Games in a Pinch

You’re in trouble now. You’ve been asked to sub for Wednesday night youth group (right now it’s Wednesday afternoon) and you got nothing. Here are some youth group games, ministry mixers, team-building youth ministry games and youth activities to get you out of a jam.

Our Mission! at Mud Pie Industries is to create in-depth learning games that create rich, immersive experiences for Bible teaching. These games are still in development but we don’t want you to go away empty-handed. So we are daily adding to this list of free Bible games and free Bible teaching resources. And feel free to ask questions, post comments…we’re here to talk!

Ice Breakers
Data Processing: Create a giant computer and sort people by size, eye color, length of hair or any other criteria that you set.

Human Bingo: The more you know about the group, the better your chances!

People on Vacation: In this game everyone looks like a tourist.

Other Resources for Youth Ministry Icebreakers:

The Source | Mixers – Youth group-tested icebreakers and mixers

Games for Two
Toe Fencing: I know something you don’t know: I’m not left-footed.

Games for a Few

Signs: You’ve heard of passing the buck. This sneaky game is great for 5-20 people whenever you have some time to kill.

Wait! I Was There!: There’s nothing like tall tales around the campfire – a fun mutual storytelling game.

What’s in Your Milk?: There can be all kinds of things in your milk, from bubbles to sea horses…as long as you can say it with a straight face.

Games for a Bunch
All Aboard!: Building cooperation in a group.

Detective: No , um, kidding, Sherlock.

People’s Ball: Less time sitting on the bench.

NEW! You Go Find It: A circle game where it pays to pay attention

Games that Need Some Preparation
Cardboard Tube Combat: Who says chivalry is dead? It’s just gone stupid.

Finger Rocket Wars: It’s a craft! It’s a lesson in ballistics! It’s crazy fun!

Ice Blocking: H2O goes turbo.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

micki June 13, 2012 at 12:49 am

looking for games for small group of 3 for bible study

Phil Houtz June 14, 2012 at 2:16 am

Hi micki – a lot depends on the group, how familiar people are with each other. If the group is newish you might try structured card games like UNO, Miles Borne or Dutch Blitz

You could make these games “teachable” with a few questions – how does it feel to win? How does it feel to lose? Where do you strive to be Number One (UNO) in your life?

Picture puzzles are also great for casual play that can lead to conversation. You can always share the story of the family that was struggling to put together a puzzle until they learned that their young son had hidden all the dark pieces under the sofa cushion because they looked like spiders. Sometimes we need to acknowledge the dark places in life in order to see the beautiful picture God has for us at the end.

If you have an active group and some nearby stairs try a game of Stoop Ball!

Hope this helps!

Angie Brooke November 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Just started a youth group. We have the entire group together 5th-12th graders. Seems to work out GREAT. Teaching about Advent on Sunday. Looking for a game to teach with the theme of “waiting”. Any suggestions? Last month we had 27 kids. As of now we are expecting 20-27. Youth group is Sunday. THANKS!!!!!

Phil Houtz November 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Hmmm…you could try the ol’ chestnut “Red Light, Green Light.” Have the kids line up along the wall of a large room or grassy area outdoors. When you say “green light” the kids advance to the other side. Say “red light” and they stop. Anyone moving on anything but a “green light” has to go back to the start. Mix it up by throwing in other words like “bacon” or “greetings.” If you want to get really crazy, split the group into two and have half the group start at the opposite side…blindfolded. Touch someone else and you have to start over as well. Because of the age (and size) differences in your group, have the kids walk if you try it blindfolded to prevent a Titanic-style collision.

Other games that encourage waiting are a quiz show where the first person to hit the buzzer (or metal bowl with a wooden spoon) gets to answer the question. But if you don’t know the answer, your team is penalized one point. Kids will try to jump the gun, but they need to wait until they are sure they know the answer.

“What’s in your milk?” also encourages waiting. The group starts by asking one person “what’s in your milk?” The person might answer “Oreos” or “a narwhal,” any silly answer will do. The rest of the group tries to get the person to laugh by asking questions by saying what is in their milk. For instance if Oreos are in the milk, the group might say “what do you wear on your feet?” or “what do you brush your teeth with?” The answer is always “Oreos.” No matter how funny or absurd the answer, the person being challenged must wait until the game is over before laughing.

After any of these games you could ask what it was like to wait, what happened if you didn’t wait and what is it that makes waiting so hard. What are other times they’ve had to wait? What is worth waiting for? What isn’t?

Great theme for Advent! Let me know how it goes.

Vanessa Montero June 16, 2013 at 2:18 am

Hi there,
My youth group is doing a prom for the graduates but we are extending the invititation to our entire youth group.
We want to keep it alive and fun for them since we wont have dancing.
There is no theme for it, we are just going by back and gold as our theme colors.
We are expecting about 30 youth to attend.
What games do you think we could do with the youth?
Most of them are high school students but we do have older youth and younger youth.
Thank you!
It’s this Friday by the way

Phil Houtz June 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Sorry for the late reply -it’s been a crazy month!

If this event has a theme like Senior Prom, I’d go with prom-themed games. For instance, you could have a competition for Prom King and Queen – divide into teams, each team picks a candidate for Prom King or Queen & dresses them using toilet paper, gold & silver wrapping paper. Vote for the best-dressed.

Other prom-themed games could be a punch bowl relay, boys have to run to punch bowl, scoop a ladle of punch, run to a girl, fill her cup, the girl has to run to a punch bowl on the other side of the room. First team to fill the punch bowl on the other side wins. (If this is a dress-up event use water or packing p-nuts instead of actual punch).

A photo booth might be fun. If you have the technology use computer software to add special effects to the pictures then project them for the entire room to see. Most basic photo editing software can do this and there are some fun photo booth apps as well.

You could have “Pin the boutonniere on the dude”, similar to pin the tail on the donkey except girls are blindfolded and have to “pin” (use tape instead of an actual pin) a lapel flower in a guy. I’d have four guys up front and try about three or four girls for each guy.

You could also do a “family feud” style Bible trivia game.

Hope this helps!

Leave a Comment