Tag: Games for a Few

Water Balloon Games: Hot Potato

water balloon games are tremendous fun

Water balloon games are good, clean, fun with just a hint of treachery. Water Balloon Hot Potato cranks up the suspense as players pass a water balloon from hand-to-hand until the music stops. What happens next is up to the person holding the bag – of water.

Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Number of Players: five to two dozen

Rules for Water Balloon Hot Potato

Arrange players in a circle not too far apart. When the music starts give one player a water balloon to pass to her neighbor. Players continue passing the balloon in the same direction as long as the music is playing.

1. If a player pops the balloon or drops it, the player must leave the circle.

2. When the music stops the player holding the balloon is “out” and must leave the circle – unless she can lob the balloon at another player and hit him.

3. The player who gets hit must leave the circle. If the balloon misses, then the thrower is “out.”

4. The game continues until only two players are left. At this point give each player a water balloon, have them count off ten paces, turn and FIRE! Players can keep lobbing balloons until one is hit.

Set Up

No real set up is necessary, just an open space to play and willing players.


Before the event make sure kids know water balloon games are on the agenda, dress appropriately and bring towels.

At least an hour before the game grab a few helpers and start making as many water balloons as possible. Float the balloons in a tub of water. Splurge a little and buy several water balloon nozzles.


Try winding up the game by inviting everyone back to the circle and giving water balloons to all but one player. When the music stops, anyone not holding a balloon is out. Anyone who breaks a balloon during play is also out.

When it’s all over, let kids grab balloons and stage all-out war!


Transition to lesson time with a few questions: What makes a water balloon so refreshing on a hot summer day? Would a soda pop balloon or a chocolate milk balloon be as fun as water balloons? Why or why not? Why do you suppose Jesus offered his followers living water instead of wine, soda or milk?

Youth Group Games in a Pinch – What’s in Your Milk?

How much fun can you have without laughing? What’s in Your Milk is a quick youth group game that can be played anywhere, any time. It’s best played in a group of five to twelve or so.

The object is to pick someone in the group and then try to make them laugh by tossing out random questions. The game play starts this way: one person is chosen to be “it” by asking them the question “what’s in your milk?” The person answers with a noun of any kind, let’s say her word is “calcium.” From this point on the person who is “it” must answer every question with the word “calcium.”

The group peppers “it” with as many questions as they can think of, as long as the question can be answered by the world “calcium.” The person who is “it” needs to keep a straight face every time she answers a question with her word. She can smile, but if she starts to giggle, she’s out. She then picks the next person to answer “what’s in your milk?”


“Steve, what’s in your milk?”


“What do see in the zoo?”


“What eats bananas?”


“What swings in trees?”


“What’s in your shirt?”

Steve starts to answer “monkeys” but the thought of monkeys in his shirt cracks him up and he starts laughing.

The secret is to keep the questions coming fast and furious but to keep them obvious and mundane. When you do toss out a ridiculous question it takes the person by surprise and they start to chuckle. The laughter is contagious and the whole thing can turn into a first class giggle-fest.

Spot It! Fast, Furious Card Game Makes a Great Icebreaker

Here’s a fun card game that will stretch your brain. Spot It! is a deck of round playing cards covered with colorful pictures. Every card in the deck has at least one matching picture with every other card in the deck. Your challenge is to spot a picture that matches your card before anyone else. Sound easy? After one or two hands your brain is guaranteed to lock up.

The game is fast-paced and instantly gets wild. While you can’t play Spot It! very long before mental exhaustion sets in, it’s a great game to have on hand to get people to loosen up and get a little zany.

Playing with Fire: Match Rockets

Yes, as Steve Hoefer says in this video below, this activity will literally have you playing with fire. But with the right group and good supervision this can be a fun and educational activity. Or not. An activity like this is best with a small group that has built some trust and accountability.

To make this activity into a game, have players compete for distance and accuracy.

Necessary disclaimer: this activity should be conducted with adequate adult supervision in an open area away from combustible materials with adequate eye protection. Never fire a rocket toward another person or animal. Discuss this activity with parents ahead of time.

Time: 20 to 45 minutes
Number of Players: one to five per adult supervisor


Follow the instructions above for making matchstick rockets. Have each contestant make his or her own matchstick rocket.

1. Play for distance. For a smaller group have players use the same “launchpad.” For a larger group have contestants line up about four feet apart along a marked line. Make it clear that contestants do not move past the firing line until you give the signal.

2. Play for accuracy. Put a metal can a reasonable distance, about ten to fifteen feet from the launchpad. Have players take aim and fire. Award prizes to the closest contestants. Make sure nobody goes past the firing line until you give the all-clear.

Set Up

An open outdoor area such as a grass field or parking lot with no combustible materials for about 40 feet in all directions from the launchpad.


  • Book matches
  • Straight pins
  • Large paperclips
  • Aluminum foil
  • Metal can
  • Safety glasses for all within 20 ft. of launchpad


Make this dangerous activity into a “teachable moment” by asking, is this activity safe or dangerous? Was it fun? Did you learn anything? What could have gone wrong? If you try this at home and set something on fire, who would be responsible? (the child would be, but also the child’s parents).

At this point you could transition to a quick study of Philemon. Philemon was a runaway slave who stole from his master and then appealed to Paul in Rome. Paul sent Philemon back to his master to ask for forgiveness. Any damages that Philemon caused where to be charged to Paul’s account. Here you can talk about how Jesus paid the penalty for our sins but we are still responsible for our actions.

Happy rocketeering!

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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.