Wacky Words – Group Game

If you’re like me, you are always looking for a great up-front game that is flexible for any group size, easy to use and explain, and fun for everyone.  Sometimes, games like that are hard to come by.  So, we decided to create our own one evening, and Wacky Words was born.

Wacky Words is a crazy game focusing on the definitions of some of the English language’s craziest words, like Gardyloo, Widdershins, Bumfuzzled, and Gubbins.  In our group, we divided the students into teams, and gave them all a piece of paper and a marker.  We then show the slide of the crazy words and they try to come up with what they think the definition actually is for that word.  Once they have done their best to come up with definitions, you can go through the slides and show the definitions.  In the end, the team with the most correct answers wins.

Variations include doing this as a one-on-one sort of up-front game, having sections of the room helping “their” participant.  Or, you could even do it like Balderdash, where groups have to turn in their definition and gain points for every group that picks theirs.

You can purchase “Wacky Words” in the YouthMin Resources store HERE.

The Battle Room – Youth Ministry games

Growing up, I loved reading the book Ender’s Game, and I was thrilled when the movie came out this laster year. One of the key components that every reader loved about the book is the Battle Room, where armies practiced battle strategy in what can only be described as the greatest laser tag ever. So this past week, when this youth ministry game idea turned into the epicness that it did, I couldn’t help but think of how much it reminded me of the Battle room in Ender’s Game, though obviously there were no lasers , but because of the strategy I saw play out.

Our Youth group wanted to play dodgeball, but that would have been way too loud for a Sunday Morning in the room we meet in (we’re right across the foyer from the Sanctuary, which keeps their doors open). So we decided to play “Sit Down Dodgeball” and thats what this game is. We divided into two teams, and every had to place their chair within a marked boundary we made on the floor (so they wouldn’t be too far away to throw or be thrown at), and made the rule that if they got off their seat for ANY reason (including to get a ball on the ground) they were out. The game moved pretty quickly that first round, and it seemed like any other game, until we gave them the chance to move their seats to a new spot and one of the teams started epically strategizing, as in where to put their best thrower, the best way to place chairs so they would have the correct angle to block the most behind them, all of it. They destroyed the other team in round 2, and round 3 the strategy stepped up even more.

This is definitely a game we’ll be playing again in our youth ministry, and I’m sure your group would love it just as much as mine did. It’s best to play a few rounds, so the students can get more into seat placement strategy, and just know that as the strategy steps up, the likelihood of having one player on each team left at the end of the game for a 5 minute showdown goes up, so you might want some rules in place for that, such as 5 throws per side before its a draw, to keep things moving.

Youth Ministry Game – Schism

Schism is a great Youth Ministry game for groups of at least 8. What is awesome about it is that even the students who prefer to just sit to the side and not participate in active games can have fun with this game, because its not as much about athletic ability as it is about team work.

Schism is typically played on a volleyball court with a normal volleyball net and boundaries, but you can really make your own boundaries big enough for your group to play in, and screen flex wall dividers (we know almost every church as at least one of these things) work great to be the middle barrier as well (not just for this game, great for battleship, too). Two volleyballs are used (for groups larger than 30 add an extra ball). The balls are thrown and caught (not hit as in volleyball). If a player tries to catch a ball but drops it, that person is out of the game. If a ball hits the ground, the person closest to where the ball landed is out (if an argument breaks out about who is out, both people arguing are out). If two balls land, the two closest people to where the balls landed are out. Players can catch one ball, and still be called out by the second ball hitting them or landing closest to them. This is where a team must work together to help each other, because the opposing team will try to throw both balls at the same person. If a player throws a ball and it does not make it over the net or lands out of bounds, that player is out. Players must throw the ball from the spot they caught it. No spiking or throwing in a downward direction.

