Tag: Cooperation

Team-Building Game: All Aboard!

How many people can you get on top of a milk crate (or similar sturdy object) at one time? All Aboard is a fun team building game for youth groups that encourages cooperation by challenging players to work together. The game is ideal for 6 to 12 players but don’t worry if your group is bigger than that – just use more milk crates.

The secret to this game is to think outside the box (sorry). Clearly you can’t get 10 or 20 people standing on top of the same milk crate at the same time. So where else can those people be? Perhaps hanging onto the shoulders of one of the box-standers. This is a real “feet” of engineering!

Here are a couple of other cooperative youth ministry games that can be used to build teamwork among people of all ages:

Blind Square

You need a team of more than four people, blindfolds for all team members, a level playing field and about 150 ft. of rope. The rules are simple, each player needs to keep at least one hand on the rope at all times. Working together, the team must try and form a perfect square in a given period of time. (Five to ten minutes works well.)

Ping Pong Rescue

The object of this game is to get a ping pong ball out of the bottom of a long pipe without turning the pipe upside down. The solution seems obvious, fill the pipe with water from a nearby 5 gallon bucket. There’s only one small problem – the pipe is riddled with holes.

This activity takes a 4-6 ft. long piece of PVC pipe, about 4″ diameter, capped at one end and held in an upright position. Prepare the pipe ahead of time by drilling two dozen or so random small holes (1/16″ to 1/8″). Provide a five gallon bucket of water (or other water source) at a distance, cups or pans, and some other random “tools” such as dowels, string, coat hangers. Eventually the most practical solution will be for some people to relay water while others keep the holes plugged.

Think Small

The objective is to see if you can get everyone in a medium to large group to touch a small object at the same time. For a group of 20 see if everyone can touch a soccer ball simultaneously. If they succeed at that task try a softball, ping pong ball, a marble.

Game of the Day: Mummy Wrap

Wrapping people in toilet paper is a youth group standard. Give people an incentive to be creative and “Mummy Wrap” can a fun, interesting way to get a lesson started.

Divide into groups of three or four. Give each group one roll of toilet paper. Have each group wrap one of it’s members like a mummy. Judge the mummies according to style, creativity, neatness. Award valuable cash prizes.

Bible Applications:

Joseph, Moses, Egypt; Lazarus, Jesus, first century burial preparation; Earth stewardship: save the toilet paper and reuse it to clean up after another activity; Body life: each of us has a gift to contribute.

Wait…I Was There! Tall Tales for Summer Campfires

Summer is here and there’s nothing like telling stories around the campfire. “Wait…I was there!” is a fun way to get everyone into the act of storytelling, spinning a yarn that is fun, vivid and outrageous.

While you can have fun with mutual storytelling in a lot of different settings…including the classroom…the activity is especially fun around a fire. If you’re not close to a beach with fire rings or planning on heading out to a campsite any time soon, set up a portable fire pit (taking outdoor fire pit safety precautions of course) and roast marshmallows.

Start the game by spinning a tall tale. For instance, if the evening is a little chilly you can say “You think this is cold? I remember the summer of ’65. It was so cold that our words froze and fell to the ground before anyone could hear what we said. You had to pick up a person’s words and thaw them out over the fire to hear what anyone said.”

At this point someone might jump in and say “wait! I was there! It was so cold that we had to knit sweaters to keep the polar bears warm.”

If you have younger kids or quiet kids in your youth group you might have to “stir the coals” to get some participation going. In that case make sure your youth leaders are prepared to involve everyone in the story. For instance you might say “And were those polar bears grateful? You bet. They gave us all big hugs and went Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Can you do that? Hug your neighbor and go Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Mmmmm!”

Once this game gets going it can be hard to stop. Make sure everyone knows that the story is complete when “they all lived happily ever after.” If you’re ready to wind things down you can throw out the prompt – “are they going to live happily ever after?” – and let one of your youth leaders wrap it up.