The game is played till all bricks are scored or can be played timed.

Game History: I kinda came up with this game on the spot….Invented it I, I think. LOL The game is pretty fun and can wear some people out…. and can get a little rough, accidents have happened when my youth group has played. So hope you enjoy and be careful!

Broomball

Some youth directors have to deal with this thing called “Winter”. Going to college in a northern area taught me this game. You will need a corn broom (you know, the one that doesn’t have the plastic thing on it) for each youth. You’ll also need a large snow-covered field. You’ll want to set out the boundaries (hockey ice size) and pack down the snow in the field before the game starts.

The rules are basically the same as hockey except you have brooms instead of hockey sticks. You’ll also want a soft, bouncy ball. We used an old, deflated volleyball. Make sure that the kids use the broom end of the broom.

The best part about this game is that it equalizes those kids that tend to run faster and hit harder. There is a neat element of finesse.

Buck Buck

Divide into two teams. Then have the one team form a human horse by taking six people (you want big and strong people to do this job). The first person stands up straight then the next person puts his arms around the first persons waist. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth person do the same on the person in front of him/her (be sure to make them tuck their heads inside) The other team lines up about 15 feet from the horse. The object for this team is to collapse the horse by putting a lot of weight on it. The object for the human horse is to hold the six from the other team. Then switch the team that collapses the other team and holds there horse up wins, but if both teams hold or both collapse then you decide the winning by the team that held the most people before collapseing. Another rule is that the people on the horse cannot touch the ground inorder to stay on the horse. If they do they are out. It is a great game that your youth will beg you to play.

Buck Buck

Buck Buck is best played outside. You need two teams of 3or4 each. It is best if you dont let boys and girls play this together, Use your own discretion.

Team one starts out chosing one person from there group to be first, this person Stands away from the other team and bends over so the upper body is parrallel to the the next person stands right behind them also bent over just like the first, the second persons head should be about to the first person’s stomach. Then the 3rd person lines up the same way behind the second and so on. Then the other team stands about 10 or 15 feet away from the bent over group. One person on that team yells BUCK BUCK (to warn the bent over team they are coming. They then run at the bent over group and jump on so that they are spread over as many of the bent over group as possible. Then the next person in the second team does the same team, eventually team two will be stacked up on top of team one.

THE POINT. To make the bent over team fall.

Bucketball

Our youth group is insane.
When I came they asked if I played bucketball. They then told me of a game that sounds like a basketball/football/rugby combo. Two buckets (garbage cans, milk crates, holes in the ground) are placed at either end of any kind of field. The group is divided into two teams. The ball used could be any ball – football, soccerball,
nerf ball, rugby ball, small child (actually
there might be a concern there). The goal is
to get the ball into the other team’s bucket.
Any means necessary to score, or stop the other team can be used. You can kick the ball, run interference, tackle, throw the ball forwards or backwards. The only thing not allowed, is touching the bucket to cover it or move it. It is insane. It is rough, but our girls love it – once they get over the intense fear. It is wise to have a
cell phone near by for 911 calls. 🙂

Camouflage

This is a great game to play when you’re outdoors surrounded by natural obstacles. Use it to enhance a hike, a campout, or just to kill time in the neighbourhood. No skills, no equipment, no budget, no problem. It’s really easy. Once your group knows how to play, you can play anywhere, anytime and students love the game. I’ve only tried it with about 10-30 players, so you’d have to adapt it for larger or smaller groups. Here’s how to play.

Object:

Camouflage is a variation of Hide and Seek. The object is to be the person who can hide closest to the seeker without being spotted, hence the name ‘camouflage’. The winner gets to be the seeker in the next round or may award the seeker title to another person.

Set Up:

To begin, pick a seeker. When the seeker is ready, he or she yells “camouflage”, closes his eyes, and counts to 60 (or whatever). The other players hide as close as possible to the seeker using trees, rocks, ditches, vehicles, etc., to block the seekers view of their bodies. Once hidden players stay in the hiding spot until seen or until called out when the game is over. You can specify the length of each game before hand (5-10 minute games are normal)

Play:

When the seeker opens her eyes, she should feel all alone, but know the rest of group is close by. She is allowed to pivot (like in basketball), but can’t move off her original spot. To catch someone, she must be able to see them. “I see a guy in a red shirt lying in the ditch.” When a player hears himself described, he is caught, and leaves the hiding spot without alerting the seeker to anyone else’s presence.

End Game:

Play until all players are caught or the time limit is reached. If players remain hidden after the time limit, yell “game over”, and all players emerge from their spots. The winner is the one who was hiding the closest. If necessary you can measure the distance by pacing a direct line from the each hiding spot to the seeker.

Once a winner is determined, he or she becomes the new seeker, and the former seeker gets to hide. It’s best if you can move the game to a new area so that the seeker has a different vantage point, and players can use different obstacles for camouflage.

(I first encountered this game at Stevenson Children’s Camp, in Ontario, Canada)

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.

Candy Tag

Split everyone into two groups. Then both groups pick out what kind of candy they want to be. Pick one or two taggers. One tagger calls out a candy group. That candy group runs to the other side of a field. When they get to the other side they are safe. Then the tagger calls the next group and keeps going on until there is one person left. That person is the winner.

Cannons Away

Place two teams on opposite sides of a large field, each with a flat, mid-sized target and a “Shoot From Here” line. The target can either be propped up or laying flat. Give each team a water balloon launcher and a supply of water balloons. Each team is trying to hit the other’s target by launching the water balloons. Have the teams rotate personnel on the launcher with each attempt. Go until the predetermined hit limit is reached.

It is possible to play this with more than two teams, but you have to have enough space to make it challenging for the teams.

Capture The Flag

Divide your group into 2 teams, you also need to divide your playing area into 2 equal parts. (We use a field for the younger youth and the entire camp ground for the older youth). Each team has to designate an area to be used as a “jail” which can be guarded from 5 feet away. Each team also has to hide their flag from the other team. Once the game has started, opposing team members can challenge each other from across the line dividing the teams — they can pull each other over by any means possible. Once the person has been pulled over onto the opposite side, they are escorted to jail. Players can also rush or storm the opposite by running over the line to try and find the flag — but if you get caught — off to jail you go. (* Here’s a hint — the more people you get in jail the easier it is to rescue them, touch finger tips and stretch your line as close to the dividing line as possible *). Once a team member has picked up the flag and stands still he/she can not be tagged. Only when they begin to run can they be tagged out. Then they must drop the flag where they were tagged. After the opposite team’s flag has reached it’s opponents side–the game is finished.