A “schism” occurs when a team throws both of the balls and the balls collide in the air. If a team throws a schism, and both balls score kills on the other team’s side, this is called an “ultimate schism.” An ultimate schism results in two players being out on the side the balls landed, and the throwing team gets to bring back one player. Players must not hold a ball for long, and both balls must remain in play. The only exception is when one team is down to two players; then they can set one ball down and not use it. Play continues until all players on one side are out. Switch sides and reload and play again.

Youth Group Game: Moose Moose

Here is a game we’ve been playing in our ministry for years, and is always a crowd favorite yet requires no materials and nothing to set up. The hardest part of the game is getting students to fully understand it.

Moose Moose is played with everyone sitting in a circle.

Choose one player to be the moose. The important thing is that this player is not the moose, the seat is the moose seat. The person sitting to the left of the moose is automatically the dog, and again, the person is not the dog, the seat is. So whoever is sitting in this seat is the dog as long as they are sitting in that seat. Now have everyone, starting with the person to the left of the dog, give an animal name to their seat, we’ve always played it can be whatever animal the student wants, so we’ve had narwhals, leopluridons, ocelots, everything. We usually go around the circle 2 or 3 times with everyone repeating their animal so everyone can remember the seats names.

The basic concept of the game is to say your animal name followed by another animals name to move them to being it. The round always starts with Moose, so using our animals from above, a round might look like this: “Moose-Narwhal, Narwhal-Leopluridan, Leopluridan-Dog, Dog-Narwhal” and so on. What will eventually happen is that someone will take too long or say the wrong thing, and is then out. When someone is out, they move to the Dog seat, and everyone who was to their right moves up a seat. The object of the game is to get into the Moose seat, and we usually give a prize to whoever was Moose for the longest.

Here are the complete rules:

1) You can’t say the animal immediately to your left or right, or your out.

2) You can’t say “But” “Um” “Uh” or anything like that. The first sound you make has to be your seats animal name followed immediately by the animal name of another player.

3) If you take more than 5 or 6 seconds to respond, you’re out. We’re usually more lenient with this at the beginning of the game, and try and be more fair with calling people out with this, letting it slide a little here or there.

4) You can only call the animal that called you once , i.e. “Moose-Narwhal, Narwhal-moose, moose-narwhal” if Narwhal says “narwhal-moose” once more, he/she is out, she’s already called Moose once before, but Moose was able to respond because Narwhal wasn’t the one who had initially called Moose.

Like I said, one of the hardest parts about this game is the initial understanding, but once you get it, its extremely easy and extremely fun.

If you have any questions, I always love to help!

Youth Group Game: Heads Up!

The other day I stumbled onto a great game that is PERFECT for small groups. We played it at our Leaders party this past week and they all loved it, but I know students will have a blast with it as well. It essentially takes reverse charades and does all the work for you!

This is actually a game/app created by the Ellen show, and you can watch a video of how to play and Ellen and guests playing the game here. It’s extremely easy to figure out and get started right away. When we played, we just kept track, on a piece of paper, how many words each participant was able to guess, and you can either just see who gets the most as an individual, or do teams.

Heads Up! is available on both iTunes and Android for $.99, and you can add to the game by purchasing more deck types. But you can get hours of play out of what comes in the basic app.

Youth group game: Peanut Butter Pong

This is a really easy game to play and fairly easy to set up. You’ll just need a cheap loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter.

The way we play is with two teams going against each other, and this requires twenty slices of bread with peanut butter spread on them. You could play one player at a time with a race against the clock which would only need 10 slices covered with peanut butter, but we like to get more people involved at one time.

They way the game works is that the two teams stand on opposite sides of a table from each other, lengthwise, with 10 slices of bread covered with peanut butter in front of them in a pyramid shape (not stacked on top of each other, but laid out). Players will take turns bouncing a ping pong ball towards the bread on their opponents side. If the ball sticks to a piece of bread, the team with the bread in front of them must eat that slice. When a team no longer has any bread in front of them, they lose.

So yes, in case your wondering, it’s just like beer pong, only with peanut butter toast instead of red solo cups.